Chiffon, Cotton, Ruffles and Dots

Simp2IMG_4609Yes, this post is going out just under the wire before we move in to 2017.   This will conclude another wonderful year of sewing experiences.   I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t have this great hobby/skill to rely on for a creative and useful outlet.  I am grateful to my sewing group that meets regularly so that we can maintain our friendships, sharpen our skills and share information.   There are so many patterns, techniques and challenges out there to conquer for 2017.  I also can’t wait to discover more creative people, wonderful blogs, instructional tutorials and places to visit in the new year.

Moving on…..polka dots, chiffon and a hi-low hemline sum up this quick post.   Oh, and a butt ruffle.  Every once in a while, I’m in the mood for a polka dot print.  I prefer a random or scattered dot, but this one caught my eye and seemed different because of the subtle cross-hatch design.  While shopping at Walmart for other items, my cart mysteriously meandered over through the fabric/craft beading area (how does that happen:/)?   I usually do a quick perusing over the fabrics and beads to see if anything is new or on sale.  ( I have learned over the years to keep my eye open for surprises everywhere. Some of my greatest finds were found in the most unlikely places! ).  So, there it was.   I immediately envisioned this fabric paired with black chiffon for the back-ruffle.   Next would be the sewing pattern.  Simplicity 1013 was the winner!

Big surprise…choosing black again when I have written about wearing more color here and here.  I might as well give up trying to remove it from my wardrobe.

The necklace is old from JCPenny’s.  I found a similar Crystal Starburst Necklace from Banana Republic and the Midnight Crystal Necklace from J. Crew as possible alternatives.

Simplicity 1013, View C

Simplicity 1013, View C

I cut out View C in a size 14.  Unfortunately, the cotton doesn’t have any stretch to it, which could have been an overall game changer for this shirt.  The chiffon was from my stash, but any sheer black fabric would work.  I wasn’t sure how the butt ruffle, butt flap, etc., would actually look on my rear.  ( A dark fabric, for sure ).  Turns out, there is enough fabric to move freely and it doesn’t ride up.  I was hoping it would fit as loosely as it looks on the slender models……..but nope.
Simp1013 5IMG_4558

Butt ruffle from the side

Butt ruffle from the side

As you can see, the ruffle is longer in the back. I think if it had been shorter, this pattern would not have caught my eye at all.

Simplicity 1013 with Bias Pockets

Simplicity 1013 with Bias Pockets

Here is a glimpse of the pockets I added on top of the sewn bust darts.   I cut the pockets out on the bias because I thought it would add a little interest with the subtle plaid hatching going on with the polka dots.    After the fact, my thoughts on the pockets:

A) I’m not sure I should have added the pockets since the fabric is quite busy.

B) The pockets flatten the dart a bit, defeating the purpose of a nice curved shape over the bust.   They also made the bust area stiff by adding extra fabric, creating this tent-like front.

C) I’m not sure they added any aesthetic or practical appeal to the shirt.  I’m certainly won’t be putting anything in the them.  Oh well, I will still wear it knowing that I’m not in love with the pocket addition.

Checking the fit by waving to my neighbor

Checking the fit by waving to my neighbor

I like the look of a fitted button up, but compared to knits, they feel confining.   I suppose the next step would be to wear shirts that are bigger, but then it’s easy to slip down into Frump Land. This shirt fits a little tight through the shoulders and if I reach out, the sleeves ride up a bit.  I might go up a size which I often do with fitted shirts.  Another solution is to fold up the sleeves or turn them up and in place with the buttoned tab (view B).

Over all, it is a nice shirt and I will probably make it again.   I would consider making it again but make view D with the pleated back even though I have loads of patterns in my sewing queue.  If I run across another inspiring fabric, maybe I will give it a go.

A similar style shirt comes to mind;  the Archer Shirt by Grainline Studios.  The back ruffle seam is a bit lower which may not be suitable for my ample rump curvaceousness…

Archer Shirt from Grainline

Archer Shirt from Grainline Studios

The Archer has more pattern pieces overall and may not be able to be sewn up as quickly as the Simplicity 1013 shirt.

I may look for copy the fabric combinations on the pattern envelope for inspiration.  The back piece on the Simplicity pattern only takes 5/8 yd, so it could be a feature for a fancy shear or busting out a small piece from your fabric stash….maybe a plaid?

Would you be willing to taking a risk on making a back flap ruffle shirt?

May your 2017 be filled with successful sewing endeavors!


Posted in DIY Sewing, Inspiration and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Butt ruffles are always a win in my book! I’m actually working in the Grainline Alder shirt dress with the butt ruffle. I hope it comes out good but i always love a good butt ruffle on anyone 😉

    • It’s a little back interest surprise when you walk away! Looking forward to seeing you rock your Alder shirt with butt ruffle.

    • Hi Linda L,
      This pattern has so many possibilities. It can be made for any season by just selecting different fabric combinations. I’m glad the review helped and that you found your way to my blog. I’ll keep an eye out for your version of this shirt!

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