Thursday, 26 April 2012

Oh my how it's rained but at least in the House of Demeanour it's been Purple Rain!

Hello Darlings,

How are we all?  Wet I would imagine in the current conditions.   I myself am still trying to get my head round the fact we're experiencing the wettest drought on record!  It's been biblical here in Brighty, which although rotten reminded me of a fabulous quote by author, Vivian Green - "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."  On that advice I've been using the time to get down to my mending for Me Made May 12 and running up some extremely tropical pyjamas to combat the greyness for Karen's Pyjama Party.

Ah but enough of my recently weather induced increase in productivity levels and on to the heart of this post my latest make aka the Purple Rain playsuit.  This item was made in tribute to one of my style icons and my favourite pop pocket rocket, Prince.  As previously blogged I came up with the idea for this garment when my friends and I found out that Purple Rain was being screened at the Duke of York's cinema with a Prince appreciation night being hosted after at the Green Door Store in Brighton.

Prince - music royalty (in my opinion anywho)

I'm a massive fan of the little man but I'm ashamed to say I had never seen the film before but I'm happy that the first time I saw it was on the big screen.  It was so out of control in places I was laughing a lot and I don't think it was meant to be funny but that's the 80s for you.

As much as I would have loved to recreate the above ensemble my time was limited so I thought I would take elements, which were the colour purple and lace.  Prince is a big fan of purple and of lace, in the film he wears a black lace mask whilst heavily oiled and stripped to the waist.  As stated previously Prince is out of control in this movie!  Originally, I was going to make a skater style dress but then never having attempted anything even mildly trousery (made up word) but with the desire to get the handle on shorts so I can make some pin up style ones to wear over tights a purple playsuit won out.

Looking round for inspiration I happened above this  playsuit and the rest is history.

Once I decided what I wanted to create I realised I didn't have a playsuit pattern but I'm not easily thwarted and thought that if I could frankenstein a pair of shorts and a top together that would work.  Fortunately it did :)  Earlier this year I used Burda's tutorial to create a bodice block that formed the top half of the playsuit and I had the Burda Ruby shorts pattern in my sewing queue.  

Delilah modelling my bodice block earlier this year and Burda's Ruby shorts

The next requirement was purple lace and some purple underlining because as much as I like to make a statement and as much I admire Prince and know he would wear the outfit see through I was looking for a slightly more demure look ;-)  I saved my fabric buying for Sew Incidentally's fabric swap and meet up at Walthamstow Market.  A very lovely time was had by all and and I snagged some fabulous patterns and a couple of metres of gorgeous lime green bamboo print fabric from the ever so lovely Alana of lazy stitching.  Sadly no purple lace was to be found but I did manage to get hold of some purple viscose for £2 a metre yeha!

The lovely sewocracy :) - Claire has a rundown of who's who

My gorgeous green fabric from the haul and a plethora of new patterns just waiting to be sewn up

All was not lost though as on return to Brighton I found some dark purple lace in Fabricland in Brighton for the very unprincely price of £2.99 a metre :)  I then set about constructing essentially two playsuits the lace one and the purple underlining - love to make things simple don't I?!

That said alterations and construction were relatively painless because the bodice had turned out to be a good fit and so I just adapted the pattern to have a lower and wider neckline.  The shorts I lengthened up from the waist to hit my very high waistline.  I used this tutorial from the ace Slapdash Sewist to line the bodice entirely using a machine.  I will be employing this epic technique from this day forward.

Ruby shorts with about 9"lengthened at the waist and taken up 5" at the bottom - they look like Victorian bloomers here

I then made a pattern for a Peter Pan collar to fit the bodice from a tutorial that the lovely Rachel from the House of Pinheiro had serendipitously posted on the same day I was sewing :)

So with all the chat out of the way here is my very first playsuit in all her purple glory

Very purple and very lacy but not too racy ;-)

So there you have it my latest make and I can confirm that she stood up brilliantly to the nonstop Prince  soundtrack we danced to until 4am unlike my shoes.  I danced so hard that the sole came off! 

I will leave you with the man himself and my favourite track.

Prince - I would die 4 U/ Baby I'm a Star from mark Daley on Vimeo.

Until next time enjoy dancing in the rain.

Miss D



  1. That is awesome...I could barely wait to get to the final pic! That you've pulled together so many tutorials and patterns is impressive...its such a great suit (love the collar and contrast!)

  2. Oh yes! You were totally right to hold out for the right shade of purple! I've been looking forward to seeing this and it doesn't disappoint.

  3. This is ridiculously good! And it's a custom design! Wow. Can we have a closeup of that fabric? It's a lush colour.

  4. Eek!  Purple Prince playsuit!!!!!   Looooooooooooove!!!

  5. Jessie Stanbrook28 April 2012 at 14:32

    I love this! I wouldn't have the confidence to try it without a pattern! (hint!) Looks great. 

  6. This is probably in my top ten of things I've ever seen on the internet! Totally love it! Am also a massive Prince fan and this is a fitting tribute to the purple one.

  7. Houseofpinheiro28 May 2012 at 20:35

    This jumpsuit rocks Hun. I loved how it developed x

  8. Oh ye gawds, and a plethora it is! Btw the top of that playsuit is in the Feb/March Issue of La Mia Boutiuqe (exactly the same) and LMB do sh*tloads of playsuit patterns so it should be easy street for anyone that's got access to those.. I do like your version better than the one in the ref. pic though- it's more beat than the ref. and that's always a good thing.

  9. Beautiful work Miss Mackenzie - such a talented lady:-)