Friday, April 24, 2015

Back to Work Basics

 The title of this post about sums it up, I'm back to work and need basics that can be mixed and matched without much thought.  I'm working through my stash for these pieces and am trying to make them all play nice together.  Oddly enough, going through my stash to coordinate I've discovered I buy a lot of fabrics in the blue color family.  So I'm trying to stay somewhere within a blue/black/white spectrum.  That way I can easily mix them up and throw in my red shoes for good measure. 
Blue Top (pictured above)
Pattern:  This first top is Simplicity 1690.  Its a basic little top with only three pattern pieces.  I love that!  The pattern went together easily.  I graded the pattern an 8 at the shoulders, 10 at the bust and 12 at the hip line.  The only observation I can think of about this pattern is that the bias binding facing at the neckline is a bit wide but I like the result.  The hemline has a nice touch with a split hem on each side. 
Fabric:  This is a rayon challis from Hancocks fabrics.  It was leftover from my recent maxi skirt make.
Styling: I've paired this top with work pants and this black pencil skirt.  I have enjoyed wearing it more than I initially thought I would.  My first impression when I looked at this top was that I had made a top suitable for scrubs.  But after wearing it I think I will have to make another one!

Pencil Skirt (in all pictures)
Pattern:  The pencil skirt is Simplicity 2154.  This is one of Simplicity's vintage patterns.  It went together great.  I used a size 12 at the waist, 14 in the hips and graded back to a 12 below the hips.  It has a side zipper, waistband, and vent in the back.  The instructions don't include lining and I didn't use a lining.  In the summer it gets pretty hot here and I like wearing slips under skirts because they are easier to launder and it saves my garments from over washing.  It seems I need an adjustment for a bit of a full tummy but I've tried some tutorials that address this problem with other skirts and didn't have great results.  If anyone knows a really good method for that fix I'd love to hear it!  I'm inclined to just ignore the problem since its only a minor nuisance and just pick a more relaxed fabric next time I make this skirt!
Fabric:  My Mom gave me this fabric, it is a cotton with stretch.  Not sure what exactly it is but it feels like bottom weight and is crisp. 
Styling:  A pencil skirt like this is so versatile.  I made mine on the longer end.  I might shorten it a smidge next time.  I'm not sure what this skirt won't go with since its a basic black pencil skirt, I know I'll get a lot of use out of it. 
Light Blue Top (both above and below)
Pattern: The top above is Simplicity 1366.  I've made this pattern twice before and its very easy.  It has a boxy shape and dropped shoulders.  This one is a size 8, which I think I should've graded to at least a size ten in the bust and waist.  I like the shape of this top and have been considering trying a different pattern like this one except without the dropped shoulder- mainly this one from Butterick.  I'm just curious about the differences between the two patterns and really like this way this top looks and would like to see if I can copy it.  

Fabric:  The fabric was given to me and I'm not sure of its content, I think it is mostly polyester with some cotton.  It looks like chambray and feels like a light weight cotton.  It doesn't wrinkle easily which is great. 

Styling:  I've made this top a couple times before and made the hem narrower on this one.  I wanted a bit more length so that I can tuck it into the skirt.  This type of top is a great blank canvas for a statement piece necklace.  I have only one statement piece necklace so I might have to do something about that!
So there we are, three more back to work basics to add to the rotation of work wear! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Dress #2 and My "Go to" Outfit

This is my 6 year old's Easter dress.  Its the same dress that I made her last Easter, the Oliver and S Fairytale Dress.   Actually this dress was mostly completely constructed because last year I started sewing a size 6 for her by accident and when I was just almost done I realized my mistake, she needed a size 5! Wah so I was pretty frustrated but put everything in a bag and threw it up on a high shelf out of sight until this year.  So this Easter I was excited that I was just almost done when I started= happy Mom.  

Pattern:  Like last year, I added piping to the peter pan collar.  We decided to forgo a sash or any waist details, mostly because some how I had used up all the coordinating coral fabric and couldn't find any more to match.  I added the called for layer of tulle under the skirt, this fabric needed the support.  This is one of the best written patterns I think I've ever used and it just looks adorable on.  I need to make another for her because she loves wearing it.  Most of what I have to say about this pattern I've said previously here.  But this is such an awesome little pattern, fussy- but the result is always good.  

Fabric:  The fabric is a seersucker from Hancocks fabrics purchased last year.  This girl loves rainbows and chose the fabric.  Its a pretty thin seersucker and when I laundered it before sewing, the hot pink stripe bled on the fabric..arghhh.  It was faint but enough that I could see it, of course my daughter still loved the fabric.  The dress is lined with a coral cotton poly/cotton fabric from my stash.   
Will she wear it?  Yes, she loves it and wears it willingly.  

Now on to my new "go to" outfit.  

You can receive the pattern for free when you sign up for the newsletter.  Its a very fast sew since there are no sleeves to set in and with knits, no seams to finish.  I used the size small in the shoulders and graded out to a medium at the waist.  The pattern doesn't include seam allowances so you have to add those, I added 3/8  inch seams all around and I probably should've read the instructions because there are specifications for the seam allowances.   As far as finishing the edges I simply turned under the sleeves and neck by 1/4 and straight stitched them down.  I left the hem unfinished.  There are instructions for a neck binding but I didn't really want to fiddle with it.   

The skirt is McCalls 7096.  I made the size 14 but probably could go down to a size 12, luckily this skirt is not hard to alter.   I also chopped about 3 1/2 inches off the bottom.  It has a side zipper and a contoured waistband (again, why why why don't all skirts have contoured waistbands?).  I am hoping to do some color blocking on this skirt down the road because why not?  I didn't have any problems with construction.
For the Tee I used a remnant piece of jersey with one way stretch leftover from another project.  It was a value fabric at Hancock fabrics and the skirt is rayon challis from Hancocks as well.  I love it when they clear out last summer's fabrics and you can get them for a steal on the spot the bolt table.  I love rayon challis because it is so breathable in the summer and so soft on the skin.  I serged all the raw edges because rayon challis likes to fray.     
Styling: These two pieces are easy to wear and here I have on birkenstocks but for work (going back to work in a few weeks after 6 years of being a SAHM!)  I'll probably wear flats.  I call this my new "go to" outfit because of the comfort and ease of it and because I will be able to translate it into work wear very easily.  Also these two patterns are relatively simple to whip out and since I start work soon I'm trying to crank out as many separates as possilble.  So my question for anyone reading is, do you have any tried and true patterns that are easy to whip out and also move seamlessly between work and home?   

Linking up to Gray All Day Sew Chic in a Week.