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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, August 4, 2012

A suitette and some housekeeping

The house-keeping first.

Thanks you all so much for your helpful comments under that last post. I have replied there and am going to experiment with your suggestions and post the results.

The comments are the best part of this blog so make sure you read them and my responses there when useful.

Of course this whole blog needs a big clean-up and redesign, but right now with all my courses this would cut into my sewing time, but I will get to it. One thing I did today was delete the comment sidebar because I couldn't figure out how to clean up the mess it made of punctuation, you know the $#%! stuff. If someone smart can tell me how to stop that, back the comments go, because as I said they are the best part of this blog.

Now onto the suitette.

The fabric was ponte knit from Fabricmart and lighter than I would have chosen except for a wearable muslin. I used Sophia knit from Fabric.com for the black knit skirt I made last weekend, and think that worked better. And I need to get my hands onto some wool double knit.

I used the Magic Skirt again and here it is without a belt so you can see how the elastic waist actually looks:

Yes those are tummy drag lines but what the hell. I earned that belly. I could wear Spanx, which I believe are somewhere in the back of the drawer, but probably won't.

The jacket for this suitette experiment was the StyleArc Cozy Cardi. I cut off the button overlap because I wanted to have it trimmed and closureless but feel I need more room. 

I am most definitely doing a FBA to that pattern, the rest of it fits very well, but you will note those are skinny sleeves, since I have no upper body strength whatsoever this is fine for me but may not be for other people - so I feel i should point that out.

When I first made this I thought to myself it should have been made in something heavier and I will file this under Good To Know. I interfaced the hem with a fusible tricot interfacing (I did this on all knit versions of this skirt) but even still the hems show more than I would like.

I did considerable trying this on in the bathroom and staring at it for long periods of time while people were waiting for me to do other things, and I slept on it last night.

In the end I have decided:

1. It is super comfortable and is a good semi-disguise for professional wear even though it feels like jammies.

2. It looked better than I thought the next day.

3. It really needs accessories. I am thinking a knit top with a bow at the V neck, a brooch, belt and I will wear this with black tights and heelish shoes.

Bottom line.

Suitettes have potential, particularly if you are time crunched like me (I needed to spend all yesterday morning with Miss Scarlett carrying stones in spoons and throwing them into a pail of water, I really needed to do that) and if you have become committed to comfortable clothes and there is just no going back.

Once I have figured this concept out, you know this is a one hour skirt and a two hour jacket. 

Think that through.

And to be totally transparent about this, it really isn't that I don't have time, as much as I am always thinking of the next project and don't want to be held up too much.

I already have an idea for the next suitette I am pretty excited about.

But first lace skirts.


Karen in VA said...

Love it!!! Think I'll need to copy this, as soon as I have time and energy. Would be much more comfortable than the tailored suits us cpa types usually wear....and are way too hot!!!

LyndaSewing.blogspot.com said...

It looks fantastic. If I wore skirt suits (which I haven't for YEARS,) this would be my type of outfit. And the idea that it feels like jammies makes it all that much better. All grandmas understand that sometimes carrying rocks with spoons to throw into a bucket is a very good use of your time. :P}}

annie said...

Very sharp! Love the color.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Add me to the love it column! Gawd I need to make a few of these for work especially in ponte knit which like you say is like wearing jammies. I think you need a purple set - dontcha think?

As an aside, you know why I started taking pictures all dolled up with make-up, hair and accessories, because it gave me a more accurate picture of what the garment would look like when I got dressed for work.

Judith said...

Sorry, can't help with the ##%$& problem, but if someones does solve the solution could you post it for all of us!!! It is just sooo annoying.
As for the outfit - just love it! Really suits you, and the colour is brilliant...

Barbara said...

Thanks for the comments, and ha Carolyn, in a big sewing room clean up tonight I found some purple knit... Good advice about auditioning accessories too.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! Also, are you going to be at the Melbourne meetup on the 18th (1:00 at Tessuti's)? Would be cool to see you in real life!

Barbara said...

Perfectrose I live in Canada although I write for Stitches and did live in Melbourne in the 80s. Beautiful city wish I could drop by on the 18th! Enjoy.

Linda said...

Love this! I really love the Magic Skirt and have plans to make a few more!

Audrey said...

I love your suitette. It looks comfortable and polished. Very flattering colors too!

Anonymous said...

The print skirt is my favourite - even better than the suitette. Two questions:

When you make the magic skirt, do you use the actual "fantastic elastic" from Pamela's patterns, or can normal elastic work?

How hard is it to wriggle into a pencil skirt with no zipper? Seems like an insurmountable challenge for me - wide flat butt, medium hips, small waist.

I'll check comments for an answer.

Barbara said...

To answer those questions - no as long as your elastic is wide enough 1 1/2" I believe you will be fine. I got mine on a roll at some place where I was doing a lot of just in case shopping.

I have no problem getting into the skirt, but there is only an 8" difference between my waist and hips. My sister is built like you are and is making one next. We will report.