Good afternoon, sewing society! This is my first time participating in Indie Pattern Month and I should say that it is ALL new to me. I have never sewn with Indie Patterns, maybe except those that I could download from Internet for free. In all honesty, I was always a huge fan of Burda Style sewing magazine and I never thought to try something new. Well, I am also a big fan of The Monthly Stitch, therefore after I saw announcements of sewing challenges for IPM I decided to give it a try… especially that I had a perfect reason to! Read on to discover the pattern, the fabric and the event that I will be going to.
So… one of Jared’s friends has invited us to his wedding in September and I decided to be prepared and make an outfit: cobalt blue two piece gown. In my day-to-day sewing adventures I get to sew pants and blouses, tops and skirt, a jacket once in a while, but very rarely I get to create something super sophisticated and elegant for a very special occasion. My last special occasion gown was my wedding dress and this time this is a dress to attend Charlie’s wedding.
I think it is quite simple, yet sophisticated and you can easily accessorize it to feature different color accents: blush, green, black and maybe white. You can sew a sash in different color, maybe a shawl or colorful jacket. Endless possibilities, I love when clothes in my wardrobe have functionality and I can get a good wear out of them. After all, sewing your own wardrobe is more time-consuming and time is a resource that you cannot reverse. I definitely prefer seeing that time invested in my wardrobe is well paid off by wearing those garments over and over, and falling in love with them every time I wear it!
Pattern: it looks like a gown, but it is not! This is a combo made of two separates: the top part is The Pendrell Blouse and the bottom is a simple gathered maxi skirt. Pendrell blouse is a lovely semi-fitted top pattern form Sewaholic Patterns and comes with 3 options, I used view B for my outfit. I must say I enjoyed the pattern and plan on using it for at least couple of more times, although I went against the grain with this one – I used to hate princess seam patterns!
Fabric: this is the surprising part… I happened to get 5 yds of this cobalt blue chiffon from Wal-Mart for $1.50 per yard. I used almost all of the fabric, mostly because of the gathered skirt, but I have left just enough to maybe make another flowy top. Since this chiffon in sheer I used left overs of another project to line the blouse. There was no need to line the skirt, since I used two layers of the fabric to create fullness and gathers are thick enough so nothing peaks through 🙂
Time & money: all together it took me 2 days to make it, which is a fair amount for such a project. Money wise – about $20-$25 for all of it (pattern, fabric, invisible zipper and thread)
Alterations: I cut size 10, since that is what I usually wear (between 8-10) and I had to cut off about an inch from the sides, the blouse was turning out looser than I wanted. Also, I did not want for it to bunch up dramatically when worn together with the skirt. As for the length of the blouse – for me it was a bit too long, I made a decision to shorten it at the designated point for about 2,5 inches. Other than that I had no alterations made to the original pattern.
Skills: intermediate. I had a tiny bit of a hard time with the ruffles on the sleeves of the blouse and working with such complicated material as chiffon. I had to line each panel separately and make sure that everything aligns without moving out of place. Also, if you choose this material and want top stitching to be as invisible as possible – be prepared for lots of hand stitching. I did the neckline and both armholes by hand and I am happy with the clean result. To add, I think that having a serger in my possession was a good thing while working with such delicate fabric that frays faster than you might think!
Accessories: these gorgeous Nine West shoes are the same that I bought and wore for our wedding. Earrings were a gift from my mom and that necklace is from my first ever trip to NYC, about 4 years ago!
I think it is a lovely combo that can be worn together or separately, thank you The Monthly Stitch and Indie Pattern Month for inspiring me to try something NEW!