Wearing History - Chic Ahoy

In an effort to be extra prepared for the Summer Art Deco festival in Napier, I ordered another Wearing History pattern; this time, Chic Ahoy.

I haven't made a pair of slacks quite like these before. In fact, I don't think I've ever made slacks. This set has three buttonholes on each side of the flap over the front. The back sections wrap around and lace together. And on top of all that, there is a belt that loops through another set of bound buttonholes and does up at the back! The 1930s were a complicated time for fashionable beachwear.

Choosing the fabric wasn't too difficult. I knew I wanted something bright, solid, and very breezy. I found a beautiful linen called "Papaya" from Draper's Fabrics. Linen is not exactly the cheapest fabric, so I settled for just enough to make the slacks. The bolero would have to wait! I used white detailing including a vintage buckle and button set and piping.

For the halter top, I chose this suitably nautical printed rayon from The Fabric Shop. This store is an absolute goldmine - the prices are so reasonable and their taste in prints is spectacular. They have the largest collection of rayon I have been able to easily find in Auckland. The lining of the halter is made from a contrasting silk remnant I got from Draper's Fabrics.

I made a facing for the lining from the main fabric. After making the whole thing it may have looked better to just use the lining fabric, perhaps underlined with some light cotton, to give it some more contrast. I'm still quite happy with the construction of this halter, and I'm looking forward to making more.

I completely failed to pattern match the front - I did try, I swear! This just means I'll need to make more.

The mockup for the slacks needed a little adjustment. The fit in the waist was right, but the hips were a bit too narrow. Since the more complex elements are based around the hip, it would have been smarter to size it from there, and then just take it in at the waist - a relatively easy task compared to trying to add inches on facings and underlaps!

This pattern featured a lot of bound buttonholes, a technique I was not completely familiar with. Having made around ten of the things on this project, I can safely say I'm slightly more confident. They add a delightful detail to the slacks that normal buttonholes just wouldn't. I also added some piping around the edge of the front flap and I'm so happy I did.

Behind the mysterious flap hides a set of eyelets and lacing for the underlaps. The flap is held in place by the belt and covers this closure.

Making a belt was a new experience for me. I really wish I made it longer - I think I got the measurements a bit mixed up when I cut out the shape on the end. It just fits, and should be secure. It looks great though, and that's all that matters in a belt, right?

All in all I'm very happy with this little project. It's the perfect ensemble to wear to a beach in the sweltering sun. Now I think all I need is a huge floppy hat!