It was on a very boring evening and I was browsing on ebay looking for kimonos when I happened to see this very pretty fabric. It was a bolt of vintage Yukata cotton fabric in navy blue with outlines of peonies made in the 50s.
Something inside just told me to get it and there I was waiting for the bid to end, nervously biting my finger nails because my heart was already set on the fabric. Strangely enough, the bid finish quite quietly with only minimal interests. And a few weeks later, I received the fabric from Japan and there it went into my luggage for the past year.
This is a habit of mine, I hoard fabrics and half of them never gets used. Sometimes I feel it’s a shame to cut into such a beautiful fabric but I have trained myself not to think that anymore as I would end up a bunch of beautiful fabrics decaying in the luggage.
Following the success of my Tiger print jacket (here), I decided on a whim during a cold February that I would like to make another suit and remembered this fabric. It must have been the experiences gained from my previous suit making as this time, the process seemed a bit easier. This was especially true when I was sewing the sleeve head.
I have to admit that sewing a sleeve was my worst nightmare because of the ease and me being pedantic about getting the shape perfect, but I developed a trick into getting the perfect sleeve on a suit. I started off by pinning the sleeve to the main body while spreading the ease carefully along the top of the sleeve. Following that, I did a small running stitch by hand to bind the pieces together. This allowed me more flexibility and precision when I sew the sleeve to the main body again, this time on the sewing machine. After that, it was a matter of putting in a bias strip of wadding to shape the sleeve head and also the shoulder pad. I also remembered the wise words from my pattern cutting tutor, Toni Tester, telling us not to press the sleeve. The result, as you can see is a very smooth sleeve head with a nice bulge on the top.
I am a true believer that regardless of what we are making, it must be fun! Any element of enjoyment will greatly enhance the experience and in turn the product will respond positively by easily piecing together. I even got a bit naughty with a bit of graffiti on the interfacing of my suit (ala Alexander McQueen).
With the suit completed, I’d realised that I have enough left to make a pair of shorts. I’ve seen people wearing shorts with a suit and always fancied that style but never had enough material at the end of my project to make a two piece. With such a rare chance to try it out, I immediately grabbed my shorts pattern and made a pair.
The weather has been so horrendous recently that I never got the chance to wear this ensemble but I thought that I should at least show how it would look like on me even if I never get the chance to wear it. Remembering that my friend’s bedroom has the most amazing lighting and with mirrors dotted everywhere around his room, I immediately ran to his place while the sun was shining to take a few pictures.
I’m not sure if ‘Shorts Suit’ is everyone’s cup of tea but I have to say that I love it. Whether I will make anymore depends on the British weather.