Greetings chickens! I don’t care if the city says we aren’t allowed and the neighbors are complaining. We’re totally keeping you.

So! For tonight’s post, I’m unveiling not one, not even two, but THREE new garments! This post promises to be low on the exposition and high on the visual interest. Just like Pulp Fiction. I’ll be Uma, you guys can all be whoever you’d like, except for the girl-half of the restaurant robbery team. She was so annoying.

Speaking of John Travolta, let’s get down to the first garment, another version of Hot Pattern’’s Weekender Cabana T-Shirt. I’ve made this before, each time adjusting the details a bit. Here’s the newest – the Frenchie sweater.

Let me draw your attention to a few details – mainly, the little knot in the neckline and the ruching at the sideseam. I wanted a little something for the neck, so I just looped a strip of the sweater knit around the neckband before I basted the neckband to the shirt. I like it AND it makes an excellent super-reinforced loop for the fastening of vintage brooches…

The ruching was pretty simple – I ran a line of gathering stitches along the sideseam, then cut pieces of hem tape to act as a stay. I learned my lesson when I did the side ruching for my recent T-shirt adventure – instead of store bought stay tape, which is itchy, I thought hem tape would be nice and soft and it appears I was right. The hem-tape-stays are about four inches long and the gathering stitches ran about eight inches. I gathered everything up, pinned to death to the stay and stitched it down.

Even taking out that length with the ruching, the sweater is long enough to wear belted over trousers. This fitted on top and wide legged on the bottom look is a silhouette I tend to stick with. I’m not sure it’s the most flattering, but I really like it!

Let’s have some full-on Frenchie, shall we? Where’s my pink lady jacket?

The other new detail is a new sleeve length. I’m digging that just-above-the-elbow length! Previous versions of this pattern include the white bow sweater, the Mondo tribute outfit, and the twofer green dots and stripey shirts.

Moving on… I finished up the pink sweater and was inspired to work on a black skirt. Up until this week, I have not had a plain black skirt in my possession for quite some time. I had about five yards of a nice, lightweight black suiting on hand – I think it’s probably gabardine and it’s VERY flowy. I made another version of the lotus blossom skirt from the wool.

What’s more classic than pink and black? This skirt is missing quite a few details that were present on the original lotus blossom – instead of a front fly, this closes with a back zipper and a button on the waistband. I skipped the pockets and it’s fully lined.

I think it’s a perfectly acceptable wardrobe-staple skirt, although I’m not sure if it qualifies for my classic wardrobe project, mostly because the fit isn’t flawless. It’s also scandalously short!

I finished the skirt a few days ago and was nearly ready to do a post on the skirt and sweater duo, when I was overcome with an urgent need to follow up the black skirt with a matching black tailored tank. I dug through my pattern stash and remade Butterick 5333 (previous version is here.)

This was, of course, in lieu of sewing an entire black sheath dress. Having the shirt and skirt as separates will be a bit more versatile for me.


You can see there’s still some fitting issues to work out – especially in the back of the shirt. I narrowed the bottom ‘skirt’ part of the shirt so that it would be easier to wear under cardi’s and jackets – this caused more pulling than I anticipated! I even sewed everything with a 3/8 seam allowance instead of 5/8.

I was rather surprised at how much I like the general shape, seeing as how fitted the look is! Of course, since I’m addicted to belts, I prefer it with a wide belt…

After the shirt was finished, I cut myself off. I do, however, have enough wool left over for a coordinating jacket. I think that’s pretty much a requirement, don’t you?

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