spadea 256 by fontana – maxi skirt to mid knee dress

up sew upcycyle refashion skirt to dress



I was a bit aprehensive picking up this skirt at the Charity Shop.  The colour was lovely, the seams were minimal, and the label New Look.  New Look is like Pennys/Primark / Forever 21 – very fast fashion, very basic quality fabric.    However, I also wanted to try out this Fontana Dress so I picked this on up.  The fabric is viscose, so lovely drape, but so easily creased.  The Spadea pattern is incredibly simple which is just as well as I believe their instruction can be minimal regardless of the complexity of the pattern.  Its really a back, front, facings, tie and loop.

up sew upcycyle refashion skirt to dress


I starched the fabric to make it a bit easier to handle and hand basted the lining as  I wasn’t taking any chances here as the fabric was so thin – seriously, it could pack into its own evening purse.   Its only in the last year that I have lined pieces in this manner, previously I always did the lining separate, and it always hid the seam finishes of the outer layer,  the fabric used for these garments were the correct weight so didn’t need the support of the lining working as an interlining and, and most things I make have very simple lines.  This and the Pauline Trigere dress are the only patterns I have used to date that specify attaching lining, and while I can see the advantages,  I don’t like how my seam finishes are on show as I generally finish with a zig-zag.  I could make the supreme effort and do hong kong seams, but I am always thinking I may get a serger in the future.  I have not tried an overlock foot on my machine, and am curious about the finish – has anyone used these? I find the zig zag can buckle the seam edge with lighter fabrics…  

up sew upcycyle refashion skirt to dress


So as I said… I basted the lining, just to be sure.  Then it was just a matter of darts which were straight forward, and the facings.  There was not enough fabric for the facings so I got a small amount of polyester in a contrast colour and used that.  The tie was made of a mish-mash of scraps running in different directions.  I was not going to get pedantic there – originally I was going to use the contrast colour, but it looks a bit like over kill so I didn’t.  The dress is cut 10cm shorter than pattern as thats all the fabric I had, and this has the hem at knee length which I prefer. 

up sew upcycyle refashion skirt to dress


I have yet to put a zip in the dress and hem.  I don’t have any occasion to wear it in the near future so I have left as is but it is hanging in my wardrobe as opposed to work room cupboard, so it is just waiting for a suitable moment!  as a by-the-way, there is a good amount of ‘livability’ in the dress, I made the pattern up without alteration, and it easily fits my (non-conforming) hip measurement (up to 2 sizes bigger).when I sit down……………………….. very happy with dress, simple and effective.

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9 thoughts on “spadea 256 by fontana – maxi skirt to mid knee dress

  1. wrongdoll says:

    What a transformation – I adore this dress – the cut, the colour – everything 🙂 I bought an overlocking foot before buying my serger. It was okay but like the zig zag alone, I found it buckled on lighter fabrics. I've had my serger for a month or so now and I wouldn't be without it – it's a joy to use. I went for the only model they had in John Lewis for just over £200. A gift to myself at the end of my evening classes in sewing once I had proved to myself it was a hobby for keeps. Which it is – it looks like it's going to be my most enduring and satisfying relationship to date! I I look forward to keeping up with you – I am in awe of your upcycling skills.

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  2. Eimear Greaney says:

    thank you so so very much – thats also good to know – saves me getting an overlocker foot! similarly years ago, i had to 'prove' to myself i would make use of an electric machine as i only had a hand machine, so i made an 800 piece quilt on it, finished it, (cant say seams matched), and then bought my electric! i will be keeping an eye out for a serger (but in the meantime, i am defintely going to try the mock hk seam above………….). well done again on your gorgeous skirt – so beautifully done

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