Sewing Projects 22: The “Gleeking Out Emma Pillsbury Style” Outfit

Originally written for, and posted at, The Sew Weekly. Theme: TV Characters
The Facts
Fabric: Grey Kona cotton $8, aqua houndstooth cotton $10 – calling it free because I bought it with a gift certificate from Christmas
Pattern: Simplicity 2154 (views B and D this time)
Year: Contemporary reissue of 1960s pattern
Notions: 7″ zip $1, interfacing remnant $1, hook/eye from stash
Time to complete: 9 hours (18 eps of 30 Rock)
First worn: To take pics at the library
Wear again? With some ironing!
Total price: ~$10

In seeing this theme pop-up I at first had the strong inclination to do another Mad Men dress (Peggy’s all grey dress with the bow at the neck.) But husband said that was cheating! So then I thought, well, I can do a similar dress but also do a capelet and call it Sherlock inspired! But then the weather got a bit hot and I had a third and final idea. In trying to think of ladies on TV shows I used to watch, but don’t anymore, I remembered how much I loved Emma Pillsbury‘s outfits on Glee. I basically haven’t watched since the end of the second season, so I have no idea what’s going on any more, but from the pics of her I looked up, Emma still has the same cutesy style.

Pencil skirts, blouses and cardigans are basically her signature style. Oh, and in candy-colored hues and prints. Basically, if it comes from J. Crew or Kate Spade, she’d wear it. I knew the Simplicity reissue was a good pattern fit and I looked through my fabric stash to see what would fit together, and fit her style. This aqua houndstooth print was sort of a no-brainer. When I bought it I though I’d make a blouse with it, but a skirt seemed more “Emma”. I wanted to wear my grey pumps with it so I had to go with a grey top.

It just now occurred to me that this was also the palette I chose for the Pantone challenge, I’ve just reversed top/bottom. Probably that had a lot to do subconsciously with my final decision. You find something you like and keep doing it a couple times.

Anyway, the skirt was easy enough to put together. The zip is probably one of the best I’ve ever done – each time just gets easier! The top however…le sigh. I didn’t really want to bother with the side zip, so I thought I’d do all the construction up to that point, baste the one side seam, and do the “Mena Test”. I even skipped the center front seam to allow for a little more room. It was a success! However, I had to undo the back key-hole detail (why do you need a key-hole on your back?!?!) to get my apparently giant head through. Even with the extra room I had given myself, my head was still too large! I’ve never had that happen before (cue sad trombone). (Update: Apparently I misread the directions and this is supposed to be a button/loop closure. All that anxiety for nothing.) And next time, depending on the fabric, I might skip the interfacing on the collar pieces. They seem a little too stiff and stick out like wings in the back.

And here’s a close-up of what the skirt fabric looks like. It’s Aqua Houndstooth by Chez Moi if I remember correctly.


About EBS

Museum curator, nerd, chronic watcher of TV show marathons, married to a soccer hooligan, vegetarian, obsessive sewer.
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