Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Made by Me Files: Mini Wardrobe Pieces One, Two, Three.

So Pattern Review is hosting a mini wardrobe contest that runs for the month of July.  Basically you create five separate pieces of clothing that can be mixed six different ways (at least).  It is a challenge, but one that I kind of love doing, since it allows me to go all crazy, color/print wise, while making sure to create pieces that can actually be used together, because let me be honest here...I would probably just sew up a whole slew of summer dresses and shorts if left to my own devices.  ;-)  I haven't officially entered the contest (I always wait until everything is done to do so), but since I am three pieces into the five total (with the other two prepped to get sewn up soon), I figured a post showing off the first three pieces was in order.  Eventually I will write up a post highlighting the other two pieces, and then I will do a compilation post showing off how I actually can mix all five pieces together.

I won't be spending as much time discussing the details of construction, instead focusing more on the styling bits, but I will at least link to my pattern reviews of the pieces so if you are interested in more about how it was sewn up, etc., you can go there to find out more. 

Rust Ponte Jersey (leggings); Multi-Colored Tropical Floral Rayon Challis (dress and button-up blouse); Pink Cotton Floral Eyelet (top); and Aqua Blue Cotton Sateen (shorts). (All fabric from Fabric Mart, btw.  The rust jersey was a freebie in a bundle, btw!)
Above are the four fabrics I chose to use to make the five pieces.  The only one being used twice is the tropical rayon challis, as this printed fabric is the very anchor for the mini wardrobe, with the other fabrics serving as pieces that will work well with the challis.  Of course I haven't actually combined the pieces I have made with the challis and photographed it yet, but they look nice together. 

I have not made the rust ponte leggings yet, nor have I made the tropical print button-up blouse, so those will be in the next "made by me files" blog post.

I have made the tropical print dress, the pink cotton floral eyelet top, and the aqua blue cotton sateen shorts, and those are the three pieces you will see in the post.

This dress is based off a fairly simple pattern, but one that gives a lot of bang for the literal buck (seriously, the pattern was $0.97 at Wal-Mart).  It is the Simplicity Sew Simple A1636, which is a sleeveless sundress with an elasticized waist, gathered scoop-neckline, and has POCKETS!  Woo!

I had to lengthen this dress by three whole inches and use a very narrow hemline (1 inch) in order to ensure it wasn't super short.  Seriously short, like Johnnie b. dress short.  ;-)  I just added the three inches to the hemline since it is a straight skirt and doesn't have any features that I would mess up by adding it there.

The blousing effect at the waist is awesome, and since I am generously endowed below but not so much above, I feel like this style feature helps balance me.

I cut a size 10 for the bodice with a size 12 length at the shoulder line to help with my sqaure shoulders.  While that helped give me more room between my shoulders and the armpit, it didn't help with the gaping at the back neckline (really evident in the next two photos).  Next time I have to not be lazy and just do a proper square shoulder adjustment (cut a ten, but do this to get the room I need).  The waist and upper hips were also cut to a 10, but I graded out to a size 14 in the hips.  It fits PERFECT.  Holla!  :-)

I was so excited to finish this in time for our trip to Hilton Head last week.  I wore it out one evening, and it was just the right amount of breezy and soft for the fairly warm/humid night.

The rayon challis was pre-washed and machine-dried to solve the eventual shrinkage that comes with working with woven rayon.  As anyone who has owned any rayon pieces from Boden can testify, that fabric shrinks something awful, especially if it isn't pre-shrunk, which I fear Johnnie and co. do not do...

After our night out we took a walk on the beach and OMG was it ever windy.  BUT--this photo shows just how drapey this fabric is...look at it nicely blowing in response to the OTT wind.

BTW, CW look so pretty in this picture!!!

'Cause I am a product of the 80s, I have a fierce love for loud colors, crop tops, and gym shorts.  Now because I am not planning on truly reliving it the way I did in the actual 80s, I decided to create the idea of the crop tops and gym shorts in beautiful fabrics and perfectly suited to my current lifestyle and not my 12 year old self.

The crop top is made using McCall's 4320, which is an "Easy One Yard Top" pattern from 1989.  I bought it off ebay for maybe a dollar because I dig the style and the fact that I could use tiny scraps of material to make the top (this took nowhere near a yard, fwiw). 

The shorts are based on the June 2014 Burda Style Magazine's Drawstring Gym Shorts pattern (08-2014-116).  I traced the pattern, but unlike some Burda patterns that have to be traced, this one took hardly anytime at all.

The top is a straight size 10, which fits exactly right.  I didn't have to worry about the hip measurement, which is a nice change of pace (I guess pear shapes should always look for crop top patterns!).  I did lengthen the bodice by an inch, because although I dig a shorter blouse, I do not dig showing off my navel.  I am not looking to be cast as an extra on Saved by the Bell, thankyouverymuch.

The shorts were cut for the size 42, which is fine, and they do fit me nicely.  I have fairly large thighs and bottom, and based on how much room I ended up having, I could have possibly gone down to a size 40, but I really like how comfortable they are, so not really regretting my decision.

The cotton eyelet is beautiful in real life, and maybe when I do a compilation post I will take a few close-up shots so you can see the detail of the flower embroidery.  The shorts are actually made from a J. Crew cotton sateen with lycra, so the same material all of my favorite J. Crew shorts are made from.  Yay!  I bought enough of this fabric, btw, to make a pair of pants, too...

Back of the shirt.  The pattern is not especially complex.  The front looks so much like the back that I have put it on backwards more than once.  I need to get tags for my clothing already. 

Review of Cotton Eyelet top here.
Review of Cotton Sateen gym shorts here.
Review of Tropical Print Rayon Challis dress here.  (This one I will be publishing tomorrow at Pattern Review.)

Okay, that's it for now.  Are any of you entering this contest?  I have seen some really cute combos already, and am looking forward to all the final results.  I kind of wish they did this for every season...I dig this approach to sewing A LOT!