I wear what I sew part 5: Friday casual outfit

Monday 2 June 2008

If you’ve been following these posts for the last few days, you would notice that I wear a lot of suits. Which I do, so that’s very observant of you! And thank you all for the lovely comments on the suits. But on Fridays, if I don’t have any meetings organised I like to dress a little more casually to fit in with every one else for a change (I’m usually quite overdressed in my office even though it is a corporate environment). However, I do struggle trying to find something appropriate for the office in the dressy casual category so I find dressing on a Friday always takes a lot longer than the usual suit and top combo. This is where laying out a week's worth of outfits like Carolyn does would certainly prove useful.

Last Friday I wore a paneled skirt which I morphed from Vogue 9625. I have made this is as a dress before, but here I used only the skirt part of the dress, added a narrow waistband and shaped two of the panels at the back instead of darts for fitting and voila, I have a paneled skirt. I’ve made this skirt a few times, as well as once for my mother, and it is very quick and easy to sew and only needing a variation in the number of panels to increase or decrease size.

The fabric is a wool (the scratchy type unfortunately), which is a lovely grey colour with fine black lines running through it. I cut the fabric on the bias to get some drape in the way the skirt would hang, and also to have the lines become a feature. And the skirt did drape in lovely folds, until I sewed a narrow hem and then it stood out and became more of an a-line skirt shape, but I still like it.

I’ve wore it to work with a RTW knit crossover top in a vibrant purple colour, with suede flat shoes in a matching colour with silver buckles, which were custom made in Vietnam when I was there earlier this year for the princely sum of $20!

The final tally for the working week is twelve made garments from fourteen worn garments, a grand total of 85%, which is pretty good but as I said previously I did make a concerted effort to select made clothes over RTW since I knew I was keeping score.

What else I discovered:

a) I wear a lot of skirts – this is because pants don’t look that great on my pear shaped figure, and I’m not good at making pants that fit so I don’t!
b) I should always line jackets, especially tailored jackets, they will wear better and probably longer too.
c) I should avoid polyester fabrics, even if the colour or print is great because it doesn’t sew or last as well as wool or other natural fibres
d) I have enough shoes to wear a different pair for 65 days straight, so I shouldn’t buy any more (but I probably will anyway…..)


  1. Lovely outfit!I love that skirt!

  2. That is so great!!

    I want to see a show-and-tell of your machines and workspace.

  3. I avoid pants for the same reason as you - plus, my husband insists that even carrying a few extra pounds, a woman always looks better in skirts or dresses. Love your vogue skirt a couple of entries back - I have the same pattern and use the life out of it - it's now scotch tape with paper between! This grey skirt and maroon top combo is terrific on you!

  4. I love this skirt! It looks great!

    Love the comment about skirts by marjie; I'm a pants person and try so hard to wear a skirt from time to time but...I just like pants! Maybe I'm vain, but that's a good enough point that the next thing I make will be a skirt!

  5. Love the skirt! Skirts are my all time favorite, but I'm in pants most of the time. In the winter I don't have to think about locating tights or hose without a run. In the summer I hate my ultra white legs and I get tired of putting on self tanner. I'm rallying for a return to hose in the summer, or at least longer skirts. Although, knee length are much cuter. ;o)

  6. This is a fabulous outfit...just casual enough but still professional and well put together! It is a look I can not do! *LOL* Anyhoo 85% is still good and I would love to see one of the versions of the dress!

  7. Great "casual" outfit. The skirt is very flattering. I don't wear pants much either (to work) - skirts are way easier to make. My only pants are RTW.

    85% is great as I sit here at my desk wearing 100% RTW! And I think you should increase your shoe intake to a round 100 - mid year sales are on soon!!

  8. Love how you modified the dress pattern into a skirt...ingenious! And I'm glad to know someone has surpassed my tally in the shoe department. I don't feel so bad now.

  9. You do great! We all have our different body problems to coup with. You look fine in skirts. What about an A line dress with a princess cut, w/short or 3/4 length sleeve's and some sort of lighter weight jacket? If you went with a natural or even a pant weight material for the jacket as long as you finish the seams you wouldn't have to line the jacket that way.
    Keep up the good work. I really enjoy your blogg! Jean C.

  10. Beautiful, classic, and HOT!