Hot! The ‘Now or Never’ Outfit | Debi Fry

The Facts

Fabric: purple cotton broadcloth, 1 metre £3; tartan scarf from Ness for belt
Pattern: Simplicity 3879
Year: c.  1950's
Notions: self-cover belt buckle kit from A Fashionable Stitch £8.50

Time to complete: 3 hours in 2009; 4 hours in 2011

Wear again? YES!

Total Cost: ~£12

This week I decided to visit my oldest UFO.  I have a few more exciting UFOs waiting in my pile (like the sequined blouse) but this UFO declared that it was either now or never.  So I said, 'NOW, please!'  You see way back when (2009) I sewed up a fabulous 50's outfit from Simplicity 3879 (which I believe is now a Simplicity repro pattern):

Picture 38

I made the super fabulous bolero from the pattern and a pencil skirt (a last minute change of heart after I had already cut out the material for the full skirt).  I love the outfit I made and wear it all the time (weather permitting):

Picture 39
Well at the same time that I started this outfit, I also started sewing the halter top from the Simplicity pattern.  But something happened.  The pattern totally stumped me.  I found the halter top complicated and challenging.  And then something really bad happened…while I was working on the project I found the perfect Ready to Wear top that went with my skirt and bolero! On a sale rack no less.  Into the UFO pile the perplexing halter top went and it's been ignored ever since.

Until this week.

It was either now or never.  You see we've been having some lovely days here (I've counted 4 stellar days in the last month!!) AND I have an upcoming work trip to Lisbon (rough, I know!) where I know it will be HOT!  I don't really have much in the way of warm weather clothes.  So this piece really fills the gap.  Plus, the first skirt I ever made from a 1940's pattern is made from the exact same purple fabric as the halter top (this is the skirt I am wearing in these photos).  So I've already got my me-made mix-and-match separates.  Lastly, I recently picked up some fabulous accessories from my favourite Scottish store, Ness, which definitely compliments the purple colour!

David also helped out complete the outfit this week by making the matching belt.  You see my sister is in town and we visited the Ness shop in Edinburgh.  She walked away with a pair of cute tartan wellies and I came away with these adorable ballet flats and matching skirt.  But I really wanted a matching belt too.  Ness, unfortunately doesn't make belts in their tartans….BUT they did have a matching scarf.  I got a really easy to use belt kit from Sunni over at A Fashionable Stitch (after learning the hard way that I don't really like making belt patterns with just interfacing). Since my sister is in town, there has been little extra free time for sewing (I've been getting up really early to get in a few hours).  David knew I wanted to make the belt and offered to do it for me (awwwww).  It is AMAZING!  Plus there is still plenty of scarf left over to use as, well, a scarf!!

Picture 40
So, cute accessories aside, how was it revisiting the perplexing pattern instructions two years later with a bit of sewing already under my belt?  Easy peasy.  I think what was initially confusing me was the bias underfacing (something I had never done up to that point).  Though I do admit the fit was still a bit difficult and I ended up making the halter top too big and had to take it in by about 2 inches in the bust area (despite having done a fitting stage).

I absolutely love the outfit together!  I think this will definitely be a warm weather favourite! I even have a cute cardigan that goes with it!  What about you?  What is your now or never UFO?


Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


Comments are closed.

  1. I love that color on you! And your husband is so sweet for making the belt for you.
    At the moment I don’t have any sewing UFO’s but I’m sure that will change as time goes on.

  2. I agree with Lizz – that color is fantastic!

  3. Debi! I love this outfit and I’m so happy that over time it all made perfect sense, it gives me hope on some of my more challenging projects! Love seeing your blue skies and sunny shoulders! It looks lovely in Scotland and once again you have made a lovely outfit! Hugs to David for being a sweetheart!

  4. I love this outfit and the accessories are just killer!

  5. The colors are simply AMAZING on you! Love those matching belt, bag and shoes!!! I’m actually jealous of the sunshine you have in Scotland today, it has been raining for the past couple of days here at the equator. And David is SO sweet and wonderful to have made you the fantastic belt!

  6. Glad the time came for this UFO – sweet outfit and the tartan accessories are a beaut.

  7. judy roberson

    what a nice outfit.. I love the plaid accessories, just beautiful with your outfit.
    What a sweet husband to make your belt.. HappY Sewing.

  8. I love it! What beautiful colours together and so nice on you. and… what a fab belt!… David, you’re a keeper!
    I do have a now or never ufo this week.. shame it isn’t for me!.. rather for a certain little girl to be flower girl at a wedding at the end of the month. Have you ever set in size 2 sleeves – and in duchess satin?! hence.. ufo.

  9. Debi – this colour is so good on you! I love the outfit, very special (and perfect for that trip to Lisbon), and the belt & shoes complete it perfectly – and how clever is your husband!! Love it!

    i adore these colors, if you didn’t already guess. and they look SO stunning on you! i really cannot believe david and his belt. seriously? and he poured you & sis drinks nonstop, yes?

  11. margueritedesigns

    Want those shoes! Dress is good too!

  12. Purple is my absolute favourite colour team that with some funky shoes and you have made this my most favourite outfit ever! Love it!

  13. Love the outfit and Ness products! When we were in Scotland a few years ago I picked up a few accessories from there. I love their plaids in fun colors. I’m drooling over your shoes!

  14. You look fantastic!! Purple is definitely one of your signature colours! I love the Ness accessories – they really put such a nice point on the whole outfit. Love it!

  15. Love the dress, belt and shoes! What a fantastic ensemble! I abosutely love the colors you went with – great job, dear!!!

  16. I have a halter top UFO made of bamboo rayon that has been sitting there for a little over a year. Oops. I really love the color of yours! I’m working with a medium-weight rayon now for the Crescent skirt in that same color. It’s nice to have separates that are the same color, I’ve been wanting to do that. Nice job and very nice of David to help out with the belt!

  17. What a bombshell! I have been eyeing this very pattern off on etsy for quite sometime, loving the sculptured shape of the halter top. It really turned out fantastic and good work on finishing something you started so long ago. The Ness touches look great with it too! I’m terribly envious that your sister bought the tartan wellies, they are still on my wishlist – Glad you two had a fun time!

  18. Super cute! And the accessories are awesome!

  19. Looks wonderful :) Your husband is so handy!

  20. Oh I love it! It isn’t fair that you are one of the few people that look good in purple. It is one of my favorite colors but still one of my worst enemies to wear :(
    The accessories are amazing and your David is such a sweetie. If I ever get to Scotland I’m going to Ness first thing.

  21. Yay! I cannot believe Husbie made the belt! WOW!
    I love purple, and would wear this outfit in a flash! Nice work!

  22. Argh! You look so stunning! I’m also super envious of your amazing accessories and life organisation skills to get this done while having family visiting! And more super incredible points to David – that is one talented husband you have! Hmm… your amazing sewing skills have inspired a comment with excessive overuse of the exclamation mark… oh well, each one is well deserved! Hope you’re having a lovely week xx

  23. I love this colour too! And good on ya for not having any UFO’s….once they start piling up–it’s way to easy to add more to the pile!!

  24. Thanks Amy!! Purple has always been one of my favourite colours!!

  25. Thanks Cathe! We are having a proper summer! I can’t believe it…it is so beautiful!!

  26. thanks Rae!! I’m a huge fan of tartan accessories!

  27. Thanks Adey! We’ve been having a freakishly good run of weather lately :) I love these colours too! Imight have to make more!!

  28. thanks Judy!! yeah, David’s a sweetie!

  29. Ohhh the flower girls dress sounds so cute! But eek…size 2 details in duchess satin!!! I’m very impressed!

  30. Thanks Debbie! I am super excited to wear this in Lisbon…hello tapas and sunshine :)

  31. oh yes! drinks non-stop! so much fun!!!

  32. Ness is a seriously awesome accessories store! they do most of their business by post. You should check them out (Ness)as shipping is really cheap in the UK.

  33. awwww! Thanks Kirsty!

  34. oh yeah! they are really fun accessories…I really enjoy sewing clothes around the accessories! They now ship worldwide (as opposed to a few years ago when it was pretty much just UK). You should check out their website–Ness

  35. Thanks Sarah! I’ve always loved purple and I stopped wearing it for awhile but I’m definately going to wear it more often!!

  36. ooohhh bamboo rayon! That sounds great! Where did you get your bamboo rayon?

  37. Thanks Molly! I know they’ve reissued this pattern as well but I don’t know if they changed it in any way (i.e. added ease). It’s pretty straightforward but there are a few spots where the instructions are slightly confusing (more on the bolero)…but I found it fairly easy to fit the halter which is good! I also ended up omitting the back neck tie closure and just sewed it shut! It has a side zip so it’s really easy to get in and out of!

  38. Thanks Stephanie :)

  39. He definitely is! Such a sweetie!

  40. Thanks so much! I love purple too….too bad you can’t wear it..what a bummer! Can you wear purple-ish colours like lilac or mauve? I really like mauve too! The accessories are so much fun…especially good for me because the shoes aren’t leather. They ship worldwide–so you should definitely check out their website (Ness)

  41. I know! Isn’t he awesome!!! Yeah! This outfit turned out really nice and I am lovin’ our warm weather!!

  42. hehehehehe! I love your comment Amanda! It’s always hard finding time to sew with visitors especially since they usually stay with us (in the sewing room no less…hehehehehe). It was so sweet of David to help out with the belt as I was seriously running out of time and I really love how it looks with the belt!

  43. Debi
    This dress is gorgeous on you. I really like you in this fifties vibe! And purple is a great color for you. WOWZA

  44. Thanks Justine!!! Did you see that you won the pattern giveaway! woot, woot!!

  45. What a great sun dress. love the belt, shoes and purse too.