Tuesday, 3 December 2013

When you find a good thing

A while ago I came across a jersey knit dress at Material Pleasures and fell in love with it. I loved the simplicity of design: a lace yoke panel which was simply two rectangular panels across the shoulders and chest. I think this is known as a ‘kimono’ sleeve (a sleeve cut in one piece with the bodice?) Anyway, I knew I could replicate it. Setting sleeves is my sewing nemesis, so when I realised I could recreate the dress without having to worry about setting sleeves or trying to adjust the amount of ease across the sleeve-head, I knew I was onto a good thing. And when I find a good thing, I run with it. Over and over again.

First came a red dress made out of red jersey knit bought from Tessuti. I pretty much copied the design one for one and sewed it up quick as a flash on my overlocker. I even included a fabric tie at the back of the dress. I’ll photograph it next time I wear it.

Next came the abstract ¾ sleeve dress that I blogged about previously. This was really an experiment piece as I was trying to draft a dress loosely using this design. As I wasn’t really happy with the sleeve ‘puff’, I returned to the kimono design and knocked out this lace yoke top.  The lace I bought as a remnant from spotlight at the bargain price of $5 for about 2m, and the jersey is a soft blend of bamboo and cotton from Tessuti. I’ve never worked with lace before and thought it would be a nightmare to sew, but it was relatively easy. I overlocked the shoulders and then top-stitched the seam down to lie flat. I made the edging out of the same jersey material (like bias binding, but not on the bias) and was super careful sewing that on so that the back and front edges of the binding lined up.

I’m happy with this top and wear it to work ALL the time. The lace fabric and the jersey knit are a perfect colour match and the fit is great (maybe a tiny bit tight).  After the success of this top, I decided to knock out another in a grey bamboo jersey, omitting the lace yoke and cutting the yoke and body of the top in one piece (a true kimono sleeve). And my sister asked for a replica lace top for Christmas so I’d better get onto that as Christmas is only a few weeks away.
I think I’m done with this design now. Variety is supposed to be the spice of life. Or maybe I’ll just make one more top for summer – a nautical one with a red and white stripe and maybe a navy blue yoke??  And I do have a pile of white jersey knit with black damask fabric in my sewing room – I’m sure that would make a cute top. Ahh, I just need to stop and find another pattern…. it’s just so damn easy to make something that I know will work out in the end.


  1. Hi, I stumbled on this blog and I hope you persevere with it. I'm only new to sewing myself and it would be great to get hints and tips from your work. Like you I read a copious amount of sewing blogs and watch way too much YouTube tutorials. Gillian :)

    1. Hi Gillian. Thanks for reading my blog. I think you're my first real person (other than friends & family). It's great to know that there's lots of seamstresses out there that share my passion for all things fabric.