Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Oonapalooza parade

Just a quick post written on the Blogger ipad app so apologies for any formatting errors. I'm away at the moment and hoping to get this posted to coincide with the end of the Sewcialists Oonapalooza month. When the July theme was announced, it really grabbed my attention. The opportunity to sew bright colours and prints, and to try some new ideas really piqued my attention. I planned one project and ended up sewing 4!

So here goes with my quick round up:

Breaking myself in gently with some basic shorts

Maybe sewing shorts doesnt seem that revolutionary but I should explain that I haven't worn RTW shorts in about ten years as they just don't fit. I'm still learning about fitting but I think i have a long lower torso, swayback and high hip thing going on. RTW pants and shorts are a pain to fit. I started with a basic New look pants pattern, made a muslin and shortened to shorts length before cutting into a leftover piece of stretch cotton sateen. Result- shorts that fit!

Oona inspiration: bright florals, pattern hacking

Tie-dye silk, I mean c'mon people! Any excuse to sew tie dye silk!

This outfit started with the fabric. It is totally out of my usual choices but I fell for it in the shop, and the guy started dropping the price until I was walking away with 1.5m for £15. And its pure silk in the most amazing vibrant turquoise and pink. I sewed a basic kimono jacket using a tutorial from the Elle Apparel blog. Its a simple enough design to let the fabric sing. Another local fabric haunt of mine, Calico Laine, had some awesome hot pink linen/cotton so with my shorts pattern tweaked I decided to knock up a second pair to go with the kimono. I see this as being a "beach to bar" laid back summer outfit. I have already worn the kimono over a basic black dress a couple of times, its great for keeping the sun off my shoulders.

Oona inspiration: bright patterned fabrics, pattern hacking, sewing without a pattern, letting the fabric do the talking.

Never walk away from awesome fabric, no matter how it presents itself to you

I found a size 26 jersey dress in my local charity shop. Im about a 12/14 so there was no way it would fit. But the fabric... Oh my the fabric! Purple viscose jersey painted with a metallic gold ikat-type design. And i think the dress had never been worn. At first I thought about removing the sleeves and just taking in the side seams. But I prefer a dress with a waist seam and I had plently of fabric to work with. I used the Kitschycoo Ladyskater bodice pattern and added a basic gathered skirt with the remaining fabric. I tried to draft tulip sleeves from the original sleeves but they went totally wrong and I didnt have enough fabric to rework them. No big deal, I just zigzagged clear elastic to the armhole seam allowances, flipped it under and topstitched. I love how this dress turned out. I would definitely go hunting in secondhand and charity shops again. Its a great opportunity to be creative and if you can find garments cheap enough there really isn't much to lose.

Oona inspiration: bright prints, sewing without a pattern, trying something new, making it work!

Thank you to the Sewcialists group for coming up with a great challenge and thank you Oona for the inspiration!


  1. Ermagherd that refashion! Purple and gold, be still my heart! Your lady skater is amazing!

  2. Really great work! I think the shorts are my fav - always exciting to get past a self-imposed ban like that!

  3. I'm with Vicki! I love love love love love that refashion!