Completed: Runway-Inspired Separates

25 Mar

So, everyone at the Mood Sewing Network decided a couple of months ago that we would challenge ourselves to make pieces that were inspired by the Spring 2014 runway. Real talk: this shit sent me into a panic. Runway? I can honestly say I have never even so much as glanced at a series of runway photos, let alone determined an outfit based on what I saw (I’m not saying this in an ~ooh, I’m so cool I just don’t even pay attention to fashion~ way, more like, yo clueless!). Furthermore, it’s difficult for me to grab “inspiration” from something without just blatantly copying it. I spent an entire month agonizing over designers, pouring over runway sets at style.com (holy crap, there are a lot of them) and wringing my hands over what to make.

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Then I discovered Alberta Ferretti.

Alberta Ferretti Spring 2014

I still don’t know who this designer is, exactly, but the entire runway show is magical. Bright, saturated colors! Crisp white accents! Flowers! Stripes! This is the kind of inspiration I can get behind! I decided to make myself a *wearable* (emphasis on wearable ;)) version of my favorite look.

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Figuring out the fabric and patterns I would use was almost as difficult as picking a designer! I knew I wanted to make a striped skirt with pleats similar to the runway version, because I just really love how that turned out (plus, who doesn’t love a good striped skirt?), but finding a good striped fabric on the Mood Fabrics website was haaard. I mean, they have all sorts of good stripes to choose from – but very little in that specific combination of wide, irregular stripes in bright saturated colors. I know, I know – this is supposed to be an inspiration, not a literal interpretation. But dangit, I wanted those irregular stripes!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I’m not going to tell you how long I spent picking through the Mood website with a fine-tooth comb; let’s just say I probably know every apparel fabric they sell now. I did finally find my big prize, though – this amazingly bright orange stripe cotton sateen is the clear winner. Woohoo! Of course, it clashes with my hair like big time crazy bad, but whatever, I picked all this shit out pre-blue LT. Anyway, I just love love LOVE the bright colors of the stripes – it’s not quite the same colors as the inspiration skirt – it’s way more happy springy! Yay spring colors!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I was originally going to make the fabric in a skirt that is more similar to the runway inspiration – no button front + pleats all the way around – but at the very last minute (like, right before I cut into the fabric, lolz), I changed my mind and decided to go with a pattern I knew I would actually wear and love. Enter the Kelly skirt! Cutting that shit took forever, btw. I agonized for a long time on how to cut the stripes – where each color and wide stripe should hit. I used the inspiration photo to help me decide how to cut the waistband (it was originally going to be a mess of stripes on it’s own, but I like it as one solid, thick stripe!), and was careful to match up the stripes along the side seams, the button front, and the pockets. Like I said, it took forever, but once I got the pieces cut, the actual assembly took no time at all.

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

The fabric is described as a lightweight cotton sateen, but it’s weighty enough to work as a bottom weight. There is definitely some texture in the weave, and it stretches quite a bit. I made sure to stabilize the waistband and button placket so the fabric would keep it’s shape in those areas, and used a long stitch on my machine for all the topstitching. It presses very well – really easy to get a sharp crease in there, yeah! – but it also tends to leave pin holes. For areas that needed to be pinned together and topstitched (such as the button band and inside of the waistband), I fused the pieces with a long strip of stitch witchery instead of pinning; this keeps everything in place and makes topstitching SO much easier! Especially if you tend to miss spots and only discover them after you’ve finished topstitching the seam, which means they gotta be ripped out and restitched so you catch the entire fold (er… not that I would know anything about that…). That shit’s not a problem at all when you’ve got Stitch Witchery on your side. Yay, Stitch Witchery!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Since my skirt is so bright and colorful, I went the boring route with my top and made a classic button-down shirt. I seriously considered adding embellishment – or even making it into a crop top, because, why the fuck not? – but in the end, I stuck with the classic tried and true. Mainly because my wardrobe is sorely lacking a solid white button down with sleeves, so I know this shirt will get quite a bit of wear with other pieces to mix and match. I used this Theory lightweight cotton shirting – which, if you were wondering, took almost as much agonizing as find the perfect stripe. There are SO MANY WHITE SHIRTING FABRICS available at moodfabrics.com! SO FUCKING MANY. Like, how do you even choose? I figured that I’ve had really good experiences with all the Theory denims I’ve bought, so the shirting fabric must be just as excellent. Which ended up being true – this shit is soft as angel’s wings, presses and stitches beautifully, and it’s right along that line of being *almost* sheer because it’s so lightweight. A skin-colored bra is a must with this fabric. The only drawback is that since it’s 100% cotton, it does wrinkle like crazy. Like, when I pulled it out of the dryer, it was a hot mess of wadded wrinkled ball I don’t even know what. Good thing it presses well! πŸ™‚

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

For my pattern, I used Butterick 5526. Like I said, I knew I wanted a classic button-down shirt but nothing in my stash was exactly what I wanted – everything was either a relaxed fit, or had something twee like a peter pan collar or an abundance of ruffles cascading down the front. Which is fine – clearly I like these patterns enough to even have them in my stash – but I wanted something super basic. Butterick 5526 perfectly fit the bill – I went with the princess-seamed version with 3/4 sleeves, and I’m actually a little surprised at how much I like it. I made the size 6 with no muslin, with the hopes that the princess seams would give me enough room to play around with the fitting. It actually came out perfect straight out of the envelope – I KNOW, RIGHT? – although next time, I will shorten the sleeves because they are stupid long. They’re supposed to be 3/4 and they come to right above my wrists – in that weird spot that’s not quite long sleeve, but rather looks like I measured my arms wrong. Wah wah! I’ll just wear these rolled up, I guess. I also may reduce some of the ease out of the sleeve cap in the next version; these were pretty hard to ease in smoothly and there are still tons of wrinkles. But, for the most part – it ain’t bad!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I did try to jazz up the shirt a little bit by adding topstitching, but for the most part – it’s just a plain jane backdrop to an awesomely loud skirt. I love it!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Ok, now I have to tell you my secret – I didn’t start sewing this until Saturday morning! On top of that, it had to be finished and photographed before dark on Sunday – and I had a wedding to attend on Saturday night. I spent so long agonizing over my designer inspiration, then the fabric, then the pattern – that by the time I had everything (mostly)figured out, it was time for me to get on a plane and head to NY. When I got home on Monday, I had another more urgent deadline that needed to be taken care of asap (more on that later), which put this project on the backburner for a few days. Needless to say – I was pretty stressed come Saturday morning! I like to think I’m pretty efficient when it comes to making things quickly, but even that’s a stretch for me, especially two garments. I’ll be honest – I was tempted to half ass this one, just for the sake of time, but I decided early on that it wasn’t even worth my while if I didn’t end up making something that would be wearable past this photoshoot. Which means I forced myself to slow down – I made time for fitting, for the details like topstitching, for fixing mistakes (oh yeah, I totally sewed that collar stand on backwards the first time NO BIG DEAL), for eating lunch. But hey, look – not only did I actually get it done, but I actually made something nice without cutting corners.

Butterick 5526, made with Mood Fabrics

Butterick 5526, made with Mood Fabrics
I mean, check out that topstitching!

Butterick 5526, made with Mood Fabrics

Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics
Lots of topstitching on the skirt too, woohoo πŸ™‚

Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I know my outfit isn’t quite as fashion forward as what I could have done, but I am elated with how both pieces turned out and I can’t wait to give them some proper wear to welcome spring in with loving arms. Come on, spring! I know you’re lurking back there somewhere, time to come out of hiding!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

One last thing – most of y’all are probably aware by now, but just in case you weren’t… By Hand London is going to start printing fabrics on-demand! How freaking awesome is that?? They need some help with costs to get production started, so they’ve got a Kickstarter going to raise funds. You can get some pretty sweet loot in exchange for your money – from tote bags, to coffee mugs, to free patterns, to private sewing lessons – but even $5 helps. Every little bit adds up! I am so so excited for this new venture that the BHL ladies are seeking out, and I really hope they meet their goal so it can become a reality (especially if it means I can start printing wildly tacky fabric to my heart’s desire). You can check out the Kickstarter here – watch the super cute video, and I dare you not to fall in love. I dare you.

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58 Responses to “Completed: Runway-Inspired Separates”

  1. ekabby111 March 25, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    It’s a very “Kindergarten Teacher” type outfit, but in a good way, you know?

  2. David March 25, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    I love the concept of taking a fashionable garment for this season and putting your spin on it. Your version is so eye-catching and summery!

  3. oonaballoona March 25, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    oh my god, now i am even MORE ashamed that i didn’t finish a top for my skirt. that shirt is perfection! and you know i love the whole shebang.

    • LLADYBIRD March 25, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      Don’t even be! Your SKIRT was pure perfection, she required all of the attention!

  4. Suzanne Beaubien March 25, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    If this skirt doesn’t harken Spring, I don’t know what will. Love it!

    • LLADYBIRD March 25, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      Well, it’s snowing today, so let’s hope spring hurries it’s butt over here πŸ™‚

  5. S B Web March 25, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Nice job! It’s wonderful that you took a silk outfit that you have nowhere to wear and changed it into something so useful, keeping the pretty and vibrant along the way. The flower necklace is a nice touch.

  6. Naomi March 25, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I really love this outfit. And the shirt is just perfect in its simplicity. Way to go LT!

  7. Nakisha March 25, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    You totally ruined my genius moment.

    I am working on a button front shirt. This morning I ironed the button band in place and thought, “I should use stitch witchery to hold it in place so I can get decent topstitching!” Swear to goodness.

    And then here YOU go! πŸ™‚

    Very cute outfit! That skirt is awesome and no one in the universe has ever gone wrong with a crisp, white button front!

    • LLADYBIRD March 25, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      I’d say it’s definitely true that great minds think alike πŸ™‚

  8. Kelly March 25, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Looks lovely! You did such a great job, I can’t imagine how you got it all done in time!

  9. Sarah March 25, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    That skirt is adorable!

  10. Kim March 25, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    I love this outfit! It looks super good together and apart as well I think πŸ™‚ Love the colours of the skirt.. Style.com is quite dangerous inspiration wise, I’ve been looking at it for over 30 min now..

  11. Sarah C. March 25, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    So fun! It’s a perfectly preppy outfit, and then POW. The fabulous blue hair. ADORE. You look fantastic. And I bet this skirt would look terrific with a cute crop top, which is such a cute style for you!

    Also, I am 1000% in support of you generating revenue via the blog as you are so amazing. As I scroll down, ads are now appearing on each photo. They only cover about the bottom 20–25% and can be closed. I have not noticed them on your site before, so just wanted to make sure you know that they are appearing. And if it’s going to be a regular feature, one idea is to leave some room at the bottom of your photos so that they do not cover details. Again, I have NO issue with the ads whatsoever. I am totally for Team Lauren and supporting her dreams and incredible talent!

    • LLADYBIRD March 25, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      Whoa, no, those ads are NOT ok! I actually had no idea they were even popping up over my photos – didn’t get a notification from WP or anything, this is the first I’ve heard of it and I’m pretty unhappy (to put it mildly). I’m ok with the video ads at the bottom of my posts, but ads over the photos is just fucking ridiculous and really distracting.

      Thank you so much for making me aware of this – I seriously have no idea. I’m contacting WordPress right now to see if there is a solution, since googling doesn’t seemed to be turning anything up.

  12. Elle March 25, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    LOVE it! You totally cannot tell that you rushed it through. The skirt looks so much like the inspiration photo that it’s scary. I can also see you rocking that skirt with a crop-top this summer! I would, if I were you and had your teeny waist πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD March 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Hell yeah! Crop tops all summer long πŸ˜€

  13. ellebougies March 25, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    I love these. And that skirt makes me so happy. πŸ™‚

  14. kimmie March 25, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    I think you made a really wise choice with the designer you went with. As much as I love clothes and stuff, I feel like I would be similarly up shit creek without a paddle if given such a task of picking a current “collection” I love. Seriously that whole world is super foreign to me. Whenever I flip through a W or a Vogue, I’m all “WHO THE FUCK IS WEARING THIS STUFF!?!? I mean I guess feathered harem pants have their place…I just haven’t figured it out yet. This ensemble you chose is fashion forward but still wearable and god knows, I love a stripe. Also, No matter all the crazy intricate things you make…I think I am always most impressed when you make a basic like a tshirt or a button down…I guess because I am an idiot…and it never occurs to me that these things don’t just grow on trees or fall out of the sky.

  15. lisa g March 25, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    love this outfit! i’ve been meaning to buy and make the kelly skirt forever… and now i want one just like this!

  16. maddie March 25, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    you don’t think the orange goes with your hair? I totes disagree! The two together rock!

  17. Blue Sunday March 25, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    You have out done yourself, again!! I love how you translated this to a wearable outfit! Bravo and you go girl!!

  18. megthegrand March 25, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    LOVE the separates. The colors in the skirt positively stole my heart!

  19. Jenny March 25, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    I’m going a bit Single White Female here, but I just ordered that pattern and that fabric. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?!

    • LLADYBIRD March 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Totally! (on the flattery part, not the SWF :)). I want to see it when you’ve made it up! πŸ˜€

  20. Beth B. March 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    I’ve almost ordered that exact fabric from Mood a zillion times! It looks so pretty online and now I know it’s pretty in a garment as well.

    Hey, was the “other deadline” an application for Project Runway? Because if you can finish this whole outfit in a weekend then you should be on that show πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD March 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      haha noooooo way! I don’t want to say “never,” but at this current time, sewing contests are not on my horizon. I’m afraid my other deadline was pretty boring by comparison- I was pattern testing (for a patternmaker, I should add).

  21. B & the Moon March 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    A most heart round of applause to you…huzzah to springtime!

  22. Lady Stitcher March 25, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Very cool! And I can’t believe you managed to finish both of these pieces so perfectly in such a short space of time!

  23. Ines March 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I love it! It looks high-end fancy shamancy ! Interesting how a print can change a skirt. I like it better with buttons, just a tad more casual and wearable. Great job!

  24. Ines March 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    It makes me think of what a Hollywood starlet would wear in a vintage movie in Italy in summer with a pair of black ballet flats , a boat neck tee and a little scarf tied around thd neck. Super cute!

    • Inclement March 25, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Love that observation.

  25. Rochelle New March 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    I would have been in the same boat as you as far as runway clueless! You did an awesome job recreating the look, and all that stripey color looks fabulous with your blue hair πŸ™‚

  26. tinygoldenpins March 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    I think it’s really great but when you have more time I want you to make Look 23 on that slideshow and send it to me!!! HAHAHA. Seriously, these are great clothes and they sent me right to Etsy to look for flowery, bright embellishments and flowers to sew onto floaty white things…..NICE!!!!!

  27. sewwrong March 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    That skirt is freaking adorable, love the fabric! I want your whole outfit, lol

  28. Kaitlyn March 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    This is a completely fantastic outfit. You are rocking it! I completely understand why you didn’t embroider the shirt, and I love how you’ve used the necklace to carry over the floral theme. However, I am now getting all these ideas for embroidered button ups.

  29. Vicki March 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    I love your catwalk inspiration AND your make! Those stripes are owned! And holy smoke, how fast with a wedding party as well? Impressive.

    This is an exciting development for the Mood Sewing Network, I can’t wait to see the other creations.

    I know what you mean about wearing colours. I defo changed the colours I wore when I was dying my hair purple & red.

  30. Stacey March 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    Your look is so much better than the Rubway version! Well done πŸ˜€

  31. sewcookgardenrepeat March 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    I think this is my favourite thing you’ve made. Like possibly ever!

  32. average cost of solar hot water system March 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    You said this well.

  33. sewlaurasew March 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    This is awesome! Such a happy outfit.

  34. ldichter2014 March 26, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    I think they are both look amazing!! The white plan shirt goes hand in hand perfectly with the colorful skirt…excellent choice!!

  35. EllenSand March 26, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    WOW! What an outfit! Love it. Want one!
    Ellen πŸ™‚

  36. Shanni March 26, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    Sooo call me crazy but I think your hair looks awesome with this outfit!! And if this skirt doesn’t give old man winter a kick in the ass out the door I don’t know what will!

  37. jamahistory March 27, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    I love, love, love the skirt! I would never have the balls to wear something that bright, but it looks amazing on you! I’m always in awe of your skill and the amount you sew, but I think sewing a skirt and a shirt in that amount of time is just showing off!

  38. goodbyevalentino March 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Lauren,
    I love your outfit so much! It’s so wearable and pretty πŸ™‚

  39. lifeisjustduckie March 28, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I love that skirt! I get inspiration from places, but this one I might have to straight up copy, haha. It looks gorgeous! And it’s so hard to find a plain white button down that fits me, I might to need to look at the Butterick pattern as well…

  40. Trice March 31, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Super cute Lauren. I love those colors on you.

  41. Andrea April 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    I love this skirt! Makes me want to run out and find some stripes just like it. You really did a great job using your inspiration.

  42. missjoiedevivre April 6, 2014 at 2:52 am #

    This whole outfit is gorgeous. And I know I’m a bit behind here, but WOWZA I love the blue hair! I’ve craved blue hair for over a decade but have never had the employment freedom to cut loose. One day my Jem and the Holograms inspired hair dreams and I are coming together in blue haired harmony! One day…

    But enough about me and my whining and one more mention that you look fantastic, the outfit is impeccable, and the citrus colours look amazing with the blue hair!

  43. yosami April 8, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Hi Lauren, I keep seeing pics of your inspiration Alberta Ferratti skirt everywhere, in mags etc and every time it makes me think of your skirt! It’s like a song I can’t get out of my head! Guess that means you nailed this look! Well done!

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