Tessuti Gridlock Pop – mission complete

This project has been an endurance sport. I feel like that little athlete from an unknown country who staggers into the Olympic stadium about 3 hours after the winner of the marathon has crossed the line. A little nobody with no energy but simply determined to finish.


The original post from Tessuti was to “design an outfit incorporating this fabric. Make it up however you like but make it just for you! Our brief is simply to create something stylish and appropriate as day wear.” That later seemed to morph into ‘garment’ but I had this ‘outfit’ concept stuck in my head.

I spent ages looking at this fabric. It sat next to me on the lounge some nights and I draped it over myself quite a bit. I learnt about the fabric, how it draped and felt against my skin. This fabric is hot to wear – it’s 21% cotton, 77% poly and 2% polyurethane – there is no way I would make this to wear as a ‘daywear’ dress in my climate. I would ‘glisten’ terribly at any time of the year (that’s sweat in ladylike terms). It’s ‘breathing’ properties are limited. It’s a great jacket fabric though.

I chose my trusty Fashion Star jacket in the end. Like everyone I loved the Burda Crossover Blazer and Burda 7491 came in a close second (I even traced Burda 7491 and purchased the Crossover Blazer pattern). Those jackets are lovely but I don’t think Gridlock would have done them justice. Thank you Trish & Felicity for their advice.

The fabric had arrived wrapped in an old McCalls pattern – it seemed like fate.

The colour, while being a very beautiful blue, looked dead against the cream background. It needed a ‘pick-me-up’ so I decided a burst of colour was required.

My first choice was dusty pink but when I visited the fabric store this cerise cotton linen leapt from the pile of bolts, saying ‘Whattaboutme?’. It made the Gridlock POP so I found some matching lining and away I went.

Tessuti Gridlock - POP

Tessuti Gridlock – POP

I think the temptation with this competition is to clad yourself from head to toe in Gridlock. I decided to create a statement piece (the jacket) and a dress is to complement the statement piece. They complement each other without being ‘matchy-matchy’. The items can be worn by themselves or together as an ‘outfit’. I wore the jacket today with my jeans for a TV interview!

That was the EASY PART.


The optional extras that I inflicted on myself:-

  • Continuous bias binding
  • Made-by-me piping
  • Topstitching. Not just the jacket shell but also the lining – in contrasting thread (pink on blue and blue on pink)
  • Covered buttons


As I prefer to make my life as difficult as possible, I made up Fashion Star pattern (6699) to pair with the jacket. It’s got cute contrast pockets, skirt vent and waistband. The Gridlock fabric is quite bulky so I chose to add strips of it to the pocket lining.

To the dress I added:-

  • Topstitching to the neckline and armhole.
  • Piping to the waistband (self made as for the jacket). I’ve really proud of the zipper as the piping is pretty close to perfect.
  • Underlined the skirt, I was concerned the pockets would show through the skirt.

I will write up a post later in the week about how I did a few things with this project – right now I’m too tired and over it to say much more (except I want to make a t-shirt for therapy).

There are some seriously awesome entrants now for this competition – which you would expect with $1000 on the line.


OK. Let the pictures speak for themselves. A little creased due to car travel – no ironing facilities at the lighthouse!

I can’t help but point out – how perfect are these shoes for this outfit!!?? The right colour and even a bit ‘Gridlocky’, it was pure luck, I’ve had these for years!

Even the ominous clouds seem to be the right colour. I have not colour altered these pictures at all.



TESSUTI GRIDLOCK - alternate view

TESSUTI GRIDLOCK – alternate view

Tessuti Gridlock. The dress - Cerise with contrasting Gridlock elements

Tessuti Gridlock. The dress – Cerise with contrasting Gridlock elements


TESSUTI GRIDLOCK – sleeves rolled back.



Tessuti Gridlock - back view

Tessuti Gridlock – back view. Alas cotton linen is very ‘crushable’.

Some detail pictures…

Tessuti Gridlock: lapel, button, piping, topstitching

Tessuti Gridlock: lapel, button, piping, topstitching

Tessuti Gridlock - pocket

Tessuti Gridlock – pocket

Tessuti Gridlock - zipper

Tessuti Gridlock – zipper

Tessuti Gridlock. Shell - construction

Tessuti Gridlock. Shell – construction

Tessuti Gridlock. Lining - construction

Tessuti Gridlock. Lining – construction. Please note I’ve top stitched the lining with contrasting thread!

Thank you in particular to Trish, she endured regular random emails from me – which I am sure made little or no sense some days – I even inflicted progress shots on her. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This stopped what was a hard project from also being a long & lonely project.

Thank you also to the Tweeples who checked on my progress and cheered me on, especially Bimble&Pimble with her derby cheers and pom poms.

Good Luck Tessuti Gridlock contestants…

120 thoughts on “Tessuti Gridlock Pop – mission complete

  1. WELL DONE LIZZY! Combining it with the pink was an awesome idea, as it would’ve been kinda blue blah and boring otherwise. The jacket is a great shape and look at all those matching seams! Good luck! πŸ™‚

    • A lot of the other entries have used both sides of the fabric in dresses – I thought about doing this but in the end the inside of the fabric looked like… well the inside of the fabric, not really the reverse as the pattern is not as raised.

  2. Oh, Lizzy, this is truly inspired. I totally agree that ‘head to toe Gridlock’ would have been way too much…not to mention shveaty! But you’ve done it with the hot pink sheath! Both pieces play off each other perfectly…I also very much love the vent in the skirt (tres creative!). All the best of luck to you Lizzy…you’ll always get my vote! πŸ™‚ You deserve a nice glassa something…

    • Thank you Kat… I feel like I need a bottle of something, perhaps without the headache afterwards though.
      It was a hard project but I’m glad I made myself complete it. I fell in and out of love with it all through the process. It was weird.

  3. Wow! Great outfit! the jacket really takes advantage of the double sided fabric and the piping really makes it pop! I wish I could have made something awesome like this, but my fabric is still sitting uncut on the pile 😦

    • I thought mine might too – but I thought if I did not sew something for this I might not make anything at all. That said – I think it would also make an excellent Minoru. I find it hot to wear and I think it would be a good ‘miserable winter day’ jacket lined with the right fabric. I suspect the blend makes it a little water resistant.

  4. Love the pink with the Gridlock! That piping is gorgeous, and look how perfectly everything meets at the zipper. No mean feat! You’ve really interpreted this fabric fantastically. Now, you can go and sleep!

    • I needed a good sleep after this project. Thank you for your lovely words it really made my day. You know I still think this is an awesome choice for a Minoru – it’s warm enough where I live during the day to make a suitable winter jacket. Are you comign to the meet up? Would love to meet you! I’m going to explore Walthamstow – unfortunately not on a Saturday as all my Saturdays are taken up. Except for my last one but I might feel bad skipping out on my BF on my last day in London – we don’t see each other very often these days!

  5. Lizzy, you know how to speak my language. DETAILS!!! Apart from totally loving that jacket pattern (that cheeky little pleated peplum at the back is fierce) I love how you’ve worked it into an entire outfit, yet have somehow avoided looking too twin-set (that’s where I would have failed). The dress is glorious, as are those little pink buttons and topstitching. I love it!

    • I love details too – such fun – although exhausting when you are facing down a deadline! Twin-set that’s exactly the phrase I was looking for – I think a fully ensemble is a bit mother-of-the-bride on me – and that’s a way off… I was inspired looking at fashion collections where they don’t use one fabric for a whole collection if that makes sense?

    • Yes, the jacket is perfect with jeans. A little rock n roll! The dress is lovely, simple but has nice details – I hope to make another for work one day… the pockets are very useful!

  6. Wow – you really nailed it. While I kinda like the fabric, like you (and others) I also thought a whole garment, let alone outfit, is a bit meh. You really made it sing! Fantastic work … I won’t even start on all the perfect little details πŸ˜€ It’s well worth the time you spent on it.

    • Thank you – I had moments of madness, frustration and I feel in and out of love with it more times than you can count. In the end we finished BFFs.
      I confess I may be veering into a passionate affair with details…

  7. Oh that is perfect, I think I’m in love… The best bit is by far the kick pleat on the skirt, it’s so unexpected but wow! Good luck in the comp!

        • Oh I meant isn’t iron friendly. Wasn’t that I burnt it or got it too hot but it doesn’t like a sharp crease. The top stitching helped compress the seams and make the edges crisp on my jacket

          • Oh sorry my comment was vague. This is my brain before a coffee, and it isn’t pretty. I also found it horrid to get a good seam on, like you I top stitched, and stitched down every seam as the seams were so bulky and wouldn’t press. It would roll out lining at every opportunity.

  8. Goodness – no wonder you’re tired! I recently saw a dress made from this fabric in a high end department store and thought of you and the Tessuti competition. Your color combination is beautiful and very flattering – beautiful sewing details too. Good luck!

    • It’s a gorgeous print but I realised I couldn’t wear it from head to toe. It’s too hot for me and the brief was to create ‘something you would wear’ and I will wear this!

  9. Love it! You did an awesome job!! The pink goes so well with the tessuti fabric and it looks so well made!! I love the detail especially at the back. Very unique! πŸ™‚

  10. Well what is there to say that hasn’t already been said by the above commenters… this is gorgeous! The pink and the gridlock fabric look like they were made for each other, and I love the little details you put in there. Very, very nice!!

    • I wouldn’t recommend being me. I’m waaay to busy for a ‘normal’ person πŸ™‚ I used to have a killer shoe collection – now it’s my fabric stash that rocks!

    • thank you Anna! I’m hoping it stands out in a good way on the Pinterest board! I was inspired by fashion collections which don’t just use one colour throughout a collection, rather there are accents and contrasts. Makes for a more interesting wear and wardrobe.

  11. Oh, this is just so smart and lovely! I think it really shows that you took the time to consider the fabric, the pattern, and the practicalities. This is a show stopper; I love it!

  12. Omg! I live this outfit. You know I love the jacket but with that fabric out looks soooooo cool! And the details are just perfect. Lovibg it all to pieces.

  13. super love the gridlock with the pink fabric! great choice. love all the details, the little back pleat on the jacket (and piping!) is probably my favorite detail. good luck with the contest!

  14. Wow! That is an amazing outfit! The details are absolutely terrific – the skirt vent, the contrast stitching – and you look absolutely terrific wearing it. GoodJobLizzie!!

  15. What a stunning ensemble. All the little extras were worth it. You’ve created an original, fashionable, stylish jacket and dress. I love the mix of fabrics. As always, you wear it with flair and poise.

  16. OK, absolute truth here Lizzy, that’s hands down the best use of this material I’ve seen. When I first saw that fabric, I thought it was so busy, even for Lizzy, LOL But you have managed to turn it into a dream. Love the piping and the pendulum. Your rocking it with the perfect shoes. I would totally wear it inside out too……you have mad skills woman!

    • I think that’s why it took me so long to get started! I felt overwhelmed by it – however I’ve created something which I can wear – and do wear! I’m pretty pleased all the work ended in something worthwhile!

  17. wow – brilliant job! i love the little details you’ve added – the contrast works so well. you’ve got a gorgeous ensemble there, but each piece is very wearable on its own (well, maybe not the jacket all by itself… πŸ˜‰ ).

  18. I have seen several of the Tessuti challenge entrants and enjoyed what everyone has done- I am especially enamored of yours- The combination you put together, (the pink looks perfect!)- all the special details, the fit and the style… I am super impressed! Well done! and Good Luck! ~Laurie

  19. I read this post while on the bus to work this morning and I was filled with complete envy. Like seething. So I will likely be ripping this look off on a project in my future.
    Love the Fashion Star jacket. I did up one of their patterns and loved it. The details on the dress are to die for. I will steal the contrasting vent detail somewhere, somehow.
    Just forewarning you. πŸ™‚

    • I’m always delighted to be ripped off, after all my mother always taught me imitation is the highest form of flattery!
      The Fashion Star range has some great patterns in it, nice details. I love this jacket, the envelope art is awful but it’s perfect made up. This is my second one!

  20. Wow, Lizzie, just gorgeous!! I love your colour choice with the gridlock fabric. I have seen a few makes of this sewalong contest already and simply love yours! The little hints of gridlock fabric are JUST enough on the dress to make it come alive, but not so much that you are distracted by them. And, I love your jacket pattern, I think it was a good choice and it doesn’t overwhelm the dress. It’s soft enough to look complementary instead of like a severe business suit. Well done, my friend! Just counting the days (weeks, months, years??) till I am practiced enough to be able to sew like you and make something like this.

    • Thank you lovely! You will be pleased to know I only started seriously trying to sew just over a year ago. I had made lots of patchwork quilts before but dressmakign is new to me. And I love it.

  21. Love love love love LOVE this! It’s a fantastic ensemble! You’re absolutely right– the pink really sets off the Gridlock fabric and makes it pop. I love how smartly tailored and perfectly fitting the whole outfit it! Love! So glad you hung in there and finished it! This will be PERFECT for your trip to London!

    And it’s SUPER fun to see a video of you! Your little Gridlock jacket is now immortalized on the silver screen (or something like that…)!

    • Thank you! It was an epic struggle in the sewing room, more for the length of time than the difficulty!
      I hesitated putting up the TV link, I show so Australian!!! That’s what happens when the news people call you before 9am on a public holiday needing a wet weather story favour! LOL

  22. Oh wowowow! Look at the work and detail and thought that’s gone into this lovely lovely jacket and dress. Both are just beautiful and you look stunning. I’m so impressed. Sleep now? Then sew that tshirt lol.

  23. Check you and your bad self out, Miss Lizzy! You are all over this like a boss- well worth the effort. And if I may say so that jacket is DIVINE with the sleeves rolled up. The piping and the lining? It’s melting my face with its awesomeness πŸ˜€

  24. That is amazing work – you should be very proud as your techniques are fabulous. I would not have picked that fabric thinking that it would be too much in one block but you have made it work wonderfully well in the outfit you have put together.

    • Thank you. I was stumped for a while as I couldn’t picture myself head-to-toe in the fabric. I’m pleased with this solution. It pays homage to the fabric but it’s not a slave to it,

  25. Oh my gracious–where do I even begin?? Choosing the fuchsia was genius. I love all those details on the jacket! I would not have even considered fuchsia topstitching, but it really works. And the vent on your dress?? Amazing. It’s all just amazing. Well done, you!

  26. Holy freakin’ balls, woman! This is an amazing, drop dead gorgeous outfit! If you don’t win, I’ll eat my hat. Nicely done.

    • Alas I didn’t win. They announced the winner & high runners up last night & I didn’t even score a mention. Oh well! There were bigger, better & more impressive ones than mine.
      It’s on the Tessuti blog

  27. That’s gorgeous! Love the contrast of the pink with the blue! I have the pattern for the dress and have been putting it off (I’m very new to patterns) but you’ve just inspired me! And love the jacket, will be great for spring/ summer….thinking that may be next on (a somewhat long) list! Well done you!!!

  28. Hot outfit…. I wish it was warmed in the UK so we could see it live on the meet up x are you packing warm..? I’m going back soon and not looking forward to winter clothes again

  29. Oh Lizzy both your dress and jacket are simply stunning!!! You should be sooooo proud of both of these garments as they truly are a work of art and you have really shown off your amazing sewing skills. Well done… you are a WINNER in every way imaginable xxx

    • Thank you so much Chris. I was disappointed bit to get a mention in the competition so I came back to this post & read everyone’s comments &realised I don’t need Tessuti’s tick of approval. I’ve got lovely woolen who like what I do & it’s those opinions that really count πŸ™‚

  30. Pingback: MOMENTARY LOSS OF MOJO | Sew Busy Lizzy

  31. Your outfit is ever so pretty….I love the colour combinations and the embelishments of both with contrasting prints/fabric, it’s really clever. The fact that you didn’t win or come in as a runner up? look at all the comments you’ve got!! Wow! You’re a winner definitely. Shall look forward to reading through your blog…I’m very new to all of this but some of the blogs I’ve discovered, including yours, are inspirational, Kate x

    • Thanks so much Kate πŸ™‚
      Lots of people talked about this outfit & competition while I was traveling, it was interesting how much interest it generated! I’m proud of it & that’s what counts.

  32. Your blog was recommended for me by WordPress, SO GLAD I FOUND IT! I love your style! So many sewing blogs are just not my style, I love your taste! I think the jacket is amazing, I love it so much. I sew as well, and sometimes yea, I do fall in and out of love with a project. Perseverance and patience is key! Thanks so much for the inspiration, I can’t wait to look at more.

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