Remember my gingham Seren separates? I made them much earlier in the year, when it was a little too cool to wear them… and since then, my weight has changed enough that they no longer fit me. I had spent a lot of time and effort fitting and making the top and skirt, so I was pretty discouraged – too discouraged to try and make alterations!
I still wanted a cute two-piece set to wear through summer, though, but I only had about 1.5m of that lovely Drapers Fabrics gingham left. I spent a while staring at it, wondering what to do… and then it came to me: a Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt set!
I made the shorts using the Common Stitch Bellbird shorts pattern, but unlike my tencel version, I cut out an extra-small instead of a small. I think they look a little better in this size, particularly the gathers at the waistband. The only other alteration I made from the tencel version was to reduce the width of the hem, as I wanted a tiny bit of extra length past the edge of the pocket bags.
The t-shirt is a super simple hack of the Tilly and the Buttons ‘Bettine’ dress – I just made the bodice and hemmed it! I cut a size 2, which was pretty much perfect, though I sewed the side seams with a 1cm seam allowance instead of 1.5cm to make it a little more comfortable under the arms. To keep the slightly cropped length of the top but also allow for a double-folded 1cm hem, I extended the length of the bodice pattern pieces by 1cm (which was all that my remaining fabric could accommodate!). I also slip-stitched the cuffs all the way around to keep them flush to the sleeves, but decided not to include the cuff tabs to keep the t-shirt fairly simple.
Since I didn’t have that much fabric left, I ended up having to include a seam down the middle of the back bodice. I added 1.5cm for seam allowance to the fold line when cutting out the two back bodice pieces, and pressed and finished the seam allowances open after sewing. The seam makes for a bit of an added ‘design feature’ on the back, and turned out quite nicely! After cutting the main bodice pattern pieces and the cuffs, I didn’t have enough gingham left for the facings, so I just cut them out of scrap white cotton lawn I had in my stash.
This whole outfit came together in less than a day, as both patterns are really easy to make up. Both of these pieces are comfortable and easy to wear, thanks to the relaxed fit of the t-shirt, the elastic waistband on the shorts, and the light and breathable fabric. I also love that I was able to squeeze both the top and the shorts out of my leftover gingham fabric, with very little wastage left over after cutting – hooray for using up a bit of my stash!
I’m glad that I still have a cute set of gingham separates to wear this summer, even if my original plans didn’t quite work out! I love how these separates look together, and I think they’ll mix in really well with the rest of my summer wardrobe!