Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A not-so-successful Salme Playsuit


I was really excited about this make when I got started on it just as the weather turned lovely and hot back in July, but I'm less than enamoured with it now it's done and it hasn't had a single wear yet! I don't think this has anything to do with the pattern or the fabric, but rather the combination of pattern and fabric which is entirely my fault! I'm quite disappointed as I absolutely love this fabric and wish I had used it for a more successful project.


I got the fabric in an accidental trip to Simply Fabrics in Brixton, which can come up trumps with some bargain fabric treasures! It's a lovely, drapey viscose which feels sooo nice to wear. I love that the print looks a bit like a giant gingham. It looks very familiar to me and I'm not sure why, perhaps a little Kate Spade?


I used the Salme Patterns playsuit pattern and I love the simple, relaxed style of the design but I think, although I imagine it's meant to be worn with some ease for that slouchy look, it's come up a little large which hasn't helped my lack of excitement for the finished product. I definitely should have made a muslin (especially as both of my previous Salme Pattern makes have come up a little on the large side) but as any of you Brits will understand I was desperate to get this done as quickly as possible, once the sun is out as you never know how long the good weather is going to stick around!


The one thing I'm loving about this make (with the exception of the kimono sleeves which are becoming a bit of an obsession after the success of my Anna's) are the genius construction and finishing methods detailed in the pattern instructions. The best of these are the pockets which, with 4 pattern pieces each, seemed overly complicated and caused a helluva lot of head scratching when I first read the instructions through. But I just went with it and man did I love the look of them and feel like an accomplished seamstress when I was done. Especially as I used french seams everywhere possible!


I also love the clean finish of the neckline with a facing and and concealed press stud fastenings. I chose to finish the edge of the facing with bias binding but I had to stitch the facing down as it kept flipping out around the neckline and wouldn't lay flat despite notching and under-stitching the seam. I just decided to topstitch round the edge of it with my machine and am actually pretty chuffed with how neatly I managed to do it and the finished effect. 


The only aspect of the construction I'm not delighted with is the elasticated waist which I personally don't particularly like wearing, I feel like it sucks in a not very flattering way and just feels uncomfortable.


I made more of an attempt than I ever have before with pattern matching as I thought this pattern had the potential to look atrocious if I didn't make any attempt! I by no means put huge amounts of effort into this and have since discovered Tasia's super useful tutorials on the subject which will come in handy next time, but I'm pretty pleased with the overall effect. I mainly wanted to ensure the stripes of squares lined up at obvious points and that the crotch didn't look awful and I think I managed it. Ish.


That still doesn't make up for the fact that I feel a little like a clown when I'm wearing it though. And when was loading the pics onto my computer this surprise photo gave away the photographers true feelings on the make...


Haha! To be fair looking at it from behind I feel like that too!

I'd really love some tips from you guys on how to make this more wearable. Looking at the pictures I think I should definitely shorten the shorts a fair bit to help the overall proportions of it and expanse of the print. My other half thinks I should slim the shorts down too which I think could work but is a fairly major alteration as those pockets are so beautifully complicated! Or maybe I should even cut off the shorts entirely (I'm really not sure on the look of them in this print!) and either turn it into a blouse or attempt to get some more of the same fabric and add on a skirt? I do actually have a polyester crepe version of this fabric in the black squares on cream colour way so perhaps a skirt in the alternate colour way would be nice? Or too much? There's so many options I'm weighing up, none of them which I'm 100% sure will work out! Autumn seems to have hit us over the weekend anyway so I doubt we'll be seeing any weather hot enough to be wearing this for at least 9 months!

18 comments:

  1. I don't think it looks as bad as you think it does :) I actually really like how the shorts look, although I agree the top does look a little blousey. Is there any way that you could separate the two and salvage both halves? The top could look good as a blouse, with a high waisted skirt. It's really disappointing when things don't turn out how you hope isn't it? And when the sun disappears and you know you're not going to see it again for MONTHS!

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    1. Thank you, I actually like it more in the photos than how it feels when I've got it on but I guess it's that that really counts! I think separating the two might be a winning idea.
      I hate it when summer ends!

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  2. It's not great when you sew something and it doesn't quite live up to your expectations, is it? The fabric looks great on you but the playsuit, I guess looks a touch unbalanced. My thoughts are maybe to shorten the shorts and see if you can get them to flair out a touch at the bottom - the legs look very straight. Or I think the top half would look very good on it's own especially tucked in. There are quite a few nice shorts patterns out there - like the scallop hem one. Maybe having them as separates would work better and give more shape?
    Good luck Fiona - I'm sure you'll find something that works :-)

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    1. Thank you! It's not a great feeling no, especially when you don't have much time to sew and you feel like you've wasted a load of it!
      I think flaring the shorts is a great idea. My gut feeling is to separate top and bottom and scrap the shorts entirely but I'm hesitant to because I'm so proud of the pockets!
      The scallop hem shorts are gorgeous, I love Rachel's denim ones

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  3. From the front I think it's gorgeous on you and I want to steal it (not that I'd fit into it, LOL!). Personally, I'd swap the shorts for a skirt--I think this would make a fantastic dress if you can scrounge up enough of that fabric or even using a complementary one, because I love the way the bodice fits.

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    1. Thank you! I like it more in the pictures, especially front on. I think a skirt is a good option, just a bit more 'me' so I'd feel more comfortable in it. So far splitting it in two is definitely the winning option!

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  4. I'm not really sold on playsuits in general, but you did a great job at square matching.I would also swap the shorts for a skirt. Why not a solid black skirt? Anyway I'm sure you'll make it work.

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    1. Thank you, I really like the idea of a solid black skirt. That would be a good practical make for me too actually! I'm coming to the conclusion that so much of that print isn't like me and a playsuit isn't much like me so that's why it's not working!

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  5. I like this Fiona! You look cute as a button as ever. I would def shorten the shorts. Does it have an elasticated waist? If not put some elastic in it, which I think will give it a more blousy feel. Shorten the shorts first and see what you think after you've done that!

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    1. Aw thanks Claire! It does have elastic in the waist yeah, which I don't totally love! Definitely going to try shortening the shorts before anything else, at least that's a nice and easy alteration!

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  6. Ooh, I think you're totally pulling off the playsuit, which isn't easy to do! But yeah, this will look cuter when you shorten it-- you could easily lose 3-4". The proportions are a little strange as is. But I hope you don't give up on the playsuit idea-- it suits you!

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    1. o yay! Thanks Sonja! I love the idea of playsuits but whenever I've tried them on in the shops I've found them really unflattering! Definitely going to try shortening the legs

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  7. Definitely shorten the shorts but don't slim them down. Playsuits often have floaty and flowy shorts so maybe put a really small hem on the short so keep the shorts looking light :)

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    1. The small hem is a great idea! I think it's that almost skirt like fit that I like the look of on playsuits, definitely going to try that.

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  8. Haha, that photo at the end is hilarious!! You had me cracking up in my office this afternoon. : ) I agree that the shorts could be a little shorter and looser, and I hope you find a way to fix this garment because it has the potential to be adorable! The top half looks great. I agree with you about elastic waistbands too - they just feel strange and uncomfortable to me. Anyway, good luck and thanks for a good laugh!

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    1. It cracked me up for about a day when I saw it too! Thank you for the lovely comment, feeling much more positive about it now, though haven't got round to sorting out those shorts!

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  9. Your garments are so well made! I try to line my garments where possible to cover up the stitching, but use french seams on unlined skirts. Might start french seaming the bodices too and avoid lining all together after seeing how wonderful your pieces look!

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    1. Thank you! I really like the insides to look as lovely as the outside and try really hard to finish everything nicely so it will last! I LOVE french seams and highly recommend them for floaty dresses when the fabric isn't too sheer! I need to start lining more of mine...

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!