Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Half ‘n’ Half


My goodness, but you girls love a dress, or two!

Today, however, I’m showing separates: versatile, impartial to season (think layering), casual, dressy and no limits on the colour spectrum.

Rarely do I buy factory made clothes. I’ve never sworn off RTW with pledges or promises so sometimes I succumb to the instant gratification of shopping.  I’ve become very fussy about fit since making my own clothes – a downright snob actually – which accounts for my limited shop purchases. I try something on and my first instinct is to examine the drag lines, the wrinkles, the gapes at neck and waist. I look at it and ask “If I had made this, would I be happy with fit?” Inevitably the answer generally is “No”.

I discovered Finery earlier this year – RTW with an edge. I enjoy looking at their use of fabrics and colours and slightly unusual shapes – a great inspiration. I admire the nonchalant styling – I’m wearing this because I want to, not because I want to look like my colleagues or because it makes me look sexy, but it makes me feel good.  I bought stuff………

Let’s stAZ-005_CHARTERIS-TOPS-BLACK-FINERY-LONDON_170_2art with trousers: same style, one cobalt blue and one chartreuse. 7/8 length, side pockets and small front pleats. The pic on the left is the same style in magenta (tempting…..). The trousers do not have the fit I would demand if I’d made them myself but they’ll do. Considering almost everyone else wears RTW, I can’t look any worse than the general population.


You all know that I love my colours as much as greys and what a basis these two pairs of trousers gave me to expand upon.

I made just a few tops and now the option for outfits is endless. A perfect travel wardrobe; which it was earlier this summer. This is what I packed and I didn’t have enough days to wear all the combinations.

Cobalt with butterflies and Chartreuse with butterflies

Vogue 1247 (OOP) in poly satin

Chartreuse with pink and Cobalt with pink

Yes, it needs ironing! Pink silk chiffon, pleated blouse free pattern from Sew Easy


Cobalt with cobalt

My own Three Bears T with added side pocket, ribbed viscose jersey


Cobalt with blue/green peacock feathers.

McCalls M6078, viscose jersey so old I’ve forgotten where it came from.



Chartreuse with turquoise.

Modified McCalls M6078 to fit fabric, viscose jersey from My Fabrics


Chartreuse with orange

Bootstrap Blouse With Button-Decorated Back, not quite made to pattern specifications, Merchant and Mills Indian orange cotton with yellow stitching

And I haven’t even ventured into the other classics of black and navy, and any other colour that coordinates with these colours. Surprisingly, khaki green is also a good colour with both the cobalt and the chartreuse. I love a bit of clashing. Think of this post as a very amateur attempt at the Vivienne Files for non-RTW coordinates to wear with RTW.










20 thoughts on “Half ‘n’ Half

  1. Congrats! That’s fantastic. A great casual and happy wardrobe.

  2. Great stuff. I love love the chartreuse pants – one of my favorite colors. It was fun cruising through the Finery site – of course looking with a maker’s eye, as I know you do. A lot there that brings patterns to mind. Hope you’re enjoying the last days of summer. I just want the cooler temps of fall – you know, low 80’s F!

  3. OMG that peacock feathers fabric I used to be looking for!
    The pants do fit you well and will be a great addition to your wardrobe.

  4. Fabulous casual wear!

  5. You have done a great job in fitting your clothes… Everything looks good on you.. That is why we saw… I love all the looks

  6. The last combo is my favorite. Perfect!!!

  7. Love these colour combinations especially the pink and chartreuse which I would never have thought of. I’ve got a metre of chartreuse on my shelf, but would boringly put it with grey or black! X

  8. What a joy just 2 pair of bright colored pants can bring! All of a sudden it makes other garments come alive and all sorts of other combos work too. Thanks for brightening my day with your fashion show, Ruth!

  9. Totally off subject – I love your tape measure, the one that cycles in your blog banner. It’s intelligent! inches and cm’s on the same side of the tape. This is so sensible!

  10. More wonderful inspiration Ruth. I love the bright colour rather than ‘safe’ options – so much more fun 😃

  11. Excellent choices. Such wardrobe builders. You’ve inspired me to blog about my recent purchases – I have never made a RTW starvation pledge either!

  12. I think ‘colouring in’ is essential as we age. Love the yellow base – but I’m biased as I’ve been wearing out my ponte pencil skirt of the same hue. Today I was very brave and wore bright orange flats with black jeans, light grey top and coat of pink, black, grey and yellow!

  13. You look fabulous. Especially in the peacock top.

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