Hot! The “Dark and Stormy Night” outfit | Kat Hardisty

Because I'm not a total unreasonable taskmaster, the ladies who contribute to the Sew Weekly are allowed to sit out challenges from time to time. This week Kat takes the place of Sarah, who needed to take care of a family emergency. Our best wishes go out to Sarah and her family! The amazing Kat has completed each and every challenge this year. Seriously, that's awesome. Thanks, Kat for filling in this week!


600px-Home_Journal_5035Pattern coverThe Facts
Fabric: Black suiting, gift from a friend.  Black heavy cotton drill (no idea where from).  Black drill with gothic crosses from Spotlight, $10 a metre
Pattern: Home Journal 5035 for the skirt, Vogue V1136 for the jacket
Year: Skirt 1957, jacket 1945
Notions: 6 vintage buttons, vintage hook and eye for the jacket.  Invisible zip ($4) for the skirt
Time to complete: 9 hours for the jacket, 2 hours for the skirt
First worn: October 2011
Wear again? Yes, but probably not together

Total Cost: ~ $10

When I think Halloween, I think of witches and vampires, ghosts and ghouls, and dead souls at their closest point to the living.  The colour black, dark make-up and stormy nights.  

Therefore, it seemed like a good week to be a bit gothic-inspired!

I went hunting around for inspiration and found lovely pictures of gothic-styled girls with nipped-in waists, flared skirts, and high collars.  Vogue V1136, one of the re-released Vintage Vogue series, seemed like a good candidate, with it's nipped-in waist, peplum, and shaped standing collar.  Without thinking too much about it, I found some black suiting in my stash and jumped right in.  9 hours, 6 bound button holes, 14 tuck details, and some gathering later, I had a jacket.  (Some of these vintage Vogue patterns need to come with a warning about how long they take to make.  Sheesh.)

I paired the jacket with a Home Journal 5035 from 1957 – a simple straight skirt with two knife-pleats at the back.  To add a touch more 'Halloween' to the outfit, I used some cotton drill with red gothic crosses as the back panel, which also made it look as though it was several decades later than the 1950s.  The Home Journal pattern was a dream to sew – straighforward, and only four pattern pieces.  If I didn't decide to add lining, it would have been all done in around an hour.  I can see this becoming another of my tried-and-true patterns.


To add to the Halloween gothic style, it seemed like a night photo shoot was in order for this week, so off we trundled to the park late at night.  The weather came to the party as well and provided a fair amount of Halloween type atmosphere – it was indeed a dark and stormy night!  (And no, my hair doesn't usually stand on end like it is in some of these photos.)  I attempted to live up to the expecations set by the dark-and-stormy weather, and look dark-and-stormy myself.  (It's somewhat odd intentionally not smiling in photos.)





Kat Hardisty


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  1. You are scary, girl. Scary BEAUTIFUL, that is! I love the fit of the jacket and the back panel of the skirt. Also, excellent idea to go b/w photography. Good atmosphere!

  2. Kat you star! The outfit is great, I owuld have LOVED this skirt when I was a little bit goth in the late 80s. That jacket is divine, I love every tuck and bound buttonhole. I am thirlled to see you on The Big Site….
    Best wishes also to Sarah and her family. x

  3. margueritedesigns

    Well done Kat! Glad to see you up there! Fab photoshoot!

  4. Kat! You rock that! That jacket is beautiful I love it! Great photos love the black and white and that scarey Wellington wind does not disapoint! Reminds me of my also a wee bit gothic teenage days in Wellington!

  5. Oh man, the Wellington wind has been at it’s finest the last few days. Bet you don’t miss that Trish! (I nearly got blown over a couple of times during the photo shoot, hah.)

  6. Thanks lady! Especially thanks for all the encouragement. :-)

  7. Wow! Kat! You look really creepy in those pictures! The suit is great and the back of the skirt was totally fun outfit, great job! Love it!

  8. Kat ,
    Great challenge idea. So happy to see you on the big sight.yea..
    Great job with your photo too..

  9. Yay Kat! I had hoped you would be on the landing page, front page, up front! So happy to see you! I love how you worked this challenge as a gothic fashionesta! You look eerie perfect, love the photos too, kudos to Steve! So very well done!

  10. OOOH! Kat that is so mega cool! I love the shape of this and the back details – way to go!

  11. Love it! And I love your new hair color! At least I think it’s new :)

  12. YAY KAT! Love the outfit, especially the gothic crosses in the back. Fabulous job!!

  13. Great photos! I especially like the skirt, with that back panel. I would have loved that when I was into the Gothic style.

  14. Fantastic look you have going there. I would love the jacket part of the outfit to make for myself!
    Wonderful idea you had for the photo shoot!

  15. rachel. House of pinheiro

    Fantastic Kat

  16. sleek and slightly unnerving is how you look in the photos, perfect for Halloween. That jacket is a beaut.

  17. Kat–this is AMAZING! I just adore that suit. The back of the skirt is so clever and amazing and man, oh man, I just love these photos! They came out perfectly…you look like a vampire :) I love it!!! great job. p.s. love your stockings too!

  18. I had this crazy moment of “Wait, the person in that photo looks familiar!” So glad to see your amazing sewing showcased! I love the crosses on the back of the skirt, it makes me want to make a black skirt with a coloured panel in the back. And to think, I remember telling you about this great sewing blog I read . . .

  19. I love the jacket, it fits you so well! And that ‘surprise’ section of the skirt!
    Great to see you here Kat, you’re amazing to have sewn so much with us this year! xoxo Superb and scary photoshoot too xoxo

  20. Oh Kat this is so awesome, I was dead chuffed to see you on the big screen too. Fantastic sewing this week Miss Kat well done as always.

  21. The jacket and skirt are fabulous Kat! And the photos are screaming Halloween errieness!