Tag Archives: refashion

Refashion and repeats

I haven’t had the oomph to tackle anything big this fall, despite digging out some fabrics I’d like to use and some intense fall wardrobe capsule fantasizing. But words like “cottagecore” and “historybounding” have been inspiring me, and I’ve been puttering at an assortment of little things.

Tyo was looking for an elf-y white shirt for her Hallowe’en costume, and didn’t find quite what she was looking for in the house. However, her search inspired me (a few days after Hallowe’en) to pull out an old shirt my husband had retired as the sleeves weren’t really long enough. It was a bit of a romantic style, purchased from one of those booths that sells Central American hand-crafts at various festivals many years ago, with a bit of embroidery and a lace-up neck opening, but a standard round shirt collar and shirt cuffs. Since it became too small for my husband, it’s been kicking around in the “not in use but too cool to throw out” pile. (This pile is Too Big. But that’s another issue for another day.)

I cut off the sleeves just below the elbow. In hindsight maybe I should have cut them not quite so short, but I was thinking of Tyo and she finds it annoying when puffy sleeves flop down over the cuff, and her arms aren’t as long as mine. I hemmed the edges into a casing and added a narrow elastic for a blousy sleeve.

Also can I say I’m LOVING this outfit a lot more than I thought I would?

Then I cut a wide scoop neckline, starting just above the top of the neck lacing. I used one of the sleeve off-cuts to cut a series of on-grain strips, connected them together and pressed in the edges with a bias tape maker, and used that to bind the neckline. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the squishy, heavy-gauze type fabric curved around the neckline, even when cut on grain, but I should have stay-stitched or even slightly gathered the neckline first as the same squishiness of the fabric let it stretch out quite a bit under sewing, and the resulting neckline is a bit wide and deep for Tyo. It works ok on me, and hopefully will be ok for her—worst case I might unpick the back neck and add a pleat there or something.

Despite how long it took me to write all that, the entire mod was probably done in under an hour.

As I was musing over the shirt refashion, I still felt that I wanted a light/neutral coloured top with actual swishy sleeves, so I decided I needed another Adrienne Blouse. My previous versions are red and black, in heavy rayon knits. This one is a heathered oatmeal colour cotton knit, not nearly so drapey and a bit thinner, originally purchased from Blackbird Fabrics. I’m relieved to say the sleeves work just as well in this fabric, and the body still fits nicely (with just the right amount of ease). The elastic I used in the shoulders for this one is VERY firm, which makes the neck a little higher, and I wouldn’t mind if it were a smidge lower, but other than that I’d call it a pretty flawless make. There’s nothing like a TNT pattern when you just need a win. (Also, I’m going to be so sad when the big sleeve trend passes. I’ve always kinda liked puffed sleeves, and it is glorious to finally be able to revel in them without feeling slightly guilty that I’m too old or dignified for them.)

The only change I made with this version was to remove the extra sleeve length I had added. It’s not a huge difference in the look, and it saves a few inches of fabric. I’m excited to try it with some skirts and belts, but of course the twins goobered something dark right on the front about five minutes after I got home from it’s first wear, so my pictures are pretty limited.

So basically I just want to dig through my closet and play dress up figuring out all the possible outfit combos with these things… and I mean the twins would be all over the pulling out part, but they are still not too fond of the cleanup parts.

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Sweater dress (refashion edition)

I don’t refashion much. Generally I’d rather send something to a thrift store than take it apart. I’m pretty happy about this exception, though.

I made this grey sweatshirt (scroll down, the post has a bunch of little projects in it) for my husband about two years ago. It was Kwik Sew 2133, a classic “vintage” sweatshirt of a style it can be hard to find in stores these days. And to his credit, he did wear it. For a while. Then he decided to wash it.

With bleach.

By some miracle the main fabric was untouched, but the bands were pretty much ruined.

The shirt lurked. I removed the bottom band and hemmed, since he apparently doesn’t like bottom bands anyway (I am completely confused about what he means when he tells me he wants a classic sweatshirt, now). But then it was really too short. And it lurked.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the remnants of the original fabric in stash. There was about 40 cm left, not really enough for anything except a baby project—and I have no babies to sew for at the moment, thankfully—but it was just enough to turn a defunct sweater into a sweater dress.

I lapped the new piece on at my hem and attached with a zigzag. Then I started shaping. I cut the sleeves (with ruined cuff) to a 3/4 length, because that seemed fun, and narrowed, creating a side seam (the original sweater body was tube-knit). It’s fitted through the bust and then widens rapidly.

I considered shaping the hems, but went with a wide rib-knit band after I was able to find the same piece of grey ribbing.

In another miracle of hoarding, my new sleeve cuffs are a pair I had constructed for the sweatshirt back when I first made it, but they were deemed too tight by my husband, so I made another, wider set. This pair got tucked away in a drawer. It’s pretty miraculous that I was able to find them both last night as I puttered around.

I cut the neckline into a gentle scoop. At the moment it’s raw with some straight stitching for reinforcement, which I think is a fun, casual finish fog a sweater neck. We’ll see how I feel later on.

The only thing I’m thinking about now is adding pockets. EBoth my other grey sweater dresses have them, and I love the feature. As Syo pointed out, it would be easy enough to add some in the hip seam.

In the meantime, though, I’m just going to enjoy being warm and cozy.

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