Charm Patterns, Picnic Set

I guess I’m just tired of a dark, cold days to have been making a picnic set at the start of March. In the description for the picnic top, Gertie says the top is perfect for backyard picnics… and since that’s what we’ll probably have again this summer, I figured it was a pattern worth making. The top pattern is available exclusively on Gertie’s Patreon and the skirt is a free no pattern tutorial available on YouTube. Together they make the most adorable pair.

Since this is an outfit intended for warmer days, I used a cotton lawn for the set. Especially given the fact the top is lined, I didn’t want to use anything too heavy. The top is reminiscent of 1940s blouses – it can be made in two lengths – waist or cropped – and is fully lined. The little puff sleeves are a gorgeous feature.

The skirt can be made to your own specifications. I’ve made mine 27 inches long after hemming. I used 4 metres fabric in length as Gertie specified for her own skirt in the tutorial to get that really full effect. I love gathering, too, which helps as there’s a lot of gathering in 4 metres of fabric.

I opted to hand stitch the inner waistband with a simple slip stitch rather than top stitch the whole way around the outer waistband – had I used a plain fabric, I think the top stitching would have been quite cute but as this was already a busy fabric, the stitches wouldn’t have had that effect.

Besides, I’ve been self-conscious about my sewing habits lately and I’ve been allowing myself the time to slow down and do little bits and pieces by hand if at all possible. I suppose it’s another way of being mindfully creative. I used to really dislike hand sewing but I’ve a new found appreciation of the meditative quality of it.

I did have to toile the top – I made my usual Charm Pattern size up first but I found that, given the shortness of the top (even though I was making the waist length version – I would never be seen in a crop top) I would be more comfortable in a larger size. This did entail taking a lot of room out of the bodice itself – a few tweaks at the armholes, neck front and back and shoulders – but I was happy with the end result (although I’ll spend a little time on the bust darts next time).

I loved making this set and I probably will make another – maybe not matching next time as I think a denim or chambray skirt would pair so nicely with a variety of fabrics, not to mention will be wearable with other styles, too. All I need now is a sunny spring day and this set will get an excursion – hopefully some restrictions will be lifted and I can meet friends and family, too.. But for now, I’m happy in my reading room.

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