Red & Navy Stripes
Posted on Friday the 21st October 2016 by Lady Sewalot
My latest Minerva make is a double whammy. I've been looking for the perfect navy and white striped knit for yonks and yonks and yonks, and as soon as I saw it on their Instagram I knew it would be included in one of my kits. Then I had to decide what I wanted to pair it with. In the end I decided to go classic red pleated skirt for that timeless silhouette.
The navy striped knit is a Ponte Roma Fabric, and I was slightly concerned that it would be too thick but it was perfect for the fitted top that I wanted. The fabric is super soft and makes a really cosy top. I took my time with the stripe matching and I'm really pleased with the results, especially with the sleeves because that's something I've never been quite successful with before.
Pattern-wise for the top I just used the bodice pieces from the Lady Skater Dress pattern, drawing in a higher neckline and lengthened them about 6 inches. I probably would have been safer using a t-shirt as a guide for hip width and length because it is a wee bit snug around the hips.
The sleeves were originally full length, but there was just too much stripe going on so I shortened them to just below the elbow. The proportions are a lot better now, for the sacrifice of constantly chilly forearms. I was very tempted to chop off the top of the top to make it an off-the-shoulder top but I wasn't prepared to get that chilly. Maybe in the spring.
And as for the skirt, I used the Zeena dress pattern from By Hand London (omitting the bodice) and a lovely bright red stretch cotton sateen. It has the most wonderful volume to it which creates the wonderful fit and flare silhouette. I used the longest length of the pattern and liked the length just as it was when I tried it on, so I added a hem facing to keep it as close to that as possible.
I made sure when I cut out that the centre back seam was cut on the selvedge so I didn't have to finish those edges. The side seams were French seamed. I tacked all of the pleats, except for the pleats on each side seam which I kept open. Then I tried it on and pinned the pleats on either side to fit my waist. Then I could add the invisible zip and the waistband.
I slip-stitched the waistband closed on the inside and added a popper, tried the skirt on and it was too big! This always happens to me with pleated skirts and I'm not quite sure why. I didn't want to rip everything out so instead I opened up the waistband and inserted some elastic in just to the back pieces, not enough to show on the outside but enough to just cinch the waist in a little. I tried the skirt on again, and it was still that bit too big, so I added some to the front and it worked, but I stretched the elastic just a little bit too much and now the front waistband is all ripply. Before I next wear it I'll rip up the waistband again and take out the elastic at the front and perhaps stretch the elastic at the back just a little bit more.
Overall I'm really happy with the outfit. I feel very chic in it and I look forward to mixing and matching the pieces with other items in my wardrobe.
Thanks very much to Minerva Crafts for the kit and to Lucy for taking the photos!