As By Gum by Golly pointed out the other day, summer is officially over! So I thought I’d better follow her lead and show off my summer outfit that I sewed back in June or July.
The pattern is Simplicity 2087, copyright 1957, and perhaps you can tell that I was heavily influenced by the cover art when picking my fabrics! Sometimes my love of the envelope art can leave me disappointed when sewing – when I don’t feel quite as though my garment lives up to expectations, but I feel just like the illustration when I wear this outfit! That sounds a bit strange but trust me, it’s a good thing.
The skirt is rayon, which I’d actually never sewn with before. I LOVE it! So comfortable to wear and such a fantastic drape. The blouse is a light pink cotton poplin and the shorts and cummerbund are a heavier cotton weave called “sheet weave” in Swedish. It’s my go-to for casual tops and works great for shorts too – it has just the right body.
The envelope describes this as “a simple-to-make weekend wardrobe”, since you can switch out the shorts and skirt and add or subtract the cummerbund, giving you three outfits for the ‘price’ of one. I packed these clothes when I went to Vancouver in August and it really was the perfect summer wardrobe! So really, if I had to rate this pattern I’d give it “Five stars would sew again. Lives up to all the envelope’s promises”.
Like a lot of the patterns I buy, this one was a size too small for me. I graded up the blouse using the pattern-shifting technique from Threads no 194, a new-to-me technique. Grading is so fun and easy using this method! (I promise – I actually look forward to sewing with my too-small patterns now). It gave 100% better results that my old “technique” of adding width around all the pattern edges. I’m actually embarrassed to admit how many patterns I “graded up” with that method – the proper way, whether it be by slash-and-spread or shifting, gives better results. Duh. I traced and then slashed-and-spread the shorts, my old laziness and reluctance giving way now that I knew how much better the results are. The skirt is just a dirndl, with gathered rectangles, so I didn’t have to do anything there but add a little width when cutting. Probably unnecessary but you know, I may be lazy but I’m thorough!
The zippers are all hand-picked. I did a machine buttonhole for once though, since this is supposed to be a “quick and easy” pattern. I made a hidden flange on the armhole to give it a more flattering line, as described in Claire Schaeffer’s book Couture Sewing. I was going to make lingerie guards but again, quick and easy, so I didn’t bother. The pocket bags are made from the same poplin as the blouse, with a band of green inside the opening so the pink won’t peek out too much.
And that’s about all there is to say about this fantastic outfit!I don’t think I would make the whole outfit again, simply because I am so pleased with it that I can’t imagine why I’d want to sew another, similar, outfit in fabrics and colours that I wouldn’t like as much. I’ll definitely make the shorts again though, the fit is great and they are the perfect length. Super-flattering (I think!) and they have a great cut, the crotch seam is long enough that you don’t get wedgies when you sit down, even though they are very short – pert, as the pattern describes them! I’d like to make the blouse again too, it fits like a dream and I love boat necks. I’d like to try it in a wool crepe for autumn. And of course the skirt is makeable again, and the belt is great for adding colour to an outfit and doesn’t require much fabric. Oh, who am I kidding, of course I’ll make all these patterns again!
For now though I can finally get back to my neglected Autumn sewing projects, like that plaid dress I’ve left lying around since last October…