In my quest to make more work-appropriate separates, I realized fairly quickly that in addition to blouses, I definitely needed some plain, solid-colored bottoms.
I bought this fabric, a very slightly stretchy twill, when cottons were on sale at Fabric.com recently. I don't have a large stash, and I definitely don't have very much in terms of bottomweight fabric. Or actually anything for that matter. I have lots of blouse fabric and dress fabric (though in terms of stashing, I don't have very much in general, by sewing blog standards!)
This material was right up my alley! Thin enough for summer, but thick enough to have some body.
I used Mettler thread (purchased from Sun Sew Vac when I bought my new sewing machine!) This was my first time with Mettler thread, which everyone says is fantastic, but I didn't notice too much difference. The color of the thread was an absolute dead-on match though, so there's that.
I serged the insides with white thread. I don't stock any serger thread besides white or black unless I have a special project. But white and navy look nice together and the contrast seam finish adds a little something to the inside of the garment in this case, I think!
I used a black invisible zipper in the center back. One of my friends gave me a stash of black and red invisible zippers, and the navy is so dark you can't really tell that the zipper doesn't match, can you?
In terms of pattern, I used the Cake Patterns Pavlova circle skirt pieces (why draft your own when you have a pattern that already did it for you?) and made my own waistband.
The last time I made the Pavlova skirt, I was unhappy with the waistband. This time, I slightly more than doubled the waistband and I cut it much larger than recommended. I don't know why, but for some reason, the 30-inch waist piece on my pattern in no way matches the skirt (the skirt is several inches wider at the top than the waistband is!) I don't know if I got a misprint or what.
The Pavlova top was perfect (I wore it yesterday!) but the skirt just didn't do it for me, so I doubled the height of the band and then added a few inches to get to 30 inches with seam allowance so that I could enclose the zipper at the top, a la Colette Ginger.
I wore this skirt to work today and I must say, it's very comfortable. I love a circle skirt for wearing ease! And in this outfit, I feel very Ulyana Sergeenko.
In addition to the skirt, I should probably mention this blouse. It's a New Look 6808 that I made last year soon after I started sewing (and somehow I never blogged it!) The fabric is from G Street and they had only a yard, but I was in love, so a blouse it was!
I eliminated the back darts so that I could leave out the side zipper. Hilariously, the seams are all pinked and therefore beginning to unravel. Every time I wear this blouse, I swear I'm going to remake it before I wear it again, but I never seem to get there. One day!
Miss Celie wrote today about adjusting to "work appropriate" in her new job and her post rang so true to me. I have worked in D.C. for the past several years, but my new job seems much fancier in terms of dress than my old job. Both had the same stated dress code for the most part, but everyone at my new job always looks very corporate. (Not to mention the fact that I spent the entirety of last year working from home in my leggings!)
It probably doesn't help that all I see on the Metro and on my walks into the office are pencil skirts and silk tops and I just don't have much of that. I'm just not a pencil skirt kind of girl. So I've been struggling to define "work appropriate" in terms of my personal style and comfort.
It's a process!
How to you handle the intersection of home-sewn and work-appropriate? I'd love to know what you think!