I love saying yes to trying out new women's patterns because it forces me to sew for myself. My-asymetrical-not-entirely-content-with-my-body-self. (Is anyone ever entirely content with one's body?) Because sometimes we need to be forced to do good (hard) things. So when the girls of Violette Field Threads asked if I'd try out their Vivienne skirt and blouse, I agreed.
We've all seen the cute girl's pattern, and enough moms out there understandingly wanted it for themselves!Basically, it's two skirts: one simple gathered skirt with rows of ruffles, and one overskirt that just wraps around. The shirt pattern (not the one pictured above) is loosely shaped with buttons up (or would you say down?) the back, which makes it a bit difficult to get dressed by yourself, but it's always fun to feel pampered and maybe a bit nostalgic to have your loved one fasten you up. ;) And I'm always up for a challenge.
I made several minor alterations that I'll share, some very visible, some not so much. I wanted to make something that I feel comfortable and confident in and that I'll wear frequently, but you can, of course, sew this straight up and get great results:
✚ I added 2 additional darts (there are already two bust darts and I added two princess seam darts, you could also add a couple to the back as well) to the front of the shirt and took in the sides to make it fitted. Blouse-y doesn't look good on me, so I felt much better about the more tailored look.
✚ I took the gathers out of the sleeves because I have very broad shoulders to begin with that any added poof makes me look more like a football player.
✚ I lengthened the underskirt by several inches (maybe 7?) and lengthened the overskirt by a few, so if you sew it up as is, the overskirt covers more of the ruffles than mine does.
✚ Instead of a casing for the waist, I used a thick ruffled elastic for the waistband. Speaking of elastic, don't you love that it's ruffled?! I got it from my favorite ruffle fabric store. I like to drool at all their amazing elastic (not to mention fabric!) They even have aztec elastic! I know!
✚ I didn't do buttons on the overskirt for the closure. The buttons are definitely a cute feature, but I was messing around with it and thought about tying it. It's just long enough that you can tie it in a knot and since it's double-sided, it shows a peek of the lining fabric when you do. Fun!The neckline is very sweet and flattering. I considered adding a collar, but then decided to just make the appearance of a color with some tiny black lace.
One of the great things about this is you can mix each piece up. The shirt would be great with pants, you can wear the underskirt alone, you can tie the overskirt around some jeans or leggings.
All very versatile!Over the years of making clothes for 6 girls (yes, I'm counting myself, too!) I've ruffled (more than) my fair share of ruffles. I've figured a few things out, but I always learn something new. Some pointers for ruffling on this project:
✚ It's very helpful if you use a fabric that can rip easily to rip the strips of fabric.
✚ To hem the bottom of the strips, invest in a rolled hem foot for your sewing machine. What this means is you don't have to spend hours and hours ironing the edge up once and then twice and then sewing. It does it all at the same time. Trust me. You will thank me.
✚ To finish the top portion of the strips, use the rolled hem stitch on your serger. This just zips through your machine, nicely finishing the edges. You could also do a satin stitch on your sewing machine, but it would take longer.
✚ I used my ruffling foot to gather the strips. Set it to the longest stitch length (5mm) which will prevent it from gathering too much.
For the "collar" I basted the edges of the lace so I could get it to curve. Easy peasy.
(My knotty view from up here :)It's become a game now, that my kids ask where I'm going to put "no big dill". I went bigger than usual on this. ;) I would have written it in Chinese, but it's a little rusty.
Reversible!!I laughed to myself as I was putting it all together as this is such an eclectic mix with the asian print, the batik fabric with the feminine touches of ruffles and lace. Perhaps that's one of the advantages of sewing until 5 in the morning?
So. How about a giveaway? A chance to win one of three sets of mommy & daughter Vivienne Patterns! How fun is that!
✚ Simply leave a comment!
✚ I will leave it open for a week and then choose and contact 3 winners.
✚ PLEASE include an email if your contact information isn't included in your profile link so you don't forfeit your chance to win.
✚ Hooray!! Thanks, Violette Field Threads!