Lady in Red

Red Jersey

It has been ABSOLUTELY FREEZING in the UK recently. It seems we had early summer weather back in February (remember when we could leave the house without a COAT?!), and now we’re having late winter weather here in May *shivers*. I’ve spent the day cowering inside, heating on, listening to the thunder and rain.

One of the things I realised this winter was how all my cold-weather clothing is pretty dark – lots of black, grey, lighter grey, navy, you know the sort of thing.

No wonder I feel extra-down when the days are shorter! I needed things to cheer me up!

I picked up this slightly brushed 100% red cotton jersey from Fabricland, when I popped into their Bristol store last October. I bought 2.5m, imagining I’d make a long dress. But everything I pictured made me look like Mrs Santa Claus, and not in a good way.

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Then Jalie’s free turtle-neck Yoko pattern hit the internets and I, like so many others, SWOONED. Surely this would be the ideal top for this jersey? And then I saw a number of makes that extended it into a knee-length dress. Even better!

I had visions of warm, comfy LOVELINESS. I would wear it out to see friends, I could wear it out to an event (and indeed, I had a particular event in mind), and best of all I could curl up on the sofa in it and STILL look chic.

Multiple wins, right?

Except .. it didn’t turn out like that. The finished dress looked ABSOLUTELY AWFUL on me. I’m only 5’2″, and a fairly slender frame, and .. URGH.

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(I can’t remember, but I think this is AFTER I took out 6″ from each side, in an attempt to rescue it, sigh… You can see from the coat-hanger – I have small hangers which are the width of my shoulders – just how dropped-shoulder it is.)

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Back to the drawing board. I cut it all apart, and studied what I had left, yardage-wise; Fabricland had been pretty generous, so I’d had closer to 3 metres of yardage to play with from the outset.

I suddenly remembered I had always wanted to make up my copy of New Look 6428, a neat little jersey dress with neck and bust darts (and, bizarrely, a back zipper).

I cut out the pattern. I laid it out over the body pieces of my failed Jalie Yoko dress. I adjusted the length to fit the yardage and, voila! It fit! Even with the bust darts!

The sleeves were a cinch from the remaining uncut fabric. But what else could I make? I still had the unused roll neck and sleeves.

IMG_20190209_123744720_BURST000_COVER_TOPSo I turned to my trust copy of Simplicity 1463, which I’ve made before. Drew the neckline to match the neckline of the Jalie Yoko. Matched the sleeve seam to the sleeves I still had from the Yoko. And BOOM! Garment number two!

It has RIDICULOUSLY long sleeves, due to the difference in sleeve starting points, but I love having them ruched over my wrists to keep them warm.

I also love how the neckline sits – I actually reduced its height before attaching it, and I think it’s about right now (I don’t fold it over).

So there you go. Two cosy items for wearing over winter and beyond.

I’m STILL not sure about the dress, tbh; it looks a bit “weather girl” to me, maybe it’s the plain red fabric which is slightly TOO “toothy” and grabs onto things (a slip underneath is ESSENTIAL). I also replaced the rear zipper with a neckline facing featuring a hook and eye, and it doesn’t sit QUITE right. TBH I could probably remove the fastening altogether, as I can just-about pull it over my head.

But the franken-top, mashing together Jalie and Simplicity? It’s a winner. I was wearing yesterday, as part of this month’s #MeMadeMay19.

So these trials and tribulations work out in the end, eh?

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