Backstory: Karlin's in Philadelphia used to be a great independent fabric store. Back in the late 70s/early 80s, when I subscribed to Butterick's pattern magazine, Karlin's was usually listed on the "Where to Buy" page as a store to purchase the fabrics featured in the magazine. But, like many other independent fabric stores, Karlin's fell on hard times. The store remained open, but the shelves and tables were nearly empty and I seldom found anything I wanted to buy. Lately, things have begun to look up. New inventory appeared and the prices were more than reasonable. I picked up the dark teal stretch twill for the pants on a day I was in town for an appointment. I didn't find fabric for a top, but I was so happy to find something worth buying, I bought the teal twill anyway. Then, I went to Elizabeth's Late Summer NY Garment District Shopping Day with very specific objectives, one of which was to find blouse fabric to match the teal twill. I found the perfect silk oxford cloth at Mood. (Thanks, Mood!) That's how this latest outfit was born.
Blouse: I made this pattern before - as a dress and as a blouse. When I made the dress, I mangled the bottom of the placket. This time, I consulted The Sewing Book (Smith, 2009) and I got a pretty decent placket. (Sometimes I'm amazed at how little I use all the sewing books on my shelves!) I marked and stay-stitched the seam line before attaching the placket. After the placket was sewn on, I carefully clipped to the corners, which were reinforced by the stay-stitching. The fabric is silk oxford cloth. I never knew silk oxford cloth existed, but silk comes in so many weaves, I shouldn't be surprised. This fabric looks like ordinary oxford cloth but it has a little sheen to it. I omitted the pleated trim around the placket and cuff.
Pants: When I bought the fabric for the pants, I didn't realize it was only 45" wide. I couldn't use the pattern I originally selected. My Burda index really came in handy. I flipped through the pages and found a pattern that required less fabric. The pants have a simple design and their construction presented no problems or surprises.
What I Learned: I don't have to buy coordinating fabrics at the same time. I worry about having garments that can't be worn with anything, so I try to prevent that by buying coordinating pieces of fabric. In this case, I bought the two fabrics months apart and in two different states and the sky didn't fall. Hmmmmm. I wonder if this is how stashes get started.