New Top Butterick 6175, Skirt NewLook 6129, and Style Matters cont'd.

My recent spell of sewing muslins and then black, black, black, left me a little depleted on the sewing enjoyment side.  While I was stuck in the long tunnel of black, I saw a vibrant little cotton craft print at Spotlight, for $4.00 per metre - it was already on sale and then it was a 40% off day too. So for $3.60 a piece of cotton was whisked into my bag, ready for my therapeutic sewing post black.  I had also decided to make top from this fabric for our  January Make a Garment a Month theme.

I had a pattern that I knew would work for this top. Butterick 6175, which I had already made in quite a different fabric - but have not yet posted.  Next week, I promise...

When I first made this top, I was dubious about the shape.  It looked so shapeless and boxy, a bit like me, really, so I thought it would make me look even more boxy.  I did lengthen the top to avoid this happening too much.  But I was not sure how this would work in a firm weave, so was still a little dubious.

I cut size 12, but the back armholes were recut to size 10 as the back was strangely wide.  The back opening was very long, so I shortened it.  I added a rouleau loop and button - the pattern suggests a thread loop, but I find rouleau loops much easier to make. I made a larger loop and used a larger button - easier to do up!  and the fabric could take it.  I seamed the neck at 3/8 inch as necks are usually too wide on me.  The finished neckline looked the same as that shown in the picture.  The pattern did actually use a facing at the neckline.  I lengthened the top by 1.75 inches (about 4 cms)

If I made the top again, I would lower the front of the neckline - these high, slightly boatish necklines look lovely, but are a little obvious against the throat.  Okay for sit down jobs, or for going out, but would annoy me for more active tasks.

I took these pictures early this morning and had just dried my hair - and it is frizzy today, the weather has been so humid.  There will be a storm later today...  And I look as tired as I feel - it has been a busy week.  And hot...

So that is the top, which I think is very effective.  It is not the right colour for me, but I don't care, I like it anyway!

As for the skirt, I made this late last year, from a $2.50 remnant of cotton broadcloth.  In March of every year, I always feel like wearing a cool pink skirt.  They look so fresh, and I sort of feel that by March, after a very humid and stormy February, that this is the right sort of colour to revive the sapped spirit.  So, when I saw the remnant, I knew straight away it was for me.

I used a pattern I have used before, New Look 6129.

And I chose the version with pockets, of course:

If you want to see the earlier posts on this skirt, please click on this link.

Replies to your comments.

I am going to do a one reply sort of reply for all of you this week - I have had lots of work to do, and am pressed for time.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments about my husband's blacks - he has not stop wearing them on the weekend and has found the pockets in the pants - loves them!  Hands are always in them, which probably means repairs one day...sigh.  And those of you that have sewn for men also seem to think it is quite different too.  And your empathy with sewing black...

Oh, special note for Patricia -a cheap machine for a back up is fine, for what it is.  It will sew, but it will be very basic.


I am going to try and do a regular post about style. So far, your comments indicate that some of you are like me - a little unsure about style at home, and some of you are a lot more assured in choosing garments for wearing at home.  And some people have always loved clothes - I did too, as a teenager, but had to put all those desires aside when I started nursing at 17 - we grew up quickly in those days!

It seems to me that we have certain themes emerging - some of you have worn uniforms most of your working life and have now retired and face style challenges. Some of you still work and wear uniforms and want a comfortable but stylish wardrobe for wearing at home - where you also do chores. And some of you at home are not retired, but have been unfortunate enough to lose your employment, or are  but otherwise occupied with children, caring  or household demands,   have struggled with motivation to dress nicely.

And some of you have started tossing out clothes that are really passed their use by date.

Other themes emerging are insecurity with choosing styles - this often happens as we get older.  The other theme emerging is how we feel about what we wear at home.

Another idea I was intrigued about was the idea of letting go.  Maybe we all need to let go of all sorts of stuff that is also impacting on style.  It can be challenging to do this.

So, please allow me a couple of weeks to put together some ideas...

In the meantime, I shall share what I have done this week - I have created little wardrobe blocks - a set of clothes for loungewear in the evening - just a t shirt and rayon jogger pants.  That way, I have something to go to quickly, and something that looks good.

For daytime, if I am working from home, I have black cotton pants and an assortment of tops that I can wear.  And dresses, especially if it is hot.

I am not worrying about whether the style is me, or the colour suits me, I am just making sure I look neat and presentable, and am not just throwing on the same old things again with no thought.  That's an old habit entrenched from my earliest working days.

So for those of you stuck in a rut with what to wear at home, what about putting together a few go to outfits. And for those of you that want to wear something comfortable and stylish at home, but don't know what - what about starting to collect pictures of things you like?  Pinterest is also a good place to put style pictures.

We will talk more in later blog post...

That's it for now, wishing you all a wonderful weekend

Sarah Liz


  1. The fabric of your new top is intriguing like a colourful zebra . The changes you have made means your top does not look boxy at all. I could take a leaf out of your book and try wear nicer clothes after work. I try to keep my good work clothes clean but I read an article on The Conversation email that changing out of your work clothes also signifies a switching off from work and allows you to relax more. Which makes some sense so I won't be upgrading my home clothes to my better work ones. Looking forward to your thoughts on home style .

  2. I really like your new top, such a pretty colour/pattern, and bargain price too. And it looks lovely with the pink skirt which is a real gem. You must feel fresh and pretty in that. Thank you for the comment re the machine. I went to Spotlight but nobody was interested in showing me their machines, so I bought some fabric and left. Hopefully the other machine will return soon, but I'll keep the matter open re a backup machine. Your Style notebook is interesting, and I look forward to the next chapter.

  3. I love the fabric and it goes so nicely with the pink skirt. A great outfit.
    Get some rest and relaxation or you'll wear yourself down. Your joints etc won't like it either.
    I'm starting to look towards spring - not sure that's so sensible just yet but there you go! I'll check on the January MAGAM theme and see if any of what I'm making fits in. I do want to meet that challenge!

  4. I have to say that seeing you in the black top with a pink skirt is the nicest colour combination I think I have ever see you wear! Even just a pop of colour can brighten those stay at home clothes. Looking forward to your post on this topic, it's certainly got me. The last thing I have just made, I am not quite sure about, leading me once again onto this topic.

  5. Sarah Liz I love that top. It looks great on you. It is reminiscent of the Simplicity one that has done the rounds (Cynthia Rowley one) but with much nicer sleeves.

  6. I love your top. The fabric is beautiful and so is the colour. You'll definitely get a lot of wear out of your skirt this spring. I can't believe March is already around the corner and we just entered 2017.

  7. Love that top.. The fabric is beautiful and looks so pretty with that pink skirt [Really makes me want our spring to get here,ha]
    Your skirt pattern, is fantastic.. I went and bought that pattern, after seeing your first post on it.. It has turned into my tnt skirt pattern.. I have made so many of them.. And now... I am ready to pull it out and make another one.. They are so comfortable to wear.. I can work around the house... or wear it to the grocery store or have some I wear to church .. Multi task skirt for sure..
    Happy sewing and I look forward to reading your style post.

  8. The top has a lovely shape -- whether or not you feel the color is not you, it looks polished and lovely with that skirt. It could be a wear at home garment...

  9. I really like this top on you too and think it suits you very well..... particularly with the pink skirt. It must look quite different with a black or white skirt... more of a polished 'work' outfit? Also noticed how you placed your fabric's design nicely centered down the front. And those sleeves!!! LOVE!!! You picked the best view to make! Very interested also in your ongoing style topic. :)


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