There’s just something so fabulous about this very retro 1980’s “professional woman” design! I picked this one up on eBay, I couldn’t resist! It features puffy sleeves, dropped “v” waist, contrast collar, shoulder pads AND a handkerchief! It really takes me back to my first career hand-me-downs in the early 90’s … dressing way older than my age to impress! LOL!
I thought it would be fun to add some “funk” to this fond memory, but I honestly did not have any particular fabric in mind at the time. I immediately thought “black and white with pink collar”. When I saw this “sit, stay” poly crepe on emmaonesock.com, I loved the playful print with an optic effect and decided that this was just the right amount of “funk” for the look I wanted. This fabric is a trip – and trippy! With the pleats, it can be a bit disorienting! Most folks don’t even notice that it is a dog print. I had a hard time locating a pale pink fabric with the right fiber and texture content, and so this project was continually delayed until I could locate exactly what I was looking for.
This particular pattern is drafted with easy alteration for petites … I’m not a “typical” petite (slightly fuller bust/upper bust, somewhat long torso, full hips/rear). For the alterations, I took about ½” out of the torso length, and redistributed the buttonholes. I typically take about 2” out of the sleeve length (1” above elbow + 1” below elbow), and similarly the length below the waist (1” above knee, 1” below the knee). I interfaced both the collar and cuffs with a very lightweight woven fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply, and used a knit fusible for the button plackets. I did add additional stabilizer behind the buttonholes when finishing them. Also, when working with cuffs and collars, I redraft the pattern pieces with ¼” seam allowances. This makes it easier to attach, with less bulk to trim away. I always use a dual-feed quilting foot with seam guide, which keeps everything aligned and super clean.
The construction of the project was without any major incidents, and the instructions are well done. I did a slightly modified finish to the collar and cuffs by performing a “stitch-in-the-ditch” to finish (after carefully pressing the seam allowances). Another challenge was the bulk in the seams of the collars and cuffs, relative to the extremely fluid crepe. For these, I pressed repeatedly with lots of forced steam and a tailor’s clapper. After a few press and cool cycles, the cuffs and collar were no longer stiff, and quite malleable.
Due to the shape of the hem relative to the pleated waistline being quite exaggerated in difference, the hem was actually finished with a facing. This too required some special handling to ensure it draped well … understitching, a tailor’s clapper and blind hem were employed.
This project turned out with a lot more visual impact than I had originally envisioned. It looks completely different than the original. With a few modern updates (unbuttoned collar, tie belt, black oxfords), it’s a totally funky one of a kind outfit!
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