Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oilily Jumper Knock Off

Pattern review was having a RTW knock off challenge as I mentioned before. I decided to get in on the challenge even though I was a bit late. I am so glad that I did (even though I wasn't able to enter in the end)! This project challenged me more than anything I have ever done. By doing this I have gained so much more confidence in my ability. My inspiration:

Here is my finished jumper. It was adorable on my daughter and fit her perfectly.

Prior to this project I have followed patterns pretty closely. I didn't do much altering to the pattern pieces. I always had the pattern instructions posted and looked at them throughout the construction of my garments. It has been a goal of mine to become competent enough in garment construction techniques that I would not need to look at the instructions. This project blew away all my past barriers. I completely altered my pattern. This is what I started with.

This is a simple v-neck, a-line jumper. The bodice is separate from the skirt and the back has a zipper. I changed it into a v-neck wrap jumper with front button closure (removing zipper). I made it all one piece with princess seams. I also gave it an interesting back yoke and moved the shoulder seams so that they were in the front not on the shoulder. None of these alterations were particularly difficult. There was just so many to keep track of. Because I changed the pattern so much I was not able to follow the pattern instructions. I was completely on my own.

I thought I would show you some highlights of how I altered this pattern.

1. I started by attaching the front bodice to the skirt front. I used my daughters back waist measurement as the guide. I had to overlap the two pieces more than the normal seam allowance because by daughter is a bit short waisted. Then I lengthened the skirt below the waist because my daughter has long legs. You cannot see it on the picture but I also marked the cutting line on the side. I had to cut a a size between the 6 and 7. Multi size patterns make this so easy.

2. Next I worked on the wrap. First I traced my new dress front onto tracing paper so that I would have a pattern piece of the whole front. I marked the center front. Then I cut the shoulder off (looking at the picture I cut off the right shoulder) making the shape of the wrap. Then, I cut my princess seam. I didn't add seam allowances. I noted on my pattern where I needed to add the seam allowance and cut it when I cut out the fabric.

3. This is the back. I attached the bodice to the skirt in the same way that I did the front. The original jumper has an interesting back yoke. In the closer picture you can see the shape. In my next post I will show how I sewed the yoke. I drew the shape that I wanted. Then I cut the top of the yoke away from the rest of the dress. I added seam allowances to these pieces since they were curved. After I had my yoke made I cut the seams that run from yoke to hem. The godets were put in these princess style seams in the front and back.

4. I changed the shoulder seams last. I taped the front to back at the shoulder seam eliminating the seam allowance. I then cut the new shoulder seam and added the seam allowance back on each side.

So as you can hopefully see there were many things that I changed but none of them were too difficult. It really helped me to just take one feature that I wanted to alter at a time. Doing one little step at a time helped curb the overwhelmingness (is that a word?). Please, if you have any questions (I am not sure I was clear) please ask.

I am so thankful for this exercise. My next project is a smocked dress. My goal is to have it finished by Easter. On the pattern I did not like the collar. It seemed too large to me. But because of this project I am totally confident that I can grade up another collar pattern that I do like and make it fit on the new dress.

Sewing can be such a fun challenge!! Boy, do I love it!

Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...


  1. That is such a cute jumper! Have you reviewed it yet?

  2. You did a great job! Boy, you carved up that pattern like it was a Thanksgiving turkey! :) :) I never would have thought of all that. You got a great end result and I'm sure your daughter feels like a princess wearing it! Great job, Mom!


  3. great details - isn't it inspiring when we find out that we can do more than we thought we could? Nice job.


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