Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oyster grey

I now have a resident photographer for the next 2 months (my daughter is here for a long visit), which means that taking photos should be an easier task, but I don't know how much my sewing time will get cut.  As promised - the grey outfit.
The skirt was cut last winter and forgotten.  I was on a skirt kick, but then got tired of churning out skirts, one after another.  Also, as I think I mentioned, I came to a standstill when I got to the bound buttonholes on the back vent.  There's something very scary about cutting random holes in a garment, i.e. making buttonholes.  I'm glad I finally finished this UFO.  The pattern is Vogue 8542, c1992.  The number has been reused for another pattern, and I was unable to locate a picture on the internet.  Of course, I did not have the presence of mind to take a picture of the envelope until after I'd downloaded the other photos, so you'll just have to accept a description.  It's a pegged straight skirt - 3 panels in front, 4 in the back.  Given the vintage of the pattern, the lengths are rather odd for to-day, so that got altered.  In the original pattern, the almost-ankle length skirt has buttonholes on the back vent, and I used that detail on my version.
The fabric is a grey wool gabardine - not one of my favourite fabrics, because it always wants to be difficult.  Pressing properly takes forever.  I can't figure out why, despite being very careful, I ended up with little divets   in the fabric fold next to each buttonhole.  This happened after I finished the wrong side of the buttonhole.  Yes, there's proper interfacing in there.  I basted around each buttonhole, before starting the hand sewing.  As for the odd placement of the last buttonhole - that wasn't planned that way.  I made a "calculation error" when snipping off fabric for the mitre at the bottom of the vent, and had no choice, but to shorten the skirt a bit, and that threw off my careful buttonhole planning.  See - it is scary cutting random holes in fabric!  I decided that since I cannot see my back side when I'm wearing this skirt - I will ignore the shortcomings and wear it anyway.
The blouse is Vogue 2634.  

Well, that's the pattern I started with, then I made some changes.  I wanted a blouse with a big floppy bow.  Looked through all my "floppy bow" patterns.  Seems they all require a fair bit of fabric.  I only had 2 yards (not even metres!) of this polyester print.  How to make it work for the look I wanted?  Well - I did a lot of chopping and redrawing.  First I lowered the front neck edge a little and made it a bit of a V.  I extended the back over the shoulder to give the look of a yoke front.  The front dart got moved to the shoulder and became tucks into the yoke.  I wanted gathers, but by the time I get through alterations for a small bust, there's not much of a dart left, and gathers looked like puckers - not a good look.  The sleeve got widened and the cuff got a few tweaks also.  OK, OK - I should have taken more detail pictures to show, but - the way things are going at the moment, we're lucky to have taken these.  Besides, I'm still trying to figure out a "system" for getting things set up for a post.  One of these days I'll figure it out and be able to a blow-by-blow story.  (I'm in awe of those people who do tutorials with pictures of every step.)
Last note - may-be I need Rosy's son's opinion on whether this look is too Miss Marple?  I have been overdosing on Miss Marple and Poirot DVDs, and that's probably why I decided that I needed this floppy bow look.


  1. What a lovely outfit. Dove grey is one of my favorite colours. I love your blog and your work is truly perfection. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I like your floppy bow blouse. I think they have come full circle from "Miss Marple" to trendy.

  3. Irene, the floppy bow works wonderfully with the blouse. Such a lovely outfit and you've stitched it so beautifully. You look very elegant.

  4. I like the combination togethere and floppy bow blouses are a classic in my book!

  5. This outfit is just lovely! I have had a "thing" for bow fronted blouses to lately, so it's not just you! You are so clever to draft your own. There are some samples in one of the latest burdastyle magazines that I am planning to try.
    You are just working this sophisticated grey look so well!

    with pattern envelopes, I usually scan my envelopes to put on my blog, so people can see at a glance what the garment is "supposed" to look like compared to my own efforts!

  6. This whole look is very polished and sophisticated. I love it! I especially love the back vent detail in the skirt.

  7. I do not think you look like Miss Marple, no doubt you are lovely and charming, love the bow in any article and you are so fascinating that you can use whatever you propose. Grommets are sometimes a pain, I remember the first time I sewed a shirt for my husband, I was excited and it was perfect, so when I opened my eyes with the seam ripper (with an excess of brute force) completely broke front of the shirt.

  8. I really like the elegance of your outfit. Beige is a very elegant color and I like it, how both outfit pieces are from the same color family, but the details of the garments make the whole look interesting.