Secret Squirrel's July Mission Accomplished!

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 15:38

If you haven't yet stumbled across the Secret Squirrel project  then, be warned.
Secret Squirrel can be addictive.

In a nutshell, (!) Secret Squirrel is spreading a sewing mission across blogs and continents. Each month squirrel passes on five different 'Acorns'  as the basis of a sewing project. For a fuller explanation see here. For July, Secret Squirrel's acorns, as 'planted' by Sewpony were; tangerine, patch, Anne of Green Gables, Australia and Something Old.

I'm not the official Secret Squirrel stop, (see Suburbia soup) but that didn't stop me from pondering the Acorns. So much so, that I couldn't resist sewing along.

Anne of Green Gables was my starting point.  I looked at old covers for the book and film images and thought I'd make something based on a 19th century girl's pinny. The kind of thing Anne would undoubtedly have worn. But I wanted to make something wearable and not a 'period costume', so decided I would make it tunic length for Missy.

I'm also trying to be thrifty with fabric buying (also very Anne of GG?) so used extra wide, excellent value linen stripe from my local shop. It made me think of old-style 'ticking' and seemed perfect for my Anne hybrid.

I drafted the pattern, using the square neckline of the Sunshine blouse as a basis, and added a square neckline at the back. The bodice is  fully lined in voile with three rows of top stitching around the neckline.

I loved the effect of the contrasting directions of stripes and added the sash to the yoke. 
The sash under the yoke and the ties are one continuous piece, with the ties lined in voile, and I fiddled for ages trying to work out how to make the side seams work without having any stitching on the top of the sash, so it remains an unbroken line! Managed it! And even got the stripes to just about run continuously round the back too. 
Self drafted flutter sleeves, and an extra full skirt at the back for added vintage style.

I have a thing about making clothes last  - so I cut the skirt extra long. I put two pintucks around the hem, so I can let down the extra fabric next year (More thrifty Anne of GG style sewing). I like the practicality of the pintucks, but also the way they add structure to the hem.

Now the tangerine. I went a bit literal here, and wasn't sure if I'd like the effect, but I took the plunge and appliqued some fruit shapes and leaves to the skirt.

The scraps are interfaced, stitched with a chain-stitch, so I can always unpick. As it turns out, I'm quite pleased. The orange colour seems to make the stripes sing, don't you think? 
Missy liked them a lot too. For added tangerine, and perhaps a reference to Anne's hair, the button hole is hand finished in orange embroidery thread. And, handily, that's also the patch acorn ticked off.

Now the trousers, I made an improved version of the cuffed cropped trousers featured here with the Common Blouse. I cut the legs wider, so to create a slightly more cuffed effect.

I also added 'bubble style' pockets, topped with a scrap of Cloud 9's One  Thousand Cranes from Rashida Coleman-Hale's Tsuru collection (my absolute favourite fabric ever, ever) and a little cream piping. The same Cloud 9 fabric was also used to make piping around the cuffs. Now, there are cranes in Australia, (yes... I know they're in lots of other places as well) but will you let me tick off another Acorn? 

And then I discovered that Secret Squirrel himself had also sneaked onto my Anne blouse. He'd emerged from a Kokka scrap remains from my Fat Quarter blouse. 


Four Acorns down... only Something Old left...Does using scraps count? 
Or perhaps the Something Old can be one tired sewing mummy after staying up way too late on a Secret Squirrel mission...Be warned!

Now where's he off to next? I wonder....

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  1. Fantastic! The Australia acorn was a tricky one... it was my husband who said, "marsupial" and thus the pouch was born. It's funny how both of us made bloomers and I LOVE your blouse-so cute!

    1. Thanks Venus - yes, I thought the bloomers was funny too; similar thought-processes I guess!

  2. That's a beautiful outfits and surely wearable. Combines those acorns is not easy and you did it nicely. (I tried it out last month but it a bit fancy :)

  3. Gorgeous Victoria!!! I love all of it! Very creative:) thanks for sewing along!!!

  4. Lovely outfit! I think you did very well incorporating the acorns. I really like all the little details you added to the blouse.

  5. Looks like you cracked all the nuts, to speak.
    Good idea using ticking and how clever to get the sash and side seams to run continuously. The whole outfit is nicely done.
    I must get busy to make my August Secret Squirrel outfit - thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Adorable outfits! I love the appliques and all details, well done Victoria!

  7. Beautiful work, Victoria! I really love the stripes, and that fruit applique looks so perfect! So happy you sewed along!


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