Standing out can be great when it's your choice to do so. But what do you do when you'd rather blend in? I have some experience in not fitting in and generally feel comfortable in my own (figurative) skin. Funny enough, one difference I haven't always embraced is my complexion. See, I'm from sunny Orange County, California and was born into a beachy kind of family. My dad is a sun-worshiping surfer. My mom, an olive-toned former islander hippie. I remember my blonde + bronzed older sisters perpetually glistening with tanning oil. It was our tradition to spend vacations on the sand, and I felt that was part of my identity. I loved this image and thought covering up or sitting under an umbrella were very uncool. My conforming mind somehow thought I could train my skin to love the sun, and I was in complete denial about how I should care for it. Many years, sun beds and painful burns later I began to come to terms with the fact that I will never be tan. And that it was actually okay to be pale. Figuring out a way to be in the sun without getting burned has been a little tricky and to this day I haven't gotten used to how much planning it takes. Yet again, sewing has come to the rescue for me and at long last I have the cover-up of dreams.
Pattern: Hey June Handmade Phoenix Blouse
Fabric: Island Breeze Gauze in Olive from Fabric.com This is not a very high quality fabric, but I tend to view my handmades as precious and I think I'll wear this more freely since it didn't cost a fortune to make.
Size: 6 based on bust measurements
Fit: I need your help on this! I have very little experience wearing loose/blousy clothes. My first instinct was to take in the bodice and under the arms, but I decided to leave it be. What do you think? Is it hanging properly, or should I have sized down?
Changes: As soon as I saw this pattern, I could see it as a dress. For this hack, I extended the full-length version by about 4 inches, widening the hem about 1 inch on the sides of each pattern piece (for a total of 4 inches around). The tier/frill on the bottom is two long rectangles stitched together at both short ends. Rough measurements: 8 inches wide x hem circumference + 50% for gathering. The rest of the dress was sewn up exactly as instructed for the blouse.
Verdict: There's a reason why Adriana has a reputation for great patterns with detailed instructions and my first experience was great. She puts out a quality product at an incredibly reasonable price. The trickiest part for me was sewing the front yoke with split neckline and only one of my corners is sharp and smooth. This is mostly because I am very lazy when it comes to transferring pattern markings. Next time I will use tailors tacks to achieve nice sharp corners. I'm not tripping too hard on that though, because I am so happy with the end result. I'm really starting to embrace this laid back hippie vibe and look forward to wearing my Phoenix on many sunburn-free summer days to come.
It's cute open too.