Here's a two-in-one sewing post, because one post means less writing (typing) than two. And I'm lazy.
I finished this blouse months ago, in the summer in fact, but only wore it for the first time two weeks ago! Why the delay? Well, about the time I completed it, Manbacon and I bought tickets to see Swans at Koko. Swan blouse, Swan band - coincidence? I think not! So I decided to wait until the day of the gig to take the blouse for its first outing. Long wait...and not a very sensible choice on a cold November night, since the blouse was hidden under layers of coat and scarf. Anyway, I had made up my mind, and so it was done.
The pattern, as you can see, is Simplicity 5451, purchased about two years ago on eBay. I never felt any inclination to actually use it...until I found this pink and white swan fabric - actually a sheet - in the op-shop about a year ago. I knew what it would become as soon as I found it.
'Overnight Success'! Well, the pattern cover wasn't too far off, although it did take me slightly longer than overnight due to other projects. The contrasting collar and cuffs were less a design decision and more a running-out-of-fabric decision. The sheet was rather narrow and short (I think it might have been meant for a baby's cot?) so there simply wasn't enough fabric for the collar and cuff facings. I think the white accents help give the blouse a bit of a 1950s diner waitress look though, so I'm not complaining. Finally, the plastic buttons were harvested from the duvet cover that turned into my Summer Safari dress.
On to the skirt. It's based on my trusty pencil skirt pattern, except I redrafted it slightly so that the front waist darts become princess seams. This allows for the insertion of panels of different fabric into the sides of the skirt. It's a great way to add interest to a fairly plain design, and allows for smaller amounts of fabric to be used.
The main fabric came from an old A-line velvet maxi length skirt that was given to me a while back. I cut the side panels from this massive bag of jersey remnants that I bought off eBay last year (it's THE bottomless bag of fabric - I've made so many things from it and it still sits there, undiminished). It's lined with supersoft black and white fabric harvested from a duvet cover, and the hem is catchstitched so it hardly shows on the velvet. I made the waistband out of faux leather, for three different textures of black. The faux leather was an arse to machine-sew though, and I ended up having to sew it to the skirt by hand. It's finished off with a vintage metal button with markings that look rather like a fingerprint, however, you can't really see it in this photo so you'll have to take my word for it.
Hat - vintage
Jacket - Op-shop (Glasgow)
Blouse - Self-made
Skirt - Self-made
Tights - Pretty Polly
Boots - H&M