Primary Colors

May 1, 2019

One of my goals for my wardrobe is to sew more separates: I have a lot of dresses, but not many solid-colored tops or bottoms that can be combined with my printed garments. So here is a colorful combo, with a very red skirt sewn in 2017 and never posted here, paired with a very blue top sewn at the beginning of this year!

This Fumeterre skirt, as it turns out, was made for a last minute Halloween costume! Back then I was reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, which is an amazing book which completely blew my mind. I watched the TV series adaptation since, which is really well made, but if you get the chance I highly recommend reading the book. In the current political climate, with the constant attacks on women’s rights, it’s particularly poignant. Being childfree is a big part of my identity, and few things terrify me like the idea of a society that would consider me as nothing more than a walking womb. Hence this costume of my deepest fear: the handmaid! Some red linen from my stash turned into a skirt, worn with a red cardigan and a bonnet whipped up from some leftover sew-in interfacing, and tadaaaaa:

Fumeterre, Deer&Doe’s maxi skirt pattern, came out back when I was a pattern tester for the company, before I officially joined the team. I had tested the buttonned version, which has been ever since one of my favorite garments to wear in the summer. I love maxi skirts and dresses when it’s hot, as they let me feel covered while still being comfortable temperature-wise, especially in natural fibers such as linen.

My previous version was in a linen-rayon blend, this one is 100% linen, from Sewfisticated Fabrics where I used to buy cheap fabric when I was living in Boston (my friend Agathe has the exact same skirt in beige from when she visited me!). On the pictures, it looks like the fabric is slightly translucent, but that’s not the case at all in real life. It’s a completely opaque mediumweight linen, however on the pictures you can clearly see the seam allowances and the bottom of the tee tucked into the skirt, maybe even my underwear 🙈. It’s super weird, but it won’t stop me from wearing it anyway!

I really like the look of linen here, heavier and more dramatic than my previous version. When Fumeterre came out, I was confused by it being part of the fall-winter collection. To me, maxi skirts were made of airy chiffon, and worn on the beach or by the pool. But after sewing two of them, I’m convinced of the day-to-day wearability of maxi skirts in more substantial fabrics! I can’t see myself wearing a maxi skirt in the winter yet – I still think they need something with short sleeves, or at least very fitted, to balance out the silhouette, and that wouldn’t work with a coat – but one in a beautiful midweight wool crepe would be stunning for the fall!

Rather than the buttonned version, this time I tried the one with the zipper. I was afraid that I would feel more constrained in my movements (the bottom of buttonned version is opened at the front, which lets you take long steps), but the flare of the skirt is such that you can walk freely. I really like the pocket detail on this version, which makes the front of the skirt more interesting, as it would be a bit plain otherwise.

But from all the details of this skirt, my favorite remains the elasticated back waistband which makes it ultra comfortable!

During the latest Me Made May, I sent out a call for suggestions on Instagram, to gather some ideas of things to pair with this skirt. I find red to be a tough color to wear with something else: paired with black it looks pretty harsh (or Mickey Mouse-ish, your call); paired with green, I look like a Christmas tree; paired with yellow, I become Ronald McDonald. I’m not a big fan of the red + purple combo either, which looks too 80’s. I like red with white, though, but then that’s the only way I wear it… So people kindly suggested pairing my red skirt with stripes or navy, and I like both of these ideas a lot!

Speaking of navy, I had in my stash a big scrap of rayon leftover from my Cardamome dress (posted on the Deer&Doe blog), just enough for a top that wouldn’t require too much fabric. To ease back into sewing, there’s nothing like digging into one’s stash of scraps: if the project is a fail, or even just so-so, it’s not a big deal! I figured it was a good opportunity to try the Grainline Studio Scout Tee. Ever since I had seen the one made by Eléonore, in navy rayon as you might have guessed, I had wanted the exact same one… and now I have it!

I was doubtful about the idea of a woven top without darts, but I have to say that the cut of the Scout tee (especially the sleeves) is spot on, and the result in rayon is lovely. It’s a project that requires a lot of meticulousness, in particular to handle the tiny neckline seam allowances in a slippery rayon, but the end result is worth it. It’s a great basic pattern, and I think it’ll become one of my TNT patterns to use up drapey leftovers.

However, it tends to ride up a bit when I’m trying to wear it tucked into a skirt!

So, to wear with Fumeterre, it’s alright, but not perfect. Even if I lenghtened it, I think the fluidity of the rayon would make it ride up anyway… which is okay, it’s just that I can make something better! Maybe a bodysuit next time? Tell me, what are you wearing your maxi skirts with?

Dystopian Fumeterre
Fumeterre – Deer&Doe
Size 38
Red linen – Sewfisticated Fabrics, Somerville MA

Copycat Scout
Scout Tee – Grainline Studio
Size 4 bust & waist / 8 hips & length
Rayon challis – Hancock Fabrics

Comments

  1. Susie

    - May 6, 2019

    Hi Camille,
    I love the look of the Scout Tee and the Fumeterre together! I was having the exact same inhibitions about Scout- a woven tee without darts? As of today I never took the plunge but it looks great in your outfit.
    You asked for suggestions what else to wear with such a bright red- how about a caramel colour or a dark grey?

    • Camille

      - June 2, 2019

      Dark grey sounds like a great idea! You definitely should try the Scout Tee, I was so pleasantly surprised by the fit despite the lack of bust darts!

  2. Lia

    - May 16, 2019

    It’s been a while since I’ve worn a maxi, but my go-to would probably be a crop top or a knotted button-down. That being said I have NEVER regretted adding a basic bodysuit to my wardrobe!

    To pair with red – denim, chambray, checks, and florals, maybe? My boyfriend has some red pants and they’re particularly nice with a blue gingham shirt.

    I live in Somerville, a bus ride away from Sewfisticated! I should go on a linen binge there!

    • Camille

      - June 1, 2019

      I really need a chambray button-down that I can knot, that’d be such a staple in my wardrobe! Blue gingham sounds great with red too!
      You should definitely check out Sewfisticated! You need to search for the right fabric among a lot of cheaper quality ones, but they have some gems for very affordable prices!

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