The Refashioners 2016: Marie

The Refashioners 2016 - Marie Koupparis
First things first. I’m a nincompoop! When Portia invited me to take part in the Refashioners again, I jumped in without hesitation. The only problem was that being distracted by work and life I totally missed her very clear memo that this year’s challenge is all about jeans.
Somehow, and I genuinely don’t know how it was possible, I managed to convince myself from the very start that it was about denim in general. Despite her follow-up emails, related blog posts and blindingly obvious blog button, I didn’t twig until it was far too late.
With my head high up in the denim clouds, I sought inspiration on Pinterest and fell hard for the patchwork look. I’d also been dying to make Seamwork’s woven tee, Hayden, which seemed to lend itself perfectly to my vision.
At this point, I need to thank Portia for being SUCH a gracious host. Not only did I completely misinterpret the theme, I also didn’t refashion in the true sense of the word, opting as always to use a pattern. Yet she still humoured me with a guest blog and that’s just one of the many reasons she’s a beautiful human being.
Anyway, I digress. For my cropped tee I picked up a denim skirt and two denim chambray shirts from a local charity shop. This may seem a little wasteful, but I was desperate to get a good contrast in my patchwork. In the spirit of the challenge though, I shall use the leftover scraps as pocket facings and so on. The Refashioners 2016 - Marie Koupparis
    My charity shop finds were all large sizes so pattern placement was a breeze and I got everything cut out quickly. In fact, the whole make was pretty fast, which is exactly what Seamwork patterns promise.
The only slightly tricky thing were the sleeves. Even though they are sewn on flat, like you do for knits, there’s something a little off with the drafting so it’s not the smoothest process. Other than that though, it’s a satisfyingly speedy make. The Refashioners 2016 - Marie Koupparis
Although I think the patchwork look has tuned out really nicely and the top is pretty cute, I don’t like it on me. It’s a lot boxier than I first realised and combined with my large bust it makes me look even bigger than I am. The Refashioners 2016 - Marie Koupparis
I even paired it with my faux-quilted pleather skirt in an attempt to look ‘cool’, but I just don’t think this look works for me. It’s a shame, because a longer, leaner person would totally rock it.
The Refashioners 2016 - Marie Koupparis
      I may not have fully fulfilled Portia’s brief, but I had fun nonetheless and it’s always rewarding to push myself out of my comfort zone.


I cannot tell you the hand wringing poor Marie went through over the misunderstanding regarding the brief. But here’s the thing. The point of these blogger posts is to provide inspiration. (they’re not entering the competition. You are. So as long as YOU use jeans, it’s all good!) And as far as I’m concerned Marie has done that in spades, as you COULD totally adapt this to be made from old jeans. It’s the panelling and  blocking of the different shades of blue that is the takeaway here, as far as jeans refashioning is concerned. Take a closer look at the pattern pieces that this top is comprised of. Widen those darker coloured side panels slightly, which will enable you to narrow the front pattern piece. Back has a CB seam anyway so hey presto….all those pattern pieces are  then narrow enough to be cut from jeans. Job done I’d say Marie!! And for the record, whether you use a pattern or free wheel it….it still totally counts as a refashion! (IMHO)

You can find  Marie here or here. And if you’re inspired to get your refashion on and enter the Community Challenge and be in with a chance of winning some epic prizes…DO IT! Deadline for entries is 30th Sept. Midnight GMT.

The Refashioners 2016 - Huge Prize Package

….I think you’ve got the idea now right? Essentially we want you to refashion some jeans! (You can find the full details/small print of the brief here). BUT, if you want to be in with a chance of winning one of these amazing prize packages you need to SHARE that refashion with us in one of the following ways:

  • On Instagram: Share a pic using the hashtags #therefashioners2016  and #jeanius
  • On Pinterest: There is a community board here where you can pin your makes. (You will need to request an invite to join)
  • On Facebook: There is a community board here where you can post your makes (You will need to request an invite to join)

Only entries shared via the above 3 methods will be entered into the competition. Closing date for entries is 30th September 2016 Midnight GMT. Good luck!!

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  1. Jennifer August 4, 2016

    Marie, I have totally gone off in a different direction like you did & been totally embarrassed! We’re all human! And, Ive also experienced finishing a top that was not a good style on me. So frustrating! Can it be converted to a vest?

  2. Jill August 4, 2016

    I’m really loving the patchwork denim trend too and I honestly think your top looks great. It’s probably pairing it with an A line skirt that really highlights the boxiness because they both shape out at the bottom. I think if you paired it with a pencil skirt or slim-fitting trousers it would still be wearable.

    • Kelly August 11, 2016

      Agreed on pairing, Jill. The top looks great, Marie! For what it’s worth: I keep imagining some light-colored chevron stripes in the middle block. Perhaps applying a V-shaped applique/stripe/sashiko design might balance the boxiness you describe. Really nice work overall. Color me inspired!

  3. Sonya August 6, 2016

    Hi Marie
    I have just started refashioning clothes but have been sewing for a long time. I just love your top, adore the boxy tops and patchwork is awesome. You did a great job even if you didn’t use jeans.

  4. Second Hand Rose August 11, 2016

    I saw this over on The Stitching Odyssey and wanted to say well done for making such a fabulous top! I can’t believe you made it out of that denim, I love the style of it. Congrats for working with Denim too, the top is fab! XxxX


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