For some reason, I found Javier Bardem's character very inspiring and decided to finish the jacket. The sleeves are big poet sleeves that taper to a very tight wrist. The challenge that I faced was that I don't know what happened to the suede so I had to come up with a creative way to finish the edges. I had a piece of faux leather that I knew would be great for a pair of pants, so why not bind the edges of the jacket with the same fabric?
The lining is a bit unconventional. Let me do a little explaining first. My birthday is December 12th, the same day that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego. It's really such a beautiful story. So the legend goes, she appeared as a half breed, half Indian and half Spanish. It's said that she appeared in this manner to show compassion for the people who had been so persecuted, primarily by the Spanish.
Some years ago I was taking a Spanish class. The teacher found out that my birthday is December 12th and it was such a big deal to her. She told me that a child born to a Latin family on the 12th of December is considered quite an honor, and a blessing. I had no idea. With that knowledge, I decided to find out more. I now feel that it is truly an honor and I wear a ring of Our Lady of Guadalupe at all times. Because of my research, I have come to understand and I guess in some ways embrace many of the traditions of the Latin people, like wearing the ring. I love the celebration of The Day of The Dead. Here in Chicago we have a wonderful Mexican Museum of Art. Every year they have a spectacular display of alters that are built to honor friends and family members who have died. A tour of the exhibit is something that I enjoy doing every year. The Day of the Dead is a time when family and friends come together to remember, celebrate and pray for those who have died. Some who don't understand the tradition feel that it is a very dark celebration, but really it is quite lovely.
The fabric that I used for the lining is Day of the Dead fabric. Yes there are skulls, but there are roses and green vines as well. I really love this fabric.
A side view of the jacket. The center back is gathered, forming a very full skirt and it is longer in the back. When I have the jacket on you can see just a hint of the lining.
To fasten the jacket, I put large grommets on the right side. I then took a cording and made knots and kept the ends long so that I could make loops. The loops then go through the grommet and then loop over the knots.
At the wrists I attached smaller grommets and then put an elastic cord through the holes and I sewed it into place on the back side.
At first I was going to wear a white shirt with the outfit, but once I got the jacket and pants together, I knew I needed a black top. I felt that the lining would be a little more dramatic against an all black background. In keeping with the full sleeves of the jacket, I designed this draped and pleated sleeve for my top.
Black boots would have been fine with this outfit, but these were just a little too perfect. They are actually rain boots. They are definitely an unexpected twist.