Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Vintage Play Suit, Ready To Go Out

As you could read in some of my previous posts here, I was joining a sew along for a vintage play suit. Usually, such sew alongs are too complicated to join in. There's always coming something in between. A freezer frozen solid, kids with chicken pox, a broken toe... I could write books.

But this sew along was different. We plan to go on holiday in Italy, my husband's country. So I was very excited about the idea, and as I am in desperate need of some decent pieces for my wardrobe, I was planning to sew some clothes anyway. The sew along just came in time! I am the kind of person that needs a little bit of extra-pressure to keep a project going on (you certainly do NOT want to know how many UFOs I have...), so I was happy to join.

Creating a play suit set offers countless possibilities, in the end I just had to decide for one pattern for a skirt, short pants, a bra and a halter top or blouse. And the fabrics of course.

I chose a simple buttoned skirt from a German 1951 sewing magazine. They had lots of play suit options in there!

However, I lengthened my skirt, and I made is with pleats instead of gathering it. I wanted to use some of my vintage buttons, but I didn't have enough of the same style. (I love brown, but I wonder why I do have only so little brown buttons...) I found some rectangular, almost square horn buttons I bought about 10 years ago at a flea market, they are all handmade and differ slightly in size and shape. So even being not properly vintage, they somehow seemed to be a nice choice.

From another German sewing magazine of the same year, I took the pattern for the trousers, as they came along in a bigger size there. I planned to use a remnant piece, but in the end I had to order some more again as it was not enough. I absolutely wanted to have the red pants! They would be perfect, especially under the patterned skirt.

I also planned in the beginning to make the pattern of the striped bra, but after I copied the pattern (which is rather demanding, look at the pattern sheet!), I realised that bra would probably not fit me very well. Despite having breast-fed my two children for quite some time, I still belong to the species of small-busted gals. I needed something more cheating "shaping", so after trying to alter the pattern I threw my muslin away and then decided to give a try to the beach bustier from Mrs. Depew. Anna has lots of very special patterns available as downloads. However, in the end I made so many alterations, that not much was left of the original pattern. And it still didn't fit. Despite having fed both my kids, I'm still rather small-busted not particularly full-busted. So another muslin flew to to bin. I will do that again later. It makes no sense to lose so much time when you are in a hurry to finish a project.

As I really wanted some interchangeable pieces for this set as possible, I also made a cotton knit top to wear with the skirt. On a holiday in Italy, in certain places it is necessary to be dressed in a decent way. (And I completely agree, it's just not appropriate to enter a public location in town when you're wearing a beach outfit.) Easy to make (I have an almost antique serger machine I use for my kids' stuff micro-business), comfy to wear, and looking always neat. I do have some of those peasant blouses I bought off the shelf, but most of them have huge midriffs, or they become larger with each washing, so I decided to make my own better fitting design. I simply made a traditional peasant blouse to add some fullness to the bust (remember - small-busted gal) and made a more or less tubular lower part below the bust. That's it. This is some kind of prototype, so with some minor adjustments I will get a really decent and not so usual looking peasant top. And yes, I usually do NOT mix patterned materials, but ginghams are synonymous for summer, and gingham is probably the only pattern that goes well with many flower patterns.

So this is how my set looks like on Kunigunde. Unfortunately, she isn't able to wear pants, and I am far to embarrassed to expose my entire legs or my chubby belly on my blog. I leave this to younger and slimmer girls... :-) And as it's raining since days, I was not able to pose outside or make decent indoor pictures. And, worst of all, my mom broke her hip and we spent a lot of time in the hospital, and as I still have some holiday wardrobe projects on my table, I really have to postpone that. You will have to wait until we are on holiday. I promise to post about the fort day out of my playsuit set.

I admit, I am not a person who love to lie on the beach (I dislike being exposed to the sun, however, it can't be avoided when you doing as much garden work as I do), but it's certainly a "must have" for any vintage wearer, and as it's so versatile, it doesn't have to be worn on the beach necessarily. Wear it for the cocktails on early evening, or for a nice summer day on your holidays when you're in town!


  1. It looks lovely! I love peasant tops :) and you're right, gingham is perfectly summer!
    The skirt fabric is gorgeous too, look at all those colors :)

    1. Thank you Siri! Yes, the colors in the skirt make it easy to combine lots of other garments with it. Hopefully we will have some decent weather (which is very probably in Tuscany for July) to make proper pictures. :-) I'm looking forward to wearing this outfit.

  2. It looks very nice! I hope your mother is doing well!

    1. Anthea, yes, she is back home now, but it's still very difficult as when you get older, healing takes longer… Thanks for your kind words.

      ♥ Doris

  3. OMG! Dear Doris, this is really stunning! I love each of these separate pieces, also the whole suit looks so wonderful ... sorry to read that your mother is in the hospital, that's hard while your kids are sick too. I wish everything back to normal soon, best wishes for you and your family, sweet Lady.

  4. Thank you so much dear Rosy! The kids are well again, you know, it's the kind of things you have to go through. My mom is better, but it's difficult for her to stay quite. And I am not used to see my mother being idle...

    It was great fun to sew this play suit, even if I had to throw away my beach bra in the end - despite all adjustments it didn't fit and never would, so I decided to make another one from a different pattern. Sometimes you just have to start from zero. :-) Hope I can wear my new set soon. We are expecting very hot weather for the coming week.

    Take care! ♥


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