Oh. My. Gosh. You guys, totally unacceptable. April 23rd was the last post?! Ridiculous. I feel especially bad because during this gap a few people started following this blog. Ugh. Fail me. So let’s get this rolling again.
To start, here’s a photo of the finished military shirt for interested parties:
I’m pretty happy with it. It took some adjustment though because my shoulders are very narrow, and any shirt that has a gathered sleeve cap makes me feel like I have football pads on.
I find myself in a design conundrum. So you’ll notice the pocket on the left? I have four patches that I could put on the shirt and I can’t decide which to go with. Two I think are pretty neutral, and the other two have strong nerd leanings. I would typically just go with the nerd choices, but I would like to be able to wear this to work – a business casual corporate setting. I took a photo of the four choices. Weigh in in the comments section!
Now moving onto the thing that basically ate my life for the last half of April. The ‘Party Like a Rock Star’ Sewing Challenge that was presented by the Independent Pattern Company Alliance. In case you didn’t catch my last post, the basic idea was to create an outfit from the patterns available from the members of the IPCA that best demonstrate the title of the competition. If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember the little contest I had a few posts ago where I played ‘name that movie still.’ It was from the film Interview with the Vampire, featuring the character Lestat. My thinking was how much more rock-and-rolla do you get than a vampire in the 18th Century? The aristocracy of that time period were known for their exceptional hedonism, and nothing says ‘animalistic sexiness’ than a vampire.
With that look and silhouette in mind, I poured through the several pattern companies trying to find patterns that would fit this look. I will say going into this was very frustrating. Had I free reign, I could have let the ideas fly. (Now that I’m thinking about it, if I could have designed whatever I wanted, I would have liked to combine the 18th Century frock coat with that style of 1950s evening gown that had a fitted skirt, with a gathered, billowing overskirt. Maybe I’ll revisit this one day.) But I had to use someone else’s designs and make them my own – but not so much that they were unrecognizable as the original pattern.
I chose three patterns from Fashion Patterns by Coni – the Metro Jacket, Classic Pants and Princess Blouse. Ultimately, I didn’t make a lot of structural changes to any of the pieces – I didn’t want to get carried away and have it depart too much from the original pattern. I moved the underarm seam on the jacket sleeve toward the back so I could add a lace gusset. I also slashed-and-spread for a gathered sleeve cap. And I patterned a lining as well.
On the blouse, I slashed-and-spread the collar to achieve the tall standing collar look (think Disney villainess).
Beyond that, I knew I wanted to rely on fabric choice for visual texture and embellishment on the individual garments. I was fortunate that a few months ago a friend of my mother-in-law gave me a bolt of 8 yards of black velveteen. So the jacket was taken care of. For the blouse, I went with a light grey crepe. I was going for some structure, but enough flowy, blousyness that it would still look very feminine. The pants I took a gamble with and choose a royal blue satin taffeta.
So this was the first week of the project. My mom flew in to spend some time with me over the weekend, so that put a hold on the proceedings (a very welcome distraction, I assure you). This seems as good a place as any to pause for the next post. And I promise it won’t take weeks. More like a few more hours. I might post from my day job …
Project music: My Pandora stations on shuffle