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Oscars Worthy Holidays

Hey hey,

It’s Kten from @jinxandgunner and I am so excited to share my special holiday make with you.  When the ladies at Minerva reached out to inquire if I would be interested in collaborating on a holiday outfit with some very special fabric I took one look at the selection and thought- ABSOLUTELY, yes, but how am I ever going to decide on a fabric???

First world problems, am I right?  Well as you can see I did in fact decide on one and I was so pleased with my choice when it arrived. It is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.  To me red, green, silver and gold screams holidays but so does plaid and plaid has the added benefit of also screaming snuggly cozy, inviting winter-wear.  When I saw the fabric in person I was totally in awe.  How did they get that plaid on there??

I had a very clear vision of me in a mermaid sequin skirt with an oversized sweater tucked into the front and drinking a hot apple cider with a fragrant cinnamon stick popping out of the top.  Yum.  However, as everything was coming together I knew I had a little bit of extra fabric to work with because I’m great at efficiently cutting, so the idea of doing a little bit extra was ruminating in my mind as I worked. Slowly but surely the picture of a full nod to a tuxedo formulated in my head and before I knew it I was thinking full length sequin- ‘if I ever get invited to the Oscars- this is what Im going to wear’ ensemble. So naturally I did both.  

OK so, let’s take a step back. Let’s talk construction. I was originally thinking M7540 or Simplicity 8597 but ultimately ended up getting M7928 and M7386.  

One is for stretch fabric and one is for woven.  When my sequin fabric arrived I quickly realized there was cross wise stretch because the sequins are sew onto a light spandex-y fabric, but because they are sewn on in vertical lines, those vertical lines take out all the stretch along the length of the fabric.  Sooo I used the stretch pattern as my base, but of course I sewed up a muslin, which by the way is not a a given- unless its fabric I really treasure and/or I’ve made significant changes to the pattern I’m working with. Both were the case with this project.

Which brings me to the changes I made….  I used M7386 as my base pattern, but there were things about M7928, that I knew I wanted to incorporate into my skirt as well. I liked the idea of a peplum bottom so I traced off my pattern- because first things first, always have a back up!  Trust me- that’s just good life advice, ha and then I chopped off the bottom. Sounds wicked when I just blurt it out like that, but hey- that’s why I kept the original untouched. Below is a sketch of my changes overlaid the technical drawing from the back of the envelope.

The next step was to basically draft a circle skirt- but I didn’t want it to be toooo over the top- (yes there is irony in that), so I went with a 3/4 circle skirt. Then I cut out a muslin, made a couple of fit adjustments and those ultimately led me to bump the front of the peplum up 2” because as I was playing around with the proportions I decided I liked the look of a sloping seam line in profile.  

Then I decided to line the whole thing because I knew I was going to want to put horse hair braid into the hem, but often I  feel like that can leave a distinct ridge, so I decided to put my horse hair into the lining instead, which I think was pretty effective. It’s a softer look, but almost like having a mini petticoat built into my skirt.

After that I decided I needed to amp up the ‘me’ in this skirt- so I put an exposed metal zipper in the back which  A) I think looks so good and brings a little bit of edge to it, and B) has the unexpected benefit of distracting from ever so slightly mismatched pattern placement, lol.  I also knew that I wanted to add some tuxedo inspired stripes with grosgrain ribbon.  I love tuxedo stripes in general and I also love grosgrain details on garments, there’s just something so elevating about it.

One thing to note, is that when all was said and done I ended up with a pretty hefty skirt, so I hid some 1” wide elastic at the waist in between the self and lining and made it a little on the snug side which helps support the weight of the skirt.  I have to say though the lining is made of a thin neoprene for the top and a more medium weight neoprene for the peplum and it makes it sooo cozy.  This skirt looks like it’s crazy tight, but because everything is stretchy and neoprene has a bit of extra bounce to it, this skirt literally feels like slightly padded pajamas.

I draped the front and back bodice for this top on my dressform just because that’s something I have been getting into recently, but there are a ton of patterns that would be a great starting point, a couple free ones that come to mind are the Deer and Doe Plantain or the HalfMoon Atelier Super Basic Tank, or Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top is also probably a good option and actually the pattern I adapted the sleeves for this from.  I added a half inch to the sleeve cap off the bat to account for the fact that there is no lengthwise stretch in the fabric, and then made a muslin which resulted in adding about a 1/4” to the inside seam.

I chose to do a high boat neck in the front that dips down into a low U back. The skirt sits around my natural waist, so I did a slightly cropped top, in part because I was happy to have my lower back exposed, but I was also working with limited fabric and was fully committed to long sleeves for top drama. I did matching tuxedo stripes along the side seams of the top and decided to continue them down the seams of the sleeves as well. The bodice is lined with the same fabric I used to line the top section of the skirt and I sewed bust cups into the ‘outside’ of the lining so I could wear it fuss free. To be honest there is something going on with the sleeves and/or armsyce relationship because when I lift my arms they pull my top up with them a bit, so I did a quick fit-fix by sewing 1” elastic into the hem of the shirt, which also solved some minor gapping over my lower back.

Additionally since I knew I was thinking about building this project into a tuxedo inspired outfit, I figured I’d have to make a quick nod to a cumberband- because if you’re gonna do it, do it all, right?? So I took a rectangular scrap of neoprene from what I had used for the lining of the peplum, gathered the sides and attached two length of grosgrain ribbon to each end.  

 I didn’t get a clear picture of it, but when I tied them, I treated each side as one, so it creates a little X with a bow in the middle over my exposed lower back. 

As you can see in my picture overload I love it all and I hope you guys enjoyed reading along.  It’s so comfortable and wearable or comfortable and Oscar worthy (in my book at least), and even though I’m going to have limited occasions to wear the entire ensemble together, it breaks down into really wearable separates and more than anything, I feel so accomplished after seeing my ideas become a reality.

Thanks for reading along and if you’ve made it this far, come check out more pics at @jinxandgunner!

See you soon, 

Kten :)

Comment (1)

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A crafter said:

This is just STUNNING! Thank you so much for the tutorial too?? Sarah Webb( IG @sarahjw70) · 13th Oct 2019 07:56pm