Hot! The “Plum, Pomegranate and Persimmon” outfit

The Facts
: 3 yards in total of three different colors of linen bought a few months ago
Pattern: Simplicity 2723
Notions: 1 hook-n-eye, 1 zipper, 5 self-covered buttons, interfacing & belting all from stash
Year: Late 1930’s
Time to complete: About 3 hours
First worn: October 2012
Wear again? Yes, maybe tomorrow : )

Total Cost: ~$19.00

I will happily admit I have no idea what the “Fall Palette” is. To ME fall is the colors of the harvest – pumpkin and persimmon orange, plummy purples, forest greens, ruby reds and straw golds. To that end, in the middle of the summer, when I saw the linen colors I thought to myself “Self…those would make a fabulous fall outfit of some sort. If you DON’T buy them now when you come back for them one or more won’t be here and you’ll be sad.” So I grabbed the bolts and as I was standing in line to get them cut I remembered this Simplicity pattern.

It has taken me three months of looking in boxes, bags and various closets to finally find it and then memory kicked in – it never had the shirt pieces! I made the version on the envelope for a show at some point and had to draft the shirt pattern. This time I decided to use the pattern I used for the Western challenge. After all, this is is a basic shirt separated into three sections, easy peasy, right?  I didn’t get it quite right : )

Is it terrible? No, it’s just not *quite* right. IF I were to re-do this I’d make the middle pomegranate band about an inch narrower, thereby raising the persimmon band into better view. The problem doing it with THIS shirt is the spacing of the buttonholes, which I took great care to make sure were even both within their color block and down the front. Frankly, it would be easier to just make a new shirt.

The other issue I noticed, in the photos more than real life, is the fit of the darts. Here, ladies, is where the RIGHT undergarments are CRUCIAL! I SWEAR this shirt looked better yesterday! But yesterday I had on a different bra. I even made a mental note to be sure to wear that bra for photos. You think that would be enough.

You think wrong : ) And the end result was momentary panic in my girlfriends bathroom just before her three-year-old-daughters’ birthday party. My usual photographers were busy so my friend Heidi graciously offered to help me. I showed up at her house in a kerfluffle. Between the puppies all going into their forever or new foster homes (no more puppies), our sewage line backing up into the front yard and my Mila chicken girl dying I had no access to those mental notes. I thought I did well enough to remember nylons and shoes! The bra was a disaster so there were safety pins involved just getting to this point.

The other “fit” issue I see is the band around the upper part of the skirt, which is really the hem of the tucked in shirt. I either need to line the skirt or wear a slip. Speaking of the skirt, the pattern WAS in the envelope, and most of the pieces to make the jacket but that’s it. No shirt, no directions. I guessed at whether or not the skirt had a hem slit on one side or both (I chose one). I put the zipper in the center back because I don’t care for side zips. I think the skirt took a whole 45 minutes to make from start to hem and I really, really like it! But seriously, who were these skirts designed for? Granted, I’m only 5’4″ if I stand up really, really straight but I took 4″ off the length when I cut it out and another inch before I put in a 2 1/2″ hem! I know I’m shorter than the “average” woman but that would be one long skirt.

Because the weather couldn’t quite make up its mind today I brought my umbrella –

Same colors!! Yes, I realize the shoes are more blue-purple than the plum of the dress. I was going to photoshop them the same color and then I got tired : ) One of these days I’ll find some perfect purple wool for a wonderful dress they will match. I also have some stunning green dress clips that I’d like to use as well…

Oh my, I almost forgot two things. First, I made a little bow tie to go at the collar. The pattern shows some sort of little tie thingy and my mind just went to “bow tie”. I’ll try to get a picture of it and post it on my blog. (Mental note made…let’s see if I can find it this week.) Second, I was pretty much upstaged by adorable Isabella, who is VERY MUCH three years old:

She tagged along behind mommy as we trekked next door to use the autumnal trees : )

You can’t be sad around puppies or little girls in pink tutu’s and red shoes. I may not have the puppies any more but I can certainly visit Miss Isaboo : )



Loran is a Bay Area designer, stitcher and suburban farm girl. Having done theater for years she's finally taking on her most demanding client (herself!) and fashioning a wardrobe from her huge stock of vintage patterns and fabrics, all while writing her daily tablesetting blog. Let's see if she can keep up with both : )


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  1. I have this pattern! It looks so good. You did an awesome job. Now I am not afraid to try it. The pictures don’t show you had issues, but I do love the palette you chose. These colors are delicious!

    • Ohhhh, I might just ask you to trace the top pattern for me so I can at least put it with the rest. Mine is a size 14 which is WAY too small for me but I can always make it bigger. Plus I’ll have the approximate size of the stripes. It looks like I may not be in LA in a few weeks but I’ll let you know. Life is changing up here daily. Thank you for the lovely compliments : )

  2. That second umbrella pic is too cute for words. This is a great outfit!

    • Thank you Erin! I’ve worn it TWICE now and it’s quickly becoming a fall favorite. I also, sadly , left the umbrella on BART so we’ll have to see if someone turns it in : ( If someone found it and loves it then that’s ok, it was only meant to be with me a short time anyway. Ah well…such is the way life goes.

  3. A beautiful array of colours – so rich. It is a lovely pattern, and I too like the umbrella pics.

  4. So pretty! I love the color blocking, and the fabric covered buttons are just fab! Awesome job!

  5. I love the color choices and your careful process to duplicate the look of the missing pattern pieces. It looks really pretty. I like your little hat and coordinating umbrella. I think your photos turned out exceptionally well, despite all the other things on your mind. Cute ballerina too. That made me smile.

    • Thank you very much Barbara : ) I thought the hat was perfect although I REALLY wanted a plum one! One of these days… I’m going to be putting an update on my blog soon about the background story to the last 6 motnhs of photos. I only touched BRIEFLY on what has been going on and now it’s time to get it out. Yes, three year olds in all their glory always make me smile, despite what else the world throws at us : )

  6. What a wonderful pattern! It is a shame you can’t see more of the bottom tier of colour. I wonder if you made the waistband more narrow – that would help (although not historically accurate perhaps?). I really like the purple shoes – they pop!

    • I absolutely agree with you Trish! Which is why I may make another shirt, I’d like to see more of the orange as well. I’m short waisted so it may be that even if I had the original pattern I’d have to modify it as well to see that last band. Lessons learned : ) The purple shoes are great, I can’t wait to make something that REALLY shows them off!

  7. I never would have noticed all of things if you hadn’t pointed them out. I don’t have the bra issues that you have but I have clients who do.

    I like the idea of breaking up a top like that. I laughed thinking about where that skirt would have hit you if you’d kept it the original length. it would have made you look pretty short-

  8. Oooh, what delicious colours! And such a great pattern to pair them with. I got really stuck on fall colours being leaf tones – yellows and oranges and browns. I love your interpretation of fall palette.

    So sorry to hear about Mila :-(

  9. You’re the queen of details and styling– fabric covered buttons, hat, umbrella, and color-popping pumps!– even when it doesn’t turn out *quite* right. You look smashing.