A short while before my job fizzled out, I started sewing a pencil skirt and blouse to wear to the office. I thought the combo channeled the funky secretary look. Unfortunately, I was too short on time to finish it before the job ended. Now that I’m unemployed, I have plenty of time. It may not make an appearance in an office, but this outfit is ready for going out on the town: perhaps to my kids’ piano recital tomorrow?

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The blouse is based on one of my favorite patterns, Simplicity 2501. I used it once before to make a cotton top with shorter puffy sleeves and sans peplum. I wear it all the time during the warmer months. I was curious to see how the peplum version with the shirred sleeves would look in a silky type fabric.

puffysleeve01
The answer: it looks pretty good. I wish the print didn’t obscure the shirring so much, but that’s a minor complaint.

This fabric is a nicer quality polyester. I really like how it turned out; however, it was a pain in the you-know-what to sew. It frayed like crazy. I kept the damage to a minimum by serging all the pieces before handling them much. In addition to that, it resisted taking a crease. That may be good news on the unwanted wrinkle front, but it was a pain when I was trying to create the waistband and make the narrow hems neat.

puffysleeve03

The skirt is based on Simplicity 2452. It’s a nice basic pencil skirt. There are absolutely no frills to this design, but it fits great (after my typical waist and hip alterations). The pattern did not include any instructions on lining the skirt and I’m not all that clear on how the waistband was supposed to be finished. You’re supposed to do something magical with twill tape. I didn’t bother looking at the instructions all that closely, because I decided to add a lining and made a facing at the waistband for greater stability.

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I followed the tutorial on A Fashionable Stitch for lining a skirt with a back vent. It seems complicated at first, but after a little practice, it turns out great. If you decide to do this, I recommend stitch up a sample first to work out any kinks. I ruined a piece of lining or two when seam ripping.

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Isn’t that a pretty button? One of the things I love the most about sewing my own clothes is being able to add special details like that. RTW clothes rarely have those little extras!

Last, but not least, which should I wear with this outfit? The shoes or the booties?

Should I wear the shote or the booties?

  • Booties (63%, 26 Votes)
  • Shoes (37%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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