When my lovely friend asked me to make a reproduction hooded jumpsuit for her, I really couldn’t say no. Especially when she sent me this incredible picture of Rita Hayworth as the inspiration!
Hooded jumpsuits were a big thing in the war years, and were known as Siren suits. I like to think it’s because the ladies wearing them had so much va va voom they were found to be irresistible, but actually they were named for their function; to be put quickly on over whatever a woman was, or wasn’t, wearing when the Sirens sounded during the Blitz.
Stylish versions worn by the likes of Miss Hayworth would have been made in luxury fabrics by Hollywood designers.
British and European versions were dictated by strict Utility codes outlined in the various rationing laws that had come into force early on in the Second world War.
Sinead has such great style and is for sure a siren of the Va va voom variety. I found a lovely polka dot viscose challis to make her jumpsuit in within the colour palette she preferred of blues and greens.
Once she had sent me her measurements, I cut her pattern for her, and after a nail biting time when her fabric seemed to disappear, I finally made her beautiful vintage inspired jumpsuit.
I chose to line the hood in a silk so that it wouldn’t unduly mess up her hair – Sinead knows how to set her hair beautifully. I used vintage buttons and completed all the finishing by hand.
It was such a thrill to see her in her finished Siren suit and I feel so lucky to be asked to make something for someone whose style I greatly admire. Hopefully, we’ll get to collaborate again before too long!
If you’d like to see more of Sinead’s fabulous vintage style, you can find her here!
I’m quite seriously contemplating making one for myself in a black crepe of some kind but that will have to wait until later in the year, when the leaves begin to turn and there’s the smell of wood smoke in the air.
For now, I hope the Sun is shining on you and that you’re keeping well!