Hello everyone!

This month for Minerva Crafts Blogger Network I chose to make an outfit made of two separates. I though it would be fun to pick a pattern that has a capsule wardrobe feel, and make the separates versions of it, to wear together or separate in other outfits. Therefore for this month’s project I made the top and skirt (views C and D) of Simplicity 1105 (from Cynthia Rowley Collection) using John Kaldor Cotton Sateen Fabric for the blouse and this Stretch Cotton Needlecord Fabric for the skirt. For the top I wanted a fabric that had a bit of drape and not too stiff, whereas for the skirt I wanted the fabric to be a bit thicker and with some body.

For the blouse I made a toile first, which resulted in me needing to lengthen the blouse by about 5 cm. I did not account for this when I ordered the fabric and thought I will not have enough fabric for the facings as well. In the end I managed to squeeze them out of the fabric that was left over from cutting the bodice and the ties. I find it easier to cut the facings in interfacing and then fuse these to the fabric. The cotton satin was a dream to work with as it was easy to handle and it did not slide around.

I changed the order of construction for the blouse. I tend to get a better result if I finish the neckline before I finish off the side seams. Also, I finished the armhole edges using the partial burrito technique. After which I did any under-stitching needed to keep the facings from showing on the right side.

Because I did not want any stitching to show, even on the inside, I used a little trick and stitched the facings seams to the garment’s seams together. This keeps the facings secure and they do not move when putting the top on or taking it off.

The skirt is very simple to make. Due to the fabric being a bit thick, I wanted to keep to a minimum the bulk on the seam where the skirt meets the waistband, so I stitched the side seams and used red bias tape (which I had in my stash) to finish the lower edge of the facing and added my little label at the same time. It gives the skirt a bit more personality, even if you cannot see it form the outside. I know the inside has lovely details, which make it special to me.

Usually with most patterns for bottoms I have to shorten them. But with this skirt I thought that it’s short on a tall person, on me it will probably fall just above my knees, which is the length I was aiming for. Man, I was so wrong! Once I put the waistband on I thought on a whim to try it on. You won’t believe it. It was short, even shorter if I would have used the 1.5 cm hem allowance. So that my project did not land into the unfinished/failed projects pile, I used red bias tape to hem the skirt. I did not give me much length, but it’s wearable.

During these lovely hot days, I’ve been wearing the top a lot. I particularly, love the back detail, which was what made me go for this pattern in the first place. I love the fact that you can tie a bow or just use a delicate knot.

I like how the drape of the fabric makes the top look very feminine and with a little bit of a breeze it actually keeps me cool when it is too hot outside. I see this top paired with high waisted trousers or skirts. One of the reasons is because if you raise your arms your midsection gets exposed, which is something I do not like (this was not an issue with the skirt from this pattern).

The skirt is a basic little number, that can be paired to make an outfit more elegant or more causal depending on the occasion you chose to wear it. Over the years, I came to appreciate that simple garments get a lot more wear and it is easier to use them in my outfits.

Usually I tend to wear separates. And with this project I managed to get two garments that I can wear together or separately. I think I’ll be looking into using capsule wardrobe patterns in the future to make some coordinating garments.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity 1105 from Cynthia Rowley collection

Fabric: for the top: 1 m of cotton sateen and for the skirt: 1 m of stretch needlecord

Notions: 9 inch invisible zipper (I used a longer one than the instructions call for, which is 7”)

Sewing time: in total approx 4-5h (including tracing the pattern, not including the toile for the top)

Modifications: I made size 10 (based on finished garment measurements) for both the top and the skirt. I prefer my garments to be a bit fitter. I shortened the bodice of the blouse by 1.3 cm (a modification that I make on all Simplicity patterns) to raise the bust into the correct position for my frame.

Fit: both the dress and the skirt fit ok.

Difficulty: advanced beginner

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: yes

Watch out for: be aware that the length on the skirt and the blouse are on the short side. Even for me, whom I am 5ft2 I found they were a bit too short. I will

Make Again?: Yes, I think I will make this combo again, not necessarily to match.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.


Sewing Adventures in the Attick