- Indie Pattern(s) used: Victory Madeleine skirt and Sewaholic BelcarraBlouse
- Fabric & Notions: I picked up some cheap Grey wool suiting for the Madeleine, along with a cute yellow button from my local fabric store and some Gutermann topstitch thread; and some Yellow elephant(!!!) print cotton lawn from Cheshire fabrics for the Belcarra.
- Did you make any pattern alterations or design changes? For Madeleine: I cut a straight size 14, but omitted the suspenders (although I love them, they’re just not going to work on a busty gal like me) For Belcarra: I cut a size 12 in the bodice, graded out to a 14 at the waist and hips, and did an FBA of 1.5″. I chose version C of the blouse but omitted the pocket (what use is a breast pocket on a blouse?)
I was attracted to Victory patterns Madeleine skirt straight away because of the unusually large pockets and the interesting topstitching. It’s the least versatile pattern I’ve ever seen, with only the one option, but I really liked the look of it so I didn’t mind that really.
I’m used to making dresses, which require a lot of adjustments for my bust, so it was quite refreshing to make something where I didn’t need to do any geometry, I just got to cut and go. I chose some cotton from my stash for the pocket lining. I like to choose fun prints for pocket linings as it’s like having a hilarious secret from everyone. Plus, it gives it that handmade detailing everyone loves.
The topstitching took a little time but wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it would be to follow the lines, which I’d marked with tailors chalk.
The most difficult thing about this skirt was the button hole. I have never done any buttonholes before, so I practiced on a piece of scrap fabric, and it took quite few extremely frustrated attempts before I realised I was over-complicating it. Once I realised that, it was a doddle.
I shortened the length of the skirt slightly, as it came down quite long on me. Surprising, as I’m not really short at 5′ 9″. Shorter makers might like to be aware of this as they could end up with a full length skirt if not careful!
I would make the madeleine again, as I’d really like a denim version but I don’t think I could see myself making a lot of versions of it as the pattern is not all that flexible. I do, however think it could be good to mash-up with a bodice from another pattern to make a dress version.
I chose the elephant print fabric before I chose a pattern for the top. I loved the yellow and grey combination and knew it would go great with my Madeleine skirt. It was a lucky fabric find. I wanted to make the Colette Hawthorn blouse I received in the pattern swap, but I just couldn’t seem to get the sizing to work. I used my measurements, made two muslins and nothing was working, so I balled it up and had a bit of a weep.
I downloaded the Belcarra, having had so much fun making my Yaletown for Dresses week. I made yet another muslin (wearable this time) and bravely cut into my beloved elephant print. The Belcarra is a super quick make, and a great way to make a top using a small amount of fabric. I made the muslin from the leftover fabric from my Yaletown, and I still have some fabric left. I think the amount of fabric that the pattern says you will need is quite generous. The pattern was very simple to follow and one I would recommend for beginners. It’s casual, but could be made quite dressy with a different fabric choice so although the pattern options are all quite similar, I still think it’s quite a versatile pattern.
It looks great with my Madeleine skirt, as predicted but it also looks really nice with a pair of dark jeans. I love it, and will definitely make more Belcarras.