Last year I bought a piece of blue and white pinstriped wool, and a piece of beautiful, but slightly damaged, vintage silk from Martien van Zuilen, the convener of Fibres West and renowned felt artist. I knew I wanted to make a pair of trousers from the wool, and I wanted them to have that Katharine Hepburn vibe, with pleated front and wide legs.
Sarah, from Pattern Union and I had a play with my trouser block and we created a pattern for me, which we named “Vogue trousers”. It made sense at the time, but I’ve now forgotten why we named the pattern that.
I used the pattern on the wool and was delighted to have sufficient left to make a Pattern Union Felix jacket.
I used the silk as the lining and I couldn’t love it more. It is pink with large motifs on it. I cut round most of the damage but kept the previous repairs that had been done, although I had to invisibly mend the repairs!
I lined the pockets with scraps of the silk and turned over the corners so there is a flash of pink. I reflected the pink with a Kylie and the Machine label in bright pink with “Make” written on it. This was in the advent calendar which was a gift from Katherine from Sew Blooms.
In spite of very narrow fabric I managed to line the whole jacket, with very little left over. I was really happy with my pattern placement too.
My biggest issue was what to team this suit with. I need a cropped white silk shirt or silk jersey top, but in the meantime I wore it with a Pattern Union Eva tee, which is just perfect.
There’s not a lot to say about the construction. The trousers have a faux fly and an invisible zip at the back. I don’t really like buttons at the front much as they always stick out under my tops. There are two pleats on each side. I sewed them quite short but got funny drag lines, so I hand stitched the two centre ones down quite a long way to eliminate the problem. You can see how far I had to go. I think this is caused by my body shape and I always have this problem.
The Felix jacket has bust darts, which can be problematic with stripes. My first pass produced these broken lines which I couldn’t live with, so I unpicked them
I used a tip from Liz Haywood’s excellent book The Dressmakers Companion to sort this out. I think it looks much better.
I had to piece the jacket. I used the two piece sleeves but have inserts at the bottom on the two back pieces. Length was dictated by the amount of fabric I had, but it is pretty much perfect. I had to do lots of piecing with the lining as it was so narrow – around 35cm wide. I put in a centre back seam and each sleeve has at least four pieces. I added shoulder pads to give a bit of structure. The sleeves seem a little short but this is due to lack of fabric. I used a couple of interesting shaped scraps to form a back pocket, and topped it off with a label. It is deliberately curved in every dimension as that is how the scraps were shaped.
Some seated photos. This is a really comfortable outfit.
If I was working I would have teamed this with heels but I was going to a meeting, so I wore sneakers to dress it down a bit.
I always think the back view of trousers is the important bit when assessing fit, so these photos were really for me to make sure that the fit was as good as it felt. You be the judge!
This outfit is part of my Muster May outfit for Magamsewalong over on Instagram as I had to muster a lot of emotional energy to cut into two special fabrics, as well as trying to get a whole outfit from limited fabric.
Another quick video of Miss G and the piano. She loves playing the piano! She is ten months old today – where has that time gone?