07 October, 2015

Purple Passion Peplum = a two piece dress

This is the story of a nice little two-piece dress that just happened!

I'd meant to grab a skirt's length of this intriguing shirred cotton-rayon jacquard from EmmaOneSock, but before I got my nerve up high enough to break my fabric fast (ahem!), the last bit of it got sold out from under my mouse click.  Darn, I thought, and, eternal optimist that I am, checked for it on roll ends.  Success!!! well, sort of - the roll end was a two-er: two lengths of a skirt, not one.  Oh hang it, in for a penny, in for a pound, rationalized she... and a two piece dress was born.

The skirt was easy:  

sew the selvedges together, serge the upper raw edge, turn it down, insert 3/4" non-roll elastic, press and stitch a double-turn narrow hem:  done!

The blouse turned out to be a bit more of a process. 

The first version was the result of two main moves:

1. cut off and flip the upper heavy-jacquard yoke so it's colour-reversed with the skirt's bottom.  Not a huge difference from far away, but it seems brighter that way at close view.  
The skirt is exactly like the right half of this pic.  The blouse has the  reversed (at lower left) yoke over the shoulders and the same purple (at upper right) main part.  Clear as mud?
2. remove about half of the shirring from the lower waist area. I'm a shortie, and thus very short waisted.  A six inch tall waistline stretching down to my nether regions would look very strange indeed. 

I also curved down the off shoulder part of the blouse's shoulder seam for a cap-sleeve effect (otherwise the yoke would've stuck out to the sides like a piece of flat cardboard) and, though this isn't visible in the photo below nor on me, curved down slightly the neckline opening both in the front and the back:

Done, I thought, and took some end-of-project photos. 

And here, my dear friends, is where blogging becomes invaluable.  Perhaps not for you, the readers - you tell me! - but emphatically so for the blogger:  if not for the fact that I wanted to show you this me-made easy-peasy no-pattern outfit here, I'd not have photo'ged it, and I'd not have had the opportunity to see it on little ole me in the harsh light of day.  Especially not its back.  

To my eyes, the front looked okay - perhaps a little top-long, but tolerable: 

I mean, really:  on a live person, in motion, in often dubious lighting, seated behind a table perhaps, and, almost guaranteed, not through the eyes of another sewer - yes, acceptable IRL (in real life).  But the back of the blouse, which I'd never have looked at if not for said photos, said screamed to me, I belong on a much bigger woman!!!!  At 30,000 feet!!! In free-fall!!!!

Back to the drawing board....

Stage two saw me undo the lower yoke seam and shorten the below-yoke part of the blouse by 1.5" in the front and 2" in the back, and add two vertical darts in the back, each of which had a 1.5" bite out of the fabric at its (the dart's) widest, just above the shirring.  Here's the result: 

It may look a little uneven, but that's just my "heavy backpack over my raised left shoulder" lousy posture.  In close-up, the darts are even: 

hope think you'll agree that they've brought the back's flapping parachute back down to solid ground.

The changes are subtle - perhaps too subtle for a real-life interlocutor to notice;  after all, people don't usually talk to your back.  Still, they're sufficiently significant to make the difference to me:  the difference between an "almost but not quite wearable closet orphan"  and a "rockin' two-piece LBD LPD"!  I'm SO going to wear this baby:



  1. This is absolutely lovely. You are definitely rocking it.

  2. Wonderful outfit! You've proved that it is so worth it to go back and fix whatever bothers you to make an outfit actually wearable.