Simplicity 3636 – plaid skirt to plaid over blouse

I have now decided that overblouses are the best ever……… now that winter is coming, and jumpers are beckoning, an overblouse is a lot smarter (than some of my jumpers anyway) and I just love the pockets.  The style of this overblouse is not unlike a ‘kinsale smock’ (or fishermans smock), and its perfect ‘transitional’ wear, when its too warm for a jacket, but too cool to not wear one.  I had hoped to use up a red plaid from stash but there wasn’t enough (but I have a plan for that) so I decided to use the plaid from a pleated wool skirt I got a long long time ago, adored the colours but couldn’t think of what to do with it. 

Plaid is a tricky one.  Its not the hardest to match off once you decide where the match points should be, but when its off – its really off  (the last worst match plaid I saw was ‘Wolf of Wall st’, Leonardo diCaprio’s Prince of Wales suit).  When learning factory cutting, we had to do plaids, and cut them in layers of 20 plus careful laying and planning is key and then it should all work out fine.  I cut this top on the fold, but I can understand some people prefer to cut plaid on one layer only, the reason I don’t is that I am more afraid of cutting 2 left fronts or something by forgetting to turn pattern pieces over.

simplicity 3636 plaid skirt upcycle refashion to plaid blouse



I decided to put the main dark stripe as centre, as this gave the most fabric and I suppose ‘technically correct for plaid’ , however the side seams would be three square sides but it looked fine at that so I cut in. 

So when I was cutting this, I matched my centre front and centre back lines at the same plaid point for the vertical and then worked up from hem lines, checking then, the underarm match lines and the lines at the shoulder each side of the neck.  As this was a simple cut, this was straight forward enough but I had to pin it plenty for sewing to make sure the squares didn’t stray.   

So after all of this, I must have been a bit slap dash with darts and then one of my darts was slightly off, and fixing a slightly off dart is a lot more difficult than fixing the one that is miles off!  (and ironically you could spot the slightly off dart a mile off). 

simplicity 3636 plaid skirt upcycle refashion to plaid blouse


The buttons were from the button tin, originally from black coat …. .  I was going to include a collar, but the collar for this was designed to sit flat, and it looked a bit off, if there was sufficient fabric I may have tried one that stood up a bit, in the end, I used the collar as the facing.

skirt upcycle to long sleeve tee




I made a long-sleeve-tee to wear underneath – its a funnel neck.  I did a basic pattern draft for it, and used a viscose jersey skirt -the weight and drape of this fabric was divine.  Its was very quick, draft, sew, wear and I will be making more of these. 


Simplicity 1178 halters and weskits – from pillowcase to halterneck

More pillowcases to tops.  I did some rough sews of these two as I liked the look of the halter.  The cream halter has a low back and the blue halter/weskit has none!  I did make up a halter for a friend since and brought the back up more, so to allow for bra.  Cute pattern, ends at waist so it needed to be adapted for contemporary wear – I just lengthened the sides and darts.  The blue halter is similar to a temporary beach top you can fashion from scarves but has nicer shaping, again, would work very well adapting into a dress in a 1940s style……………..

remake upcycle pillowcase to halterneck simplicity 1178

Simplicity 8203 – trousers to tennis dress

simplicity 8203 trousers to tennis dress


The athena poster dress was auctioned earlier this year and got 15k!  It well exceeded the guide price and the back story is a good read.  Its a home-made dress and is from a simplicity pattern (is supposed to be from Simplicity 8203).  I like square necklines,  and decided to give it a go.  The pattern allows for 3 dress lengths and also has a pattern of kick pants/tap pants/hot pants for underneath.  Its a good option obviously for wearing dress at the shortest length (unless you are having an athena moment of course),  

I was able to cut the short length from a pair of linen trousers and would have been able to get the mid length also.  I lined the dress in white cotton and used bias binding to finish the arm holes and some binding for the neckline – it may have been a nicer effect to have just bound both in white, and having a white detailed neck and arm etc instead of turning them over all the way.   Its a straight-forward pattern, and quickly made up, I intended to put trim on it (part for decoration and then it became compulsory when I did a mis-cut) , but I would have preferred if I could have found the generic daisy trim that seemed to  trim every item of clothing I had as a child but not available in local haberdashery.

simplicity 8203 upcycle and remake trousers to dress


I decided to not finish the trim as overall, I am still undecided on the overall finish so I have pinned it (badly)n for the photo, and will figure a better ‘look’ for it later.  I think it needs some detailing, but unsure yet.   I made the kick-pants, they are very much of their time as they fit right on the waist – but they could also be adapted to sit lower.   The big achievement for me, was to get a dress cut from a pair of trousers.   Cute pattern – and thinking of making some other versions………………………

Simplicity 4826 Purple Smocked Frock – skirt to dress


simplicity 4826 smocked dress

This is definitely a great upcycle as there were only tiny scraps left, and I forgot to take a photo of the skirt in its before state.  The fabric is a purple polyester shantung, so easy to sew and easy to launder. 

This pattern is so so quick.  I traced the smocking dots and then used carbon paper to apply to the dress front.  The direct smocking (unlike traditional english smocking) is super fast!   I managed to get the dress cut from the skirt, and the lining was re-used also.  The waistband became the belt (that still needs a buckle).  I prefer the dress without the belt, but I think my sister prefers it with the belt.  


The dress is simple to make, after cutting the front is smocked and some pleats tacked into place.  the back has a zipper and two neck darts and then the back and front are sewn together.  I lined the dress as there was no fabric for facings, and used bias binding on the neck and armholes after to strengthen them.    

This dress has found its way to my sisters wardrobe as I made it in her measurements.  and I intend to make another, and this one will include beading in the smocking.  I got this pattern from Amanda at OhSewCharming .

simplicity 4826

Simplicity 4826 Purple Smocked Frock - upcycle skirt to dress

Simplicity 4826 Purple Smocked Frock - upcycle skirt to dress

Simplicity 8825 – Jiffy Dress – duvet to dress

Simplicity 8825 - Jiffy Dress - duvet to dress

I love these jiffy dresses, they seem to have a ‘gal on the go’ feel to them.  I thought for some reason that this would be reversible also, which it is – kind of – except the ties i put inside to keep it in place, then are on the outside, but this could be changed.  This one was made from a duvet cover.  It uses a lot of fabric, as in effect you are making 4 dresses including the lining.  It would work well and the double layer gave a good hang to the dress, but the poly-cotton is a bit ‘flat’.  it would work well in an inexpensive light silk or with some nice braid/print/embroider detail,   I got this pattern from LadyJaneVintage on etsy (who I am convinced knows a lot of people personally in ups it got here so fast!)


The dress itself once cut was quick to make up, and as it was self lined, there were no seam finishes.  I am still unsure about neckline and hem length.  The neckline goes right to the neck and I think would work better as a slight boat neck, the hem length is on the knee on me, so it feels ‘in-between’ lenghts.

Simplicity 8825 - Jiffy Dress - duvet to dress


Simplicity 8825 - Jiffy Dress - duvet to dress

Simplicity 8825 - Jiffy Dress - duvet to dress