Thursday, November 12, 2015

1940s / 1950s Inspired Summer Playsuit / Circle Skirt Mash Up

I've been going a bit crazy lately with buying fabrics and I've recently rediscovered the stress-relieving properties of sewing. I've also decided that while I'm temporarily earning decent money from tutoring and marking for the University where I'm doing my PhD, that I'm going to give myself something I've been wanting for a few years: a damn fine vintage and retro summer wardrobe!

On a recent trip to the fabric store I saw this yellow safari / Hawaiian fabric. I had actually seen it before: last year for my birthday my housemate bought me a cute headscarf made from this exact same print. I really adored the print and just had to buy some of it now that the opportunity had presented itself. Plus it just screamed "make something beachy and summery out of me."

As I was already purchasing a lot of fabric that day I decided to only buy 1.5 metres in order to make a short circle skirt or similar, not thinking that I would in fact have enough left over to make a whole outfit.

The first step in this process was drafting a simple circle skirt that would come down to about mid-thigh. I did this using these online tutorials: Birdee Tutorial and MerricksArt Tutorial. Making the skirt was incredibly simple. All I had to do was fold the fabric twice, find out the radius of my waist measurement and cut out a quarter circle out of the corner of the fabric (see above tutorials for more details).

After that I also had to cut out a waistband, hem the bottom of the skirt and then add a zip. For the zipper I decided to recycle one from a top that I hadn't worn in years as I never liked the fit of it.

Is it just me or are tops with zips at the front incredibly uncomfortable and unflattering?
Zip salvaged
Then I just added it to the back of the skirt and it was done!

When I realised that I had 0.4 metre of fabric left over I decided to make a cute top to go with the skirt. But first I had to look for inspiration. I decided that I liked the square/boxy tops of the late 1940s and 1950s:

The top I eventually made was adapted from the bodice of a vintage Junior and Teen 1950s/early 1960s dress pattern that I own, Butterick 9417

The bodice pieces went together easily - really it's just three square/rectangular pieces of fabric with darts added to created shape. To finish, rather than having buttons at the back or a zip, I decided to fasten the top with press studs, which worked quite well!



Overall I'm really happy with the finished two piece and I'm excited to wear my new outfit out one day in the sun!  :)

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