The “Bosoms are Optional” Playsuit
Fabric: Vintage 1940s/1950s seersucker, $25
Pattern: McCall's 6311 $.99
Year: c. 2011
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: November 2011
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$25.99
When I think about "pin-ups" I think about the iconic image of Betty Grable peeking over her shoulder. It's fairly modest and certainly not the scandalous sort of photo that I'd be too embarrassed to reproduce for The Sew Weekly. I'm a pretty modest person (being a mom does it to me, I think) so I wasn't too interested in giving the internet at large too much of … well … anything.
After my Google image searches for "pin-up," I started to get a little terrified. I thought: WHAT DID I JUST SIGN US UP FOR? Yeah, I knew that vintage pin-ups were racy. But seriously, that's a lot of skin. And garters. And bosoms. And bottoms. And ladies being surprised by things like water hoses, fishing lines and playful puppies.
Oddly, my skirt never flies up because of a crazy mishap with a desk fan.
It was about the same time that I was looking for pin-up inspiration that I watched the trailer for Miss Representation. So yeah, I started to face a major conflict: how do I make and model something pin-up style and still hold on to my dignity (as well as not create something that I wouldn't want my daughter to see).
I know, I know. Maybe I'm taking this all a bit too seriously.
So instead of stressing about this all, I decided just to sew something. My original plan was to go with a vintage 1940s pattern. I had this amazing vintage seersucker that just needed to be paired with an equally awesome vintage pattern. But after I saw sewlyaharpist's take on McCall's 6331, I decided to work with this contemporary pattern that's in my stash.
This was a simple, simple pattern to make. I had made a "muslin" before this version since I'm not used to working with modern patterns and I wasn't willing to make any mistakes with the seersucker. So by the time I made this one, I was able to sew it in about 2 hours. If you're looking for a playsuit pattern, this one is pretty nice. I added the buttons to the contrast facing as a decoration — they aren't functional.
And, actually, the playsuit will get use this late in the year — I'll be heading to Palm Springs next week and actually need something to wear by the pool.
More fun than the sewing was getting to edit these all in photoshop. In order to make these look like vintage pin-ups, we took the photos against a white background and floor covering (white sheets). Using Picnik and Photoshop, there was a lot of manipulation of colors and exposure. This tutorial was also very helpful.
So after all my worries about the pin-up vibe, I'm totally happy with my photos and feel that they represent me well. The playsuit is cut so high, you can't even tell that I have breasts. But, as someone that got to a 40 G after giving birth, that's totally okay.