Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Upcycling: Leather blocked ponte leggings

These leather blocked leggings actually started out as a leather skirt. I purchased the skirt on Ebay for $13. I found a skirt in the largest size I could find, the longer the better. Luckily, leather midi and maxi skirts seem to be in very low demand on Ebay, with most going for a steal, if they even sell at all.

The quality of leather of the skirt was nothing like the gorgeously soft and glossy lambskin that I've used before, but it was perfectly fine for this project. The skirt was listed as 'new', but the leather actually looked as though it had been washed. I'll give it a bit of TLC with leather cream and I'm sure it will come up better. 

For the making of these pants, I kept all the seams of the skirt intact, but I did cut off the hem and buttons so that I could lay it flat as a single layer on my cutting mat. You can see some of these seams on my legging panels. I think the random seams add to the interest factor.

 



 
 
I used a beautiful black ponte knit for the back of the leggings as well as for the front knees. Breaking up the leather on the front of the leggings was necessary due to the amount of leather I had on hand. But placing the ponte at the knees also meant that these pants do not restrict my leg movement at all. They are super comfy!

The pattern I used was Vogue 8859, a Marcy Tilton pant. I've used this pattern before in my pre-blogging days. I'm completely useless at making notes on pattern pieces (although I am trying to work on this). One thing that I love about blogging is that I have pictures and pattern modifications documented in a way that I can easily go back and look up again. Anyway, I remembered these pants fitting really well the last time, except for being a little too high in the waist. These are the only photos I have of my last version.


Isn't this the most fabulous ponte knit ever! I think the print was called Dragonfly Fantasia.


In my first version, I ended up hacking off the waistband after I'd sewn it, before restitching the elastic back on, a little lower down. This was a messy modification, but perhaps even messier, was my 2012-self attempt at recording this change by simply putting the hacked off portion back in the pattern packet!

So to summarise my modifications in this pattern:
  • removed 1.5" of length through the crotch
  • removed the yoke
  • narrowed the waist through the back crotch seam by 1.5"
  • drew up a waistband to stitch to the top. I inserted my elastic through the waistband instead of directly to the pant as specified in the instructions.
  • skipped the pocket
  • added 1" in leg length
This was an incredibly simple make. I think the panels of leather have turned a very basic, everyday pant into something a little more special. I know I will get heaps of wear out of them during winter. I also quite like the look of them dressed up with my trusty 'white' make from back in May.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oliver + S Ice Cream dress for Miss Four

This dress is an exact replica of Miss Six's version, but in a size 5. I'm going to let the pictures do the talking. It is such a simple make, but so cute and comfortable and just perfect for preschool.

The fabric is covered in lots of little pink fairies. It's not my cup of tea, but I purchased it especially for this little middle peep. I must have chosen well. She is making a heart for me with her hands (upside down of course!).

 
 


And that's all there is to it. I guarantee you will be seeing more of these over the next few years.
 

 





Saturday, August 23, 2014

Two piece setacular in lotsa lotsa floral

You've seen these pants before. They are my Esther shorts hack. I love them with my Camilla cami, but I was inspired by Ada Spragg's Two-Piece Set-Acular to put together another matchy matchy outfit. My first Chanel-inspired Two-Piece Set-Acular is here.

 
 Here, I've just noticed a squirrel nest up our tree.
 

 

The bustier is a little self-drafted number and a bit of a first-time experiment for me. I draped the pieces to fit my tiny, tiny bust. This worked great! I used boning for structure, some old foam bra cups with underwire within the lining for a bit of extra bust shape. I also encased rows of elastic in the back to keep the bustier tight enough to be secure. I miscalculated the effect of the back elastic though. I added extra width to the back to compensate for the elastic pulling it in. I should have just left the design as it was, removed a seam and pulled it in that way. As it turns out, the top fits perfectly, but it is not tight enough for me to feel comfortably secure for long durations. Or it could just be that I am not used to wearing strapless tops. I might add a couple of straps to bring me back into my comfort zone.