I originally sewed the Lekala two-seam skirt in my last blog post as a “wearable muslin” for a sequinned skirt to wear to the Dressmaker’s Do back in June. In the end I only used the Lekela pattern as a vague guide.
Events like the Dressmaker’s Do and Frocktails are a great opportunity for me to try styles and fabrics that I wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to wear. Wedding invitations petered out years ago – I’m now more likely to be attending 50th birthday celebrations – and given the age of my children it’s going to be some time before invitations to formal events become more common again! Well, I’m sure that I’ll be sewing formal outfits for them, but not necessarily any for me.
This sequinned fabric had been sitting in my stash for some time. It is a remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and is small sequins embroidered onto a stretch mesh. I used my Lekela skirt pattern as a base to get the width of the skirt pieces correct and provide me with some waistline shaping, then just cut longer rectangles. You may have noticed that the sequinned fabric is actually sheer. I decided to use a light beige lining to just above the knee underneath.
I was literally sprinting out the door to catch the last bus to the Dressmaker’s Do so only managed a couple of quick outfit snaps before discovering that I can actually run in these heels. So, back to the skirt. It’s essentially two rectangles with elastic in a casing formed between the sequinned fabric and the lining. I sewed the side seams with the overlocker, stopping somewhere around knee length on one side to allow for a walking split. The lining was sewn the same way, with the lining and outer fabric sewn right sides together at the top of the waistline then the fabrics flipped and a casing sewn with a zig-zag (leaving an opening to thread the elastic through). I hemmed the edges of the side split and the bottom of the skirt with a very narrow hem simply turned once and sewn with a narrow zig-zag. The skirt took about an hour to sew. Ridiculously easy. The sequins were small enough and placed far enough apart to not create any difficulties.
So, to the top. It is top I from the book Stylish Party Dresses by Yoshiko Tsukiori. Because it was from a Japanese sewing book I was forced to trace the pattern, but as there weren’t many pieces it wasn’t too onerous. I will need to pull out the pattern to check what size I traced, but I assume it was size Large. The fabric is a poly crepe that was a remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics. I really enjoy sewing with crepes – the weave gives such pleasing results. This was a mid weight fabric so is rather substantial and has enough weight to fall in graceful folds. The colour changes a little depending on the light – I think that it is really a deep teal.
The front is a simple rounded neckline with a yoke and gathers just above the bust. The back V neckline stops just above my bra. Hooray! I added strap keepers to the inside shoulder seams to stop the top from showing my bra and to help keep it in place. I didn’t want to add the back tie as shown in the pattern book.
The sleeves are fairly wide, and in the pattern are simply hemmed. I decided that there was too much volume in the sleeves as they were as there was already plenty of volume in the hemline of the top, so threaded elastic through the sleeve hems to softly gather them in. I think that this worked well.
There were so many lovely outfits! All sorts of styles, all sorts of fabrics, and all sorts of colour! We had a wonderful evening – a delicious sit down meal, and plenty of opportunity to chat and chat and chat. Thanks so much to Nichola and Liesl for organising the night.