Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pure Frosting, Straight Up

I wouldn't be surprised if i come across as very interested in, but not passionate about clothes. What with all the checklists, planning, charts, discipline (restrict all your purchases to only two colors for a year for utmost re-mixability), rules (NEVER EVER buy a piece unless it goes with every other item in your closet)........well, a person could definitely get the impression that, pour moi, clothing remains a strictly intellectual exercise in planning, being reasonable and staying practical.

Ha! I may not have them often, but i do have my moments. One occurred a couple of months ago, when Marcy Tilton posted this Orlando French Viscose Knit fabric to her web store. Be still my heart!! Mesmerizing curlicues emneshed in a romantic-moderne pattern, aquas and roses melting into a whole range of yummy neutrals in taupe and burnt umber, on fabric with a subtle sheen and so so soft on the skin. It is very rare for me to find anything quite this luxurious (which could be why i focus on the analytical so much - to compensate ;)

Now, one often has to pay for this much yummy. The Orlando fabric is no exception. Happily, gift money appears during the holidays, which money is only truly honored when spent on those pricey, splendid items one normally avoids. I had made up Katherine Tilton's 8817 tee once already and found it to be the most flattering and flexible pattern of it's kind. I laid out the pieces to see how much i'd need to order, and did so.

As often happens in fairy tales, the yardage was even more wonderful in person, and ridiculously easy to work with. I had a lot of fun laying out the pieces in such a way as to emphasize the curlicue knots in the design and the glowing bands of rose.  In the end, i think i would have preferred the back to be the front if that makes sense - the lighter shades and colors flatter my complexion more than the darker tones of the front. But that is nit-picking in the extreme!

In these two views you can see the delightful asymmetry in the way the print fell on this top
While waiting for my package to arrive, i'd schemed about different fabrics and trims i'd combine with the Orlando in order to create an 'arty tee' as the Tilton sisters call them. Oh, i had fun daydreaming! (scroll down and click through).  But when i got the fabric and draped it on myself while looking in the mirror the way to go was obvious. There was so much going on in the fabric itself that adding anything more would be gilding the lily.

I did want to bring more of the rose tones up towards my face. To do so i added a strip of the Orlando in rose between the two center front pieces, barely under the bust. And i used some dusty rose/taupe silk organza (scavenged from an ill-fitting RTW blouse) to bind the neckline.  I feel these subtle touches can make or break a garment. They're well worth the time, trouble, and thought.

 I wanted to include these pics as a little warning on taking photos too literally. They were taken with the same camera at the same height at the same distance from the camera one minute apart. The only real change is in my pose. To my eye, the picture on the right really over-emphasizes my bust, and if that was the only image i had to judge this top i'd have serious misgivings about wearing it out of the house. Now, i have mirrors and people around me who give me honest feedback, plus training in life drawing and photography, all of which gives me the experience and feedback to know that the image on the right is an inaccurate representation of how i look. Which is just to say - give photography it's proper due in outfit evaluation, but be aware of it's limitations.

I didn't style an outfit for this post, my hair is looking a little skeevy, the lighting's a bit winter-drab, but i couldn't wait to show you this piece that i love love love!!! I hope revealing my drooling-lust-consumed-clothing-floozy side isn't too shocking for long-term readers. If it is, brace yourself, because i bought another length of fabric at the same time based on sheer lust as well!

Have any of you fallen head over heels in love with any gorgeous things recently? Were you able to bring the object of your affections home to live with you? I hope so! As much as i harp on the importance of planning and discipline for making a functional closet, no one can be truly stylish without true passion and living without any indulgence ever drains the joy out of life.


  1. You certainly nailed 'the-look' with this yummy fabric! Those colours suit you perfectly ...J

  2. Beautiful results on this top! That fabric does indeed look yummy :)

    Only buying colors guaranteed to match - what a concept! I sort of kind of try to pay attention to that....but I fail more often than succeed :-\

    And I love that pattern! Getting it at this weekend's JA sale :)

  3. Wow, this is just impressive all the way down the line. Gorgeous fabric, you MADE it, and you look fantastic in it.

  4. Thank you Judith! i just squealed the first time i saw this fabric, it's true :)

    Thank you Jilly! oh, it's so nice.....heehee, it can be hard to get in that kind of SWAP state of mind. But in my late twenties i managed a few months of it (sewing and shopping) and my outfit possibilities and thus the 'size' of my wardrobe just shot thru the roof and i became a true believer! But really it's only one strategy among many for making a closet work.

    You will LOVE 8817 - i think it's got the most flattering neckline ever, and the princess seams make fitting a breeze. Great for basics as well as special pieces - have fun!

    oh, thank you Ana! heesh, i sound like some type of super gal (blushes). You're sweet to let me pretend for a minute :)

    Happy Day! Stay warm, steph

  5. Lovely fabric and YOU made it into something so beautiful, Steph. I love seeing your creations.

  6. I adore this top - so beautiful and the soft colours (especially that rose - swoon!) are fabulous on you! As always, in deep admiration for your sewing skills!

  7. Lovely, and at the same time very practical for your wardrobe.

    I impulsively bought some boots this month.

  8. I think the neutrals in this print are very flattering to your skin tone. I love the artiness of the fabric with the curlicues.. I have to check out this pattern since you are recommending it. I do love this one too on you despite the camera trying to trick you. . I wish I could have seen your skirt too. It looks like it is a delicious pleated something floaty yet tailored if that is possible. Did you make it too?
    Always look forward to your posts. One of my fashion goals this year is to stay on my monthly budget for fashion spending. I have found a place nearby to thrift shop but the selection is limited. I am trying to improve my 'taste' level and not always falling for a cheap print because it is in my budget. Trying to save up and buy better quality-taste wise. When it comes to prints I do have a trailer-trash side to me:)

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  14. Hi Steph! You look amazing!!! I cannot believe you made that top, it's incredible! Your sewing skills are magical, to say the least! I hope you are doing well.

  15. We miss you you must be sewing up a storm!!!