20th Century

White Zombie and the 3 hour jacket

Originally I was only contracted to make Elizabeth/Madge’s shroud dress for the PorcelainToy White Zombie music video, but a few days before shooting began it became clear that the jacket they had found for Emile to wear as Neil just wasn’t cutting it, so I said I would whip up something.

Bela Lugosi as Murder Legendre and John Harron as Neil Parker in his tropical jacket & jodhpurs

And whip up something was right:  I was still making last minute adjustments to the dress and embroidering pearls on it at every opportunity, so I didn’t have a lot of spare time.  The jacket was going to have to be fast and easy, and adjustable: I had no time for a fitting!

So I had a mad rummage through my fabric stash, came up with some calico/muslin* that was the right colour and handle, and then found a jacket pattern I have used for Mr Dreamy.  Luckily Emile of PorcelainToy is almost exactly the same size, so I could be a little less concerned about fit.

Even with a good pattern I didn’t have enough time to make a jacket by myself, so I called in a favour from Shell, and she came over to my place and we got to work.

She cut the muslin while I sewed pearls on the dress, and then I pinned a few jacket pieces together, handed them to her at the sewing machine, pinned the next pieces while she sewed, and pressed the sewn pieces as they came off the machine and pinned them to the next pieces.

With both of us working on it full speed the jacket just came together in just a few hours.  We started at 3, and by 6 we had a jacket.

I had to do the sleeve-setting in, the buttons, and the collar by myself as that was a bit above Shell’s comfort zone, but really the whole tandem sewing thing is an awesome time saver: you don’t waste anything walking from your machine to the iron!

When the jacket was finished Shell looked at it and said “You tricked me!  I don’t know how to make a jacket, and you got me to do it!”  Now I just need to trick Shell into making her wedding dress (spoilers!)

The jacket is just simple calico/muslin, flat lined with a crisp calico/muslin.  It’s unlined, so that I could adjust the size if I needed to.  For three hours I’m super happy with it.  The collar is a bit weak and wonky, but it’s been years since I did one and I didn’t have a direction sheet, so I still call it a win.

Emile and Elizabeth share a moment

Elizabeth watches Emile kill zombies

Rescuing Elizabeth

Tomorrow I’ll show you images of Emile in the jacket from a seriously awesome photoshoot.


* See this post if you wonder why I am using both terms


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