The “What Have I Got Myself Into” Outfit

A photograph of a woman standing in a garden arch. She wears a long check cardigan, black floral dress, burgundy velvet leggings and a yellow hand knit hat. She is smiling.

The title says it all really! After participating in and thoroughly enjoying other IPM2017 challenges, I figured I could make use of the “Indie Royalty” theme to knock a few garments out of my queue and sew up some stash. Of course, it wasn’t until I was part way through sewing for the challenge when I realised that the fabrics I thought I had stashed deep in my wardrobe were pretty much non-existent.

Thanks to a few quick trips to Spotlight, I completed the challenge, and had a lot of fun doing so! The patterns I used were: Named Esme Maxi Cardigan, Named Helmi Tunic Dress (are you noticing a theme?), So Sew Easy Custom-Fit Leggings, and because I’m a smarmy overachiever, I even knitted my hat (Ysolda’s Solas in The Fibre Co. Arranmore.

A photograph of a woman standing in a garden arch. She wears a long check cardigan, black floral dress, burgundy velvet leggings and a yellow hand knit hat. She is smiling.

My first garment was the Helmi Dress, sewn in a beautiful cotton sateen given to me by Jen (and the only fabric I actually had in my stash!). I had previously muslined it in a cotton sheet and been unimpressed, then realised much later that it needed a dramatic fabric to offset the muu-muu-meets-school-uniform look I had going. I added topstitched inseam pockets to the skirt, traced from my fave PJ pants and attached with a technique which allowed the side seams to press open, and the pocket swing to the front with no clipping. Hooray!

It came together fairly easily, thanks to Named’s excellent instructions. Who knew sewing a concealed button band was so easy? The only place I tripped up was the collar – try (and baste!) as I may, I couldn’t catch the underside of the collar stand with stitch in the ditch, so I edgestitched the whole thing like usual. My machine also refused to sew a buttonhole in the stand, so I omitted it entirely.

A close up of a woman's torso. She wears a black floral dress and holds open a concealed button band with two hands, revealing pearl-like buttons.

The sateen was very prone to fraying and pulling, hence the pull line along where the buttonholes were made.

Next was the Custom Fit Leggings – a free download. The pattern is drafted to measurements, including length and rise (rejoice, fellow tall sewists!). This was ideal for the fabric I used – a one-way stretch panne velvet – as it accommodated the fact that the fabric had no vertical stretch. I’ve found leggings made with one-way stretch fabric to be very uncomfortable in the past, but these fit perfectly.

The fabric itself was, I believe, a creation of the Devil Incarnate. It was easy enough to cut, but soon disintegrated away to nothing at the seams, even escaping the overlocked and stitched hem! I had to redo the hems and waistband with approximately half a bottle of Fray Check to keep it in order, and even now I’m not sure it will survive a wash. Hey, I achieved my life-long goal of having burgundy velvet leggings, but at what cost?

A photograph of a woman standing in a garden arch. She wears a long check cardigan, black floral dress, burgundy velvet leggings and a yellow hand knit hat. She is smiling.

Finally, I topped the outfit off with the Esme cardigan. This was a direct rip-off of I was inspired by Naomi’s version for IPM 2016, and when I realised it had been over a year since I added it to my queue, I knew I had to make a start. As the op-shopped wool I had set aside in my stash turned out to be stained with a lurid green, immovable substance which appeared to be Magic Putty (every 90’s parent’s nightmare), I made do with what was available at Spotlight – which was this check flannelette.

One of the things I like most about Named is the little details which transform an idea from “meh” into “superbly fashionable.” It was entirely likely I could look like The Queen of the Bogans in my flanny robe, and maybe I still do! But the draped pockets, narrow sleeve cuffs and below-knee length elevate this design to something that I hope is a little more fashion-forward than what you’d wear for milking.

A close up of a person standing in a garden. She wears a check cardigan with draped front pockets.

I chose to offset the stripes on the buttonband as they would not have been a perfect match due to the angle of the front piece.

A few notes on construction – the pocket instructions are slightly confusing, but are essentially the same as the ones I followed for the Helmi dress, except with this variation seams are overlocked together – a tidier finish IMO (but don’t omit the understitching!). You could also get away with far less fabric than the pattern calls for – I used 2.5m as opposed to the 3.3m in the pattern requirements.

A photograph of a woman standing in a garden arch. She wears a long check cardigan, black floral dress, burgundy velvet leggings and a yellow hand knit hat. She is smiling.

You might notice the sleeves are upside down! I cut five (yes, FIVE) sleeves and for various reasons, these were the closest match to the bodice. I feel like a pattern matching dunce.

Phew, that was an epic! Apologies if this became a bit long, but I figure if I’m going to plow through three garments for an challenge I’m going to damn well review them in (what I hope is!) a helpful manner. If you have questions about the construction that I skimmed over, please feel free to ask. I’ve enjoyed participating in Indie Pattern Month so much, and loved seeing what everyone else has made too. Well done everyone who participated!

A photograph of a woman standing in a garden arch. She wears a long check cardigan, black floral dress, burgundy velvet leggings and a yellow hand knit hat. She is smiling.

ALL HAIL QUEEN OF THE BOGANS

 

Read more on my blog.

 

22 thoughts on “The “What Have I Got Myself Into” Outfit

  1. Awesome ensemble. I do love the cardigan. I’m a big fan of Named patterns. I’m finishing up my Named Asaka kimono this evening and hoping to photograph it and enter the contest this week!

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  2. WoW!! Even a knitted hat #legend! Also when I read this line “with approximately half a bottle of Fray Check to keep it in order, ” I assumed Fray Check was a wildly strong alcohol to combat the serious frustrations! Then I realised what it was. I would have given up way before 5 sleeves and half a bottle of Fray Check. Amazing!

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  3. Wow! What a great outfit! The colors match perfectly with each other. I know what you mean about named having special little details to bring their clothes from blah to high fashion. Sorry to hear about your leggings woes 😦 I hope they survive! Do you have a washing bag to wash them in? That might help.

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  4. Your blog post was so much fun! I never thought to do a Helmi in cotton sateen – actually I never thought to do a shirt dress type ever in a cotton sateen but the colours are so beautiful and there is a lushishness about the details that really come through on that robust cotton! Love it 🙂

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  5. Damn gurl! Bring the pain!
    Feeling quite something now with your Naomi inspired Esme. I get comments every.time.I.wear.mine. It’s just so delish as well as being elevated – (thanks Named, you do it every time.)
    Love that Helmi too. And velvet leggings, And the hat…
    My my, this ensemble is everything and more.

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