Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A uniform


I think that I could happily make about twenty different versions of this top! I actually made this one well over a month ago, but I ended up sacrificing a few of the details that I had planned due to not having quite enough fabric - such as a full collar and rounded plackets - so I ended up posting about the subsequent version first, as it was closer to what I'd originally envisaged.


The fabric I used for this first version was Heather Bailey's Momentum rayon, which is quite dreamy and has that rare quality of being opaque, but also being incredibly fine and drapey, without the special occasion delicacy of a crepe de Chine. It's perfect for everyday wear. I love it. The only place I could find it in the UK was Clothkits and I bought their last 95cm (this top really is made from just 95cm - I barely had an inch left!), but I've since realised that Fancy Moon also stock it. I love how wearable this print is - very much designed with dressmaking in mind, rather than quilting.


The blouse is self-drafted and I'm really happy with the fit. It's quite long, with a deeper hem at the back, as well as a box pleat at the back yoke (I'm not sure you can see it too well here!). This means that the blouse can be relatively fitted through the chest, but flare out with a little more room over the hips, to accommodate a naturally-occurring bustle (which I believe would have been the envy of many Victorian ladies who had to settle for artificially constructed wire or wooden ones, which I imagine must have proved very tricky to sit upon! Thankfully, mine has none of these design flaws).



It's so comfortable that I can see myself happily pulling on one of these tops a lot - although not in a comfy pair of pyjamas way, but just in terms of it feeling full of details that I love and very wearable. I recently read about a woman who has taken to wearing a self-imposed work uniform to simplify the process of getting ready each day. Her story resonated with me: I love clothes (in the obsessive, heart-racy way of loving them), but equally I also don't want to spend much time getting ready in the morning. I realised that over the winter, I'd naturally taken to wearing an unofficial uniform myself: I don't think I wore anything other than skinny black jeans from September to April this year. They felt perfect for everything from dog walks to going out in the evening and all I needed to do was to pick out a jumper from my limited colour palette of navy or grey options, which meant that dressing took less than two minutes each day.

The uniform of black jeans were all Baxter jeans from Topshop bought up over the last three or four years (sadly, now discontinued and reincarnated under the same name, but in a completely inferior and unwearable form, which makes me wonder why they've called them the same thing), which I dyed black every few months to make up for the constant washing, as while I've never been someone who feels the need to wash jeans every two or three days, sadly Nell hasn't yet learnt the art of not splattering mud over her walker during a wet winter, so frequent jean-washing was a necessity.


This shirt has five button holes and I was pleased to discover that my machine (I think I've had it since January, but I've only started trialling its perfection as a dressmaking companion more recently.) makes them beautifully with very little input from me! I'll have to tell you all about my machine in another post as I truly love it and would definitely recommend it.


Right, I think that's everything. Do tell me about your own uniform if you have one.

Florence x

24 comments:

  1. Pretty blouse; you do good work! I'd like to hear more about your experience dyeing jeans black. I have two pairs I like a lot that started out black but I've worn and washed them so frequently that they are now more a gray color. I'd like to get back to the original and until I read this post, had not thought of dyeing them. The fit is great on me and, like your Baxter jeans, the exact version is no longer available in stores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use Dylon dyes and have to admit to having a slight addiction to how nicely black the dye leaves my jeans. Once they're dyed, the dye never comes off on furniture/hands etc. However, I have quite a big BUT with the dyes and that's that they do stain the machine when using dark colours, despite Dylon's claims to the contrary. In the last ten years, three of my washing machine seals have been dyed black by their dyes and despite always following their instructions and also washing the machine through with some soda crystals at a high temperature afterwards, I've never managed to use one of their darker dyes without being left with a stained seal. My current machine also has a habit of withholding dye in its workings and just occasionally a few weeks after dying something, it will release a glob of black dye into a wash (usually over white bed linen!) and it's really making me question whether I want to continue using them as it's beginning to get prohibitively expensive due to the costs of re-buying bed linen. I'm considering switching over to their hand dyes, which you can do in a bucket, but the whole thing sounds quite messy and labour intensive! I hope that helps...sort of.

      Delete
    2. Last summer my mum and I used some Procion MX dyes for shibori/tie-dye and they were less hassle than I was expecting - especially if you have some outside space so splashes are less of a concern. They're fibre-reactive which I think is supposed to be reasonably eco-friendly. I can't vouch for the blackness of the black but you can get them quite cheap on Ebay so might be worth a try.

      Delete
  2. love the blouse! I too like the idea of a uniform, makes dressing so much easier - I seem to spend my time in dog splattered jeans too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love e your blouse, beautiful. X

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love e your blouse, beautiful. X

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the blouse! Did you base the pattern on any others? I'm looking for a pattern just like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really sorry - I always find it frustrating when someone posts something I'd love to make, only to find that it's self-drafted, but no, sorry, it's not based on another pattern.

      Delete
  6. Lovely blouse!! As are all your handmades.

    What brand are your shoes? Thanks!
    Carrie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're just regular Birkenstocks - widely available and super comfy. x

      Delete
  7. Wow, this blouse is absolutely gorgeous and I can't believe you drafted it yourself! I would HAPPILY wear this as a uniform!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Such nice shirts, and I'm quite drawn to the idea of a 'uniform' too - the huge variety of outfits we [can] wear now seems like a very recent development. I don't really have one myself yet, but I have come around to the idea of buying multiples of basic items when you find a version you like - I would have thought that was boring before but now it seems such a relief not to have to choose each vest, t-shirt, pair of socks, etc individually. And I'd love to have a 'uniform' of sewing patterns, a few styles that I could make again and again, but so far I feel I haven't found quite the right patterns or got the fit just right on anything. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a problem, I've found in the past too, Nina. Colette's Laurel has been the closest I've come to one that I can make over and over, in terms of proper patterns. I'm increasingly finding that if I really want something to fit, I have far more chance of that if I draft it myself. x

      Delete
  9. Beautiful, it looks so soft and comfy to wear.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love it!! I SO wish I could use a sewing machine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please tell about your machine, as I am ready for an upgrade (after 21 years).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Super - I'll try to post about it in the next month or so!

      Delete
  12. I love this shirt and it suits you so well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A uniform pretty much describes my dressing style for the last many years. I currently have two identical white tank style tops which I drafted myself, lined in white voile, and two identical store bought black sleeveless poplin tops. I 'rotate' these to wear with three long skirts (one which I made from organic cotton). I wear these 95% of the time, all year round, just adding a black jacket of the right weight for the day and shoes or boots. I find I settle into a routine and stick with one set of clothes for two to four years until they wear out or I find/make something new which becomes my next new 'uniform'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of a roll-over uniform that you redesign every few years!

      Delete
  14. Beautiful Shirt and looking cool. This is looking comfortable and smart. Keep it up good work. I am looking forward to you. Thanks for share with us wonderful shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is so, so pretty! I need to figure out how to draft a placket like that because I'd love to have a popover shirt or two in my closet! I actually love this without the collar- it's a fun look! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a real head twister - I based it on a man's shirt sleeve placket, but made it a bit wider and then turned the whole thing back to front, because of womenswear opening on the other side to menswear! It took me quite a few hours of head scratching!!! x

      Delete
  16. It's a lovely blouse! I'd like to hear about your machine too, I'm trying to decide on a new one!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...