Formal Outfit, Part 1

Do not do as I do

So, I’ve known for a while that two friends of mine are planning to get married. The dates were shifted many times – first due to some health scares, then COVID, then something else… anyway, the date was set for June 2022 early last year, and the invitation arrived about two days ago (which is the signal that we’re 3 months out).

So, because I have a terrible memory for how difficult things can be, I decided I’d try to make a completely self-made outfit for the event. A button-down shirt, slacks, and a vest.

Did I mention that I’ve had zero success making button-down shirts? Did I mention that I once cried my eyes out in frustration over the very pattern I plan to use? Did I mention that I’ve never made a vest before and that my only success with woven pants so far has been for someone who didn’t require any refits anyway?

Did I mention that I’ve never made any clothing to fit over my chest binder before as well?

The decision to make it to fit over my binder was easy enough – the patterns I have are men’s patterns. While it’s absolutely possible to reshape men’s patterns to fit a less masculine figure, it’s difficult and time-consuming, and sometimes requires going back to a body block and re-creating it. I don’t have time for that – it’s quicker to shrink a pattern that’s too big overall.

And it’s especially a question of time since it all needs to be toiled first.

The patterns I plan to use so far are:

Shirt: A combination of the Thread Theory Fairfield shirt, and the Buckaroo Bobbins Buckaroo shirt. The Buckaroo Bobbins shirt’s instructions are… extremely lacking, and several of the features are very dated and considered signs of poor fit these days. But, I like the half-placket idea, so I’m going to steal that from the Buckaroo shirt, and transplant it over to the Fairfield along with the band collar. (I’m not confident in making a proper shirt collar, plus I don’t know how to make it look good on me.)

Vest: The Buckaroo Bobbins Tombstone vest. As much as it’s going to be a pain to get the buckles and the hair canvas in time, it’s the only one I have right now.

Pants: This is the hard part. The pattern I have at least some experience with is the Buckaroo Bobbins Britches. Their smallest size is far too big, and the crotch curve shaping is completely off. Adapting it to a gusseted crotch from some pants I already have is going to be very difficult too. The other option is the Thread Theory Lazo Trousers, which I have never made before, but Thread Theory has a whole sew-along on their website along with tips and hacks. And while I’ve only consistently made 3 of their patterns, I’ve never had much trouble with Thread Theory, so…

And have I fabrics for this? Maybe. I haven’t actually checked, so again, this could be a disaster.

I’d ideally like to do the shirt in some silk noil I bought over a year ago for a blouse pattern that I got so frustrated with that I almost threw it out. I’ve given up on ever getting that thing to fit me nicely, but the noil will be nice to use for a shirt. I have some matching plain-weave tussah silk I want to use for the collar and cuffs. If I don’t have enough from that, the silk-linen blend I bought to make a refitted Cashmerette Harrison shirt with years ago should surely have enough in it.

The pants are probably going to be plain black linen. I have plenty, and it’s a classic that I can re-wear for years.

The vest? …I genuinely don’t know. I missed my chance to pick up some gorgeous shot linen from Tessuti last year (the colour I want sold out fast) and I haven’t seen much that catches my eye at any of my usual places at the moment. It might end up being in black linen again.

It goes without saying though that this is a terrible idea and you shouldn’t sew an outfit for an event only 3 months away. But I don’t follow my own advice.

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