How Minor Tweaks Transformed an Uncomfortable Garment into a Wearable Outfit

I made this blouse and skirt as part of a capsule wardrobe a couple of years ago. I found I wasn’t wearing them as much as I would like, so I took a little time to figure out why.

The main difficulty was the fitted waistband on the skirt; I’ve developed frequent abdominal bloating from a gastric issue, and I never know from one day to the next whether my clothes will fit – elastic to the rescue! I took out the large box pleats I put in previously to fix a mistake, and attached elastic to the side seams of the skirt, running it under the front facing.

To create a channel for the elastic and keep it in place, I pick-stitched about halfway down the facing.

The other problem was a poor fit in the French darts on the blouse bodice. I suspect I didn’t let the fabric hang long enough before sewing up the darts, or maybe I should’ve let it hang longer after sewing, don’t know. But when I wear the top there’s some funny blousing right above the peplum I don’t care for. In order to hide it, I thought cinching it up with a sash belt would be best.

I had already wanted a sash belt for the project, but never got around to it; I did manage to keep all the scraps. I cut them down into strips, serged the ends together, then went to sew it up. My first thought was, I don’t need no stinkin’ interfacing for the belt, I just wanna get this sewn quickly… then from somewhere deep inside my subconscious an image of Roz making that “hmmm” face came floating up… and I pulled out the interfacing and added it to the belt. Always listen to Roz! Now I know my belt will last as long as the other pieces.

A short movie (Jane Austen this time) later and I had thread carriers for the belt and the pick-stitching done, and I am now much happier with my outfit!

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