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! 


  1. Wow! You have been productive. I also tend to buy fabric in the blue family, so when I put together my wardrobe plan I only had 1 choice for a color story!

    I have that Simplicity top pattern, and yours looks so great! I need to sew it up ASAP!

    1. I seem to be drawn to this royal blue color a lot! I actually noticed a floral with this royal blue in my stash and was so excited because it coordinates with these tops! Both of these simplicity tops are great because of their simple designs and easy construction, I mean how can you beat only three pattern pieces!! Thanks for stopping by our blog.

  2. Great basic separates.They all look pretty on you.. I love the royal blue top.. SO simple, and yet looks so dressy.. Happy sewing. and best wishes on your return to work.

    1. Hi Judy! Good to hear from you! Thanks for your sweet words, its always nice when a sewing project isn't time consuming and has a satisfying result! Thanks for your best wishes, I'm enjoying my job and since its part time I feel I'm easing back into the work world. Again good to hear from you.