I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
I started this little ensemble several weeks ago. The impetus was the purchase of this amazing merino wool in my favorite color: bright reddish-pink. The pattern is V8640, which was sort of an experimental look for me: I love this kind of high-waisted skirt, but the jacket is boxier than I usually go for. But the illustrations were so cute!
I went with a brooch instead of a knot on the ties. Just experimenting! Still, I don't know if this whole look is for me. The two pieces felt a bit too conservative together or something.
So that's when the jacket came off.
And the brooch went on my top.
My friend and first-class photographer Fleur suggested I throw the jacket jauntily over my shoulder. Done and done!
I love the skirt.
It's faced, and I used boning in the facing to keep the skirt from buckling around the waist. I just extended the facing an inch in length (I don't like boning to end right at my waist because I've found it can leave a crease in the skirt fabric). I also put the boning casings on the inside of the facing (instead of on the side of the facing that touches the skirt), to reduce the chance of the spiral steel bones showing through to the right side of the skirt. I kind of like how the black casings look on the facing, but you could also use pretty ribbon or something.
The jacket and skirt are both lined in Radiance cotton/silk sateen, which I scored on eBay. I wasn't sure if it would be a good choice for lining, but it turns out I love it. It's substantial, easy to work with, and slippery against the skin, tights, and blouses.
I finished the lining hem off with some lace.
I will probably wear the jacket again, just not with the skirt. Could be cute with little denim pedal pushers or something, no?
The good news is that I loved the merino wool so much I bought five yards of it. A matching dress is in the making!