13 January, 2015

Lace overlay skirt suit - finished!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I finished this two piece outfit some time ago, but got flummoxed by the weather:  I was waiting for a warm (hahahah!) day.  We did have some warm ones just after Christmas, and all the snow melted, so then the great outdoors looked terribly drab.... so I waited some more for a WARM day with SNOW (for a prettier backdrop).  Right, I need my head examined:  this is, after all, the coldest time of the year.  As a matter of fact, it went down to -29C (-20F) a few days ago.  For a warm day, I might as well wait till May. Today it went up to a balmy -17C, so I said, let's do it,  heck, threw on a turtleneck....
... and isn't it glorious and bright, with the bluest blue sky you ever did see?

So, the jacket is Style Arc Ziggi pattern, starting with size 8, modified as per my previous post, lined with bronze silk jacquard.  To reiterate and sum up, my modifications angled the main front and back body princess seaming, raised and slightly widened the peplum, and enlarged the collar and lapels.

The skirt is a princess seamed Vogue 7937, view A without the belt loops, lined with black bemberg, with an invisible side zipper. I started with size 12, then took it in a bit in the waist and added a bit of width over the hips.  I think I finally got smart about this - I didn't touch the side seams, but instead added all the extra width, about 1/4" per seam, just to the front and side princess seams:  i.e., over the butt and the thighs. Well, the skirt fits (and I think looks) better than any I've ever made before.  And it's a little shorter than I normally make them.  I like it, but - is it mutton posing as lamb???

Jacket back view:

Here is where I think I could've done better - the upper back is a little longer than it could be. I shortened the front and back side panels, pinching out to nothing at the front and back princess seam. Looking at the photo above I now think the CB panels could also have been shortened the same way.  In the front, the effect is a small FBA, which is perfect for me; but my back is "overerect" in tailoring parlance, i.e., shorter than the norm as it is.  Lesson for next time:  for optimal result do a petite alteration of sides and all of the back, but omit the front.

Jacket lining:  I have always loved how gold and its many shades plays with black and white:  it's a classic combo.  That's why I chose both the bronze lining and the bronze-gold trim to riff on the bronze zippers of the jacket.

Sleeve gussets:  I winged it, as the pattern had no such thing.  Basically I cut two large isoceles triangles taller than they were wide, hemmed their base, and attached these by machine to the zipper tapes of the unlined sleeve.  When making the sleeve lining I made sure the bottom 20 cm of this seamline was left open.  After bagging the lining and turning the sleeve hem, I hand sewed these lining edges to the gussets. Clear as mud?  

A side view of the skirt's back vents: I worried about how to correctly attach the lining to those pesky vents, but then, when I got down to it, there was no problem. Somehow, it all just fell into place.  Yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing as overthinking what you're doing.

In closing, a "Shakespearean" look:  very Sir Walter Raleigh, don't you think? 

Happy 2015 Sewing, everyone!!!


  1. Gorgeous combination and great photos!

  2. This is just stunning. I love the touches of gold, and the way that you've highlighted the lines in that jacket design. I don't think that the skirt is too short. It looks perfect. Wow, you are a braver woman than I to take pictures in this weather. Stay warm!

  3. Thank you for braving the cold to show me your amazing outfit, the Ziggi jacket is gorgeous with the addition of the trim and those gussets. Now the skirt is the perfect length, the proportions of the outfit perfect.

  4. Wow what an incredible suit, plus both pieces will work brilliantly as separates. I love the fabrics, the fit, everything - and the skirt is not too short at all, it looks just right on you.

  5. Totally fabulous! Just the right length too. Thank you for braving the cold. Wonderful photos.

  6. What a gorgeous suit! How did you manage to stand the cold while taking these pictures?

  7. I love your suit! The jacket is fabulous and I love the way you've highlighted the style lines. And I totally empathize with wanting the perfect weather conditions for a photo shoot! I'm in the same situation here in the UK. Days and days of wretched grey rain that don't really make an inspiring backdrop for a garment you've labored over.

  8. Not mutton dressed as lamb in my opinion!
    Elegant! Superb quality!
    Wear it proudly!


  9. Wow, how gorgeous. I love a good suit! And the pieces will also work separately. Well done!