Deep blue modern bustle skirt

by brae  

shoes: Naturalizer 'Camilla'

The fabric is blue woven poly suiting from Joann Fabrics.  I bought a half-yard remnant of this at a local store and loved the color so much that I called customer service to find out if there was any more of it at another store.  I found it in another state.  Both the woman working at the out of state store and the woman working at my local store were so helpful; they set up a store transfer order and I got more of this beautiful fabric.  :D

The ruffle is lined with dark blue crepe back satin.  It can peek out a bit while wearing the skirt, so I wanted it to be pretty.  :]

The pattern is Vogue 8317.  I've made the skirt three times now but haven't attempted the jacket.  The pattern envelope shows a fancy satin and lace suit with rhinestone details, which I am sure would be lovely for evening wear, but I love the modern bustle skirt interpretation the back ruffle creates when using suiting fabric.  Very feminine silhouette!

Spring green striped skirt

by brae  

shoes: Aerosoles 'Rolling Hills'

I bought this fabric awhile ago at Joann Fabrics with no real plan for it.  As I was looking for lighter fabrics to start sewing for spring and summer, I brought this out of storage.  I made a striped skirt for cooler weather from Vogue 7971 once before, and the design lends itself so well to stripes that I thought this would be perfect for it.

The cooler weather skirt was made from a wool blend from Trim Fabric that had just a bit of stretch.

shoes: Söfft 'Venessa'

Unfortunately, the green fabric didn't behave the same way the wool blend did, and it ended up being too tight.  I didn't want to cut new pieces for it since I have plans for the remaining yardage, so that meant raising the waist and hip to fix the problem.  I marked 1 1/2 inches from the waist all the way around the top of the skirt and cut that portion off, thereby bringing the hip line up to a comfortable level.  This method works only with A-line skirts that have some length to give up, which this was.  :]

I had to flip the zipper to the right side instead of the left since I had already finished the left side seam when I put the zipper in the first time around.  There wasn't any spare fabric to lower the zipper on the left side.

After putting the zipper in again, I adjusted the fit by taking in the darts in the front and back.  The facings also no longer worked since they were cut to fit the original pieces, so I used bias tape to finish the waistline edge.

The $5 skirt

by brae  

shoes: Anne Klein 'Sandya'

Many times when I try a pattern for the first time, I like to use less expensive fabric just to make sure I like the fit and style.  In this case, I lucked out with a one yard remnant of suiting fabric that was just enough to make the shorter skirt from Simplicity 5259.  It was originally $5.99 per yard, but the remnants were marked 50% off.  I bought a zipper with a coupon, got the pattern during one of those 99¢ sales and used thread I already had.  So, I now have a fabulous work-appropriate skirt for about $5.  :D

I also eliminated the waist line facings and instead used bias tape to finish the edge, tacking the thin facing down at the seams and darts.

click image to enlarge

I also added top-stitching over the front slit to keep the facings in place.

This is an excellent "I have nothing to wear" pattern that you could whip up in a few hours.  In fact, I made it today and wore it tonight.  :D  I am sure to make many of these in the future.

Asian inspired dress

by brae  

I've had this pattern quite awhile: Butterick 4796.  The copyright is 2006, and I bought it new from a local fabric store.

I've also had this grey-green jacquard fabric for a couple of years.  I bought it from Fashion Fabrics Club to make a different dress and fell so in love with the color, drape and pattern that I bought another five yards to keep in my stash of fabrics.  :]  I have plans to rework that original dress since it doesn't quite fit as well as I had hoped and to make a skirt from the fabric as well.

The first thing you can see is that I eliminated the keyhole altogether.  Unfortunately, I didn't start with a muslin of this garment since the measurements were very clear and workable for me.  In fact, I got it all put together except for binding the armholes and putting on the collar and the fit was perfect.  The problem?  The keyhole opening looked ridiculous on me...the cleavage was way off in my opinion.  Imagine two cue balls in the center pocket.  :D  I would have been so uncomfortable wearing it in public.  Even I was having a hard time looking anywhere but right in my cleavage.  Haha.  Before taking it apart, I modeled it for a friend.  She even blushed, and we had a good laugh.

Fortunately, I had more fabric to cut a contoured front to fit the upper front I already had.  (And, the front piece I removed is large enough to be used to cut smaller pieces for another garment.)  I put the garment back together and blind stitched the upper front over the lower front by hand.  Yes, I matched the's sure to be proud.  :]

In addition to this change, I cut the length to hit at the ankle and lowered the tops of the side slits by four inches.  I interfaced the upper front as well as the collar and facings since my fabric was a bit thinner and needed the extra support.  I made the collar like View A without the biased tape edging and made armhole facings to finish those edges (without interfacing to keep down the thickness, though there were quite a few layers at the underarm seam).

And, finally, I added small darts in the front to shape the waist and remove some fullness.  The front isn't as fitted as the back, but it now drapes nicely and is comfortable to wear.

shoes: Aerosoles 'Buttered Role'

Grey suiting dress

by brae  

This was the first time I've used this pattern, and the dress ended up being a fabulous warmer-weather dress suitable for the office.  I made it from the same grey suiting fabric I used for my recent button-front skirt.

shoes: Newport-News green suede heels

I love the button detail on a welts.  I blind stitched the welts closed to keep them from stretching out of shape.

The pattern I used is New Look 6968.

I omitted the lining for the top.  It wasn't necessary for this particular fabric and for a sleeveless dress an added lining might have made it too hot to wear in the warmer months.  I cut armhole facings from the scraps and put those in instead, dropping the underarm side seam by 1/4" to have more room to move.

Now if this arctic weather would just get a move on...I'd like to wear some of these sleeveless dresses! :D

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