Any East Coasters out there notice that Mother Nature does not play when it comes to the shift to colder seasons? First day of Spring? Mebbe we're still covered in snow. First day of Fall? BAM. WRAP IT UP KIDS.
I love the variety of seasons, but I find it really hard to make the change from summer dresscode into those seasonal words we use to make ourselves feel fashionably better... LAYERING AND SEPARATES. UGH. They are code for who knows what rain-snow-sleet-or-wind is about to strike. YOU BEST HAVE SOME OPTIONS.
98% of the time I have 2% handmade options in this area.
I'm the second-to-last-stop on a train you've likely been seeing in your feed, the Style Maker Fabrics Fall Tour. The invite and planning for this little jaunt started in late August, at that time of year when I am certain that summer will stick around all the way through till Thanksgiving. I am sadly always wrong in this train of thought. And I never plan ahead for the err in my closet. So I have to thank Michelle for getting my head in the right space ahead of time, because it was pretty nice to have two LAYERING SEPARATES (SHOCK AND HORROR) to wear when the first day of Fall hit!
First up is this truly beautiful rayon crepe. I could have sewn on this shirt forever. Obviously I love fabric, obviously we're of the same mind in that regard, but I do tend to get tired of playing with a fabric when I near the finish line. With this one, I kept playing right up until the minute I wore it out for the first time. I couldn't stop touching it! The delicious texture, which actually kept me from doing much more than petting it upon arrival, for fear of ruining it with pressing and such, actually played wonderfully with both machine and hand stitching, and light pressing was all that was needed during construction. It. Behaved. Like. A. Dream.
And the pattern, Simplicity 3786, is now a dream after a little hackery. The center front as-drafted has a gazillion tucks, which I've never liked, so I eighty-sixed them by extended the tuck lines to hem, cutting it apart on those tuck lines, and taping the pattern back together on the tuck stitching lines. There is possibly an easier way to have accomplished this. My pattern looks like a paper tape factory exploded.
I decided the little sleeve band was silly. SILLY, I TELL YOU! No placket = no rolling up my sleeves. I LIKES TO ROLL UP MY SLEEVES. I used the already cut Silly Sleeve Bands to make a button tab, placed 3.5 inches away from the sleeve seam towards the front. It makes use of the voluminous bottom half of the sleeve without getting in the way of a glass of wine. I know because I have tested it. I LOVE IT!!! They are actual bonafide buttonholes, but obviously I never wear them unbuttoned because, um, I forgot to unbutton them for a single shot...which means I probably didn't need to go whole hog on the holes.
This distressed hand dyed chambray was yearning to be something with less seams, to take advantage of the organic swaths of dye, and the wonderful soft wrinkles. But I had an idea in my head and like a dog with a bone, WOULDN'T LET GO. If you haven't already guessed, the skirt is the Sewaholic Gabriola, which gave me some grief as I didn't ask for enough yardage for it. I ALWAYS forget how much fabric this thing eats up! To accommodate, I simply folded each skirt piece into an A line, just above where the flare began on each piece.
Revisiting this pattern was interesting. Hey. There's no staystitching included on any of those bias cut pieces. Hey. The lower front yokes are printed in a mirrored orientation to the upper yokes. Hey. THAT'S CONFUSING AND PROLLY WHY ERRBODY GETS THOSE PIECES MIXED UP AND ALSO COMES OUT WTH A BIGGER SKIRT.
I did criminal things to this chambray, matching it not only to the wrong pattern...but also to a hidden mate beneath its station. She's lined in a poly-tastic slinky slippery static-filled nightmare of a fabric, bought at some long forgotten joint years ago. I've had like 8 yards of this horror for years, forever cramming it back onto the shelf when it oozed and slipped out of its folds. Back when I bought it, I thought it was silk chiffon. IT IS NOT ANYTHING CLOSE TO SILK CHIFFON. But it does add a layer of warmth! The better to thwart Mother Nature's sudden cold snaps.
The chambray is appropriately appalled at its mate. As I attached it to the heathen poly, the chambray reminded me, in a soft and gently distressed whisper, that it's nicer to sew with fabric of quality, curated by a shopowner who knows what to look for. That's Michelle. Thanks for letting me play with these beauties, girl! The next and last stop on the tour is my homie Lori of Girls In the Garden, who, listen: does Ninja Level Separates. Peep her tomorrow!
the fabrics for this ensemble were provided by Style Maker Fabrics, and i want to live in them. hopefully, mother nature will allow that for the next few.