Thursday, 29 January 2015

Cotton Dress & 60s Hairband

80s Double breasted button dress in a strong woven cotton in apple green. I removed the black buttons which 'double breasted' the dress like a jacket and the pleated ruffle. 

The dress is size 44 which I think is a size 16 roughly. I sewed the sleeves thinner (by 3 inches each inner sleeve) but left the dress boxy. I then ironed out the ruffle and cut/sewed 2 x side sash to draw the waist in, attached with an overstitch and straight stitch and ironed on the fold. I added the sash' at the sides as I didn't want the cotton to bunch in front. Also made a hairband from the ruffle! Cut, sew inside out, turn right side around, iron flat with the hem in the centre (which will be hidden). Tie underneath your hair. I look awesome in this colour!
Now the 80s drop waist is a short dress (above knee). I love the pockets, the dress is lined, and it has a zip in the back. Nice quality. I could also wear it with a brown belt but the sash gives enough fit. A bit too cold to wear it out yet... I wore a knit dress in Oxford with buttons in a 60s style. I have another use for these buttons though!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Dress to Hi-Waist Skirt Adding a Zip

Which side to wear at the front? Zip or smooth...

The taffeta dress was far too short for a shoulder-less dress! Alas I was a bit skinnier when I bought it in 2012. It still had tags on and with a couple of adjustments it is now something I will wear. I am wearing it with banana leggings only cos it's weird taking a close up in a short skirt! I removed the original zip on the back of the dress using a picker and cut at the join of the bust.  As the skirt sits high waist, just under my ribs, I didn't add a waistband, I sewed in a skyblue (new) zipper. I zigzagged a hem at the top of the skirt, and folded a long hem (about 3 inches width) and straight stitched at the top. The skirt is reinforced and the zip is neatly secured in the same process.
Ooh la la a new skirt worthy of a boutique. A quick way to utilise those lingering brightly coloured zips.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cream Blouse Made Pretty

This originally was a size 16 with above-elbow sleeves and had a peter pan collar with cross stitch embroidery on (machine made). It was outdated and I thought the coloured embroidery was a bit childrenswear. I bought the shirt for £4.99 whilst working a Saturday shift at Oxfam, I think you could get these blouses for cheaper as they are inevitably sale rail items! I neglected to take a before photo in my haste of sourcing a cream / ivory blouse that I can wear casually. I've actually had this blouse since June but it felt like a chore at the time, so best not to touch.
I shortened the blouse so it sits at the last button then resized it to a size 10 (it is on a 10-12 mannequin), I had removed the sleeves, retaining fabric to create the binding for the armholes.  Removed a top button to keep it youthful with a bohemian edge. Edged the new neckline in a short stitch to hold it down.   I love the new crochet neck line. I saved the crochet trim from the ends of the sleeves, which I folded over the  new neckline as a bias tapeI love the pretty white, I plan to make a broderie anglaise top in the summer.

I'm actually coming to the end of my refashion lot as I have charity shopped a lot that I didn't use! the tags on some of the garments are the same as the charity I am donating to lately! Not feeling inspired by anything in the charity shops; need longer fabric for dress making patterns

 Refashions wise, I have left:- a pink jacket to resize, garments saved as fabric for a Manhattan skirt, 1 waistcoat, 4 blouses (which I may still charity shop 'as they are' but have ideas for), 2 pairs of trousers, 1 jumper, 1 vintage dress 1 new dress , 1 new summer dress from Alice, 1 tablecloth which I have already cut the Bellini blouse from. If I do see something potentially cool then I won't pass up an opportunity, but I have enough to be getting on with! 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Waistcoat over a Blouse

I plan to cover some of this year's trends using my recycled fabric or dress-patterns, to update unwanted styles into current fashion. Spring 2015 suggested: 70s inspired, shirtdresses, casual trouser suits, matching co-ords, culottes, gingham, monochrome, blue with white, belt-fastening jackets. Previous post was a shirt dress. I decided to use another winter velvet item (velvet and sudette strike me as very 70s) and I needed a white blouse to go with the waistcoat. The dress I only wore once as it was a bit medieval pastiche! The elastic bunched at the end of the skirt so I cut the skirt and and transferred the elastic as a waistband instead, this required hand stitching in addition as velvet is so troublesome.  It was more wearable as separates. I gave the skirt to my friend to suit her almost gothic style. The waistcoat I hemmed and removed the cap sleeves. 
  I will pair it with any coloured skirts - such as the dusky rose skirt I thrifted below from Sue Ryder for £4
I used a white crepe vintage blouse with navy whacky blue biro pattern, self fabric buttons and poofy almost elbow-length sleeves which I removed for simplicity, stitched twice down the hem and cut off the excess. Both items I had since last summer and recovered whilst sorting another donation lot for charity.   I had the same dress in silver, which I turned into the same waistcoat and a X back vest.
    Sleeping Beauty 1959

Monday, 12 January 2015

Classic Shirt Dress

Made from  a size 14 longline suit jacket, which was £5 in a christian community and came with wideleg trousers. I used the tall style and oversize to create a size 10 dress. The brand is Windsmoor which is styled for the mature lady. It had been in the shop for a few weeks unsold as it was so I thought I'd turn it into a dress and separate tapered pants trousers. I sewed up the side vents and the gape under the last button, I turned it inside out on the mannequin and pinned the excess then sewed down.  It is mid-thigh but rather warm elsewhere and not itchy, flattering without being clingy.The fabric is 94% polyester and 6% cupro and it has a fine tweed knit. A quick search for 'cupro' to satisfy curious interest: 'Cupro fabric breathes like cotton fabrics, drapes beautifully, and feels soft on your skin. Its silhouette hugging drape makes it great for lining purposes as well as for elegant dresses, blouses and pants.'  I'm going to start paying more attention to fabric make ups. The before / after:-
Wore it out! Watched The Hobbit. This dress fit on the mannequin as that's how I resized it but i was raining so again modeled myself!
Accompanied with black tights and flat buckle shoes. I know styling the outfit is part of the fun but I can't fit it in a selfie! I have grey midthigh boots it would look cool with too.
I almost bought this glass worktop protector (squirrels) for under my sewing machine, maybe I ought to next Oxford trip! So Beatrix Potter...

These Hurraw natural lipbalms are currently 3 for £10 on, I chose vanilla, almond and cinnamon. Glorious scent and sheen.  Of course not tested on animals. On on a tiny 'tea tray' (edged so perfect for collecting pins and small scissors mid sewing).

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Hot Pink Shorts Playsuit

A playsuit in an appropriate length! Structured blouse with matching mid thigh flared shorts.
I think the style (modest straps) is quite 1950s (and hand made!). I am glad to have made something conventionally pretty also suit me. I purchased this dress for about £8? in July but didn't fancy to wear the colour with previously blonde hair. The existing dress was a UK size 16 80s shirt dress in a fantastic whacky print. It wasn't very flattering, a little out of date for a patterned dress. The material has a sheen like cold silk. It ironed just fine when I was pressing my hems. I removed the shirt, sewed away the button placket, hemmed the collar and arm-holes and end of shirt. Then sewed on a new detail to the bust.  I sewed two rows of thin pink on all of the outlines on the shirt so it sits flat and looks structured. I then resized it (arm holes shorter, blouse narrower - this is one verticle step) and then sew horizontally over the bottom join of the shirt and arm hole joinings to secure.
I retain all buttons (and belts) for future projects/ charity. Red and gold for chinese fabric!
Again the blouse wouldn't fit over the mannequin so I modeled it! I was almost tempted to give up whilst sewing this as it was too low cut once I had removed the collar and hemmed it, but I simply made a new panel from the sleeve for the front which is folded in three layers, enforced by neat stitching in pink.  It is cool how contentious sewing transforms with perseverance.
SHORTS The shorts I made with black elastic and pink stitching. I traced the outline of existing pyjama bottoms, I used the entire length of the skirt. Blouse not ironed as I had just worn it all day!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Smock to Skirt Suit

Two options for this skirt suit - velvet and the seersucker cotton.  
I look deep south American!
The blouse is reversible. The buttonless side is slightly looser in the bodice.

   Topshop smock; sleeves from an unflattering velvet jacketIt was seer sucker cotton but too maternity to be wearable. The black panel of the bloue wouldn't fit over the mannequin shoulders but fit over mine and I sewed it a little loose. This outfit is so comfortable and easy to put on which makes it a good winter weekend dress. I removed the skirt section. To create the bodice, I unpicked jacket sleeves to 4 panels. I used 3 (2 across longest width at the back as the top is shorter, 1 vertical and folded - this fit perfectly). This was rather difficult to sew given the sporadic nature of velvet, I had to re-assemble the bobbin attachments despite holding the fabric straight (the needle kept jamming). I certainly won't be taking on any 'from scratch' projects involving velvet!
VELVET SKIRT. This was originally calf length, I just pinned and hemmed. I may add another line of sewing closer to the hem as velvet cannot be pressed. The original was £3 in Sue Ryder charity, I think it was priced low because long skirts are not worn by many people. Now I have a useful lined black skirt with a few minutes work.
ELASTIC SKIRT. I hemmed and pinned joined elastic to the skirt, I folded the hem over it and sewed below the elastic. Although seersucker is the perfect summer fabric, these colours are suitable for chilly weather and brighten the velvet. I am a seasonal sewist! 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cinnamon Stripes & Racer Vest

Tippi hedren - 'The Birds' Hitchcock halloween costume (last year)
crow made from 2 magic felt hats, tin foil, coat hangers and fruit salad forks. I made the pendant from shrink plastic (I was walking whilst taking the pic!) It was suitable for dogwalking / days out too...
70s-80s Black and copper/chocolate stripes Long sleeved shirt which I bought vintage at £6. It had a German designer. It looked swamped in ruffles and pattern so I removed the sleeves, in doing so I accidentally removed one of the shoulder pleats so I had to re-sew the ruffle back on, at least it is practise! I removed the collar ruffle and scored and sewed folded-in the original mandarin collar. I.also resized this blouse which was a 40 to about 36 bust. It is 'fitted' on a UK 10-12 mannequin. I.have had this shirt since the summer and I am not finding interesting thrifts lately so breezing through my refashion collection!

Button-front gypsy l/s shirt I bought from a charity for £4. It's in a flannel cotton, I loved the squirrel and grapes print but not the 'pyjama' look! I cut out the button placket and  resewed down the front, resized from the sides (it was a sz 14 & draped fit), sleeves removed and rehemmed.
I was asked by my family to fix sports wear and make camping items such as upcycling this utility pouch to carry.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Velvet X-Back Vest


Navy version of the dress I bought - I'd only worn it once as I felt swamped in it. I marked in blue where I folded and cut the fabric cut out the pockets and used this as an outline to the pinafore. I removed the skirt and the bottom skirt elastic, fitted it to a bodice, cut the back lower and sewed the straps from material I removed. I went over all the edges with the sewing machine and rolled hem.  I also sewed darts into the back so the arch wouldn't droop.  Very useful to have a mannequin! 

I love the slightly Medieval result on its own, or it can be worn as an evening top or a vest over white blouses 60s style - stylish way to keep warm! Also posted this week:- Zebra Print & Glitter