When Zara asked me what I was making this time 'round I answered 'Two more tunics and a couple of pairs of leggings'.
She pulled a bit of a face but I didn't take too much notice, initially.
It got me thinking though so I asked Elsa what she thought I should sew for myself.
'No more tunics, Mum, something nice'
I then asked Jed, he was more gentle but still very honest.
He didn't really like the clothes I was sewing for myself but if I was happy, he was happy.
What to do?
While we were on holidays the Twins introduced me to Polyvore. It is so much fun, it is like shopping without having to get undressed and you can use pieces you already have!
After having a good play I was a lot more switched on to what I actually like and want to wear.
I have some really nice pieces already. Lots of very nice boots and shoes, some classic jackets and vests and two timeless leather skirts as well as some good jewellery.
It was when it came to the basic stuff I was sorely lacking.
Jeans, trousers, shirts and tees.
After much perusing of Pinterest we were really taken with the concept of core wardrobes. The idea is that your clothes work hard and make many different outfits.
The Twins and I have emptied out all the clothes we don't wear and made lists of what we actually need to make what we have work better.
We have donated anything that just didn't fit or we just didn't wear.
It is so much fun and makes so much sense. We have been shopping twice since we started and both the girls were so much more sensible with their choices. Rather the buying stuff because it was on sale or cheap they quizzed each other whether they needed the piece and what would they wear it with.
It has also helped them plan what they would like made next.
As it did for me.
A item that kept popping up in my Polyvore sets was a denim shirt so I decided to sew that for me first.
I had long had my eye on the gorgeous ladies version of Hugo's Mister shirt
I was determined to get a good fit so I made a calico muslin of the Aime Comme Madame shirt.
Jed helped me with the fitting. I had to be patient as his big fingers fumbled with pins but he did such a good job.
I use calico for my muslins, it means I can write on it and it will take being sewn and unpicked over and over again.
I always put my seams on the outside, it just makes it easier to adjust them.
My muslin is unpicked once perfect and then becomes my pattern.
My first muslin was a straight LL (the largest size) with a cm added to the waist. This was to my measurements.
I ended up taking in that extra cm plus a few more. I shifted the darts up to better flatter my tummy and nip in under my bust.
The back darts were a bit a wide for me so I moved them in.
Moving the back darts made a huge difference. Jed suggested this alteration as he could see my back, I, obviously couldn't.
I added a bust dart and then trimmed a bit from the shoulder cap as well as removing an inch of ease from the sleeve.
It was okay but a bit firm in the boobage.
I tried again, this time I did a FBA using this method.
Swedish tracing paper is brilliant for this.
So very happy with the result.
It looks like it is pulling a bit in the photo below but I am wearing a padded feeding singlet and a cloth breast pad.
I purchased the chambray on our Melbourne trip. It has a slight sheen and a gorgeous drape.
I pulled it out of the remnant bin at Eliza's Fabric. It was the princely sum of $3.50.
I went with my usual MoP buttons but reversed them to show the shell finish, for a more casual look.
I love the two piece sleeve placket and the rounded cuff.
I topstitched all the darts and seams with navy thread.
A double back yoke and waist darts are delightful features.
(I will pinch just a smidgen from under the collar next time)
I cannot express how lovely it is to have a shirt that actually fits me.
It actually fits my boobs, feeding bra, breast pads and all!
Shoulders that fit!
Shaped but not tight with some ease for my 6 child waistline.
I feel proper smart.
I just feel so nice wearing it.
Smart but not too dressy.
I won't josh you, these patterns are not for beginners. You need some experience with sewing.
The pattern instructions are all in French however there are good diagrams.
If you have made a shirt before you could make this.
There is no seam allowance included either (except on the sleeve placket, I think).
It is a paper pattern but the p&h was very reasonable.
The front and back darts made it a good shirt to adjust. It is such an elegant, feminine garment.
I can see myself making many more.
So, so happy!