My FrankenStyle triptych and how I can’t dress down

Oh dear, some scheduling shenanigans happened this is the proper version, sorry if you received this too many times.

Autumn seemed to arrive abruptly after the glorious summer of heatwaves that we have had this year in the UK. I find that although where we live, the weather is quite mild, it always seems to go straight from “Whew, what a scorcher” weather to damp and dreary. I’d love a little more of a St Martin’s Summer, or that time when you can go wandering among the fallen leaves without slipping on them or walking a sludgy mess back into the house afterwards. To be honest, it’s not that bad, we have been remarking on how warm it still is at the end of October, so I’m talking nonsense.

OK, I’ll stop going on about the weather like the proper Brit I am. Where I was going is that my most recent bit of sewing is quite autumnal. My latest Minerva Brand Ambassador project is one of their new Exclusive range fabrics. It’s a great lightweight sweater knit in a lovely print called Herbal Halo. Taking my cue from the colours of the fabric I immediately started thinking, of loungewear, sweatshirts and lounge pants and casual stuff.

I started by looking at Pinterest and my pattern collection and then had a bit of fun drawing out my ideas in Affinity Designer. I’ve been really enjoying getting into this software and ever since I learned how to use a mask to insert a picture of the fabric, I’ve been playing with mock-ups of my proposed outfits and it really helps to visualise the project, especially for self-drafts, or pattern mash-ups like this.

I was considering a jumpsuit or a midi dress but then it evolved into a couple of two-pieces. The first was a faux jumpsuit and the second was a top and slim skirt made with New Look N6687, one of the plethora of patterns I’ve received with my Sew magazine subscription.

In the end, I made a triptych of garments. The first was another pair of Derwent Wide Leg trousers from @thatwendyward ‘s book “The Beginners Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabric” These trousers fit me so well and I’ve made them 4 times now. It works with different weight fabrics from this quite lightweight knit to heavy Ponte di Roma.

To make the blouse, I cut out the top section in size F as I did with the dress, but in addition, I made a 2.5 cm FBA to give me more room in the bust and left off the pocket. I made the collar as per the pattern and the cuffs are just tubes of fabric made large enough for me to pass my fist through. I then added a deep waistband with ties and tabs attached so it can be secured in the same way as the dress. I have slight regrets about pattern placement with the two large circular blobs being in unfortunately prominent positions but I’ll get over it.

After these two first items, I still had enough fabric to make a simple tube skirt – I love the silhouette of a pencil skirt and these are so easy to make. To start, I measured my hips at the widest point and added 2cm. This is the width of fabric you need, the length is up to you. I used thick (5cm) elastic for the waistband and attached this to the edge of the waist with the overlocker then turned it over. You can secure this with a row of zigzag stitches if necessary. I finished the hem by overlocking, turning it up 2cm and topstitching, et voilá!

This set is warm enough to wear outside on the still very mild days we are having, but they are also a bit secret pyjamas, plus I wouldn’t be averse to going Out Out in these either.

This ticked a lot of boxes, I still don’t have enough medium-weight tops so now I have one more, they were all relatively quick and easy and I have more loungewear, even though they still seem very fancy to me. I’m extra happy about how well the top pairs with other items in my wardrobe.

Are you sewing for the new season yet?

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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