Simplicity 1870 + 1871

It's been a while since I posted a sewing project, and with a backlog of projects to share, I'll combine these outfits into one post. Each of them uses the top from Simplicity 1870 and the skirt from Simplicity 1871.

The first outfit is made from the fabric left over from a dress I made for my sweet friend, Ashley. (I'm just realizing I never blogged Ashley's dress, which I made in July! Lots to catch up on.) It's a pink variegated stripe, a poly-lycra blend that is soooo soft and drapey. I didn't do a petite adjustment on the top or bottom, but I will probably crop it more on top so it looks less like I can't measure, and more like you're supposed to see a slice of skin.


The second outfit was my birthday dress! This time, I used a more structured, B&W striped, poly-lycra knit from Michael Levine Loft, and I attached the top and bottom. But I cut away a triangle of fabric on the skirt, from the side seams to the waist, before attaching them. I've been loving the cutouts on clothes all over the dang place, and the curviest part of my torso is the lower waist, so that's how I decided to make the cutouts there. When I wear the dress, it feels like I'm showing lots of skin. But when I see the photos, it looks very demure. Maybe I will end up wearing it again, after all.

The whole process of taking photos for the blog / pattern review cracks me up. My husband is my primary photographer, and we really have been trying to create more of a "vibe" so that we get better shots. Usually, he is frustrated and I am frowning. This particular day, we photographed three outfits, when we were both searing under a hot sun. He had me in the oddest-feeling poses, arms one way, hands another, body facing yet another direction, instructing me to look directly into the sun and smile. We had some fun this time around, laughing at the whole process, but I know there must be an easier way. Don't be surprised if you see props, and masks, and hats, and other hijinks and swag and silliness in future sewing project photos.

For you sewing peeps, here is my review of the S1070 top. And here's my review of the S1071 skirt.

NYC Weekend 2015


This pic was taken from the 86th Floor Observatory of the Empire State Building on our last night in NYC, so I'm getting ahead of myself chronologically. But why not start with this pic? Kyle and I chose to make Midtown / Garment District our home base on this trip, instead of Chelsea. From the ESB you can see it all: Madison Square Garden with its blue-lit roof toward the left, and our hotel, The New Yorker, toward the right.

We stayed a couple blocks away from Metro Textiles, one of our fave places to go when we're there. On my previous visit, I'd purchased this bold graphic cotton sateen and had no idea what I'd do with it. Simplicity 1873 had been calling my name for a while, so I paired the two. I am pretty sure I only purchased 1.5 yards, but Kashi doesn't measure in a traditional way -- he sort of guesstimates the fabric length -- but I've always found him to err generously in my favor. It turns out that his generosity saved the dress. I had just enough, though well over 1.5 yards. And although the dress fits Clementine perfectly, it is a tiny bit big for me in ways I find hard to diagnose and fix. But that is maybe for another post.


Kashi remembered the fabric and commended the dress. Then, like a true fabric-aholic, I went to work finding more fabric. He offered me the stepstool for the first time, and I'm sure it's no coincidence that I found and purchased about twice as much fabric as usual.

At this point, it appears I stopped taking pics for the day. We had lunch at MAOZ, sauntered to Kinokuniya for postcards and fun stuff, and wandered back through the Garment District, at places like Pacific Trimming, Paron Fabrics, and the new Lauren Trimming (247 West 37th Street). I purchased a faux Liberty print cotton and a reversible polka dot cotton (Tom and Linda Platt) from Paron's. More polka dots! Couldn't help myself.

We headed to Chelsea that evening for The City Quilter, where I purchased a sashiko kit, and the unexpected sad news that Pongsri, the Thai restaurant that Kyle so loved when we were in NYC last, had closed. So we grabbed a bite instead at Epice Cafe and called it an early night in. Kyle taught me how the sashiko worked, and I stitched late into the night and finished Oprah Winfrey's book, "What I Know For Sure."


The next morning we hit Beacon's Closet, but neither of us found anything that fit perfectly, nothing we couldn't live without. I think they rearranged their merchandise a bit, and the new setup is less conducive to falling in love. We lunched at Claudette and walked into Soho through Washington Square Park. Flowers were beautiful, and people were everywhere. There was a section of the park where men and women were sunbathing topless, and Kyle and I got a kick out of watching the young men who were ogling the topless ladies. LOL

We saw a serene little garden spot just outside the park, so we stopped to visit. It's called LaGuardia Corner Gardens, full of color and nature. 

At Purl Soho, I found neon pink cotton and a shop gal who was very friendly, unlike the last time I was there. She'd only worked there a month or two, so I hope she stays helpful and interested. We hit tons of spots in Soho on the way to Opening Ceremony, such as Muji, Pearl River, and some specialty sock shop that I imagine won't be there for long. I don't know what kind of business model allows you to stock approx. 20 styles of socks and allows you to pay Soho bills. 


But Opening Ceremony was it for me. Not the dude sitting in front of the store when I took this pic, but the store itself. I don't know who that dude is. I have stalked the online shop for years, but nothing compares to the retail store. It is beautifully staged and curated. The clothing is a wonder to behold. The materials, construction, and design took my breath away. Unlike every other Soho store I've shopped at, every salesperson in OC is friendly and helpful. They seem to love the clothes and want you to love the clothes, too. Very enthusiastic energy.

I wanted to go home and start draping something on my form. So inspiring, the quality, craftsmanship, and detail. 

I'll always remember.


We were pretty pooped by that point, so we went back uptown (funk you up, uptown funk you up). After a couple hours' rest, we headed to The Highline, walked south into Chelsea, and ate dinner at a cute restaurant called The Red Cat. The cold sweet corn soup was TO DIE FOR. Eat it. You'll thank me later. Kyle wanted to celebrate my birthday early, and she came prepared.

On the left there is the card. Kyle always maxes out the stickers! Too fun, and so colorful. The card itself -- I mean, come on! -- functioning zippers on that miniature biker jacket. It was perfect! The present was wrapped flawlessly in Kyle's signature turquoise, and the gift... Check it... Woven ROCK ON TINY REBEL labels! I couldn't wait to get home and sew a label into something!!!!!!

Kyle. You're the best.

After dinner, we walked to the Empire State Building to see the great views of the city. And it was crowded, even at 10:30pm! But totally worth it. We even got super-touristy. And loved it.

Walking through the Saturday night crowd the few long blocks back to the hotel was just invigorating. The city is so ALIVE. I am still smitten.