Andy Warhol Ice Cream Arenite Pants

Every so often I cast a critical eye over the garments I’ve made in the past, sometimes things will get made again because I’m not happy with the finish used and want to extend the life of something I wear a lot or simple because it doesn’t get too much use in its’ current form. One such creation is this jumpsuit made from fabric emblazoned with Andy Warhol’s ice cream design from the late 50s. It’s peachskin, a fabric I hadn’t sewn with or worn before this. I found it online at the Textile Centre and bought 3 metres and decided to make it up using my own pattern – a very basic darted, centre seam, side pockets design with no fixings.

It’s kind of nice to look at, it’s like adult toddler wear, comfy and sloppy but certainly not easy to wear. Appearances can be deceptive. There’s a few issues I’ve had with it, one of them is getting in and out of it to use the loo. When I made it a few years ago I was a bit more agile in my movement than I am now so it wouldn’t have been a consideration but it is now so it goes unworn because it’s a pain to wear, I even delay toilet breaks when I do wear it which isn’t good as you can imagine. Clothes should work for you and not against and certainly not be a health hazard. Which I suppose this is. Here’s a photo of it being worn, it’s actually on backwards because I’d just been in the sea and got dressed too quickly upon seeing folk alighting down the embankment towards the beach so it’s looks all kinds of weird in the crotch area and my top is clinging to my damp skin. Thankfully my wonderful man saves this photo that my Mum snapped of us, she wanted a shot of us before the tide washed us away on the cove so it was very rushed but a memorable magical day. Backwards clothes or not.

The other thing that I really don’t dig about this jumpsuit is that it has to be worn with a top underneath and this is because of the horrendous catching noise the fibres make on my Triumph Doreen.

This is my go to heavy duty bra, it’s not pretty and is textured in itself which feels like it’s plucking the back of the synthetic fabric. I now avoid this type of material but am ever so fond of the print so the remaking will commence shortly.

In my head, I imagined the perfect use for this to be trousers, something voluminous, non-clingy and far enough out of reach of my Triumph Doreen. I have a very small offcut from the original cut out and have decided to use the Arenite Pants pattern by Sew Liberated. I’ve made them before, I’ve adjusted the fit for me and am delighted with how they fit in with my needs more importantly.

I’ll be making the version on the left, with the simple hem. The only modifications to the norm will be that I fancy a 75mm depth waistband for this pair. I’ve already altered my pattern to give me a full belly adjustment by lengthening the rise but I’m going to add an extra 2.5cm to take them into the realms of high waisted.

After unpicking, I was left with nice flat fabric to cut my pieces from.

The back pieces are narrower on the jumpsuit and the Arenite front legs are narrower than the back legs so I cut those pieces from the width appropriate pieces. They fit almost exactly, just a few mm difference in both width and height, it couldn’t have worked out better. It also means they’re is not much waste. I’ll re-use the pocket bags in some other future project.

Also fortuitously, the small offcut I had from the original cut was just enough for the side panels and pocket pieces. I was able to maintain the grainline throughout which just blew my tiny mind and made me quite happy.

The only piece I wasn’t able to cut out in a complete piece was the waistband so have opted to make it a two piece and like I’ve mentioned a few cm deeper.

Assembly was straightforward as I’ve made a toile of these and a denim pair before so know the routine but during the making I noticed that the old jumpsuit bust darts have left a feint reminder of it’s previous form. I like this.

Also I managed to do some pattern matching. OK, I lied it was totally by chance.

I decided to opt for French seams rather than the suggested flat felled seams that the pattern calls for simply because I didn’t want any puckering of this slinky slithery material. I think it will help them feel more fluid rather than structured.

As mentioned before I wanted a 75mm deep waistband instead of the 5cm and this is where I ran into trouble, not because of the extra depth but my fabric was just a bit too short as I was piecing it. I noticed this when pinning it on so tried to coax a bit out of the seam allowance on the waistband itself (there were 2 but I’d trimmed them by half) and it was tricky and took an age to ease and baste it in without it puckering anywhere. At this point when I knew it would fit I starting sewing merrily away and then put it down for another session as I’m needing to pace energy wise lately.

At the start of the next stage I proceeded to stitch in the ditch from the right side and left a 6cm gap for the elastic insertion and took it to the ironing board to press it and noticed I’d put the waistband on upside down. I realise this happened because I was sewing whilst fatigued so wasn’t quite on it so left it a day before I unpicked it and had another bash at it when I could focus.

I’m happy that report that it went on again, slowly but surely and I left it another day before the topstitching on the elastic waistband as it needed quite a bit of stretching out which I hadn’t factored in either so had to figure out how I would manage not being able to grip things too well presently. It took a few hours, it might sound ridiculous reading this but it did and I’m glad I got it done without asking for help, thoughts flashed through my mind about going to ask my neighbour but I’m not that confident in those sorts of situations so managed to pile up a series of objects, tinned foods and the like to build a sort of turning platform that could stretch it when my hands couldn’t. Let’s call it the MacGyver method.

A month or so now after finishing them there’s a few photos of them finished:

The last photo was taken in the dark but still gives some idea of what they look like now. After wearing them a fair bit, I’m thinking the pockets are too low probably because having to alter them so much for my height has thrown the position out, but maybe they’re low anyway? I’m not sure.