Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Self-drafted Celebratory Ensemble

Why am I celebrating???

Because I've kept those pesky 20 pounds off FOR A YEAR. Because Pius and Eriko are getting married! Because Pius and Eriko are getting married on mine and Casey's ANNIVERSARY!! Because this Friday marks one year of being married to the most hilarious person I've ever met. Love him.

So what does one do with such an occasion? One makes.

I bought this amazingly wonderful glittered tulle whilst on a whimsical fabric shopping trip in Boston with Nina, a fellow sewing fanatic.  Bless her heart, she was willing to take time out of her busy preparing to move across the Atlantic ocean schedule to take me fabric shopping in Chinatown. I love her, too. (And so does my friend Jeremy! They're getting married next summer!!) Love him, too.

It was cloudy when husband took these photos, but hopefully you can see in this one the pretty sparkles.

Layers, from top to bottom:
Tulle with gold and pink glitter
champagne colored organza
champagne colored unidentified polyester
fancy white lining fabric

I have to tell you all that this skirt, as an anniversary skirt, has sentiment literally built into it.  That white lining fabric is leftover white lining fabric from the little dress I made myself when Casey and I had our little wedding ceremony.  Though I haven't worn the wedding dress since (uhh, duh), I can get all smushy-lovey-dovey inside whenever I wear this skirt.  Yay, love.

Like I said, I self-drafted this ensemble. It all felt ok except for that zipper. GUH. Between the four layers of skirt and trying to do a French seam underneath I lost a few marbles. I treated the organza as an underlining to the tulle, and attached those layers before adding anything else. Then I attached the polyester fabric with the white lining underneath. The skirt spent a long time looking like this:

It was just hanging there, waiting on me to finish the waistband. I knew that even with the 3 layers (tulle, organza, polyester) plus interfacing that I'd need to use a hefty interfacing and probably double it to create a waistband that could handle the tight pull across my waist without looking like it was a tight pull across my waist. (You saw the part where I kept off 20 pounds, right?? Just checking.)

So, it's a little too tight. I'll be the first to say it. Wanting to do a lapped zipper kind of messed up the ol'measuring from the beginning. Oops. Oh well, that's what the gym is for, right? Anyway, you can see that the waistband extends beyond the seamline, and this IS on purpose! I hate that little stiff, sticking-out that can happen when you want your pieces to meet at the side seam. So, I pulled it to the back and have 3 hook and eyes that keep it laying flat: one at the side seam and two at the end.

Onto the little crop top, now! I've never been into crop tops before this summer, and I don't know what's gotten into me now but suddenly I find them acceptable. I'm sure I'll find them unacceptable just as quickly. For this top I used leftover polyester mystery fabric. I knew the stiff hand would work well for a fitted yet blousy crop top.

I really like how the back turned out.  Also, even though it's a crop top, the skirt is so high-waisted that when I stand still no midriff shows. If I start dancing it's a different story...

I took my bodice sloper and drafted a top that I thought would work.

Left side: front           Right side: back

 Once I cut the bodice pieces I cut off the top inch of the pattern to make neckline facings.

detached facing pieces

It came together super easily. I finished the center back and right side seams with a hong kong (?) finish. The zip and hook and eye are on the left side seam. (You can see it in the photo that shows the skirt waistband above.)

I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to make this outfit and post about it. Seriously, it's been finished for long over a week now. I think it kind of killed my energy for a bit - those 4 layers really got to me.  (Seriously, right now the thing on my sewing table is a loungy pullover for my friend Amy. SIMPLE.)
The only thing I forgot to mention above is that I finished each layer of the skirt with a narrow hem, save for the tulle. I love the lightness that comes from it extended past the length of the other layers. :)   floaty swish, swish

Hooray for one of the girly-est ensembles I've ever made!