Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Current Obsession

…is jumpsuits. Really. I believe that jumpsuits are the future. Make them well and let them lead the way. Or something.

Last year on NYE I was getting ready to go to a party and split my dress. It was a beautiful pale blue 60s lace cocktail dress that my husband got me for Christmas. It split right up the back seam when I tried to zip it up. I have a lot of stuff in my closet but that night ALL of my nice cocktail party clothes were suddenly and unexpectedly too small. All that holiday eating had completely kicked (and increased) my fat ass.

It was horrible and sad and it made me really angry. Sooo… I did what any other spunky, and occasionally crazed, girl who was suddenly too fat for her all clothes would do. I put on my giant fluffy bunny suit and went out anyway. It made me feel a lot better.

This past New Years Eve, I wore my bunny suit again. It occurred to me, as I was swaying drunkenly on my barstool just after midnight, that perhaps bunny suits are the answer to all life’s clothing dilemmas. One zip and you're in. Fat or thin it hides all figure flaws.

But you can’t wear a bunny suit every day. It's too hot and fluffy. No. There has to be another way. Then it occured to me: What is a bunny suit if not a jumpsuit made cuddly? Jumpsuits are the answer.

Way back in 1959, designer and writer Anne Fogarty was extolling the wonders of the jumpsuit as casual wear in her book "Wife Dressing". In the early 60s designer Pauline Trigere introduced jumpsuits as a wardrobe staple. Therefore, the jumpsuit fits nicely into my late-50s early-60s fashion obsession. Besides, if you’ve ever watched the Cathy Gale/Emma Peel years of the Avengers, you know how awesome a jumpsuit can be. I am inspired.

Of course, I don’t have a 16 inch waist like Mrs. Fogarty. I’m not even 1% as hot as Honor Blackman or Diana Rigg and, I think, I’m probably 10 (20?) years older than any of them were in their jumpsuit days. Nonetheless. I am in love with the jumpsuit.

Besides, if Sew Ducky can make and wear skants without shame, the field of extraordinary clothing choices is now wide open. (I love the skants, by the way, Miss Ducky. Really, truly.)

Here are three patterns I picked up recently. They will be made. And worn.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Patterns

Love Love Love. I believe these came from The Hem Line. She has goood stuff.

This one should be super easy. Its got wide kimono sleeves to accomodate my big 'ol peasant arms. Loving the obi belt to boot!

Another one that should be easy. It caught my eye because the collar in the view with the low neck is a dickey. Weird. Not sure how that's gonna work. On the up-side, my closet doesn't have nearly enough day dresses with plunging necklines.

I snapped this one up because I looove the collar and yoked neckline. Oops! Except it turns out that its not really a yoked neck. That's just piping. Also it appears that the collar is tacked down IN the piping. Not sure thats gonna work out. It may be beyond my meager skill.

Two Tone Red & Leopard Jumper

Look! I sewed!

I STILL had this big chunk of leopard baby-wale corduroy leftover from the five yards (or was it six?) I got from I’ve managed to get two dresses, a skirt and a pair of (dubious) trousers out of it, so I should be satisfied. But, I hate leftovers.

I could shove the leftover bits in the bottom of the stash box and use a bit here and a bit there for trim, like on the sleeves and collar of a coat, maybe. But, it’s much more fun and challenging to try and use it all up.

I wanted to make a shorts jumper by combining these two patterns.

There was enough for the pinafore and straps, but there wasn’t quite enough to cut out shorts. Unfortunately, by the time I figured out that shorts weren't going to happen I’d already cut out the bib and straps. Ugh!

For a split second I thought about making a mini-skirt jumper but I think I might be teensy bit too old to be rockin’ a mini. Luckily, I had several yards of red broadcloth lying around from this project that didn’t happen. So, a two toned red and leopard jumper was the answer.

I changed the line of the bib somewhat, but I’m not sure it was the best idea ever. I realize now that the previous “two pointed” bib will lie flat under the boobage while this new one will likely fold over and look funny after a little wear. I hope not, but since the bib doesn't have much stiffening inside, it might go that way.

I was worried about the red broadcloth and leopard corduroy not really working together as they are both kind of intense. In order to pull it all together, I decided to use the appliqués that came with the pattern. I have to admit that the poodles were enticing, due to the extreme kitch factor. But I don’t really want the finished item to look like a costume.

I went with the hearts. I cut out three sizes in leopard and three sizes (just slightly smaller) in red. Without any real idea of how to attach them and keep them from fraying, I ironed some fusible interfacing onto the back of the fabric before I cut them out. Hopefully, this will prevent the edges from raveling.

To attach them to the skirt, I first sewed around the appliqué about 1/4 inch from the edge. Then, using the button hole stitch on my machine I sewed over the raw edge. The button hole stitch is wide enough that it looks like machine embroidery, which I suppose it is, really. Hopefully it’ll keep the appliqué on tight and prevent raveling.

Because I’ve used this jumper pattern so many times before, it went together quick & easy. (Despite the horrific zipper, as usual) I do think that the color choices are rather bold and I hope that I’m brave enough to wear it. Here’s the finished product.