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Earlier this spring I had to attend a two-day conference for work and I thought I would put together a mini-capsule wardrobe for this event. I’m not usually one for making capsule wardrobes of any kind but I really need to plan my sewing projects more carefully and I also need to start adding more separates.
For my make nine and vintage pledge this year I included Simplicity 2154 a 3 piece suit from the 1960s. This pattern included a pencil skirt, a beautiful bow blouse, and a cardigan or jacket.
I actually made this suit way back in 2014 but wasn’t exactly happy with the fit. Plus at the time I never got around to making the blouse, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.
My inspiration for this project was a beautiful floral jersey I had in my stash. The muted tan colors along with the pink and blue flowers and green vines were the perfect combo for spring.
The jersey would be used to make the cardigan and I decided to go with a pink for the bow blouse and a simple tan polyester fabric for the pencil skirt.
|Version:||A , B, D|
|Size:||20 and 24|
|Notes & Modification:||Found waist to be too big. I adjusted the skirt to have a back elastic and slightly increased the seam allowance along the waist of the side seams of the blouse.|
Like I said I’d made the skirt and the cardigan of this pattern before so I had a fair understanding of how to put it together.
The first time I made Simplicity 2154 cardigan I had issues with the shoulder being droopy. Granted I probably didn’t use the right fabric. When making this version I used a slightly less stretchy fabric than the first time. It worked better but I still found the shoulder seams to be past my shoulder. I’m wondering if it is the pattern and that the cardigan is meant to have a slightly dropped shoulder?
As for the skirt I measured my waist and decided to go with the size 24. However, once I got it on it was way too big. I went back to the pattern piece and measured them. I often hear the big four patterns add two much ease and usually for me it’s not a big deal but this time it was.
To fix the skirt I took off the zipper and waistband. I re-sewed the side seams to bring it in more. I originally planned to just redo the zip but since the skirt didn’t fit now I was worried that with my current weight loss progress that it would end up being big again in a few months. So, I decided to omit the zip completely and give the skirt an elasticated back waistband.
For the blouse, I originally wanted to go with a pink cotton satiny fabric (pictured above) but when I looked at it carefully I found it to be just too sheer. I did a look through my stash and found a great alternative a pink cotton lawn type fabric that had white lines going through it. The lines are so narrow you don’t even really see them from afar but they help to give the pink a softer baby pink color. This fabric was still a bit sheer but not as much as the first one.
I was really worried that the blouse would be complicated but to my surprise, it was super easy. It did take some careful reading to get the keyhole right and it worked. The blouse called for a side zip but after reading other bloggers posts about forgoing the zip, I decided to do the same.
Among the reviews on Simplicity 2154 blouse, many people said they decided not to interface the bow so that it had a softer look. My fabric for the blouse was a soft drapey cotton, one could say cotton lawn even. So, I made the decision to apply the interfacing, this really stiffened the bow, but I like the way it looks.
What’s great about this project is that I not only got one of my make nine completed but this also counts as one of my Vintage Pledge patterns for the year too!
Additional Wardrobe Pieces
As I said, in the beginning, I wanted to make a mini-capsule wardrobe and while I had a few pieces from Simplicity 2154 I still needed to pair them with something else to mix and match.
I had a little bit of leftover floral jersey I used for making the cardigan and new I wanted to make a skirt that I could pair with it. I wanted to give the skirt an A-line style.
While I probably could have drafted something myself I remembered that a few years ago I whipped up McCalls 8046 in about an hour. This pattern proved to be just the right size for the amount of fabric I had left.
Again because of, I wanted to make sure I could wear this skirt, later on, I decided to do a simple casing and add elastic to the waistband.
Sew Over It Silk Cami
While I could have paired the skirt and cardigan with the same blouse I figured that a mini-capsule wardrobe needed more than one top. So I whipped up a coral salmon colored silk cami from Sew Over It.
I had only just made my first silk cami the week before in an olive green, which technically would have worked, I decided that I really wanted a pink hue to go with this outfit. As it turns out I had some lovely coral pink in my stash and it was a perfect combo.
I have a blog post coming soon about the Silk Cami and a video about how I changed up the construction a bit, so stay tuned for that in the next week or so.
A Gathered Skirt
While my conference was a two-day ordeal, I’d still be gone 3 days due to travel. So, for the last day, I decided to put together a cute and casual outfit.
I had quite a bit of the pink cotton fabric from the blouse left over, so I decided that I would make a gathered skirt. Because the fabric was a bit sheer I decided to line the skirt in a white cotton that was just as lightweight and sheer.
For the skirt, I just cut the remaining fabric into two rectangles and then used those rectangles to cut the lining fabric. I gathered the skirt fabric and the lining together, which helped to create extra fullness in the skirt.
I added pockets to this skirt because you know pockets! Also, I like using scrap fabric for pocket lining and as it turns out I had some cute pink fabric scraps from my McCalls 4769 shirtdress, that worked perfectly for the pockets on this skirt.
To finish the skirt I created a back elastic casing for the waistband and voila it was done in no time.
The bow blouse paired with this skirt is amazing. It looks like it’s own little late 50’s early 60’s dress. It was perfect. The only thing I’m missing in this outfit is a pretty coat, but I figured for travel that wasn’t really practical.
Overall I think Simplicity 2154 is a great pattern. It may look a bit difficult but actually, all the pieces are pretty straightforward and there wasn’t anything too overly complicated about the project.
I must say that the extra ease was a bit of an issue and this just reminded me to always measure my pattern pieces before starting a project.
After completing this project I really see how a capsule wardrobe can be so versatile. I have a set of coordinating pieces and can create a few different outfits. This is perfect for trips when you don’t want to pack too much but still give yourself some options for what to wear.
I’ve never been one to really do the capsule wardrobe thing but this really has me thinking that I should do this more often.
Finally, I will say that this is not the last we have seen of Simplicity 2154, I really want to make it again. I especially like the bow blouse and still need to try my hand at making the jacket (version c).
Have you ever made a capsule wardrobe? What are your thoughts on planning your sewing to coordinate?
Looks amazing! My favorite is the first pic.
Thanks I really love the bow blouse