Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tiny Tweaks and Massive Overhauls, pt 1

Hello friendsies!

Refashioning is a very broad term, in my mind. Sometimes, you take an item and find that all you can basically do is use the fabric in it for something completely different, other times, it just takes a seam here, a snip there, and something that wasn't quuuiiitttteee right then becomes a wardrobe staple.

Over the last week I found myself tackling both sides of the refashion spectrum. I'll share the less drastic of the two today and the other part (which I'm really quite proud of) tomorrow (assuming I don't forget).

This is from the big box of clothes my BFF sent me a while ago. It's an open front ling cardigan, and while the body fits well, the 'XS' sleeves can't handle these guns. This is as far as the thing goes on with sleeves

Idea: Take off sleeves, make open front vest sweater thing. Dedicated to not being lazy, I tried to unpick the sleeves. After tugging and poking for like 5 minutes, I had not even made a hole. What?

I don't have time for this #chop

When I tried it on, the arm holes were still a scoosh tight. So I pinned as you see here and cut off the little bit in front of the pins to make it a bit bigger and the sleeves a bit narrower

Then I hemmed and tah-dah! Hemming this was a pain because it's a loose cotton knit/weave thing so the thread got caught a bunch. But I figured it out and made it though, and it worked great. I wore it that night over a dress to have celebratory dinner with a friend (she just finished her Master's degree!)

A couple months ago, I got really lucky at Goodwill half off day and found about a bazillion dresses. Usually I don't have as much luck in the dress section, but that day I think I ended up with about 11. Some of them were ready to wear as-is, some needed one simple thing (like taking the elastic out of the sleeves...) and some needed slightly more involved care.

Wow sideways much? Anyway, a white cotton sundress! Score! I've already done some fixes to this one: The inside lining of the skirt is a mist-thin gauze that was SHREDDING at the seams, so I sewed that back together and tried to fix the chest.

Fix? Not so good. And I didn't want to run the risk of flashing everyone. No picture, but instead of hand sewing I sewed one thin little line at the overlap to keep it together, and I think it's much sturdier!

And these STRAPS! They're adjustable, but they twist and bunch so badly they're almost itchy on the back

What to do... I didn't want to put on new straps, and I didn't want to cut these apart... So I thought, if I sew the front and back together, it will help stabilize it. I made 100% sure both sides were adjusted the way I wanted, then sewed down one side, across the bottom, and back up

Woo hoo! No more wonky straps. And if I need to change or adjust in the future, all the fabric and adjusters are still there, I need only unpick the sewing I did

This one was cute and comfy but the 'billowy' top really looked more like 'potato'

A close up of the terrible. I looked like a mutant

The fun part? Someone made this! This was hand sewn by some fashionista somewhere and I was determined to save her project

I sewed an inward curve in the top area, cutting in from the top and waist elastic (the elastic parts fit fine, it was really just more the loose fabric that was the problem)

Some of the internal seams on the straps needed fixing, so I hand-sewed those into submission. Then it was off to the serger to take care of that horrendous side seam!
And now the boobs aren't a saggy mess

Much better, and not falling apart!

Often for me it's just a few little changes that make something work. I feel like doing just wee changes is almost as satisfying as completely remaking something. Someone might have said "Oh I don't want this dress because the seam is bad and lining is coming apart and the straps won't work for me", where as I said "The lining is bad, and the straps are weird, and it won't work for me... But I have the tools to change that!"

Next time: the much more drastic refashion that was a perfect fix for something I had no idea what to do with!!



whatthesew said...

Gosh you've been busy, and more to follow?

RanchHouse said...

I agree 100% that the small repairs/mends are important. I think a lot of our Goodwill, etc finds are due to someone not knowing how to make those small adjustments. Most everything I own has at least some small adjustment made to it.
Mary @ RanchHouse

Elizabeth Hill said...

Great job this week! Can't wait to see the next project. Please don't forget it!!

- Elizabeth, EOD
aka The Hungry Octopus

Samwise J. said...

@whatthesew, sewing is kind of my main hobby right now. Plus, if I'm busy sewing, I have an excuse not to unpack anymore boxes... ;)