This is one of my favorite makes. Not only because of the but because of the work I put into it. On a whim, I signed up for Craftsy Unlimited and I had access to courses that I probably wouldn't have paid for independently. When I made Vogue 9077 I ventured into some hand sewing and I've been interested in doing a little more. Knowing that couture techniques involve a lot of it, I decided to learn a little more. Over a few weeks, I watched parts of Alison Smith's "Couture Finishing Techniques" and "Couture Dressmaking Techniques" and integrated skills from both courses into making this outfit. I highly recommend these courses and you can give them a try with a 7 day free trial of Craftsy Unlimited.
I was going to originally make this into a dress by extending the peplum but then I decided not to because I wanted to get more wear out of each piece. I knew that I could wear the top again with skinny jeans for a cute going out outfit and that I would wear the skirt to work with a plain top.
Since I was not going to make a dress, I decided to make a simple pencil skirt. Even though I have several pencil or straight skirt patterns, including some self-drafted ones, I tried a simple McCalls pattern because it was on sale and I like that ready-made patterns come with facings.
This pencil skirt pattern comes in 5 lengths and I made view D, which is the second shortest.
It was very simple and I enjoyed making it. I usually wear a 12 in the waist and 14 for hips, and so I graded from 12 to 14. I ended up trimming it off more than that while fitting it so it probably ended up being more like 10 in the waist and 12 in the hips.
There is a vent for views A-C, but D and E do not have vents. I can understand why there isn't one for view E, but I think for D having a short vent or kick pleat would be useful. Perhaps I wouldn't want this if I had not made it even smaller than drafted, but when I make this again I'll incorporate that.
A couple of the things I integrated from the couture techniques classes from Craftsy was underlining and stitching down the facings with a catchstitch and hems with a herringbone stitch. I think that the muslin underlining made the skirt feel sturdy and I plan to use this again with future African print skirts that are fitted.
Now, on to the top. Again, I used elements from the couture techniques. Instead if interfacing the bodice, I did a hybrid of underlining and interlining the bra and midriff portion of the top. I did this because I didn't want to put the boning into the lining.
I then hand stitched the lining into the bodice using embroidery floss. I used a flat fell stitch and I really like seeing the hint of red inside.
As a final touch, I added a waist stay. I think the boning, waist stay, and underlining made this a sturdy top. I wore it to a wedding and danced the night away without wondering once about whether it was going to stay up or not.
Patterns: McCall's 7752 (Top) Strapless top with midriff and peplum pieces and McCall's 3830 (Misses' Pencil Skirts In Five Lengths) View D.
Size: 12 for top and 12 waist graded to 14 for the skirt, but I took in both the top and skirt.
Likes: The top is really standout and the skirt is a great basic.
Dislikes: With the top, none really. I normally wear a size 12 in tops but I took it in around at inch at the waist. This actually ended up giving it two interesting pleats in the back which maybe gave it a little more drama and volume. The skirt was less fitted than I prefer and I also took it in a bit from the waist to the hips. I do think that a small vent or kick pleat would be nice.