Birds and Flowers…what the suit?

I first posted this suit a few days ago on the Monthly Stitch Indie Fan-Girl competion.  If you have not voted yet pop over there and check out the great entries.  Mine are ‘Miss Bella Chalmers’ and ‘In Cake all Over’ if you feel inclined.

So how did I come to the place of creating a bold floral suit?  The first Papercut pattern I ever made was the Miss Chalmers skirt from the Home Sewn book.  Then I saw the new Anima pants and I made some harem style pants.  The final twist was seeing amazing versions of the Bellatrix blazer across the internet.  I envisioned a fabulous floral suit all coming together nicely using the fabric I bought at the start of the year at Centrepoint Fabrics in Auckland. It is a cotton stateen with birds, large white flowers on a black background.  A quick google search brought up MANY options for floral print suits and I was convinced I could make it happen.

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Inspiration by Google

I made this production style… sewing as many seams as I could before ironing, overlocking and then sewing the next round of seams.

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Piles of pretty pattern pieces

The Miss Chalmers skirt is a simple skirt the only change I made was to add 6cm to the length to make it more wearable for myself.
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I did a quick muslin of the Bellatrix Jacket and went with the largest size.  Making the muslin also helped me make a few mistakes early – like sewing the front bottom panels on the wrong way round and remember to cut all notches for ease of construction in the real thing.
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The jacket is lined with silk/cotton from the Fabric Store and feels devine.  The button is a green one from my collection.

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Lovely lovely lining

I did not try to pattern match on this fabric, instead I attempted to cut the panels so there were birds or decent flowers on each one.

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Wow look at that welt

I love this as a statement piece that can be worn with the skirt or with a little black dress, my green jeans or many other pieces in my wardrobe.
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Finally the Anima pants… in this crazy birds and flowers!  It is quite full on even for me who loves prints.  But I think I can make it work, even if it gives you a headache if I wear it all at once.
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This was the second time I had made the Anima pants so I knew my fit was right. I will post tomorrow how I made a knit pattern work in woven for a bottom my size.

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Zippers about to fill the gap

However I wanted to make the ankle cuffs in cotton sateen not knit so added some metal short zips that I bought several years ago that were just waiting for this project to come along.
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I didn’t do the rows of stitching on the waistband as I wanted to keep a clean look across the front.
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You know you want one now… a crazy floral and birdie covered suit!
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Anima Pants

Loose casual pants are in every store at the moment. Some are very casual but many are work wear. As this is the unofficial year of Pants for me I decided to give the Anima pants by Papercut Patterns a go. I also seem to keep getting theme songs stuck in my head and for these pants it was Animal by Def Leppard

A wild ride, over stony ground
Such a lust for life, the circus comes to town
We are the hungry ones, on a lightning raid
Just like a river runs, like a fire needs flame
I burn for youI gotta feel it in my blood whoa oh
I need your touch don’t need your love whoa oh
And I want and I need And I lust animal
And I want and I need And I lust animal

Not the most classy lyrics but they were on high repeat in my head. Now that I have it stuck in your head I will go on about these fabulous pants.

I got a harem pant pattern from the op-shop that I thought would make up into stylish casual pants as per the current fashions – like below.

So I decided to test it using some of the huge roll of lightweight black knit I got second hand. It was a simple pattern and I proudly wore them upstairs to show my husband. His response: “Cool – you have made some trackies” (tracksuit pants) image

This was not the response I was looking for – nor were the pants the look I was going for so they are now my never leave the house pants. image

A month or so later I saw the Anima pant pattern and although it is designed for knits I knew I could make it work as the fashionable pants I desired. I dug out this black rayon with white and green flowers from the stash and got to work singing the song above.

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I am right on the upper edge of Papercut sizing with my bottom and making it in a woven added another variable so I took the pattern pieces from my smooth sailing pants that I knew fitted well and overlapped them on the Anima pieces. The J-curves of the crotch matched nicely – I just had to add 4cm to the front and back side seams in the waist and hip. I maintained this increase all the way down to ensure they fitted around my calves. I added this increase to the waistband and ankle cuffs as well which I cut out of black knit. image

The only other change I made was after trying them on I found the ankle cuff was a bit flappy at the bottom, so I pinned it in and then sewed out a wedge from the bottom to the top of the cuff. I over locked the excess and it fitted perfectly. It means that is is no longer all enclosed in the cuff but I have altered my pattern piece for the next time – as there will be a next time. image

I made this version before the Floral Suit as a wearable muslin and the are very wearable. image

And I will be making more as they rock! image