The “Lady of the Summer” Ensemble
Fabric: 2 1/2 yards yellow and white seersucker from Fabric.com, $10, for pants; 1 yard floral cotton voile from Gorgeous Fabrics, $16, and shot cotton scraps from the living room curtains
Pattern: Simplicity 3688 (1940s Retro) and Consulting Dressmaker Sisters of Edwardia Blouse
Year: 2007/40s and 2012 inspired by 1910
Notions: interfacing and invisible zippers
Time to complete: a week
First worn: 6/10
Wear again: yes
Total cost: about $12 for the pants and $18 for the blouse
I was excited for the chance to make StephC’s Sisters of Edwardia Blouse, inspired by Lady Edith and Lady Sybil of Downton Abbey. I have to admit, I haven’t seen the show yet! I’ve been wanting to watch it for a while, but I’m both monogamous and minimal with my TV viewing. Right now I’m deep into Friday Night Lights on Netflix and trying to keep up with Mad Men. That’s more than enough.
Steph’s pattern is beautiful and precise but for some reason I was cursed in its making. I swear I had to redo almost every step. When I recover from my trial and make another, I’ll do a couple things differently. Like go up a size in the waistband and make sure to adjust the gathers more to the sides than I managed here. I hope those changes will make the blouse a bit easier to get on and off. I’ll also add seam allowance to the bottom of the blouse and the top of the waistband, so that I can do three lines of basting to make prettier gathers and not have to worry about the edge of my fabric unraveling as I work. At least I could cruise on the pants, since I just made this pattern. Love them.
I’m happy with my vintage-inspired ensemble, even if I’m not sure what vintage it is. I think 1910 works with the 1940s in this case, don’t you? I feel all ladylike and proper without any sacrifice in comfort. (Excepting the shoes. I always twist an ankle when I wear these extremely modest wedges. Don’t know how you girls do it.) The fabrics are perfect for hot weather, and so is the blouse design– lots of air circulation in the underarm area. I’m glad those blasted gussets are good for something. Seriously, they’re a smart design feature, and I’m sure with a little practice they’ll be less frustrating to sew now that I’m not a gusset virgin anymore.