Hi everyone! Wow, I can't believe it's April already... time is really flying by! I had a very busy March - both at work and in the sewing sphere, and, perhaps most importantly, I had a birthday! I am now the ripe old age of 29!
This month's make for the Mood Sewing Network was a bit of a challenge. Literally. We were given the task to choose a designer and make a completely unique look inspired by their 2014 spring runway collection. I was pretty psyched about the concept - and also a little nervous! It felt a bit like being back in school and having to problem solve my way through an assignment. How do you make a look that hearkens to a designer, yet doesn't directly copy them, and also maintains a sense of your own individual style? Tricky stuff indeed, my friends. However, choosing a designer was a total no-brainer for me. Rachel Comey is probably the only designer who I continue to keep tabs on, no matter what, and I've had a long standing girl-crush on her for, literally, years. I love her collections, I love her shoes, I loved her patterns for Vogue (hint hint... could we get more of those please??) Like this one... and this one...
Comey's spring collection was really all over the place. Above are a few of my favorite looks from it (you can view the whole collection here). Crazy, tattered denim culottes? Check! Lace getups that are both seductive and frumpy? Check! Velvet slip dresses reminiscent of the 90's? Check! Psychedelic swirly printed sweatshirts? Check, check, and more check!! Really, it was hard to come away with a cohesive statement from this collection, but that's also what made it so great to work with - it allowed for a lot of freedom of interpretation.
In the end I decided to create a look that was maybe a bit more feminine than what Comey was showing, but I think it would still fit into her collection with ease. I tried to focus in on a few key elements from a few different looks - the fabric of a piece here, the midriff baring there, skirt lengths, layering and accessories...
I used this white cotton brocade from Mood Fabrics online store to create this crop-top and pencil skirt. As soon as this fabric arrived I knew I had made a good choice. It was almost identical to this textured, white fabric that appeared in Comey's collection:
This cotton is more ivory than white and has an almost slub-like texture to it, and a very pretty, subtle sheen. It's 100% cotton, but has a generous amount of width-wise give, which made it perfect for this sort of curve-hugging silhouette. It was super easy to work with, as cottons often are, but it did fray something awful, so I was very careful not to handle the cut pieces more than necessary and definitely made sure to enclose all my raw edges. I fully lined both the skirt and the top with white cotton batiste, which I love as a lining for warm weather clothing. It gave a nice sturdiness to both of these pieces, while also adding much needed opacity.
|Please excuse that attention-whore of a bra strap... always trying to steal the show...|
I used the top portion of By Hand London's Georgia dress for the crop-top, simply adding a back button placket so I could get it on and off. This was a really great way to test the fit of this pattern, without committing to the whole dress. I simply lopped the pattern off at the waist notch, then added an additional inch for a hem. I did have to make a few adjustments to the bust cups - mainly taking out some of the volume from the bust apex. Now that I've got the fit figured out (mostly at least... I could still tweak away...) you can bet that I'm dreaming up other versions of this dress!
The skirt is Burda 117 which I liked because it has the perfect mix of high-waisted, long-hemmed, body-hugging silhouette, and includes a back vent (an absolute must for this type of skirt). Of course I still had to take it in some sort of ridiculous amount through the side seams to get the kind of fit I wanted, but all in all that's an easy adjustment to make.
|You can see the texture of the fabric a bit better in these close ups|
One thing that is definitely for certain - Sonja and I have totally been drinking from the same crop-top + pencil skirt kool-aid this spring! If that's not a sign that this trend has arrived, than I don't know what is! You heard it here first folks - crop-tops and pencil skirts are so. right. now. If I'm being completely honest, I kind of can't believe I not only decided to make a crop-top, but then photographed myself wearing it and posted it on the internet!! I can honestly say that I have never worn a crop-top before in my life! Not being blessed with abs of steel (more like abs of marshmallow) I always thought it was a look that I couldn't pull off, but I think the proportions of these pieces really help make this outfit more flattering.
Also (true confessions) I actually had the best of intentions of making another Tessuti Tokyo jacket in denim to go along with this outfit. I was even planning on distressing the hems and pockets, like my girl Rachel Comey. However my plans were utterly foiled when I was struck ill mid-month with... well I'm not quite sure, but I've been calling it consumption which pleases the Victorian Gothic in me, and also the plague, which suits the Medieval Mystic in me. In fact, I can still be found hacking out my lungs most nights! So, alas, the denim Tokyo jacket got put off and instead I donned my beloved shibori dyed Tokyo jacket, since I thought Rachel (yeah, we're on a first name basis... in my head) would approve.
Also, how do you like my new clogs?? I'm in looooovvveeeeee!!!!!
Happy spring everyone!