In computer development, one of the golden rules of prototyping is that you should plan to throw one away, because you will anyway.
Well. I hate wasted effort, let alone wasted fabric, so I've modified my planning. The ones I should otherwise throw away will get the ultimate sanity check. This means that all mistakes in the production process have to be put right and the end result needs to be wearable. The downside of this is that everything goes together in a way that supports design decisions rather than easy construction, so sewing these up can sometimes feel like a monumental effort.
The first item is a bomber jacket based on the one piece blouse I showed a few weeks ago. When I posted that one I didn’t show off its coolest feature: you can turn it upside down and wear it as a shrug. I worked the concept through on this garment, adding a vent in the back that converts into a draped collar. In principle it’s also reversible which means four looks for the price of one. The downside it that now I don’t know where to put the label.
I’ve used a piece of vintage fabric, cotton broadcloth with metallic studs. It was gifted to me quite some years ago by a friend who bet me at the time that I couldn’t get a bomber jacket out of two square meters. It’s taken me a while to figure it out but I reckon I won the wager. I managed to get a few shots in the evening sun to show off the sparkle, but if I make more of these they’ll probably be in sober tweed or glamorous silk and not trashy sequins.
The second is a draped tunic with bandage sleeves that close with thumb loops. This is not particularly short on material but I can claim close to zero waste. It’s good fun to wear and people seem to like it but it’s not terribly practical and I’m still looking the perfect fabric for it. It also needs bra loops because even with a pin it’s hard to wear without flashing a bit of strap.
For the picture I was inspired by all the talk about brooches last week to pin it up with a bizarre object my sister gave me. I have no idea who made this or what they were thinking of, but I find it strangely appealing. Nevertheless, British comedy fans will know exactly what I’m talking about when I say it reminds me of that episode in the second series of Blackadder where Percy uses alchemy to create something green and goes on to make jewellery that looks like snot.
Both outfits feature the pants that were the starting point for my minimal waste pattern cutting project. I wanted to create a pair of trousers out of a meter of fabric that didn't look like pyjamas. After some trial and error and a lot of draping I dropped the crotch, moved the inseam to the front and curved the hem, which gives shape in the leg and volume in the seat. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I’ve found them very wearable and they’ve been in heavy rotation throughout the summer. Styled with my Trippen platforms, because I read somewhere that statement boots with cropped pants were A Thing this year.
So please tell me, what do you think? Does a convertible jacket appeal to you? Would you wear a bandage sleeve? Do these pants look cool or sloppy? Your critical comments and feedback on each of these garments is very much appreciated.