This might be the first time I’ve ever sewn up a series of garments with a outfit in mind, usually I just make individual items and it’s lucky if they happen to go together! It’s really satisfying to have an entire outfit that is intended to go together though, it makes me think more intentionally about the garments I’m making.
I’ve decided since there’s a fair bit to cover for this challenge to just break it down item by item, so here goes:
True Bias Southport:
This was my first attempt at the Southport, and I used it as a wearable muslin for last week’s jumpsuit hack. I cut an 8 and graded out to a 10 at the waist. I can’t decide how I feel about how loose it is, I think I need a little more shape over the waist and hips.
Sorry about how creased it is in the photo, I’d been wearing it tucked into my skirt all morning; but I wanted to show you how it looked untucked too.
Fitting for tops and dresses can be tricky for me as I’m several sizes different over the shoulders and bust to my waist, and my hips are actually really narrow. As a result, although I’ve measured carefully and done a full bust adjustment, I still feel like the top is too loose in the shoulders and upper chest. The bust dart sits too high on the top for me, which I think may be at least part of the problem, but I don’t really know how to move a dart. It’s probably really simple, but I haven’t needed to do it before now.
I used a lovely pillar-box red viscose I bought from the market, and finished it with a contrasting floral bias binding from my stash for fun. I don’t enjoy choosing buttons – they often feel cheap and nasty to me, but for this top I opted for some little heart shaped buttons. I’m quite pleased with my attempt at buttonholes, they’re not 100% straight, but I managed to do 7 of them without throwing my machine out of the window – and these are the first buttonholes I’ve ever done on this machine so…. don’t judge.
Grainline Moss Mini:
This is my third Moss mini (if you include the one I made in completely the wrong size). I have heard varying reports on the size accuracy of this pattern, I personally found it ran large, so when I made the size I should have been according to the measurements provided it was too large.
I love the design of this skirt as it has lots of great features like the back yoke, slit pockets and zip fly. It’s a really classic skirt shape that’s super wearable. I already have fabric for another waiting to be sewn up and I can see myself making several more in the future.
For the pockets on this version I chose to use a little leftover Michael Miller quilting cotton I had in my stash. I love this fabric so it makes me happy to have a little bit of it hidden in my pocket. I think a lovely lining makes a garment feel that extra bit special, doesn’t it?
In terms of alterations, I cut a size 8 skirt which I graded down to a 6 over the hips and legs. I also added about 2 inches of length to the skirt as I’m tall and I didn’t want to add the hem band as I think it changes the look of the skirt too much for my taste.
I think I’m almost there with the fit, but it does feel kind of tight over my bum. I think maybe I need to just grade down the size right at the bottom of the skirt so there’s room for the trunk junk, but it doesn’t flare out too much at the bottom where my chicken legs take over.
The fabric for this version is a navy floral baby cord I found in my local small-town fabric shop. I think the floral print goes really nicely with the red top.
I have fabric to make a Liberty cord mini waiting, and I don’t think the fit is quite perfect enough for me to feel ready to cut into it, so I think I might make another- maybe a denim- before I cut into that precious Liberty fabric. It’s got to be perfect. I will definitely wear the ones I’ve made so far too, as I really like the skirt, I’m just being extra picky.
Love Notions Canyon Cardigan:
To complete my outfit I decided I needed a cardigan, and the search for the perfect waterfall cardigan pattern took almost a full day! I went through pretty much all of the Indie designers in the Monthly stitch directory and found several options. I ended up choosing the Love Notions pattern as it had a few options to vary the look of the cardigan so is something with a bit more re-use value than many of the others.
I made up the cardigan in an absolutely gorgeous John Kaldor Isabella Wool Jersey from Minerva. The price of the fabric nearly made me faint, but when it arrived it was well worth it, it’s so soft and feels absolutely lovely to touch. It is a fairly light fabric, so not a heavy cardigan but the wool content in the jersey keeps it reasonably snug.
I cut a straight medium for the cardigan (as it doesn’t have fastenings you can get away with the sizing not being totally precise) and I actually think it’s a pretty good fit, though maybe I could have gotten away with a small even! The pattern is drafted for a 5’5″ person, and I’m about 5’9″, so I added two inches to the bodice pieces and two inches to the skirt too. The pattern instructions direct you to add a certain amount to your neckband too if you are lengthening the cardigan so I followed the instructions to calculate how much to add and this worked perfectly.
Aside from the fabric rolling up at the edges every half a second, this was a pretty straightforward make. There was one point during the making of the neckband where the instructions weren’t clear and I nearly went wrong, but I realised just in time what I was supposed to have done and was able to go back and finish the ends of the neckband before it was too late. I am really, really pleased with this cardigan and I think it’ll get a lot of wear. The ‘gunmetal’ grey colour works well with this outfit but it’ll also go well with jeans and dresses too as it’s a neutral colour.
I haven’t participated as much as usual in IPM2017, but what I have managed to contribute I’ve really enjoyed, so thanks as always to the amazing guys who work so hard to make it all happen! I truly feel like Indie Royalty in my me-made outfit, so I definitely think this year has been a great success! There are a whole lot of Monthly Stitchers out there now with some awesome new clothes to wear this year.