The “Not My Gumdrop Buttons!” Vest
Fabric: Natural fiber suiting (from stash)
Pattern: Simplicity 2556
Notions: Blue shank buttons
Time to complete: 21 hours
First worn: At photo shoot
Wear again? After I make matching trousers!
Total Price: $5
Do you know the Muffin Man?
Before even choosing a pattern for this week’s challenge, I knew EXACTLY what to name the garment. The scene in the movie Shrek where Lord Farquaad interrogates the Gingerbread Man may very well be my favorite of all time. If you’ve been in a dungeon for the last decade and missed it, here’s a clip of the hilarious exchange where the infamous “gumdrop buttons” line was first delivered.
My vest (or waistcoat, if you prefer) is sporting six, gumdrop-looking buttons all because of a Dreamworks movie I’ve seen twelve times. The hat (made from the same fabric and an out of print McCall’s 4607) came about when I realized the vest could use a bit more menswear balance.
Since the hat was an afterthought, I didn’t quite finish it in time. There’s no binding on the inside, the outside band hasn’t been applied yet, and there’s still some topstitching left to do. In the photos, the hat is like one of those fake movie props or clever stunts that if you get too close (or watch the DVD outtakes), you can see the suspension wires or the body double’s bad wig. In my case, the unfinished innards gave my forehead that slept-on-a-wrinkled-pillow-case look…so I retired it from the rest of the photo shoot and let the fro battle the gusty wind.
Here’s the back of the vest. Since it’s a halter style, there’ s not a lot to it. Thankfully.
Remember the fabric from last week’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” Dress?
Well, it made its second appearance as the lining for this vest.
Even the faux pockets are lined. Isn’t that an oxymoron of some kind (lined, faux pockets)?
Behind the scenes, constructing this vest was not the piece of cake I thought it would be. It was more like a piece of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake — where you THINK you’re hungry enough to consume the whole slice, but three bites in, you’re looking at the plate with regret.
Here’s what I learned after 21 hours of sewing a garment that covers less than a quarter of my body:
- Just because a garment covers less surface area than a dress doesn’t make it a “gitterdone” project.
- Patterns made with multiple cup sizes (I used the D cup front) may rescue me from having to perform a full bust adjustment on top of my unavoidable petite and swayback ones.
- A loop turner is your best friend when it’s time to make button loops. But, it can immediately become your worst enemy (think: Lex Luthor) when it unhooks while you’re in the middle of pulling fabric through a 6mm tube.
- There is NO trick to pulling an entire garment right side out through a halter neckline. One must trust it will work, then despair, then trust again.
- It’s good to have a pleasant task to look forward to when marathon sewing. Finally sewing on those “gumdrop buttons” (every time I say it out loud or in my head, I do it in character) was my cool drink of water.
P.S. The Muffin Man lives on Drury Lane.