blouse, handmade wardrobe, manhattan trouser, sbcc, sewing indie month, silk, silk chiffon, welt pockets, wool

Sewing Indie Month: My SBCC/Britex outfit

Despite popular belief, it really isn’t that bad being short.  At 5’1″, I’ve got step stools all around the house and I can manage just fine, thank you very much.  My biggest beef with being petite is that non-petite clothing just doesn’t fit.  It’s one of the main reasons I sew my own clothing: with some small adjustments, I can shorten bodices, rises, sleeves, and pants to suit my size.  You can imagine my excitement, then, a few months ago, when I did a search for “petite Indie sewing patterns” and stumbled upon Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick!  So when given the chance to participate in Sewing Indie Month with Britex, I immediately knew I wanted to make a whole outfit from SBCC.  What fun!

For my petite-centric outfit, I chose the SB310 blouse in silk chiffon from Britex (sadly, no longer available) and the Manhattan Trousers in lightweight stretch wool.

This is my second version of the trousers (first pair here) and again, I lengthened the rise slightly (after two babies, I prefer a slightly higher rise!).  The fit is spot on and they feel just right–amazing!

The fabric is very lightweight, but I chose not to line the pants so I could wear them in more seasons. I did have to shorten the front pocket bags, since the outline was visible on my thighs (not very attractive!)

The pants are a modern, sleek shape with great design details.  I chose to make the length slightly cropped to balance the blouse, but these trousers could be easily widened or lengthened.  The two piece waistband is contoured as if it were drafted to my body–it’s incredible.  Truly, these are my new go-to pattern for all my trouser needs!
One thing missing from this otherwise incredible pattern were back pockets.  Over the years, I’ve added welt pockets to any pants, shorts (and sometimes skirts!) that lack them, so I went ahead and sewed a pair of welt pockets to my Manhattan trousers.  And since I love welt pockets so much, I went ahead and wrote up a tutorial (with free downloadable pdf pattern!) so you can make your own!  Wahoo!
I am so proud of my zip fly!  If only it were socially acceptable to show people the inside of my pants. And that perfectly matched metal zipper?  From my stash.   
For the top, I went out of my comfort zone on all counts.  The pattern is not my usual fitted blouse, with its trapeze shape and drapey overlays.  And I have never in my life sewn silk chiffon.  But while choosing patterns and fabric, both just kept calling to me, so I decided to go with the challenge.  The blouse is definitely not perfect, but because it’s all flowy and loose, no one would be the wiser!  
When the chiffon arrived, it was about as sheer as possible, so I quickly purchased this ah-mazing white silk for a lining to make it decent.  

All seams are of the French variety, so there is an awful lot of sewing in this relatively simple top!  But aren’t they lovely??
It’s pretty decadent to use silk bias tape to finish your neckline and armholes!  For this top, I chose to secure the tape to only the lining on the inside, so the seaming isn’t visible from the outside.  
For all hems, including the overlays, I used a narrow rolled hem foot.  It’s still a bit tricksy and definitely not perfect, but other than hand-rolling the hem (no thanks!), it was the only way to go.  With a little more practice, it may yet become my favorite machine attachment.
You see how sheer that is?  It was like sewing cobwebs.  
All in all, I love my new SBCC outfit!  A huge thank you to Betsy at Skinny Bitch Crazy Chick for the patterns (and all the helpful exchanges over email!) and Britex for providing the fabric.  I love Indie patterns and am so happy to have been able to participate in the Sewing Indie Month!
Resewlution 2014, May garments #3 and 4.

14 thoughts on “Sewing Indie Month: My SBCC/Britex outfit”

  1. I love this outfit! I want to find some favorite pants just like those, but I am one foot taller than you, so these may not work for me….I sew for the same reasons you do, but I lengthen instead of shorten. 🙂


  2. Nicole, you look lovely! I guessed you were petite, but maybe 5'4″ or so. You have mastered fit and silhouette for your body…your outfits always look so balanced and flattering! I haven't sewn with silk for so many years. The print on your fabric is sooooo beautiful…and I now recall what drew me originally to sewing with the lux fabric. Absolutely gorgeous patterns and colours available.


  3. Nicole this outfit is superb. I am very, very impressed with the fit of those trousers, and I agree you would really struggle to buy anything half as good. The blouse is just divine and bravo on sewing such tricky fabric, and sewing it so well.
    Forgive me if it's rude to ask but do you ride a 700c wheel? I imagine toe overlap would be a problem in a frame small enough, or is your bicycle as perfectly bespoke as your clothes?!


  4. Love love love! I'm almost as petite as you (I'm 5'!) and had struggled to find perfectly fit clothes for me. I just started sewing 1 1/2 yrs ago from girls clothes sewing but now I'm really into sewing my clothes. Yes, because I can't find perfectly fit clothes! The pants fit you amazing and love this blouse too!


  5. Thank you for the welt pocket tutorial! I have the Manhattan trouser pattern at home, and I am hoping it works as well for me as it does for you. Like you, I think I will add them to suit my preferences. Your entire outfit looks really gorgeous. And, I imagine, with the beautiful fibers and fabrics you used, it feels amazing to wear.


  6. You look amazing and I love Skinny Bitch CC patterns, too! I've been planning to make this top in either voile or Japanese gauze. After seeing how perfect yours is in silk, I'm not sure about my fabric choice…


  7. The pants have several lengths marked on the patterns, so they may still work for you (though a foot–that might be stretching it!) and you'd certainly have to lengthen the rise. Good luck!


  8. Wow, thank you Sue! I like the challenge of the luxe fabrics, but sometimes I just want sewing to be relaxing (and silk chiffon is not that!). There are some gorgeous prints, though….


  9. Hah! I had to ask my husband about my wheels–they are standard size and I'm on the smallest (adult) frame made by Specialized (I've got a Ruby Comp). No custom frame for me! If I have toe overlap (likely), it hasn't been a problem (but now I'm curious…).


  10. Voile would work well for this pattern, I think. Gauze might too, but it might be more tricky to hem the curved overlap pieces. Good luck!


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