Hot! The “Buttoned Up Gal Friday” Ensemble

The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton/Lycra Blend Shirting :: about 2 yards @ $1.95 a yard (this fabric was not very wide)
100% Wool Suiting :: about a yard @ $6.49 a yard (this one was very wide)
Patterns: Simplicity 3117 (1959), $6 from Etsy
Simplicity 1688 (1956), Free(!!) from the Sew Weekly NYC Meet-up Pattern Swap!
Year: The 1950’s in Twenty12
Notions: Buttons, lace, velvet ribbon, hook and eye, interfacing
Time to complete: FOREVER!! It’s possible that the alternate universe me is STILL unpicking and restitching this damn skirt. I worked on it almost non stop for 2 days. The shirt was worked in pieces over 4 days.
First worn: To take these pics on 1.15.11
Wear again?: Hell yes! After it warms up and I stop hating the skirt for all the work it was ;p
Total Price: About $20 including notions and minus the 15% off I got on the fabric. That smug feeling of accomplishment is priceless!!

The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble


This skirt was a labor of…LABOR! A simple wrap skirt seems so easy, right? Had I been working with a more agreeable fabric, it would have been. I started this skirt on Friday thinking it would be done in a snap. I was heady with the success of my shirt, particularly the buttonholes, so I may not have been thinking clearly.

This baby has TWELVE darts! Wtf was I thinking?!? I hate making darts! The waistband was a disaster the first time I applied it (per the instructions), the machine hem looked dreadful. Waistband off, hem unpicked. Waist band reattached, hem hand stitched.

The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble
Then the wool was too sticky to work with my buttonhole attachment. Of course I was nearly at the end of the line by then, so there was nothing for it but to work the buttonholes by hand (!!!!) which, thanks to the forgiving nature of this wool, turned out rather nice!

All of the work was SOOOO worth it, though!! One of my hopes for taking part in this challenge was to produce better quality sewing. I would have NEVER taken this much time to work out the small details if I was making this to post to my blog only. In fact, I am sure that this would have ended up in the UFO pile once I realized the buttonholes were a non starter.

Cuffs sans buttonholes

I tried making this shirt before, but it was too big and the rayon I chose was not a great choice for my first try at making a proper shirt. This time, I folded out about an inch of width in the front and 3/4 of an inch in the back and chose a more stable fabric to work with. Result!

Those pleats should have been “soft” pleats, but I like the look of them stitched down. My machine could not handle the interfacing on the cuffs with the buttonhole attachment on, so I tacked them together. I hadn’t tackled the skirt’s hand stitched buttonholes yet, and doing so here didn’t occur to me. I may go back and add them. I think I would like wearing cufflinks.
Ta ta for now, peeps. I’m touching up the old lipstick before I throw on my cardi. I’m headed to happy hour with the other ladies in the typing pool!
The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble



Wanett Clyde is a wife, mama of four and library school student that manages to cram a lot into her days. She loves books, writing, creating, the color purple, sarcasm, summertime, staying up late, anything British, BROOKLYN(!!!), and her family.


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  1. This looks wonderfully tailored. Really very smart looking.

  2. you look so fierce. what a great look for you!

    • Thank you, Devra!! I will put this compliment in my mental pocket so I can take it out and read it when I am looking un-fierce!

    • Thank you, Devra! I will put this compliment in my mental pocket so I can take it out and read it when I am looking un-fierce!! Which is most of the time ;o)

  3. I agree… you look so fierce (in all sense of the word). I’m always interested to see/know how other people finish the INSIDES of garments (we spend so much time looking at the outside and all)… your skirt’s guts are beautifully done.

  4. It turned out very well, and I give you so much credit for making something with 12 darts!

    • Thanks, Meg!! I don’t know how the number of darts flew under my radar for so long??? I was cutting the fabric before it really dawned on me. Silly!

  5. You look excellent. 12 darts? That’s crazytown. But you make it work.

    • Thanks, Leah! It IS crazytown! But, you know I think this waistline was the only one I’ve sewn with no swayback issues….something to be said for those darts!

  6. Can’t believe you tackled two garments and both with buttons! Love how they turned out….the bit of lace on the inside hem is a perfect touch.

  7. Very sharp – very professional!

  8. Super classy Nettie, 12 darts? Wow. You look every bit the professional.

    • Thanks, Kazz!! Now I will just have to hang on to this look for when I have to look professional. Which probably won’t be anytime soon, lol.

  9. Nettie this outfit looks beautiful, I really must make a white blouse like this as I think they always look so nice. You look amazing to say you have had 4 children, I nearly fell off my chair when I read that, you just don’t look old enough! lol!!! You must be very busy every day, and to fit in sewing too – I am so impressed!

    • Thanks, Lynn!! Everyone can use a white button up, yes?!? You can have four children and still look young, if you start early enough ;o) I will be 33 in October and my oldest will be 11 on March 1st. I am busy, sewing time is about to fly away into the ether as school has started :(

  10. I adore this outfit. You are all business and style and fabulous – love it!