Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maple Play Suit

Remember this pair of overalls? After I was done, I had quite a bit of fabric left over. Because of the nap, I wasn't able to cut out anything with too many big pieces. I definitely wanted to try and make another garment, because I love the maple-syrup color. I decided to try making a two-piece (30s?) 40s-style swim/play suit using pieces from a few different patterns.

I used Simplicity 2425 to make the shorts and they came out exactly right. I made pleats in the front again, instead of gathers, and used the waistband from this skirt pattern. I think the shorts are just perfect.

I really really love Simplicity 2425! I found it in the envelope for Simplicity 1975 when I made this shorts jumper. I'm still on the hunt for a complete copy, although I'd settle for an image of the pattern envelope. I’ve searched in Pattern Rescue, the Vintage Pattern Wiki, and Google, but nothing comes up. If you happen to run across it out there somewhere, please let me know!

I only wish I liked the top better. For the top I used the bodice from this pattern, View C. I should have known that it would be a pain.

I didn’t care for this top when I made it the first time (as a dress bodice) and it wasn't any easier or flattering this time around, either. I had to do SO much fiddling to get it to work. The lower half of the bodice is just incredibly baggy.

I don’t understand if the front piece is simply too flat for a big-chested girl or if I’m doing something wrong. I think I need to stop using this bodice and find a halter top pattern that works on my body type.

I tried so many different things to get it to fit properly that I won't bore you with all the details. I will say that the only thing that really made any difference was making the front darts REALLY wide at the bottom. I think that the bottom end of each dart ended up being about 4 inches wide.

Deciding how to fasten the top was interesting. I originally intended to put in a side zipper but then I decided I wanted buttons up the back. Since the top was originally designed for a dress with a back zipper, I didn't have quite enough length to put in proper button holes. I put in some fabric loops but they didn't look right so I ripped them out and put in a placket for button holes instead.

My local fabric store didn't have any brown buttons that I liked so I got some cute art deco looking red ones instead. They came in packs of two so there are three on the top and one on the shorts. Win! They are true red, although its hard to tell from this picture. (Don't look to closely at the buttonholes. They are all different sizes and very scary!!)

The top is STILL a bit big under my boobs and it STILL droops in the back. I have un-stitched it and taken it in a zillion times and it just keeps drooping. I have heard that linen tends to "grow" as you wear it, unless it is lined with a tightly woven fabric. I am assuming that this is the problem, but it could also be that I am just a crap seamstress. Sigh.

Despite a less than perfect fit, the top and shorts look pretty good as a set. I think it will be just fine for an afternoon pool-side at Viva Las Vegas.


  1. CRAP! Lizzy! I just accidently rejected your comment. Ugh. I suck at computers.

  2. Well you can't tell you had problems from the pictures. It looks adorable. Sometimes interfacing (not just lining or underlining) the entire bodice helps a fitted bodice (like a vest).

  3. I think you did a great job - I'm impressed by anyone who can sew!
    -Andi x

  4. Have you tried darts where you take the bagginess and pin it and see if that will help?

    It IS cute tho!

  5. Your adorable playsuits are making me think I need some of my own!

    I agree, the halter looks great! Doesn't look like you had any trouble at all. Maybe it's just the pattern: They aren't always drafted that well and just end up being more frustrating than they are worth.

    Glad you went with the red buttons instead of matching ones - they add a nice contrast and pop to the brown.
    You are going to look fab by the pool at Viva!

  6. That is really cute! I think you did a nice job with the buttonholes-- certainly leagues beyond anything I could do! It'll be a while before I tackle anything like that.

    I have the same issue with linen. Trust me, it's not you, it's the darn fabric! I have some linen pants that I love, but are not lined, and thus are HUGE now, three years after I bought them.

  7. Well I think you look adorable in that outfit. Good for you for thinking outside the box. Combining two pattern can be a challenge and sometimes it works, somtimes it doesn't.