This week, new sewing patterns arrived in my mailbox from HotPatterns! I got the Fast & Fabulous Jet Setter Poncho and the Metropolitan Verano Dress & Top. I added these to my collection that I got over the winter (back row), the Fast & Fabulous Tailored Trackpants (new rayon/tropical wool blend ones coming this weekend!) Fast & Fabuous Four Seasons Kimono Jacket and the Riviera Cote D’azur Dress, tunic & top.
After our incredibly cold and snowy winter (which we just LOVED over here in SewParadise, what with XC skiing, downhill skiing, ice sailing, snow tubing and snow shoeing) our spring has been equally slow and cold in coming. However, I’m not at all upset it’s only 50 degrees today, as it’s perfect poncho wearing weather.
Read my review at PatternReview.com for the typical sewing pattern review details you’ll want to peruse before selecting this one for your collection. Read on for my take on upcycling former garments.
So I journaled recently that I needed to get rid of a lot of stuff. Some stuff, like my sewing stuff, or things I have made but no longer wear, I have a hard time getting rid of. I made a simple practically no-sew fleece ruana about a decade ago. I liked it, but oversized Ruanas have fallen from fashion a bit, so I never wore it much in the last four years. Also it collected dog hair like a magnet. We just needed to be in the same house, the dog and I, and this fabric would attract it. In fact, she’s been dead 7 weeks as of this post and the poncho, in the sewing, attracted tons of it. I cherish the wiggly, crinkly white hairs now, as I pluck them off while sewing. Zuzu, I miss you, even your hair!
But the ruana was not large enough for this full poncho. I had also made a gray ruana for my grandmother at least a decade (or more, she died in 2003) ago, and intended to bring it to her long term memory care facility, but she died before I finished it. So I never wore it. It sat in my basement for 10 years. I moved it once. So today, I upcycled both in to this lovely and stylish new garment! The big win with this is the cowl is giant – in fact, so large, you can wear it as a hood – in my opinion, this is a wonderful feature in a poncho. The only thing missing is handwarmer pockets set in the seams in the front. It’s a perfect spot for them, and I’d top stitch them right to the center front (no flappy pocket bags inside the garment, they’ll be sewn down.) Next version, I’ll add those to this poncho.
Being Earth week and all (Earth Day was Tuesday) I am trying to not purchase anything. We met with our financial advisor for a full portfolio and retirement planning review on Friday so that also has me conserving cash and getting my wealth building in order. Wealth building does NOT involve frivolous shopping, but it sure does include upcycling stuff from your basement!
The upcycling went well. I first had to determine, roughly, if the pieces would fit on the fabric I had, so I cut out my size (a 12, mostly just for the hem opening, so you can experiment with a smaller size if you want a less roomy poncho, just be sure you can fit it over your hips when you sit down.) I placed them in various spots on at least five different fabrics. Fortunately they all ended up on the upcycled ruanas, as it’s a better use of these former garments. I think this poncho could be made from a fleece blanket, and those you can find at secondhand stores, so I may try that. Be wary, linen closet, as I’m coming for YOU too!
I think this is such a cute garment, that I would like to make one for my daughter. She’s 7, and the smallest size is a woman’s 6, so I’m just going to wing it and hand-draw the same shapes in a much smaller size for her. And yes, in the linen closet, we have a blanket-sized embroidered fleece that I think would be perfect for this!