The “Empty Pockets” Vest
Just to let you know, my camera fell to the floor and broke as I began taking photos today, so the quality is even worse than usual. Who knew that taking iPhone photos of yourself inside on a thunderstormy day would produce such grainy images? (haha) Ah well…at least I have an excuse to go out and buy that DSLR I’ve been wanting…..silver lining and all that.
Here’s where I prompt you to open up a new tab and listen to my inspiration for the week while you read:
Fabric: Black linen and synthetic lining from stash
Pattern: Style 1983 from Mom
Time to complete: 3 hours in fits and starts. A lot longer than it should have, but I’ve only had snippets of time here and there.
First worn: August 2012
Wear again? Yes, once the weather cools down. I can already feel it in the air.
Total price: Rien!
Tom Waits is a f***ing genius. Put on Hell Broke Luce, his latest release about 23 year old Iraq veteran Jeff Lucey, who killed himself after returning home from war suffering with PTSD and telling a story that conflicted with the official military reports. Warning: definitely not suitable for work.
I know Tom’s not everyone’s cup of tea. He’s one of those singer-songwriters who can write lyrics like no one’s business, but whose voice isn’t pitch perfect. To use some Canadian Content for comparison, he’s a Leonard Cohen rather than a Celine Dion (shudder). I’ve always been a lyrics-over-melody kind of music listener, so he’s MY cup of tea…..or more appropriately my cup of whiskey, so I knew immediately that I wanted to use Tom for my music inspiration.
Frank’s Wild Years is my hands-down favourite song, but I couldn’t really think of how to turn that into a garment, so I decided to go with album covers instead. Rumpled T-shirt, hat, cigarette, vest.
I admit to wearing a lot of vests back in the ’90s. Didn’t we all? They have been off limits fashion-wise for the past 15 years or so, but I’ve been seeing a comeback. So far I’ve only seen black, but it’s the thin edge of the wedge. I’ll be happy as long as these beauties don’t creep back into style:
Wait...it appears they are. Damn.
Anyway, I didn’t really want a men’s wear style (high back in lining fabric, low pointed front). I wanted more of a short bolero vest to wear with skirts and dresses that hit the natural waist. I found this old Style pattern of my mother’s, and when I opened it, she had cut the same style as I had chosen. I used some black linen and some mystery synthetic lining from the stash. I have no idea where either of these fabrics came from, so I’m assuming they were left-overs from some ancient project of mine or my mother’s and I’m calling it free.
There were no pockets in the pattern, and frankly, who puts anything in a vest pocket other than a fob watch? But in keeping with the song Empty Pockets, it was simple enough to add a tiny patch pocket to the lining.
I’ll leave you with two final, blurry, iPhone out-take self portraits: One with my attempt at a serious, moody Tom Waits-esque face….
…and then the real me.