Throwing My Hat in the Ring

I’m pretty excited about this coming project, much MUCH more excited than I have been over a project for a long time…

My personal wardrobe walks a tightrope between “I have my own personal style” and “I am to be respected.” I find myself sacrificing interesting colors and patterns so I can play with cut and texture. This means I wear a lot of black and white. Which I like mostly, I feel well-dressed and comfortable.

Maybe I’m sick of black and white.

Maybe my Northern Hemisphere blood has decided I need a pretty spring pinafore.

At any rate, I went to Spotlight before work yesterday to find some medium weight textured white fabric for the bodice of said pinafore. Spotlight is Wal-Mart fabrics meets Bed Bath and Beyond except sometimes they have something decent. You have to dig for it. Usually their blouse weight cotton wovens are to die for and they have some nice euro linen at the moment.

I couldn’t find anything like what I was after. I wanted a textured white for the top of the pinafore, I’d use some black and white bias cut gingham for the midsection, and some black organic cotton canvas (my favorite fabric ATM) for the skirt. I may still do that.

I did find a minty textured medium weight cotton and a matching voile. With my member’s coupon it was so cheap I’m embarrassed to mention the price. I had a student bring in the same textured cotton in another color for a dress last year, so I know it washes and handles gorgeously, a perfect tropical bottom weight. Just the thing for the skirt and maybe midriff of Parfait.

I’ll use the voile for the top so it drapes nicely and will probably fully line the dress. I rather hate facings. I’ll probably lengthen it slightly, too. I might put in some black piping, maybe at the top of the midriff and between the pocket and pocket band. I’d REALLY love to stitch some black rick rack to the hem, just so half of the rick rack shows on the outside. And maybe stitch some black narrow ruffled ribbon an inch or so up from the hem. I’m afraid some of that may be too OTT.

I traced out the pattern, though I am sizes- 6-8. I’m a little nervous about not doing an FBA, but everyone says that busty girls won’t need to. I have enough of the voile that I’m not concerned about making a mistake and having to re-cut.

The color rather belongs to a palette that I might call “screaming pastels.” This sounds icky, I know. Very bright, admittedly gaudy colors are popular here, I think it has a lot to do with the tropical sun. That sun washes out all but the brightest colors. I love my blacks and pastels. In North Africa you see a lot of those “screaming pastels” painted on the lower halves of whitewashed residential walls. The sun doesn’t faze those pastels, they manage to stay fresh and clear and cool looking. Pinks, greens like mine, blues, even a sort of greeny-turquoise and some yellow and melon. I think it has to do with how bright they are and the blue undertone.

Somewhere south of Tangiers, north of Fez, 2003. I should have made my classmates get out of the shot.

The windows were painted on the whitewashed wall. Admittedly not exactly screaming pastels, but they are also not the gaudy, tutti-frutti type of color that seems to be popular here which makes my skin resemble that of a typhoid patient.

Marrakesch, courtesy of Someone Else

Fes medina, also courtesy of Someone Else

I can’t believe I’m dressing in screaming mint, but the color really agrees with my skin and eyes. If the fit is good and production values are high, then I should be able to pull it off.

So this, a black Bordello Blouse with looping fringe, the Simplicity 4044 short sleeved Jacket in black linen, and the 4044 skirt in black pinstripes will be my contribution. I should get 6 looks from it. Wicked. Mainstream enough to win? Probably not but I don’t care because I’m so excited at the prospect of a new set of outfits.

Also, I can’t get my hands on any black silk organza to underline my jacket, do you think that black nylon organza would be an alright substitute?


  1. I do think you can get away with the mylon organza, I've used it for (little) girly things and it's much nicer than people give it credit for. Plus, it's washable!Do you think those tops will go over the Parfait dress? I haven't seen anyone wear it that way (not that you can't, I just haven't seen it.)

  2. I thought I'd wear the unlined blazer over the top, and I could wear the blouse under. I've seen people put t-shirts under it, but I own exactly two t-shirts that are worn for doing dirty housework. A blouse would suit, right?

  3. You're right, now I am remembering the t-shirt thing. I think a blouse would work! That minty color is so pretty, I can't wait to see you make it up.

  4. If you want silk organza you need to go to Gardams/ Sckafs or Fabric barn at Sumner Park. Never worked with nyon organza so cannot comment on it.

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