New Memo from the Department of the Obvious

by Erin on August 21, 2007


Scaasi suit

So Lisa sent me a link to this dress/jacket combo on eBay, and I'm in love (click on the image to visit the auction) … but, of course, it's not my size. (Is there a Sturgeon's Law of internet vintage? Something like "90% of everything isn't your size"?)

However, I can't believe that this particular idea hasn't occurred to me with any force before: the print bodice with the solid skirt. What a great way to use teeny yardages of lovely prints (while placating the naysayers who don't want prints anywhere near their hips)! And you wouldn't necessarily have to line the jacket with the same (fancy expensive) print; you could use a solid coordinating color. In fact, since jackets get so much less wear than skirts (at least for me) you could do a jacket lined with a color that coordinated with TWO dresses …

I can see this is going to need serious thought (and fabric shopping). I want to drop what I'm doing now and run right out to find the right pattern and fabric … I'm thinking Simplicity 1510 would be a great option (although it doesn't have a jacket, I have plenty of appropriate jacket patterns in my stash):


Simplicity 1510

Of course, that one (on eBay, too, click on the image to visit the listing) isn't in my size *either*, but I'm sure I have something similar somewhere. Not that I'm going to go rummage around and look for it now … really, I'm not. Honest.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Mad Fashionista August 21, 2007 at 10:34 am

First of all, happy belated birthday, dahling! That suit is to DIE for! So utterly cunning! And yes, not only is the use of the fabric clever, it is meant to look chic when you toss the jacket backwards over a chair at a ladies luncheon or fashion show. Utility is not usually my “bag,” as the young folks say, but in this case it works.

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Marjie August 21, 2007 at 10:35 am

I did something similar to this ebay dress, using a spaghetti seamed, straight skirted princess seamed dress. I split it in the middle, and usually use prints on the top and a solid at the bottom, although I did the reverse once. I generally use a classic bolero jacket pattern. It’s fabulous for spring/summer/fall!

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Isabelle August 21, 2007 at 10:36 am

Brilliant!! The recent Simplicity 3673 re-release could work well, too. This is stunning. Happy belated birthday!

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Anonymous August 21, 2007 at 11:04 am

Happy Bday, Erin!I love view 1 – feminie and not too tight; no penguin “wiggle-walk” for me! We need an online fashion show to promote alternative vintage sewing and fashion! After all; we are preaching to the choir here. We can send in a you tube thing; post ourselves wearing these dresses, and actually chain/advertise each other’s YT posts at the begining and end – like a chained fashion show! Any other ideas? People do not wear what thye like; they wear what they see and are influenced thussly. Feminity and style, without boobs and butts. AH>……………………..

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Anonymous August 21, 2007 at 11:07 am

But my dear, yesterday’s dress has a print bodice with a solid shirt ( alas, no jacket )… Like your idea of making a solid contrast to match several dresses. Unlike you, I’m ALWAYS wearing a jacket or sweater of some sort, and long sleeves, until it hits above 90F ( aprox 32C for DAD fans in the metric world ). Since a pattern base for the dress has already been suggested ( though I think you need to add the collar of the original, even if you do not add the sleeves ), I’ll try for the coat. McCalls 4579 is a swing coat as well, different cut, but it would be possibbe to add that bow that in my opinion “makes” the coat. Same wide sleeves, same swing coat, lined pattern. And I mistyped the Simplicity pattern on the fist try, and came up with this which hearkens back to your previous bust gathers passion http://cgi.ebay.com/Actual-1941-Beautiful-Dress-Sew-Pattern-Sz-18-COMPLETE_W0QQitemZ330157153104QQcmdZViewItemSigh. Good thing I can’t wear it. The high collar would do me in.You’re *my* kind of bad influence. Desiree

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Zoltar Panaflex August 21, 2007 at 11:31 am

I’ve made a couple outfits using printed fabrics on the ‘inside’ and making a matching top, it works with even pants suiting.I made a 3/4 length straight coat and had three yards of black and cream graphic to line the inside, then made a silk t-shirt shape. All I needed at that point was black pants, and I already had black and cream shoes (had some Italian penny loafers) and I was set.One of the sharpest outfits I own. And I made the whole thing myself. I even made custom buttons for the thing.

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enc August 21, 2007 at 1:34 pm

LIAR!

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Latter-Day Flapper August 21, 2007 at 1:40 pm

The new Retro Simplicity 3673 isn’t too different. But that kind of princess-seamed-below-the-boobs dress strikes me as a fairly common design even in modern patterns, so I would think you could find something similar with relatively little trouble.

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Kate August 21, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Oh! I love that random polka dot print for bodice and jacket lining! Go for it! Happy Birthday too! K Q;-)

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Kate August 21, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Oh! I love that random polka dot print for bodice and jacket lining! Go for it! Happy Birthday too! K Q;-)

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Anonymous August 21, 2007 at 4:40 pm

A question only vaguely related to this… I am new to this blog and (sort of) to sewing (at least new to sewing clothes), and I live in Chicago. Erin: where do you buy fabric in Chicago? The internet is a good friend but there is something really nice about a good fabric store…-Emily

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Daedala August 21, 2007 at 4:40 pm

The suit is beautiful, but the pattern. Oh, my, that pattern. I love it madly. I have an hourglass figure and can’t usually wear empire waists, even though I adore them. But that has enough vertical lines that it would look fabulous. I’d have to change the neckline, but then, I’d have to grade the whole pattern (do I know how? no…). Maybe contrast bias binding along the neckline and sleeves and piping on the waist seam? I would want to wear it with heeled oxford dance shoes.

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Erin August 21, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!Emily, I usually buy fabric at the Vogue on Main Street in Evanston (very close to the Main St. El stop, which is handy). From now until after Nov 1 avoid the big JoAnn’s on Clybourn, as it will be taken over by the “Costume People”, as in “I need to make a Halloween costume RIGHT NOW! I only have glue and a stapler, and I only want to buy one yard of fabric because it’s expensive.” I fear the Costume People.

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mamafrog August 21, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Oh Erin, sweetie!! I can tell you’ve never been on the “heavy” side of life! Patterns on top and solids on bottom is a major rule for those who have been overtaken by life’s…uhm…inevitable broadening experiences. (Or maybe that virus I keep hearing about in the news that they think causes some of us to get larger now.) Besides the fact that I’m rather short, I’ve always preferred my fashion that way. I can play with color a lot more on top and get away with things I wouldn’t look good in an overall pattern.

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SarahJayne August 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Hey there, what a great site you have! Check out EBay seller *knockout*clothing* sometime for great affordable vintage. All listings start at $9.99 and under and/or have really low reserves – even on higher end merchandise! Great dresses from the 1940s-1980s. Swing, rockabilly, mod, boho, hippie, disco, new wave, etc. etc. I’ve been in the Ebay biz for 7 years, have a good feedback record, offer combined shipping, and ship worldwide!

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Anonymous August 22, 2007 at 8:19 am

you could do a jacket lined with a color that coordinated with TWO dressesExcellent idea! I’ve used the expensive fabric as bodice trick before, but never thought of making a jacket to match two dresses. Now as soon as RenFest is over, I can start on my winter wardrobe…and you can bet a couple dress/jacket combos are going to be in the lineup!–Lydia

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damngoodvintage.com August 22, 2007 at 11:25 am

Happy “Late” Birthday Erin!That is one of my favorite patterns and have sold 2 or 3 of them, BUT each time they have been itty bitty with B30 or 31.Tis a pity.

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Dani in NC August 22, 2007 at 7:58 pm

The matching print in the jacket is my favorite part! I love clothes that scream “vintage”, and that definitely does it.

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Carolyn (cmarie12) August 25, 2007 at 2:19 pm

This dress jacket has been a lot through the decades…a good “movie” version of it is in Steel Magnolias. Look at the dresses that the Shirley McLaine character wears…almost all the jackets are lined with a fabric that coordinates with the blouse or dress top. This is a really kewl look. Thanks for posting the picture and Happy Belated Birthday!

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Gretchen the Household Deity August 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm

I LOVE this sort of thing, very vintage and chic. I used the concept when I did my “Down With Love” series. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7573004@N06/sets/72157600776625600/

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