Good evening, friends! There is a trend in my MSN projects, I’ve noticed. Almost every month, my post discusses weather and its influence on my sewing. While I’d love to buck that trend, we’re out of luck. This outfit is a direct result of one thing: my longing for autumn. While elsewhere leaves are changing colors and the air dances with chills, Texas hasn’t gotten that memo. It’s been nothing but sunshine, oppressive heat, and weather better suited for swim season. I’m sick of it! Bring on the colder weather already. I’m tapped out with summer, y’all.
And so, we have this outfit. This is my Let’s Force Fall to Arrive With Furious Cold Weather Sewing! outfit. There are sleeves, y’all. I haven’t worn sleeves outside in what seems like months. What’s more, there’s heavy, dark colored fabric and a tight-fitting waistband. Oh, close fitting clothes, how I’ve missed you. This is an outfit better suited to rainy days and brisk winds, which is entirely the point. Our forecast may insist that it’s still summer, but my sewing room has transitioned. Decisively.
To better herald in my favorite season, I chose two fabrics ordered months ago, in some sort of mid-summer delusion. The faux-wrap blouse, McCall’s 6513, uses a solid black rayon jersey, from Mood’s fantastic selection of knits. While the description calls this a midweight fabric, it’s really more of a lightweight, opaque jersey. It has excellent stretch and is still breathable enough for our infuriating current temperatures. For the skirt, however, I used a truly midweight fabric, this “Famous Designer Navy Geometric Cotton Woven.” Sadly, this fabric is now out of stock, but I was able to track down a photo of the designer’s original usage. Thanks to its weight, this cotton has fabulous body and a nubby texture reminiscent of heavy linen. What sold me on it, though, was that print. I love the clever, modern geometric use of navy, red, and turquoise. It’s such a chic, unexpected combination!
The pattern I chose for this gorgeous cotton was a modified Butterick 5929, a paneled, dramatically flared skirt. I wanted a garment that would really allow this fabric to swish and billow, as much as possible. The silhouette of B5959 was perfect, though I added two things: a side zipper and a straight waistband. Not only does that cinch in the waist beautifully, but it prevented any potential stretch from this easily pliable fabric. In the end, it’s exactly the skirt I wanted: filled with movement and a joy to wear with tights and boots! I love how both pieces work together, for a vaguely sexy, but still elegant look.
When it comes to construction, these projects were both pretty easy. The blouse was put together mostly by serger, as is my preference with knits, but with hems finished on my sewing machine. I added knit stabilizer to the crossover neckline, to prevent gaping. Next time around, I’ll probably go down another two sizes for this pattern, though. I took out a ridiculous amount of extra fabric from the side seams, shoulders, and arms of this one. While I love Big 4 patterns, their knit sizing is always an adventure!
For the skirt, construction was a bit more involved. The inside seams are bound with strips of navy rayon binding and the waistband is faced with coordinated navy twill. Both the hem and zipper were sewn in by hand, allowing the stitches to disappear into the nubby fabric. Y’all, catch-stitching such a flared hem took forever, but it was so worth it. It’s pretty deep–about three inches–giving the skirt such a lovely, floaty quality. This garment dances, with each step. I really wish this fabric were still in stock, so I could snag more for a dress! There are some great wool flannels in stock, however, which would have an even cosier feel and similarly gorgeous body.
I love my first outfit of fall…even if I can’t wear it for a few weeks yet. What are you dreaming up for the impending seasonal change, friends? I think I will actually attempt a coat, this year, so keep your eyes peeled. No matter what, I’m going to enjoy sewing up garments with sleeves and weight, for a few months! It’s about time for a change.