Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Refashion: Cropped Tee to Banded Tee

This is a really simple refashion that elevates a cropped boxy tee to something a little more interesting and with a bit more coverage. I don't do "cropped". Trust me....nobody wants to see that! This can work with a standard tee too. really anything that you want to add a bit of length or design detail to. It's a great way to use up an otherwise redundant strip of a favourite fabric. Pick one thats a similar weight and drape to the top you're refashioning. I'm mixing woven with jersey here....

To start...turn the tee inside out. Put it on and mark where you want your contrast fabric band to sit...

Cut straight across the tee just below this point to allow for some seam allowance...I'm a sod for not measuring or marking anything. But you can always measure 5/8" down from your pin and chalk a line across as a guide if you're more conscientious than I am!

Cut your contrast fabric band at your desired width. Lay it between your two tee pieces and mark where it needs to line up with the rest of the tee, with a line of pins. Sew down this line and finish/trim raw edges so you have a tube of fabric the same width as your tee.

With the tee RS out and the band WS out, place the bottom of the tee inside the contrast fabric tube, (the tee will be right sides together with the fabric tube) line up raw edges, then pin and sew all the way around. Repeat this step with the top portion of your tee, sewing it to the other raw edge...

Give it a good press and you're done!

I used a serger for this project. You can use a standard machine and just zig zag the raw edges. Best of all....no hemming (as you're using the original hem of the tee) and takes about 20 minutes!

Happy sewing!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Refashion: Sweater to Kimono Cardi

So I mentioned in my last post (aka "that time I turned a cardigan into a sweater") that I would most likely do the same in reverse at some point. Welllllll.....

Pretty straightforward this peops. Take a long baggy sweater and cut the panel out of the front like so. Round the back up close to the neckline ribbing, then straight down the front perpendicular to the neckline...

Pin inch wide grosgrain or cotton twill tape all along the raw edge on the right side..leave about an inch spare at either end for turning under later...

Stitch about a 1.4 inch from the edge of your ribbon all the way around. First with a straight stitch. Then with a zig zag stitch right up close to your straight stitch. The zig zag will secure the cut/raw edge of the knit and prevent it unravelling. If you zig zagged the raw/cut edge before applying the ribbon, you run the risk or stretching the fabric out, resulting in a curly edge. The ribbon stabilises the edge first. Bingo! No curly edge...

Flip the ribbon band to the inside and pin and stitch in place, (turning both loose ends of the ribbon under first!) Stitch in the ditch or just in from the seam...

The sleeves on this were pretty shot....

So they got lopped off and hemmed....

...and that was it really! The main purpose of this was to demonstrate the use of grosgrain ribbon to create, essentially,  a stabilised button band. I left this cardigan loose and open because that's what I like. But with this technique you could just as easily convert a sweater to a fully functioning button through cardigan by adding snaps, studs, toggles or proper buttonholes. A technique to play with, no?!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Refashion: Long Tailed Shirt

Sometimes a few minor tweaks is all it takes to bring a charity shop find (£1.50) bang up to date. This polka dot shirt had a lovely drape. Even the fact that it was XXL was not a problem in itself as it just meant that it had that slouchy feel that I am most at home in; and I loved the fabric. Lightweight. Drapey. Perfect. After a couple of tweeks with the proportions that is...

I turned the original sleeve hem to the outside and edge stitched to a) marginally shorten the sleeve and b) create a faux cuff/turn up...

Split the side seam, left the back hem the length it was and re hemmed the front approx. 2" shorter...

...and that quite literally...was IT! Subtle changes but eminently more wearable :)

Sincere apologies for the grainy images. I need to work on some lighting  at the new house. This is literally the only spot where I have a clear, plain backdrop to do garment pics. The window is along the same wall to my left and is west facing so the light is especially AWFUL at this time of year. Boo to grey winter days. After several weeks of varying degrees of illness in this household, I'm sooooo ready for spring to bloom, aren't you?