One part pink sweater, two parts black wool.

Greetings chickens! I don’t care if the city says we aren’t allowed and the neighbors are complaining. We’re totally keeping you.

So! For tonight’s post, I’m unveiling not one, not even two, but THREE new garments! This post promises to be low on the exposition and high on the visual interest. Just like Pulp Fiction. I’ll be Uma, you guys can all be whoever you’d like, except for the girl-half of the restaurant robbery team. She was so annoying.

Speaking of John Travolta, let’s get down to the first garment, another version of Hot Pattern’’s Weekender Cabana T-Shirt. I’ve made this before, each time adjusting the details a bit. Here’s the newest – the Frenchie sweater.

Let me draw your attention to a few details – mainly, the little knot in the neckline and the ruching at the sideseam. I wanted a little something for the neck, so I just looped a strip of the sweater knit around the neckband before I basted the neckband to the shirt. I like it AND it makes an excellent super-reinforced loop for the fastening of vintage brooches…

The ruching was pretty simple – I ran a line of gathering stitches along the sideseam, then cut pieces of hem tape to act as a stay. I learned my lesson when I did the side ruching for my recent T-shirt adventure – instead of store bought stay tape, which is itchy, I thought hem tape would be nice and soft and it appears I was right. The hem-tape-stays are about four inches long and the gathering stitches ran about eight inches. I gathered everything up, pinned to death to the stay and stitched it down.

Even taking out that length with the ruching, the sweater is long enough to wear belted over trousers. This fitted on top and wide legged on the bottom look is a silhouette I tend to stick with. I’m not sure it’s the most flattering, but I really like it!

Let’s have some full-on Frenchie, shall we? Where’s my pink lady jacket?

The other new detail is a new sleeve length. I’m digging that just-above-the-elbow length! Previous versions of this pattern include the white bow sweater, the Mondo tribute outfit, and the twofer green dots and stripey shirts.

Moving on… I finished up the pink sweater and was inspired to work on a black skirt. Up until this week, I have not had a plain black skirt in my possession for quite some time. I had about five yards of a nice, lightweight black suiting on hand – I think it’s probably gabardine and it’s VERY flowy. I made another version of the lotus blossom skirt from the wool.

What’s more classic than pink and black? This skirt is missing quite a few details that were present on the original lotus blossom – instead of a front fly, this closes with a back zipper and a button on the waistband. I skipped the pockets and it’s fully lined.

I think it’s a perfectly acceptable wardrobe-staple skirt, although I’m not sure if it qualifies for my classic wardrobe project, mostly because the fit isn’t flawless. It’s also scandalously short!

I finished the skirt a few days ago and was nearly ready to do a post on the skirt and sweater duo, when I was overcome with an urgent need to follow up the black skirt with a matching black tailored tank. I dug through my pattern stash and remade Butterick 5333 (previous version is here.)

This was, of course, in lieu of sewing an entire black sheath dress. Having the shirt and skirt as separates will be a bit more versatile for me.


You can see there’s still some fitting issues to work out – especially in the back of the shirt. I narrowed the bottom ‘skirt’ part of the shirt so that it would be easier to wear under cardi’s and jackets – this caused more pulling than I anticipated! I even sewed everything with a 3/8 seam allowance instead of 5/8.

I was rather surprised at how much I like the general shape, seeing as how fitted the look is! Of course, since I’m addicted to belts, I prefer it with a wide belt…

After the shirt was finished, I cut myself off. I do, however, have enough wool left over for a coordinating jacket. I think that’s pretty much a requirement, don’t you?

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  • Denise
    April 13, 2011

    Very sexy. I like them all.

  • montanachic
    April 13, 2011

    I love your last look,two pieces that look like one, great job. I am also addicted to belts. I hope they are a trend that will stay around for a long time. You have a great blog, I found it from your mini wardrobe pattern review. You are one crazy talented seamstress :)

  • lizajane
    April 12, 2011

    I love the idea of making a tank and skirt separate to form a pseudo sheath dress. All of your pieces are gorgeous.

  • Joy
    April 12, 2011

    All the pieces are nice, at least bordering on classic(: I LOVE the sweater, especially with your poka dotted styling.

  • Sarah
    April 12, 2011

    Great pieces! I love the knot on neckline of the pink sweater.

    I just finished a Chanel style jacket a couple of months ago and I really don't love it like I thought I would. I'm really busty and its just not flattering. I think I need a collar or a v-neck or…. just something other than the collarless high round neck on a jacket.

    But, I love the idea of a versatile jacket that could be worn to work or just thrown on with some jeans. I think I'm going to try a muslin of Vogue 8692 next.

  • Vanessa
    April 12, 2011

    I love that black skirt, fitting issues and all!

  • Tanit-Isis
    April 12, 2011

    Ooh, I want to be the French chick with the sexy pot belly! She's adorable.

    Love the new pieces! The pink sweater is awesome, and good work on the faux sheath! They are a good colour combo too.

    I must admit I am fighting off the dress-making urge over here….

  • [patty the snug bug]
    April 12, 2011

    Andrea – if you get it, don't forget that I cut mine down a LOT – the white bow sweater post has pics of what I did (if I remember correctly) also! We have it in our Etsy shop at store – free shipping!

    Laura – I'm not sure why, but I'm not a fan of the chanel style jacket – although I'm intrigued by your using 'shaped' – I don't really like 'em because they're so boxy. Also, because of the high number of knockoffs in the 'womens' sections of the clothing stores! You'll have to school me when I next see you!

    Everyone else – yay for scalloped hems!

  • Sølvi
    April 12, 2011

    Pink and black looks perfect on you! Love the lotus in black. Very nice!

  • Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood
    April 12, 2011

    holy crap that looks so cute!

  • Alexandra Mason
    April 12, 2011

    These are great! I love the black tank with your lotus blossom skirt and your pink top is gorgeous.

  • LAP
    April 12, 2011

    I just love the fitted look on you! And the pink sweater is divine, especially the neck loop detail.

    I love the idea of a cardigan shaped, Chanel inspired jacket too, the length of your cropped jean jacket. I think it would be so versatile in your whole wardrobe, as well as the mini-wardrobe.

  • Andrea
    April 12, 2011

    I agree, I like the black skirt even more than the original. This sweater solidifies my need for the Weekender Tee pattern.

  • Miss P
    April 12, 2011

    Crikey lady!! You HAVE been busy! Great stuff!

  • Laurwyn
    April 12, 2011

    Wow!That is being productive!

    That skirt! I loved it in beige, but I like it almost more in black! There is something about that scalloped edge, it is so flattering!

  • Alessa
    April 12, 2011

    Oooh, I love your two new outfits! Very casual-elegant and I do think they fit the "classic" wardrobe. The pink&black is a really good look for you!

  • [patty the snug bug]
    April 12, 2011

    I think I must have tugged it down during the wardrobe change! put on the trousers in between the pink sweater and the black shirt…

  • Jane
    April 12, 2011

    Super cute looks! Why is it that the skirt looks shorter with the pink top than the black? It's a sort of optical illusion. Maybe the cute pinkness makes other sassy details stand out! I have just started sewing with knits for my small peeps and dying to do something for myself but not sure what… this is very inspiring.

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