Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Wearin’ Designin’ December


The A/W O collection is nearly complete so I turned my sewing attention to knocking off a few Issey Miyake Pleats Please pieces. This was driven, inspired and encouraged by Linda, Nicedressthanksimadeit.  for her annual Designin’ December event.

“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”
We have all seen something we LOVE either in the stores, online or on the runways, but don’t actually want to buy for some reason.  So I propose that we sew that garment that we see/want.  Now if you are lucky and you already have an exact pattern, either an indie pattern, your own self-drafted, or a “Big 4” pattern, that you can use – then go for it!  If you have to alter a pattern that you already have, or draft your own pattern, you can do that too.  Whatever works for you.  Let’s make what we see and want!

Here are my designer originals….


…..and here’s what I made



The olive green plisse poly was found on eBay for a song – 3m for a paltry £12. It looks much more shiny in the photos than in real life which is more like a sheen than a shine.

The black crinkle fabric for the duster coat is from Croftmill and I used the wrong side on the right side – bit classier in my opinion.


Two patterns were involved – Vogue 1550, Paco Peralta for the leg width and length and Vogue 1508, Zandra Rhodes for the elasticated waistband.


I just laid both pattern pieces on top of one another and cut the shape I wanted – no drafting needed and no pattern was harmed in the making of these trousers.

The plisse poly is slightly stretchy and doesn’t fray – here’s me ‘hemming’ the trouser legs:


I made the trousers with a deep elasticated waistband and a few belt carriers added to hold the self fabric, non-edged, single layer tie belt. Simple.



I used Drape Drape 2 asymmetrical top and, while this is not an exact copy of the Miyake original, it served my purpose admirably with its lopsided look and Japanese aesthetic.

After sewing up the one-piece piece of fabric, the front neckline was truly low! I may have made an error somewhere in the cutting or sewing – who knows?  Easy fix though, I wear the top back to front. However, I did add another little pleat at the old centre front which is now the new centre back to draw the neckline up a bit. With me here?


The sleeve edges and neckline are turned over and sewn but the hem is not – it matches the trouser hemming technique.




Using StyleArc’s Toni dress as a basis for the coat I lengthened the sleeves by simply cutting long along the pattern lines; the front seam is not sewn closed but turned in, sewn and left open, I added a single button closure; the side seams are sewn as far as the ‘drape’ to create side splits. There are no pockets.


I added some cuffs to the sleeve hems just because I had a little bit of fabric that suited the purpose.


Buttoned up and showing the height of the side splits.


Here’s an out-shot showing the actual right side of the fabric in the inside which I choose as the wrong side (bottom left) – everybody still following me here?  I just thought the matt side was classier and a good contrast to the sheen of the plisse. You can also get an idea of the waft and drape of the coat.


The Designin’ December outfit was paired with Trippen boots, pearls, full make-up and blow-dried hair. I was actually going on a very posh night out – hence the extravagance – I don’t usually hang around the house looking like this! Actually I do……… I don’t!


Many thanks to Linda for getting me involved and for those of you out there who are inspired by designer clothes, it’s not too late to join in.
















Show us your Designer Original photo and how you put together your Designer me-made COPY.

Hopefully I’ve done that and in your opinion – did I get a designer outfit for around 34 quid  instead of £ 1,500?


70 thoughts on “Wearin’ Designin’ December

  1. Prepare to be the best dressed at any holiday function!
    Love it all!!!

  2. Yes. And your version looks much better than the £1500 version! I am in awe as usual. : ) Dee

  3. Incredible! I agree- yours looks better than the originals. I can’t believe you pulled that off so cheaply! You are so inspirational- I bow to the master of designin’ december!

  4. You are looking great Ruth. It’s a super outfit and very clever. The coat especially but the whole outfit is just great.

  5. You look fabulous! Don’t you love it when you can get stylish well-made clothes for “cheap”! 🐥 I love how sometimes the wrong side is actually the right side! Those colours looks great on you. I’ll have to take a closer look at your coat pattern. Thank you for participating! I guess readers will be taking another good look at all the Designer me-made Copies after December 31st when everyone is finished.

  6. Fantastic!!

  7. Wow! you hit it out of the ball park. Such a classy outfit.

  8. You’ve done wonders with that Toni pattern again, so clever. Very successful outfit, in style and price!

  9. Nice outfit. good call on using the “wrong” side of the fabric for the right side of the coat.

  10. You look like a million bucks. (A million pounds sounds wrong!) I’m sure people wondered if you were someone famous… 👏🏻

  11. Glamour puss! I would never have thought of using the Toni as a coat…looks brilliant. And all so bargainalicious!

  12. I remember the previous items you made from that Toni pattern. It’s still a great look, isn’t it? Either open in front or closed. Lovely green outfit too.

  13. What a great look! I particularly like the coat. Was the collar tricky in that fabric?

    I remember the Drape Drape top neckline being too low for me too. I’ve made that one three times and not got it right yet. I love the idea of wearing it back to front.

  14. Totally fabulous! Love, love, love your fabric choices. I think you nailed the Issey Miyake vibe

  15. Great outfit! I think you’ve captured the Miyake plissé vibe beautifully. And the coat is brilliant. I love how you turned the dress pattern into a functional coat.

  16. Yup! You did it…again.

  17. Your outfit looks stellar compared to that of the star designer’s. You look beautiful and stunning in it. Love the Toni dress as coat. Very elegant.
    In my math, the GBP 1466 you saved can go for beautiful shoes, boots, bags, other accessories and MORE FABRIC!

  18. Beautiful outfit! And YES very couture/designer. People will definitely be asking you where you bought it 😉

  19. I loved what you did last time with the Toni dress and I love this iteration even more!!

  20. You look awesome!

  21. Awesome! We love visiting in your blog. keep up the Good work..

    if Any one want New Embroidery Designs ?

  22. Cool! I especially like the look with the coat.

  23. Love it, and I just wouldn’t have expected it to be so flattering. It may be the fabric, but the outfit has a feel slimline silhouette. Love the slit on the coat, it makes it look dressy! X

  24. Love the green fabric – very nice color for you. Lookin’ good…

  25. Brilliant outfit and a great “tribute” to Issey Miyake. Brava!

    • Thank you Lainee. I have some Vogue Issey patterns that have never been made – I might just dig them out….

      • Do it – I was looking through my stash and see I have about 10 Donna Karans I’ve never made up. It was never intended to be a collection, I wanted to wear them! Now I’m aiming to make up all the ones I still like.

  26. P.S. Ruth… A number of your makes cause pattern-envy, but not sure how tall you have to be for those proportions to look so good. How tall are you please?

  27. What a fantastic outfit. Just perfect for the season – very glitzy. Am I right in noting that your using a woven fabric for the top? I’ve made the drape drape top before and I changed the neckline at the front significantly. If I’d made it as it was, you could have virtually seen my naval!

  28. Well done! And I agree with steelyseamstress – it IS very glitzy, not to mention perfect for a holiday party!

    Good luck!! 🙂

  29. Such an elegant outfit. I love the pleats, the color, and the shine. You look festive and classy!

  30. Magnificent Ruth! I made that top and found the neckline too low despite adding ‘a bit’. All later editions made higher. I never thought about just turning it round……

  31. So gorgeous Ruth! The entire outfit is superb, and you absolute rock it.

  32. I’m late to the party, but that is one fabulous outfit! Love it to bits.

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