Hot! The “Just Take My Picture” Outfit

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The Facts

Fabric: Thrifted chambray and floral stretch cotton, $2
Pattern: Simplicity 7982, Simplicity 6814
Year: 1975, 1977
Notions: pearl snaps
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: August 2011
Wear again? Top, yes. Skirt, probably not.

See that above photo? You know why I'm sitting in that chair? Because at this point in our trip I was utterly exhausted — emotionally and physically. I'm sitting in our bed and breakfast courtyard in Santa Fe, NM (on the return trip — already having been on the road for almost a full week). This is the look of someone who has been either (1) driving in a car for at least 5 hours each day (2) wrangling a very exhausted three year-old (3) wrangling a dog (4) overwhelmed by heat (5) bloated from way too much salt, BBQ and Tex-Mex cuisine and most importantly:


So, yes, it's an uninspired photo shoot of an outfit that really was quite uninspired and, as my husband added, could have used some accessories.

But let's go back in time a bit. Back to the night before we left on our trip, two Wednesdays ago. Since I'd be on my trip for two Sew Weekly weeks, I had to have two outfits finished and photographed. The first being last week's take on VIP fabric. The second being my take on 1970s fashions. Because I knew I needed somewhat practical clothes, I opted to do separates. 

More importantly, because I had to start and finish the outfit on the eve before we left, I opted for the easiest 1970s patterns I could find in my stash. So, that's why I picked this skirt and shirt combo. 

The fabric for the skirt — the chambray — is way too lightweight. If it had been heavier, I would have liked it quite a bit. I used the pearl snaps because I couldn't find my buttonholer attachment. The combo made the skirt too sheer and flimsy to really be a comfortable travel ensemble.

The shirt was actually quite fun to put together: easy, straight-forward and a nice fit. It's the fabric I'm not too crazy about. The entire look reminds me of an outfit my grandmother would wear  when I was a kid in the 1980s. It's a great look for her, but for me, not so much.

So while I'm not crazy about this week's creation, I would totally use these patterns to make something completely different. Perhaps a courderoy skirt and striped top? Maybe a heavier denim for the skirt and a younger print for the top? Probably.

All I know is I'm very happy to be home.

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Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. Heck! I think you are such a rock star for doing this period! And my have to hand it to you for even doing the photos on the road during a family vacation! And still it looks super cute!

  2. OMG! The skirt is the first pattern I learned to “sew” with in Home Ec class. I remember the fabric was a blue floral polyester. 100% flammable. It was the 70’s. My buttonholes were handworked. I couldn’t destroy that skirt. Ah, good times.
    I love your outfit.

  3. I get what you mean about the shirt, but I think if you wore it with just the right pair of jeans or a cute navy pencil skirt and a fun, bold solid color beaded necklace it could make a really cute outfit!

  4. Mena..
    I really like your outfit..Know your ready for home.. Hope you and family had a good time.Happy sewing.

  5. Poor Mena, you look so pooped! You should have taken a break one of those weeks! I think the shirt could be made cuter with some fun trim, maybe.

  6. I really love the colour combo! I especially love the print fabric! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip!!

  7. i liiiiiike it and i LOVE the shoes! where’d you get ’em anyways?

  8. I think you look pretty. The top is sweet and reminds me of being a mom to a 3 year old in the late 70’s and thinking phew… this is hard work. One day you might do the same and marvel at the memmories you made and the fun you had on your trip. Loved the post! Glad you are home safely.

  9. Thanks, Dottie! I don’t know how some folks go on road trips and look absolutely amazing each day. I have a hard time not wearing my glasses and the same jeans each day!

  10. Thanks, Angela! I’m glad to have given you a trip down memory lane :)

  11. I wore the top with jeans during the trip and I liked it. I think the combination of that and the skirt is where it goes off the rails.

  12. Thanks, Judy — I’m actually quite happy to be back home and the break from sewing actually revitalized me. :)

  13. Yeah, I’ve been sleeping non-stop for the past couple days. But I finally have my sewing excitement back!

  14. Thanks, Debi! You should see the hat pattern I found. I’ll be posting about it soon.

  15. I honestly can’t remember where I got the shoes! And they were a recent purchase!

  16. Thanks, Susan. Even though the trip was difficult, we already have some great memories that I hope my daughter remembers when she is older.

  17. This argument takes place on a weekly basis in the Gabbart house – just take the picture already! Don’t art direct me! LOL
    Love this top and skirt – the cut of both are adorable and I love the fabric!

  18. Honestly, I find the top sweet and the color is energizing and joyful, I think this is two wonderful pieces separately, however, they look very comfortable together.

  19. I’m with you on the “get it over with” sentiment. I pretty much feel like that ALL the time. And oh do i adore that purse. I have a smaller version that I had to re-lace and then our dog chewed up the corner.

  20. You certainly don’t look like you’ve been trapped in a car wrangling dogs and children with a bloated tummy you look lovely and relaxed in this weeks challenge. You are Wonder Women I’m sure of it. I can see your super cape peeking out from your skirt. :P

  21. this post is killing me. KILLING ME.
    i’m also dying of jealousy over that bag…

  22. I love the last photo Mena, and your adventures from the road have been so fun! I hope you’re back and enjoying home!