The ‘Fifty Shades of White’ jacket
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 1.3 metres of loosely woven twill-weave acrylic-wool blend inherited from Nana, 1 metre of white satin-weave acetate lining fabric from an op shop ($4 for 3 metres).
Pattern: Self drafted, based on a jacket I already own.
Year: 2012 does 1965
Notions: one large white button and a vintage dome (snap), both inherited from Nana
Hours: 1 hour to draft the pattern from the jacket, 3.5 hours to make, 5+ hours of searching for the darn fabric!
Make again? Probably not for a while. I love the jacket, but have the original (in purple), and now one in white, and I’m not really a ‘make one in every colour’ girl.
First worn: To teach Baha’i children’s classes on Sunday morning (virtue of the week: patience. So very appropriate!) and then for shopping and a walk and photos Sunday afternoon.
Wear again? Yes! That’s the benefit of patterning up and making a garment you already own: you know you love the shape and style and that it fits well into your wardrobe.
Total cost: $1 for the lining fabric
First, the title. I’ve never actually read the book. I’m not likely to ever read the book. Erotic fiction just isn’t my genre, and right now my ‘light’ reading is Pepys. Also (confession here), my mind is so disgustingly pure that I heard mentions of ‘Fifty Shades’ for months, and assumed it was a sort of feel-good affirmative book for growing older and going grey along the lines of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (which I also haven’t read).
Turns out I was wrong.
So, haven’t read it, but I have heard the book is a little…uh…painful, and my sewing week was very painful. Definitely one of those times when sewing was more pain than pleasure.
It should have been easy. When the theme came up I knew exactly what I wanted to make. White on white has been all over the catwalks for Summer and Autumn. I love white. I have at least twice as much white fabric as any other colour. And I have a little jacket that I own and love that I’ve had patterned up for months, waiting to make a new version in a white wool blend. So I pulled out my fabric, pulled out the pattern, got another piece of coordinating white wool for a white version of the dress I did for the accessorize challenge and put them all ready to make up when the week rolled round.
Come the week, fabric and pattern are no-where to be found. I searched, and searched, and just couldn’t find them. OK, time for a re-think. Retro Americana is on-trend for the Northern Hemisphere summer. I’ve got a great novelty print from Grandma. I pull it out, find an adorable pattern to pair it with, size the pattern up from a 32″ bust to a 37″ bust, and then discover I forgot to check the fabric requirements, and I am desperately short. Back to scratch.
By this point, I’m getting a little desperate. I have one last brainstorm and a massive rummage in my newly re-organised sewing room, and this time, finally, hallelujah, it’s there. So I had a mad dash to make the jacket in time for the challenge.
The mad dash was not helped by the horrible fabric. Acrylic is such a revolting fabric to work with – it won’t press, won’t sculpt and just goes limp when you iron it. There wasn’t enough wool in the blend to mitigate that. This is why I try to only work with natural fibres. Still, I managed a perfect bound buttonhole in acrylic, so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself!
I first paired the outer fabric with a gorgeous pastel floral lining twill lining, because I thought a white lining was a bit much. Alas, the pastel floral showed through the white (stupid sucky acrylic), and I had to go through the painful process of unpicking it and replaced it with some white satin lining that I had, very providentially, found at an op-shop just that day.
Thanks to the loosing the fabric and days of sewing time I had to give up on making the dress as well, so I worn the jacket with jeans and black top, which is how I’ll actually wear it on a day to day basis.. If I were doing this for a runway show I’d pair the jacket with a maxi dress in heavy white silk jersey. As I have no need for such a garment in my wardrobe, and, alas, no such fabric in my stash, my photoshoot is little less fashion-forward.
The photos were taken in downtown Wellington during a little Sunday shopping with Mr D, and then at a stop at the artificial beack at Oriental Bay to enjoy the late-afternoon winter sun.