Gonna Make You, Make You, Make You Notice

Combishort2Have you seen Biquette’s new (freeeee!) pattern, the Brass in Pocket playsuit? Can you believe how cute it is? Did I mention it’s free?

She asked me to be a tester and, even though my sewing time is usually way too precious to me to accept those kind of requests, this time I jumped on it right away. I had crushed hard on her black playsuit and was excited to be able to get a version for myself. This is the kind of sewing project I could see myself dreaming about for years and never actually making, so I took that testing as a great opportunity to sew it without delay.

Combishort6I chose a black twill from de Stoffenkamer, which I had already used in navy for a jacket for Monsieur (to be blogged soonish) and knew was great quality, if not for its propensity to attract every lint, hair, dust particle, you name it… Other than that, really, a great fabric: it presses beautifully yet doesn’t wrinkle too easily, a pleasure to sew and to wear!

The buttons are from my stash: they were rescued from an old jacket. They are plastic, but they don’t look it!

Combishort5Now for the pattern itself. Any problem I might have encountered making it has been changed in the final version, so I can only recommend it to you. The only real technical difficulty is the tailored collar. Mine is not exemplary: I failed to get a perfect angle where the two parts meet, but it isn’t obvious at all on the worn garment (especially in black). And I hear there might be a tailored collar tutorial coming to Biquette’s blog, so yours will probably look better…

Another mistake I made was at the centre front: the overlap of the two fronts is too short on my version compared with the pattern, which made it impossible to space the buttons as far away as per the pattern. This is also why I took off the top pair of buttons: it looked pretty weird in relation with the spacing of the other buttons.

Combishort3Size-wise, I blended a 38 bust, a 36 ½ waist and 42 hips, a very usual adjustment for me, and I’m happy with the fit. I could do with a tiny bit more length in the body: when I raise my arms up in the air, the whole playsuit comes up and it’s not the most comfortable at the crotch. It’s perfectly comfortable when I move around normally, even when I sit; the only problem is when I raise both arms all the way up. But if I were to sew the pattern again, I would add a centimetre or two at the waist seam. Do consider using a wider seam allowance than the 1 cm provided in the pattern in case you need to make the same adjustment.

Combishort4Before hemming the shorts, I was also afraid they were going to be too short once hemmed, but I was misevaluating how much length the 2 cm hem would take visually, and in the end I think the length is perfectly fine, at least with opaque tights as I intend to wear the playsuit.

If it is your style and you fit into the size range (which starts really low but unfortunately doesn’t go very high up — the highest size has a 100 cm bust), go have a look at the pattern: it’s free, but that doesn’t mean it’s amateurish. It has positively nothing to envy of professional patterns. Among other well thought-of details, you can choose to print only the size(s) you want, and you can also choose to print it with or without (1 cm) seam allowances!

Combishort1As you have probably understood by now, I love my little playsuit! I’m not sure how practical it’s going to be (I may have to cut back on my tea drinking! 😉 ), or whether I’m going to be able to wear it at work (the length of the shorts is what makes me hesitate), but I think it’s quite unique and definitely gorgeous! So I may not wear it daily like a lot of my clothing, but I know I’ll wear it nonetheless! Monsieur’s opinion is more reserved: “I don’t understand… You look all dressed up on top, and ready for camping on the bottom.”

21st of July Playsuit

July21.1Remember I teased you about an upcoming refashion project? Well, it took me a looooong time, but I here it is at last!

July21.2

I heart pockets.

I almost threw in the towel numerous times on this one… At first I didn’t have a playsuit in mind but a dress, but it was impossible to get all the pattern pieces on the fabric. Then I thought of a playsuit after seeing one in a book I was reading, so I dug through old issues of Burda magazine and found this pattern. I thought it would be pretty easy to shorten the legs and add shoulder straps (I don’t do strapless), which it was. I also thought I would it would be easy to place the pieces of this small playsuit on the fabric of the huge eighties dress… which it was not.

July21.3

Do you see any bra straps showing? I don’t!

The dress was very old and there were holes and black stains in a few places, which made it a real headache to place every pattern piece on the fabric. I had to think about it for two whole days before I found a solution. And it was the layout that determined the length of the legs, so I was afraid the whole time that they would be too short.

July21.4You can see on the above picture that I used black seam binding inside the hem. It helped me keep as much length as possible. About the hem: I actually didn’t have a fabric piece big enough to cut the second leg, so I had to add a scrap of fabric to fill the gap. That scrap of fabric from hell was almost the end of me: I don’t know why (well, I think the grain must have shifted while sewing it or something), but it sat in a weird way that made the hem of the shorts awfully uneven. I don’t know how many times I had to redo that small part, but I was ready to give up.

Finally I got a tolerable result so I decided to power through… and now I don’t really see the problem if I’m not looking for it specifically. This is so often the case with my sewing projects: I obsess about a detail almost to the point of tossing the project away, but once I wear the completed project I completely forget about that detail…

July21.5I was really afraid such a playsuit would not suit my figure very well, so when I first tried it on I was relieved to see that it was actually pretty cute. I’m not used to seeing such an ample top on myself, but with the flowy fabric I think it works.

Also the length of the shorts had me doubt, but with the heat we’ve had these last few days I’ve gotten into the habit of showing my bare legs again and I don’t think it looks that scandalous.

July21.6I cut a size 36 for the top and graded up from a size 36 at the waist to a size 38 at the hips for the bottom. I have plenty enough room even though my hip measurement would be closer to a size 40. As regards the two elastics, I have no idea of their length because I pulled them around my waist/bust until I found them snug enough so I didn’t measure them.

I used black cotton voile for the pockets and for the wrong side of the shoulder straps. You can see it peek out from time to time, but I think it looks nice against the black polka dots (which, come to think of it, you can’t really see in the pictures because they are so small), so there’s no real problem here.

The buttons I used came from an old cardigan of mine.

July21.7I finished the playsuit yesterday, which was Belgium’s National Day, so it was quite suiting that I wore black, yellow and red, which are Belgium’s national colours! These are colours I don’t usually like together, but with only a touch of yellow (my rubber duck earrings, and you could also count my golden sandals and straw hat as yellow), I think it works.

So even though this won’t be my most worn garment (playsuits are not renowned for their practicality), I still find it cute and will most definitely wear it in the unexpected heat of this Belgian summer and in Spain where I’ll be spending three weeks in August.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I can also totally see it worn in Fall with black tights and a black cardigan… Or is it just me? Well, if the frail vintage fabric holds up until then, that is!

Enregistrer