The Refashioners 2016: Rachel

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

“They (jeans) have expression, modesty, sex appeal – all I hope for in my clothes.” -Yves Saint-Laurent. {My challenge motto.}

The Refashioners always been a yearly inspirational series for me. I love challenges that get people reinventing something that once-was and making it up-to-date. Anything that inspires people to think out of the box. This year grand-theme of “jeanius” got me whistling ‘Tiny Dancer’ while rummaging every local charity store around. Yes …. some occasional pirouettes were also witnessed by the locals.

For a long time I been looking for an excuse to draft a Lanvin inspired one-shoulders flounced denim dress.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

One of the things that makes having a jeans theme so fascinating for me is that the material- ‘denim’- is consider one of oldest fabrics in the world but is the epitome of youth/cool. Never gets ‘dated’ so rummaging for older pieces felt like a personal treasure hunt.

At first I as looking for the perfect combination of shades of blue. Strangely my biggest challenge was to find the ‘raw materials’ with reasonable prices. Where the second hand shops valuing the jeans using the price of gold? Luckily Portia came to my rescue with a car boot full of used denim. For my body con design to work my denim had some level of stretch.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

I came home with 3 pairs with different percentages of lycra content. When working with materials with different characteristics is important that placement is done correctly as the fabrics will behave differently when sewn together. I had to stabilise some of the side seams. I’m glad it all worked perfectly including the side zipper.

My self drafted pattern looked like long strips of rhythmic gymnastics ribbon. A total of 6 pattern pieces using mainly the legs. As each denim pair had a different leg length I had to apply creative problem solving.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

The different patches end up being my favourite design feature. The only piece of old the bolt-fabric used was the flounce which was made by cutting a circle. A piece of one of the waistband was used as an epaulette. If you fancy trying this design but don’t want to draft a pattern you can simply unpick each leg forming long strips and drape over a mannequin or yourself.

My plan was just to have a denim dress. Simplicity in itself. But you know when you look at a finished project and feel is missing something? More is more suddenly. Fringe is always a great compliment for denim because the way the fabric is weaved. I imaged someone else would probably do it so I went for contrasting colour fringe trim instead.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

After watching Gucci on snapchat (seriously addictive stuff and future subject for long therapy sessions) I felt so inspired by all their embroidery work over Tian prints. If you are into fashion & history of art I highly recommend looking at their latest work. It was inspired by “Bird and Flower’ Chinese 10th century painting.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

This thoughtful ‘feeling moment of harmony’ influenced me on choice of design and colour of my embroidery. One of the places I teach, CCB Rochester, has a selection of embroidery machines. I was able to sew the embroidery design with a six needle embroidery machine. You can freehand embroidery on whatever machine you own.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - RACHEL - HOUSE OF PINHEIRO

That’s all from me. Many thanks to Portia for hosting such a creative and inspiring challenge! Now my pirouettes will look a lot more fun in this dress.

So Rachel returning to that ongoing theme with jeans refashioning….narrowing her pattern pieces so she could squeeze them out of narrow trouser legs. It’s a key way of overcoming the scarcity of fabric, as pretty much all our bloggers have demonstrated. Let’s not forget the perks of stretch denim too! Perfect for form fitting refashions like this. And embellishment! Yay! Embroidery (elaborate like this or simple like sashiko), applique/patches, (floral, modern or like the beautiful japanese boro textiles Marilla and Wendy referenced). Oh and while we’re at it, have a think about bleaching ( a la Rosie!) and dyeing too. Techniques like shibori/tie dye and batik can be used with dye, or in relief with bleach. There are soooooo many ways you can transform the fabric itself before you even sew a stitch!

You can find Rachel 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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2 Comments

  1. Helen S August 23, 2016

    Very stylish, love the fringe.

    Reply
    • houseofpinheiro August 24, 2016

      Thank you Helen

      Reply

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