When I was planning my summer sewing in my new home of Seattle, with its seemingly jumbled mix of warm and cool, sunny and cloudy days, I was drawn to Mood Fabric’s cotton voiles. I thought they would be perfect for a summer blouse no matter the weather. This particular dotted cotton voile in cornflower blue was my favorite. A simple solid color with the interest being in the raised dots. It was perfectly behaved when cutting and sewing as well.
Aren’t those dots so fun?!
I imagined a loose blouse with sleeves that hit just above my wrists, long enough to give me the length that I’d need on chillier summer days but not so long that it would belie the fact that the blouse was meant for the season. In a fortuitous chance of luck, I ended up with the Sewaholic Alma pattern and figured if I removed the front and back vertical darts and shortened the sleeves just a bit, I’d have the blouse I was envisioning. Plus, the pattern came with the option of a little notch at the neckline that I just couldn’t pass up!
After the blouse was finished, I decided I really wanted a skirt in a deep dark navy to pair with it. Since my friend raved about how soft the Theory navy stretch denim was for the jeans I made her a couple months ago, I figured I’d give it a go. It did not disappoint. For the skirt pattern I used Vogue V1247, and I just love the pockets. Also, since I wanted more of a navy skirt than a denim skirt, I omitted the typical topstitching that one might do with denim.
I just can’t get enough of those dots. And, what’s that I spy on the skirt? Yes, it’s my very first attempt at an exposed zipper.
The V-notch in the neck was fun to make. Careful clipping and notching of seam allowances is key to getting nice points. I didn’t take the to measure the length of the blouse before cutting since I remembered how long the Sewaholic Pendrell was on me right out of the envelope. I figured it would be the same, but, boy, was I wrong! This blouse is much shorter. To save as much length as possible, I machine-rolled the hem, and the dots mostly cooperated. The sleeves were fun to make up. I cut half way between the longest sleeve and the mid-length sleeve that come with the pattern. I also halved the length of the cuff that was designed for the longest sleeve length, figured out what a good circumference for me would be, and then stitched it on to the bottom of the gathered sleeve. I omitted any placket or opening since it easily fits over my wrist.
I also had fun cleaning up the inside of the blouse. To give a nice edge to the neckline facing, I took advantage of the interfacing that the instructions suggested you add. First, I stitched the interfacing to the facing, right sides together, with a small 1/4″ seam allowance. Then I clipped and notched as needed and flipped the pieces around so the right sides would face out. After a quick press I had a very neat edge to my facing, no serging, bias binding, extra hemming, or pinking required. I was also able to take advantage of the fact that the voile was dotted to invisibly tack down the facing behind a random dot here or there. Most of the rest of the interior seams were done as French seams.
As for the skirt, I also had fun with the details. I had a giant YKK zipper in my stash that’s been hanging out forever. I figured it could be fun to use it as an exposed zipper for this otherwise plain navy skirt. It was hand picked in an attempt to get a nice, even finish. I used the same dotted cotton voile for the lining of the pockets as I used for the blouse. I like the connection the two have since the skirt was made as a pair for the blouse. It’s also fun to have the surprise texture when I stick my hands into my pockets! One of the things I omitted from the skirt was the waistband. Instead, I used a beautiful ribbon as the waistline facing since I felt it paired well with the blue dotted voile lining. It keeps the waistline neat, prevents it from stretching, and adds a bit of unexpected fun! To finish off the bottom of the skirt I simply sewed a blind hem with my machine.
And, to finish, I give you one of the many shots during my attempt to get outdoor photos. I obviously didn’t get out in time for the golden hour! I just haven’t quite figured out Seattle just yet!