Sunday, March 30, 2008

One from the vault

Back when this suit still fit me, it was one of my favorite outfits to wear to work. My budget basically only allowed thrift store purchases, and vintage was cheap then. I wish I still had all the cool clothes I picked up then, but most of them just haven't made it - either I wore them to death, which isn't a bad way for a garment to go, or I gave it away. My bad.

I’m assuming that it’s 1940s by the lines of the suit and the economical use of fabric. The jacket and skirt are both unlined. The skirt is straight, with a small walking pleat in the back.

One of the things I like best about this suit is that it was hand made by someone who obviously cared about what she was making. It has some beautiful details – bound buttonholes, covered buttons, an interesting collar that’s actually part of the jacket – see the seam under the collar? The sleeve is also interesting. It looks like a standard two-piece sleeve, but the under-sleeve is actually part of the bodice that extends up into a gusset on the underarm. Very cool. And it makes what looks like a tight sleeve a lot more wearable.

Seeing that my mid-40s body has a slightly different shape than my mid-20s body, the jacket is about two inches from buttoning these days. It still fits in the shoulders and arms, but the back and the bust are way too narrow.

Years ago, when the fabric started shredding from age, I almost got rid of this suit, but thankfully I had the sense to stash it away, just in case I ever wanted to try to make a pattern from it.

A few years ago, I started to take it apart so that I could make a pattern, but I got distracted and back into the bag it went. The few seams I had picked out are pinned back together for purposes of pictures, but now I think I actually will complete the dismantling and make a pattern for a version of this jacket that actually fits me as I’m sized nowadays.

And just to make thingsdifficult for myself, I think when I do get around to making this, I'll hold myself to the same standards, bound buttonholes and all (bound buttonholes being up there with welt pockets for inducing hyperventilation).


Dana said...

Beautiful suit, I can just picture how you look in it! Good luck with a very ambitous project.

Cennetta said...

Great suit. You are definitely possess the skills to tackle the challenge. Looking forward to your posts on the process of recreating this work of art.