Rewind to bodycon era

I’m working my way through remnants and revisiting patterns I enjoy wearing.

This fabric was used in January 2016 for a skull lace jacket I still wear when there’s a chill in the air.

I do wear this in the morning to the gym when it’s still dark because I used reflective piping.
The skull lace still makes people look twice when I wear this jacket.

Back to the dress…as you can see I managed to successfully win at pattern tetris for this dress. This ponte is always stocked in lots of colours by Minerva Crafts.

I was also able to use zippers from my stash.

At this point I went back to see when I originally made this dress.

I originally made this dress in 2013 using View B.
That scared me because I wasn’t sure if my shape had changed too much.

Not too bad from the back view #notamodel.
With a decent press, those zippers will lie flatter on this dress.
I’m happy with the fit of this dress but will certainly try my best to keep my shape in check.

I’ll show you what View A looks like shortly.
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Donna Karan jigsaw

These Donna Karan (vogue 1378) trousers were such a jigsaw to me. I made these last year but I’ve only been wearing them this Winter.

There are now some really good reviews on the trousers so here were my alterations.
My project challenges
I had to figure out where to shorten these without affecting each piece of this puzzle.
My shapely leg meant some shaping with these trouser pieces.

Not having enough fabric in the same colour to test the first version.

I used a dark purple at the back of the ankles.
What worked for me
This shows where I pinched the centre front seam to lower it without affecting the waistline shaping.

I used anther legging pattern to test the leg shaping.

Then I looked at where I wanted to shorted the pieces but I couldn’t figure out what pieces to shorten. So I numbered each piece to the line drawing.

For the length, well I let that one go because I have shortened the pants at mid thigh level but I knew the bottom pieces still needed to be shortened.

The body curves were adjusted the way I usually adjust trouser curve.  Drop the centre back curve. Lengthen the centre back curve for more room. Shorten the centre front seam.

There wasn’t enough grey ponte so I chose a dark purple ponte and placed that at the back of the calve and as the lower leg facings.

This pattern is pieced together by overlaying the pieces but I did normal seams at the top of the trousers with some topstitching. I kept the overlaying pieces for the lower leg.

Pattern piece changes

Once I’d sewn the leg pieces up, I compared it to my legging pattern and saw I needed to lop off another 3″ off the leg piece. So I’ll save that for another version. The pattern pieces have been adjusted.

And that’s how I made this puzzle work.

Jumper, jacket or hoodie

McCalls 6614 has been in my stash for a while so while doing a few weekend chores these projects diverted my attention.

The front photo on the pattern doesn’t really show these tops up to well but the line drawings do.

This grey top was the test run using a discounted Winter fabric I bought at The Fabric Store a few years ago. 

The fabric has odd lines running through it so I placed the pattern pieces with the lines running up and not across.

Then I played with the back and sleeves to include a bit of reflective tape and white cover stitching.

With flash, you can see the reflective tape

With no flash, the tape is simply piping

Technically speaking, I adjusted the sleeve length by 5cm and the top length by 2cm.

When I saw this print on IG from Darn Cheap Fabrics earlier this year I ran their store and ordered this whole kit.

I’m still not sure what to do with the trim gift.

The only problem was I didn’t order enough rib knit for the cuffs so I substituted this with blue lycra fabric from the stash.

The finished jacket

The jacket has a hood that I didn’t want so I drafted up a simple collar as the substitute.

The jacket is quite heavy and great for cold days.

This meant I needed to be creative with the back neckline so again with a bit of stash diving, I used this elastic as the finish.

Great tush cover

No seam edges were finished because there was no need to finish them. I didn’t want to add bulk and hence waste time when I really should have been doing my weekend chores.

The pockets work!

So to finish off the weekend I dragged out my fabric purchases and made this top for a new Winter running layer.

This blue is a bit Star Trek.
Beam me up!

This fabric has good wicking properties so I cut this out and sewed it up within about three hours.

You can just see the reflective piping with no flash

Now you can see the reflective piping

Again I used the coverstitching and used the white thread as the contrast.

The leggings pattern is Vogue 1378

I’ll tell you about these leggings (Vogue 1378 Donna Karan) in the next post. I made them late last Winter and then forgot to post up my little review.

Skull lace

I wanted to take this fluoro fun jacket (McCalls 7026) to another level by using two types of skull lace for my Minerva Crafts project this month. There’s a lot of cool lace and mesh used in ready to wear activewear.

When I saw this skull laceon the Minerva Crafts website, I saw how I could play with placing the skulls in a strategic way. 

I’ve never seen skull lace before so I thought I could wear ‘skulls’ outside of Halloween.

The ponte de roma Minerva Crafts has is a good weight for a jacket and has good stretch recovery so I know this jacket can take the heat of being worn for weekends or getting to and from the gym at 5am in the morning. However since making this jacket, I worn it to the movies and out at night because I love this particular purple colour.

I still have a bunch of reflective tape that I bought in Hong Kong so this time I applied reflective piping on
  • the zipper
  • the front yoke and
  • the back curve.

I’ve found this basic jacket with no hood and no extended cuffs suits my needs. The shape is very RTW too.

A few hints
If you do decide to make this pattern, sew in the front zipper before finishing the side seams so the pieces lay flat as you sew in the zipper. You get a more accurate finish if you sew in the zipper this way.

I moved the pockets to the front panel. Having the pockets in the side seam felt awkward. When you do move the pockets they will only be as wide as the front panel and if you want a firmer fit, add zippers to the pockets. I added invisible zippers to keep the pockets closed for running to gym classes.

Oh, the only additional change I made was a forward shoulder adjustment.

I’m short so if you’re mid height or taller, you’ll need to extend the body and arms. This pattern is short-waisted.

So far I’ve had lots of compliments about the purple ponte. I think the skull lace has taken a few people by surprise. I think my job is here done;)

Thanks again Minerva Crafts for enabling my ‘design’ brain.

Vogue + ponte

This is a Vogue 8923 test version. It really is. 
The give-away clue is the belt.

I’ve placed the sewn in belt at the front because the panels ended up below my hips. A strange stopping point for someone with my height. So I had to cut into the existing pieces (removing 9cm) to have the colour blocks end at my high hip level. 3cm were later taken off the hem.

This dress didn’t need a back zipper but I’ve used the centre back seam for more shaping.

These are all stash ponte pieces that I thought would work together.

Yes. This is a work dress now.

I did a sway back adjustment on the back.
I also added a roll shoulder adjustment.

I’ve used the 3 thread coverstitch for the neckline, sleeve hem and belt detail.

Before I worked on the hem, I read Threads January 2014 issue and decided to practice hand sewing the hem – page 39 in ‘Sew a sheath dress’ article. I always find a technique or two in each issue, but the January issue had loads of techniques I’ve been working towards.

I’ve lined this dress with tricot knit so there’s no clinging to fuss about, or facings used. In case you’re wondering, only the body of the dress is lined and not the sleeves.

I’ll use the black ponte and houndstooth ponte to make the ‘real version‘ – courtesy of Minerva Crafts UK.
They’re a lovely store to work/sew with.

I think I might pop over for the meet up in June. 

Want to join me?

UFO – Butterick 5676

This UFO was cut out in our winter and now it’s summer.

I like the design lines of this dress and after seeing other bloggers use a similar style with a lighter colour, I chose this dark colour for my first ponte dress.
I love doing jigsaw puzzles and sewing this dress together was just like a working on a jigsaw. It’s all straight sewing. If you’re not an accurate sewer (and I’m one of them) here are a couple of things that will help you along.
  1. Butterick suggest you sew the neck band onto the dress as a whole piece. I’m not good at sewing sharp corners so I changed the construction step. I suggest you sew on the neckbands the same way you sew together the side front pieces and back piece before you attach front to back at the shoulder seams. I found it easier to face the neckline and get a good v-neckline point. You can tell I have no future as a quilter.
  2. Topstitch using a matching thread colour to the fabric if you’re not an accurate sewer. I fall into this category so you can see the topstiching but you won’t notice the stitching width unless you look real close.
  3. Ditch the zipper. This is a ponte fabric so take advantage of the spandex in the fabric. Keep the zipper if you want a more fitted look.
  4. Attached the sleeve wrist bands to the sleeve before you attach the sleeve to the dress
  5. Sew the sleeve in flat to the dress before you sew the side seam.
  6. Sew the dress and sleeve side seams up last so you can match the seaming.
  7. Sew a winter dress in winter and not in summer. Or make up the summer version straight away, which I did and it took 3 hours to cut and sew.

I did a roll shoulder adjustment, sway back adjustment, slimmed the sleeve on the winter version by 2 cm, made the 10 size. I ironed this after I finished sewing it so that the fabric didn’t stretch or become shinny from over pressing. And it’s been hot here this week so that’s another reason why I shied away from the iron.

So this pattern now goes into the ‘love it’ pattern pile.

Kristy of Loweryourpresserfoot has just made a lovely striped ponte Burda dress.
Anne of Cherrypix:Sewing pix has also made her Holy batwings party dress in ponte and a fabulous print.

Pattern Magic:
Thank you for your comments about my Pattern Magic patterns. Doing the patterns has been a fun process with a few sewers around and a tutor (Angie) on hand. I’ll be keeping my hand at these patterns and reading what other sewing bloggers are working on.

The material lady has just completed a Pattern Magic workshop at Morley College. I wish we had one in Sydney too!