Thursday, 27 March 2014

Flat White

The whole reason for the timing of our trip back to NZ was prompted by the wedding of one of my cousins.  It was such a lovely reason for the trip, especially because Mark and his wife were married at exactly the same place that my husband and I had our wedding.  It brought back so many special memories.

So, of course, I made a new outfit.  The wedding was held in the middle of summer and outside (at the Redwoods Forest in Rotorua).  Also, we landed from Scotland the day before, so temperature wise we were going from single digits to double digits in a matter of hours (albeit multiple hours!).  Also, I only wanted to take three pairs of shoes (+ running shoes) for our four week trip, so the ones for the wedding had to be able to earn their keep!  These were all the thoughts going through my head when I chose an outfit to make.  I wanted something light and breezy that wouldn't crease too much in my bag (I didn't know if our hotel would have an iron!!).  So quite a tall order.  

In the end, I went for an OOP Vogue pattern (2862) - photo below - and a simple blouse.  Both were made from fabrics of a cotton/silk blend to get that lovely sheen whilst being good for travelling - creases fell out whilst being hung in the bathroom as we each showered.

There isn't much to say about the skirt - it went together quite easily.  I had made it before though, so I knew to avoid the MAJOR design fail that I reckon it has: the top edge along the waist is simply folded over, sewn, folded over again and sewn again.  Yup, that's right: a rolled hem along the top edge.  Instead, I basically made two skirts and joined them at the waist edge.  I put in a little bit of iron-on interfacing along the top edge to give it more strength.  I also put interfacing along the length of the zip to make it go in more easily.  I omitted the thigh-high split - after all, that would just have been a pfaff. 

The skirt sits really high on the waist - as you can see from the photos below.  This is also at the un-hemmed length (in truth, I'm still to hem it and don't know that I will - I have tidied up that bit that is longer than all the others).  These photos aren't that flattering, but as they show how lovely the drape is on the skirt I have swallowed my pride.  


Now, moving on to the blouse is the same pattern.  The keen eyed of you may have noticed a certain similarity with the dresses I've been posting the last wee while.  Yes it's the same, and yes I can sew other things! ;-)  However, doesn't it serve to show how much of an impact material has on an item?  The simplicity belies the fact that three different fabrics were used in this top and that it took ages!  The sleeves are plain silk satin (they feel lovely!).  The outer is silk chiffon with sequins all over it - white and transparent in random squiggles.  The lining is a poly satin, basically because I didn't want to spend any more money.  The top was made in two parts and sewn together around the neck edge, before setting in the sleeves as if there was only one layer.  The lining has a rolled hem, whereas the outer is bound with strips of silk (not bias - again spending cash only when and where needed).  The keyhole neckline is closed with a button and simple knotted loop.

These photos were taken a couple of days after the event.  On the day I wore my hair down and some make-up, but it was still a much more relaxed outfit than I normally go for at weddings.  However, I loved it.  

Is it bad manners to say something flattering about oneself?  Would you please excuse me if so?
It's just that I've noticed that little pig's tail like curl on the left side of my neck.  What a cute wee thing that is.

This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the holiday (and life in general) from the first flat white through to the plane ride back from Dubai.

So what is a Flat White?  My favourite type of coffee.  No place does them quite like my hometown - Wellington.  Well, not to me anyway.  They are possibly the junk food that I miss the most - coffee that doesn't taste bitter or leave you with jitters.  Amazing.  I know some people approach coffee with a certain amount of very off-putting snobbery - just like wine and anything else that can be (mis)used to show status or some other rubbish.  I just prefer flat whites because I really like the taste of espresso but drinking black coffee makes my tummy hurt.  I am so high-brow it hurts.


  1. This is gorgeous Rachel!! I love your design choices- vintage 80s seems to be your thang, and boy you can spot an opportunity to make something look contemporary and pick out the details that will have everyone cooing and marvelling that 'you made it'. It's a wow outfit. From fabric choice to design to execution. Not the easy option, but looking so polished. I am in awe! And so glad that it is now an outfit that will always remind you of when and where you first wore it. I hope you get more happy occasions to bring it out, in parts or together.

    1. Wow, my goodness Winnie - so many lovely things in your comment. Thank you very, very much! I think I am definitely starting to find my aesthetic (better late than never!) which seems to be simple with a twist. Simple cuts and fabrics but with a little something, something. Truth be told, too many frills and patterns intimidate me! Rachel :-)

  2. Hi Rachel, I just love that outfit on you and it's so you, the top is so delicate and looks so pretty, would love to see it up close and personal, and I totally agree with you on the flat white :-) x

    1. Thank you Anita! Sounds like a good excuse for a catch up then (in costume ha ha) - French Press on Dundas St do a good flat white.... x


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