Silk and faux leather

This month’s challenge/pleasure was sewing this outfit with faux leather and Italian silk from Minerva Crafts.

Yes I made this hat earlier this year because I knew it would pair so well with this outfit.
I’ve used my pencil skirt block and a basic shirt pattern. As crazy as mixing prints together can be, I felt these two fabrics would be great together. I only have access to what I can see from Minerva Crafts website and I was really pleased when the fabrics and notions arrived at my doorstep.
Here are all the sewing goodies I used to make the skirt and blouse. There are also notions here that I’ll be using for a few future Minerva Crafts projects.
The pleather has flower motifs sewn onto a knit mesh backing. It’s really quite a flexible fabric. Minerva Crafts has a few new faux leather fabrics to choose from in an array of colours.
This Italian floral silk has a bold, all over floral paisley print. It’s a great print and you need to pay attention to the right and wrong side of the fabric. The print is more striking in real life.
Using this beautiful silk meant adding silk organza to the facings so there was reinforcement in the fabric where I needed it but the fabric still remained soft. Normal iron in interfacings can change the way silk flows so silk organza was a better option.
Maybe choosing such amazing buttons for this skirt was not the right choice but they really keep this silk looking luxurious. They really do.

I used two layers of silk organza to reinforce the button tabs on this blouse.

For the skirt, I had to choose a lining for the skirt to keep it stable over time. Well…I chose this jacquard lining. There’s something so appealing when a skirt has interesting linings. I chose the darker side of the lining to show on the inside of the skirt.

The other amazing detail with this pleather was the selvedge. It’s just as striking as the fabric so I used this at the hem.

The skirt does finish above the knee and the mesh selvedge is on the knee so it’s a bit different but still works. I did harvest a floral motif to balance the front hem.

I rarely wear skirts tucked into skirts but I really love the shaping this gives to these two pieces. Having some waistline definition helps for my height.

For both of these pieces I applied the couture sewing techniques I learnt earlier this year.

On the skirt, I applied the waist reinforcing detail with Petersham tape. I also added the large hook and eye on the inside of the waistline. The zipper is hand picked into the skirt.
On the blouse, I marked the button tab detailing so that it all matched at the front of the blouse.
When I ordered this silk I was tempted to use the Vogue top below but the front tuck would have hidden the print definition.
I rethought this and decided to use this Burda pattern (2561) and added sleeve cuffs for more definition.
I had previously made Burda 2561 for a blouse last year for Minerva Crafts in 2015 so I knew it would fit this Italian silk fabric.
As always my Prym tools make this blouse a sharper and more accurate finish.
You can really see the difference using beautiful silk does to this basic shirt pattern. PS I added cuffs to the sleeves.
I love wearing this outfit because it’s really a simple skirt and blouse but the fabrics are amazing to wear.
Thanks again Minerva Crafts.

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Tech post – Vogue 1407

This pattern Vogue 1407 is definitely eye catching. 

I liked how it gives the illusion of a waistline. So can you see why I sewed up those shapewear pieces from Jalie and CJ patterns last week? They are my ‘dress insurance’ pieces. 
The other ‘dress insurance’ I needed was to test this dress out with some stash fabric before I cut into my Minerva Crafts fabrics.
The test version has some purple stash fabric with a good amount of stretch, white mystery knit lining and some Tessuti remnant ponte.

Above is the dogtooth print from Minerva Crafts. I was able to lining up the front pieces correctly once I’d made the test dress. 

The problem with the test dress fabric was the purple fabric was very stretchy. There wasn’t much stability in it which is great but not so great when you sew in a zipper. Hence a bit of hand stitching. I could have made it without the zipper but I was testing the pattern – so the zipper stayed.

Lori from Girls in the Garden has made a great version with no zipper.

The zipper was a success. The centre back seam had a curve in it so I didn’t need to adjust it too much more for my curves.

And I think the pattern placement worked too. There were still some additional pattern tweaks to do – roll shoulder, neckline gap and hand stitching the lining on the next version.

So with the pattern sorted, I was ready for the real dress. You’ll see that later this week.