The “Funny Face” Outfit
Fabric: 2.5 yards “medieval blue” stretch twill from JoAnn, about $18; 2 yards brown organic cotton french terry from fabric.com, $26
Pattern: Colette Clover, Version 1 and Sewaholic Renfrew, View C
Notions: invisible zip and homemade bias tape for Clover
Time to complete: about 7 hours for Clover and 3 hours for Renfrew
First worn: for the photos
Wear again: absolutely, but not together
Total cost: about $46
My inspiration was the 1957 film Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire and nominated for four Oscars, including Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy for Costume Design. If you haven’t seen the movie, which is pretty silly, not Fred Astaire’s best performance, you might remember a key dance scene from a Gap commercial some years back. I channeled Audrey’s beatnik look in that scene– black cigarette pants and black turtleneck. In other scenes she wears a camel colored trench over the outfit.
Like most of Audrey’s iconic looks, this one is simple, classic, chic, and, in my opinion, a little boring. However, I figured aspiring to Audrey’s simple chic would gain me two versatile pieces. Having seen all the lovely Clovers here at SW, I’ve been meaning to make a pair, and, more recently, Renfrew as well. Perfect. I rarely buy black anything, so I raided the stash for the darkest colors I could find.
I expected Clover to be Adventures in Fitting Part 2 (Part 1 was fitting a bodice three weeks ago), and I wasn’t disappointed. All the books and tutorials make fitting adjustments look so clear-cut, but, yeah, that is not my experience. I’m getting used to the process, though, and starting to trust my judgement. And I won! I love the fit.
Flat-felled seams are awesome. If you’ve never tried them, and I hadn’t, they’re easy. Here’s what I wish I had known: 1) No special presser foot? No problem. I used my blind hem foot for the second line of stitching (the topstitching) and that worked great. 2) You can only do them on the inner legs. Once you sew those together, it’s impossible to do that line of topstitching on the outer legs, so you have to finish the outer leg seams a different way. 3) Make sure to press the inner leg seams in the same direction. I didn’t, oops.
Renfrew came together easily, even though I wish the instructions were a bit more hand-holding and informational. I’m in the target market of “people who dislike sewing with knits,” after all. I serged the whole thing, not completely successfully, but with more success than anything I’ve serged heretofore. Next time I’ll use a zig-zag stitch on my regular machine and finish the seams with the serger, so that I actually have a seam allowance (=safety). The french terry is thick and luxurious, maybe a little too thick for the collar, which is two layers of fabric. I like the cut of this top a lot and see several more in my future. Perhaps the serger and I will finally become friends.