Work Clothes for the Vintage Soul

Well, I said I got on a sewing roll during the holidays, and I wasn’t kidding! My main goal for holiday sewing was to focus on separates: as much as I love sewing AND wearing dresses, they’re just never going to be as versatile as shirts, skirts and pants. And given I had some beautiful cotton I’d bought at the start of the year just begging to be sewn up, and patterns already in mind, there was nothing to do but get sewing!

First up were two patterns I’d worked with before – Butterick 6133, and the pencil skirtΒ fromΒ Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing.This time, I had a beautiful white textured cotton from The Cloth Shop for my shirt, and another fantastic piece of vintage wool from my great-aunt for the skirt. And I’m pretty damn pleased with how they turned out!

Snow White Shirt & Gray-Lead Skirt

I was looking forward to coming back to B6133; it fit so well straight out of the envelope last time, and I absolutely look how it looks on. It was somehow evenΒ more satisfying to sew up this time as I was able to finish the seams with my new favourite seam finish – overlocking! Whilst I still think I’ll be pulling out old favourites such as bias-bound and french seams from time to time, you really can’t beat serging for a quick, clean, professional finish. It’s also been great for things like sleeve seams – it’s pretty daunting trying to french seam a set-in sleeve – and finishing facing edges before sewing them in. Whilst an overlocker/serger definitely isn’t a sewing essential per se (hey, I’ve been doing an awful lot of sewing without one over the last two years!), but even just having been sewing with one for three weeks, I think anyone who is serious about sewing, whether as a professional or just your own wardrobe, would find one absolutely indispensable.

Snow White Shirt & Gray-Lead Skirt

Snow White Shirt

I made a couple of small alterations – I swapped out the gathers on the upper back piece for an inverted pleat, and atteatched the sleeve binding to the sleeve edge without folding it under to elcose the seam. Not much else to say about this shirt except that I love it, and I’m so glad I finally got around to making myself a white shirt – it’s filled a definite wardrobe gap! I’ve liked the versatility of a classic white shirt so much I’ve already made another…stay tuned πŸ˜‰ On to the skirt πŸ˜€

Grey-Lead skirt

Now, as a reasonably thrifty sewer pursuing a sometimes expensive hobby on a student budget, this skirt really was a dream. Pattern from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, which I already owned and liked; vintage wool gifted to my by my great-aunt; awesome purple lining fabric from my grandma; and fastenings from a little treasure trove passed on to me from a family friend’s mother. In other words, FREEEE SKIIIIIRT.

Grey-Lead Skirt

I made a couple of small alterations to the pattern this time; I shortened the length a little as, at the below knee length, it’s a liiiiiitle long for my taste (and I could afford to shorten it a little more again for the next incarnation), and I eliminated the curve at the centre front of the waistband – although it’s a nice design feature, it just doesn’t sit quite right on me in the last skirt and I think I prefer the clean look of a straight waistband. I added back to the seam allowance I overzealously removed before making my birthday dress, but not quiiiiite enough – I’ll add a couple more centimetres for the next one. But hey, it fits, even if it is slightly tight, and that’s all that matters really πŸ˜‰ This was my first time lining a pencil skirt and I’m really glad I did! It makes it really comfortable to wear, especially seeing as it’s on the small side. This was also my first time using one of those flat metal closures often used in pants, and I love the flat smooth look it gives. Putting buttonholes in waistbands and things can often be quite an awkward, bulky business so I’m glad to have found this alternative πŸ™‚

Grey-Lead SkirtSnow White Shirt & Gray-Lead Skirt

It’s times like this I really appreciate being able to make my own clothing – it certainly makes dressing for placement inΒ my preferred style much, muuuuuuch easier (and sometimes cheaper too!). It’s nice too, to feel like I really am transitioning to an almost completely me-made wardrobe, as that’s definitely a long-term goal of mine. I didn’t really participate in Me-Made May this year, but I was wearing at least one or two items I’d made on the daily (mostly thanks to my very large collection of me-made underwear!) – so maybe I’ll get round to some formal participation next year πŸ™‚

Until next time,

Miss Maddy xx

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26 comments

  1. redflaminghair · July 27, 2016

    Hi Maddy! Looks lovely! I tried out French seams when I was settin in the sleeves but mine got really twisted and I don’t like the way it looks. Have you tried it out? Or you prefer serging?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Thanks Reka! I think I attempted it once but abandoned it verrrry quickly – French seams require a degree of precision which is nigh impossible to get on an armscye seam! Fortunately serging looks like a great way to go πŸ˜€

      Like

  2. Sian · July 27, 2016

    I really need to make myself a classic white shirt sometime – this looks amazing, such a good fit! I’ve always found it really difficult to find well fitting ones (thanks weird body ratios XD) and always end up with gaping buttonholes, but I’ve really wanted a nice lightweight blouse this summer and feel like it’s something missing from my wardrobe.
    The skirt is GORGEOUS! Look at that lining! Look at the vintage wool fabric! I’m in love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Aw thanks Sian! I often get the same problem with RTW button-downs, so I’m really glad I took the plunge and made one! It’s starting to feel like Spring is on the way here finally, so it’s nice to have something so light and nice to wear πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. allie J. · July 28, 2016

    I love your workwear! I’ll be happy to follow your participation in mext year’s me made may πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Thanks Allie! Been loving your makes lately – and you’re definitely a workwear inspiration for me πŸ˜€

      Like

  4. SofΓ­a · July 28, 2016

    Lovely shirt!! And the skirt!! I looove pencil skirts! A pencil skirt in any colour and a white shirt is a perfect combo anytime! I need to make myself some basics as well, but I always get distracted by other projects (ahem, bras and elegant dresses that I only wear once!) Maybe this August I can make something more practical… or maybe not πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Thanks Sofia! Haha, I always have that problem – it was only the fact that I had almost nothing to wear! Looking forward to seeing more of your makes soon πŸ˜€ xx

      Like

  5. Katy · July 30, 2016

    Love this style, so effortless on you! I wish I had places to wear this type of thing. Just gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Thank you! I guess there’s one advantage to having to dress nicely for uni every day haha

      Like

  6. somorita · July 30, 2016

    This is more than perfect!! loved the blouse! Can you do a tutorial plzzz!!
    I’m so happy that I found your blog because i also love sewing and also doing a course on fashion designing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Thank you! Haha, I’d love to do more tutorials, I promise I will if I ever get the time πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  7. emeralderin · August 2, 2016

    Wow, you make me want to do some clothes sewing again! The whole outfit looks fantastic- and I totally agree- a white blouse is the best wardrobe staple!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 22, 2016

      Whoops, missed replying to your comment Erin! :O Thanks so much, always happy to inspire – and looks like you’ve already made good on that! πŸ˜‰ xx

      Like

  8. poppykettle · August 8, 2016

    Love the inverted pleat in place of the gathers! The outfit is definitely on point for work πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tracey · August 10, 2016

    Your outfit looks great. It’s a bit retro, yet it is very elegant and good looking. I was thinking about something like it myself, and seeing it suits you so well I might actually give it a try myself then. Thank you for your inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 16, 2016

      Thanks Tracey! I definitely recommend giving it a go, good luck! πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. sewing Γ  la carte · August 22, 2016

    Great combination. The classic look is superb. The crisp white blouse looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 23, 2016

      Thank you! Everyone needs at least once nice white shirt I think πŸ˜€

      Like

      • ssaspage · August 26, 2016

        couldn’t agree more! I took a sewing lesson during my school break beginning of last year and sewing is definitely not as easy as I thought it was gonna be. Definitely have respect towards people who sew more now πŸ˜€ I’m just starting out and I will really appreciate if you can check out my post at https://ssaspageblog.wordpress.com.

        Like

  11. fountainpensandfashion · October 16, 2016

    I like the back of the shirt where it has that sort of pleat in the middle, it makes it really pretty!

    Like

  12. fountainpensandfashion · October 16, 2016

    Hey Maddy I really like the back of the shirt where you have put in that sort of pleat in the back!

    Like

  13. Westcoastsister · October 27

    Adorable!
    I love it!

    Like

  14. Ester · December 27

    Very smart!

    Like

  15. Pingback: Pencil it in! | Miss Maddy Sews

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