Thursday, November 10, 2011

Film Noir Vixen

I attended the Marin Symphony’s Mahler program this Tuesday.  Guess what that means . . . time to play dress up!  

After a couple of hours attempting to finish Vogue 1136 Monday evening, I took a deep breath and realized that I have a closet full of clothes that are suitable for an evening at the symphony.  Not to mention, I enjoy the sewing process, and rushing through something when it is not absolutely necessary is just silly!  Instead of doing a shoddy job, I put the pins and fabric away and looked in the closet. 

This suit is one of the first vintage reproductions I ever attempted, and certainly the first structured suit I ever sewed.  The fabric is from the upholstery section at JoAnn Fabrics and is therefore quite stiff and heavy.  There are a few fitting issues.  The bound buttonholes are a bit embarrassing.  And I probably should have padded out or used an interfacing with more body for the jacket hips – I may not have used any interfacing at all – bad, bad seamstress.  I did manage to match stripes at the shoulders, though.  

I actually love this suit because it is a clear representation of how far my sewing has come in six years.  (I know that I finished the suit in 2005 because I am a complete dork and keep a diary of pattern numbers, start and finish dates, along with swatches and notations of any alterations made for all the sewing and knitting I do.) 

At work, someone told me that I remind him of a film noir character!  Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwick, and Lana Turner, oh my!  I will definitely take that as a compliment.   It is so much better than the response I got from my boss, D: “what are you wearing?”  After ten years, he certainly knows what to expect with regards to my wardrobe, so I have to assume he is doing it just to irritate me.

And yes, the Symphony was fantastic!

Suit:  Made by me, Vintage Vogue 2339, Original 1948 Design.
Fishnets: Simply Vera by Vera Wang for Kohls.
Hat:  Made by me.
Shoes:  Via Spiga “Unit” in Black Suede.
Necklace:  Made by me.
Ring:  My grandfather’s high school ring.
Earrings: Gift.


  1. I couldn't agree more. A sewing project rushed is one not enjoyed. Not to mention you regret taking shortcuts to get it in under the time limit! This skirt suit is divine, but I think that's also due to the fact that you cut such a lovely figure. Are you a fan of vintage shaping/undergarments as well? I'm very impressed by the straightness of the line from your side up to the sleeve/body seam line - perfectly tailored. Gorgeous!

  2. oh, i'm definitely with you on slowing down & enjoying the sewing process. when i start to get irritated/frustrated, i start making mistakes (usually the kind that involve sewing a sleeve on inside-out or ripping a patch of fabric with an angry seam ripper D:), so i just put everything away & re-approach with a fresh mind the next day.

    anyway, your sewing diary doesn't sound dorky at all - i do something similar, except my writing ends up on the actual pattern. well, not the vintage ones - i'm not that crass :P

  3. Ce tailleur est vraiment superbe.
    J'aime tout particulièrement la coupe très structurée de la veste et le tissu choisi.
    Un grand bravo !


  4. What a gorgeous suit! I love the raspberry colour, the style, the fit. You look smashing in it. Great job.

  5. This is lovely! Again, I love your version much more than the pattern illustration. Beautifully done.

  6. @Melanie Melanie – I am a big fan of vintage-styled undergarments – they make all the difference!

    I have a couple of long-line bras that I like to wear under my vintage garments. My only problem is that they have plastic boning, and they have a tendency to take strange shapes throughout the day.

    After using spiral steel boning with my Ceil Chapman gown and realizing how much more comfortable it is, I am on the lookout for vintage underwear patterns. One of these days I will get around to making my own corset/long-ling bra, or at least find a decent reproduction made of quality materials!

  7. @lladybird lladybird – That is it exactly! I hate making silly mistakes because I am in a rush. It is amazing how many problems get solved by a good night’s sleep. I do have a stubborn streak, so I can get bogged down with things and don’t want to walk away, but it is always good to step back before a pair of scissors cut into the wrong piece of fabric.

    And I am glad to hear I am not the only one who keeps copious pattern notes!

  8. @Laura Mae

    I look forward to seeing a blog post about making your own then - this really interests me too!

  9. Hi Laura Mae! Your suit is gorgeous . You are so talented! I am starting a sewing linky party today called Sew & Tell Saturday at my website and I am hoping to get some vintage sewists aboard to post their projects because there are so few venues to show off vintage creations. I hope you can come over and post a link to your blog today! Thanks so much!
    Justine @ Sew Country Chick