We arrived home yesterday from a 3 day anniversary vacation in paradise… otherwise known as Cabo San Lucas. It was our first time leaving Marina and although we missed her very much, it was exactly the trip we needed. We loved our hotel (The Cape) so much that we never ended up leaving, even though we have friends that live in Cabo and wanted to see the local town. I planned to mostly wear a bikini and not wash my hair or put makeup on the entire vacation, but I did want to make at least one outfit for the occasion.
I stumbled across this sheer black palm leaf fabric this summer at Joann’s, and I had my eyes on it for months. I knew it would make a fantastic beach cover up, but I had nothing planned so there was no point in buying even more fabric to wind up as a pillow cushion in the near future. Finally we had a trip planned for October to Mexico, but I was worried that this summer-ish fabric would be long gone as the store generally turns entirely to Halloween and Christmas by September. Luckily the fact that it’s black and maybe the palm leaves look like spiders or something (?) meant that it was stashed with the other Halloween craziness, so I could snag a few yards to make this look.
I wanted to flat pattern this entire look instead of draping it, as I used to love flat-patterning for all of the math and geometry involved, and I hadn’t done it in a while. I used my favorite flat-pattern making book, Pattern Making for Fashion Design. While this looks like a simple tee and elastic pants combo, drafting a pattern from scratch with the right amount of ease in the raglan/drop sleeve and enough volume in the back actually took almost 2 days. I had to create multiple muslins because I started with the cap sleeve tutorial and hated the way it looked, so I amended my pattern using the drop sleeve/raglan tutorial instead.
Drafting the pant was also tricky because the way my body is, I need no ease or darting in the front, but a lot in the back. To save time I didn’t make a muslin first, but if I was making anything other than elastic pants that would have been a massive mistake. These pants were too high on my waist, too short by about 2″, and tore as a pulled up over my tush, meaning that although I added more shape in the back, I needed even more to accommodate the elastic waist. However, the styling turned out ok since they were a basic slack shape.
The final piece of tedium was the 5 yards of white satin bias binding that I had to iron to finish and trim out the look. Although this was delicate and boring business, it is really the contrasting white binding that makes the look. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to see the shapes and volume that I had patterned into the look. They also highlight the voluminous pleated sleeves, which are really my only nod to Mexico. Otherwise this black and white set could be seen walking down the streets of New York City.