Leftover fabric, a new pattern, an old pattern, and keeping it simple: I love the outcome.
The pattern for the top is Nancy Zieman’s color block top (M 7600). It’s really super easy and the directions have little tips for sewing knits. When I first bought the pattern, I didn’t realize it was for knits, but I think you could easily adapt this pattern for woven fabric too.
I made view A. I originally cut a size 14, given how everything else was fitting lately, but when I basted the top portion together for a test run, it was way too big, so I cut the entire top back down to a 12.
I used the same black rayon doubleknit from Gorgeous Fabrics as the dress I just made, plus some of the off-white she had in rayon doubleknit. The remainder of the black and white are reserved for a color block dress for the fall. This fabric is luscious: it has body and drape and feels good on the skin. I’m not fond of working with knits – the stretchiness and rolling are annoying. Double knits are more stable though, so I tend to choose them over jersey (and if I buy jersey, it tends to sit in the closet).
There isn’t much to the construction of the top – though I made some changes. First, I left off the embellishments. Second, as described, the armholes and neckline are bound. I didn’t do that. The rayon is heavy and I felt the binding would distract/detract. So, I interfaced the edges, serged them (trimming 1/4 inch), folded over 3/8 inch, pressed carefully and slowly topstitched. I did the same with the hems.
The final change I made was to pick out the top stitching under the arms (it’s actually forward on the top, toward the center seam by about 3 inches, as you can see in the picture. I had my doubts when I was doing this finally step. Sure enough, when I put it on, the drape was compromised. I was worried about wardrobe malfunction, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem (though it might be on a larger-breasted individual).
In the end, I find the top cool, sophisticated, and flattering (despite the lack of shape). I’ve worn it a few times already.
The skirt is one I’ve made four times now – the ever popular Rachel Comey (Vogue 1247). Funny, I never blogged the other three skirts. I used the last of the black cotton sateen (with stretch) from the old Gorgeous Fabrics that I used for the not-great Pucci pant. Of course, sateen reflects light, whereas the black rayon absorbs it, so the two blacks really don’t go together… but I’m okay with it … for now. And this makes black skirt number 6 in my wardrobe. A staple! – different styles, fabrics… and two are near retirement.
I did this quickly – it’s an easy skirt – making a few changes from the original. First, I used the serger to finish my seam/hem edges, rather than binding them. I’ve done both, and I’m indifferent on this skirt, with this fabric, so I went simpler. Second, I’ve eliminated the pockets. For some reason, they poof out weirdly on my, so only one version of this skirt ever had pockets. And finally, I added six inches to the length. This skirt is only 15 inches in length in its original form, and I wanted to be able to wear this to work, too.
One other note: I cut this out starting at a 12, adding 1/4 inch to each side (total one inch to the circumference). Since the difference between a 12 and 14 is about 3/8″, I originally sewed 1/2 inch seam allowances (total 1.5 inch circumference). The skirt was too loose, so I went back to the regular seam allowances. I think the difference (and what I failed to take into account with the Pucci pant) is that the fabric has some stretch.
Yes, more wardrobe staples, and black/white can get boring, but I’m working on things I can wear for a trip to NYC later this summer. I don’t want to pack a lot, but I want to look chic. I can add bits of color here and there to change things up.