09 Jul 2013 • • by Heather Lou

Playsuit Party


Hello chickadees. I took a little blog break following the epic Bombshell extravaganza. A blog break. Not a sewing break. The new Bernina and I have been getting to know each other and so far it's been a pretty sweet romance except for one issue. She gets really tangled threads on the bobbin side when I start my stitch line. It's extremely annoying. My old piece of crap 90's Singer never gave me the same issue. Anyone know what is causing this and how I can avoid it?

I've been feeling the presh to knock off a few things a week due to the absolutely overwhelming fabric stash I've managed to accumulate in the last few months. A shopping spree in San Fran, followed by a crazy vintage fabric haul (more on this later), followed by a few garbage bags of my pal's grandmother's stash (I'll spare you the details of the utter panic attack followed by maniacal delousing that occurred when I discovered it was infested with moths) means I have piles of fabric everywhere and a great fire under my tukus to make them into beautiful things that will help me deal with the aggressive humidity and heat of Montreal summers (we are a city of tremendous extremes. Hence the simultaneous existence of both Cirque de Soleil AND Leonard Cohen).

On my mind has been my midriff. Particularly the zone right above the waistline and below the rib cage. The one part of my midsection I will unhesitatingly put on display. The crop top is back people, and I wanted to get my little sliver of torso up in the action.

So I made a playsuit of sorts. I bought this super lightweight black and white check cotton in SF, and I envisioned a two piece party with two guests: a full gathered skirt, and a scoop backed sleeveless top.

The skirt was a riff on Gertie's gathered skirt tutorial (coincidentally used the same print as Gertie as well!). I didn't bother lining it because I wanted it to be as light and breezy as possible. This is also the first time I inserted a lap zipper and I really like the finish. Gives that vintage vibe, and an excellent choice when you forget to buy an invisible zipper. I put my zipper at the center back seam, and added a vintage black button.

For the top, I used the bodice from an old sheath pattern and added about an inch on each side of the center back seam to accommodate a row of buttons. It was a little tricky to fully line it properly without resorting to a lot of handstitching but it works. The only real issue with the top is that due to the very lightweight nature of the fabric and voile lining, the buttons and buttonholes are not stabilised well. I should have added interfaced both sides to strengthen it. The buttons tug a little.

Oh well. It's an easy breezy summer squeezy of a suit. I love the slightly sexy edge that sliver of skin adds to an otherwise demure vintage silhouette. The skirt has gotten a lot of wear as well, with a cropped white T-shirt tied in a knot to let my sliver breathe, natch.

This is one of several outfits I've whipped up since the Sewalong. I reinvested some of my Bombshell earnings into the indie pattern community and have been LOVING me some Meghan Neilson & Sewaholic patterns. I'm also still on a crop kick so expect more of those in the near future.

If you've made your Bombshell and haven't posted it to the Flickr group, and I haven't commented on your post yet (the interwebs is a wide, deep place my darlings) hit me with a link! Nothing has given me greater joy this past month than seeing all you gorgeous ladies prancing around in the sunshine. I'll leave you with a message I got from Jill a few weeks ago, in response to the message I sent everyone updating them on the lining requirements:

It's been 20 yrs since I have sewn anything for myself and so naturally I blamed myself for having to be creative with my pattern placement on the lining.  The only surprise came in the end when I put my "Bombshell" on and couldn't believe how truly beautiful it was and how beautiful it made me feel. I  was so overwhelmed that I cried!  Thank you for all your hard work and for the sewalong, it was just what I and many other women have been waiting for!!

If that isn't the loveliest compliment ever, I don't know what is.

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