Another day of taking photographs in the Texas wind!
So this summer I actually came up with a sewing plan. I’ve never been that great at sticking to one as I prefer rabbit trails and new learning experiences over sticking hard with sewing goals. But the Wardrobe Architect series lit a fire in me! I want to have a more organized wardrobe.
The whole concept of a capsule wardrobe is really new to me, but it makes great sense for me right now. Building outfits I know I’ll wear! Multiplying pieces for the silhouettes I tend to wear the most. Instead of thinking I should stop wearing my handmade skinnies four times a week (okay okay, it’s sometimes more than that), maybe I need to multiply the skinnies.
One of the silhouettes I really want to wear this summer is something like very fitted/bodycon top + wide leg pants or billowy skirt + cloggy sandals. (I love chunky wood-heeled anything.) Like this outfit with the Nettie bodysuit. Or a bustier with some wide legs. I tossed almost all of the trousers in my closet so I’ve yet to figure that part out but really wanted to get started on the bustier!
Actually, I’ve had bustiers on the brain for about three summers in a row. Two years ago I even crazy-splurged on a Valentino silk from Britex for my dream project. I have three fabrics in my stash that I’m rightfully precious about cutting and that is one of them, so I want to get it right. That bustier will be a full-on fitting and sewing project with lining, boning, fitted cups and underwires. In the meantime I just wanted to kick something out pronto for summer, using my existing stash.
I basically draped this from a frankenpattern that combined the bodice of Sewaholic’s Cambie dress and my skirt sloper for the waist to hip portion. The Cambie has vertical darts in front and back and I just extended them into princess seams that went all the way up and down the bodice. It took me one evening to draft and fit and another to sew–princess seams make everything so easy!
Once things were fitted, the next stop was figuring out how to add some holding power. Who wants to end up in an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction!? I’m not sure I got it stabilized all the way but I learned some things for future projects. I fitted this to point where it has no ease but as you can see in my back view, fabric relaxes in the wearing!
Straps would’ve been the easiest route and I may still add removable ones. Boning is the ultimate solution, but as for this project I didn’t want to bother with it. Then I remembered reading about waist stays from several bloggers much more versed in couture than I am. If you’re wondering what they are, or why you’d use them, I’ve added some extra credit reading at bottom. Waist stays are super easy to add!
I added a small facing at the neckline going all the way around and used topstitching thread on the hem to give it that denim cool. I could’ve gone the whole lining route but really wanted this to be as simple and light as possible.
Overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m not completely sold on the sweetheart neckline; while it certainly blossoms my upper half I feel too much like Sophia Loren for my personal taste. But it was a great excuse to dive in! One thing I like about bustiers is that they don’t have to be all fancy, uptown or vintage movie star. Nor do they need to go with other fitted styles. For my personal style, I like a contrast with the casual, loose and no-nonsense. What do you think? Would you wear one, and how?
More on Waist Stays & Petersham Ribbon
- Invisible Details on a Couture Garment: Waist Stays
- The What and Why of Waist Stays
- Petersham vs. Grosgrain
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