Optimatium in Denim (Part 1)

A conversation with my tech editor last week, combined with the happenstance of surplus-to-requirements denim in the house, let to cutting out a denim Optimatium pattern on the weekend.

The Optimatium dress is a zero waste pattern which appeared in Tauko magazine last year, and is now a pdf pattern in extended sizes. The pattern is in my shop – please enjoy 25% off until June 26th.

The denim is Japanese heavyweight 10.5oz with a little bit of stretch. Apparently it’s ex-Celine deadstock (the one they used to make their $2000 jeans?). It’s a bit too thick and heavy to make a dress with, so I tweaked the pattern to make a coat version.

Somewhere in my memory I recalled red D-rings, and managed to find them. We also had red topstitching thread, so the plan is to have red topstitching and a belt that closes with the red D-rings.

I cut it out, using a lowered ironing board to extend the width of our kitchen table…

…and started sewing, and got as far as what I call “the coat hanger stage”, where it’s together enough to hang up on a coat hanger. No topstitching yet.

There are still a few decisions to make: what to do with the pockets (in-seam, patch…or both?), and what to do with the pleated cuffs, as I made the wrists wider.

In case you’re thinking of doing this yourself, I’ll list the changes I made to the pattern next week when it’s finished.

Come back next week for the big reveal!


  1. giuliana on July 9, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    Dear Liz, That looooks sooo good! Can‘t wait for the big reveal! best, Giul

    • lizhaywood on July 10, 2024 at 11:38 am

      Thanks, pretty happy with how it’s going 🙂

  2. Anthea Martin on July 10, 2024 at 10:50 am

    Looks fabulous! Love the colour!
    Well done….

    • lizhaywood on July 10, 2024 at 11:37 am

      Thank you Anthea – this denim is a dream to work with!

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