Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bird Watching

My new cotton skirt needed a matching top.  Alas, it was not to be. 

Simplicity 1426 uses more fabric that I expected . . . especially when alterations are made.

Because of the length of my skirt, there was very little leftover yardage after I finished my skirt.  In an attempt to save fabric, I even used plain broadcloth as a waistband facing, but there was just not enough, darn it!  I made a trip back to JoAnns, but the print had disappeared, and there was no time to wait around for another bolt to show up.

But I did find another Susan Winget print that I love.  Because it was from the same designer, the color palettes were very similar.

The obvious change I made to this design was extending the midriff pieces to the waistline.  I made a muslin which included plenty of extra length, trimmed it down, and  went from there.

The only bra cups I had were not suitable for this design, so I sacrificed an old bra whose straps and bands were hopelessly stretched out and sandwiched it between the fabric and lining.

And, of course, I cannot miss an opportunity to make more bound buttonholes.

Since this is cotton, I went the lazy route and used fabric pens to mark most of the steps.

That is not my usual choice, but with a looming deadline, a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

I find this so much easier than using a machine.

The straps of this top are buttoned in place, as well.  I made the mistake of using my machine buttonhole attachment which gave me quite a bit of trouble, including a broken needle whose tip got stuck inside the machine.  The result was that I took off the needle plate and discovered very little fuzz inside.  I guess cleaning the area with that little brush every time I pull out the bobbin is sufficient!

And I can’t tell you how many people stopped me on the streets of New York to tell me how much they loved my “dress.”  So I guess the contrasting prints were not too bizarre, after all!


  1. I made that pattern and it was hopeless on me. You've inspired me to add bra cups and extend the midriff. I think that may help support the girls. I love your version. I don't know if I'd have the patience for bound buttonholes, but you never know.

  2. This is really beautiful. The fabric is fantastic. Your bound button holes are such a nice touch.

  3. Very pretty! I'm looking forward to seeing the two together!

  4. I made that pattern and also lengthened it. I didn't think to add bra cups and I'm a DD so it was unwearable without placing a lot of strain on the straps. I'm going to open it up and add bra cups and see if that works. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  5. super cute! and I can't believe you made bound buttonholes on that simple top, nice. (I would have made quick machine ones)

  6. Judging by the comments and reviews at PR, this pattern has some unresolved issues in the instructions. My doubts move around to the buttons in the back. I do believe that I would dress better if I had assistance/assistants.
    I love the wall of fame/hall of productions, and assume you do time as a costumer. “Sugar” – nobody does that show now. Recent flap about high school production of that “sexist and degrading” (not my opinion, thank you) “Kiss Me Kate” this spring made me think of this show, and realized I thought of it because the poster is prominently placed in your hall photos.

  7. What a tremendously sweet, beautiful bird print fabric. I love how cheerful the wee, winged critters look on it.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. I was so delighted to find out the bodice I so admired was a pattern in my stash! I love the mixed patterns, and will need to seek out this designer I think.

  9. Oh! So pleased you posted about your gorgeous top and skirt as I saw the in your NYC blog and was hoping you would post about them. They are so gorgeous and what a combo!
    I actually bought the Charles James book after you posted about it originally and love it - and it's great that you actually got to see the exhibition in person. I'm a bit further away in Sydney Australia so can't get there but am loving watching your travels from afar!
    Thanks as always for your inspirational posts! xx

  10. When you recycle bra cups into dresses, do you keep the underwires and channeling in the cups, too?

    I think your "dress" is beautiful, as well!

  11. What a wonderful top! Thank you for the inspiration to use the bra to add structure.

  12. Ooh this pattern is super cute! Maybe my next bikini top?