The “Peachy Two Piece” Ensemble

The Facts
Fabric
: 2 yards Banana Republic peach cotton jaquard from Paron Fabrics, 33$; 2 yards Free Spirit coral cotton from Brooklyn General, $21
Pattern: Vintage Pattern Lending Library 5140
Year: 1920s
Notions: interfacing, invisible zip
First worn: 9/9
Wear again: maybe
Time to complete: about 6 1/2 hours
Total cost: $54 for fabric.  When I go fabric shopping with a specific vision in mind, I spend way more than I want to.

Since I have the right hair, sort of sporty style, and not much in the way of curves, I was excited to try a 20s silhouette.  I do think this outfit works okay for me, but I have to get used to the proportions and the obvious error of having so much fabric loosely draping around the thickest part of my body.  I was reminded of Leimomi’s hip ruffles: they don’t make sense, but they work.  (I love that hip ruffle dress!)  Unfortunately, I felt frumpy and wrinkled wearing this in public.

I was attracted to the simple lines of this pattern, which I can’t find on the Vpll site anymore.  Based on the illustration, I thought it was a dress.  And I thought it would be easy.  Ha!  Replicated from original source material and not tested for fit, this clearly labeled “Three Piece Outfit” was more than enough adventure for me, and I only made two pieces and skipped the sleeves.

The blouse should have been simple, but the placket veered off course.  The 20s pattern instructions are minimal.  I should have taken time to find instructions for a placket from a different pattern instead of just winging it.  The cameo pin helps.

And the skirt, well, I feel kind of bad about how much I hacked up the skirt.  The belting piece, which I used as a facing, was a couple inches too small, easy enough to fix.  I expected the skirt to be a little small too.  There’s some beautiful diagonal seaming on the skirt from waist to hip that’s totally covered up by the blouse.  Those diagonal seams mean the skirt pieces are shaped oddly, and I wasn’t able to predict that the skirt would be several inches too big in the waist and hit me about mid-calf, nothing like the pattern illustration.  I couldn’t take in those tricky zig-zag seams enough, so I cut up the center back to take out the excess, which also allowed me to put the zipper in a straight seam.  I did have it in one of the diagonal seams at one point, but I like my solution better.  (The pattern called for a hook and eye closure.  Yeah, right.)

Pale peachy pink is not a color I wear, too close to my skin color, but after seeing this color combination on the street– peach cropped skinnies with a coral blouse– I thought I’d try it.  I think the key is keeping the peach on the bottom and the coral on top.  My cloche is happy to see the sunlight.  I’m glad I remembered it before I started making one from the Vppl downloadable cloche pattern.  I might like to make the skirt again, colorblocked in a different color scheme to highlight the seaming, with the cloche and a blouse that tucks in.  Though I can’t imagine ever feeling that ambitious!

 

Author

Lee

Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.

10 Comments

  1. I really love everything about that top–color, pattern, cameo pin. It will go well with skinny pants. Then you can find a top that goes with the skirt that won’t hide the cool detail.

    • Thanks, Erin. I’ll try that before changing the top. My initial impulse is to upcycle it into a different shape or a different blouse altogether to go with this skirt.

  2. The colors are really lovely on you! And that cloche pattern….have to try that one : ) I think you really need to do another skirt so we can see those pretty seams even if you don’t make the top again. Very nice!!

  3. I agree with all of what Loran said and I hope you do feel that ambitious someday. I’d love to see it-

  4. You were right about keeping the peach on the bottom and the coral on top it totally works. She’s a winner! Love the cloche too.

  5. Ooooh! I REALLY like this on you! I love the colour scheme, and I actually think the silhouette is really working with your shape! I find that really well made vintage 1920s pieces actually minimize my slightly-pear-shaped hips, making them look as big as my waist/underbust, rather than having my waist and underbust look as big as my hips (like you think they would) and this outfit is definitely having that effect on you.

    The illustration looks like an old VPLL one, not the original, which means they shortened the skirt in the illustration to fit modern taste (bad VPLL!) , so the mid-calf length was correct (but I usually shorten the skirts on my ’20s patterns if I want a modern look, because mid-calf length confuses people).

    You should make a cloche in a darker shade of coral, so that you go from dark to light as you go down! And also, you should wear this all the time because I think it is fabulous ;-)

    • Leimomi, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and insight about 1920s style, and for the flattery too of course! I like the dressing in ombre idea a lot.

  6. It’s very cute, Lee, and very wearable for modern times. Mine is too 20′s to wear, so I’m not sure when I’ll get the opportunity to wear it again. I like the peach tones on you too.

    I’m just about to try a gored skirt, so your information on patterned fabric hiding the seams will be very helpful for me when I choose the fabric.

    • Right, the jaquard pattern in the peach fabric hides the seams– even the topstitching!– in the skirt too. I guess you gathered that information from the photo. But the bigger problem is the blouse covers up that whole interesting and beautiful section, a weird design choice.

  7. Thank you, thank you!

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