Hot! The “Green Top, ‘Green’ Skirt” Combo

The Facts

Fabric: Green/orange patterned lycra from stash, Orange polyester crepe pillow case from Goodwill thrift store $1.99
Pattern: Top – Butterick 5497. Skirt – Simplicity 2154.
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 1/4″ elastic, velcro dots both from stash.
Time to complete: 10 hours
First worn: 12th March 2012
Wear again? Top yes without a doubt. Skirt was a wearable muslin so will be taken apart to be used as a pattern for future projects.
Total price: $1.99

This week’s theme: “Going Green – This week, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re all going green”.

As a 3/4 English, 1/4 Scot, I don’t really do St. Patrick’s Day like the Americans (and the Irish obviously) do but I’m always up for a challenge like making something green.

And as you can see this week I whipped up a green top and a green skirt. Nope, I haven’t gone colour-blind. That orange skirt is green…..well, an upcycled pillow case from a thrift store (charity shop), so it’s ‘green’ too.

I used this challenge to learn and practice some more skills – this is the first pencil, or even straightish skirt I’ve ever made, and definitely my first back vent (is that even what it’s called?) and although I’ve worked with stretch materials before (twice) I still haven’t mastered sewing straight lines as I would like to yet with them. And I’m possibly going to use this shape skirt on the next Sew Weekly challenge – a Mad Men themed one.

I don’t know what it is with the Simplicity 2154 pattern – but it makes up HUGE. I should have sussed this from making the sleeveless blouse from it for the UFO challenge a few weeks back….but I didn’t. I made up the skirt, then had to take it in gradually 4 times….and as you can see it’s still not as form fitting as one would like. But that’s ok, I learned lots from making it as always with these Sew Weekly challenges. And it took me absolutely ages to get my head around that back vent….my mind just went blank reading the instructions, I couldn’t work it out. But I have it now and will be able to adapt this knowledge to other projects.

The hair flower I made a while back when I made a badly-fitting beginner’s dress out of the top’s fabric. I used a fake flower from Michael’s craft store, hot glued to some wired green sparkly ribbon to it, folded into a desired shape and then hot glued all this to a hair clip.

The top was much easier to suss and make. Though I think I’m going to have to put a stitch in the v-front as if I lean forward it’s a little too revealing. We wouldn’t want to scare the horses….

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who celebrate it (you might possibly see me do something in red and white for St. George’s Day and/or blue and white for St. Andrew’s Day, if the challenges allow but we’ll see).



Tempest Devyne is a Brit who loves rain. She was therefore exiled to the deserts of Arizona. She started tentatively sewing about 3 years ago to make her own burlesque costumes. She'd now like to make pretty clothes for herself that don't rely on velcro and poppers to stay on. She's self-taught with help from the internet and lots of books from the library.


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  1. I love that you have green AND orange, which, of course, are both in the flag of Ireland. My Scottish/English mother grew up Presbyterian and has ALWAYS worn orange on St. Patrick’s day because she’s “not Catholic.” Good ol’ mom. Then when I started doing genealogical research I found that we seem to have just as much Irish blood in us, and not a few Catholics on our family tree. :D

    • Do you know I’d never even thought about the orange also being an Irish colour, I’d just thought they complimented each other…but of course, yes, they’re in the Irish flag. Does that count as serendipity? Or the luck of the Irish?

  2. I would blame the weird fit on the “retro” part of the pattern. The one retro reissue I sewed up was also strangely huge. I think they just added too much (unnecessary) ease to fit our contemporary and “more comfortable” lifestyles. Good job though :D

  3. Hello Tempest, love the fabric design, that’s a beautiful print. I think the shirt design is very flattering, I like those kind of sleeves.

  4. Great look with the green and orange. I’ve got an orange creation in the que and so seeing you in this combo is very inspiring. Cute hair fastenator too.

  5. I love those colors together, you’re so cheery and bright! And the green fabric is just lovely.

    If you want to play around with making a somewhat more Mad-Men-Shaped skirt, have you tried pegging? It’s a simple enough thing to do, and it really increases the va-va-voom factor. :)

  6. As usual you impress miss Tempest! Wonderfully bright and cheery :) Nice job!

  7. Love that fabric – excellent!

  8. Cute styling and color combo! You often find ways to sneak it learning with contributing through wearable muslins. That’s very cool AND smart. I think I’ll do more of the same with stash fabrics I like but wouldn’t necessarily want to keep in my wardrobe (like novelty prints).

    • Haha thank you. The way I see it I signed up to Sew Weekly Challenges to 1) get some new unique clothes in my wardrobe, 2) challenge myself to do something I thought impossible….I’d never made anything in just a week before, 3) and most important improve my sewing from beginner to intermediate….and making wearable muslins is a fab way of doing this.

  9. Gorgeous colour combination.

  10. Both greens are wonderful – such a brilliant orange and a sweet top