Back to (polka dot) basics

First of all, thank you all so much for your wonderful feedback on my Kielo dress! Already it is in high rotation and I may even wear it to a wedding this weekend!!

Every now and then it is nice to make a few “no brainer” pieces, items where you don’t have to worry about fit, so you can just sit and sew and enjoy the process. Don’t get me wrong, I love trying out new patterns and making them work, but sometimes it is nice to take the easy road. Enter the Hollyburn skirt.  This great little skirt is straightforward, few seams and you only need to fit the waistband. I have made this a couple of times before, here and a couple un-blogged.

Hollyburn & Wiksten

I originally intended to take this overseas with me as I figured the black polka dot pattern would make it a good neutral, I know it is polka dots, but they really do go with everything! My plan was not to be, I inserted my invisible zipper, tested it and it promptly broke.  Not happy. Not having a spare, I threw the skirt aside in disgust to fix when I got back.

I have a bit of a bad history with invisible zips having had several break, I have now decided that from now on I will only buy the Vizzy “lifetime guarantee” ones. I am not sure whose lifetime – mine? the skirt? the trend? Either way, the fact it says lifetime guarantee at least says to me that they have tried to make something unbreakable. Whilst it means making a special trip to a different store from usual, I think it might save some headaches in the future.
Hollyburn & Wiksten
Now a Hollyburn skirt by itself might be a boring post, but how about if I spice it up with a fun Wiksten Tank?  This fabric is another amazing piece from my Alannah Hill hoard collection of 2013. I believe it is a silk blend and it feels delicious, (although creases like a bitch!).  It was challenging to cut out, what I thought were regularly spaced large polka dots are not, so making sure they didn’t end up where they shouldn’t was tricky to say the least.  I cut the front in single layer to avoid any weird pattern placement.

The tank was made with the same adjustments as previously, but this time due to the super drapeyness of the fabric I had to take the shoulders up a further ½” in order to reduce the size of the armholes also ensuring my darts end in the correct spot.  All the seams are frenched and the bias around the neck and arms I have turned to the outside and topstitched.

Hollyburn & Wiksten

For the neckline I decided it needed something to make it more interesting, I know the fabric is fab, but it just looked like something was missing, so in true Alannah Hill style, I decided to embellish it with a little trim.  This is some ribbon from my stash that I pleated and then stitched on.  To make your own, just pinch the ribbon with pleats every 1.5cm and sew down the centre (let me know if you’d like a tute or more photos of this process)

Excellent cat hair collecting fabric

To be honest, I am not 100% sure this is my best most flattering look, I think I suit dresses better than separates as I think the single colour/pattern is better for my shape. I feel like the separates cut me in half and make me look a bit shorter and wider. Of course if I wear the skirt with a black or dark more coordinating top this changes the look completely and I feel less cut up.  The top is great with dark capri pants. So all is not lost, I am just not sure this particular combination is a winning one.

Hollyburn & Wiksten

PS – the matching nails are just a coincidence!!

Pattern – Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic Patterns
Fabric – 1.5m light cotton drill from Spotlight
Notions – thread & one zipper from my stash, and one new one

Pattern – Wiksten Tank
Fabric – 1m silk blend from Alannah Hill (from stash)
Notions – thread & ribbon from my stash

29 thoughts on “Back to (polka dot) basics

  1. The top would look great with black capris or black pencil skirt. And you are right, the skirt will go with everything! Polka dots are a personal fave of mine 🙂 As for the zipper, I remember reading here :
    not to iron on the zipper coils for invisible zippers, maybe that should do the trick for you?

  2. This Alannah Hill place sounds amazing. I really like the pleated ribbon and the polka dots as a “neutral” skirt but I’m not sure this looks like a lizzy outfit. I think maybe a different top for this gorgeous skirt and like you say that pretty pink top can live with capris?

    1. Thanks, appreciate the honesty 🙂
      The skirt works well with a more fitted tank, I liked the idea of spots with more spots. Oh well at least they are still useful garments 🙂

  3. I love polka dots – definitely a neutral of the best kind! That pink fabric looks fantastic and a great colour on you. I didn’t get to the Alana Hill shop when I was recently in Melbourne – a bit deliberate because I knew I’d see stuff I wouldn’t be able to live without and how would I explain it to the other 200 metres I have? Thanks for the low down on where to get those zips… I forget all about Skafes; I don’t get over there very often and haven’t even noticed zips in The Fabric Store! (too much fancy stuff to see to worry about zips obviously!)

  4. Cat hair collecting… oh, yeah I have some of that in my stash too. Hmm… Love, love, love your color choices. That pink, yum! I know what you mean about a tucked in blouse-y shirt. I’m rather short waisted and if the top & skirt aren’t sleek enough, it makes me look blockier and wider too. I think you look lovely, you just gotta own the outfit when you wear it and don’t think about how your shape extends out to the edge of the blousing at the waist (that’s what I do and I think I walk like I’m bigger than I am – you know, kind of how an animal puffs itself up to protect from preditors). So, act sexy and own that awesome pink, black & white outfit!

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