Tag Archive | refashioning

Another black t-shirt gets Béa-ed

One of my aims for this year was to get on with my many and various ideas for tarting up my boring plain t-shirts. Here’s the next one…

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This is not an innovative project. It’s basically the same technique that I used on my Two Becomes One top. I wanted to use some of the smaller scraps of black jersey left over from the first SewDots Batwing Dress. I cut out some random floral shapes, some a little bigger, some a little smaller. To apply the shapes to the t-shirt, I sewed black seed beads on randomly, maybe 5-7mm apart, to mimic the stamens on a flower. I wanted there to be a some texture and for the petals to flare a bit, so when I sewed, I shifted the fabric a little, to give the centres a tiny bit of pouf between beads. Hopefully you can see it in the pictures:

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The only advice I would give is to do the very visible section of the appliqué first (i.e. the front), and make that nice and neat. If you get to the back and the gap between the flowers is bigger than one flower, you can use a couple of small flower shapes, and squish them together, in the hope that it won’t be too noticeable. Which is totally what I had to do!

A late night fixer upper

This is a quick refashion that’s only been in the To Do pile for two or three weeks, and I finished last night. Which is pretty good going, for me!

It always pays to keep your scraps

This is another refashion of a boring Primark t-shirt, into something that’s a bit more me. I wasn’t wearing this t-shirt, because the neckline was higher than I like, and I always felt claustrophobic in it. So I cut the existing binding out and widened the neckline, bringing it a bit lower, so that it’s more flattering, as well as more comfortable.

The binding was cut from a scrap of knit fabric that I had cut off a circle skirt to even out the hem, two or three years ago. I could have thrown that scrap away, but I’m always reluctant to throw bits away, if I think there might be ways to use them. So I knew it was lurking in my scraps bag, and would be a perfect contrast.

I cut a long thin rectangle, didn’t even measure it (Bad Béa, naughty, naughty Béa), and folded it in half lengthways, wrong side to wrong side. I sewed it onto the right side of the neckline, making sure I gave it some stretch, so it wouldn’t gape. Then I folded the edges of the binding to the inside, and whipped out my lovely twin needle, to top-stitch it down. I didn’t have the right lavender coloured thread, but made do with black. It’s a design feature, right?

And bingo, I had a t-shirt I could happily wear to work today.

print-neckline-binding

It looks like it was meant to be like this from the start!

I’m pleased that it’s adding to my personal Stashwatch aims, which include refashions, fix-ups and mending. I am behind on this particular aim, but I think it’s kick-starting a refashioning phase. It’s a really good way to practise skills!

Salvaging the jersey dress and a teaser

So you’ll recall I did a workshop a few weeks ago, and made a dress that really didn’t work. I thought I could at least make a skirt out of the bottom bit of it. But I left it a while, so I could be a bit less emotional when I next approached it.

Today, I decided to pile all the UFOs together, to make sure I knew where they all are, and to try and work on some of them. I decided the dress that didn’t work had spent enough time in the Naughty Corner and had probably thought long and hard about how much it had let itself down, and was ready to try and make amends. So I pulled it out of the pile, to unpick the waist seam and start making that skirt. I hadn’t realised quite how squashy this double jersey was. Man, those stitches had really sunk into the fabric!

Having separated the top and bottom of the dress, I was all set to put an elasticated waistband onto the skirt part, but then I looked at the bodice that I had thought would be going into the scraps bag. I wondered, could it work as a top by itself? During the making process the bodice had seemed to go well, it was only when I joined it to the skirt that it all went horribly wrong.

So what do you think?

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Too short! I know!

It’s a bit too short to leave the lower edge as is and just hem it. I need to add some length. I’ve got two long wrap ties that I’d be happy to sacrifice, but not much other spare fabric in long pieces. Unless I also sacrifice the skirt, or make it maybe 10cm shorter, which I think I could do and still be within the bounds of decency. But I’m not sure of the best technique for adding that extra length: some kind of band I guess?

What do you think? All suggestions gratefully received!

And finally, here’s a teaser for my first ever Simple Sew Blog make. I’m not sure when my post will go live, and I don’t want to spoil it, so this is as much as I’ll show for now.

The Refashioners challenge

Source: www.makery.uk

I’m so very tempted to try this challenge. I’ve got at least 2 pairs of jeans that haven’t seen the light of day for a couple of years, so I have the basic materials. And it would really tie in with my stashwatch aims.

I’ve committed to another project just recently (of which more later) and I need to see how that will work out, before I go bonkers on this one, but I’ve definitely got ideas paddling around in the inspiration pool. Mostly involving embroidery, it has to be said. It’s not going to be anything prizewinning, but that’s not the point – the  point is to take something you don’t wear and turn it into something you do.

And I’m pretty sure I can do that!

Edited to add…
Holy moly! Have you seen the prizes?!


Falling Blocks T-shirt

 

The Falling Blocks t-shir refashion

The Falling Blocks t-shirt refashion

This is a t-shirt refashion that has been dictated by sloppy eating habits, and an unshiftable grease-spot right in the middle of the chest. It has been languishing in the UFO pile for at least a year and a half, probably longer.

I was starting with a basic lavender Primark t-shirt, and some black jersey fabric from a pair of cheap leggings which had finally worn so much at the thigh that they were way past saving. My initial plan way back then was to make a sort of flutter effect appliqué and I cut out a load of rectangles in the black jersey intending to machine them onto the neckline. I got started and immediately hated it. Maybe I should have powered through, but I didn’t have any major vision to pursue, so it went into a bag with all the bits, and sat in my UFO pile, just staying there, gathering dust and making me feel guilty.

So when I was working out what UFOs I actually had, for the purposes of stashwatching, this one came out of hiding, and looked hopefully at me. I took it out of the bag, to see what was there, and unpicked all the sewing I’d already done, and put aside in disgust. I was wondering if I should try some other kind of technique to mask the spot, and then realised I could easily use the black rectangles I’d already cut, but apply them flat. I aimed for a falling blocks design, keeping it random, and mostly trying to zig-zag the blocks and slightly overlap them with each other. I pinned all the pieces on, then repinned all the ones I’d pinned with the wrong side of the jersey showing. A quick mirror check indicated the placement looked ok, and didn’t create any unfortunate boob-frames, so I went ahead and tacked everything down. It reminded me of those Alabama Chanin appliqués, which in turn reminded me that I really want to try that some time.

Alabama Tackin’

Then I started machining all the blocks into place, using a zigzag stitch. I think I must have been tired because I had two mishaps in one evening. Firstly, I managed for the first time ever, to do something so stupid, and such a childhood fear of mine, that I can’t believe it actually happened – I sewed through the side of one of my fingers! There was quite a bit of blood but it was only a flesh wound, no actual damage. After recovering from that, I started again, only for the second disaster to befall, catching the fabric in the feed-dogs, and ripping it when I at last got it out. At that point, I decided to stop machining, tacked an additional block into place to hide the rip, and put it away for the night. A few days later I managed to finish the rest of the sewing with no further injuries or accidents.

Looks better on!

It looks better on!

It looked a bit rough and ready, so I’ve trimmed some of the gnarliest edges, but it’s all going to stretch out in actual wear, and I wasn’t going for geometric exactitude.

I’m very happy that I’ve managed to retrieve an unwearable garment, that I’ve finally finished this long-standing UFO, and that I’m moving forward in my Stashwatch plans to fix/mend/refashion things.

And talking of appliqués, on the day I took these pictures, my dad posted this picture of me and my sisters on Facebook:

Ah, the seventies...

Ah, the seventies…

The second one on the right with the patched up jeans is me. Yes, it’s another garment upcycle involving appliqués!

Here’s the next four MMM outfits

Patterns in my clothing is making the text disappear!

Patterns in my clothing are making the text disappear!

Catching up…

Day 13 – Refashioned t-shirt from day 1, plus the Red Square skirt (which you can’t tell from the selfie). This was the best I could do for the Friday Theme of Stripes.

Day 14 – The All-nighter dress. I still love these colours with a passion. But I’m seriously thinking of cutting this down to a top, because the skirt part doesn’t seem to be hanging right.

Day 15 – The Dress of Many Colours (from day 11). It requires careful planning to repeat wearing this dress, because it is quite Noticeable. On Wednesday I was wearing it to work, and on Sunday I was wearing it at home, and to visit my sister, so there wasn’t going to be anyone there to say, “Oh, you’re wearing your bright/summery/colourful dress again…”.

Day 16 – The Squares & Triangles Circle Skirt, paired with a newly embellished t-shirt top.

This is yet another of my multiple Primarni t-shirt tarting up jobs. I had these crystals in my costume beading stash. They’re a slightly weird colour, a pale bronze-y gold. I don’t even remember acquiring them, as I’ve never had any costume plans in that sort of colour scheme, I’m guessing they were a mistaken Ebay purchase!

I marked the centre front, and started from that point, so that I could make sure the crystals would look right, and if there was going to be any problem with getting the final fit of the crystals, it would be at the back of my neck. I used one of the top-stitching lines for the neckband as my mark for keeping the beads in the right relationship with the neck edge. So I wasn’t just throwing it together, but doing a Proper Job.

Trying to be careful and not just eyeballing it

Trying to be careful and not just eyeballing it

And it was all ready to wear the next day…

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

It is seriously sparkly!

Here’s the next batch of MMM pics

Days 9 to 12

Days 9 to 12

Day 9 – This was the first day of fail. However, since I’d been in the office over the whole weekend, and had no chance to get any washing done, I just didn’t have a me-made top available. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. The top may be a boring old Primark t-shirt, but the skirt is me-made and it’s the one that I keep wearing, because it’s so gosh-darn easy to wear, but haven’t quite got around to blogging yet. However, I’m getting the information together below…. Also, washing did get done.

Day 10 – First day of the Ofsted Inspection. I’m wearing a top I refashioned a little while ago, but again, totally missed out on blogging, and the black denim skirt, which is a brilliant Old Faithful kind of a garment.

Day 11 – And we passed! Graded Good! Hooray and celebrations all round! I wore the Dress of Many Colours. And got comments on how summery and sunshiney it was, all day long!

Day 12 – No rest for the Wicked, all the work that I had to shove to one side because of the Inspection had to get finished in double quick time, because those deadlines hadn’t been eased, regardless of Ofsted. Wearing my You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! skirt. Although, to be honest, since I made the Dress of Many Colours, I’ve worn orange much more than I ever thought I would when I included little hints of orange in the appliqués on this skirt. I also wore this new-ish top that is more properly introduced below.

So here’s some of that missing info…

The aubergine skirt

I made this just before going on holiday to Cairo, in February, except I never got around to hemming it, so I didn’t take it on holiday after all. It’s a very straightforward jersey pull-on skirt, self-drafted, based on an existing Marks & Spencer skirt. It really couldn’t have been easier – a basic skirt shape, slightly tapering, with extra length for a turned down elasticated waistband.

The fabric is a frankly rather cheap and nasty jersey, and it’s already pilling a bit, I’d only bought it as a try-out for jersey projects. But it’s a glorious colour, and super-comfortable, and I’ll keep wearing it for now.

This is the best image I've got of it so far, but it's bound to feature again this month...

This is the best image I’ve got of it so far, but it’s bound to feature again this month. Clicky for bigger.

There is a top in the course of completion, to match. However this might be rather too warm to wear in the summer, on account of it being nasty man-made fibres.

I’m half contemplating adding some sashiko style embroidery to both pieces, but only if I think it will work for both items, together and separately.

Stashwatch stats: The skirt failed to use up the whole piece of fabric, because I’d bought over 3 metres of it, as I recall! But it counts as one use towards the stash-score.

Next…

Black refashioned top

I refashioned an old stripy t-shirt, some time ago, because it had a polo neckline which I didn’t like, and I used the fabric from the polo neck to create a strip of binding, to edge the new neckline. Well I had tons of the binding left, so I used it to open up the neckline of another t-shirt, like so…

Refashioned t-shirt

Refashioned t-shirt

I finished it with a herringbone stitch, same as I’d done for the original stripy t-shirt.

And now a gratuitous close-up…

Neckline

Neckline

Stashwatch Stats: This refashion took place before the stashwatch came into being, so it sadly doesn’t count towards my planned refashions/upcycles.

The Pink Stretchy Floral Top

I got this fabric last year at Ditto in Brighton. It was in their remnants. It’s got a lovely soft feel and it’s such a fun print! In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a giant floral pattern.

I made this top to go to Egypt with, and you’ll be glad to hear I did wear it out there. I cobbled a pattern together, by copying another of my t-shirts and giving it a sort of cap sleeve. It’s not sophisticated, but I think it works, and it’s pretty. Having created something of a signature look with the herringbone stitch, I used it again, with a plain white jersey binding, on the neckline, the sleeves and the hem.

Floral top close-up

Floral top close-up

Cairo top

You can just about see the top underneath the costume pattern, from our Costume Sewing course in Cairo. I really must blog that soon, because it was fascinating.

Having gone to the trouble of doing the nice edging on the hem, I think it probably looks nicer tucked in, or at least, it does with a skirt. When I wear it with jeans or yoga pants, it’s long enough to be slightly tunic-y.

Stashwatch Stats: This used up the whole piece of fabric (which wasn’t big to start off with!)
Current tally – I’ve used 3/10 pieces of fabric, used *up* 1/5.

I think that catches everything up now.