It has taken a while, but I've had some more wardrobe rut realisations. Sewing this cheetah print skirt and simple Lark Tshirt were part of an ongoing campaign to snap out of it! Both nice, simple sews and very comfortable and easy to wear, in fact this was probably my most worn outfit during #MeMadeMay.
I've talked a lot about getting stuck in a clothes rut. When I started writing the blog the main issue I wanted to tackle was to stop living in jeans. I decided to make more dresses and skirts with the aim of choosing styles (in the most part) that were wearable every day. Tick.
It took ages for me to spot rut number 2 even though it was a glaringly obvious biggy. When wearing separates I pretty much always wore a plain on the bottom half and a print on the top. How bizarre for someone who is such a lover of prints and colours?! I mean I didn't even realise I was doing it.
As a result if I ever did happen to make or buy a printed skirt more often than not I'd have nothing to pair with it.
All of this was born out of a fear of plain garments being boring (why?) combined with a desire to maximise mix and match options between tops and bottoms.
So here come the learning points:
- Plain items of clothing aren't boring at all, what was I thinking? They are a necessary foundation of my wardrobe in top and bottom form if I want to mix things up a bit more.
- If I focus on sewing some printed bottom half garments paired with plain top half garments I'm giving myself a whole load of other looks and don't feel bored or like I'm reaching for the same things over and over again.
I realise this might all seem incredibly obvious for those of you reading it, but I was so surprised how long it took for the penny to drop for me. I thought I'd share it just in case it sparks any eureka moments for anyone else out there!
Pattern and Fabric
Bearing these revelations in mind I decided to make a skirt in our Cheetah print scuba. An all time lover of animal print, the fact it is top of the fashion stakes right now was a great excuse to make yet more animal inspired garments.
I wanted a quick, simple sew and thought clean lines would work best with the fabric so I opted for a tried and tested pattern Simplicity 1370. Although it looks a bit on the mini side, with a little bit of lengthening it makes a nice pelmet skirt.
Another recent wardrobe revelation - you just can't beat a nice basic T. They are everywhere on the High Street, in all my favourite stores. Not only do they look modern, but they also bring a nice casual feel to an outfit that might otherwise feel a bit dressy.
Enter the Lark T. This classic Tshirt pattern has been a firm favourite with the online sewing community for many years and I thought it was high time I found out what all the fuss was about.
I decided to make it in our gorgeous John Kaldor Cadiz cotton jersey, which never fails to impress. It washes and wears like a dream.
Adjustment and Sizing
I've made this skirt a few times before in denim and scuba you can see it here and here. I cut a size 12 and tapered in slightly at the hips and out slightly at the thighs (due to my body shape rather than any issues with the pattern).
The Lark T
I made a size 4 in the Lark Tshirt and made a toile. I knew I would have some of my usual fitting issues and wanted to get it right.
I made my usual high round back and forward shoulder adjustment, but the top was still pulling under the arms with drag lines pointing from the armpits towards my shoulders and neck.
I thought perhaps I needed to deepen the armscye, but wasn't sure. As luck would have it I was visiting my lovely friend and sewing and fit guru Anne Acosta. Anne is the Textiles Tutor at Loughborough University and also my co-host for the Stitchroom Sewcial event.
Anne spotted the problem straight away . The shoulder seams were way too short on me and needed lengthening. The fact that they were too short meant they were riding up towards my neck and this was pulling the armhole up - so obvious once someone pointed it out!
A simple adjustment to make Anne showed me to add on the necessary length at the shoulder seam then taper back to the armhole/sleeve notches at the front and back. I also tapered in slightly at the front because I'm narrower there than at the back.
To make the sleeve fit I measured between the shoulder point and notches and adjusted those accordingly.
It worked a treat, although in hindsight I think I could have lengthened them even further. I will definitely make this adjustment when I make the pattern again.
The construction of the skirt was super simple. I used a stretch needle with the scuba fabric and it was plain sailing.
I chose to add an exposed zip for a bit of interest and you can see a tutorial on how to do this here.
I hand sewed the hem for a neat, invisible finish.
The Lark T
I made the Tshirt on my Babylock Desire 3 Coverlock machine overlocking the seams and using the coverstitch mode for the hems and to stitch round the neckline. I love the finished result of the neckline.
I used our stretch interfacing on the neckband to prevent it stretching out of shape and make it a little stiffer.
I sewed 6mm ribbon across the shoulder seams to stabilise them.
I love this outfit as such it was one of my most worn outfits for #memademay.
I dressed it down in the day with trainers and a denim jacket then dressed it up in the evening with a leather jacket and heeled ankle boots. Versatile and comfy it's a win win for me.
Now I want to make lots more Larks in various colours to top up those plain basics.
- Simplicity 1370
- Cheetah print scuba fabric
- Stretch needles
- Grainline Studios Lark Tshirt pattern
- John Kaldor Cadiz fabric in ivory
- Stretch interfacing
- 6mm ribbon
Have fun sewing!
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