Sunday, January 20, 2013

Drape-ity drape

I have made a new top and a new skirt!  and am combining the two new garments in one post; since they kinda go together so well and all, and actually the skirt is so... well, bland and basic that frankly it doesn't deserve its own post. My top is a modified version of the loose drape top, pattern no. 1 from drape drape, by Hisako Sato.  I used a soft slightly crinkly white cotton jersey, bought from the Fabric Store in Melbourne during my most recent trip.  Regarding the design; I really loved those lovely soft drapes of that front and back neckline, however, like JenC noted in a comment, this top made up as per the pattern is a ... er, raaaather revealing garment.  As in, very very revealing.  The photographs in the book have been carefully selected, but it's plain to see that the model is a hair's breadth away from being topless.  And more, the top would be falling off one's shoulders, only like, all the time
But I thought it would be pretty easy to alter the pattern to be less revealing while still maintaining the essence of those beautifully soft falls of fabric at the neckline.  I took out a good 20cm in width from the horizontal line of the front drape, and close to 30cm from the back drape, re-drawing in the armhole and side seams to be the same as the original, tapering out to the same hemline, and keeping those neckline edges cut straight on the cross so as to keep the self-facing as part of the same pattern piece, on a fold.  Terrific design feature btw, for those frightened of finishing knits this is an excellent easy way out!
Reducing the width has given me a top with the same flavour that attracted me to the original, but with coverage... yes, I may have some nice lingerie now, but I don't want to be modelling it out in public for everyone on the street!
The side seams are flat felled, and I hand slipstitched the facings and armhole bindings in place for a smooth clean look on the outside.  I also added lingerie straps to the shoulder seams inside to prevent the top slipping off my shoulders, since in spite of taking out a whole lotta drape it is still that kind of design!
And I'm very happy with the result.  Such a cool and elegant design.  I can see this being lengthened very successfully, to make a simply gorgeous little cocktail sheath; how lovely would that look? 
The skirt.  Less exciting.  But ironically, its the bland and boring stuff that often turns into the amazingly useful and versatile stuff too, though; don't you think?  The skirt is self-drafted, and identical in every way to this charcoal skirt from a few years ago, that has been utterly indispensible for layering and mixing and matching in my handmade wardrobe.  Indispensible, I tell you!  I used a piece of mystery fabric, part of the bundle given to me by my friend C from her late mother's stash, and it is also the leftovers from this little Pattern Magic jacket.  Thus qualifying it for an itty bitty stash-busting garment!  Actually the top was also made using an itty bitty piece of fabric, less than 1m, but since I bought that fabric only three months ago I don't know if it truly qualifies as "stash"  What do you think?  How long should fabric be in the stash before one can safely attribute it Stash Status??  One month?  Six months?  More than a year?
But the skirt is a definite stash-buster... goodness only knows how old that fabric is.  This grey side is the reverse side to that I used for the "wearing a square" jacket, a smooth, blue-grey colour, with a double-knit look to its texture.


Details:
Top; modified version of the loose drape top, pattern no.1 from drape drape by Hisako Sato, white cotton
Skirt; my own design, blue grey double-knitty type of stuff.
Sandals; c/o Misano

45 comments:

  1. Nice little summery outfit, Carolyn. It is the basics like your skirt that get worn so much. I just love how your dog looks so quietly regal in the last picture.

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  2. That top looks so lovely and cool for summer! Smart move on the redraft- it has the same feel as the DD top but looks infinitely more wearable!

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  3. I love cowls. They are flattering for pretty well everybody, in my opinion. I consider fabric to be stash when it wasn't purchased with a specific pattern in mind. I am guilty of buying fabric because I like it, when I have no idea what I will do with it.

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  4. With your alterations, I can see trying making that top myself. I wonder about elasticizing the waist and making it a bit blouson? Thanks for the inspiration!
    And fabric is not actually stash until you have changed your mind about what you bought it to make. So there is a loophole into which all fabric gifts fall. I have no fabric stash, just a fine collection of textiles worthy of a late 20th century museum.

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  5. Very nice light top, elegant drape

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  6. I love your new top from the fabric to the design. It shows off your slim tanned arms very well !

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  7. what a lovely outfit. I particularly love the top. It looks like its perfect for the awful weather we have been having.

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  8. You look great in that outfit. It really is simple and chic.

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  9. Your top looks very fresh and cool - such a great look for you. And your skirt - I agree, it is the plain, almost dull, garments that really are indispensable. I just see patterned fabric and all of a sudden all the plain fabric disappears into the background. This is fine until I need to mix and match!

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  10. Grey is such a versatile alternative to black. I am quite a fan of cowls as well. A lovely combination.

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  11. The top is beautiful, and the skirt is perfect with it. I love drapey tops but hate when they constantly slip off one shoulder or the other. So I really like the idea of putting in straps. Do the straps go over the shoulder and snap closed in front?

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    1. Thank you Barb! In reply to your question; the straps are not shoulder straps, but lingerie straps. They are short, about 8cm long strips of grosgrain ribbon with snaps attached, and are sewn to the shoulder seam. They are designed to snap closed around your bra strap to hold the shoulders of a loose top onto the shoulders. They prevent the top from sliding off and exposing one's bra straps.

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    2. Hi
      I've been a fan for a while, and love the fact that you show how the details look from the inside. Thanks so much for that.
      Mary in Thailand

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  12. An elegant ensemble Carolyn. I agree on the plainer garments ending up being worn more.

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  13. Gorgeous!
    You're so good with knits. Every time I try to make something out of a knit it's a disaster. I can't finish anything properly and it always looks home made, even when I use the nicest possible fabric. I guess I'm missing something.
    Oh well!

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  14. " its the bland and boring stuff that often turns into the amazingly useful and versatile stuff too"
    Agree 100%

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  15. You look cool and comfortable with effortless style.

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  16. the grey double-knitty stuff skirt looks lovely with the draped top. As for definition of "stash" - I think anything that gets purchased that isn't going to be made up into a designated garment within one month, is then technically sitting in stash. (well that's my thoughts, but doesn't detract from me wanting to add to it on a constant basis).

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  17. Lovely outfit, and thanks for the notes on the top pattern.

    I think something is stash for me when it goes into the stash box; new fabric sits on the ironing board and often gets made up right away.

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  18. This looks so cool and comfortable, but still stylish. Nice top!

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  19. Love the draped top! I tend to avoid a lot of styles that swamp me: bumpy fabrics, cable knits, ruffles, lace and most off-the-shoulder styles of sleeves. That sort of cowl neckline is my version of ruffles and I love the natural grace that draping fabric has. My Mom did a sculpture about 9" tall of a headless, arm-less woman with a Barbie doll figure above a pool of draped fabric. She painted it gold and as a child I found it irresistible. I remember tracing my finger through the folds of ceramic fabric. This is one of the items my ex-husband took to the dump when he cleared Mom's house, but fortunately I can still remember the piece well in my mind I do hope you make that long dress you mentioned! And, yes, those boring staples are amazingly useful.

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  20. I love the top! It looks great w/ the skirt, and will w/ many other things :)

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  21. Always lovely.. Because of you I'm gaining courage to try Japanese fashion.. Yeahhh I'm excited and scared. Going to review your posts

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  22. Lovely outfit, so cool and relaxed. The lingery straps are the best to keep things in place. I follow suit and bought some and I add them to any potencially dangerous top. Back to stuggle with the bras, grrr!

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  23. Perfect modification! Your top still retains the beautiful simplicity of the original but is more wearable. And I can confirm that extending the design to dress length works well, although I found a waist tie was needed to give a bit of shaping. If I was better with photographs I would have done a review by now!

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    1. Thank you JenC! I would love too see your version too :)

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  24. Very nice! I love how the top turned out. Reading this post makes me want to bust out a quick project from my stash. But I should probably finish a few UFOs first. Dang New Years resolutions...

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  25. lovely top. Just yesterday i was thinking about that Drape Drape book, now I think I must get it. not sure whether to thank you ! :)

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  26. Your top modifications were really good - it turned out so well! I like the skirt too. Stash busting is great and so are clothes that go with lots of other garments.

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  27. Lovely pieces (as usual!). Definition of stash, according to my husband, anything that is not on the cutting table.

    I have a funny stash story which I think you will appreciate. In the 1980s/early 1990s I had a small fashion label doing bespoke pieces and also small runs of (maximum of 10) garments. In 1987 I bought several meters of waterwave taffeta in this lurid shade of barbie pink, anyone over the age of about 30 will know exactly the sort of fabric I am referring too. I never did get around to sewing it up so when we moved to Melbourne in the late 1990s, I gave it to my mother along with most of my considerable stash because by then I had given up the business, embarked on a new career (accountancy!), had a baby and knew that I would not have a sewing room where we were going. I did keep some pieces which I couldn't bear to part with, and still haven't made into anything but we won't talk about that.

    This Christmas past we were at Mum's and she asked did I want any of her fabric and patterns as she was having a clean out. And low and behold, there is the waterwave taffeta, still pristine, still lurid. How could I resist?! It is now back in my stash. Who knows what it will become....

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    1. I can see that Mum wouldn't have parted with anything I gave her when I was a young sewer too.

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    2. Hehe, that is a good story, Fashionista! I do know the exact shade you are referring too, I remember it was a popular choice for dresses for school socials in the 80's, haha. Along with brilliant turquoise watermarked taffeta too. Pouffy skirts and ruffles were often employed!
      Do you think you will allow it to reach its potential by making something up with it? Bright colours are in again. A pair of cigarette pants, worn with a simple black OR white Tshirt would be a modern and fashionable choice, I think :)

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  28. Love your top modifications and the skirt is an essential item in the wardrobe and such a wonderful colour. I'm taking stash busting as anything purchased before I made my commitment to the sew-along.

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  29. Wow...I just went back to look at the sewing machine you use. I must bow to your skills ever more deeply! Such a basic machine, and your work is beautiful! i'm pondering a new machine, and you make it obvious that I do not need to spend $5,000!

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    1. Thank you so much Angela, and I agree... you definitely do NOT need to spend $5000 to get a really good machine!

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  30. That's the type of skirt I live in throughout the summer months. While there's nothing much to it it's a great basic piece.
    Love the top too.

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  31. You look cool and comfortable, a uniform for the warm months, maybe? Though you have so many other lovely garments too....

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  32. Love the deceptive simplicity of this top. Beautiful!

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  33. More wonderful work! I'm am continually amazed at what you do which is why I went a head and chose to pass you the Very Inspirational Blog award again. I know you just had it so feel free to not do it again but I just wanted to let you know! I wrote all about it in this blog post: http://tumbleweedsinthewind.blogspot.com/2013/01/an-award-and-successive-gushy-speech.html

    Emily

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