An attempt at refashioning

At some point last summer, I got tired of how much money I spent on fabric and decided to look creatively around the thrift store. I already had a stack of things to re-make, but sometimes you need a fresh inject, you know? So I started looking at things more for the fabric than for the size & fit. (And to give credit where it’s due, I was pretty inspired by Amanda’s group, and the things she was doing to garage sale finds).  Let me tell you, it’s much harder than it looks, and I found a new appreciation for Antoinette and Tina‘s work – and discovered that maybe improvisational clothing making is not a good idea. I’ll be pretty surprised if I get brave enough to wear this at all outside of the house, based on a couple of things.

The green top of the dress is what came from the thrift shop  – it was originally a t-shirt that was fairly short and boxy. I was glad to be able to use the original neckline since I don’t have a coverstitcher. The gray fabric is from my stash. A couple of my issues with making this have to do with my beginner status working both with knits and using a serger. I decided that instead of doing a long gathering stitch for the skirt, I would use the gathering function on the serger. The problem was that I didn’t know exactly how much the gray fabric would gather, so I got 80% of the way around the skirt and there wasn’t enough gray fabric left to finish the circle. I don’t know if you can adjust this, or if there’s a certain formula to figure out how much length you need to get a certain gathered length. So I had to piece in a scrap of gray knit, which ended up being crosswise instead of lengthwise – there’s not a lot of stretch in this knit so it’s not too much of an issue, but it’s not really a design feature either. To me, it’s kind of obvious that I stuck it in there because I was fixing a mistake. The other issue is that there’s a spot in the back that sticks out funny, so I almost have to wear that belt to cover the waistline. Oh, and it’s pretty short since I just kept cutting until it was even! I didn’t get it quite right until I had my dress form, which definitely helps! So it’ll have to be worn over skinny jeans or leggings if I do wear it out.

I let the sleeve binding roll up instead of folding it under to hide the raw edge. However, when I sewed it to the green fabric, the armhole stretched out significantly and I had to add darts at each side seam to make it fit again. This could have been because of the texture of the green knit, but I don’t know. I did use a walking foot, which I thought was supposed to avoid stretching. That’s where I got frustrated with this style of sewing and having to “fix” things along the way- I wanted a little more predictability. I really like the detail on the middle of the front with the gray inset and the buttons. To me, that’s the trendy detail that makes me like it all together. Let me know what you think of my attempt!

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5 thoughts on “An attempt at refashioning

  1. bravo my dear! I can’t tell you how many trial and error items I created on my way to where I am today. I will say that although I embrace this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method, others do not – it’s not for everyone! but either way, I think it is liberating and everyone should try it… at least once. 🙂

  2. Nicole Lamb says:

    I think it is super cute! I have not yet been brave enough to step into re-fashioning but hope to soon. Just wear it like you mean it and everyone will think it’s awesome!

  3. i took a sewing class a couple months ago but haven’t gotten the courage to start making stuff but i just looked through your site and it’s gotten me all excited to start sewing again! 😀

  4. Thanks for the comment on my blog. It looks like a fun project, very creative. You are right, refashion is harder than it looks – at least if you want to make something that looks as nice as if you had made it from scratch. But I think that that is part of the charm. One of the good thing about refashions is that since thrifted clothes is so cheap you can do something more crazy than you would usually do. If you end up with something you would not wear out, well, you have had fun and it didn’t cost much.

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