I love Christmas – it’s such a special family time. This year is going to be even more special because it’s the first Christmas with our gorgeous son, Taylor. Although we don’t know exactly what Christmas will look like this year (we usually spend it in Oxfordshire with my husband’s family), we will still make the best of it, no matter what.
I don’t tend to get very dressed up for Christmas day, but I do like to look and feel ‘nice’, while still feeling comfortable and having lots of space for food!
When Liana invited me to be part of the Lamazi Christmas blog, I started to think about what sort of outfit would work for me. I browsed Pinterest for some inspiration and was really drawn towards jumpsuits. I saved a few ideas and then headed to the Lamazi website to look for some fabric. I knew what colour I wanted – my absolute favourite colour to wear in Autumn/Winter is burgundy – and I spotted a few that would be ideal. After chatting to Liana and the other bloggers, I chose the Romance Cupro Bark Crepe (The burgundy that I used is sadly out of stock, but they do have a similar colour available – brick red). This is such a beautiful fabric with a really luxurious design and texture – perfect for making a special occasion garment.
After making a toile of a potential jumpsuit pattern, I actually started to think about the practicality and wearability of this garment. Rather than having an outfit that could only be worn on special occasions, I would much prefer something that I could incorporate in to my day to day wardrobe. That’s why I decided to make a faux jumpsuit, comprising a top and some trousers that could be worn together for maximum impact, but that could also be worn separately to achieve different looks.
The Romance Cupro Tencel Bark Crepe fabric is so beautifully fluid and swishy; I really wanted to take advantage of this. So I chose a wide legged trouser pattern - the Megan Nielsen Opal pants. This pattern is a relaxed fit, high-waist pants set with mix and match options. I opted for View B – a pair of wide leg pants with elasticated waist. I thought the wide legs would really show off the fabric to its full potential.
For the top half, I needed something that would be breast-feeding friendly, so a wrap style top would work best. I had a browse for some pattern inspiration but couldn’t find anything that was just right. That’s when I decided a pattern hack would be the best option, as I really love the wrap bodice of the Tilly and the Buttons Safiya playsuit (in the Make It Simple book). To convert this in to a top, I firstly lengthened the front and back bodice pieces by four inches. I decided to omit the facings and instead finish the neckline with bias binding. I could have made some myself from the same fabric, but decided to add a contrast with some leopard print bias I had in my stash. To fasten the top, I added some ribbon for ties at each of the side seams (remembering that the ribbon needed to be on the inside on one side of the bodice) and also on each of the front bodice pieces. This meant that I could secure the top on the inside and on the outside to create my wrap top. I did consider other ways of achieving this, such as button & loop, snaps and hook & eyes, but I’m really happy with the ribbons as they add an extra special detail. You could also achieve this look by making ties out of the self-fabric. To finish the hem, I did a rolled hem, similar to the one recommended by Sue in this blog post.
I had been a little nervous to work with this fabric as I thought it would be slippery and tricky to control. However, I started off by reading Sue’s blog which contains some fantastic advice. This gave me the confidence to get started and actually it was much easier to handle than I initially thought. It even pressed really well, which I hadn’t expected. I won’t go in to lots of detail here about how to work with this fabric, but I would encourage you to read Sue’s blog post – it contains a wealth of fantastic tips.
I’m really happy with the outcome of this project. I have a really special outfit to wear on Christmas day, whilst also feeling comfortable, being able to easily feed my baby and also eat a large quantity of food! But then I also have two separate garments that I can incorporate in to my every day wardrobe. As you can see from the photos, the trousers look great styled with a casual t-shirt and trainers. I’ll also be able to wear the top with smart trousers or jeans. In fact, I love the trousers so much that I think I want to make another pair in one of the other colours that Lamazi stock – the Colonial blue would be perfect!
I hope my blog post has inspired you to think about your Christmas or special occasion outfit in a different way – why not make something that can be worn in different ways, all year round? That way, it’s definitely worth treating yourself to some special fabric, like the Romance Cupro Tencel Bark Crepe!
Thank you for reading,
Love Tamlyn xx