Just Like Heaven

 

My terracotta journey continues!  The guys at Rainbow Fabrics must have thought I was going mad last year when my order consisted of terracotta coloured everything:  linen, brushed cotton twill, viscose woven and viscose jersey!  They’re all slightly different shades, but essentially will fulfill my desire for a neutral with pop.  On ordering the viscose jersey, I already knew exactly what I would be making – and that’s the only piece of fabric that had a definite plan!

cowl 3
Self-drafted cowl tee

A few years ago, probably more than I’d like to think, I made a pattern for a cowl drape tee, from my own tee block.  Unfortunately I have none of the original notes or experiment pattern pieces, but I did find that the instructions that yeilded the best pattern actually came from a menswear pattern drafting book!  Now, I’ve never seen a guy wearing a cowl drape tee, and I’m not sure it’s an image that sits gently on the mind….  Although maybe if it’s a high cowl – but not as deep as mine! (apparently, men’s cowl neck tees are a thing!!)

cowl 2

According to the notes on the front piece of my pattern, this is version 3.  I seem to remember trying out different cowl depths to get it just right, but that was for the stable knit I was going to be using, this is going to be different!  The original tee is made from a stable knit and has three quarter length sleeves.  This time I wanted long sleeves, that’s an easy adjustment.  I knew the fibre content of the jersey would have a big impact on the look of the drape, and I was quite excited to get on and make and wear it!

cowl 1

I am completely in love with the result!  The colour is better than I’d imagined, even with similarly coloured hair!  I’d always avoided the “autumn” colour pallette, because I can’t  couldn’t stand orange (or any of the other warm shades).  But I have to admit, this works, although you won’t see me embracing orange-orange just yet!  (or yellow…)  Mind officially blown guys.  The jersey is just devine, it fells like silk!  Knowing how drapey viscose jersey is, I reinforced the shoulder seams with vilene bias tape, and extended that courtesy to the back neckline too.  It was made on the overlocker, using the twin needle on the sewing machine for hems.

Now I’m off to wear my new tee with everything, I just hope it’s not a pain to iron….

Wardrobe Architect Result

Picture the scene, you’re relaxing after dinner with a glass of something yummy & Husband announces we’ve got a wedding invitation from an ex-collegue of his.  First thought – “Oh heck, what on earth an I going to wear??”  Second thought, “How much time do I have?”  It turned out I had about 2 months, the two months that were to be taken up with Indie Pattern makes!

I had a wild plan to make something fabulous in a 50s style, something nipped and flared nudged at the edge of my brain.  Then I got real.  I’d never feel comfortable in a Fifties dress, no matter how beautiful it was, and I’d never – ever wear it again!  I’m not into having things in my wardrobe that only have one use.

Silk!
Silk!

I turned instead to my Wardrobe Architect board on Pinterest and came up with a plan.  I had initially planned to wear black – I know, it’s a wedding, not a funeral!  But I’m comfortable in black.  But I’d have had to buy all the fabrics for whatever I wanted and I really, really didn’t want to do that.  Digging through the piles of fabric on the sewing table I unburied the navy & ecru spot silk chiffon Husband had bought for me back in January.  I’d planned a cowl drape top with that.  I also had a piece of navy silk charmeuse in my silk box, just right for a camisole.  So I had a top and something to counter the sheerness of the silk – all I needed was something on the bottom.

Instead of inviting fate to mess with me too much I decided to play safe & make one of my tried & tested Burdastyle trouser patterns (102 from 07/09), I just needed the fabric.  I found a beautiful stretch cotton sateen in navy on Fabric Godmother and that was that!  The trousers were made as soon as the fabric was washed & dried.  Done!  And in plenty of time, I was not going to be rushing & still sewing 30 minutes before we had to leave!  I used a remnant of the Liberty cotton from the Carme for the pockets & to trip the lower edge of the waistband.

Trouser details
Trouser details – I changed the button to a plain blue one, this one could be seen through the silk!

Then the Indie stuff hit the big time & I lost sense of time completely.  Only once all the madness was over I settled to making the cami.   I used an out of print Butterick 5487 .  The pattern calls for it to be double layered but I didn’t have enough silk for that, so I cut one layer & loads of bias strips for the upper edges.  I used French seams for the inners & double turned a narrow hem.

DSC09715-1The top was always going to be self-drafted.  It took a couple of attempts to get the right amount of drape in the front.  The first time I didn’t open up too much & kept the waist darts in.  This looked fine, but I wanted more drape & no darts.  Trying again there was too much drape and the top was too baggy in front.  Third time lucky I was happy with everything.  The back is cut on the straight with darts for shaping, 3/4 length sleeves are simple & narrow and the front is dartless.  The toile was more fitted than the silk turned out to be.  Again, I used French seams throughout & double turned the hems.

DSC09718-1I had of course, left it to the 2nd last day to begin all this.  Why?  ‘Cause I get distracted with other things!  Instead of getting on with the blouse I made two vintage dresses.  Neither were desperately needed.  But I liked the patterns & the fabric & wanted to make them.  So I did.  The net result is that yes, I was still sewing 30 minutes before we were due to leave!!  I’ll never learn it seems.

DSC09712-1But I was happy with my outfit.  I’d have prefered the blouse to be more fitted and can always add darts to the front again, but the biggest let down were the trousers!  I’ve made this pattern so many times I’ve lost count, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  I decided to make them 4 weeks ahead of schedule – and then went on a little healthy eating plan!  NOOOO!  They were too big, and of course I only realised that when I put the whole lot on to go out!  BOTHER!  Now I need to add belt loops.

The end result is positive, I have a fab new blouse I can wear anytime and it looks even better with my pale beige & camel coloured linen trousers than it does with the navy, and that navy cotton sateen is just brilliant to wear.  It’s cotton so it breathes, the satin finish makes it pretty, although it does tend to attract light-coloured fluff and the stretch content makes it all so comfortable.

DSC09713-1I’ll never be one of those in a shop-bought pretty party frock, but I will be happy in my handmade stuff.  🙂

Have you made anything “out of the ordinary” for an occasion such as a wedding?