Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Why have one piece when you can have two?!

Keen observers of my Instagram feed may have noticed a recent obsession of mine - TWO PIECES!

Two pieces are often better than one. In my opinion, this isn't just true for cake!

The perfect outfit for wandering around a vineyard in the South of France!

I've been an avid fan of the look as far back as the 90s...

.... this perfectly illustrates my next point. There is something about removing a waist seam that makes an outfit a little more daunting to wear. I'm no stranger to a bold head-to-toe print, but wearing a matching 'outfit' can seem a little try hard. Take note 90s Vic; a matching headband may have been a little too keen!

Having said that, I love the versatility of a matching top and a skirt. Together they can be dressed up with heels or dressed down with sandals. They can also be worn separately giving your wardrobe great variety and a surplus of possible outfits! I often pair the skirt with a simple tee and the cropped top with plain skirts, jeans or shorts.

It has taken a couple of wears (and a number of 'fished' compliments!) for me to feel comfortable in the complete outfit. But... I think I am about there!

This fabric was a gift from a very dear friend a couple of years ago, long before I could sew. Appallingly, it began life in my home as a table cloth! I've pulled it out of my airing cupboard dozens of times since, but due to its sheer nature, I felt I neither had the skill nor inspiration to do it justice. Finally, inspiration struck, and I was ready to attempt my dream boxy crop top and full skirt combo regardless of my lack of stature and elegance! I thought at least I could wear the ensemble separately if my woes were a reality! 

The fabric is a finely woven cotton consisting of two square borders framing the blue and white print in the middle. I simply cut off the top border for the waistband, then down the sides on either section so I had a front and back piece with the border running just along the bottom. I pleated the skirt, finished the side seam with a french seam and the zip seam using the fold and stitch method. I lined the skirt with a simple short circle skirt cut from some leftover black poly-crepe. I liked the idea of the floaty sheerness for most of the skirt, but I needed a decency veil! I finished the lining hem with cotton bias tape from my Grandma's stash (I love giving vintage supplies new leases of life).  

I managed to just about match the pattern across the french seam!

I cut the crop top from the scraps left over from the skirt. The middle section remained uncut, which had the border print running down either side. I played around with the placement of the crop top and decided I liked the aesthetic of the solid black line running down the middle of the border which wrapped around the hem to the side seams. I managed to match this on the back piece and even included the selvage as a reminder of where the fabric originated. The crop top is fully lined and hand stitched at the bottom hem. The idea was, that if all else failed, I would have a crop top I could wear inside out that would still feel like an 'outfit' because of the complementary lining! 

Since this outfit, the obsession has continued.....

I made a matching Pineapple two piece for my fellow Maid of (dis)honour. She certainly has the poise and stature for this kind of outfit so I was happy to use her as a canvas for the idea!

I take commissions, so if you'd like a two piece too head to SEWVEE and drop me an email.

Here is the proof!

I made myself a sneaky Pineapple top too (these are available on my Etsy shop).

In true frivolous nature, I made another two piece for a (failed) trip to Ascot for a friend's birthday! We ended up sitting in a pub garden all day (fine by me!). I never need an excuse to make a new outfit. I had a brightly printed cotton and linen blend in my stash that my lovely chap bought for me a couple of months ago. I dived right in.

Clearly no issues with having a massive target on my chest!

Pretty happy with my pattern matching along the back seam.

I opted for a bright cotton lining - you can never have too much colour!

I've worn the skirt several times since the weekend with simple tees.

 I've now perfected my pleating technique by tacking the pleats together 6/8" down by hand before attaching the waistband or bodice. Nice neat pleats!

Thank you for joining me on another picture heavy ramble! I'm off to spend some time with my lovely little Grandad who is visiting from Whitby (up naawwwtthh). 

He says Hi!

P.S What I said about coming across as too keen - FORGET IT! I made Jude a matching pineapple dog bandana for Lola...


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