Biscayne Blouse, Jade Skirt, and Library Cardigan

I’ve been working on updating my wardrobe lately and thought I’d share my latest favorite outfit: the Biscayne Blouse, Jade Skirt, and Library Cardigan.

Biscayne Blouse • Jade Skirt • Library Cardigan • Friends Stitched TogetherI’ll start with the blouse – I admit I was a little worried when I first started. I’m pretty busty (obviously) and have not had a good track record with button-up styles so far. But I’ve been eyeing this one for quite a while now and found this lovely bird georgette and figured I might as well give it a try. And as it turned out, I really like it! I added about four inches to make it more of a tunic length and it looks great with a pair of leggings as well as tucked into a skirt.

Biscayne Blouse • Jade Skirt • Library Cardigan • Friends Stitched TogetherI adore the way the placket goes together to hide the buttons. The pattern pieces have numbered lines which make it really easy to sew and get a clean, sharp finish.

I think next time, I’ll shorten the placket by a couple inches because it ends at an odd spot on me. I also think I’ll use a less-shreddy fabric – I really like this one, but I always feel like if I move wrong, I’ll pull the stitches right out. Other than that, I love this shirt! From the Mandarin collar to the slight gathering at the neckline to the French seams, all the details make it so pretty and feminine.

Biscayne Blouse • Jade Skirt • Library Cardigan • Friends Stitched TogetherThe Library Cardi is probably my most-worn garment at the moment (other than my crazy-lady joggers)! I used a mid-weight gold knit and an embossed suede for the binding. The pattern recommends using a 4-way knit for the binding, but I liked the fabrics together and decided to go for it. It works really well – the suede really stabilizes the knit and keeps the pockets from stretching out and it doesn’t make it any less comfy.

I love how slouchy the cardi is, while still looking polished enough to wear anywhere and with anything. I can’t wait to make one with the contrast pockets – it goes together so fast, I’m going to have a whole drawer full pretty soon!

Biscayne Blouse • Jade Skirt • Library Cardigan • Friends Stitched TogetherThe Jade Skirt is another one of my new favorite garments (I know, I know, broken record much? But seriously, I wear this outfit at least once a week!).

I actually received this pattern to review months ago, which brings me to my biggest tip: use the front lining to make your muslin!!! I was so excited, I spent hours making all the pleats just perfect and carefully sewing them in place, and then merrily went on my way finishing the skirt. Aaand it was too small – there may have been tears. Because of the way the skirt is lined, it’s really hard (not impossible, but I was over it) to adjust the fit after it’s finished. I’ve made the Jasper Sweater several times and found the sizing to be spot-on, so I was confused. Then I re-read the pattern and realized the fabric needed a stretch – I’d used a woven. So I threw the thing in a pile and covered it up with more fabric. Fortunately for me, the ladies at Paprika Patterns specified that there was no time limit for the review…

Biscayne Blouse • Jade Skirt • Library Cardigan • Friends Stitched TogetherSo here’s my official review of the Jade Skirt: I love it!! I’ve made two that actually fit now. The only thing I think it’s missing are pockets, which are an easy thing to add. One of the cool things included in the pattern is the “folding practice” paper – there’s also a link to a video in the pattern instructions – which is incredibly helpful! The pleats are totally what sets this skirt apart, but they are a bit confusing at first. Or at thrice – I still have to use the folding paper to wrap my brain around it! I do  want to make a few using the front lining with some busier fabric.

For this skirt, I used a stretch denim and added back welt pockets in between the outer and lining layers. As you can see, my phone fits perfectly ;) I used the longer length option and left out the zipper, instead adding elastic to the back of the waistband. The denim is stretchy enough that it goes on just fine.

Biscayne Blouse • Jade Skirt • Library Cardigan • Friends Stitched TogetherI honestly never thought I’d wear a high-waisted pencil skirt and a button-front blouse, especially as a stay-at-home mom, but this outfit makes me feel great, even if I’m wearing it grocery shopping!

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