Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Refashioners 2013 - Marie of A Stitching Odyssey

When Portia asked me to take part in her challenge - The Refashioners - I was super excited, having watched in awe as the action originally unfolded in 2011. I said 'yes' immediately and then broke into a cold sweat later on when I remembered that I've never actually refashioned anything before...ever! So, how did I do?
Well, it certainly was a challenge for me, but a thoroughly fun one at that. At this point I really must thank Portia for taking my relative inexperience into account and not sending me something too scary...I don't think some of the other participants got this lucky!
I got extra lucky because my item - a rather large men's shirt - had a lovely drape to it (polyester that felt like rayon) and was electric blue (one of my favourite colours since a little girl)! So it didn't take long for inspiration to come - in fact I had so many ideas that I had to create a Pinterest board for them all!

To begin, I started by creating a more flattering and girly silhouette, an idea I 'borrowed' from Liz, fellow participant and seasoned refashioner. So, I cut the sleeves off my shirt, removed the pocket and then cut the shirt in half, measuring to make sure that the 'new' bodice ended at my natural waistline.


I then measured the length of my shoulder, marked it on the shirt and roughly sketched in a new armhole. I also pinned the side seams to get a nice snug fit. When I was happy with the fit I cut out the armhole and sewed up the side seams. Because the shirt was originally so big, I added in bust darts to counteract the baggy side boob effect. To make the darts I put the shirt on inside out, pinned the excess fabric into darts and then sewed them up.


For the waistband, I chopped off a strip from the bottom half of the shirt and took in the side seams so it measured the same as my new waist measurement. I then sewed the waistband to the bottom of my bodice, right sides together.  Once I was happy with how my bodice fit, I gathered the upper edges of the bottom half to fit the bodice. I then sewed the gathered bottom half to the waistband, right sides together again. And the best thing is...this required no hemming at all! Yipeee!


Now, you're probably wondering why I still haven't talked about the sleeves. Frankly, they're an abomination! They caused me a lot of stress and in the end I cobbled them together randomly, so I'm not proud of or happy with them. At the stage of cutting the sleeves off, I really should have used one of my existing commercial patterns to shape the armholes...but I didn't. I savagely hacked them instead (I blame the world's brilliant refashioners who make it look so easy) and ended up with oddly shaped and massive armholes that the original sleeves were too small for. Disaster! So my advice to you is this: use a tried and tested pattern to shape your armholes and sleeve heads.

Anyway, my refashioning didn't end there. Once I got the fit right I wanted to make my blouse a bit 'edgy', just for a change from the florals and chintz I'm usually attracted to. I started by covering my buttons with pyramid studs (bought here on ebay) using thistutorial by another fab refashioner and DIY blogger. I also added a couple studs to the collar - I just pushed the sharp rivets all the way through the fabric and pressed them closed tightly. 

The finishing touch was the feature I knew I wanted from the very start of this journey: a cut-out! Inspiration hit when I was randomly flicking through channels and came across Rochelle from The Saturdays...of all people...wearing this cool blouse. And this is my take on it. I'll tell you what! To make up for the lack of construction details on the sleeves, just stop by my blog tomorrow and I'll share a step-by-step tutorial on the cut-out. Deal?

Anyway, sleeve drama aside, I am actually really pleased with the result! How do you think I did...considering I'm a newbie at refashioning?


Thanks once again for this opportunity Portia, it's been a wonderful experience and I'm definitely feeling more confident about tackling more refashions in the future!!!

Marie of A Stitching Odyssey

What a way to turn something "blokey" and baggy into something feminine and edgy! I love how flattering the fit is on Marie and the way she's combined inspiration from 3 different sources.
Marie has already hit the nail on the head when it comes to the stand out qualities of the base garment. I knew right off that this colour would look amazing on Marie (I had no idea it was her favourite colour when she was a little girl!). The second quality was the feel/drape of the fabric. You may notice a little bit of a theme building here. So far we've had 3 mens shirts.(Here and here). 3 very different refashions. BUT, all with things in common. All with redeeming qualities in the base garment. 1.Great colour/pattern 2.Quality and/or quantity of fabric. (If you can get both these things in a base garment, that's a great starting point for a refashion!)
I can't wait to see the tute for the cut out part Marie!





27 comments :

  1. Oh my godddd!!!!! Died and gone to fashion heaven! That is absolutely brilliant. I love it so much. Marie, I really think your sewing is at its strongest when it's about you putting your own ideas into action, rather than following another person's vision ie dutifully following a pattern. You're a little innovator.

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    1. Thanks so much Karen...never been called an innovator before!

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  2. You did a fantatic job. I can't believe you started with a man's shirt.

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  3. Wow, it's gorgeous, and edgy. I love it! You can call yourself a re-fashioning newbie no longer, this is so innovative :)

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  4. Thanks so much for having me Portia! The whole process was such a fun challenge and I feel I've learned a lot...and I'm so much more confident about refashioning! Likewise, I've been amazed by the other creations so far and cannot wait to see what else is in store!

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  5. wow - that looks brilliant! from such an uninspiring shirt too (altho lovely colour!)

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  6. Fabulous job, that is a remarkable transformation.

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  7. Great job, Marie! This is SO much better than the original lacklustre garment, you've really made it special. I think you should do more refashioning ;-)

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    1. Hehe, thanks Sally...will definitely be having another go soon!

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  8. SO cool Marie, I love it! I can't even believe it started from that garment. The cut outs and the gathered waist are my favorite parts!

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  9. Holy smokes Marie, that's FABULOUS!!!!!! Jeez, you've made such an interesting, well fitting and wearable garment, you'd have thought you'd been refashioning since birth! xxx

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  10. This just blew my mind a little. Marie! You are AMAZING. God, I want to put cut-outs and pyramid studs on everything now!!

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    1. Thank you so much Lauren...you're always blowing my mind with your creations!

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  11. Brilliant job!And I love the cut-out - super!

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  12. I can't get over how awesome this is!

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  13. Wow great job! Looks so much better now you've worked your magic on it :)

    www.mancunianvintage.com

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  14. This is seriously super awesome!!

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  15. Love it, So edgy, suits you sooo well Marie:)

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  16. Marie, you are amazing! This is one of the best men's shirt refashions I have ever seen. Love it!

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  17. I'm blown away by this transformation! You're so creative - this is super edgy and fabulous. Great job!!

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    1. Thank you! Some googling and Pinterest searching certainly helped my creative process ;o)

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  18. This is fabulous! I seriously love it! It's so unique and cool!

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  19. wow, your design is so hip! love the cutouts and buttons. If I saw this in a store I'd totally buy it and/or take a pic of it to remind myself to copy it later. ;) you're so stylish!

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    1. Thank you Dixie, what high praise this is!

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  20. This is amazing Marie! Not what I would have expected but really really loving this edgy cut out vibe on you! would look super cute as well tucked into a chintzy circle skirt to clash the girly/edgy looks xxx

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