There have been lots of cute versions of Simplicity 2554, so I had to jump on the bandwagon. This outfit was my last minute sewing before PR Weekend Philly and the photos are by LindsayT! The top fabric is a lightweight rayon knit leftover from my Hot Patterns Three Graces shirt (fabric.com, $5.25/yd) and the skirt is leftover from New Look 6429 (FFC, $4.75/yd), so (1) this outfit was practically free, and (2) these two fabrics from kind-of-fail projects are redeemed.
It was a tight fit to get the whole pattern onto my leftover fabric (there is another long skinny princess piece that I cut off a spur of the fabric, not shown here) and I had to ignore the grain lines for the ruffle and the neck binding. Since the ruffle is basically a circle, I didn't think it mattered exactly where it was on the bias and where on grain, and the final project bears me out on that.
As for the neck binding, it is supposed to be cut on the bias but it seems insane to cut a lightweight knit on the bias for binding. And in fact, at PR Weekend Montreal Jeanne of Jalie recommended cutting knit binding down the length of the grain as it is most stable, which is what I did here. Even so, the neck is definitely getting larger and larger every time I wear it. I should have stabilized the binding with a non-stretch interfacing (the neckline is large enough to pull over the head without stretching). I am going to have to retrofit it with clear elastic or something so the top doesn't end up falling to my waist when I put it on.
Although my construction on this was mostly slapdash, I did take the trouble to baste in the flounce; my fabric is *very* lightweight and somewhat difficult to control and it was definitely worth the extra step. However, I basted the flounces on at the 5/8" seam line, not thinking that the "seam line" at the neckline is the 3/8" binding rollover stitch. So I had to unpick all the neckline basting. Do yourself a favor and baste the flounce at 1/4" on the neckline edge!
So, I'm afraid I have to take my sewing machine in for service. I can't stand the thought of being without my machine! But for several months now the needle has been leaving large puncture holes in my fabric, no matter what size or type of needle and what type of fabric. I always make sure the needle is pushed all the way up before screwing it in. It seems like this is something I would recall if it had been happening from the beginning. I have a Bernina 1008 purchased about 6 years ago and serviced (*ahem*) never. Is this a service issue? Is it possible for the, um, thingy-shaft the holds the needle to slip downward over time, causing the needle to plunge too deeply into the fabric and need to be tightened up? It is not hitting the bobbin case or making a wonky stitch.
I totally love the ruffle look of this blouse, very on trend, but the downside is that the slightest puff of wind picks up the ruffles and leaves me in disarray. My other quibble is that I'm not sure I love the way the back of the ruffle is short and sewn into the side back princess seam instead of being the same length as the front or going all the way around the neck. But all in all I adore the top. It is flattering and comfortable and very ready-to-wear.
The skirt is just my basic self-drafted knit skirt, lined with some Vera Wang flesh-tone poly knit. Looking at these photos I thought it was time to make it a little larger, but in wearing the skirt recently I realized that I drafted the sloper with a really high waist but was wearing the skirt a little lower, which was creating those high hip wrinkles. So I think I need to lower the waistband and the hem of the skirt and it will fit and flatter.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.
I feel like Simplicity is really on a roll here--three patterns in a row of uncomplicated but not boring, current, trendy, well-drafted tops. I have not thought of Simplicity as the fashionable pattern line in the past, but I think it is stepping up its pace to keep up with the fashion cycle and giving us looks while everyone else is still wearing them. Go Simplicity!