Thursday, 16 February 2012

Colour Shock! New Jacket, Pants and Top

 Me: Come on, tell me the truth - do my legs look big in these?  

You: Well...

Me: What if I stand like this? More natural?

You: Hmmm - well let's focus on something else. What about that jacket?

Me:  OK, here's my jacket - d'you like it?

You: Actually the jacket's kind of big too, isn't it... AND loud. 

       Erm maybe you could wear the jacket with something black?

Me: But don't you like it with the pants?  

Me: Look, it's got these cool little side splits.

Me: And I can do these sort of karate moves really comfortably!

 You: Well it's not for everyone, is it. 

        But obviously you're very happy...  


Me (sulking): Well I'm not happy now! I can tell you hate it all! 

         Do you know how long this bloody took me??????? 

You: Look, it's probably fine for Australia. 

And the t-shirt's OK - obviously nothing to it though.

       Not many people would dress like that 'round here though...


Me:  Do you really mean that? That it's FINE? 

You: I'm not going to lie. It's OK. OK for you

         I like that painting though. Did one of your kids do it?


Here's the lowdown - costs, timings, patterns. 

Cost: $24.20

Time: Approx 3h - very straightforward and quick.

The 2 metres of orange linen fabric for the trousers came from The Fabric Shop on sale, reduced from $20 to $12/ metre. It's a very heavyweight linen, and feels cool and soft against the skin.

The zip and buttons are vintage. The zip was 20 cents at the second hand store ages ago (I have a bit of a zipper stash) - you can't see its (red) fabric colour, but I thought that the gold metal teeth would look OK with the vintage style of pants.  The buttons are much, much older - these come from an amazing button stash that my dad's partner recently passed on to me, and look to have already seen a lot of use before my trousers.

I used my rather favourite old Ralph Lauren Vogue pattern, which I've promised to make into navy linen beach pajamas :-)

I guess you can see these orange trousers as a test run for sizing...

Linen gives a lot more than calico, so I found I had to take these in a bit from my muslin size, and then I still had some excess width at the front so I was able to reinstate a couple of pleats that were included in the original pattern.

I also added about 10cm in length to the muslin to give myself plenty of room for hems. When I made this pattern originally (early 90s I guess?) I found my linen shrank a lot, most noticeably in length. I'm covered for that!


Cost: $50

Time: 4.5 - 5h initially (incl about 40mins to cut out), + a further 1.5 hours to adjust and finish. 

The fabric for the jacket came from The Fabric Shop, a 2 metre piece bought at $20/ metre at the same time as the orange linen for the trousers. It's a lovely heavyweight linen, and feels like top quality stuff. I already had lots of partially used reels of the right colour thread - from this DKNY dress, this UFO jacket, etc....

Back in the day I made the skirt and top from this Anne Klein pattern (V1325, well and truly OOP) in a size 10 but never got to the jacket. I assumed I'd need at least a 12 now, so I snaffled up a second hand copy ages ago - $10 or less, bingo.

I'm happy to report this jacket is really easy to make - unlined, and no buttons or closures - and it has has interesting cuffs, set in sleeves and lovely simple lines.

However, I should have thought about 80s sizing. The jacket is described as "very loose-fitting", which translated into modern parlance means BLOODY HUGE.

The dropped shoulders seem to demand huge shoulder pads (I didn't give in), and the 7/8 cuffed sleeves which looked so elegant on the pattern envelope are truly voluminous and long.

Here's where the "7/8 sleeves with cuffs" ended on my long arms:

I unpicked the cuffs and side seams, and took these up by about 6cm to get to a better look.

The sleeves were also much wider than they looked on the pattern envelope - one possibility (of course) is that the sweet little Vogue model is actually a giant.  I tapered in the sleeves with a long pencil-drawn triangle that took them in by 5cm at the seam by the cuff to nothing under the arm (where I couldn't begin to think of how to make the set in sleeve narrower without making a new jacket body). So all up they're now about 10cm narrower at the cuff:

Cost: $12 max
Time: 45 mins

The fabric for this t-shirt came from Lincraft - about $12/m, and I used a 1m piece. And leftover thread.

For a pattern I used my own "famous" self-drafted kimono sleeve t-shirt, previously seen here, but left the neckline high.  I cut this out super-fast at about 11.30pm on Saturday night and then sewed 2 of the seams till just after midnight. The other two seams got whizzed through after breakfast on Sunday - ie total of about 45 minutes to make. No edges were hemmed in making this garment.  Nothing was done slowly here.

I pattern matched the stripes as usual (well, less carefully), BUT as I'd cut the fabric out a bit wonky or the stripes weren't straight or something, the shoulders are not equal heights ie the neckline is now odd.

If you like kimono sleeve t-shirts, they're really simple to make yourself - AND if you make your own, you can have it loose / tight in the places you want! 

So all up, for the outfit - well, that can be homework :-)

See you!
- Gabrielle


  1. It's fun to read the chatting! Nice red & orange combinations too!

  2. The pants are pretty wild! That said, I'd probably wear 'em. I think I'd wear them in hot weather with sandals and a fitted tank top.
    As for the jacket, you joked about wearing it with black, but it would be perfect to perk up black basics.

    1. Yes, I know it's a bit wild - got a bit carried away I suppose, but I do find orange a very cheery colour. And so long as my family doesn't disown me I do intend to wear them...

  3. I like it! Its the anti-leggings!

    1. Thanks! Yes, very much so - keep 'em guessing!

  4. $86.20 . But as the ads say - the talking to yourself funny blog post is priceless ! I like the pants and orange is one of my favourite colours.

    1. Top marks to you Janine! Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you! I try not to talk to myself or imaginary friends in public too much though :-)

  5. I love a bit of colour and those pants look fabulously comfortable.

    1. It's kind of an excess of colour though isn't it... some family members say TOO orange and TOO big. But comfortable - yes, you bet!

  6. Well you certainly haven't gone wrong with the colour - this season it's all about orange. I'm quite a fan of wide-legged pants.

    1. Thanks Bernice - I'll claim I'm fashionable then (def something new to try). And wide pants are so comfortable even when they look crazy!

  7. Hehe! You write so well! I was smiling all the way through! Although what do you mean by "fine for Australia", hmmm?!
    Do they have those wide crossover straps at the back? I just love that look, and those gorgeous colours you have used too. And btw that painting is pretty awesome as well!

    1. Aw thanks! Yes, that "fine for Australia" thing is plain insulting, isn't it! Years ago my brother and his wife, in the fashion industry and then based in London, joked about how Aussies were so easy to spot abroad as they tended to dress garishly, in too many bright colours (eg Mambo t-shirts). I don't know if it's the case these days - it just popped out of my subconscious!

      No, I left off the cross over straps this time. I still want to make a version with the whole kit and caboodle but I *needed* another test run :-) in linen.

      I'm pretty keen on the painting too - a lovely reminder of a pre-kids trip to Vietnam with my partner.

  8. I love your dialogue! The colors are wonderfully bright and cheerful, and I'm a fan of the wide legs!


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