The “Oh Shirley” Suit | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Woolie charcoal (with tiny flecks of white, blue and red) fabric, thrifted $4 and cotton tartan $1, also thrifted
Patterns: Simplicity 5206 (the vest, but I made the trousers into shorts!)
Notions: Vintage buttons, free from my friend's Granny's stash
Time to complete: 10 hours
First worn: April 2011
Total Cost: $5
Such a trip down Memory Lane this week, it was so fun looking through my old photos! My brother and I grew up on a hobby farm and spent so much time outdoors with the cows, climbing trees and building things, so our day to day clothes were pretty much shorts and singlets in summer, and tracksuits in winter. We did have our collection of 'good clothes' for visiting friends, going to town etc and here's where my love of matchy clothes and colours perhaps came from!
In this photo I'm probably 4 years old and my brother is 2, so we're perhaps in 1982 or 1983?! I loved this tartan skirt and the vest and looking at other photos of us the little 'suit' or colour co-ordination was a big theme throughout our 'good outfits'. I've had an update from my Mum, who tells me she knitted both our beanies, and our jumpers. AND my tartan skirt she'd bought new (she loved the big pin!) but altered it to fit me, so I love all the DIY in this picture! Yay Mum!
For this theme was to make an outfit inspired by a childhood look, I didn't want to replicate the exact outfit but I went with a few ideas: A 'suit' or matchy combo of clothes, a necktie (in a lot of other old photos I wore blouses with neckties!), tartan (as I had a remnant to use) and more wintery (it's getting colder in Melbourne!).
The charcoal woolie material is from my stash, and I have no idea how long I've had it for or where I got it but it's totally unreal to sew with. I initially thought I'd make trousers from the woolie stuff, and the vest just from the tartan (like the pattern suggests), but as both were remnants and thrifted, there was only just enough for shorts and the vest! It wasn't too hard altering the pattern, a little hit and miss with the cuff on the shorts, and I ironed the front and back creases to make it look more professional.
The vest is reversible, after I was inspired by Adey's apron last week, but it does look a little costumey/clown-esque, especially with the necktie… so heaps better as a suit, with 'peakaboo' red/tartan showing! All up it took a weekend to make, in and out of the sewing room, so it wasn't the quickest suit to make up, but I'm so loving the results!
And the sun came out for our photos, just to say goodbye for real, as it's so terribly overcast and cold nowadays! Hello autumn!
And why the name of the 'Oh Shirley' Suit? I've called this outfit 'Oh Shirley' because when I was younger (around the time my inspiration photo was taken) I was caught up with Shirley Temple. I adored her and her little 'suits' she wore during her films. Now we have dimples and suits to match!