Tuesday, July 27, 2010

i love it when a plan comes together

sometimes i like trying things just for the sake of doing them. when i saw the tutorial at adventures in dressmaking for a paper bag skirt, i wasn't sure if the style was really "me" (and if it was too trendy) but it looked like fun, so why not?
Simplicity 3835 & Paper Bag Skirt
I used navy stretch twill, which i do not recommend. i don't think it was a very good use of the stretchy fabric, and the belt stretches a bit too much and it's difficult to tie it tightly enough. still, i wanted a neutral color and i had the fabric in the stash. i bought 4 yards of it from fabric.com so i'm planning to use the rest for a much better purpose, a pair of skinny pants.

i altered the proportions a bit, mostly because i wanted to use as little fabric as possible, so the upper portion of the skirt is not as large as the directions call for. i think this turned out in my favor--it's voluminous enough and i wouldn't want it to be baggier at the top. i also lengthened the skirt by an inch, because i wanted something i could wear to work and not a mini. i also made the belt longer so i could tie it into a bow. it went together very easily and was fun to sew. i am finally getting used to handsewing hems, and it's not as painful as it used to be (and it just looks so much nicer). i couldn't remember where the zip was supposed to go, so it put it in a side seam. i had hurriedly jotted down brief instructions by hand, so i was winging it somewhat. overall it's a little bit big, but i don't know if it's b/c of the fabric stretching out, my inability to follow directions, or something else. it's certainly wearable with the belt.

i would think about making another version, maybe in a print, but the skirt is fairly distinctive and furthermore, i'm still not sure it's really my style. it is nice to have a new outfit now and then though.
Simplicity 3835 & Paper Bag Skirt
which brings me to the top. a few weeks ago, i bought a ton of linen from a ravelry destasher. i had also bought a ton of silk fabric from her awhile back, so i'm starting to think of her as my own personal fire sale. anyway, one of the recent acquisitions was a couple yards of linen gauze, which actually looks and feels kind of like the gauze you'd use to wrap a wound. i couldn't figure out what to do with it. the weave is open and very sheer. finally i decided on a peasant-type blouse that i could wear over a cami would be just the thing.

i busted out one of my mainstays, built by wendy simplicity 3835. this time i lowered the neckline by 1.5" and shirred the neck, leaving a bit at the top plain so that the edge would ruffle. i finally remembered to add more room to the sleeves and made them a bit longer than usual. i left the sleeve hems plain. i added width to the body for a looser fit. and i made 3 rosettes from scrap cotton fabric using this tutorial. i like that it adds a unique touch to an otherwise fairly plain shirt.

the shirt also looks good as a loose-fitting layer with capris. the linen gauze would tear with pins, so it's a fairly fragile fabric. i had to serge everything or the fraying would be out of control.

i'm really happy with my new outfit. i find myself looking more towards fall, but i'm hoping to squeeze in a few more summer clothes before the season changes.


  1. I like the skirt, but I love the blouse. Gauzy tops are one of my summer favorites. They're so feminine, and super comfortable.

  2. Ha! We've been watching the old A-Team episodes lately on Netflix Wii.

    Great job on both! I could never pull off that skirt!



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