Guess what I made 3 months ago? - Simplicity 1155 and Decades of Style Empire Waist Trousers

1.09.2017

What's that I see on the horizon? Is it a new blog post? It couldn't possibly be! We all know I've disappeared into the fabric shelves of EOS and/or my winter hibernation cave.  It's true, I've been spending most of my time in those places and battling the tidal wave of germs that elementary kids so helpfully bring home to share.  But today I'm temporarily germ free and thought it was time to finally show you the last two FO's of 2016.
Wayyyy back in October of last year I blogged about some "Unofficial Halloween" sewing plans. You may remember that only because of the kick ass skull fabric that was dug out from the bottom of the stash. Fueled by the desire to show off my sewing skills to impressionable children, I stayed up a few late nights to finish in time.  My "candy giving out" costume was exactly what is pictured here.  It managed to simultaneously scare children under the age of 5 and illicit exclamations of, "That is so cool!" from middle school aged girls.
One of the design features of this blouse is the high neckline with visible darts on the front. Mmmmmm delicious darts. Of course if you need to lower the neckline then all those delicious darts are gonna become a problem.  I thought, "Well I know that 40's necklines can be super high but I'll muslin this as is and hope for the best."  Yeaaaaahhhh, that muslin was like being slowly strangled by a lethargic snake.  Not exactly what I'm looking for in handmade clothing.  After letting my brain mull over the problem over night, I decided to try lowering the neckline and lengthening the darts the same amount.  Viola, problem solved.
No other major issues to report on Simplicity 1155.  The sewing is very straight forward if you've made any sort of blouse in the past.  I do like both the button back and the full sleeves.  (You can tell I've drunk the 40's cool aid because I would have laughed about these sleeves a few years ago.)
Now on to the trousers.  Those of you familiar with this pattern might be saying, "I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to have a waistband." You are correct eagle eyed readers.   I got a little excited about sewing this outfit and didn't think about how a nice soft rayon probably isn't the best fabric for empire waist pants. (I was thinking about how rayon would make nice swingy pant legs instead.) Also once muslining the pattern I realized that my low bust point wasn't making this look like it did in my head. Any sort of waist definition disappeared and that bothered me.  So what to do to solve both of these problems? Cut some of the Empire waist off of the top of the pants and turn it into a wide waistband.  I did take pictures of this process so if you'd like a quickie "How to" blog post just say so in the comments. Otherwise I sewed this pattern as drafted and like it a whole bunch.
(Not the best pic of the back, but this was literally the only on in focus out of 35 pics)


Patterns
Simplicity 1155 and Decades of Style Empire Waist Trousers.

Fabrics used
Blouse - Stashed Crepe de Chine from EOS.  Thanks to Facebook time hop I can tell you this was bought in 2010 about a month and a half after Desmond was born. (Just making myself feel better about not sewing it right away.)

Pants - Stretch Rayon from Marcy Tilton. Fabric was a new purchase in October, but has sold out since then.

Pattern changes/alterations
Blouse
1. Lowered the neckline .5" and lengthen the neckline darts the same amount.
2. Standard 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment to shoulder and sleeve.
3. Added 1/2" more length to the sleeve.
4. Redrew the placement of the buttonholes on the back.

Pants
1. Extended the back crotch length about .75" (Used the Wearing History Smooth Sailing Trousers as a guide since those fit me well.)
2.  Took in 1.5" inches in at the side seams at the waistline. This alteration was mostly because of my fabric choose of a stretch woven. I had to give that area some negative ease to get it to stay in position.

Confessions/Advice
1.  I found the bias width of 1.25" a bit slim for my fumble fingers when finishing the neckline.  I increased it to 2".

2. The directions say to close the sleeve cuffs with thread loops and buttons.  I found this out really late in the process and was not in the mood to hand sew some thread loops.  Instead I checked to see if the cuffs would fit over my hands with a buttonhole added.  They were wide enough thanks to my hand and wrists being the daintiest part of my body. I did end up doing a standard button and button hole finish to the cuffs. Now 3 months later I'll admit that doing the thread loops would have been better. The cuffs are just a little bit too tight when the blouse needs to move with me.

Husband Comment
Pretty sure he said, "I like your sleeves" because Napoleon Dynami quotes are a staple of our household. Though I think this outfit is on the husband scale of "I'll keep my mouth shut because she'll put on a less weird outfit soon."

My Final Thoughts
It might have taken me three months to show off this outfit but I'm pretty pleased with it. In the end it turned out just like I'd imagined.
Going forward I'm hoping to blog a little more regularly. There's still plenty I want to sew and share with like minded people.   So here's hoping for a little more sewing and blogging time in the new year.

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