Best laid plans & all that

Sooo…  Sewing an Autumn/Winter wardrobe.  Sort of going ok, but a little sidetracked!  A wedding invitation has scuppered my sewing plans a little.  Admittedly, we did receive the invitation some time ago, definitely way before I made my sewing plans, but like all things I dread, I’d pushed it to the back of my mind.

The dreaded invitation...
The dreaded invitation…

Initially I thought of chanelling a bit of a 70’s vibe, maybe some flared trousers, a crossover top with bishop sleeves, that sort of thing.  But then I reconsidered, I didn’t want to be looking like I was supposed to be attending a themed Christmas party and got lost.  The wedding is on the 19th December and we’re invited to the whole shebang, not just the dancing and snacks afterwards, so I wanted something that would look good from 1pm to 1am!

Some outfit ideas - no 70s vibes!
Some outfit ideas – no 70s vibes!

Now I’m a daywear sort of person, sure I like the idea of dressing up, but we just don’t go out much – blame Mr (not) Compulsive, he works too much.  So I have nothing I could just whip out and wear, not that I’d do that anyway, who needs an excuse to make another outfit??

Here's an idea...
Here’s an idea…

After much deliberation, head scratching and hair pulling I had a brainwave.  Plain simple black trousers (there was a nice pattern in a BurdaStyle magazine last year) with a silvery coloured top, drapey (cue the timely launch of Colette Patterns Wren crossover dress) and something to keep me warm, I liked the Longley Cardigan by Wendy Ward.

So I bought said Wren PDF pattern with bonus sleeve pack (why don’t they just sell it with one longsleeve, marked for short, elbow and 3/4 length??), thinking I’d chop it at hip length and make a peplum sort of thing, I already had coming in the post a silvery-grey slubby jersey from Clothspot. I’d been eyeing it for a while and when I discovered it has suddenly moved into the remnants section I realised I could put off buying it no longer!  It seemed perfect, crossover top with peplum in silver-grey slubby jersey, the black trouser fabric was on its way from Croft Mill Fabrics and all I needed to find was the perfect colour boiled wool for the cardi.

Wren toile
Wren toile

But I didn’t like the Wren-as-top.  I’d made some pre-toile alterations, widening the ridiculously narrow sleeve, making it 3/4 length instead of elbow, doing a FBA and lengthening the bodice slightly.  Turns out I needed to lengthen dramatically and choose a different size to FBA.  I decided I couldn’t be bothered right now.  I wanted to make all the other fabric taking up room on the cutting table too!!

Unimpressed face
Unimpressed face

I reverted to a favourite shape, a drape cowl.  Using my tee-shirt block developed earlier in the year I had a little play with cowl depth and drape and made 3 versions, the last was the happy choice.

Making the cowl drape front pattern
Making the cowl drape front pattern
Testing the drape and cowl depth on vintage Betty
Testing the drape and cowl depth on vintage Betty, this is version two.

So quick to make up and the silver-grey jersey is perfect in it!  I didn’t go straight to the silver stuff though.  To make sure I was perfectly happy with it all I used a sort of denim blue-grey jersey from Fancy Silk Store and made the pattern up.  I’ve worn that tee soo much!  (Really needs its own post)

A very wearable, and much worn already, first version of the cowl drape tee.
A very wearable, and much worn already, first version of the cowl drape tee.

The wedding version was cut & made in a couple of hours using the overlocker and twin needle on my sewing machine.  One down, two to go! You’ll see good, proper pictures when the whole outfit is done..

Almost done just needing hems.
Almost done just needing hems.
Trying it out for the first time, I like it!!
Trying it out for the first time, I like it!!

I hae toiled the Burdastyle trousers I thought I wanted.  Turns out they weren’t quite what was in my mind, so I’ve drafted a pair from my own block, toiled and fiddled and am ready to cut the main fabric – today!! Fingers crossed…

ps.  I still haven’t given any thought the the “fancy headgear” referred to in the invitation.  Help…?

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Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

26 thoughts on “Best laid plans & all that”

  1. That cowl top is a very happy choice, I think! It just looks so great on you, why bother changing a winning look!
    I have to say that I get quite annoyed at outfit prescriptions for weddings and such. It always makes me want to NOT wear the fancy headgear, just because!

    1. Thanks Chris, I am rather keen on a cowl drape! I think I’d have prefered the invitation to have a definite dress code, rather than the headgear thing, but I should be greatful they didn’t insist on a theme!!

  2. I don’t get invited to many weddings obviously because this is new to me. I am just getting used to the “We are getting married in Mexico and you have to buy your own ticket” invitation. Sounds a bit demanding to me. I was just happy that guests came and we could celebrate. I do love your choice of top. The cowl neck is well made.

    1. Thankfully neither do we!! I don’t think I’d be turning up to a wedding where I needed to lay out a huge amount of money just to get thee. I’d then assume no gifts were necessary… It should be about having special people with you to celebrate. 🙂

  3. Love the cowl, and at least it’s something you’ll wear afterwards too. I’d get some reindeer antlers on a head band and tinsel!
    PS I’ve just made the wren, made 2 Muslins of the bodice and was worth the effort. I love it. Are you going to go back to it?

    1. I plan on getting loads of wear out of this top, and to make many more from the pattern! I kinda like the idea of antlers!! 🙂
      I might go back to the Wren later, but right now I have too many other things to make!

  4. I love the cowl, perfect for a dressy occasion . There’s something about dressing up that always puts me in a sewing dither too, I can never decide what to make! but I think your outfit sounds perfect.

    1. It all depends on the theme I suppose, but whatever it is, you can guarantee we won’t like it and won’t have anything to wear! Thank goodness we sew! 🙂

  5. You are so clever… really, with the ability to create whatever you want from an existing block, why bother with commercial patterns? ^_^ It is a skill that seems like magic to me!

    I think if I were required to wear fancy headgear I would take the opportunity to wear a blingy tiara. I’ve never owned/worn one and I’ve always wanted to! LOL

    1. Aaaw, thanks!! I confess, I’m lazy too often for my own good, which is when I reach for commercial patterns (most often Burda) and make something quick. I do love it when something can be made from scratch though, makes all my little grey cells work a little more! 🙂

  6. I too love a good cowl and they are so versatile …. I can’t wait to see what the final outfit was like, and whether you wore something on your head (that doesn’t sound right but you know what I mean!!?)…..

    1. Hi Del, thankfully we are in a part of the country that hasn’t been under the deluge. I really feel for the people in Cumbria, Lancashire & Yorkshire who’ve suffered the floods this Christmas.

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