One of the most interesting and unexpected observations from a child about my sewing was that I don’t have company labels, care instructions, or check out tags on my handmade clothes. No, I don’t. Yet, this time, I do have a bar code to label me…well, kind of. This top may have a bar code, yet it is not for sale and there will not be another quite like it in the world. I did not go to a store to get what I needed when I came up with the idea for it…I shopped downstairs in my stash. I have no bars holding me back, and no code to dominate what I wear. This top is me silently laughing at fast fashion – I don’t need you, cheap ready-to-wear. I can do better.
This scrap-busting little summer top project blatantly speaks for my lack of conventionality when it comes to what it is that I wear, while my background mural of St. Louis, Missouri speaks for my hometown pride! Together, this outfit is the modern “me”, the side of my life which occasionally does not wear vintage, that is. It is the late 90’s punky-style teen still inside me that still loves to sing loudly to Avril Lavigne while driving around town. Besides, I needed an edgy monotone black-and-white outfit to see the new Disney live-action “Cruella” movie, after all!
TIME TO COMPLETE: This was whipped up in the matter of 2 hours on March 30, 2016.
THE INSIDES: cleanly bias bound on all edges and facings
TOTAL COST: The satin and rings were leftovers on hand, which I’m counting as free, and the quilting square was bought on sale so many years ago I no longer remember. My total here is probably almost nothing!!!
I was literally just making this idea work. That’s okay, though, because I felt like being inventive for that day and just went along with all the setbacks I faced. For example, I didn’t have a piece of satin wide enough to have a conventional center back seam, much less a pleat, so I figured the rear of the top would have to be open…”but make it a stylistic element” I thought. I added metal rings, found off of my husband’s work table downstairs, to connect the two edges. The fat quarter wasn’t big enough for a whole front piece either, so I added little satin shoulder extensions (drafted off of the pattern) to end up with a complete panel. This way the print is primarily front and center to my top and the satin is visible from more than just a back view. I like my top better for all the changes I was forced into because of my fabric choices. If you have an oopsie appear purposeful, it becomes an artistic pattern adaption!
Crop tops are fun for me to wear anyway, but this one is more so the way you can tie the longer back extensions up or leave them down like tuxedo tails. I am surprised the pattern never showed or even suggested this wearing option! Either way, tying the back tails helps keep this crop top down in place on me. As I found out after its first time being worn, the lightweight fabrics I used are too insubstantial for a loose fitting pullover crop top, like this. It has the tendency to not stay down in place. Luckily the heavy metal rings weigh it down somewhat from behind. Otherwise, I could see this top creeping up on me. Lesson learned – do not make a crop top in the lightest fabrics on the market unless you don’t mind if it flies up to arm level. Luckily, the combo of both the rings in the open back and tying up the back tails helps this project to be wearable in the end.
I can actually wear this over a long sleeved black tee in the winter, so this is more than just a one season piece happily. Inside during the summer, when places have their air conditioning on “deep freeze” setting I like to have my faux leather moto jacket as a fun, modern cover-up. To wear this to see the “Cruella” movie, I actually paired it with an oversized 1930s red beaded necklace, nice red flats, and a black skirt, and the top almost looked dressy! In these pictures I am wearing it with another Burda Style pattern, the pants portion to a designer jumpsuit (posted here). This little crop top has become more versatile than I imagined when I was originally sewing it together. What I make for myself always gets worn to some degree, I make sure of that. Anything that usefully whittles down my scrap pile is good in my book, anyway. Yet, I love surprises where something that seemed fun and useful to plan at the moment ends up a wardrobe favorite.
At this point, I almost need a whole section of my blog highlighting my scrap-busting projects…I have so many! This one was one of those projects that has been slipping under the radar of my blog, being worn frequently but seemingly insignificant enough to post. This summer has been so busy, I feel badly for not posting here as much as I would like, and certainly not frequently enough to keep up with what I am sewing in real time, but it gives me the opportunity to easily share simple little creations like this one. I hope, like me, your sewing creativity is still going just as fervent and fulfilling, and this season is also finding you happy and healthy!
P.S. If you want to discuss the new live-action Disney “Cruella” movie, share what you thought of it, or just find out more of my opinion, leave me a comment and let’s get talking!! I found it really good, and well done, but with reservations over some confusing technicalities that do not match up. I’d be happy to chat about it!
Stop the presses! News flash here! I have now made shoes! Well, technically I have sewn my own house slippers, but they are worn on the feet so that is close enough to make me feel like adding the term “cobbler” to my long list of capabilities. I cannot express how elated I am over this creation and just how incredibly comfy they are to wear. I was very doubtful I could pull such an idea off, but my slippers turned out fantastic. Plus, they were so quick and relatively easy to make…and all I used is scraps leftover from past projects! This post is aptly named after a sweet song by the same name by a favorite singer of mine, Lionel Richie.
A big ‘thank you’ is in order to Quinn (who blogs here at “The Quintessential Clothes Pen”) for her encouragement and support over this idea in the first place. Over in this post of mine about the making of this fuzzy winter jacket by the designer Ungaro, I casually threw out the question of ‘what can be done with the scraps of the waist peplum I did not use’. Happily, Quinn voted for the house slippers idea, and it sounded like she started making some for herself in turn. All I needed was a bit of outside inspiration to spur me on, and just look at the wonderful slippers I finished now! I am always so overwhelmed and supported by my blog’s readers and followers. You are all truly the best!
I half-heartedly wonder if it might be old fashioned (according to younger generations) to be wearing house slippers. Thus, just in case a definition is needed here, I will provide a brief one. “A house shoe is a general term for any footwear that is intended to be worn indoors, particularly at home, while a slipper is a type of indoor or outdoor footwear that you can easily slip-on your feet. Remember that house shoes can be slippers, but not all slippers can be house shoes.” (Definition from this site.)
I have a few vintage slippers, of the famous Daniel Green brand, which are closer to shoes, for sure, the way they are so fancy, with molded soles and wedge heels. While they are comfortable and luxurious, at the end of the day all I want is to feel barefoot…but with the benefits of a little extra warmth and cushioning. This is one of the many reasons why I personally prefer soft, ballerina-style, enclosed foot house shoes to both slip-ons (with an open back or exposed toes) and modern molded foam bed support slippers. Yet, a good version of a ballerina house slipper is hard to find, never as comfy as I would like, and also quite pricey. Besides, they never last me very long before they wear out to the point that they need to be thrown away. Cue the quest to craft my own. Sewing can be so enjoyable AND useful.
Unlike the fuzzy house shoes commonly referred to as “slippers”, ballet shoes are made of soft leather, canvas, or satin, for dancers to appear weightless and graceful when performing. “These shoes are lightweight and have thin soles to offer maximum flexibility. What’s more, the shoes feature an elastic band that’s meant to secure the shoe tightly to the foot during the entire performance. A proper ballet slipper should also offer a snug fit, like a glove.” (Info from this site.) Often these shoes are in a skin toned color for an invisible appearance. Modern ballerina house slippers, however, are in all sorts of fashion colors and prints and often cheaper materials.
How about a casual “about me” moment related to that topic? I had the hard-toed ballet pointe shoes when I was growing up. They were merely a cheap but neat second-hand purchase that I played around with and casually practiced in at home…nothing too earnest. They are torture devices though (in my opinion) for all the beauty they offer dancers on stage. Nevertheless, I grew to appreciate and admire both the charm of ballet and the hard work of its performers. (Being taken to a Nutcracker performance when I was about 10 years old helped along those feelings, too!)
What I especially loved about ballet was the soft leather dancing slippers after also acquiring a set secondhand at a resale store. I loved wearing them around the house to the point that my mom went to a ballet store and bought me a few more new pairs. The woman at the store quickly ended that obsession by throwing out very judgmental, inquiring, and intrusive questions to both me and my mom…as if her customers could only be professionals and nothing else. Oh well. No doubt this past history of mine is a contributing factor to my preference for ballet style slippers. Now I can make my own and this is the most exciting and inspiring thing to happen in my sewing sphere in a while!
Speaking of something exciting, my slippers had their first time being enjoyed in conjunction with a very special occasion for us. We went for a short (and Covid safe) weekend getaway to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I brought a special true vintage 1930s era nightgown and matching robe for my evening lounging, and my new slippers paired perfectly with the ice blue color of the peignoir set. The aesthetic of the room was 18th century which went so well with my fancy loungewear, besides being a dream-come-true kind of glamorous setting, the likes of which I have never seen. It was a great backdrop to take some pictures of my sippers. If you would like to see the whole vintage lounge set, go check out these two Instagram posts of mine (here and here). If you would like to see a short video of me in my slippers in action, see this post!
PATTERN: a Burda Style extra project template in the back pages of the December 2014 magazine (cover page at right)
NOTIONS NEEDED: All I needed was thread and wide cord elastic. The front decorative bows are ribbons that were saved from off of the packaging of a present I received. Re-use and recycle, right?!
TIME TO COMPLETE: Each slipper took me 1 ½ hours, so I spent a total of 3 hours to make these on the afternoon of April 7, 2021.
THE INSIDES: raw edges are enclosed within the lining
TOTAL COST: FREE!
So long as I approached this footwear project with the mindset that it is still sewing, just like anything else I make, it was easy to make these house shoes. The Burda Style pattern I had to go on was even more bare bones than their regular patterns so I am floored these turned out so well. There were challenging to make because of all the curves, small spaces, and tiny 3/8 inch seam allowances. However, as I said above they were not hard to make, though, and a very fun, different thing to attempt. It’s so refreshing, besides good for my brain, to change up what I am working on making!
On the back page of the Burda magazine, you start with just two small pattern pieces for the slippers, both only about 3 inches long, next to a few short paragraphs of construction details. The same page also has a sleep mask pattern and a quilted travel jewelry organizer to make! All of the patterns on page need to be photocopied and custom sized up to be usable. I aimed at the length of the sole being just a quarter inch bigger than the actual size of my foot (9 inches) since I wanted a snug, ballerina shoe style fit. Thus, I had to enlarge the pattern pieces 305% and add on the 3/8 inch seam allowances, as directed, before I cut the pattern out.
There are four different kinds of material I used because I wanted to only use scraps and also to keep the slippers comfortable. The soles are triple layered with a brown faux suede bottom (a tip from Quinn) and a fleece inner foot bed, all sandwiched with a cotton, padded, quilted panel in between. This way the soles are lightly padded with the quilting, soft on my feet with the fleece, and not slippery to walk in with the suede-like exterior. The outside of the slippers’ uppers are more of the blue fleece, lined in a lightweight poly interlock to absorb moisture and keep my feet from overheating in just fleece alone.
I did slightly adapt the pattern to add some improvements. Firstly, it doesn’t necessarily call for an upper foot lining, but it was a not only a choice for comfort but also a convenient way to end up with clean inners to my slippers. Furthermore, the instructions do not call for the padding that I added into the soles, but it elevates these slippers from being merely homemade and makes them so much cushier. Then, I also hid the raw edges by stitching all of the shoe pieces together onto sole before finishing off the upper elastic edge. Stitching 5 bulky layers together along a very curvy seam in a 3/8 inch seam allowance was something I took my time on so the slippers’ construction was right from the very beginning. There are literally 3 seams to stitch on each slipper, yet if ever I needed to get a seam correct and be precise with stitching, this was the time for that.
Stitching the casing was even trickier than sewing the sole. I was somehow able to mostly machine stitch the seam, luckily. I finished the raw edge of both the interlock and the fleece together with a double row of tight zig-zag stitching that imitates a serger (overlocker) finish. Then, the edge was tuned under 3/8 inch and stitched down with a small gap so the elastic cording could be run through the casing along the upper foot bed edge. It is interesting that the elastic has to be so very much shorter of a length than the actual casing around the foot. The slippers should curl in on themselves when they are off of one’s foot or else they will not stay on. Avoid having the knot of tied elastic end in the casing at the back of your heel for a smooth fit.
I slightly obsessed over trying to have the elastic tightness of both slippers to be equal. I think I came so close to perfection, I’m happy. You know, most store bought ballerina slippers all have one shoe which fits tighter than the other and I have always hated that with a passion. I know how hard it is to make RTW to suit everyone’s individual sizing – but that hadn’t fully sunk into my head how much more challenging that is when it comes to our feet. Most people have a body that is not symmetric on both sides. On top of that, many people also have health issues or results of an injury which can render one foot to be different from the other. A bad ankle of mine, leftover from a severe sprain, makes my one foot swell up at times. Cutting two elastic strips the same length made for unequally fitting slippers for me. I can understand the gripes I have had with RTW ballerina slippers much better now. Nevertheless, that problem still is annoying and uncomfortable, I will admit, so I am happy to have avoided it for my own handmade slippers.
For the last step, I took a fabric marker to designate the left from the right…because let’s face it. More often than not my brain doesn’t need one more thing to figure out at the end of a day. I wanted my slippers to be effortlessly enjoyed, besides being something fantastic to present on my blog, as well! Next time I make shoes, I’ll have to try an amazing 1940s pattern for some summer sandals that you make by braiding scraps – much like a rag rug! (See the pattern here.)
The first time trying something new is always the hardest. With my first pair of shoes successfully done, I can feel a bit more confident branching out. Now, I am rather interested in some kits I have seen online, for assembling your own espadrilles or sneakers. Anyone got any suggestions for more shoes to make? This is fun! Just think of the possibilities to end up with shoes that perfectly match your outfit this way…
This was yet another one of my many remnant stash-busting projects. I only had one yard of Burberry plaid fleece, half a yard of black fleece, and leftovers from other projects to help me finish this one off. Yay for a smart use of fleece, the fabric I love to hate, in a print I very much enjoy! This coat is a very versatile and a breathable weight of warmth. It was a quick undertaking which ended up looking much better than I imaged it might. My projects which use up scraps really make me inventive in a way for which I am proud. In conjunction with that incentive, my “Pandemic Princess” series is also inspiring me push my Disney dreams farther than just one outfit per leading lady. Oh, what have I started!
FABRIC: the exterior black and Burberry plaid fabrics are polyester fleece, the inside lining is burgundy polyester crepe (leftover from sewing this 1930s lounging robe), the inner layer is pre-quilted cotton covered batting, and the under collar together with the front facings are cotton sateen
In the late Nineties, the Burberry print began a trendy revival courtesy of the “logo wave”, which was all about sporting Gucci belts to Chanel bags and Louis Vuitton wallets. As a teen at that time, I was one of the biggest fans of the tacky, over-the-top usage of the knocked-off Burberry tartan on anything under the sun. (Oh, what was I thinking!?!) Now, I am much more restrained but still enamored by the fashion plaid print. All I ever bought of the Burberry brand as a teen was an expensive Pashmina Burberry neck scarf at a fine retailer and the brand’s classic eau de toilette. Now, I am breaking out of that shell by making of this coat. I’m returning back to my teenage fascination and half reliving something I never got to do growing up…only half because this is not a true, trademarked Burberry material.
I am not one for brand flourishing myself – of course not, when I sew my own clothes. Yet, a Burberry plaid is my long restrained weakness. At the same time, however, it is so gaudy in my mind that I never knew what to do with it or how to pair together with a pattern. I figured to tone it down with a darker contrast remnant on hand and – even though both cuts are only cheap fleece – treat them like a finer coat fabric to hopefully end up with something which might not be tacky. At least the coat turned out better than I expected while being nicely tailored and cozy warm! This was a successful experiment and yet also a weird one to see finalized after all these years.
I sort of blended the lines between a trench and an over coat, just for practical purposes. A trench coat is designed to protect you against rain while an overcoat is designed to protect you against the cold. A trench coat is lightweight while an overcoat is heavyweight. For my coat, the fleece outside is fluffy polyester, so it really doesn’t get wet easily even though it is not waterproof. I tested this truth out later the night of our pictures when I played in our son’s snow fort, which was beginning to melt. I stayed warm and dry and most of the wet snow either rolled off or could be brushed off of me. Usually one has to layer up to be warm in a trench coat because it is merely supposed to be waterproof appropriate gear for all seasons. Yet, I am a person sensitive to the cold so I upped the game on my version with the cozy quilted cotton layer between the exterior fleece and polyester lining. It is a coat which is in between lightweight and heavyweight, as all materials are pretty lofty load individually.
This is still double-breasted like a proper trench coat, with a large stormproof collar that can be turned up enough to completely protect most of my face from the elements, if I so need. However, my coat’s collar is wonderfully modern in the way it is asymmetric and the tailored princess seams and color blocking reflects the new fitting and color options which the new Burberry line has to offer. The length of a trench coat is traditionally to just below the knee. However, nowadays one can find trench coats in various lengths: full, knee, three-quarters and short. So I suppose I can call this a very personalized, updated version of a 90’s Burberry inspired trench coat.
Amazingly, this was a very easy coat to make, even with complicating the construction by fully lining and layering it. There are no darts, no chalk markings to make, and every seam is straightforward with first rate shaping drawn into the seam lines. The fit was spot on, too. I went up one whole size because I was planning on adding extra layers into the coat and that was to right move. I have full and unrestrained freedom of movement. More or less, I cut out 3 whole coats – fleece, quilted cotton inner layer, and lining poly – so I was happy the two pieces for the front (doubled into four) and two pieces for the back (double cut sides with one center on the fold) were simple. The facings and the under collar had sew-in interfacing to back them up as they were a thinner material in key areas which got double-breasted and needed structural support.
I did sew each layer to the coat separately, but hand tacked the quilted cotton inners to the eternal fleece plaid along their matching seam lines “in the ditch” to eliminate shifting of the layers. It was important remember to shorten the sleeves and the bottom hem of the quilted inner layer by cutting off 1 ½ inches. It is very difficult and bulky to hem quilted cotton and thus I wanted to account for the turn-under hemming to the fleece and lining only. I also had to make the seam allowances ¾ inch to the quilted cotton and poly lining so the inner layer fits inside as slightly smaller than the eternal coat layer. I found out some these tricks of how to work with pre-quilted cotton material (as well as how breathable but pleasantly warm it can be) as I made this 1940s jerkin vest for our trip to Denver, Colorado back in 2019. I also knew from making this 60’s cocoon coat how shifty fleece could be when you try to sew it into something structured. So, I combined both of what I learned from two separate winter past projects into this newest, latest, dare I say, just about the best coat I have finished so far.
I like the unusual and slightly easier route of making handmade chain stitched thread loops along the right front closing edge in lieu of buttonholes. The fact it is black on black color along the front is the only way I like this feature, otherwise I think thread loops would be too weirdly obvious. The instructions called for fabric loops. However, I know how those sort of things are fussy to add in a seam and more often than not pull out of a seam anyway if not anchored to a base of some sort (seam tape, bias strip, etc.) along the seam allowance. I used heavy upholstery thread for making my coat’s thread loops and attached the loop bases to the interfacing inside the coat edge, so these closures are definitely stable.
For some weird reason, my last Pocahontas inspired outfit finally gave me a decent idea as to what to do with long hoarded, one yard remnant of Burberry looking fleece. Luckily, I was able to sew it together quickly enough to take advantage of the same photo shoot against the breathtaking backdrop of my favorite creek after the most recent snowstorm. This coat’s earthy colors pair nicely with my Pocahontas separates (in the previous post), but also work well as an item from the era of the release dates to the Disney films. All the elements I desired for this project were fulfilled, only Pocahontas’ Disney story is the opposite of everything this logo plaid stands for. At the same time, it suits her aesthetic so well at the same time. Let me explain.
I like using irony to drive home a point. Pairing an overworked fashion print with the raw, pure beauty of nature is amusingly contrary enough. Yet, modern fashion is synonymous with the throwaway culture severely detrimental to our world of today, threatening the very existence of living things, and fleece is one of worst offenders being a petroleum-based product which will not break down. Thus, I only use fleece when I do because it is already on hand in my stash from before I became more conscious of the environmental impact of what we wear. For many years now, fleece is something I will not buy and love to generally hate (ugh, plastics). However, I am a firm believer in making use of what one has, and doing that effort well enough so that item lasts. I believe this is the most sensible thing to do with questionable products such as fleece.
Hopefully what I have done here would be Pocahontas approved if she knew where I was coming from with my reasoning. It does have colors I believe she would like – after all, a deer I met out in the wild didn’t seem to mind one bit!!
It was the day after that terrible, unexplained explosion at the Isodyne Energy Facility. She was fighting through so much internally and externally – confusion, loss, blame, and a gut suspicion of a truth that she cannot prove. At least she was the only one who had the humanity to get to know the missing scientist, no matter what his skin color. Although she did not have the time to establish the connection she was inherently hoping for, she did understand him enough to mourn that he was only another senseless innocent in the long list of persons she seems to be the cause of their destruction. Rightly or wrongly, those are her feelings. Yet, the rest of the world around her only wanted the ‘facts’ about last night tied up in a nice little package, so that the truth for them was what they expected to hear. SHE was the one needed by those in power to sign off for their lies – willingly or not was the threat. What might our heroine wear for such a scene? How can her fashion translate her strength showing through her weakness, her conviction to stand for veracity as the sole woman among a sea of lying, well-connected men?
Luckily, Peggy did have some true friends to turn to in such an hour. Fortunately, also, the wonderful costume designer Gigi Melton has already come up with the perfect, amazing, and striking answer to a scene such as this, as well as other incidents just as powerful.
The heroine, Peggy Carter of the “Strategic Scientific Reserve”, dons the signature color of her female adversary – purple. As someone who perennially wears blues, reds, and browns, she combines it with a new-to-her tone from the other end of the spectrum…green. A professional looking faux two-piece outfit becomes a convenient one-piece dress. Bold but sensible courage is manifested in Peggy’s fashion as well as character. Now, with my sewing capabilities, some fabric remnants, and an old pattern, I have my very own copy of Marvel’s Agent Carter’s dress for the above described scenes from Episode 3 of Season Two, “Better Angels”.
I love how Peggy’s words perpetually cut through the crud around her and are searingly direct, like a hot knife in hard butter, especially for this scene. Truthfulness with others is what she is best at, and those scenes in which this memorable dress is worn, she oozes an assertive yet feminine, complex yet simple, and full on 40’s look! “Better Angels” episode helps demonstrate why I have such respect for her and why I admire her character – an everyday superhero capability is tinged with a very relatable humanity and touching empathy.
April 9 is the anniversary of Peggy’s birthday, and it’s annually a day to celebrate a character that has brought so much into our lives by taking part in the “International Agent Carter Day”. This is one of my favorite days of the year! For such a day this year, I will post one of my very favorite Agent Carter outfit “copies” I have done. It also happens to get the most compliments everywhere I go wearing it! All this was made in one yard of deep eggplant purple gabardine and a few scraps of bright China silk leftover from a past project. I adapted a true vintage 1946 pattern to both keep to the era and find the real historical version – thus I’m not just copying a Hollywood garment.
Of course, anyone who knows me knows I love a great pair of shoes, especially one that perfectly matches a color in my outfit. Thus, I set out to find some true vintage shoes which would parallel the olive green B.A.I.T brand heels in the show. There are some more modern decades, such as the 60’s or 70’s, which mimic 1940’s shoe styles, with slightly different heel shapes. They are frequently much more wearable because of their not-so-fragile-as true-40’s footwear, however. So, after much searching, I found a pair of lovely suede and polished leather, woven front, peep-toe heels in my size, in the exact matching green as my center bodice! These are so comfy and really complete the outfit, yet they sadly blend in too well with the grass to be seen when I’m in a yard!
NOTIONS: I had all the thread I needed, and I used interfacing scraps and a zipper from on hand
TIME TO COMPLETE: This dress was finished on September 10, 2018, in about 10 hours.
THE INSIDES: cleanly bias bound
TOTAL COST: The one yard of purple gabardine was a remnant found for about $5 at Wal-Mart, the silk was scraps (I don’t count the cost of such small pieces), and the “American Classics” cotton was yet another remnant, this time found at JoAnn for a few dollars. This dress cost under $10!!!
Faux boleros on a one-piece garment or even just color-blocking – like this dress – seemed to have been a ‘thing’ starting in the late 1930s through 1940s, from what I have found so far through extant garments and similar sewing pattern designs. This collage is only a small portion of what inspiration I have come across. These are all a very smart – perfect for using small cuts of fabric, but nevertheless make the most fun out of fashion as well as the most streamlined outfit ever! The bottom right extant late 1930s dress is the one that I specifically channeled here with my tweak to add a bit of Agent Carter my vintage pattern. That inspiration garment had the arched, faux cummerbund mid-section as well as the shiny silk contrast bodice panels which worked perfectly with my need to fit every pattern piece on small remnants. The more concise the pieces, the better to fit onto scraps!
Getting my bodice to look like a faux bolero required me to retrace it out onto paper, cut out that copy, and re-draft it into a few extra pieces. Yet, to keep all of those pieces together nicely – besides validating the accuracy of my re-drafting and provide a clean interior – the bodice lining is the one-piece design of the original pattern. I was so happy to be using my lovely leftover silk in a project which would highlight it. As I had only used it for interior lining in the project before, this silk literally now has its opportunity to shine. Yet, the silk is so much lighter compared to the substantial thickness of the gabardine, it sometimes appears quite wrinkled. China silk is not the best at holding its own on a fashion design. There’s exceptions to the rule as you can see here, but it really is best as a lining. I wouldn’t trust the China silk to not rip or tear apart on its own if I hadn’t lined the bodice.
The best part of sewing a two-tone dress (total irony here) is having to switch between colors with the spools and bobbins of thread in my sewing machine. It is a real pain! This is why I did the side zipper and several other sections by hand. Not to brag, but I can use whatever color of thread on whatever color of fabric and make the thread invisible! Such a technique is a very useful skill, just sharing a heads up! I kept the machine top-stitching to the purple portion of the bodice only because gabardine doesn’t look as terrible showing thread as silk would. Silk is such a fine fabric, I feel like it deserves better (most of the time) than machine stitching! I know, silly me!
There’s something to be said about dressing in character. When you try to copy someone else’s wardrobe, no matter how much you like it on that other individual, you are not dressing for yourself until you own it and make it yours, whether through a tweak to the garment or a change of mental outlook for example. I – and many other wonderful women who call Peggy Carter their heroine, like me – find that Captain America’s “Best Girl” only raises us up and makes us stronger and more confident in ourselves when taking on her persona through wearing her wardrobe. Agent Carter is such a special character to emulate. She is so relatable and inspiring in so many ways that to imitate her is like manifesting a braver and bolder version of yourself, which needed Peggy’s help to show itself. Let’s all “know our value” today and every day!