Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Polka Dots and Matchy-Matchy

There's this term I've picked up from Project Runway. It's called matchy-matchy and it refers to when your garment, or your accessories, are excessively color-coordinated to the point of--

Well, that's the problem. I've never really comprehended the perils of matchy-matchy. (That period in middle school when I refused to coordinate my knee-length shorts and baggy T-shirts, doesn't count.)

Why does perfect coordination appeal to me so much? A few reasons.

1) I've been brainwashed by my mother. Haven't you ever been told that you are not allowed to walk out of the house until you rectify the color discrepancies in your outfit?

2) To me there's something glamorous about having a perfectly coordinated outfit. It's much easier to find accessories that clash than accessories that match. It takes consideration to pull together an ensemble with perfectly aligning elements.

3) The surest way to produce a flawlessly coordinated outfit--styles, fabrics, even the smallest details like beading and thread color--is to make it yourself!

I did not originally design these pieces as an ensemble. I made this blouse last summer not because I fell in love with the design, not because I was launching a crusade to redefine the polo shirt for uniform purposes, but for the boring and indefensible reason that I needed a new shirt. :/

I found this fabric at <3 you guessed it Mood! My camera really has not done justice to its color.
It's bright turquoise cotton; the polka dots have texture, as if they are sewn into the fabric or ironed on, not printed. I like that it's playful and yet ordered at the same time--it's got a lively color and quirky polka-dots, and yet the pattern is made up of uniform shapes in a linear arrangement. I wanted to mirror that dichotomy in the pattern I chose.

B4986 (version C) is like a cross between a blouse and a polo shirt: it's vaguely reminiscent of a formal going-to-the-office-type collared shirt, but it's so much funner. :)

I made the pattern largely as instructed, with a few small changes. I took it in at the side seams to make it a little more fitted (I'm a stickler for fit!). I also added a pleat to the top of the sleeves by folding over and stitching some of the fabric on the open edge, after cutting them according to the pattern.

From the front
The reason for this is because when I tried on the shirt without the pleat, the sleeves were sticking WAY out over my arms to the point of reminding me of kiddie pool floaties.

The pleat helped take in some of the excess fabric, giving a more sloped curve to the shoulder. I could also try to take credit for how the shoulder matches the pleats on the front of the shorts but the truth is that that was just a happy coincidence. :D

As for the shorts, I finished those yesterday. :)

I had some leftover polka dot fabric and I'd been meaning to make some shorts for a while. It was just a matter of actually finding a pattern...

Don't worry I didn't actually pay $15.95 for this. Gotta love 99 cent sales!!!

These shorts are almost exactly what I was picturing! How often does that happen? They're pretty loose and ballooney, except for some gathering and pleating at the waistband and a central tie. They went together really easily. They were also a breeze to fit because all you have to do to fit the waist is adjust the elastic. 

I did end up having to scrounge the fabric for the shorts some. I was very proud that I actually managed to eek out a garment from what I had left! I had to lay some of the pattern pieces perpendicular to as opposed to on the grain, which didn't turn out to be a big deal. I also cheated a little bit by using a different fabric for the inside of the pockets.

It kind of matches...right?

It ended up being a really cute and eye-catching spring look!

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