The “It could always be a quilt” outift

The Facts
Fabric: Three pieces from quilting stash, two of them very VIP!
Pattern: New York pattern # 1779 for shirt, skirt self drafted
Year: 1950′s
Notions: Interfacing and 5 buttons for shirt; interfacing and hook-n-eye for skirt
Time to complete: ~4 hours + 4 days of searching for inspiration
First worn: May 2012
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$8.80

This was one of those challenges that I figured I’d just magically come up with some brilliant idea in the middle of the night, pull together the fabrics and BOOM! Done : )

Hah! I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do until Thursday. I spent three days looking through books, looking through boxes of fabric, asking friends for ideas… It started with the shirt fabric. I really love that piece and thought that if I HAD to do something with multiple prints then this was as good a start as any. I had several choices from two other pieces that were black/red/white combo to several co-coordinating prints that were so cutesy they were giving me a toothache.

What finally got me going was finding the Golden Girl of the West and her wonderful Mix it up print dress!

Isn’t she fabulous? You can check out her blog here. This outfit of hers is from August of 2010 and most likely a rayon or nylon print skirt/top combo. I also adore her hair, the snood, the shoes….

So I took my cue from her simple top and pulled out my new favorite top pattern, the same one I used for the Childhood challenge and wore with my circle skirt. The only thing I changed was cutting the sleeves about 2″ shorter. Easy, right?

The other two fabrics are in my “highly prized” collection, not only because they are cherry fabrics but because they are designed by someone I actually know! Sandy Klop designed the bottom two prints for Moda Fabrics and used to work at a local quilt store in town. She also does professional machine quilting and has quilted a couple of my quilts. The only one I’ve ever entered into a show won first place, partly due to her amazing work : )

I bought those fabrics at least 8 years ago and had plans to “one day” make a fabulous cherry quilt. When I pulled them out of the box they were so bright and cheerful that I figured if I didn’t like the finished outfit I could at least cut the skirt up and make my quilt anyway!

I wanted a skirt like Syd’s above, a little swingy but not full. I wanted the prints to work together and not look like I either skimped or was on my way to square dance social. I finally decided to try doing small pleats using my ruffler (you do know you can makes pleats with a ruffler as well as ruffles, right?) and liked the even-ness here, the slight 1.5/1 ratio works.

Had I know what I was doing from the start I could have had this sucker done by Wednesday and cruised through the rest of the week. Total sewing time was around 4 hours with lots of fussing in front of the mirror making sure lines were hitting me in the right place, considering whether I wanted to line the collar and sleeve edges with one of the skirt prints or…? The key to making these things work is editing! Otherwise I’d look like one of the Wicked Step Sisters I designed for a 50′s version of “Cinderella” and THAT was orange, yellow and lime gingham AND polka dots! (I’ll pull it out one of these days along with the platform shoes that match…)

I went a *little* overboard with the accessories! My cherry bakelite necklace HAD to be included and I piled on the red and butterscotch bakelite bracelets. I left some at home believe it or not : ) Those patent red “leather” shoes with bows over the toes are a very recent Target purchase. I’m telling you, ladies, since you liked my purple shoes of last week so much, you’ve gotta check out the shoe section at Target this season : )

My daughter and I went back to the local community gardens and park to take advantage of the 50′s Chevy wagon and the roses. I also tried doing Victory rolls with my hair for the first time in years. Turned out pretty well and when I took my mom an orchid for Mother’s day she said my grandfather used to call that hairstyle the “toilet seat”. I can see what he meant : ) BUT more importantly, my grandmother used to do this daily so I’m going to go see her for a one-on-one tutorial!

While I realize this isn’t multiple prints this is how I will most likely wear the shirt : ) Because I was so relieved to have finished this outfit and LIKED it I did a little dance of joy –

I’m including this last picture because it made my daughter laugh –

It’s a total blooper and makes me look like I’m in the middle of an “I Love Lucy” routine : )

Have I mentioned how much fun the last 20 weeks have been?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *