Half a Crepe (dress) & a year-old pumpkin (sweater knit…)

Alright you adorable koalas. I’m running low on title inspiration. But not on sewing inspiration! I finished not one, but TWO new garments this weekend that make me very happy! A nice, fall sweater and skirt.

This was sort of a surprise project. I woke up Sunday morning, thinking about one of the inspiration pictures  for my fall sewing. This one – from the Louis Vuitton fall RTW collection. (Picture nabbed from New York Magazine.)

Obviously, the first detail that jumped and insisted on being worked into my wardrobe was the fish-scale skirt, followed by the Laura Ingalls-meets-fireman-boots (but blue). OK. I’m being sarcastic. And OK, I really dig those boots, but back to my point, what I really loved about this was the neckline and shoulders of the, um, top. There is not general-use word for a shirt-type garment that doesn’t remind me of my grandma.

So moving on. I woke up Sunday morning thinking about this design and how I loved it so and didn’t really include anything in that silhouette in my fall plan. I engaged in some half-asleep morning plotting and jumped out of bed to investigate my stash. What I came up with…

1) ONE out of print Butterick pattern. For knits. Uncut. (Butterick 4230, for those curious koalas… it’s on ebay right this minute)

2) ONE already cut copy of the Colette Crepe. Size 18.



3) TWO yards. Itchy orange sweater knit. Purchased last fall from S.R. Harris.

4) THREE yards. Silky, flowy, deep brown wool suiting. Also from S.R. Harris sometime last winter…

I grabbed my two patterns and five yards of fabric and scuttled off to my sewing nook to make something new. Actually, I didn’t scuttle anywhere. I was already in my nook. I spent a good part of the day in there and by bedtime I had a nice new sweater, with it’s portrait-like collar nod to the inspiration photo, and a matching wrap skirt that I threw together using the skirt pieces from the Crepe dress.

I even used the odd bell sleeves that were included with the pattern! I think I like them. I’m not postive, yet. Bell sleeves always strike me as a bit too Stevie Nicks, but perhaps the orange fuzzy acrylic sweater knit offsets that in this instance?

The skirt wraps all the way around and I left INCREDIBLY long ties on. Enough for a simple knot to the back, or a giant bow on the front. I’m not kidding, koalas. It’s the size of a bow you’d put on a car. If you were giving one as a gift. Like in the commercials around Christmas.

I went with the Colette skirt because I wanted something a-line and am not always thrilled with that skirt style. I’ve really liked the way the Crepe looks, but didn’t want a whole dress. I thought I could make it work. It’s lined in silk! Mmmmmmm…. silky.

A close up of the detail on the sweater. And my shockingly clashing hair and lips to go along with that sweater. Tomorrow I’ll include more detail shots. Like of the silk lining. Mmmmm silk. Also, more detailed notes on making half a crepe and fashioning a portrait collar. In the meantime these photos and that giant pile of eucalyptus will just have to be enough to tide you over!

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  • Nightlygardener
    September 7, 2011

    Patti I LOVE those colors on you!

  • K-Line
    September 6, 2011

    This is just beautiful. I don’t know why one cannot find high end sweater knit. I’d gladly pay for it. I think I have that same knit but in grey. It’s not bad looking but the feel isn’t rich.
    K-Line recently posted..EuroLoot: Wedge-Heel Boots – AmsterdamMy Profile

  • Redrockcity
    September 6, 2011

    That is brilliant! Both the color and the style. Most brilliant of all is using the skirt from the Crepe as a stand alone piece. I will have to copy. You. Are. A. Genius!! (-:

  • Rhonda
    September 6, 2011

    i ADORE the neckline on the sweater/top. have to get the pattern. the whole outfit looks fantastic on you.

  • Alessa
    September 6, 2011

    It’s a lovely sweater, I love that neckline and detail! :) Also, the half-a-Crepe-skirt is very pretty!
    Alessa recently posted..Self-Stitched Saturday & SundayMy Profile

  • JillyBe
    September 6, 2011

    I LOVE these colors on you! You know why? Because I see YOU, and your lovely smiling face, instead of focusing on the clothes. I vote for more of these colors in your closet!

  • Lauren
    September 6, 2011

    what a great color combo! i don’t think the orange clashes with your hair & lipstick at all, although i’m definitely one to mix reds that shouldn’t belong together :B
    Lauren recently posted..another rooibos – v2.0My Profile

  • Shams
    September 6, 2011

    What a great outfit! Very flattering, both the style and the colors. I LOVE the colors and don’t think the orange/rust clashes with your hair at all. I’m surprised that acrylic fabric is itchy!

  • Seraphinalina
    September 6, 2011

    What a great outfit! I love the swishiness of the skirt, the colours look beautiful on you. I think that’s just fantastic.

  • Amy
    September 6, 2011

    What a wonderful weekend of sewing you had! You deserve it after the busy work schedule you posted the other day. I love the creativity you put into both pieces. And the colors as well! Gorgeous! I recently made a skirt from half a dress pattern. I was both surprised and delighted with how straightforward it was. I can’t wait to see if you did much of the same to make the Crepe into a skirt.
    Amy recently posted..Up Next: A Colorful Pleated SkirtMy Profile

  • Debbie Cook
    September 6, 2011

    Definitely great colors on you, and your hair doesn’t clash at all. Pumpkin is perfect for a redhead! Both pieces look fantastic on you!
    Debbie Cook recently posted..Breaking the Labor Day RuleMy Profile

  • LaUra
    September 6, 2011

    Funnily enough I was just thinking about making half a Crepe the other way..just the top- as a muslin, but I thought it would be cute to have a wrap top with a sash so long you could wrap a car in it. In plaid! I love the way that brown suiting hangs in the wrap skirt, and I love the classic simplicity of both pieces. I mean, I could go on and on about the orange portrait sweater, but come on- it’s an orange sweater, I want to cuddle it like I would Lucy, ’nuff said. I do feel the bowish detail has optimum vintage brooch anchoring ability, which is quite practical.

    I’m so glad you sewed up a storm! Also, that brown skirt will look great with hot pink on top too.

  • Debi
    September 6, 2011

    LOVE this colour combo! That top is utterly divine and I love the thought of the crepe as a skirt–brilliant as always! Thanks for the inspiration, Patty!
    Debi recently posted..last chance for tartan giveaway AND culotte pattern giveaway winnerMy Profile

  • Audrey
    September 6, 2011

    Great fall outfit. The colors, soft fabrics and styles of the sweater and skirt look great on you.

  • Corinne
    September 6, 2011

    I absolutely love, adore, croon and swoon on that sweater! the front detail is Koala divine, superb, special. looking forward to your tips.
    Corinne recently posted..Labor Day, The Door Closes on SummerMy Profile

  • LeahR
    September 6, 2011

    I think this is a perfect outfit for you. I love the color of the sweater knit. I think the portrait collar is very flattering. And the skirt is completely lovely. I am anxious to see how you altered the pattern to be just a skirt. Genius!

  • Shelly
    September 6, 2011

    Wow!! I really love this colour combination on you and so perfect for Autumn. I like your choice of neckline, it’s very flattering. Can’t wait to see how you made it.
    Shelly recently posted..A season of colour!!!My Profile

  • Sølvi
    September 6, 2011

    Wow – these colors looks fantastic on you, and the whole outfit is so pretty! What a great idea to use the crepe for this! A perfect look! :-)
    Sølvi recently posted..Autumnal sewing plansMy Profile

  • Tamsin
    September 6, 2011

    wow – what a fantastic combination! Love the collar on your top. Even if I shut myself away for a whole day, I would never manage to finsih two items of clothing, probbaly not even one…!

  • Stevie
    September 6, 2011

    I love that combination! Very autumnal and I cant wait until you show us how you did the neckline! Interesting necklines can make basic shirts look fantastic. This looks very Mad Men Chic!
    Stevie recently posted..Fall Palette… Theres more…My Profile

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