Hot! The ‘Lets go to my place’ skirt and vest


The Facts
Fabric: Seal brown stretch something. (feels lovely)
Pattern: Simplicity 7142 (skirt) & 9279 (vest)
Year: 1975 (skirt) & 1994 (vest)
Notions: zip and hook & bar for the skirt, 4 buttons and vest buckle for the vest
Time to complete: longer than it should have. 5 episodes of Green Wing and one Grand Design (plus the rest)
First worn: for these photos
Wear again? yes, probably not together and definitely when it’s cooler.
Total price: ~$15

Have you seen ‘On The Town”? It’s an all-time favourite of mine and I love it when Betty Garrett sings ‘Come Up to My Place’ to Frank Sinatra. She persists and persists and finally get what she wants. And this outfit was a little like that. I am becoming expert with the seam ripper (quick unpick).

I started with the skirt and it was all going well until I sewed in the zip without first putting a little interfacing on the inside. It rippled up horribly, so out it came. Then there was a couple of hot days where the thought of turning on the iron was unthinkable. Eventually the zip went in, the band went on and then the skirt sat on Gertie for a few days to let the skirt do any dropping it felt like doing. I ended up simply over-locking and turning twice and then sewing.

Onto the vest and that went together beautifully. It’s fully lined and when I turned it and was ready to sew up the final seams, I discovered that it had ludicrously enormous armholes! Here is where the persistence comes in. I pinned it a number of different ways before finally deciding that hacking about 6.5cm off the front should work – I didn’t need to remove any from the back (go figure!). Out came the unpicker and unpicked the bottom seam, the shoulder seams and sections of the armholes and the neck edge. Snip, snip and the excess fabric was removed and I started to reassemble. Started by sewing wrong sides together at the shoulder seam. Unpick. The lining got a bit caught up and needed to be fixed. Unpick. etc. etc. Still, finally I was able to do the buttonholes and the buttons went on. I had to make a flying lunchtime visit to Spotlight on Thursday for the vest buckle and hook and bar (of course I bought more than just those things – I rarely get out of there without spending more than I had planned.

Conclusion: Very happy with the skirt, in spite of the face that it hits at the widest part of my calves, it feels lovely and comfortable. I will use this pattern again. The vest pattern is not a great pattern but I like what I have made and will probably more likely wear the vest with jeans and a t-shirt. It looks pretty good with red.




Jen Brown just plain-old likes making stuff. If it's usable and wearable when complete, so much the better. A new technique or a chance to see how something worked is where the challenge lies.


Comments are closed.

  1. nice one Jen, will be great in a month or two, I can see your pink cheeks, very fetching!

    • :-D the pink cheeks are due to no make-up. It’s too darn hot (name that musical!) and any make-up would have slid off.

  2. I forgot!!! On The Town won the Oscar in 1950 for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.

  3. Hey Jen, great job and I love the color, it’s very flattering on you. You made me laugh with the on unpicking snarios. I love this movie! Red sounds like a great color combination with the vest and I like the long skirt on you, it gives a vintage vibe.

    • It should be vintage – it’s only four years younger than me LOL so if not vintage then at least a classic.

  4. I love this movie!! The line from her ill room-mate, “I need some gargle……..I’ve got the gargle” is the best scene-steal ever!

    Good for you for sticking with the project even though it was a pain. Mistakes make us stronger!

    • I’m really becoming good friends with the unpicker, but that is a good thing. Previously I would have bunged the vest into the UFO basket, never to be seen again. So even though I still have a lot to learn with sewing, I am really making progress.

  5. Jen, this look is exactly what I wore in the late 70’s. I wore the heck out of my vest and skirt. It is a great work outfit. The fabric does look yummy, and your execution looks great. I agree, the fit of the vest is a little big. perhaps you are smaller than you think and you need to size down your future projects.

    • Thanks Barbara – it feels lovely and comfortable, but looking at the photos I can see that it is a bit baggy. I’m working on the sizing issue (mainly by running around the lake – ok jog-shuffling) but I may need to take my measurements again.

  6. I kinda love this outfit and have been considering the idea of making a vest with pencil skirt for work (when I finally get a job again, that is!). This very much so makes me even more eager to make it!

    • I’m hopeless – I only wear work pants at my office, never a skirt. and yet they can look fine and be comfortable. I think I just hate the idea of wearing stockings. Happy job hunting.

  7. It’s lovely! I’d like to see you in a vest with some darts and a fabulous pencil skirt to show off that beautiful figure of yours.

    • Darts is Good! I really need to learn how to do an FBA properly, however I stand by my opinion that the vest pattern was not very good. I do need to have a go at a pencil skirt, this was more a-line, but oh-so-comfortable.

  8. Jen.. great outfit.. I can hardly imagine hot weather right now.It is cold here.ha Happy sewing.

  9. Great job Jen. A flying lunchtime visit to Spotlight? how do you do that? teach me your ways Master Jen.

    • If I told you I work just across the road from the airfield where My Man Andrew stores his plane, I wouldn’t be lying, but as it is Spotlight is five minutes drive from work :-D