Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Whistlestop wardrobe for India

In November I was asked to go to India for work. Upside - yay! free travel! Downside - only bring in india for 2 days, most of which involved filming 10+ hours a day in rather warm conditions.

Now I have warm weather clothing, but it's all fairly skimpy, or gets too hot in northern uk. Smart-casual work attire in a hot, conservative country wasn't really covered. After some research, I decided on three pieces, a loose tunic, loose trousers and a long skirt, all made in viscose for coolness.
Now an additional difficulty was that the notice of the jaunt wasn't super massive,  so I didn't have a lot of time. Still, I managed two out of three- which I don't think is that bad!

So.. the failure was the tunic,  and it was definitely a failure. I made it as a colour block of white and a pale cloud pattern. I now have significant respect for all the sewists that make tunics, as mine turned out horrible. It took about 2/3rds of the overall sewing time I had available and remains the only thing I've ever made that went straight into the bin (normally things live for a few months/years in a random pile on the floor!). So. .. there are no pictures - you'll just have to imagine me wearing something that looked like a mangled pillow case.

So, slightly panicked, I started on the other items.

Luckily, they went much easier, albeit with some corners cut to save time!

The main event from my perspective was the loose trousers. I have never attempted trousers before, even pjamas. So they were a little daunting- but fortunately, the bagginess hides many fitting sins!
I used the Moji trousers pattern from Colette's Seamwork. It's a fairly simple pattern with an elasticated waist. It's fairly fitted, so I went up a few sizes to loosen them up, as well as dropping the crotch by the simple measure of adding about 3 inches to the top.

I used a very wriggly black viscose from the stash, which proved slightly trying- there is a hole in one side seam where it all slipped. I also did the hems with hem tape, which seemed a good idea at the time  (I had to rinse them in the hotel when of course it dissolved!)
Other than that though they worked very well, though I'm not sure how much I'll wear them in the uk- perhaps if I took the crotch back up?

My other triumph is the long skirt. As you may have gathered from the need for slapdash hem tape, I was running low on time. Luckily this skirt took about 10 minutes!

I used some lovely border print viscose I bought ages ago from the Asian Bazaar at Leeds Market. I obviously wanted the border, so I just chopped about 5 inches off the opposite edge, sewed up the side seam and then zigzagged it onto some elastic.

I wore this skirt more than anything else on the trip, it is so cool and comfortable,  and felt more elegant than my other options! 

Overall, it all worked out very well, though my lack of tunic did mean a last minute dash to tk maxx for a long shirt that bore a striking resemblance to the Kalle shirt dress!

(Here I am, wearing my welcome flower garland!)