So what do you do when you find several yards of a most hideous zigzag-patterned, cotton/poly, sweater knit at the thrift store? Use as much of it as possible to swath your entire person in zigzags, of course!!
This was the sort of project that just continued to snowball. I started by going down the obvious pencil skirt route, then decided to do a jacket, and ended up with a matching blouse as well. I even have the last large scraps stashed away in case I should want to make a beret or matching purse!
The pencil skirt is a basic back-zip pattern, but I added the high waistband. Because the fabric had so much give to it, it seemed that the skirt was stretching out too much and looking dumpy. I faced the waist with cotton and, believe me, it doesn't give at all!
The contrast trim here and throughout the outfit is made with double fold bias tape. It's a slightly plumy-berry color to off-set the deep red in the fabric.
The blouse is made from a contemporary pattern. I like the loose fit and flutter sleeves, but I didn't want the ties in the front. With such a large neckline, I didn't see how the center front, keyhole opening was necessary. So I left that off and added a single button (just for looks though; there isn't an actual buttonhole). It's plenty big to fit over my head and doesn't show off any cleavage.
For the blouse, I used a pashmina shawl. It was the perfect color but a dickens to work with! The loose weave stretched in every direction and frayed horribly. I used french seams and enclosed all the raw edges. I even added the label back on to be authentic.
Now the jacket took a bit longer to design, mostly because I was crossing between several decades and styles. I started with this 1940s smock pattern because I wanted a fuller, relaxed jacket. I did not line the jacket and left off the patch pockets.
The pattern worked up really well, and I even like the large pointed collar. I originally started with the long, full sleeves, but later shortened them to 3/4 length.
The waistline was a puzzle though. I had this fabulous Bakelite buckle that I wanted to use. But given the bulk of the fabric, when I cinched all of it in, I looked like an overstuffed pin cushion!
My mother convinced me that a half-belted style was the way to go. So the front of the jacket is belted in (verifying that I am, in fact, not pregnant) while the back is left loose for ease and comfort. The belt continues around the back, but it's inside the jacket. This is very typical 1950s. One day while watching Gunsmoke, I noticed Miss Kitty's bathrobe in such a style. How can you argue against your mother and Miss Kitty? But it is a very comfortable jacket, and I'm happy with the choice.
The brown, tan and red zigzags make this the perfect Fall outfit. And my plum gloves, bordeaux patent heels and red jewelry really polish off the look. I'm soo tempted to make a beret with my leftover scraps, but I really think I should stop there. I think you can have too much of a good thing! And by the way, how did that deer manage to photobomb all my pics?!