All posts by peneloping

Copycat Challenge!!

Copy Cat Challenge 2

So as you all possibly may have gleaned from the endless copycat posts, I absolutely love designing garments from things I have seen. Usually on a tv show or in a movie and immediately want to recreate it. Maybe I never grew out of playing dress-up. Who knows?

Anyway, the lovely Erin from I Heart Fabric and I will be hosting a Copycat Challenge starting next week and lasting throughout the summer, or winter depending on where you are in the world. If you haven’t already checked out the submissions from Erin’s latest Copycat Challenge, you should! People made some gorgeous stuff over there.

The rules are pretty simple.

  1. Choose a garment as your inspiration. Make sure you reference it and acknowledge where you found it. Pick several if you want!
  2. Make it the way you want with your own touch and style.
  3. Blog about it! Tell us what pattern(s) you used, what inspired you about the item you chose, how you styled it, whatever you want!
  4. If you don’t have a blog and want to participate, send us an email and we’ll add it to the submissions post for you.

Of course, to make it extra exciting, there will be a prizes drawn at the end. We will explain how we will choose the winners in an upcoming post and hopefully have a few categories. Each finished garment will count for an extra entry and be judged seperately so don’t limit yourself!

Start thinking of what you’d like to make, look around for fabric, and think of patterns you would like to use. Erin and I will be posting on our individual processes, as well as tips we find helpful as we go along.

We will run this challenge from today until the 30th September 2013 so that’s almost three months to create some unique, fun and creative stuff!

Please contact us if you’d like to participate! Or post a comment below.

Pings Inspiration Outfits

These are the projects I’ve chosen. I can’t decide if I’m being overly ambitious or if I’ll finish these in a week and then twiddle my thumbs for the rest of the summer.

  1. I absolutely adore everything Jess wears on New Girl, but this dress is basically the most adorable thing ever.
  2. If I’m hosting a copycat challenge, a Dear Creatures dress for my inspiration is basically obligatory.
  3. Still on the fence about Clara. Still obsessed with her wardrobe. This outfit is from the 50th anniversary episode, which hasn’t actually aired yet (November 23 wheeee!), but luckily it’s available here to be closely examined.

For more inspiration please see my Pinterest board.

Erins Inspiration Outfits

  1. Victora Beckham Slim fitting white and black dress from my Pinterest board.
  2. Long sleeve DVF shirt with bow again from my Pinterest board. This top looks very similar to a Vogue top I have been wanting to make!
  3. I found this Alannah Hill ‘The Secret Of Secrets Coat’ on pinterest which I really want to use as inspiration. Also, the BurdaStyle handbook has a really cute jacket which I have been dying to make!

For more inspiration on Erin’s outfits please see her Pinterest Board.

Pocketses and ribbony trim

Porter dress copycat

Porter dress copycat

Porter dress copycat

Porter dress copycat
dress: self-made // shoes: Chelsea Crew // hair bow: F21

It’s a fairly torturous feeling when all you want to do in the world is curl up in front of your sewing machine and sew for hours but you can’t because of adulthood and responsibilities and silly things like that. Even worse when you have all the fabric and patterns and notions you need sitting at home twiddling their thumbs and gathering dust. It got so bad that I ended up scheduling a sewing date for myself in my calendar.

And oh my, it was glorious. I was actually surprised how quickly this one came together considering I didn’t actually have a pattern to work off of. To be fair, the construction is pretty basic, but it’s always scary cutting into nice fabric when you don’t quite know what you’re doing.

Yes yes, I know. Muslins and all that. I did cut out a muslin for the front piece but then I decided I hadn’t waited three weeks to sit in front of the machine to sew together a muslin. I live dangerously?

Anyway, luckily everything worked out! I’m in love with this dress. Everything I’ve made lately has been fitted and waist-flattering but sometimes a girl needs to be able to wear a dress out to dinner and then gorge herself, and flowy garments come in handy in those situations. I did use an elongated version of the sleeves from Burda 7739 to draft the 3/4 length sleeves but the rest of it was hand-drafted. I tried using Colette’s Sorbetto pattern for the top, but I ended up having to make so many alterations to the muslin that I wouldn’t recommend it unless you literally have zero concept of what a front piece of a tank top ought to look like.

If you haven’t seen the lovely inspiration for this dress, it’s the Porter dress by Dear Creatures. To be honest, I wasn’t totally in love with it when I first saw it. The collar was cute, and I loved the ribbon trim and the giant pockets, but the flowy-ness and waistless-ness of the dress seemed like it would hang awkwardly on me. But then I saw a bunch of photos online of other people wearing it and they all looked absolutely adorable so it went on my to-do list. When I went about making my own version, I ended up taking it in a bit more than I had intended to, but it ended up working out. I love how it’s still flowy without losing its shape. I also suspect that that’s at least partly due to my using a slightly thicker fabric than the original dress appears to be made of.

I used 1/4″ ivory satin ribbon for the trim, handsewn, and 1/2″ diameter buttons. They’re currently nonfunctional since I can easily get in and out of the dress without unbuttoning it and because of lazy. The pockets are sewn on at a slight angle and I keep thinking they’re uneven in the photos but on the dress they’re matched up so I think it’s just the way I’m standing.

I’m slightly bummed that it’s suddenly 90+ degrees every day because it’s waaay too hot for this dress. Boo.


2013-06-17 21.33.15

It kind of sucks when your brain is filled to the brim with creative ideas but you suddenly find yourself as busy as ten bees five days a week.

Sometimes you just need to sneak off and shut yourself in your room like a hermit and sew.

In other news, I wish WIPs weren’t so damn awkward while they’re WIPs. I legitimately can’t tell if I’ve already effed this one up or if it just needs a few pieces attached to make it look more normal.

I’m cranky. :]

The Impossible Dress

Clara Oswald dress


Clara Oswald dress

Clara Oswald dress
dress: self-made // shoes: Clarks

Actually this dress was pretty simple to put together, despite the collar taking two tries. The post title refers to Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl. Yes, I’m nerding out, Doctor Who style.

Sometimes when I watch TV shows or movies I admire costumes and whatnot and it’s not until later that I go back and think “Hmm that one would be nice to make someday if I run out of projects..” And then there’s the costumes that sort of kick you in the butt and cling to your creative centers whining “Make meee IMMEDIATELYYYY.” Ahem. This was one of the latter.

I’d been searching for a fabric for this dress (and one other one, which I FINALLY* found and is being shipped to me soon!) and couldn’t find a single thing remotely close to it anywhere.

The original dress looks like this:


It’s a Vaudeville and Burlesque dress with a collar added. But what the hell do you call that kind of a print?! I searched endless combinations of “red floral geo”, “red dotted geo”, “red floral abstract”, just “red” etc. on eBay, Etsy,, and even Jo-ann and found absolutely nothing that looked remotely similar. Le frustration.

But then I went to my local fabric store last week and there it was! Just sitting there on the shelf waiting for me. I have absolutely no idea what this kind of fabric is called but it’s a slightly textured chiffon-esque fabric but it’s almost opaque and slightly thicker than chiffon would be. Crepe? No idea. Anyway, it had wide horizontal red and magenta stripes so I figured I could just cut the pieces I needed out of the red stripes and if I really needed to, I could dye the magenta bits redder.

I immediately knew I was going to use Burda 7309 for the top, but while the bodice turned out beautifully, the sleeves were a bit wonky. Note to self: B7309 has crappy sleeves. So I re-cut them in Burda 7739 and they turned out perfectly!

For the skirt, I cut out a 54″ wide by 20″ long rectangle and pleated it (using my standard math-idiot eyeballing method) to fit the width of the bodice. I lined the bodice, but decided not to line the skirt and just to wear a slip or another skirt under it because the fabric is so gorgeously flowy and I didn’t want to ruin that. Also because of lazy. I also hemmed it like 4″ so the skirt’s on the shorter side.

The collar was surprisingly simple, once I realized that I had to match the length of it to the circumference of the dress neckline. I used this tutorial¬†and just added one snap closure to the back of the collar and one to the front bit (with the opposite snaps on the inside back of the dress and inside middle front of the dress respectively) so it would stay put. I’m contemplating just sewing the collar in because realistically I think the collar makes the dress and I don’t see myself wear the dress without it.

Basically, I want to live in this dress. Unfortunately, I wore it out last night and around today and it was in the high 80s and low 90s and I almost passed out several times. Totally worth it though. And now I have an outfit to wear whilst I watch the 50th anniversary episode. By myself. In bed. In November.

Whatever. Dresses are cool.

*Apologies for all the caps. I hate caps. I’m just that excited.