Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Out of the Ordinary

A couple of weeks ago, while looking for some inspiration for my next sewing project, I came upon a fantastic idea posted by Lladybird on the We Sew Retro site. She had made a lovely 1950s top using fabric from a full length silk skirt she had found in a thrift store. I'm always looking for interesting fabric so I set out for the op. shop with this in mind. It was slim pickin' I'm afraid, but as I was about to leave I spied this fairly ordinary looking top (dress?).

It's made of a lovely, soft spun rayon and only cost me $1.50! There's a seam below the bust and I figured once I unpicked it there'd be enough fabric in the bottom half to make a top of some sort.  I didn't really have anything specific in mind and this 1950s 'one yard' blouse from my pattern collection looked promising.

Simplicity 3169
I originally chose Style 1 with the faux button front and peter pan collar but found I didn't quite have enough fabric so a little improvisation was in order. I have several pieces of rayon in my stash - it's lovely to sew and difficult to find so I stock up when I can - and found a black & white piece which would be perfect for the shoulder yokes. I had hoped to use the plain black for the collar but found it got a little lost against the rest of the top.

The top has two zipper openings - one at the back neck and one in th side seam - and is fitted at the waist with darts. As promised, it was simple to make and only took me a day or two to complete. I'm really pleased with the result but I now needed to make something to wear with it.

I think it was Shannon of Hungry Zombie Couture who said: Never make an orphan, make an outfit! It's something that is always in the back of my mind when I sew but who has the time? At the moment, me. My first thought was a black skirt but I felt the outfit would end up being too dark, so I went with more of the black & white rayon and whipped up a 1940s skirt to match the accents in the top.

Du Barry 5510
This six gore skirt was really simple too and the majority of it was finished in one evening. I also added belt loops and remembered to attach them as I was sewing on the waistband so they look really neat and tidy. Smart move.

Now, on to the finished product!

I love that these two pieces worn together look a bit like a dress and the skirt has such a lovely 'flick' to it, I might need to make another one. I also really like the way the covered buttons lighten up the front that little bit and make the collar more defined. 

As you can see from the pics, we are still having some lovely sunny days so I'm hoping I'll get at least one more chance to wear this outfit before winter settles in.

What sewing projects have you guys been working on?



  1. Love it! The addition of the black and white in the shoulders really livens it up. Enjoy the weather while you can- I can't wait for summer to kick in at this end of the world.

  2. Just seen your post on Sew Retro.
    The co-ordinating skirt/accented top look great together - I might well be copying this!

  3. I think your changes really make that top! I'm going try It for one of my projects!

  4. This looks so good! I love the whole look, and the way the top accents match the skirt. Really, really nice!

  5. Absolutely stunning execution of both patterns and wearing the outfit! Congrats!

  6. I love it! That outfit looks sensational!

  7. Es ist wunderschön, du hast einen tollen, klaren Stil:)

    Liebe Grüße


  8. This is totally fantastic! I adore the print covered buttons, they add such a sweet, fun touch to this terrific outfit. Excellent work, dear gal!

    How cool that we're both on the same wave length right now when it comes to both our blogs and our hair colours. Can't wait to see your beautiful new brunette locks!!!

    Wishing you a fabulous week ahead,


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