Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Top and a Skirt

I have some quick and easy sewing to share this week: a top and a skirt, though not to be worn together!

Another top from the #fabriclove giveaway fabric

So this is what happened.

When I received this rayon challis from the Elliott Berman #fabriclove contest, I wanted to make my already-altered McCalls 7194, but I couldn't find the pattern anywhere. Instead, I decided to work up another design. For the new top, instead of sewing the border on the bias, I decided to create a pattern that used as much of the border along the hem as possible. I measured exactly how much border I had (two yards) and modified the pattern to use every inch.

I started with Vogue 8913. After altering the pattern extensively, I found my copy of McCalls 7194. After a short dither, I decided to go with my original plan. I made this top, which I blogged about in my last post:

Top #1 - McCalls 7194 (altered to increase hem angle)
I've already worn this top quite a bit

The first top used half of the fabric. I still had 2 yards of border left (the fabric had a border along each selvedge)— it was enough for a second top. (It might seem confusing, but imagine splitting the fabric in half the long way, resulting in two pieces each measuring 2 yards by 30", and each piece with a 2-yard border. The original fabric was big enough for two sleeveless tops.)

I decided to make the Vogue 8913 pattern that I had altered and cast aside. I had purchased this pattern for the pants, so it was in the small size group of 4-14. For a top, I typically start with a size 18 and increase the width at the bust. Since I was starting with a 14, I had to add even more width, especially because this top is made for woven fabric.

Vogue 8913

I made numerous changes to achieve the design I wanted:

  • Started with View A, size medium (the biggest size in the envelope).
  • Joined up/bottom pieces on front to make a single pattern piece.
  • Extended the hem horizontally to use as much of the border print as possible. This results in a hem that hangs with points at each side seam which is exactly what I wanted.
  • Performed a 1-1/2" FBA, resulting in side seam darts.
  • Performed a 1" broad back adjustment, resulting in back darts.
  • Finished neck with self made bias tape.
  • Finished armhole and hem with tiny hems.
Top #2 - Vogue 8913 (heavily altered)

The lightweight rayon challis really flutters in the breeze!

Worn with beaded ballet sneakers! (The only shoes I purchased in Florence.)

A striped scuba/mesh skirt

When I was in NYC recently, I picked up a striped mesh/scuba knit fabric. I decided to make it into a skirt, using the same pattern I drafted to make a laser cut faux leather skirt more than two years ago. I really enjoy wearing that skirt, which is a simple a-line shape cut on the bias. In fact, I've had multiple offers to buy that garment right off my body.

As before, I cut the striped scuba/mesh knit on the bias. This skirt is dead simple to sew with two side seams, and a waistband casing made from a contrasting jersey print. Easy peasy.

Matching the stripes

Carefully pinning the stripes. I found that this fabric presses easily on the #3 setting (out of 4) and with steam, though I did use a press cloth

Two rows of parallel stitches, trimmed at 1/4 after sewing"

The remaining seam allowance

Sewing the waistband casing for the elastic. I like the secret surprise of the jersey print, which no one will ever see

Worn with an Angela Caputi necklace. I made this novelty pleather jacket last summer

Happy birthday to me!

My birthday was a couple weeks ago, but I had just returned from NYC, and DD1 had just returned from Mexico, so we decided to delay our celebration. Last weekend, we got together for dinner on a chilly San Francisco evening. As we walked to dinner, DD1 asked me how old I am. "58", I replied. "Wait... haven't you been 58 for several years now?"

LOL. Nope, definitely not!

For some reason, DD2 thought it would be fun to swap jackets. DD1 took some pics. Here we are in our own jackets. (I made my white denim jacket with frayed edges last July.)

Not a flattering pic of me, but I'm trying to put on her jacket. This pic of her watching me wiggle into it makes me laugh.

DD2 in her jacket

Me in DD2's jacket. She stealthily took this pic to show me that we look kind of alike from behind. How many people think they look better from the back than the front?
Well, I DO! I always have.

DD2 in my jacket. It's too big but looks pretty good on her. Ironically, even DD1 is wearing one of my jackets. She pulled this out of the donation bag in my car because it was chilly. It's a Sewing Workshop West End hoodie that I made some years ago

Wow, each daughter is wearing one of my self-made jackets! I bet that never happens again. :)

It was windy and cold!

It was a gorgeous afternoon on my street when I took the garment pics in today's post.

I'm not sure when I'll have another garment to show so, have a great week! (or two or three...)

And please join me on Patti's Visible Monday!


  1. The pics of your daughters and you gave me a smile today.

  2. Living in hot, humid Houston rayon challis is one of my go-to fabrics so I loved your 2 tops. I also like the surprise casing fabric on your skirt. It will be fun to look at it every time you wear it! Your 2 DDs are so cute. You appear to have a fun relationship with them. karen

    1. Thanks, Karen! Ahh, you live in Houston!? Somehow I thought you were in Australia. Yup, my daughters aren't perfect, but they are perfectly great. :)

  3. Love them all! Do you always cut the scuba cut out fabric on the bias? I bought some recently for a short jacket and am not sure if it needs to be cut on the bias as it is a little stretchy! Thanks for any advice!

    1. Thanks, Belle! No, I don't cut scuba on bias normally, but I wanted the stripes on the diagonal. Good luck with your jacket!

  4. That border print fabric is just so great, no wonder you made another top, great use of that fun border. And the shoes, sigh, my motto is "it's all about the shoes".

  5. I love your sewing point of view so much! All of the pieces are pretty, original and so you. So glad you had a wonderful time with your daughters! Happy Belated Birthday!

    1. Thanks for that lovely compliment, Carolyn!

  6. GREAT SKIRT! I'll bet you get stopped on the street for this one, too! But
    THE SHOES...OMG. I've never seen any quite like those. I bet you get stopped for those, too!

    1. Thanks, Margy! Yes, aren't those shoes different? They take a bit to get on, but they are very comfy!

  7. As the mom of two boymen (not really teens anymore), I really enjoy seeing you and the DDs. It is a pleasure to hang out with your kids; thank you for sharing these moments.

    1. Yes, SJ, I really don't hang out with both daughters together that much, so it is special!

  8. Happy Birthday, Shams! Love the new top and the skirt is fabulous. I think I like the second top you made with the border print better than the first! Great hemline.

    The shoes! Love them! I am becoming more and more interested in shoes. Have you thought about making your own?

    1. Thanks! Yes, I am not sure which top I like better. I like both :) I have thought of making shoes, especially because quite a few people I know have dipped their toe in, so to speak. I'm not there quite yet, though. :)

  9. Even if the trip to Italy had not been so enchanting, the shoes alone would have been worth it!!! Fun outfits! I'm sure you are the envy of everyone you work with :) You are the best spokesperson for a sewn wardrobe!

  10. I love both of your blouses on you. They suit you so well, although in different ways. And I missed the red pleather skirt the first time you blogged--it is fantastic as well.

    1. Thanks, Abbey! I think I'll get a lot of wear out of those tops, though people might wonder what's up with having 2 tops from the same print. :)

  11. Inspiring as ever Shams! Wonderful photographs, and fabulous garments 😃

  12. You're so good that I'm running out of superlatives! The top is spectacular! The pattern on the bottom angled section looks almost like a plethora of tassels from afar, and is a really eye-catching look. That top is also very slimming and draws attention right up to your smile. just fabulous. Glad you're having fun with your DD's. Cheers, Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)