Anyway, today's outfit is one of my favorites so far! And it was an accidental side effect of clearly having tulips on the brain.
You may recognize the skirt from the sneak peeks in my shaped and lined patch pockets tutorial last week! This is the skirt that my little tulip-shaped pockets made it onto. It's another version of vintage Simplicity 4496, the same pattern I used for my polka dot dirndl skirt.
But you'll see that the tulip shape of the pockets aren't the only tulips on the skirt!
I used a free transfer pattern from Needlecrafter for a Pennsylvania Dutch tulip and rose design, flipped it upside down to follow the curve of the shaped edge of the pocket, and omitted the roses. I love how it came out and I'm definitely in the mood for more embroidery!
My fashion fabric was a buttery soft, somewhat lightweight cotton blend twill from Denver Fabrics called fine line twill. Let me tell you, I love this stuff! I had a mixup where I thought it had a slight stretch content and couldn't figure out why it wasn't stretchy, then I thought it was 100% cotton, and then when I checked the site I saw it's an 80/20 cotton/poly blend. At $5.25 a yard, I highly recommend it. I think it would be great for trousers or capris!
But wait, the reason I was telling you about the fabric was the embroidery. I decided I didn't really need a stabilizer on the back of the fabric since it was a firm weave, but I did run into an issue on the front: I have a transfer pencil, but the pencil is red and it just wouldn't show up on the copper-colored fabric. So instead, I used Casey's great tutorial for embroidering on a knit sweater, and it worked a treat!
I drew my transfer onto tissue paper, drawing the upper curve of my pocket just to match things up neatly, and hand basted it onto the top of my fabric. For those wondering from my pocket tutorial, I actually did the embroidery on the pocket piece after attaching the facing (that's why you don't see a seam allowance above the curve in the photo below), although that makes no sense and I'm not even sure why I did that. So don't be silly. Just embroider first, then attach your facing. Your facing and lining will hide the back of your embroidery.
Embroidering like this was a breeze! Since I was doing two pockets, I actually stitched an area on both pockets before moving onto another area, to make sure my stitches were going in the same direction, etc. I used a combo of stem stitch, split stitch and French knots.
The embroidery kind of perforates the tissue as you go.
And then you just carefully peel off the tissue at the end and pick out the extra bits with tweezers!
I just love the results. It really turns a plain skirt into something more special!
And apparently I've been into tulips lately.
Over a month before our trip to the UK, I sewed up this blouse, and if you follow me on Instagram you saw me wearing it several times during our trip.
The fabric started life as a vintage feedsack, printed with delightful tulips.
In this next photo I see the facing is poking up on the right... I swear even after under-stitching (and sometimes after carefully tacking it down across the bodice front/back, not just the shoulders) this still happens to me. I loathe facings.
Sorry I'm not sharing anything more about the pattern I used... yet! I'll just give you a little hint: it's not a vintage pattern, but a modern one that I modified. You'll hear more about it in the future, I promise!
After this skirt though, I think I'm temporarily over waistbands. I know you know that feeling, when you're working on a project and when it's done, you think, "Well that's about enough of that for the moment!"
So I think I may focus on some solid-colored blouses (perhaps with embroidery) to go with the amazing novelty print vintage skirts I never wear because I don't have tops to match. Now of course I have tops, but not ones I want to wear with them... you know how that goes. And I'm looking longingly at these wardrobe orphans and want to do something about it. Enough it enough!
Do you have a favorite vintage or 40s- or 50s-inspired blouse pattern you love?