Designin’ December 2021

I’ve been entering the Designin’ December challenge since 2016 and I often get inspiration from exhibitions I attend when I’m travelling, but this year was different of course! I began to get rather anxious as I had no idea what I was going to make until Ryliss Bod from the Sewing and Design School (@rylissbod on Instagram) posted this Oscar de la Renta design and I knew that my problems were solved! It was a repost from @sewandstyle, who did the fabulous line drawing.

There’s so much to love about this outfit – it’s eminently wearable, it has wide legged trousers and I love the points around the hems on the top. Close examination shows that it’s made from some sort of scuba and those points are just cut with no finishing. I, however, was using some 1980s wool crepe given to me by Sarah from Pattern Union a couple of years ago, so fraying was a definite risk and therefore facings were required.

I knew that I had a wide leg trouser block that I had created with Sarah, which would be perfect for those trousers, and thought that the Pattern Union Felix jacket would be a great starting point for the top, although it would need a bit of hacking, obviously!

I had a day playing with Sarah and we redrafted the Felix to fit my dream. First, we went down a size to make it more fitted, then Sarah cleverly used the Simflex tool to draw the points on both the sleeves and the bodice.

She added 6cm to the fronts to create the button placket. This was calculated by 2 x 2.5 + 1cm ease. By the time it was sewn it was 5cm which was perfect. We also rounded off the neckline and redrew the sleeve to be a one piece sleeve.

The placket was interfaced as shown here.

The points were faced, which meant that the side seams had to be left open to accommodate the facing, which was overlocked to reduce bulk and hand stitched down. It was impossible to hide the stitching on this very loose weave, and although I pressed the top a fair bit, I felt that it needed more. I finished up unpicking the sewing around the facing and used a slightly different technique to hide the stitching. It worked well. I’m not sure if it’s clear here. You can see where my original stitching was. I fold over the edge and stitch to that; this means that I don’t have stitches and an edge showing through. I do all my hems like this and if you use a hemming foot you will be familiar with the technique.

A couple of shots of the outfit for you. Unfortunately I have my hand in that pocket in every single shot as I was trying to pose like the pattern model. It didn’t occur to me to take other poses!

I love the flower buttons. I bought these in an op shop in Hobart, and I had exactly the right number – a miracle!

And I found the perfect label in my tin.

We named this particular pattern hack the “Oscar de la Felix” as a nod to both origins of the pattern.

I wore the outfit to our ASG Fremantle Sewing Group Christmas dinner.

and I’m including this photo of the group walking to the restaurant as it’s always nice to see an unposed photo. Can you spot me?

Here is my posing like the pattern model shot.

Whilst Sarah and I were playing around with this, I thought it might be the perfect pattern to use for a scarf that my dear friend Hélène gave me when I visited her in Montreal.

The fringing was retained – it’s far too nice to be chopped off!

The buttons for this one are perfect and make me so happy. I bought them in Hong Kong in 2014.

The original label is still attached to one side and I added the perfect label to the sleeve.

The Dream It label came from my KATM Advent calendar so generously given to me by Katherine of Sew Blooms. I used this one because the Magamsewalong theme this month is “December Dreaming” and all the time I was making it I was dreaming about the various times I’ve caught up with Hélène.

I am so in love with this top, it’s really comfortable to wear and goes with so many things in my wardrobe. Wearing it here with the Stokx Patterns Rock Skirt.

The obligatory back view. It wasn’t possible to get that dark stripe in the centre back due to fabric constraints, which is a bit of a shame.

I think I might make one more of these outfits, although I’m not sewing for myself too much at the moment, however, as I’ve been dreaming about this make ever since I saw Ryliss’ post, I’m entering the trouser suit in the Magamsewalong challenge on Instagram.

Just in case you are interested, these are my previous entries into Designin’ December, hosted by Linda of Nice dress, thanks I made it. Such a fun challenge!

2016: Mondrian dress

2017: Dior ensemble

2018: Marimekko dress

2019: Another Marimekko dress

2020: Mary Quant dress


14 thoughts on “Designin’ December 2021

  1. Hi Sue, this outfit is gorgeous on you. I am full of admiration for you skill and ingenuity. Also covet that Simflex tool. Must buy one. Congratulations on an fabulous entry. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Rachel

  2. Elegant outfit and what fun you have had in using the scarf for a fun top. Love how Sarah used the Simflex tool, like you I had only used for buttonholes.

    1. Thank you so much Linda. I felt the cut points were a bit of a cheat, but that facing tested me! You definitely should be making tops, or even dresses, out of your scarves.

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