This post is going to be a blast from the past. I was a privateer for Halloween 2009 (for those of you that don't know, a privateer is basically a government-sanctioned pirate). This costume was a bit of a rush job because I had to sew six costumes over the course of two months. I apologize for the poor resolution of these images - I can't seem to locate the original high-res pictures.
First up here is the blouse. It's Simplicity 4914, and if you want it, I suggest you buy it as soon as possible. It's been out of print for several years and I imagine that supplies are quite limited. I actually didn't make the blouse to wear with the costume, I made it much earlier to as an everyday wear item. It's a beautiful black-on-black brocade featuring phoenixes (phoenices?) and dragons. I wish I had bought more of it, because it would make a fantastic vest or dress.
The blouse appears as though it would lace up the front, but it actually has a zipper in the back. Unfortunately (though you can't really tell in this picture, but you can in the pattern link), the blouse starts to end at the actual waist. I usually have to wear something under this, which is unfortunate, because the brocade is both quite heavy and lined. The sleeves are also ridiculously short, so I lengthened them, but that only adds to the weight of the garment. For those reasons, I don't get to wear this as often as I would like to. Don't get me wrong, I love the blouse and get a ton of compliments on it, but it isn't as convenient to wear as I would have wanted.
Anyway, onto the pattern review. The construction of the blouse itself wasn't too bad. Some pretty precise marking is necessary here for the sleeve's grommet tape, and the front was a little finicky, but this could be tackled by an intermediate, I think.
Simplicity 3677) was the tuxedo I made for my sister's wedding, and the only reason I hated that more was because a good chunk of the instructions weren't translated from German to English. This pattern wasn't really difficult, but it was quite lengthy. Nothing wrong with a lengthy pattern, as long as it produces a nice garment in the end, but this most certainly did not. I know that I frequently bemoan Simplicity for calling for more fabric than the garment actually needs, but this had nearly two yards left over.
That was the least of this pattern's sins; if you look at the pattern picture, it doesn't have the best shot of the front. I made this coat two sizes larger than what I normally wear because the blouse was so bulky. Even two sizes too large, this coat would not close over the blouse. I tried it over something with a slimmer silhouette, and it still didn't close. It isn't actually meant to close - despite calling for twenty-eight buttons (which I had to special order), this coat contains no buttonholes.
And again, the sleeves here are just too short. Do people think that pirates loved walking around with exposed wrists?
The facing here looked stupid and the instructions for the godets were crap. There is nothing redeeming to this pattern and I would recommend it under no circumstances.
A breakdown of my accessories:
Rose choker: $7, Hot Topic
Striped knee socks: $5 - $10, Hot Topic
Shoes: $20, Journey's
Hoop earrings: Claire's