Saturday, 17 January 2015

Scrubs and a skirt fit for diving

I did some major power sewing through December. I got a bit carried away with plans, as I am wont to do, but this time I kind of had to deliver due to various deadlines! I've covered the Birthday Dress and the Nativity costume - next this True Bias Sutton blouse!

I did like this pattern when it was first released, but it only became high priority when I saw Caroline from Blackbird/Sewaholic's makewhich I absolutely loved and which became my inspiration.

My version is made from a poly crepe (this) and this lace, both from The Cloth Shop in Edinburgh, which is part of Remnant Kings. Yes, I know! I bought polyester!!! It was the colour that sold it. Recently I have, rather usually for me, been drawn to monochromatic and darker colours, and this just felt like such a happy antidote to that. It actually made me smile when I was sewing! Love it!!! I couldn't get an exact colour match for the lace, but love the contrast this provides.

The Sutton is a really simple, straightforward and quick make. Unless you stupidly French seam the back bodice piece on backwards. Harrumph. Well I figure there's got to be at least one stupid mistake per make as far as I'm concerned. Anyway. My first True Bias pattern. I like Kelli's attention to detail on finishing details. The side slits at the hem are finished so nicely and neatly, which I find really pleasing, as I do the French seams, and the method she uses to attach the bias facing.

Weird neck/face thing going on here, but you can see the sleeve and kind of see the hi-lo hemline.
It was my first time sewing with lace, other than a previous fancy dress outfit (not real sewing!). I made absolutely no attempt to do any research on it and jumped right in. The lace has a lovely scalloped selvedge that I hoped to use as the sleeve hem, but the back yoke is cut in one piece, which would have meant piecing the lace. I did do some reading on that, but quickly realised that the repeat was not exactly the same on each selvedge. And to be honest, I really didn't have the time, so I let myself off the hook, cut the yoke as directed and it seemed to work out ok. I think it might have stretched out a bit, so next time I might stay stitch all cut edges, but otherwise it was fine. I think the blouse took me a few days to make, but my sewing time is in fits and bursts - an hour or 2, here and there during nap times and in the evenings. And then there was that back on wrong side out incident to correct.

The colour is way off on this and the subsequent photos. The earlier photos are closer to the real colour.
The crepe is lovely and drapey, but it isn't particularly lightweight, so it's probably not ideal for the top. This is probably the main reason that I am actually a bit meh about the make. I don't know why. I love the colours, like the shape, but I am just not that excited about it on me. If I'm totally honest, it actually reminds me of scrubs, albeit posh ones. Just as well it's not blue!!! I don't think that about anyone else's version, just mine, so either it's the fabric, or the v neck, which is a shape I don't often wear.

Side slit finish - whoops wonky hem stitching there too!

Bias facing on the neckline. My V wasn't perfectly matched, but not bad. With a lighter weight fabric this would be easier.

Back pleat
The side seams can't be french seamed due to the slits at the bottom, so I used the overcast stitch on my sewing machine. I wasn't happy with the finish so turned and stitched as well. 
Anyway, my husband convinced me it was nice, and to be honest, I had a night out and nothing else to wear! But my friends all loved it too, so I am going with popular consensus that it's actually OK. Do you ever get that? You don't love an item of clothing but others talk you in to it? I'm still undecided, but will wear it because I love the colour, and it's nice and easy to wear with jeans - and with a cardigan hiding the lace, it dresses it down a bit for daytime. Not that you can't wear lace in the day, but small fingers like to pull and small teeth like to bite! 

With jeans
And what did I wear the Sutton with on my night out? Well, halfway through making it, I realised I didn't have anything that wasn't jeans that would go. So I made a skirt. In an evening. The inspiration for this came from the RK blog, via Hazel. I was convinced scuba wasn't for me, until she showed me the tutorial. It obviously stuck in my head because when I was deliberating on what I could wear with the blouse, this was what I thought of first. I didn't actually follow the tutorial. Instead I used the Colette Mabel skirt - the short version, as that was what I had printed - which I lengthened. I can't remember by how much, as this was very much fitted on the hoof. I cut the back on the fold instead of cutting 2 pieces because I didn't read the pattern pieces (told you: one stupid mistake per make), so they then ended up too big, as there was seam allowance included that I didn't need, but I just removed that as I fitted it. I have small hips relevant to my waist measurement, so even though I graded down a size at the hips, I still had to take quite a it more there too. I think about 4cm through the waist and hips.

It was all sewn on my sewing machine using the lightening bolt zig zag. Raw edges are unfinished. The hem is twin needled.

The waistband is faced with a much lighter weight jersey, to reduce bulk, but it's too lightweight for the scuba and has a much higher stretch percentage, so it doesn't work well. 

Inside waistband and side seam.

I think in retrospect I could have done with taking it in slightly more at the waist/hips. It was fine for dinner with the girls on Friday night, but at my Mother In Law's 60th birthday party the following night, it didn't quite pass the Mr Brightside dancing test*.

Selfie taken in the toilets at my MIL's party! RTW top
But OH MY GOD, scuba is THE most comfortable fabric ever! It is thick enough to cover all lumps and bumps, but stretchy enough to permit walking and dancing and eating. I even wore it on Christmas day.

So, there you go - a Christmas outfit, sewn in a week!

Mr Brightside by The Killers - the only acceptable dance to this is to jump up and down like a lunatic, punching the air where appropriate, for as much of the song as your fitness levels permit. Clothes therefore need to be able to stay in place without adjustment.



  1. They both look great! And I totally get the Mr Brightside test!

    1. Thanks Jo! And glad I'm not the only one who dances like that!

  2. love the dancing description!

  3. Hahaha Mr Brightside dance test! I appreciate this. I think your husband and friends are right, this top looks lovely on you and not scrub-y. I see what you mean about the neckline being similar to that but it would have to be a pretty fancy hospital :) I think the colour and the lace look great. I also LOVE the skirt, that fabric is so good. I bought some of the plain/two-colour scuba and I'm looking forward to diving in!

    1. The scuba will be such a refreshing change from those sequins!! Looking forward to seeing what you make, and I am thinking of getting some more!

  4. I think I'm going to be jumping on the scuba bandwagon! Love the skirt Helen and the top looks brilliant too!

    1. Go for it Amy! So easy to sew and so comfy!!

  5. Oh wow! I've never seen scuba fabric like that - over here it's all garish flouros. That looks fantastic! For the record, I didn't think "scrubs" at all - it's lovely on you. The lace yoke is a beautiful touch. (Although I admit I was surprised to see the the words "I bought" and "polyester" in the same sentence from you! )

  6. I know, right? Polyester and I don't usually mix, but this isn't static-y at all and it's very comfortable to wear.

  7. My goodness what awesome garments! You look truly fabulous. xxx


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