Here’s the look I’m emulating this week:
This is Gemma Arterton wearing a Stella McCartney ‘Jodie’ jumpsuit and Stella McCartney shoes at the British fashion awards 2012.
This jumpsuit is from the Evening 2012 collection and retails for £2,095.
Obviously £2,095 is a little above budget, but not to worry. I do have this rather ‘special’ gents double breasted suit jacket which I picked up in the Sue Ryder shop in Upminster for £4 (on sale!).
First, let’s take a closer look at the jacket. It’s 40″ chest and has seen better days.
It’s a polyester and wool mix, so there are some natural fibres. All the buttons are there, thankfully.
To get the look of a halter top, I cut off the sleeves, then removed the whole of the back, cutting slightly below the collar.
Here’s how the front looked. I played around with some pins trying to get it to hang right. To move the neckline a bit further up, I decided to change the roll line of the lapels by adding another buttonhole so the second button could be done up.
This was easy enough to add, but it changed the fall of the front and I had to steam the lapels a bit to get them to stay in the right place.
For the back, I pinned the sides around my dress form to see what kind of shape should be added.
I measured carefully the distance between the two sides in order to make a new back piece, not forgetting to take seam allowances into account.
Once I’d measured, I drew out the shape on paper and pinned it to the dressform, to check the measurements were roughly OK.
I then cut that shape out of the back, placing the hem edge where the original hem would have been (as that had stiffening in it that I wanted to keep along that line). I left the lining attached too.
Here’s how it looks sewn together. It’s taking shape!
I tried the whole thing on myself to see what the fit was like. It needed bust darts, but that was easy enough. I just pinned a couple of triangles out of each side in roughly the same place, being sure to avoid the pocket.
On the inside, rather than sew a dart in the stiffening (because that would be really thick), I removed a triangle around the dart to help it lie flat.
I also cut the stiffening back about 5mm from the edge, to make a small seam allowance for the facing.
After trying it on again, it needed to be more fitted. It was looking a bit too straight-up-and-down and I wanted to give the impression of a hip curve like in the original. So, I added two darts of about an inch at the waist.
For the facings, I cut some bias strips out of what was left of the back.
I ended up with a neat enough edge!
But, the inside still looked like this: (gasp)
Putting it all back together, I pinned what was left of the lining in roughly the right place, then turned it the right way out to check it wasn’t pulling anywhere. It took a few iterations of this to get it right.
I whipstitched the whole of the lining in place by hand. In doing so it became obvious that the lining was in really bad shape, but it was a bit late to replace it. I may do so in future.
Here’s how I finished the back collar edge. (The jacket is inside out in the pic below). I folded the cut edge inside the collar stand, above the line of the collar so it wouldn’t be seen, and whipstitched it closed.
Here’s how it looks on the hanger. I am pretty happy with it, considering the state of the original jacket.
I paired it with black trousers to get the look of the original jumpsuit, plus pointed toe platforms. In case you’re wondering, it’s just about long enough to wear as a dress, but only if I don’t want to sit down, so I won’t wear it that way. I am seeing rather a lot of tuxedo-inspired looks on the red carpet at the moment, so this may not be the last men’s jacket remake you see from me!
Unfortunately there is a slight dearth of red carpet worthy events around here at the moment, so you’ll have to make do with a mock up and a bit of imagination!