Idle Pinterest scrolling led me down a rabbit warren of ponte roma dresses to keep me warm but well dressed this winter. I explored different shapes, lengths, colours and styling. Finally settling on rusty reds and berry purples with a trapeze silhouette, plain but absolutely primed to pair with a hand-knitted shawl/cowl or a statement necklace.
I took my previous hacked dress pattern (it’s based on the best bits of Renfrew, Audrey, Staple and Briar) and used this tutorial to trapeze it. It was a speedy hack, used just 2m of fabric and was a quick sew too. The end effect is completely shapeless from the bust down but I love the abundance of fabric.
As I wasn’t sure how my hack of a hack of a hack pattern would work out… or even if I’d like or suit the new-to-me silhouette, I didn’t worry too much about the fabric. In fact I used it as an opportunity to try a colour outside of my usual palette. If you’re reading this thinking new silhouette, new colour, new year, new you… you’re wrong. I actually dreamt and sewed this up in December!
So I’m interested to hear… what do you think of the shape and colour? What new things are you trying?
What do you make once you’ve got your sew-jo back? The time and motivation to sew was there but the inspiration not quite flowing yet. Browsing through a year’s Burda Style magazine subscription and refolding my stash I managed to pair a soft taupe-mushroom ponte from Truro Fabrics with an open shoulder sweater. I’m not a huge sweater fan but I do have a soft spot for a quirky feature.
The pattern is #113 from 03/2014 edition of Burda Style. I omitted the leather elbow patches (ick) and the pocket. I also took the liberty of switching the suggesting Petersham ribbon at the shoulder opening for interfaced cotton lawn. I like the contrast and it’s always satisfying to use up some smaller scraps from my fabric stash.
It’s a really quick make -the dropped shoulders and boxy style mean there is no fitting required. However the Burda instructions for the shoulder opening were confusing. I muddled through and ended up with something functional.
My sew-jo was back but I still took over two months to get round to photographing and blogging. Like many others, any spare time I have I’d rather use for sewing or, more recently, playing and cuddling our puppy.
Just over a year ago, I hacked the April Rhodes’ Staple dress with the Maria Denmark’s Audrey dress and I kinda liked the outcome. Except that it didn’t last too long before the seams became holey and I had to abandon it. I think this was partly due to the overlocker needles that were onto their second project and partly due to the fabric. It was inevitable that I’d remake this pattern combo… but better.
I upgraded to a heavier weight fabric for warmth and to get rid of some of the wrinkles but it was a compromise on the drape of the dip hem skirt. This luscious teal ponte was from Ditto Fabrics (24 weeks ago according to my Instagram account!). It’s really soft and, as always with Ditto’s fabrics, it’s great quality, not the disappointing poly-shiny ponte. I actually wore this dress on Christmas day (I’m behind on blogging) and a few times since. It’s holding up well to washing, wearing and keeping me warm.
For the pattern mash up, I went from a duo to a trio of Staple–Audrey–Renfrew. There’s a “two’s a crowd, three’s a party joke” in there somewhere but the addition of the cowl collar certainly works well with this fabric for a winter dress.
So that’s me back on the blogging horse. More 2015 makes coming soon… maybe!
When I made my Autumn Southport dress, I wanted to further extend the wearability into winter. I’ve nailed layering with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath and a cosy cardigan on top but brrrrr the chills go right through tights.
I wasn’t the fastest sock knitter so knitting wooly tights was out of the question (although I can’t stop browsing knitted tights on Ravelry and Pinterest!). The next best option was to sew some leggings.
For the pattern I used Vogue 1440 modifying the tapered leg trouser silhouette to a fitted legging. The pattern is intended for knit fabrics such as ponte so the alterations were relatively easy.
I placed an online order for some navy and some mushroom ponte from Truro Fabrics. This ponte is really very good quality, it doesn’t have the sheen that cheaper options have and is incredibly soft for such a sturdy knit.
When I attached the elastic waistband, I also incorporated a ribbon tab at the centre back for easy orientation.
Finally, I had some excess length that I should have just cut off and hemmed with a twin needle top stitch but I was overcome with an urge to turn them into ski pants. In the interests of fashion, do not try this at home kids.
If you don’t care that 3 decades have passed since this look was ‘in’ then go ahead, cut a 2 1/2 inch slit for your heel, zig-zag or overlock the cut edge to reinforce it then enjoy the warmth provided by a second layer on your feet and the knowledge that your leggings will stay firmly in your boots this winter.