A Spring romper three ways

I really, really love fashion. I love designing. I love making. I love forcasting new trends. And I especially love dressing up. My preference is to wear my own handmade clothes, but I’m not averse to mixing it up with a little RTW, which is why I was happy to partner with Tobi.com recently and spend a little time playing around with some of their styles.

There’s something to be said for keeping aquainted with ready-to-wear clothes. In the bubble of home-sewing, it can be easy to fall into a rut when it comes to exploring different construction techniques and design features. I know this is something that I’m very aware of with my sewing. I get some of my best ideas and sewing inspiration from RTW.

I’m not saying that this little TOBI romper is particularly unique, but it is super cute! I’ve made several playsuits and rompers in the past, including my all-time favourite silk version. However, a few great details attracted me to this one. I love the diagonal (very slightly flared) inset on the base of the shorts. It creates a very flattering shorts shape, without adding unneccesary volume to the hips. It’s a design feature that I’m keen to try out on a pair of shorts myself this Summer.

I was also intrigued by how the front of this romper was put together and how the extremely low neckline would work in real life. Leaving the neckline open (as designed) is an extremely sexy look. Twenty-something-Debbie would have rocked this look, but current-Debbie needed a little fix. I added a small hook and eye above the front tie to close the neckline a bit and it works perfectly for me now!

I think this little romper looks great on its own, especially when paired with a subtle nude heel. However, I love it even more when I add my own personal touch. You can’t go wrong with a pop of colour on a cool Spring evening. I made this wool crepe trench a while back by modifying a vintage pattern. It has been the perfect transeasonal coat for me.

And for my final look, I paired the romper with my favourite vintage, leather skirt. The romper fabric is a lovely, silky rayon, so it’s smooth enough to layer with a skirt. I’d wear this look to work. Whoever knew a little old romper could be so versatile!

Disclaimer: I was sent the TOBI romper and shoes for free in exchange for creating a blog post. All content and opinions are my own.

A few thoughts on RTW and a vintage faux-fur score

I don’t buy a lot of RTW. Most of my wardrobe is handmade, as is a large percentage of my daughters’. However, I’ve drawn a few lines in the sand as to what I see value in making and what I don’t.

I generally won’t make knit tops and leggings for my girls, unless of course I already have the fabric in my stash (most likely a remnant from something else I’ve made – nothing goes to waste here). These items are just so easy to buy for next to nothing (ethics aside) and they get trashed by my kids anyway. I’d much rather spend my time sewing more interesting garments.

For me, the same applies to jeans and faux fur. I view jeans as a technical make, but not due to the sewing (I agree with all the pattern makers out there – don’t be scared of sewing jeans if you are so inclined). It’s the hardware and denim fabric that I don’t have the time or inclination to hunt down myself. And the same goes for faux fur. The location I reside prohibits me from visiting a well-stocked bricks and mortar store where I can pat and caress all the fabrics. It gets wearisome and costly relying on swatches for everything, and this definitely impacts my choice of textiles.

But back to the outfit of the day. I present you with one of the very few complete RTW outfits in my closet. The jeans are DL1961 and I love them for a few reasons. The colour is great and the fit is superb. I love the leg length (I’m 5″10 so the legs are long). The denim is pretty amazing too. It’s lusciously soft and stretchy. The composition is 64% tencil/modal, 34% polyester, and 2% lycra. Nope, not cotton, but they do look like it! Now perhaps if I could get my hands on some of this fabric for a decent price, I’d reconsider my stance on sewing jeans.

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The vintage coat is mouton fur, which is sheepskin that has been processed to resemble smooth, glossy beaver fur. This is an old coat (circa 1950?) with a gorgeous cropped style. I love the shape of it and the fit is perfection. The front fastens with a hook and eye. I need to re-stitch the eye in place, but otherwise the coat is in excellent condition.

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I’m not going to delve too deeply into the ethics of purchasing or wearing fur. There are justifiably strong feelings on the matter. I love the look and feel of real fur but it doesn’t sit easy with me. Lamb/sheep/goat/cow products are a different matter. I don’t eat a lot of meat (for health and sustainability reasons) but I’m still partial to the occasional steak or lamb chop and I definitely won’t turn my nose up at slow roast goat or a platter of cheese. Therefore, it would be quite hypocritical of me to shun the hides of these animals. With that in mind, I can assure you that I will be giving this old coat the love and care that it deserves.