Forget the Planning Vacation Wardrobe

Logically, when planning a vacation wardrobe, it is a good idea to coordinate pieces around one main color, with some compatible secondary colors. After a long, dreary, cold, gray winter, logic was not invited on this vacation.

Hilton Head, South Carolina can still be a little cool in March, but it was warm and sunny enough to chase away the blues of a Michigan winter. I wanted pretty colors and florals, no shoes that went with everything and no mix and match anything.  As for tops, well there is always white.

I used this Burda skirt pattern from the Spring 2014 magazine last year, sewing two skirts at the same time, assembly line style, as blogged here. https://sewingforward.com/2014/04/29/assembly-line-skirts/ It’s an easy, unlined skirt with a back zip and slightly curved waistband.

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Since leaving my job and no longer sitting for 8 hours a day, I’ve lost a little weight and needed to adjust the pattern. It was easy to change, I just cut off 1/4 inch from the center and side seams.

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A little top stitching makes this appear almost like printed denim.

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The white top was a quick make using the boat neck top pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I used a very soft knit and can see getting lots of wear from this. I’ve already made it in another color and will likely make a couple sleeveless versions for summer. This is a fast and easy pattern with great results.

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The cornflower blue floral is actually a home dec  fabric by Waverly, which I picked up at Satin Moon in San Francisco. I don’t usually even look at home dec fabric because I’m afraid of looking like a Von Trapp singer wearing the curtains, but I really wanted something for spring.

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The fabric for my second vacation skirt was also from Satin Moon, another floral. This one is by Amy Butler. Both these fabrics wash beautifully and resist wrinkles, a plus on vacation  (not that I did any wash there).The top is just a Target t-shirt, the scarf I found in Hilton Head. Shopping as you travel is a good option when planning an uncoordinated wardrobe.

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The pattern is actually part of a dress, Vogue 8993. To make the skirt, I placed the center front on the fold, eliminating the center seam. Instead of a waist band, I faced it with petersham ribbon and skipped the pleats in the back due to lack of yardage. The pocket bags are made from white cotton left from another project.

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Skirt three is my favorite. I saw the cotton print on a quick trip to Haberman Fabrics for skirt two’s petersham ribbon. The giant peonies just shouted, “Winter is over!” Peonies will always remind me of my grandmother’s garden, of course these did not have the ants crawling all over them. What is it with peonies and ants?

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The skirt is almost a full circle and lined with a cotton blend I had in the stash. The little girl in me wants to twirl around in it, the middle aged mom reminds me I would likely not look cute showing off my undies.  I used a favorite ready to wear skirt to trace off a pattern. The front and back are almost the same, but the back has a center seam to allow for the zipper placement.  The only area to fit was the waist and the large pleats (2 front, 2 back) allowed for some adjusting. The waist band is just a narrow strip cut on the bias. Another easy make.

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Besides my new skirts, I also took dresses made last summer, never wore anything twice and managed to get it all in one within the weight limit suitcase. The advantages of warm weather packing.

And what was I looking at off that balcony?  The view of a lovely Carolina salt marsh, so peaceful and pretty. It changes throughout the day, with the tides and light.

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After vacationing in Hilton Head for 15 years, we bought the ultimate souvenir –a house.

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It will be a few years before we move there, but for now I’m getting obsessed with decorating ideas and trying to figure out where I’ll put all my sewing stuff. My husband won out of the view, it’s on a golf course. I’ll just need to find a really large painting of a salt marsh to hang in the living room.

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Deciphering Burda Style

Like most sewers, I find it easy to collect sewing magazines. Threads, Vogue Patterns, Stitches, etc. etc. It was the pile of Burda Style that reached a point, it was almost taunting me. Why are you buying $10 magazines, looking at them once, then not using any of the patterns? Well, this may have had something to do with it. The Burda pattern sheets.100_0198 Trying to decipher which lines were the correct pattern in the correct size, then correctly tracing it seemed a little intimidating. Fortunately inspiration intervened. The perfect (at least in my mind) fabric appeared the same time as I had a particular pattern in mind. Finally I had the motivation needed to try the reissue of a vintage dress pattern 141, printed in the December 2012 issue. burda 141 12 12I made the muslin and found I only needed minor changes, shortening the bodice between the shoulder and bust point and the skirt length. I’m short, 5 foot 2, but it seems that the short part is not where patterns show length adjustments. Taking the French Style Jacket class on Pattern Review, with Angela Wolf, helped me figure out I needed to shorten the upper part of a bodice, not the lower part.

I only ran into one problem, the person who cut my fabric cut it off grain. Instead of checking the grain line then cutting, she pulled the layers together. When I laid it out at home and adjusted the layers on the grain lines, each end had a short layer and a long layer, losing almost a quarter yard. Of course this would happen on a Sunday evening. Do I wait and take it back the next day, no I shorten the sleeves a little and sew forward. Lesson learned: pay more attention when having fabric cut, don’t expect everyone to understand the straight of grain, especially in chain stores.

In spite of the minor set back, I was happy with the dress in a happy color.

From Burda Style issue 12, 2012

From Burda Style issue 12, 2012