Saturday, August 5, 2017

Giving Patterns a Tweak

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were invited to a  very formal wedding. The dress code was, "black tie invited." I knew that some would wear cocktail dresses, but I really wanted to go along with the formal aspect of the wedding.

I had purchased a gorgeous piece of silk charmeuse from Tessuti in Australia.  The print is of Venice and the colors are like liquid floating across the fabric. I was so happy that I jumped on it when I saw the fabric as it sold out very quickly.

Because it's summer, I wanted something that was easy to wear but would still feel formal. So, I ended up with a simple gathered skirt and a draped blouse that I pulled together with a matching sash.

The blouse is also made from a piece of silk.

I had just enough of both fabrics to create the sash. To give the sash some body, and keep it from collapsing, I interfaced it with 1 layer of fusible knit.

To create the blouse, I used an old Tom and Linda Platt  pattern. I liked the drape of the neckline, but wanted more drape and softness.

Since the pattern is for a dress rather than a blouse, I determined just how much length I would need and then cut away the extra from the bottom.
To create the look that I wanted at the neckline, I simply cut the front open along the center and spread it 3".  

The side seams were tapered in as I also did not want a flared hem.

So often we get lured into purchasing patterns that we really already have in our collection. All it takes is a bit of tweaking to get them to be exactly what we want. So I encourage you to do a thorough inventory of your patterns and the next time you see a design that you would like to recreate, look thorough the patterns that you already have and think about giving them a tweak!    

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  1. Your outfit is lovely! And your advice spot on especially since some of us who have been sewing for years and buying patterns during that time probably have something similar to what we need.

  2. I love every bit of this post, and your beautiful outfit is indeed inspiring. How to make simple special is something I truly value! You are so right, and I learned so much from how you modified this pattern; but....oh dear, I really like this Tom and Linda Platt dress pattern that I have never seen before and just bought it on Etsy. I did think for a minute if I already had a pattern similar enough that I could modify, but my limited creative vision said nope, nada, buy it. I am not typically this quick to buy another pattern, but needing something dressy that I can also see as being versatile for other occasions when made in the right fabric that also fatters a pear shape is not something I can pass up. Thank you!

  3. You are so right about using the patterns we have on hand. I need to do that more often! Your outfit is just gorgeous! What a fabulous fabric for the skirt!

  4. Here, here! When I realized I could make a new thing from two old things, my head exploded and my world changed. One thing that slows my pattern buying down is the interchangeability of so many of them now. I look for features and details, and specifically different construction methods, just like this dress. I bought it for the double layers on the bias and the hem. I was a little chuffed when you cut it!

  5. What a beautiful ensemble. Gorgeous. I agree with you wholeheartedly about patterns. Most often, all we need to do is modify patterns we already have to get the look we want.

  6. Stunning❣️ That is so true about considering the patterns we already have❣️ Sometimes that's the only way to achieve the look you want. Great post❣️

  7. What a gorgeous ensemble. You have used that printed silk so perfectly. I agree, when I see a design detail I like I try to modify a TNT pattern I already have. Have fun at the wedding!

  8. Oh what luxury! The design on the skirt fabric is to die for. And a great reminder to pay attention to what already exists in the pattern stash, thank you! ;-)

  9. Stunningly effective yet simple outfit. You will look fabulous and unique at the wedding.

  10. A beautiful ensemble, Ronda! That waist sash really punctuates it!

  11. How beautiful. I'm sure you looked AMAZING in it!
    Hugs, Joy

  12. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! That print on the skirt is gorgeous & the simple line really allows it to shine. This is a winner in every way. You are absolutely right about the pattern stash, I need better "eyes" not more stuff! :)