A purple satin velvet overlayed with an iridescent floral/ paisley pattern in metallic. I did some research at the time and found out that it is a Manuel Canovas fabric and is supposedly a home decor fabric but since when has that stopped me using it for clothes. I originally planned to make it into either a beautiful dress, or a coat, but instead it languished in my stash for 2.5 years because I was too afraid to cut into it.
This month I decided enough is enough and pulled it out. I thought again about making it into a coat, but it's not quite the right weight so I shelved that idea. Obviously a dress was the next option, but I just don't wear dresses in winter and it's not really a summer sort of fabric, so I decided in the end to make a two piece - top and skirt that could be worn together as a dress if an occasion should ever occur, or be worn separately.
I sketched out a number of ideas before deciding on a cropped wrap top and pleated skirt.
To make the top I started with the Pattern Review Clair wrap dress, that I had already fitted in a woven fabric when making my red plaid dress. I omitted the collar, incorporated the yoke into the back pattern piece and incorporated the neckband into in the front piece. With the sleeves I did a wide bicep adjustment, since they were a smidge too tight in the red plaid dress and flared out the cuff a small amount.
I cut the modified pattern out of a plain black fleece fabric first to make sure it worked, then once I was sure that I had the pattern correct went to work on the purple velvet. This fabric was not that great to work with. The different thicknesses between the metallic overlay and the velvet were quite noticeable and made it really difficult.
I used the black fleece to line the top bagging the whole top and hand stitching the sleeve edges together. I also added a bit of elastic to the front neck edge to eliminate any gaping. There is definitely some of the black fleece that shows along the neck edge, but I tried top stitching it so that it didn't roll out and it ended up looking terrible.
I only made one strap as I wasn't sure just how much material I had and wanted to make sure I could get the skirt made as well.
The front pattern pieces turned out to be a perfect fit - but I had to take 4cm off each side of the center back seam so I'm not sure what that was about! It wasn't just ease because the side seams hit in the right place in front - all the extra was at the back. I don't know if maybe there was supposed to be darts in the back, but the pattern didn't show anything (and it doesn't come with instructions).
I again made it up in fleece before committing to the real fabric, and used the fleece yoke to face the final skirt. I did a lapped zipper in the center back seam and finished off the yoke and hem by hand.
Looking at the photos I'm thinking that I might want to take the length of the skirt up a smidge. I think it needs to be just a touch shorter.
The first time that I tried the two pieces on together my daughter asked me if it was a bathrobe or a dress, so I'm not sure about wearing the two pieces together anymore.
And I'm not sure how much wear I'll get out of the skirt - I can't remember the last time I wore a skirt..But having said that this skirt is definitely comfortable and I really like this style.
I'm hoping that the top will get worn a bit more though. I've shown it here with my black pants, but I think teamed with jeans might even work better. The fleece lining makes it quite comfortable. Since it's quite cropped I have a feeling that I may spend the entire time wearing it tugging it down. I'll have to see how it goes...I wonder how much I have left in scraps? enough to make another tie? that might help with the length issue/cover up any gaping.