Chambray Three Ways

I'm making my best Tilly face. Doesn't she always look adorable in her photos?

I have been away, but I'll only give the bare bones excuses:
I bought a house!
I moved!
It's summer reading (which is a big deal in the world of children's librarians).
And I've been reading (a lot), and neglecting my sewing.

I've been crafting, but I don't feel like I've been sewing, if you know what I mean. I've been making things for my house--curtains and the like. Have any of you done significant amounts of home decor sewing? I think it is so dull... lots of straight lines. But when you consider the price of decent curtains, I have to grudgingly admit, all those straight lines may be worth it. I'll do a little home-making roundup of my projects at some point soon, if you'd be interested!

I haven't forgotten my pledges--I am participating in the Vintage Pledge and I have also made a personal pledge to sew up a whole Weekender Wardrobe pattern. In fact, I have an update on the latter for you today!

I was slouching around in my sewing room feeling uninspired; my patterns just did. not. correlate. with my stash fabric.

And then I was catching up on blogs and belatedly saw a whole bunch of adorbs shorts from this year's Shorts on the Line... and a bunch of cute two-piece outfits from Sophie over at Ada Spragg...

And I had a bunch of this dark blue chambray left over from making Alex a Negroni like a year ago (because I didn't want to have to match plaids and mostly what he wears is plaid)...

And everything fell into place.

Some shorts belatedly on the line! An interchangeable two-piece, belatedly set-tacular! Another piece from my wardrobe pattern! Practical basics (sort of)!

I used my Weekend Wardrobe pattern (Simplicity 5299) for the shorts. I flat felled all the seams so the inside is nice and neat, and I think they fit very well out of the packet. Nice, huh? My only problem is that the pattern may be over 50 years old but DANG these shorts are short!!

I know a lot of people have been making the new Esther shorts, and these are fairly similar, but judging by the pictures of the Esthers I've seen, I think their inseam is longer. I'll definitely lengthen the inseam on these the next time I make them. By like, several inches. They don't look as short as they felt. I mean, they look short up there, yes, but they felt this short:

By that, I mean that I felt like my butt was hanging out. While I think that they'll be fine with some more coverage on top, with a crop top, its a little too much. I wanted to feel like a cute 1950s beach vacationer, not like this.

Other things that were too short: my crop top! I used the two-piece variation of Capital Chic Pattern's Martini. You can see I basically disregarded all instructions. I know its a crop top but it was also really too short, which I realized after trying it on before hemming it. I added a bottom band which added a little over an inch to the length.

In the interest of making this out of a whole bunch of stash goods, I also improvised with the back fastening. I didn't have a long enough zipper (I used it in the shorts) so I just put a shorter zipper at the top and then left the bottom open and finished my band with a bow instead of putting a zip all the way down. I think if I made another crop from this pattern, I might extend one side and make it button or something. The idea of a whole zipper seems weird.

I am looking forward to making the Martini as a dress--it looks adorable, and the top fits well (that first picture is just weird posture!)--but now that I know how short the top is, I probably won't make the skirt as a stand alone. It must be really high waisted.

And the third piece??

I took these photos hiding in my (new) backyard, and I wasn't about to wear this set out. Not enough coverage! But with a longer, less form-fitting skirt I wore my matching outfit proudly!

We went to the DURM Hip Hop Summit. It was awesome. I can't decide what I liked best, the very cool ten-year-old DJ or the Rap Battle. My skirt is just a dirndl, so no pattern, but you can use Gertie's tutorial.

And here's my best waiting for the photographer face / Margot Tenenbaum impression:

I totally love this combo. It's totally 50s ladylike plus a little bit of edge. I will rock this combo again.

miss allie

ps: Taylor Swift makes matching look so good.


  1. These three pieces are so cute!! I hope you find a way to wear the shorts without feeling overexposed :)

    Congrats on the new house - we're just in the process of moving ourselves - so exciting!!

    1. Thank you, and I think paired with a top that provides more coverage, they will get more wear. I hope your moving goes smoothly! Do you have home dec sewing in your future?

    2. I'm quite reluctant to get involved with home dec sewing, but I do have some African wax print which looks a bit like it has croissants on it, so that's just asking to be a kitchen blind! There's also the vague idea to make a quilt or two, but let's not get ahead of ourselves..!

  2. cute, nice fits too. can you make the shorts into long pants?

    1. I haven't checked yet to see if they are the same fit as the pants, since they are from the same pattern, but different pattern pieces, which I thought was curious. If they are the same, I'll know that all my fitting problems/issues are actually in the legs, which is good to know!

  3. Ooh, love both outfit combos! You look so cute! I can't believe the shorts fit that well out of the package- wow!

    1. Thank you! I must admit I lusted over your two piece cocktail dress when you first posted it... it's just taken a while for inspiration to strike!

  4. Great combo :) and good to see you again... Now i don't have choice and have to post something:)

    My motivation is back ;)

  5. Oh this is awesome! I really like the shorts and the top combo. The shorts look fine in my opinion, definitely much more modest compared to that Anaconda video from Nikki Minaj... I have a two piece on my list for summer, I'll see if I can't get it done...
    And yay for buying a house! That's pretty dang awesome! Please tell me you reserved yourself a sewing room?

  6. This is so, so cute!!! I really love the top, shorts, and skirt. I think you look adorably perfect, but I understand why you feel uncomfortable, as I don't think I'd ever be photographed in something like that. But I'll have to as I do really want to make up the Weekender pattern I bought many months ago...



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