Monday, June 20, 2016

Two Piece Dressing

Regular readers may remember that I had an experience with Shopping Under the Influence several months ago at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove. One of my buys was three yards of fish fabric.

Fish fabric with background octopus
I'm kind of a sucker for fish patterned fabric. Well, fish patterned anything, really. I used to keep aquariums when I was younger. I had a Geophagus jurupari who would swim up to the glass and wag his tail at me, asking for worms, which he would eat from my fingers. The green fish in this fabric kind of reminded me of him. And when I saw the octopus in the background, I was a goner. I just finished reading The Soul of an Octopus, and I'm now half-way in love with octopuses.

I thought three yards would be plenty of fabric to make a dress, but it turned out to be more challenging than I'd expected. For one thing, the print is large and directional. For another, the fabric was 45 inches wide. Plus, how often do I really need to be wearing a fish dress? But a fish top and a fish skirt, now that would give me some options.

Front view, casually styled with no shoes
I wanted to avoid slicing sea creatures into bits unless absolutely necessary, so I hunted for patterns with a minimum of construction details.

For the top, I ended up using one of the views of McCall's 8050, which claims it offers "9 Great Looks, 1 Easy Pattern." I used View F; cut on sleeves and no darts. Then I whacked my remaining fabric into two equal lengths and fiddled around with pleats to come up with a matching skirt. 
Back view
I like them pretty well together, even though it does look like a lot of fish.

Side view
Plus, I can wear the top with jeans or what have you.

And the skirt with other tops. Though I'll have to do some thinking to come up with tops that go with schools of fish, backed up with octopuses.

My pattern review is on here.

And here is a bonus picture of Eartha, currently my only fish. She's a very personable little soul. She blows kisses at the surface when she wants her breakfast. We've had her for about four years now. I'm hoping she says with us as long as Snapper, her predecessor. We had him for 16 years before he died. Possibly from boredom, which is why I have a rotating series of plates I set up for Eartha for intellectual stimulation.


  1. Wow, those are a lot of fish. Very creative to mix and match patterns. Now I've got to read The Soul of An Octopus because I never really thought about that. Thanks!

  2. Love the fish! Mix & match pieces are so great so have.

  3. Love this outfit! Not at all too many fish.