I am on a journey to discover my style and before I dive into my two newest creations I want to share what I learned about myself with this ensemble even though it involves throwing widely accepted body shape principles out the window.
If you’ve been following my Wardrobe Journey you may know I was reading through the Curated Closet. Well I got stuck at the part where I’m supposed to go shopping and try a bunch of styles on. That feels like an insurmountable hurdle for me for two reasons. The first is that I have three very young children and consequentially have not gone clothes shopping in a store in over 5 years. The second is that with my 6′ frame the clothes won’t fit. It isn’t just hem and sleeve lengths that are impacted. The waistlines hit the widest part of my rib cage and other shaping hits all the wrong places, so I can’t even tell if the intended style works for me.
My other wardrobe struggle has been defining my shape. It seems a 5# weight swing can move me between a rectangle, pear or hourglass. What that tells me is that I am not noticeably any of them, and the corresponding dress-your-shape guidelines don’t work because they conflict with each other. So I can either panic, or throw all the rules out the window and do what feels good. I’m currently opting for the later. So plan B for me is: Don’t be afraid to try any style and see what makes you feel good. And for me, that means making things instead of trying them on in the store.
So this outfit was an experiment with a high-waisted full skirt, and a slashed neckline. I learned several things from it, while adding two pieces I love to my wardrobe.
This is the Brumby Skirt by Megan Nielsen (The paper pattern is currently out of stock but Indiesew will get it back as soon as it’s available again.). It has a fitted, contoured waistband that sits at the natural waist and is available in three different styles allowing a variety of fabric choices. I chose a heavy bottom-weight fabric which was perfect for the version I wanted that hits above the knee and has the most amazing pockets that make me want to find a field of wildflowers and fill them up.
Most of the creations I’ve seen online of this view use denim, which I most definitely want to try. This non-stretch denim from Indiesew is the perfect weight for it and would look amazing with gold thread. This dark mauve corduroy was handed down to me several years ago (back before I fell in love with the color) and was begging for the chance to be featured in this skirt. And when fabric begs, a good seamstress always obliges.
Other pattern features that I like are the wide hem, exposed zipper and the fit-and-flare effect it creates, which was the part I was experimenting with. My fear was that I didn’t have a defined enough waist for a waist-defining style, but I’ve realized this style creates the lines whether you have them or not. It does it most obviously with the high waist band, but also less obviously with the gathers and flare of the full skirt. The full skirt also does double duty by leg-slimming as well, and the combination of the two gives you legs for days.
When I chose the Gable Top it was with this ribbed tencel sweater knit in mind. My Kon-Mari last fall revealed that I needed a white sweater. I later won a credit to Harts Fabric and chose this fabric because it looked luxurious and perfect for a white sweater. You. guys. This fabric is rich! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen tencel and sweater in the same fabric description before. If you ever do, buy. it. (unless your stash shrinker won’t let you that is ;)) The only issue however is that I couldn’t see it working with a collar or a facing, and it didn’t have enough stretch for turtle neck. When I saw the Gable Top with it’s 50’s inspired neckline I knew they would make a great pair. So if you have a fabric that has neckline limitations, this top is an excellent option.
The slash neckline provides the visual shaping that my top half needs to work with the fullness of the skirt. You can see the angles from my shoulders in towards my waist and then out to the skirt hem. They balance each other nicely. The only drawback for my particular shape is that the high and slashed neckline doesn’t visually add curves, but regardless I feel very feminine in it.
If you are forward thinking to hotter days, this pattern also has short sleeves.
Overall I love drawing the visual line at my natural waist. Mine normally doesn’t look as defined as it is because I’m so long the slope isn’t as dramatic. Outfits like this help, especially with the full skirt adding a more dramatic shape. I also have a wide and long rib-cage and I think that looser tops that I can then tuck in at the waist (like this, this, or this) might be the next thing to try.
Both patterns came together well. The Gable is particularly fast. I struggled a bit with the exposed zipper on the skirt. I hand-basted it in place, but I found it challenging to balance the lines of the corduroy while sewing from the wrong side.
Trace paper pattern: 20 min
Cut and interface: 23 min
Construction: 3.5 hours (70 minutes on the zipper though so plenty of room for improvement)
Cut: 10 min
Construction: 1 hour
*As part of the Indiesew blogger team I was compensated for this post and given the patterns as well. As always all opinions are my own.