Cascades of royal purple faux-suede glamour
Here are the very first results from my New Year sewing plans (I posted the pattern choices and colour scheme for my wardrobe update a couple weeks ago)! I sewed myself a Camas Blouse and a Cascade Skirt as a Christmas and New Years outfit. The skirt was finished in time for the many Christmas dinners we attended so it isn't exactly part of my wardrobe update plans (as they hadn't been made yet when I sewed this) but since it fits in with my colour schemes, I'm going to count it...I'm making the rules after all :P. The blouse may look pretty familiar to you - it is actually my very devoted effort to recreate my original Camas Blouse sample (as seen on our website). I have been wearing the original linen knit version in heavy rotation since June 2013 and, even though it has held up well, it has become such an indispensable item in my wardrobe that I had to put precautionary measures in place and clone it before it wears out! This time I used a very light sweater knit from my local fabric store. It has subtle stripes and, despite it's light weight it is very warm. I think it is a nondescript polyester blend so I hope it will avoid pilling. I had trouble finding the exact cream color that I love so much and thus, I chose my desired color over my desired fabric content (not something I do very often!). I find most creams make me look really washed out and pale - I was specifically looking for an oatmeal colored cream to avoid this! For the shoulder yokes I used the same beautiful rustic bamboo/nettle woven that I had used in the original version (I had saved my extra fabric for just such a purpose). I even went and purchased the exact same brass pearl shaped buttons from the very same store that I shopped at in Vancouver two years ago! I think it is very likely that I will be replacing this second rendition of my favorite Camas blouse with a third (and fourth...and fifth...) clone when I wear this one out! In the meantime, I have my two oatmeal colored Camas tops happily hanging side by side in my closet...one for hot summer days and one ready for spring and fall (or winter when paired with a scarf and cardigan). When I decided to sew a Cascade Skirt as my winter holiday outfit I set out to find the most luxurious fabric available to me at short notice (I decided to sew this several days before Christmas just as I came down with the flu). At my local fabric store I found this royal purple faux-suede with a satin backing - perfect! It has a beautiful drape and it is very heavy and warm. I love that the satin wrong side of the fabric is highlighted due to the hi-lo hem! I think the proportions of this Megan Nielsen pattern are really glamorous and flattering. The waistband is narrow and slimming when compared to the volume in the rest of the skirt. The front hem, as you can see in the photo below, falls right to the middle/bottom of my knees. I am really picky about hi-lo skirts - if the hem were an inch or two shorter at the front compared to the back you wouldn't catch me sewing or wearing the skirt! I dislike the proportions of hi-lo skirts whose front hem is far above the knees while the back hem falls low enough to be considered a maxi. When a hi-lo skirt is hemmed in this way all I can see is an awkward mullet rather than a graceful cascade! That is certainly not the case with the proportions of the Cascade Skirt - I feel so floaty and graceful while wearing it! The skirt was very easy and quick to sew. The most time consuming part was the rolled hem which seemed as though it were miles and miles long! To indicate how easy this skirt was though, I sewed the bulk of it with a high fever and a killer headache caused by my Christmas flu. All the same, I didn't run into any troubles during the construction process (aside from forgetting to cut out the second tie belt that I hoped to add to the waistband...instead I used a button from my stash as a closure). Oh...and I managed to sew the hook and eye to the inner waistband in the wrong direction twice. This resulted in a hook and eye that instantly came undone and continued to undo itself all throughout Christmas Eve dinner. It was a quick fix before I wore the skirt on Christmas Day though! When I was originally making my decision to purchase the Cascade Skirt pattern, I did my usual Google Images and Pinterest searches to see the results of everyone else's Cascade sewing efforts. I saw many many beautiful skirts and read quite a few blog posts. Lots of people mentioned that they feared wearing wrap skirts because the skirt might become unwrapped when sitting in a chair or walking in the wind. I worried that this might be the case but, after wearing the skirt a number of times I have found that I am not in danger of exposing my undies to the world! This is because the skirt wraps under itself so that the entire front is a double layer. Even if the top layer flips all the way up in the wind, there is still as much coverage as a pencil skirt or at least a mini skirt would provide. Keep in mind, I'm pretty short (5' 3") so the coverage might be less on taller women. Here's an illustration showing how covered I am by the two layers: Well, there you have it - the first of outfit of my new year wardrobe update is complete! I have more to show you already but I'll save that for another blog post. I'm heading back to the studio where my sewing machine has been whirring away almost non stop lately! Have a great weekend and happy sewing!