Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My First Self Stitched Outfit!

Here's the debut to my first complete outfit! It's been a long time coming...

The top was originally supposed to be Vogue 8669, but that went from UFO to wadder. Which broke my heart just a little because I had set out with such high hopes. I even drafted flutter sleeves for it. In the end, the fabric had ended up running (yeah, like panty hose! So weird!) clear out past the seam line at one of the armholes. I could have fidgeted with that, but the top really didn't fit me well. The other bummer was that the fabric color had been a perfect match for the wine in my skirt, so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it again. A trip to Joann revealed that they still had the fabric in stock (and still on clearance!) so I grabbed a couple yards & McCalls 6034.

I cut a size Small (8-10) but should have done an XS. I took the side seams in about an inch and remedied that, but the shoulders are a bit too big. The pattern calls for a narrow 5/8" hem at both the back neckline & the sleeves. I handled the neckline ok, but the sleeves proved to be too much trouble, so I opted for a regular 5/8" hem. I also omitted the band since the top was pretty long as is. I used elastic thread (awesome!) and ruched the side seams a bit in order to keep the drape a little more consistent.

I cut my fabric out on Friday & finished it up on Saturday. Which, I think, makes this my fastest project to date.

The skirt is a linen that I found on clearance at Joann (I really prefer to buy fabric online as far as quality...but it's hard to resist when you're holding it in hand!). It is so soft & doesn't seem to wrinkle too horribly. It was a little sheer, so I lined it with a soft cotton muslin. 

I followed the guidelines in Sew What! Skirts to draft a basic A-line skirt.  When I tissue fit the pattern, though, it didn't meet my center front so I added an inch to the waist. For whatever reason, I ended up having to take the skirt in at the waist, though.  I may have been inconsistent in deciding where I wanted the skirt to be.

I hemmed & hawed over how I was going to handle a facing, a zipper & a lining. I found multiple tutorials on constructing various combinations of the above, but they all had one aspect or another missing. Then I realized that lining the skirt could offer a finished top edge & ditched the facing. I stitched the lining & fashion fabric right sides together & then top stitched. I slip stitched the lining to the zipper by hand, which turned out very nicely.

I'm so proud of my new outfit, but I must admit, my favorite part of the ensemble can't be seen when I'm wearing it....

a coordinating label!! I used one of my favorite fonts & printed it out on a colorfast fabric sheet! I'm pretty pumped about the idea of all my future garments having coordinating labels.


  1. Your new outfit looks super, and you learned so much to boot!! I love your label! I have had a name for my own clothing for a while now, but haven't had any made up. Where do you get colorfast fabric sheets from?

  2. Thanks Vanessa! I got the fabric sheets from Joann. They are kind of in the quilting section-with the iron on t-shirt transfer sheets. They aren't cheap; $9.99 for three sheets if I remember right. But if you only use them for labels, they'll last a long while now. :)
    I'd love to know what name you use for your clothing. :)

  3. Looks great mama! I have no sewing skills at all, so I'm very impressed!

  4. Thanks Jenna! I'll be on the lookout for them. And my label name is Sweet Ness. The Ness is short for Vanessa (friends call me Nessa), and I think it's cute that those words together are sweetness, which most people would say describes me.

  5. Congratulations on your first sewn outfit! The top and the skirt complement each other perfectly. The colours are lovely and you look great in your new outfit.

  6. Hi Jenna,

    I think your fondness for cowl necklines is rubbing off on me now. The more and more I read your blog the more I want recreate a cowl of some sort. :)

    The ensemble is wonderful and you should be very proud of what you accomplished. I love the fabric label you created and I am very interested in your elastic thread. I actually think I have some from my mother's but I always thought it was suppose to be used with knitting socks. I have to take a look at it--maybe I've been wrong all these years! I hope so, because I do love the ruching you did.

    Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see what else you'll sew!


  7. Way to go, Jenna! I adore this outfit, the colours are fantastic (and I love your label)!


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