Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt

Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
When we were in Vancouver, I took Froo fabric shopping and she picked out the cutest catnap fabric and coordinating peachy-pink knit to make a skirt and a shirt. I didn’t have a pattern in mind, so when I read that Marte from Compagnie-M was looking for pattern testers for the Lotta skirt, I submitted a request and was given a test pattern!

I made the Lotta skirt in size 6, with the hem lengthened by 1″. It features a flat waistband with a gathered skirt. I love this look!
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
I think the pockets are what makes this skirt so unique. I used leftover coral pink voile from Froo’s practice flower girl dress to create the contrasting inside pocket. I used heart-shaped brown buttons to stitch the pocket flap in place.
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
There is an invisible zipper in the back of the skirt and the waistband is adjustable using buttonhole elastic. I couldn’t find buttonhole elastic, so I stitched my own buttonholes on some elastic and it worked perfectly fine.
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
While making the Lotta skirt, I thought I would make a Mara blouse, to keep within the same patten company. It’s been almost a year since I first made a couple of Mara blouses. I made a size 7 (since it was already cut out) in a lycra blend cotton knit fabric.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
I made quite a few changes: overlapped front yokes for centered buttonholes instead of loops, replaced pintucks with gathers, narrowed long sleeves without elastic casings and a hidden bias-bound collar using my method for a single-fold bias tape hem.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
I made one slight change (that isn’t noticeable from the outside, but more of a technical construction tip)–from the inside of the blouse, I pressed the seams of the front yoke out (towards the shirt), then I stitched-in-the-ditch between the piping and the shirt on the front side. The instructions tell you to press the front yoke upwards, but I found that this makes for a wavy front yoke that doesn’t lay completely flat since there are curves and a lot of layers with the piping.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
The Mara blouse and Lotta skirt as a complete outfit is a bit matchy-matchy for my liking. I love each piece separately and they still work together, but I think the knit shirt would look lovely paired with jeans and the skirt with a shirt tucked in.
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Marte is releasing her Lotta skirt pattern today! It also comes in teen/adult sizes–I wish I had purchased more than 1 metre of the catnap fabric to make one for me. There is a 10% discount on the purchase of your Lotta skirt pattern during the pattern tour, with a chance at a giveaway. Bonne chance!

Thanks for visiting!

Corduroy Mara Blouses

I first discovered the Mara blouse here, where I was blown away by the elegance and sweet detailing of the blouse. When I found out that the Mara blouse by Compagnie M was released, I quickly made my purchase. I finally got the chance to make a couple of my own!
Corduroy Mara Blouses
These ones will be shipped to a pair of sweet sisters–daughters of my bestest buds. They live in Edmonton, the frozen part of Canada during the long winter months. I used corduroy, hoping for warmth, in slightly bigger sizes and lengthened by about 2 inches, so the blouses can be layered underneath (and on top, of course).
Corduroy Mara Blouses
I chose shiny red buttons for the front yoke. I didn’t realize until sewing them on that the holes are fake! There is a single loop at the back. Although I generally like an asymmetrical look, I can’t shake my internal discomfort with the off-centered buttons. I think the next time I make this blouse, I will extend both sides of the front yoke to accommodate buttonholes for centered buttons.
Corduroy Mara Blouses
For the green blouse, which is surprisingly, my favourite of the two, I sewed the side seams with enclosed French seams–only because I didn’t want to change the thread colour on my serger. This made the armhole opening really bulky with the double-fold bias tape. I tried single-fold bias tape (my tutorial here) for the navy blouse, which made a big difference in the thickness of the seams at the armhole opening.Corduroy Mara Blouses
I really love these blouses! I hope the sisters like them. My mom used to make my sister and me matching outfits that were always slightly different. My sister would try to convince me that the one she had was somehow better than mine. It would make me envious until I realized that I would eventually get hers as a hand-me-down anyways.
My mom, sister & me
I convinced Froo to model the blouse, just before ballet class (I know, I know, I must learn how to tie a proper top knot bun):
Corduroy Mara Blouses
The navy one in size 7 was pretty big, so I had Froo try the green one on, made in size 4, which fit much better:
Corduroy Mara Blouses
When Boo saw Froo wearing the green blouse, he insisted that it was his turn to wear the green one. So I put the navy one back on Froo and took a photo. One day he might get mad… but today, I will post this photo in good fun:Corduroy Mara Blouses
Froo is requesting a Mara blouse in brown–her new favourite colour. All of a sudden, pink is done. I hope that passes soon, Froo’s entire room is pink. Froo recently completed her first hand-stitched project. A ridiculously expensive felt bear from a kit that she had to buy the last time we were at Jo-Ann’s. She was so determined and patient with the entire stitching process. Her bear now occupies a precious spot on her bed. Maybe the bear has something to do with her new favourite colour…
Froo's first hand-stitched bear
p.s. In the words of Andy Bernard, from The Office: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”