From Fringe Festival to Running Tunic
September 29, 2011
Back when I originally test drove the Hot Patterns Fringe Festival free download, I mentioned that one of the many visions I had for the pattern included elongating it and turning it into a running dress. Come along for the ride as I work on my custom tunic!
Before I did anything with the pattern, I wanted to transfer an image to my fabric. I am making this dress for a 1/2 marathon in Walt Disney World, and I love a little custom flair. Since the Haunted Mansion is my favorite, favorite, favorite ride, I decided to try adding an image from the ride's iconic wallpaper pattern to my lycra. If you've ever made the mistake of ironing lycra, you know it's a no-go (hello, melted mess!), so an iron-on transfer wouldn't work. I decided to try a different approach -- a Sharpie marker.
I used my opaque projector to project the image onto my fabric, and traced it out with a series of sloppy dashes. Since this maneuver takes place in the dark (with the exception of the light from the projector), what you end up with is not going to win any art awards.
After I filled in my design, it was much better. Hooray! Haunted Mansion! If you try this method at home, don't get discouraged if your fabric gets a little distorted or puckers during the process -- a little shot from the steamer smooths everything right out.
Perfect? No. Indentifiably dicey while I'm running in it? Absolutely not. Onward!
Now, on to the pattern ...
I pulled a pattern from my library that I have had for -- no joke -- 20 years. I like it because it's made for knits and has a nice swing to the skirt.
I set the Fringe Festival top pattern on my fabric, and then set the longer dress pattern on top of it. That's it! No magic tricks required. I just cut out the resulting shape, smoothing the transition lines.
I wanted to add a black stripe down each side of my running dress to add a little bit of sport detailing, and also to contrast with the periwinkle fabric I used. (Without the black, it was looking like stretchy scrubs -- NOT the look I wanted!) Once I had the four primary pieces cut, I eyeballed my additional side pieces, cutting them out of a black lycra.
I assembled my six pieces and checked for fit. I made a few minor contouring adjustments at this stage, because while the pattern fits fantastically as day wear, it fit a little differently over the shape created with a sports bra.
To finish the tunic, I cut a 2" piece of black lycra just a little shorter than the circumference of the neck opening. I stitched this piece into a closed loop, folded it in half lengthwise, and stitched it to the neck, applying gentle, consistent tension throughout. Once the neck binding was applied, I stitched a triangle shape at the front of the v-neck to keep that same v-shape for the facing.
Then sleeve binding was attached the same way I did the neck binding, but completely straight, since I didn't have to accommodate the v-shape.
I opted to serge the hem, and call this project done. Ready to race!
Are you thinking of a way to customize one of our free pattern downloads and transforming it with a totally fresh take? Do it! Be bold! For all you know, you may start a new trend.
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