Thursday, August 16, 2012

Introducing...The Betty Skirt!

Betty skirt - border print 2
Remember this skirt? Well, here it is in full. It is a super simple construction: two lengths of fabric, sewn selvage-t0-selvage, and then gathered the heck out of to fit a waistband. Super easy. So easy I felt confident enough to tackle it with a border print (gasp!). So easy...I made a whole bunch more!

Betty skirt - Innocent Crush voile 3
Here's my second version, out of Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush voile. I'd had this in my stash for a long time and just didn't know what to do with it. Proof positive that sometimes holding onto something until the right project comes along is important. I wear this skirt all the time now!

Betty skirt - Innocent Crush voile 2
This one has a few improvements over the first. Namely: pockets. Not as awesome of an addition but even more necessary: underskirt. (This one is made from a dark gray Bemberg rayon.) Because these skirts are made from cotton lawn or voile and are floaty. All it takes is one little breeze to pick up any bit of that 100"+ hem circumference and woosh! the skirt is around your shoulders. Yep, the built-in underskirt is a necessity, which means my border print is relegated to having a slip and / or heavy tights underneath.

Betty skirt - leaf lawn 4
And my third and, arguably, best version: the leaf skirt. This one is made from fabric I picked up at Mood last April. That was actually when I got the idea to make this skirt; it just took me a year to put it into practice!

Betty skirt - leaf lawn 2
Check out that fabulous pattern-matching for the inside of the pocket! Too bad I ran out of fabric and couldn't match as well on the other side...

So, why is this named the "Betty" skirt? Two reasons: 1) The fullness of the skirt totally reminds me of something season 1 Betty Draper would've worn, and 2) Wearing a super full and floaty skirt makes a girl feel like a total Betty.

Amber in Betty skirt
This skirt was so easy to make that I felt confident enough to make one long-distance for my friend Amber in DC! Look how cute she is in it! I love how she styled it with that striped top, too (the two of us are a little obsessed with print-mixing). I was able to use her measurements and make her two skirts that fit perfectly with no alterations! That made me awfully excited.

I want to remind you about my newsletter (which you can sign up for here!) and my Facebook page (here!). New softies revealed and online this weekend; I promise!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catching Up: Tops

Lavender blouse 4
What's a girl to do with an overwhelming pile of photos to be edited (from, seriously, months ago) and then blogged? Just plunge in, I suppose.

Lavender blouse 5
So, this is me, plunging. Remember in the spring when I was making tops? Like this one? I decided I was on a roll and would finally make up some that were in my stash / on my to do list for years. This is one of them.

Lavender blouse 3
I bought this fabric probably 5 years ago. It's some kind of polyester crepe thing that I would never buy now. It frays like mad, too. But at the time, I was wearing a RTW peachy-champagne-colored top in a similar silhouette that I just loved, so decided to make my own version of it. Out of this lavender satiny stuff.

Lavender blouse 2
The pattern is New Look 6705 and, from what I can remember, worked up quickly and easily. I French-seamed the entire thing, and omitted interfacing in the yoke. This top is really similar to the RTW one I loved (and still wear a few times every winter), except the fabric is thicker and doesn't drape as well. I always worry about wearing things that are so flowy / blouse-y--do they read maternity? I paired this with a tight skirt, but I don't know if that makes a difference. Thoughts on this? I may revisit the pattern for some of the other options; doesn't the little puff-sleeve version look adorable?

Roundabout Blouse 2
I was on a roll, and French-seaming ALL the things, so I finally made up this Roundabout blouse from the pattern by Anna Maria Horner. There is a sad, sorry lack of these on the interwebs; what gives, crafters? Nobody else likes this pattern? I got the pattern to make the dress, originally... and then I realized that drop-waist dresses look godawful on me, so I scrapped that plan for the blouse instead. A blouse that I can't wear with a skirt, because it makes me look like I'm wearing a sack. This is definitely a with-pants pattern.

Roundabout Blouse back
The fabric I used (Valori Wells Nest voile--super old, I know!) is sheer. And directional. So I ended up making the Roundabout slip, in the cami version, to go underneath. And for that, I used more of the cotton-silk poplin I had leftover from CK's wedding dress last year. It's nearly gone! But oh man, is it luxurious. I French-seamed the cami (ALL the things!) and made the straps a little long, so it wouldn't peek out the neckline of the blouse. I gotta say, that bias-cut cami is a sexy little number. If you haven't made one for yourself, you really should. The silk is just an added bonus.

Roundabout Blouse 1
I think this project is successful, though if I remade it, I would shorten the sleeves to just above the elbows, tighten the cuffs a smidge, and leave the neckline pleats closest to the shoulders on the front undone. It's a leeeettle bit snug up top *ahem*, but with no other shaping, nothing worth performing an FBA on.

And there you have it: two tops I made in March, photographed in April, uploaded in July, and blogged in August. There is more where that came from, so keep your eyes peeled!

I also want to shamelessly plug my newsletter (which you can sign up for here!) and my Facebook page (here!). I'm editing photos for my newest batch of softies, to be listed in my shop soon, but if you join the newsletter, you'll get the first peek! They're awfully cute, if I do say so myself!