The Joy of Separates!

I am very excited about Separates! Generally you sew a dress and that is an outfit in itself – or you sew a single separate and hopefully it goes with other things in your wardrobe, but maybe it doesn’t. But when you consider two (or more) separates together – suddenly you are almost in ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ land – which despite good intentions and lots of trying to follow Wardrobe Architect I have never managed! I am so pleased with my new outfit – and very proud of sewing it all in a week!

So – I started with the Grainline Morris Blazer. I downloaded the pattern shortly after it was released when lots of lovely versions started popping up all over the place. I found this perfect navy blue ponte at Clothspot and this was the starting point of my new outfit. I cut a size 12 at the shoulder and bust and graded out to a 14 at the waist. I cut the longest length as I didn’t want the blazer to be too cropped and I added a further two inches as well. I sewed it up on my regular machine using a straight stitch and used my overlocker to finish the seam allowances that weren’t enclosed by the facings. I could have cut a smaller size in the shoulder as the seams are sitting on the top of my arm but this isn’t disastrous. I am so pleased with how this turned out – wore it to work today and totally love it!

I wanted a skirt to go with it – after making two Chardon skirts I have been really into a high-waisted, flared silhouette but I decided to try something new (to me) for this challenge. I went for Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt which has a high waist and lots of potential for twirling without the same volume at the hips as Chardon. I found this very lightweight denim print fabric at Abakhan – it is light enough to be used for a top and is a bit clingy as a result but I love the paisley print and the soft shade of blue, which feels very summery. I cut a size 12 for the skirt and it fits pretty much exactly right – I took very slightly wider seam allowances at the waist but that was the only adjustment. When I make another (and I have some fabric ready and waiting!) I will look into trying a curved waistband to get a slightly better fit at the waist. I might also change to an invisible zipper because I am very bad at sewing centred zippers – luckily the print hides a multitude of sins!

Finally I added a top – I could have taken it easy and made a T-shirt (and that was a tempting option on Friday night when I hadn’t even started on the top!) but I wanted a woven top. It was a perfect opportunity to try a cropped top – I realised when I made the Chardon skirts that I didn’t have any tops that would work with a high-waisted skirt. The Named Kanerva blouse can be made as a cropped top or with a peplum and I love the button back. I already had some very lightweight white cotton with a woven stripe which I picked up in Abakhan a little while ago with a view to making a summer shirt.  I cut a size 42 and made a super quick muslin to check the fit. I ended up doing a 1.5cm forward shoulder adjustment, raised the bottom of the armscye about 2.5cm (the pattern is drafted for sleeves and the armscye was quite deep), I dropped the neckline slightly at front and back as it was quite high and added about 1cm to the length and made a small SBA to get rid of some excess fabric at the bust. I used bias binding on the arms and neckline and used french seams throughout as the fabric is very lightweight and was prone to fraying. I found some cute lilac buttons in my sewing box which make a lovely finishing touch.

I love the combination of white cotton top with the blue of the skirt and jacket. I can wear the Kanerva blouse with my Chardon skirts, the blazer with my Ultimate trousers (and Chardon skirts and lots of other things) and I can wear the Hollyburn skirt with my Bellini blouses and Plantain tees!

Who knew separates could be so exciting!

To read more about my Morris blazer check out my post at notsewsimple.

10 thoughts on “The Joy of Separates!

  1. Pingback: The Summer Shirt – Tessuti Jac Shirt | not sew simple

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  3. Pingback: Skirts for Summer – Sewaholic Hollyburn | not sew simple

  4. Thankyou! There were a few versions of this blouse with the peplum added last summer, but i am really not a fab of peplums. Lauren Guthrie made a lovely nautical version using double gauze and I copied her on making it sleeveless as it is actually drafted for long sleeves which I think is why the arm scye is a bit deeper. I do like it – it is perfect for summer but it is quite a different silhouette for me and I am still getting used to it!



  5. A very lovely outfit, well done. I especially love the top as I am a sucker for a back-buttoned blouse (I have previously made Colette’s Sencha which did not look as nice on me as the model- ain’t that the way of things?!), I really like the cropped effect without the peplum.


    • Thankyou! I can’t remember the last time I wore a cropped top so it is a bit of a departure for me but it works really well with a highwaisted skirt! I love the button back – it’s a good opportunity for a pop of colour



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