Thursday, July 5, 2012

Separately Together

Yep, I made some work appropriate separates.  And here I am wearing them together.  But I'm kinda meh about the whole shebang.  Maybe you can help me figure out a solution.  I've got a few issues I'd like to fix.  I'm on a mission to make some work appropriate things because I got a new job!  I'm still teaching art but I'll be at a new school next year.  I went from traveling between two schools to now being full time at one school, so I am super excited about that.  I don't have to cart all my junk around with me anymore.


 First, the blouse.  I won a giveaway from Forrest over at Presser Foot Propaganda and she sent me this lovely 80's bow blouse pattern (thank you!).  I've never made nor worn a bow blouse before.  I'm super late on this trend, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway.


I used a really pretty white cotton shirting that has an open stripe throughout.  I love the fabric.  But I didn't take in to account the sheerness.  I sewed up the darts as recommended on the pattern.  They were really deep darts.  They had you cut the darts open and press flat, making a little notch at the waist.  Well, I did that and you could see the ugly seam allowances through the fabric along with the notch.  It looked sloppy.  So I trimmed the dart allowances down to almost nothing and used my overlock stitch to keep the edges neat.  Am I calling this stitch the right thing- an overlock stitch?  Just curious.


I was really happy with the way it helped tidy up the raw edge.  I used it a few more times to overlock raw edges where I couldn't use french seams.  I used it on the inside of my dip dyed dress, too.

The sleeves were insane.  I used the fun little cap sleeve, which is what initially drew me to the pattern in the first place.  But they were huuuuuuge.  They stuck out so far I looked like I belonged in an episode of the Jetsons.  I did the lazy girl's fix and folded them to the inside and slip stitched the folded edge to the armscye seam allowance.  It cut the width in half.


I'm happy with the blouse but I just don't think I've figured out how to wear it.  I don't like it with this skirt.  I think I'll have to wear it in a more casual way.  Maybe with jeans.  Any thoughts?  I feel like my short hair cut makes it too sweet, if you know what I mean.

The skirt I'm happier with, except for those funny bubbles at the ends of the front darts.  I drafted this skirt based on my a-line skirt block from last summer.  I took my measurements again, and sadly, they are exactly the same.  I say 'sadly' because I just finished a twelve week "couch to 5k" running club.  I was hoping for a tiny reduction in booty.  Oh well.

 
My drafting assistant

I'm not calling it a pencil skirt.  I'm calling this a straight skirt.  Instead of having a wider sweep at the hem I made the hem the exact same width as the widest part of the hip.  To me, pencil skirts are narrower at the hem.  I wanted something simple that wouldn't require any sort of slit.  This is the perfect style of skirt to wear to work when I want to feel a little more "grown up."  Mostly I can get away with corduroys and knit tops.  But every once in a while I need to wear something a little more professional, especially since I'll be in a new work environment.  I made this particular skirt in denim because it was really just a practice version.  I have another version in the works.  


But the denim was too boring to not have some sort of fun feature.  I used one of those fancy embroidery stitches on my machine and made a border at the hem.  I changed thread and width with each row.  Would it be too kitschy if I put a little orange fish in there?  It reminds me of waves.


I'm happy with the skirt except for the front darts.  I fiddled around with them quite a bit but couldn't get the bubbles to disappear.  The denim is really heavy.  I think that may have something to do with it.  And there are also some wrinkles on the back waist.  Any idea what they could be from?


And there it is.  They are both good pieces, but not great.  I think with a few tweaks I could make that straight skirt pattern perfect.  And the blouse just needs a better pairing.

44 comments:

  1. Ooooh, I love both these pieces. The blouse is really cute, and the fit is great.

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  2. You are just too cute! Tell me, do you save a lot money making your clothes or is fabric costly enough that you don't see a difference?

    You're an inspiration!

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    1. Hmmm.... I don't think I'm saving any money. Well, lately I feel better about what I spend on sewing because I've been working from my stash. Though I had to buy everything at some point. I think it probably evens out in the end. It also depends on where you shop. If you shop at higher end stores, then yes it does save money. But if you shop at discount places like Kohls, then no. Of course all the things I make are exactly what I want and much better quality than anything I'd buy.

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  3. The blouse is gorgeous- I think it looks fine with the skirt, but would look really good with jeans. And I hear you on the grown-up skirt thing- and I love the little wave embroidery, it makes it that bit more special !

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  4. I really love the look of the bow blouse - especially the slightly upturned sleeve detail! Totally gorgeous. Loving the graduated stitched colours on your skirt too. Bubbles at the end of darts are an annoyance for sure - maybe they need to be a little longer, and tapered off in a slight curve rather than a straight line?

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    1. I'm definitely going to try lengthening the darts and making the end more gradual. Thanks!

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  5. Both pieces are really cute. The blouse left out and worn over pants would look less 'sweet' but it's nice as it is!
    Poppykettle got it right re the dart bubble issue. This happens when there is too sharp a taper or an incomplete one. A few more stitches adding to the length of the dart usually fixes it.

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    1. I like it much better untucked but I don't have anything to untuck it with. Must remedy that!

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  6. Super little work outfit - you will get a heap of wear out of it...

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  7. Love these separates. I can really see the blouse with jeans. For wearing them together, I personally would add a wide belt in either white or navy to match, or bright red or pink to not match.

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  8. Both these pieces seem to fit you perfectly, and I bet you will find the right things to wear with the blouse. The wavy embroidery is great!
    As for the bubbly darts, I concurr with poopykettle, they might need to be made in a different shape, more of a convex curve that graduates more gracefully to the folded edge. To fix the bubbles, I suggest spraying with water and then steaming the ends into submission!

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    1. Steaming in to submission! I like that.

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    2. I've read somewhere there are instances where you would bash thick seams with a clapper, or something like that....no idea if this is one of those occasions?? I love both pieces too and agree that a goldfish would be super cute if small....you know, a detail that you know is there but others have to get close to see..I love bow blouses and the cap sleeves are lovely post jetsonned!

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  9. I really love the blouse,love the sleeves, and agree that a belt would set it off. I see a dark patent leather one, with a dark skirt. Just got a flash of that for some reason lol. The blouse would look fab with a pencil skirt, or capri's.

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  10. hi. here's another perspective on the bow. your outfit is very practical:denim skirt, attractive but practical sandals, white blouse, and then there's this bow (which is not practical, but then again who cares?). not everyone is a bow person, and I'm wondering if you're not. it's definitely a pretty blouse though.

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    1. I agree with this. For some reason the bow just doesn't feel like it goes with everything.

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  11. I think you look utterly cute, but I can understand your consternation over the bow blouse. Bow blouses are just tough pieces to love all the time. I'm drawn to them but invariably end up not wearing them.

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  12. Oh I love both pieces (together and separate) but I REALLY love the bow blouse! I'd be tempted to go all "retro secretary" with it and tuck it into a high waisted pencil skirt and some pumps... which is sort of what you did - so I think you're on the right track!!

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  13. Both these pieces are terrific basics, they fit nicely and look like very suitable work clothes. Pretty details like the wave embroidery, and trying out the bow tie help a bit, but maybe it is the classic style of these pieces that isn't appealing particularly to you?

    Re running and booty. Running is very good for gluteal muscle development. Sigh. There is probably more muscle and less of that, well, other stuff that requires more sitting ease.

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    1. When I first started the program I think my booty actually got bigger. Now I seem to be the exact size as before, but you're right- less jiggle. I can't complain about that ;)

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  14. I really like both of these! Together or appart, though I can understand the desire to not look too cutesy. Love the details at the skirt hem - cute but subtle. Love the tie neck blouse. I feel like I have been seeing more of these lately, and I am really starting to like the style. Yours is great, though I can understand the difficulty with styling. I feel like with jeans and under a fitted jacket it might not feel so cute and maybe a bit more stylish? Not sure as I don't have one myself, but I am inspired to try the style in the future.

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    1. Ooh, I like the idea of wearing it under a jacket.

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  15. Congratulations on the full time job! I LOVE this outfit, even the sleeves. Most of all I love the Stitching detail on the bottom of the skirt, clever! You should wear it confidently, you look swell in it :)

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  16. I think they both look really good, maybe you would like the top better untucked with cords or semi nice pants. And the decorative stitching on your skirt is so cute, it would be super fun if you had just one little fish swimming around!

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  17. Great outfit!!! Looks darling on you!

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  18. I think they look cute together, could you try untucking the blouse? Maybe that would look more like you expected? I think that blouse (and the skirt too!) would look good with all sorts of other garments as well. Congrats on a beautiful pair of separates! :-)

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  19. I really like both items. I love the cute waves on the bottom of the skirt, I may need to pinch this idea for a future garment!! In relation to the bubbles, if you tried doing them slightly longer and taking longer to taper off (if that makes sense) this should fix the issue.

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  20. I think your ensemble is perfect and doesn't need a thing!! I especially love that blouse, that is the most adorable top I've seen in yonks. Such a pity the pattern is not available any more, I would be buying that one!

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  21. I love both these clothes! :)
    Well done!!!

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  22. It seems like every blouse my mother bought me for school in the 80's had a bow- I secretly thought alot about strangling her. But now I kep seeing them - this one especially and my hate is dissolving into new interest. You look very current and frisky in it. By the by- I love my overlock stitch- it almost takes the place of my serger most of the time!

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    1. Haha! That's funny. I like the description of "frisky", too.

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  23. I love the top! The bow, the fabric, all so adorable. I also love the skirt with the decorative stitching. They look great together. Not too sweet. Just the right amount of sweetness.

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  24. Both are lovely! The fit on your top is amazing, and I laughed at the Jetson sleeves! I love the decorative stitches on your skirt. :)

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  25. This is a very pretty blouse! I've been meaning to make a similar bow tie blouse (with short sleeves) and this pattern looks exactly like what I'm looking for ! I'll have to track a copy down on the web.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I love both pieces - I'd wear them! The blue embroidery on the skirt is too sweet, and if I were you I'd succumb to the fish idea!

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  27. Wow, that's such a lovely outfit! I almost never wear separates that I've made together; I'm not sure why, though. Anyway, everything looks great :)

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  28. Lovely separates. I know exactly what you mean, about wanting to create work separates. I'm starting a new teaching job in September and "professional/ office wear" is expected (teaching art in a suit? sounds like fun!) I do like your separates, I think I might make something similar as it would fit the brief od my new school dress code perfectly!

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  29. Lovely! Especially love the blouse. I agree with others re: the darts - lengthen them & curve them off, and don't backstitch at the end, tie the ends off. And I reckon an orange fish would be really cute.

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  30. I know what's missing: Color! Yeah, add an orange fish. Or red pumps. Or a green necklace. A pop (or several pops!) of color would spice up these very classic pieces.

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  31. Oh my goodness! Love your top! It looks great! Now I have to make it...

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  32. That top is just lovely- its good to know I'm not alone in loving the pussy bow. :)

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  33. Congratulations on the new job! And the blouse is gorgeous! I think it looks really nice with the denim skirt, especially with the extra stitching.

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  34. Congrats on the new job! That's super exciting.

    I love the whole outfit. The tie is really cute and so are the details on your skirt.

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