Women's Stylists: Shamrock

Today I play both host AND challenger, as I face off against the very talented Jonie of Knot Sew Normal! Check out our bios here, and read on to see our special holiday-themed prompt and contest entries!

This St Patrick's Day duel is inspired by the holiday's symbol: The Shamrock! Saint Patrick used these little green plants to preach the trinity, explaining how three separate entities can be one. 
In honor of the three (or FOUR) leaves of a Shamrock, create a women's fashion ensemble deriving inspiration from a famous trio or quartet. Think: musicians, movies, even politicians or culinary groupings. Get creative with it!

A stylists' objective is to utilize patterns, fabrics, model(s), props and settings to tell a story, as inspired by the prompt.

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be here and to be participating in the Top Stitcher Challenge. For my prompt I decided to create a look inspired by the trio of lovely ladies from Mad Men, Betty Draper, Peggy Olsen, and Joan Holloway. I decided to focus on the the character of Betty Draper and create a 60's Housewife look. I have been wanting to make a dress like this one for a long time and this gave me the opportunity. 

For the bodice of the dress I began with the Miss Texas Rose Pattern by Ellie Inspired. I took in the back of the bodice, added piping to the princess seams and added a cuff to the sleeve. For the skirt, I drafted a half circle skirt and continued the buttons all the way down the front of the skirt. I also made a pettiskirt to give the skirt the right amount of pouf needed for the perfect 60's housewife look. I really enjoyed making the dress and will make more. The pettiskirt on the other hand, I don't care to ever make another. The pettiskirt took almost as long as the dress did. 

My favorite part of this dress is the fabric I used. It is actually a vintage bed sheet from the 1960's. I have had this sheet for over a decade, just waiting on the perfect project and I think I found it. I picked a button with a pearly sheen and I style this look with a strand of faux-pearls. 
I hope you all enjoy this look as much as I do

With the help of some wise council, I decided pretty much immediately that I wanted my "Shamrock trio" to be Rock, Paper, Scissors. Inspiration hit me all at once. "Scissors = cutouts! Or cutout lace! Or both! Rock... how about a play on words, Rock'n'roll baby. And paper, I could totally dye myself a bag with tissue paper. That'd look kind of tie-dyed... Maybe I should do something "Woodstock"? The park down the street could pass for a big muddy dairy farm. Yesss! How about a cutout lace maxi skirt and a really boho-esque floppy hat. Let's DO THIS!"

So I did. Again. And again. And again. Each time trying something new. Each time getting further and further from my original concept. Each attempt failing for one reason or another. 

It all started with the hat....

This was the third one I made. The story is awfully similar to another famous trio... the three bears. One hat brim was too small. One hat brim was too wide. The last one was juuuuust right. Only I was a fool and switched up my ol' reliable wool felt for suede. Why? Well, for one, this murky blue color was just incredible. But also, "What am I doing in a topstitcher challenge without CHALLENGING myself? Sewing with suede will totally win me marks!"

.......I consider this my annual reminder to never ever sew with suede. (Remember last year??) Skipped stitches, lots of seams, and even with a walking foot, tape on the presser foot, and continually feeding my machine fresh microtex needles... it still wanted to devour my hat. No beuno. 

That said, I did finally strike a balance between floppy vs rigid in the hat brim department, and I absolutely adore the black lace detail!

I focused much of my energies on the accessories, as you can see above. I decided to incorporate the "paper" of my rock/paper/scissor theme in this origami-esque triangle bag. SO easy to make! If I hadn't been working with pleather and fringe, it probably could have been sewn up in half an hour. The fringe on the bag is a nod to "scissors", while the metal studs are my "rock".  My favorite part is the lining though, scraps from my daughter's quilt. Patchwork = boho, right??  (For those wondering, I DID attempt the tissue paper bag-dying project. On a stain resistant fabric. Womp womp.)

I also figured "rock" can refer to jewels, and while I wasn't about to go buying diamonds, I did make a necklace. One I'd been dreaming of for a while, actually. Something to hold embroidery scissors, and a few lace charms from Urban Threads. It was my first time working with water soluble embroidery stabilizer. It was like magic!!

Lastly I have my cutout shirt. I used the Jocole peplum bodice and made a crop top out of it. (Though you won't ever be seeing this navel again! Unless I become a crazy crossfitter. Then I'll totally show you abs if I ever get them. I'll also remind you of them daily on instagram.) The skirt is jocole too, a pencil mini with some sheer tiers. I used the a-line as a guide to get the length right.

So there you have it! A very hard-earned Rock/Paper/Scissor look for my Shamrock entry! I hope you love it! 

Before we weigh in on each look, let's have a quick refresher of the rules:

  • Please vote for each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
  • Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example here)
  • Your votes help each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel. 
  • As such, please cast votes for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores. 
  • It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!