Hot! All that Glitters….

Challenge: Favorite Pattern of the Year

The Facts:

Fabric: Gold Brocade Fabric from Thrift
Pattern: A Frankenstein from my drape neck dress pattern McCalls 6069 and the back and sleeves from NewLook 6483.
Year: contemporary
Notions: thread and a gold brooch
Time to complete: Quick, but figuring out how to design the front took some time
First worn: December 8 to see Beauty and the Beast at the Junior College
Wear again? I’ve worn it a few times in the last couple of weeks.
Total price: Next to nothing

Lately, I’ve been very drawn to the glittery and sparkly things around me. So with great enjoyment, I took two of my go-to favorite patterns and drafted what I thought would be the loveliest top. After putting it together, I discovered that my gold fabric did not want to drape softly, like a jersey knit, rayon, or soft cotton. It was rather stiff and not very flattering. I played around with it for a few days on the dress form and finally came up with a passable alternative, soft pleats and a small “rose” like gathering of the fabric just off center. I stitched the gathers with invisible thread and then added a brooch to make it look like an intentional design element. I think it worked out fairly well, anyway it was a nice save.

I wore it to a wonderful rendition of Beauty and the Beast. I took two of my daughters, and my two grand-daughters. We had a great time!  I also wore my Christmas coat, which I continue to get compliments on every time I wear it. That is really my favorite accomplishment this year. Just the other day, I ordered material to make my daughter one. That will probably be my first sewing project for 2013. I might try bound buttonholes, printed lining, and interfacing from that place that Lee suggested.

We took advantage of the three way mirror in Marshall’s dressing room to take a few pictures of me modeling the blouse.

For Christmas this year, my family decided to draw names and keep the gift around 30.00 dollars. Everyone shared 3 or 4 things that they would really like to have, so the gift giver isn’t stressing over what to get them. Everyone else will receive a smaller token gift, handmade if possible. I’m so glad that we are not randomly buying things that no one cares about. I will probably spend between now and Christmas busy making 12 somethings. I haven’t really decided what it will be, but Pinterest has been the best source of ideas. I love that site!

Is this the last challenge? I’m still a little confused about that. If it isn’t, I have something planned for the Happy Holidays, something sparkly! If this is the last one, then I just want to say that I have tremendously enjoyed being a part of the Sew Weekly Challengers. All of you have been a big part of every week of my life this last year. I have enjoyed and learned from your comments, posts, struggles, and triumphs. You have inspired me and helped me to meet every challenge this last year. Here’s hoping the Sew Weekly continues into the future. I will be an active viewer, but I plan to cut back on my sewing, taking more time to make even better garments.  I will post every few weeks instead. I wish you Happy Holidays with your family and friends and Happy Sewing to All!








Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. It’s beautiful Barbara – and or course the neckline is a design element. We all include those, don’t we? ;) I’ve been wanting to make something from a silver or gold brocade, but all I can find at my local Fabricville is stiff, itchy, thin, and cheap. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for some vintage brocade at my thrift shops.

    I’ve been really impressed with all of your work this year, especially considering that it must be difficult to find the time when you are a teacher and have a big family! I’ll keep watching you in 2013, and I wish you and your beautiful daughters and handsome husband a great Christmas.

    • This particular thrifted fabric was quite stiff, so I threw it in the washer and dryer to see what would happen. It softened up quite a bit. Thanks so much for the nice compliments. I’ll be checking in on your sewing adventures too. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. I’m a sucker for glittery gold fabric too, and that stuff is gorgeous. No wonder you couldn’t help sewing it up, even if it doesn’t have the right drape – and with the fabulous save you did, it doesn’t matter. I love the design element!

  3. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and yours. I’m going to add all my fav sewers to my personal blog. I look forward to seeing what you will do in the coming year.

  4. I have a soft spot for the glittery fabrics, I think that’s one reason I did so much theater for so long : ) I plan on making a new years dress so if we’re almost done here on Sew Weekly it will go up on my personal blog. I feel so blessed to have met so many amazing people this year! Since we’re in the same part of the same state we should plan on meeting at some point this coming year!

  5. I like what you did with the neckline I’d probably do the same, the fabric is lovely Barbara.
    Sounds like you had a great time with your girls and your coat has to be your favourite! it blew me away, I loved it. Yes to bound buttonholes and a printed lining.

    I’ll stay in contact via blog land. I too want to cut back and concentrate on tailoring and learning other fancy techniques, challenge myself a little more. I’m going to have a go at making a bra early January there’s a sewalong over at Cloth Habit. Sounds challenging.

    Who know’s if it’s the last challenge Barbara, I’m submitting next week if that helps. Happy happy holidays.

  6. This is a beautiful top Barbara, the gold really suits your coloring. I would never have realised you’d had difficulty with its stiffness had you not said….it looks fantastic, pretty practical whilst looking very special. Love the shots in the changing rooms…you resourceful person you….and seeing your partner in crime again. It’s been fab seeing you and your family throughout 2012, I hope you have just as wonderful an adventure in 2013.