Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pattern Repeat -Simplicity 1916 top and Vogue 1170 Skirt

Here are some separates that have languished in my closet since July. Both unblogged and unworn. Strange, huh? as I love this Simplicity knit top pattern so it is strange that I sewed it up and then didn't wear it. Not for lack of trying. I even put it on a few times but then decided to change into something else. Maybe it's the color, a bit saturated and very purple. Perhaps too much even for me. But I have decided that what is bugging me are the sleeves.

purple top black skirt copy

I really like flutter sleeves, or at least the idea of them. They always seem so pretty. But perhaps not on this top, or maybe just not on me. In any case, I have decided that flutter sleeves probably look best in a light and floaty silk and this top is a cotton lycra knit. Which is just right for the body of the top but not so great for the sleeves. So having a lot of fabric remaining, I am planning to take off these sleeves and put long sleeves on. Then I am sure I will wear it. 
You can tell I took this photo way back in July - as I am color-coordinating with the hydrangea in the background which is now just a few dry blooms and stalks. 
So what is the excuse for the skirt? Actually when I made it I realized it was not really a good summer item. The fabric is really weird - something I found at a garage sale (is that refrain starting to sound like a broken record?) It must have some wool in it as it just has the weight and drape of a woven wool, and presses like one. But it has these raised white dots similar to a dotted swiss. Very odd, but quite right for this skirt which has a flouncy shape at the back. 

black dot skirt back

The skirt pattern is Vogue 1170, a Rachel Comey pattern (she of my beloved Vogue 1247 which I have now made 3 times with a fourth in the works). I did make this 1170 previously, in St. Patrick's day green corduroy.

Vogue 1170 skirt and top

black dot skirt front
With both these Vogue skirt patterns, on the second version I have modified my skirt to have no waistband. I just find them to fit me better, and be more comfortable. The one trick to making a no- waistband skirt is to stabilize that waist edge so that it holds the shape and does not stretch out. I either use a stable interfacing or silk organza depending on the skirt fabric. 
I didn't do it on this one but both times when I have made the skirt I felt like it should have pockets in those diagonal seams you see in the front. That would be a perfect pocket spot  - with the caveat that the pattern pieces would need lots of stabilization there as that seam is at an angle. OK, next time I make this I will try it. 
A view of the inside. With my two-tone lining in green and black. I really wanted to use Bemberg rayon lining and this small skirt is a bit of a fabric hog. So I cobbled enough lining from scraps to make this two tone lining which hopefully will never be seen :). And a regular zipper which I think looks good on a skirt - as opposed to a dress where I prefer an invisible zip.

skirt inside zip

Here is a look at the top - this is a very accurate depiction of the color. Vibrant, right? Although I love to wear purple so I really should buckle down and do my above mentioned sleeve modification. 

purple top  only

Here is this Simplicity pattern 1916, and today's purple one is my third version, first one here and I made another one for a friend.

My only quibble with this pattern is that it comes out a bit long on me so I have to cut off a bit at the bottom when I hem, which loses a bit of the triangular bit at the side. But not enough to make it worthwhile to shorten it anywhere else. 

So that is just about the end of my summer pattern repeats - hopefully I will wear this skirt soon with boots and tights if we every get a bit of chilly weather. 

This weekend I am doing battle with some sleeves - hopefully to come out triumphant. It is a pickle of my own making, as I am working with a pattern that I altered quite a bit and consequently the armhole is nothing like designed. So more head-scratching but I will persevere. Failure not an option!

Happy sewing, Beth

How about a something also lingering in my photo queue from July...this penstemon finally bloomed after a year in the ground and very worth the wait.

penstemon pink


  1. Very cute outfit,Beth! I especially like that flirty skirt!

    1. I agree and how lovely is that lining! Really love to see how the inside of things are made.

  2. I'm impressed that you are able to find so much fabric at garage sales! I am still envious of the red denim tablecloth you used for your Islander jean jacket--wasn't that tablecloth purchased at a garage sale too? It is so hard to find red denim that isn't stretch--and that is the right shade of red and isn't too heavy. You even had me on ebay looking for red denim tablecloths!!

  3. Interesting working out why we don't wear a garment and maybe the flutter sleeve is a bit wide. Love the spotty skirt and how you have lined it.

  4. Very cute separates! Where do you find these garage sales? I wish I found mystery fabric sales :)
    For the shirt, I agree that simple sleeves might look better. There is so much fabric in the ruching that the fluttery sleeves seem a bit too much in my opinion. Lovely color though!

  5. Once you have different sleeves, maybe a killer necklace might take your mind off the bright color or wear it with pants so your eye is drawn to the ground with more of the lower color being seen. There is always something that we would like to change once we find that poor garment at the back of the closet. Love the penstemon, such a lovely shade of pink! You must be the luckiest garage sale shopper ever...all I see is old Tupperware and used tires.

  6. Those are both very nice pieces Beth, and I like them a lot on you! Genius idea to add pockets to the skirt in that way. You've inspired me! I'm totally going to try that :) I found that skirt waistband to be too wide and straight, and in subsequent versions to my first; cut it narrower and on a curve to get a better fit.

  7. Very nice outfit! I have this pattern and I sort of dismissed the skirt because of the terrible experience I had with the top. But I had a similar story with V1247, I made the skirt this month, 2 years after the top, and I love it. So I guess I will have to give a go at 1170...

  8. The skirt is really cute! Love your cobbled-together linings.

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  10. OOOLALA! I Love, Love, Love that purple top! This simplicity pattern is one of my favorites! I understand what you mean about the sleeves and think your suggested fix of adding long sleeves will be perfect! You skirt fabric is adorable and together with this GORGEOUS top makes a beautiful outfit! Great job and I think I need another of these Simplicity tops in my wardrobe too!