Believe it or not, this is my September Minerva Blogger network project! I had the project made in plenty of time, but then totally ran out of time to photograph it and write my blog post before I went on holiday. Vicki kindly said I could send her the post as and when I could... I've finally managed it only 2 weeks late!
For this (or last!) months project I wanted to make some separates that would be suitable for the coming Autumn and Winter weather. At the Minerva Meet-up in June I spent quite a bit of time choosing suitable fabrics and finally decided on some John Kaldor jersey in a pansy pattern for a top and some lovely ponte knit in a coordinating Forest colour for a skirt. Both fabrics are gorgeous quality.
I spent a long time trying to decide which patterns to use, then came up with the idea of hacking my favourite By Hand London Anna dress pattern into separates.
The skirt was straight forward. I simply used the midi skirt panels and added a simple folded waistband to the top. The back is closed by an invisible zip - which is navy because that's the closest colour match I could get - and I inserted the zip so that the top sits level with the top of the waistband. I've seen this finish many times in ready to wear skirts and I much prefer it to a fastening in the waistband above the zip.
The top took a little more thinking about, and I'm actually planning on doing a tutorial (hopefully in the next couple of weeks). What I did was firstly to use the tutorial on the By Hand London blog to lengthen the sleeves, then lengthened the bodice about 6 inches. The back has fish eye darts now, where I lengthened the original darts down into the added on section and tapered them out to nothing a couple of inches above the hem.
It's quite hard to see in the above photo, but the front pleats were lengthened and tapered out to nothing the same as the back darts, so they are now long darts with open tops.
I wore the top during OWOP and have worn both the top and skirt to work since. I think they'll fit really well into my Autumn and Winter wardrobe, as they're perfectly appropriate office wear, but still very comfortable. Of course, both pieces will get worn with other items as well.
Apologies for the drag lines in the above photo, they're not there in real life, but the downside of taking your own photos means you can't always spot these things!
I think I've probably hacked the Anna pattern enough now, and it's time to move on to something else!