Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tropical Dreams

I have never been to Hawaii before.

And I'm leaving on a plane on Sunday, so today, after putting it off for... well, *forever* it seems, I got out the old vintage wrap top and shorts pattern that I have been meaning to make. I got this thing in college, probably in 2003. I haven't ever taken it out of it's little manilla envelope, so I wasn't even sure if all the parts were there.  The instructions are nearly crumbling along the seams with age and deterioration, like most of the mail-order pattern instructions do. (Something about the insanely cheap, breathtakingly acidic newsprint.)

This one is from some time in the 1940s, so it's cut economically. Also, it's a size 14, which means that it's a 34" bust - not something I'd be able to squeeze without surgical removal of body parts. However, since it's all based on a reasonably standard body form, I was able to make it work in short order.

I took my measurements, then found the difference between them and those of the pattern. Surprisingly, it was about 10" all the way round, so that made it easy. To be frank, I do expect to do some extracurricular fitting when I've exhausted the instructions - that's fine, normal, expected. I've also got a 10" difference between my bust and my ribcage. Not exactly typical or average for anything!  I figured out how much I'd need to enlarge each pattern piece, traced one side of the pattern onto roll paper, moved the whole thing over that much, and then traced the other side.  I then played connect the edges.

The result?  A pattern enlarged to size 20. I cut it out of black rayon crepe that I've been meaning to use for this.  It has a pattern of white and salmon-pink ginger flowers picked out with green accents, with stylized line drawings of hula girls, and some cursive thematic words like "lei" and "ginger" and "hawaiin".

If I finish it for the trip, I promise pictures!

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