Jeans are the Gateway Drug to Separates.
My closet is filled with all manner of sugary cake, frosting, and every treat in between, with very little bread. But since forcing myself into sewing up the Birkin Flares as a holiday sew, suddenly I want stuff I can wear with my jeans. I have heard that this type of garment, that pairs with another garment, this thing is called a "Separate."
I wasn't going to test the latest BHL pattern, because, Not A Sparkly Dress. Not only Not a Sparkly Dress...a top. I'd go so far as to call it a BLOUSE. A quick check of my closet reveals that in eight years, I've made about a dozen things that can be counted as some sort of top. And none of them can really be called a blouse. Plus, I don't own blouse material! I haz brocade, and velvet, and gazar...so, I thought I'd pass.
And then this Liberty of London silky cotton, meant for a maxi length copy of Sallieoh's bohemian midi dress, screamed at me from its place on my party shelves:
HEY I KNOW IT'S WINTERTIME AND YOU WANT TO SEW ME UP INTO A CURRENTLY UNWEARABLE BOHEMIAN TRAILING DRESS BUT WOULDN'T A BLOUSE BE THE WAY TO GET ME ON YOUR BODY RIGHT THE F NOW?!
Mouthy fabric, that Liberty. I finally get what y'all have been hollering about. This print, Anna's Garden, is a reissue from the 70s. The flowers are large format and organically placed, which is what sold me. The fabric is whisper soft and floaty, the kind that you don't want to prewash for fear of changing the hand. But prewash I did, and dried it in the dryer, because I like to be honest with myself: I'm not laying my separates out to air dry. I will mistreat about 90% of my separates. Mainly because 90% of my separates are RTW, so maybe that will change now that I'm hooked on the Bread Drug...at the moment though, I'm mistreating. I mean, check the snaps I hammered into this poor stuff. Those snaps are too heavy for such a delicate fabric! Lookit how they're pulling the organza interfaced placket! I will forever have to daintily pry them open with a fingernail!
But I do not care. I like the look of them.
Also not caring: that my second pair of Birkins still do not have rivets, or back pockets, or a proper button. I liked how this wooden guy paired with the deep indigo, so I went with it.
A deep indigo which incessantly rubbed off on my hands. If Marc Jacobs actually stocks this yardage in RTW, it definitely comes with a warning tag: do not sit on light colored furniture in your new jeans. Ever seen that tag? I used to think it was BS before I started to sew.
I added two loops on the center back, because, well, where the yardage for my first Birkins did not have enough stretch, this fabric has way too much stretch. Perhaps I will Goldilocks myself into the proper denim for my third pair, but I'm not holding my breath. I had a little war with the waistband, when I had to take everything in to account for the stretch factor, which you can see in the front shot.
This denim would be better suited to a pair of skinnies, and I should have just hung onto it for the release of the Kendalls, but I couldn't wait. I really was frothing at the mouth to sew another pair, so I considered it a science experiment. They wrinkle at the front and absolutely need a belt-- and hey. They need pockets. To be honest, I was so tired of washing dye off my hands, I abandoned ship on pockets. Let me get my strength back, imma add them in, and take about a quarter inch off that back hem, too.
Let's talk more about the blouse! When I test, I try to sew up a straight size with as little modifications as possible. So, this is a straight size 8/12, with no fit modifications. My short waist wasn't an issue with this swingy shape. And, it is a beautiful swingy shape! WHICH YOU WILL SEE NO EVIDENCE OF HERE! I will never wear this loose. I SAID NEVER. Something about the equation of my big hair + my badonkadonk + a wide shirt hem just doesn't equal good. However, I'm thinking about lengthening it to summer dress length and wearing it full swing.
Remember Summer? Yeeeeeah. Like right-above-the-knee breezy summer dress, strappy flat sandals, a couple bangles, triple scoop of gelato around 4pm in the park...
I digress. Changes I made: the pattern has two collar options, neither of which are my style, and unlike the swingyness of the shirt hem, that's not so easily changed by a tuck-in. So, I measured the neckline at the SA and freehanded a standing collar, which fully encases the button placket. And instead of buttons, just three snaps on the front, since I only want to wear it tied or tucked.
Changes I made, not so much on purpose: the sleevehead is actually supposed to be a bit gathered, but some testers (me) thought it was supposed to be a smooth application, and some testers (ME) reset the sleeve 4 times trying to get all the puckers out. The gals at BHL have changed the main illustrations to reflect the gathers that should be there, but the instructions only note that it's a fuller sleeve, so keep that in mind if you're sewing it up. However, I like my mistake, so I'll probably remove a bit of ease from the sleevehead when I go for that summer dress.
Sorry, I gotta go think about Summer now.
Pattern: BHL's Sarah Shirt, final PDF pattern provided to me in exchange for testing