Let me assure you all I have been sewing lots of thing I just haven’t had a chance to photograph anything, it’s always the hardest part I find. This little dress was a quick refashion that was completed for Repurpose Reuse Refashion way back in August.Following Sally’s advice from her top 5 refashion tips to go for big sizes so you’ve got lots of fabric to work with I bought an XL chambray linen Country Road men’s button up shirt for $4.First off I unpicked the sleeves and was all set to cut a sleeveless version but I noticed that if I took the side seams in as is it created a nice cap sleeve. So I just flattened it out, turned under the seam allowance of the armholes then joined the side seams.The bottom half was a rayon/spandex remnant I got from The Fabric Store. I had no idea what to do with it but I loved the colour and have always been a big fan of rayon (my April Rhodes Staple Dress is rayon jersey, so gorgeous). It was a bit sheer so I decided to fold it in half along lengthwise and attach the cut seams to the waistline leaving the fold as the hemline. Kind of like a bubble skirt without the pouf. Well chuffed with the result of this experiment, I love the colour combo and the skirt construction. Happy to report I’m getting more confident with following my sewing instincts.
It’s that time again, Selfish Sewing Week brought to you by Imagine Gnats and Kollabora! So many fabulous makes and new indie patterns I didn’t even know about are making their way onto blogs all over the place. And guess what, you all get the chance to win one of 40 new indie patterns, you heard right! Click here to enter and win big.Out of all the patterns on offer to the featured stitchers I decided on the Adelaide top by See Kate Sew, love the details on the pattern- front bib with ruffles, bust darts, cap sleeves, back key hole with elastic loop and shank button closure and neckline facing. I don’t think there is anything else like this out there at the moment, I get a real librarian chic vibe from her patterns.For the sizing I decided on the small even though my bust measurement sits at the top end. It fits great but it is snug around the upper bust but that’s on purpose, any looser and it might look a little boxy I reckon so I’m happy.The only modification I made was to take 3″ off the length, I’m a little short in the waist so this is a usual adjustment for me.The elastic I used for the key hole loop is a little thick but it was in my stash and it does the job. The button I used was leftover from my sleeveless Grainline Archer from ages ago.The fabric I chose was sitting in my stash, it’s an old thrifted Bonds doona cover from The Salvos, I love the pink and grey together. I just knew the stripes would go really well especially with the ruffles. Cutting it out was a pain though, I had to do it on the floor single layer to match up the stripes, but well worth it. I really like the pattern to fabric combo I’m calling it my circus top though, it’s a little Big Top isn’t it? I’m going with it.
I didn’t have any issues with this make, it was really fun and interesting. I hadn’t sewed a keyhole facing before and I spent a bit of time getting the ruffle on the front distributed evenly. Plus being 100% cotton it sewed and pressed really well which is always nice.
Big thanks go out to Imagine Gnats and See Kate Sew, I just love Selfish Sewing Week. Don’t forget to upload your selfish makes on Kollabora to join in the fun and good luck in the giveaway.
Our esteemed judge has sweated over all your fabulous entries and come to her conclusions, an unenviable task I might add. Congratulations everyone and thank you all so much for your contributions. Sally has generously guest posted for the announcement so let’s get on with it shall we?
First of all, thank you very much to the 35 entrants to the competition. The standard was very high and I really enjoyed looking through your innovative refashions! If you haven’t seen the entries, take a look at the Flickr group here:
Anyway, I know you are on the edge of your seats to find out who won the prizes. So without further ado…
The ‘Best Use of Dye’ award goes to….
Sue at Fadanista www.Fadanista.com ! Sue bought three similar T-shirts and dyed them all the same colour to make this fantastic easy-to-wear dress. Congratulations Sue!The ‘So Simple but So Effective’ award goes to…
Amy at Craft & Thrift http://craftandthrift.blogspot.co.uk/ ! Amy cut up the front of her jumper and used velvet ribbon as a facing on both sides, then added buttons and buttonholes to her new cardigan!The ‘Fearless Use of Bleach’ award goes to…
Almost a Hippy http://almostahippy.blogspot.com.au ! She made this really striking dress by pouring bleach freehand over this little beauty. It’s sensational!The ‘Most Interesting Thrifted Fabric’ award goes to…
Lady Lauriston for this sweater-to-skirt refashion! Some of the most interesting material I’ve seen and it made a really great, versatile skirt. Well done, your Ladyship!The ‘Creative Use of Multiple Garments’ award goes to…
Meggipeg http://www.meggipeg.com ! She used Vogue 1316 to combine fabric from four different sources into this incredible tonal grey dress. Outstanding work, Meggipeg.The ‘Prom Dress to Red Carpet’ award goes to…
Michelle at www.thatblackchic.com made this stunning crop top and pencil skirt outfit for her daughter Mori from a thrifted prom dress. I particularly liked the contrasting topstitching. Congratulations!The ‘Chic But Thrifty Wedding Guest’ award goes to…
Gema at http://www.sequinsandslippers.com ! Well done Gema on transforming this rather plain dress into something spectacular. That yellow colour is fantastic, what a great find!Winners, please email Amy at sewamysew1 [at ] gmail [dot] com and she’ll let you know which pattern you won.
Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you to everyone who entered or supported the competition by spreading the word. I hope this has encouraged all you sewists to give refashioning a try!
And another big thanks go out to our sponsors who generously donated their awesome indie patterns for prizes. And… that’s a wrap for Repurpose Reuse Refashion 2014.
Another guest post from Sally of Charity Shop Chic to inspire you with your refashion projects for Repurpose Reuse Refashion this month. Just click on the image to check out the full post. Take it away Sally;
Need some ideas? Here are some of my favourite refashioning projects from my own wardrobe to help you get started.
1. This men’s jacket refashion was inspired by a Stella McCartney jumpsuit. Although it was quite an involved tailoring project, I had a lot of fun with it and learned a lot about tailoring in the process.2. This trench coat was sent to me as a challenge from another blogger. I love a challenge and spent hours transforming it into something Kate Middleton-worthy.3. A moth-eaten wool kilt didn’t seem like the most promising material, but I made it work by freezing the fabric and cutting around the holes.4. I loved the print on these silk trousers. There was so much material left that I worked it into a simple top for a matching summer outfit.5. Another designer-inspired look, this project was a real challenge. Draping and patternmaking combined to create this unusual shirt.
Now if that doesn’t get you excited and inspired to get your refashion on I don’t know what will. I’m really enjoying my foray into refashioning this month, it’s really testing my fitting and problem solving skills in particular. I love that it’s making me a better sewist.
Don’t forget entries close September 1st and winners will be chosen from the Repurpose Reuse Refashion flickr group so upload your before and after shots to win a whole bunch of indie patterns people!
I wanted to start off with something simple and practical for my first refashion. I’ve had this top in my wardrobe for more years than I care to admit. It’s too big but I just love the cowl neck, the colour and come on, who doesn’t love paisley? It’s a little too 70’s for me as is and it’s too big, I don’t know why I’ve held onto it for soooooo long.The Plan-
- Take the shoulder points in and bind the armholes with self bias binding cut from the sleeves.
- Add vents to the side seams to make it fall straight instead of blousing around the hem.
Simples.Vents, check. I just unpicked the seams and overlocking stitches and turned the seam allowance under and topstitched. After I took the sleeveless off I realised I had to take the gathers out of the yoke seam in order to attach the bias binding to the armholes smoothly. So far so good….Once I took the gathers out of the yoke seams and re-cut the armholes they turned out a bit too big (excuse my pit). It means I have to wear a camisole underneath it but that’s ok, I’m totally new at refashioning and I’m learning as I go.Even with it’s armhole imperfections I call it a triumph. It’s not going to languish in the dark corners of my wardrobe any longer, and that’s what Repurpose Reuse Refashion is all about. I totally love the fabric and will now get actual wear out of it! And, electric blue paisley….. hello?! Don’t forget to upload your refashion before and after shots onto our Repurpose Reuse Refashion flickr group to be in the running to win some great indie patterns.
To help us all get started with Repurpose Reuse Refashion this month I asked our esteemed judge and inspiration for this fab competition Sally from Charity Shop Chic to do a quick guest post sharing with us her top 5 refashioning tips for beginners. Just click on the image to check out the full post. Take it away Sally …
1. Use your imagination. Just because something started out as a dress doesn’t mean it can’t become a jacket, or vice versa.
2. If in doubt, go bigger. Look for garments bigger than your size so you have plenty to work with.
3. Keep your eyes open for garments with unusual or embellished fabrics that you wouldn’t be able to find at the fabric shop. For example, I particularly like working with ‘ethnic’ garments.
Thanks for sharing your ideas and expertise with us Sally. Hope everyone is getting super pumped about their refashions, I’d love to hear your ideas! I’m almost ready to share my first one with you all very soon, eek!!
Inspired by the lovely Sally from Charity Shop Chic and her new pattern company Capital Chic (check out my pattern testing makes here) I wanted to come up with an idea that would celebrate her and her exciting new endeavour. Cue…… Repurpose Reuse Refashion! A month long competition encouraging all you sewists to look deep into your UFO pile, WIP pile, scrap pile, existing wardrobe and/or op shop to give something preloved a new life and save it from the rubbish heap.First of all huge thanks go out to the equally talented and lovely Carmen Hui for designing this stunning logo. Isn’t it just beautiful?! She’s a wonderful illustrator and also whips up a mean summer dress.
Entries must be either:
- A charity shop/op shop/thrift store buy (finished garment, curtains, bed sheet, silk scarf etc) sewn into something new.
- Something from you or somebody else’s wardrobe that is headed for the charity shop sewn into something new. Basically taking something from the dark and dusty back of the wardrobe and returning it to regular rotation e.g.
- sleeved into sleeveless
- maxi into mini
- pants into shorts
- dress into skirt or top
- men’s wear into women’s wear etc etc
- An unfinished or failed sewing project turned it into something wearable instead of throwing it out.
Participants are asked to upload their before and after images onto this dedicated Repurpose Reuse Refashion flickr group and from there the winning entries will be awarded in early September by Sally herself (the queen of refashioning in my eyes) for the most innovative transformations. Entries close 12 midnight August 31st Sydney time.
Excited much? Forget about it!
All refashions are welcome from the crazy and unrecognisable to the thrifty and practical. My hope is that this will be a great opportunity for us all to inspire each other by sharing upcycling ideas in one space and to celebrate the creative, economical and environment art that is refashioning.
Now, I’m a real newbie to to all this having only started sewing a year and a half ago so I will be learning along with you all. Keep your eye out for refashioning tips and guest posts throughout August… oops I mean Repurpose Reuse Refashion Month (as it shall now be known).
I hope you’re all as excited about this project as I am and you’ve got tonnes of ideas percolating already. I just can’t wait to see all your transformations.
I am so in love with this gorgeous dress I can’t even stand it! I have so many projects to shoot and post but this one jumped to the top of the queue as soon I finished it last week. There have been a heap of babydoll dresses popping up on pinterest lately that have inspired this make.When Miss Matatabi announced this past June Nani Iro month I took it as a sign that I should purchase some of the latest collection. I really wanted to make this yellow polka dot Pierre Pocho double gauze into a Japanese pattern, so as soon as I saw this cowl neck drop waist dress from Stylish Dress Book -Clothing for Everyday Wear I knew it was a match.The pattern recommends using a cotton voile so the cowl neck sits heavy and drapes but I just love the structure the double gauze gives it, it sits up so beautifully.No visible stitches! I hand sewed all the hems while sitting in the winter sun on my day off, so lovely. The double gauze is perfect because you can catch the stitches to the under layer so they aren’t visible from the outside. I really should hand sew more, it’s really worth the extra effort.I only used the top section of the pattern and just cut 2 rectangles for the gathered skirt. I had planned for the waist to sit a bit higher (more at my true waist) but I don’t mind how it turned out.I was reading this Sallieoh post where she writes about moving more toward fitted silhouettes since embracing her curves. I feel like I’m moving in the other direction, I always thought loose fitting shapes were not for me and my curves but now I’m into them. I think the trick is that you have to keep the skirt length short, you can’t lose the waist AND the legs, it’s one or the other I reckon. Anybody else loving the new Nani Iro collection?
Introducing the new pattern company Capital Chic from the self taught and talented sewist and refashion blogger Charity Shop Chic. Marketed as day to night corporate/cocktail wear designed for the intermediate to advanced sewist. I’ve been a great admirer of Sally’s blog for ages and I was lucky enough to meet her and all The Spoolettes on my trip to London last year. Best. Trip. Ever!!Manhattan- This is such an interesting pattern, I made the asymmetrical front, high low hemline and exposed zip with grosgrain trim option of this panelled, lined, dart-less skirt.
I love the gentle curve of the hemline, it’s a little “nice girl in the front, party gal in the back” I’m kind of leaning more toward shorter skirt lengths these days.I’d never bordered an exposed zip with grosgrain trim before and I’m in love with it, it looks so slick even if mine turned out a little off centre at the base.fabric- I got this fabulous gold and black Lisa Ho lame from the remnant bin at The Fabric Store on a shopping trip meet up with the lovely Top Notch and Ernest Flagg a while back. I totally thought of the ever stylish Nicole Needles when I picked it up, oh and Joan Collins. I lined it with a black acetate lining (can you believe this is my first fully lined skirt ?). White Russian- Yum! (with soy milk of course). As soon as I saw this pattern I fell in love with it. I’ve been searching for a classic raglan sleeve sweatshirt pattern for ages but just haven’t found what I was after, this is it folks. The pattern is finished with bands at the neckline, hem and cuffs, and has the option for short sleeves with turned up cuffs, and comes with two stencils and instructions for quilting/applique options- Fun!fabric- I bought a ton of this grey towelling knit on the same shopping trip. It’s perfect and I was really glad of the opportunity to use it. I lined the quilting with a cream brushed cotton because I couldn’t find a grey jersey (damn you Spotlight!).This was my first time quilting and I really had no idea what I was doing, I just made it up as I went along really. Subsequently the wadding I used was a little too thick which means that it has a bit of a boxy look but I totally love it!! Basically I cut a front pattern piece out of vilene and drew the quilting grid (1 square inch boxes with the help of my cutting mat) in tailor’s chalk. Then layered the towelling, wadding, brushed cotton then vilene and sewed sewed sewed. Then I just removed the vilene when I was done. I have a feeling there is a much better way to do this and the quilters among you may be cringing a little but hey, it worked.There are four other great patterns to check out, I’ve already got plans for making the Martini two piece. We are so lucky there is another modern fashion forward independent pattern company out there now. Stay tuned for an exciting project inspired by Sally and her refashioning genius in August, very exciting.Disclosure- I was asked to pattern test for Capital Chic’s new pattern release and in exchange I received a free beta copy of these two patterns. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s that time again, the third instalment of the fabulous Perfect Pattern Parcel has been released! This parcel includes;
- Poppy Tunic by Make it Perfect
- Water Bottle Tote by Radiant Home Studio
- Jorna Tank Dress by Jenna Brand
- Staple Dress by April Rhodes
- Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files
And don’t forget the bonus brand new pattern Prefontaine Shorts by Made by Moxie that you receive if you nominate a price of $28 or more.The Pattern- I chose April Rhodes Staple Dress for my make. I’ve seen so many of these made up and it looks really good in a gorgeous print. But for me, I knew I definitely wanted to do it in a knit and, in the spirit of using what’s already in my stash I shopped at home. So yes, it’s another black dress I’m afraid (the last post being my black Coco dress) by hey, one can never have too many black dresses.This is such a simple but clever design; scoop neck, shirred waist, pockets and dolman sleeve dress with the option of high-low or straight hem . When I first tried it on I thought the neckline was a little wide but now I totally love it. Another thing I love about this pattern is the pdf doc has a overview of the print-out so if you want to omit something like the pockets and bias binding in my case you don’t have to print the whole thing out and waste paper and ink, love it.Construction- I’ve been working more on tweaking existing patterns lately, it builds my skills and also my courage working towards drafting something myself. I so admire sewists like Charity Shop Chic who are really creative with their pattern skills.
- I lengthened the sleeves to about 3/4 length. Using my french curve I just followed the lines of the pattern (see image below).
- I also lengthened it 5″ from the straight hemline marking to make it into a midi length which I just love love love.
- I omitted the shirring at the waistline and instead drafted an internal casing and fed through a thin strip of elastic. I was so proud of this because I totally improvised and so was really worried it wouldn’t work. Yay me!
The Fabric- I can’t even describe how beautiful this knit is. I picked it up from Textile Traders (buy 2 metres get one free- yes please) on a recent trip to Perth with my man. It’s a poly rayon jersey, the back is nice and fleecey against my skin and makes it feel very fancy for a knit dress.I know it doesn’t look like your usual Staple Dress but I’m glad I personalised it by gambling on these adjustments. I’m so very happy with this make.Perfect Pattern Parcel is such a great initiative that benefits indie pattern designers, us as sewists and Donorschoose.org, pretty good don’t cha think? So get in quick to snag these fabulous patterns and donate to a great cause in one fell swoop because this parcel is only available until 13th June.