Refashion: Taking in a Raglan Tee

Wow, it seems I went a bit overboard with making sure the ‘before’ pictures looked as bad as possible! What is going on with my hair?!

This top, made from lovely flowery corally fabric – I think it’s viscose, it has a really nice drape – was kindly given to me by The Boyfriend’s mum. It was a little big for me, so I decided to make it smaller, which was really quite easy because it’s got raglan sleeves.

But first I cut off these annoying hanging ribbon things. Why do they exist?! They just like to work their way out of the neckline to hang out and look crap!

The sleeves also had these little button tabs, so I unpicked them from the hem of the sleeve and took off the button – which I put into my stash for use on another project in the future.

The next thing was to take in the top at the raglan sleeve seams – this would also reshape the neckline so it wasn’t so wide. I took 1.5cm off each seam – 4 in total (2 sleeves, front and back). I made sure the neckline was lined up, so there wouldn’t be steps or a weirdness on the outside.

I tried the top on after taking out the 4 lots of 1.5cm and it was still a bit loose on the back, so I sewed a 1cm seam – which I copied off a fairly old top I’ve got from New Look which I really like.

I then top-stitched the seam down on one side, sewing from the right side, so it looked straight with the seam I’d just sewn.

The last thing I did was to topstitch the cuffs down – there was a cuff already there, so that when it was pulled up by the button tab you wouldn’t see the wrong side of the fabric. I folded this old cuff in half and stitched it down. Simple!

And this is what it looks like – it just fits better and although it’s still a little loose (which I like), it no longer looks like it’s just too big.

The final change I made was to take 6cm off the hem at the front of the top, tapering to the existing hem at the side seams, making a slight high-low hem, which I think it more flattering on a looser top.

I really like the new cuffs! As I mentioned in my post about my second Melilot Shirt, I really like cuffs on short sleeves at the moment.

I do like a fairly simple refashion! There’s no point reinventing the wheel – if you have a nice top but want to alter the fit, there’s no need to try to make it into not-a-top!

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Wardrobe Architect Week 10: The Capsule Palette

This week’s Wardrobe Architect is about narrowing the colour palettes we came up with before (in week 5) into smaller palettes for each season. I don’t think I really need to narrow my palettes, though, because since I live in the UK, we don’t have much of a Summer and my spring wardrobe is pretty much my Winter wardrobe but with fewer jumpers and cardigans.

I actually had a bit of a clear out last weekend when I got my Summer clothes (which turned out to be half a dozen dresses and 2 thin cardigans!) out of storage and packed a bunch of them off to the charity shop. I also got rid of some of my early me-mades which I no longer wear, and a few bits that were given to me by friends. I mostly used the rule of if I hadn’t worn it for the last year I got rid of it, and quite a few of the things I got rid of didn’t fit with my colour palette – and some didn’t fit with the silhouettes I’ve identified – so this exercise has definitely helped me to focus on what works in my wardrobe and what doesn’t.

I think for me the think to focus on is to sew with more of my accent colours more of the time for the warmer months (but to sew things that can be layered for colder weather).

I spent last weekend (and the Sunday before) cutting out lots of projects and one of them was a Sew Over It Anderson Blouse in the lovely coral fabric I bought in Birmingham at Guthrie and Ghani. I also have a pink and white striped In The Folds Collins top ready to go and a turquoise Named Inari Tee Dress. I hadn’t realised until typing this that these are all the right colours! I tried to cut out a cropped Inari Tee from the gorgeous mustard jersey I got in Guthrie and Ghani but there wasn’t enough, which was a little heartbreaking. Boo! I think the most I’ll get out of it will be a vest top. Any pattern ideas?

I think the other was to use my accent colours is to sew bottoms as well as tops from them. I mostly wear bright tops and black/navy/grey bottoms, which makes me always look a little Wintery even when it’s warm. I also need some more cream and white tops to go with these bright things.

Well this is probably my shortest Wardrobe Architect post so far!

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Fabric Inspiration: Wool

After the (modest) success of remaking my wool skirt into a cape, I’m hankering after making more things from wool……perfect time of the year, right!?

In looking for photos as research for this post, it occurs to me that wool is a really versatile fabric. You can make all of the below things from wool – skirts (pencil, pleated and circle), dresses (wiggle, fit and flare, and maxi) and, of course, coats and jackets.

I like this skirt because of the fabric – I like the black lines that perfectly line up with the pleats.
Wool Circle Skirt(image source)I can’t resist anything blue pretty much, so I love this one!

Blue Wool Pleated Skirt(image source)

This skirt is from the 60s (which I think is why I was drawn to it) so it shows that wool is also hard-wearing, and lasts a long time. As long as the moths don’t get it!

1960s Olive Green Wool Pleated Skirt(image source)

I like how this one has the pleats starting lower down so it’s smoother over the hips, which I assume is slimming.

Jade Wool Pleated Skirt(image source)

When I was first thinking of a post about wool, I assumed it would all be black, brown and other dark colours, but I was wrong! Electric blue, olive, turquoise and pink. Lovely.

Pink Wool Pleated Skirt(image source)

The pencil skirt is a classic garment to make with wool. I particularly like this grey one – I think it’s the styling (and the model’s legs) that makes it particularly awesome! If only I could wear heels for more than 5 minutes at a time……

Grey Wool Pencil Skirt(image source)

Wool Pencil Skirt(image source)

We can add mustard yellow to the colours of wool available!

Mustard Yellow Wool Pencil Skirt(image source)

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I like masculine, boxy styles (as well as 60s styles), so I love this grey wool coat/jacket.

Grey Boxy Wool Jacket
(image source)

More mustard yellow!

Mustard Yellow Wool Coat
(image source)

Coral is definitely a colour that is one of my new favourite colours, and it seems to be in several high street shops at the moment, so it’s obviously one of the colours randomly picked for this season. Anyway, I like the combination of a sort of girly colour and a masculine shape of coat.

Coral Wool Boxy Coat
(image source)

The wiggle dress is a classic to be made of wool – they make me think of Joan from Mad Men.


Grey Wool Wiggle Dress(image source)

Blue Wool Wiggle Dress(image source)

Since I like the 60s, I do enjoy a black dress with a white collar and cuffs. The babydoll style is obviously a classic of the 60s and it’s starting to grow on me.

Black Wool Babydoll Dress
(image source)

Ah, Pierre Cardin. Lovely!

1960s Pierre Cardin Wool Dress(image source)

I love this lime green cocoon-y dress with the blossom embroidery. It looks so Springy! It’s making me want the weather to finally warm up.

Lime Cocoon Wool Dress with Blossom(image source)

I like this wool, the black with speckles on. And the shape makes the wool look really modern.

Black Sparkly Wool Dress(image source)

Who knew you could make a maxi dress from wool!

Green Wool Maxi Dress
(image source)

This is a great green too, and I actually like the bow – normally I don’t like things that are too fussy, but I’ll make an exception for this one!

1950s Green Dress with Bow(image source)

When I do next sew with wool, I really have to make a coat for The Boyfriend. I promised to in January, but then we decided to move and now it’s almost Spring so it seems like a silly time of year to make a Winter coat! Have you sewn with wool? Outerwear or ‘inner’ wear?

 

 

You-may-also-like-coral

Fabric Inspiration - Lace Tartan Skirt to Cape Pink-Francoise-thumb 2

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Refashion Friday: Blue, Mustard and Orange shirt dress refashion

I was struggling to think how to start this post so The Boyfriend said I should say ‘hello, here is the start of my post’.

Hello, this is the start of my post. This original shirt dress, with a dropped-waist waist band was from my friend – the one who gave me the big pile of clothes which precipitated my big wardrobe clear out.  I immediately fell in love with the fabric. But this is possibly the most difficult fabric to photograph ever, in the whole world! This is possibly the most ‘first-world-problem’ ever…….

Also, sorry for the worst ‘before’ photo ever – but maybe it’s good to have a terrible before so the after looks even better by comparison!?

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There were a couple of buttons missing at the bottom of the dress, but I like how the buttons are in pairs – it’s a bit more interesting than them being evenly spaced!

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It also did have this cute little pocket – if you can make it out?

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Below is the best picture I could get of the ‘waist’ band, which sat on my hips – pretty much the least flattering silhouette on me. So I unpicked the waistband, removing the bottom part of the dress and removing the band from the top part. I measures I needed to raise the waist band by 15cm to put it on my natural waits, so I measured that and then sewed the inside part of the waist band back in using normal seams, cutting off the excess 15cm from the top part of the shirt. I then top-stitched the top part of the waist band, using the holes from the original stitching as a guide.

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Originally the bottom part of the dress was gathered, to give it a bit of fullness, but I decided I wanted a more sleek look so I replaced the gathers with pleats. I also used pleats to narrow the top part of the dress, which then attached to the waistband. I removed 13cm from the original waistband (to make it fit my waist instead of my hips) and then put in 2 pleats on the front and 2 on the back, evenly spaced, each of 3cm. I took the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt as my inspiration. Though you can’t really see the waitsband or the pleats because of the pattern on the fabric!

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Once I’d put the waistband back in, I slotted the front edges back into the button bands where I’d unpicked them, topstitched both sides in place, trimmed the bottom and hemmed them. Then I just had to sew the buttons back on – I’d had to take them off when unpicking the button band. Sorry there aren’t any ‘in progress’ shots, I tried but none of them looked like anything!

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The fit of the sleeves, shoulders and collar fitted quite well from the beginning, so win! I’m glad I didn’t have to fiddle around with resizing the collar!

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Did I mention that I love my new top!? I’ve already worn it a couple of times – I refashioned it a couple of weeks ago. It goes well with my beloved mustard yellow cardigan and I’ll definitely get a lot more wear out of it as a top than if I’d left it as a dress. I’ve finally accepted I wear more separates – and especially trousers – than I do dresses. I do wear dresses sometimes, but not enough to keep making loads more! My friend who gave me the clothes pretty much always wears dresses, so most of what she gave me were dresses. So hopefully there will be some other ways to making tops out of dresses in my future!

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In the below photo you can actually make out the newly placed waist band! And you can almost make out the pleats. I think it was an advantage that the pattern is so busy as it meant it didn’t really matter how neat my sewing was!

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I’ll leave you with one more, slightly smug looking, photo!

Also, check out my matching coral nail varnish! That wasn’t on purpose, but a happy coincidence when I took these pictures!

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