Simply Sewing: Issue 8

I’m a little more excited than usual about this month’s issue of Simply Sewing Magazine! Not only because I was quite pleased with the way these little neon details elevated this plain sweater for my regular refashion piece…

Press - Simply Sewing - Issue 8

 

But also because there’s a full on 4 page feature on The Refashioners in this issue!!! (A little sneak peak of my new sewing #shedquarters in the background there too ūüėČ (I will be blogging that eventually but if you follow me on IG you’ll have seen ALOT about the process already!)Simply Sewing Refashioners FeatureSimply Sewing Refashioners Feature

They’ve also featured Erin’s project for The Refashioners and you’ll find a few of our refashioners in the article, contents and contributors pages and a little call to arms for refashioners everywhere on the front cover! Cool right?! Refashioning world dominaton is but a step away, ha ha!!

Apart from us there’s a load of cool stuff in this issue in particular so well worth a look.

Serious gratitude to Simply Sewing for all the support they’ve shown for this series. ¬†Feeling humbly proud today.

Issue 8 on sale now ūüôā Print and digital subscriptions also available.

 

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The Refashioners 2015 – Erin

THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

Hello everyone, and a huge thanks to Portia for inviting me to take part in¬†The Refashioners! First things first, I have to preface this by saying that I am a complete sewing novice who was absolutely terrified and intimidated by this project! But when Portia asked me if I’d be interested in participating, I knew it was just the kick in the butt that I needed to venture out and try something new. So I dove right in, scissors first, and completely destroyed my first “dummy” shirt. I suppose in retrospect that I could have drafted up some sort of pattern using butcher paper, but hindsight is 20/20, my friends. And it’s all a part of the learning process. So when it came to tackling my second try, I knew immediately that I was going to have to do something that maintained as much of the integrity of the original shirt as possible while still transforming it into something more wearable for me.THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

Making this simple shirt took only a few little snips and stitches to complete. I tried it on to determine the length that I wanted to crop it up to, then used the excess fabric at the bottom of the shirt to fashion the ties for my wrap. Then I simply cut out the new neckline, sewed everything up, and added the wrap ties. Most wrap tops and dresses have a hole in one side to thread the tie, but because my ties were at the very bottom, I skipped that step entirely. In retrospect, I think I will probably add that little slit into the side, but it is still perfectly functional as is.THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

I like the way the back of the shoulders is now a front yoke detail, and that it has a slightly oversized fit, but doesn’t leave me completely swimming in the garment.¬†THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

1. I started with a really nice vintage men’s shirt made in a textured cotton linen blend. I had actually bought it prior to the challenge thinking it might just hem it into a crop top and wear it with an oversized fit. At this point in the photo, I’d already removed the front pocket and inner tags using a seam ripper. The back of the shirt will eventually become the front, but don’t worry about the seam across the back! This will become the front bib of your new wrap top.

2. I tried on the shirt and marked where to cut the new hem, leaving a bit of sewing allowance. Then I simply chopped off the bottom of the shirt using the grid pattern on the shirt as a guide. If it had been a solid, I probably would have used a straight edge to help myself along. The remaining pieces of the shirt will later become the ties for the wrap!
THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE
3. After cutting the shirt, I simply ironed the new hem in place and took it for a pass through the sewing machine.
THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE
4. Since I don’t have a dress form, I just went ahead and put the shirt on again to mark the new neckline and wrap back with a few pins. To cut, I folded the shirt in half lengthwise to try and get both sides to mirror one another. Then I simply ironed the new hems and sewed them up!
THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE
5. The last step isn’t pictured, but all I did was cut the remaining fabric in half lengthwise and then sewed them into two simple fabric ties to affix to the ends of the wrap on the shirt.¬†If you’d like your wrap to be a bit more secure, you can cut a hole along one side seam of the shirt to thread your belt through, but since I have them affixed to the very bottom of the shirt, it also works just fine like this.
THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE
¬†And that’s a wrap! (See what I did there?)¬†It may not be the trickiest of ideas, but it works for me. The best part is that it’s something that I will genuinely wear and I’ve learned so much in the process!

 

Just goes to show, that even if you consider yourself a novice sewer, if you keep it simple you can still totally transform your shirt! I love this Erin . Thanks so much for leaping in and trying something new! ¬†The yoke front and the fact that the wrap is at the back is an edgier twist on a classic wrap blouse. And of course, as ever, wonderful styling ūüôā

You can find Erin¬†here and here.¬†And don‚Äôt forget¬†amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. Including a little something handmade from Erin! So get involved for a chance to win!!! Grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Tomorrow is the last of the blogger inspiration posts and then it’s over to you!!!

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The Refashioners 2015 – Sasha

Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

For me ‚Äúrefashion‚ÄĚ does not simply mean recovering the fabric from a garment and making¬† another garment but also recombining the existing elements to give new life and meaning to an old garment. I‚Äôve always been quite attracted by the styles merging the very masculine with the very feminine so the idea of taking a men‚Äôs dress shirt and mixing it with the feminine shape of the victorian underbust corset, as my first refashion was very exciting to me.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

 

The road was not without bumps. I had no clear view of how to go about it and spells of ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt have enough fabric‚ÄĚ anxiety.¬† So here it is: my first refashion and I‚Äôm very pleased with the result. I anticipate I‚Äôll be wearing this a lot.

Process outline:

The original shirt Рa men’s size 42 dress shirt in cotton twill.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Take off the collar unit and the cuffs and form a neck dart.

Mirror everything from one side to another ( I used tailors wax tracing paper and a tracing wheel to do so).Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Blend the neckline and trim the excess.

Measure and cut along a line under the bust leaving intact the button placket and including seam allowances.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Pin, measure and cut the sleeves and sides to create a sloping/drop shoulder short sleeve which also has the effect of reducing the overall fullness of the shirt.

Pin a couple of pleats in the sleeve, make a slit and attach the cuffs. Depending on the original shirt size they are potentially going to be smaller than your bicep circumference. I ended up by creating an extension tab with two buttons to close the gap.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Measure the neckline opening, shorten the original collar stand accordingly and use it to create a mandarin collar.

Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Gather the excess fabric under bust and at the back

Drape a form fitting midsection from a large strip of fabric. Be sure to cut based on the abdomen circ + ease + sa. I mistakenly did not and ended up having to insert some triangles at the sides.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

I pinned also a couple of darts to help shaping the back. I considered doing so for the front also but in the end I decided against it as I prefer it more relaxed. With the remaining fabric from the body and the sleeves create a long strip (under bust circ. + hips circ. times three)…Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

…and create 1″ pleats. I used some light fusible interfacing to help hold the pleats because my fabric was too soft and drapey.

Attach a row of pleats and the original shirt tails&hem (reduced in size to fit the waist piece) to the bottom of the waist piece.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Attach the waist piece to the upper bodice sandwiching in between another row of pleats.Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Attach the waist piece to the button placket. Trim the button placket and close the hem! Done!Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015Sasha - Fruits Flowers and Clouds - The Refashioners 2015

Thank you again to Portia for inviting me.¬†When she¬†asked me to join the stellar cast of this year’s Refashioners I must admit I felt a bit scared.¬† Honored but scared. First I never did a refashion before and second have you seen the heavy talent she enrolled!!!

Talent that includes you Sasha! Wow! Hard to believe Sasha’s never refashioned before. But this is exactly why I’ll often approach sewers who don’t refashion to be part of the blogger challenge. You just get a fresher take on things that way. One of the biggest aims of The Refashioners is to show refashioning in a different light. That as well as it’s eco credentials, ¬†it can be creative, edgy, modern, individual and uber cool. Think I just aptly described Sasha’s refashion there don’t you? Job done then!

You can find Sasha here and here. We are almost at the end of a month of  refashion inspiration and ideas!  Next week sees the community challenge element gather pace and don’t forget amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge.  So get involved for a chance to win!!! Grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! 

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The Refashioners 2015 – Dixie

DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Hello all you Refashioners out there! I admit, I’m not usually much of a Refashioner. I get easily overwhelmed in giant thrift stores but I love this challenge and I’ve been participating since the¬†beginning so how could I say no? Plus, I love getting surprise stuff in the mail, so exciting!DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

This go around I chose to exchange shirts with the lovely Heather Lou of Closet Case Files. She kindly sent me three shirts to work with so I was able to do two refashions.

First I made a loose-fit, sleeveless, peplum top out of a black and white shirt. The key to this top is getting the most fabric you can for the peplum and using a big enough shirt that can still be put on over your head as the buttons won’t be very useful in the end.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

I started by taking off the sleeves. I used the front and back pieces from the Grainline Archer pattern to trim the sides off the shirt (the Archer has no darts which makes it a good base for a dart-less men’s shirt). Since the original shirt was only a men’s medium I didn’t have to cut the shirt much smaller to fit me.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Next I took some body measurements and lopped off the bottom third of the shirt.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

With the leftover fabric from the shirt hem and the two sleeves I cut rectangular chunks out of the fabric, all the same length but varying widths.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

I then stitched them all together, hemmed the bottom, and gathered the top.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

This flannel check fabric hid the seamlines well and it was easy to match the print.I sewed the peplum to the bottom of the shirt.

DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Lastly, I adjusted the shoulder line as the shirt originally reached past my shoulders, and I bound the armhole with self bias tape.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

The only problem was that this shirt was a little big on me but not big enough that I could re-draw an entirely new armhole. I had to work with the existing armhole which meant the opening is pretty low. Oh, well, I’ll just wear a tank top under it instead.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

*******

My second refashion used a 2XL men’s striped shirt and I turned it into shorts. This works best with a fabric that’s fairly thick (so you don’t end up with VPL) and a shirt that has the longest button placket you can find.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

I wanted to try out the Katy and Laney Tap Shorts pattern but with a twist. I chose view A which allowed me to play with the angle of the stripes. This pattern originally uses a side zip opening but I decided to repurpose the shirt’s button placket and utilize that instead.

First I cut apart the whole shirt, including slicing off both sides of the button placket. This shirt was big enough to fit all my pieces easily.

I assembled the pattern like normal except I didn’t sew up the side seams or add the waistband yet.

From there I folded my seam allowances on the side seams to the right side and pressed. I went ahead and hemmed each leg at this point, too.

Now comes the placket РI split each placket in half, evenly distributing the buttons (three for each side of the shorts). I trimmed each section to make all the pieces the same length.

I folded up the very bottom of the placket pieces 1/4″ and stitched down.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

I layered the plackets over the leg pieces with the center line of the placket sitting right on the folded edge of the leg pieces (buttons on the back side, button holes on the front).

Next, I sewed the plackets up the sides of the shorts following the two rows of original topstitching on the placket. This stitches down the seam allowances from the leg pieces.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

As you can see in the photo above, the placket pieces were too short compared to the side seams. Rather than shorten the legs to compensate, I lowered the waistline and chopped off an extra inch from the top of the shorts.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

That adjustment meant I needed to re-draft my waistband piece to be larger, as well as add another 5/8″ on the side seams¬†to allow for the overlap of the button placket.¬†I attached the waistband pieces, made a horizontal buttonhole on each side and added¬†buttons I had cut off from the cuffs.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

And finally, I know from experience that if you don’t at least partially sew the button plackets together you’ll get major gaping so I buttoned my shorts up to the second button from the bottom and stitched the plackets together on either side, again following the original topstitching.

I can still easily get in and out of the shorts by only opening the top two buttons.DIXIE DIY - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Well, that’s it! Thanks for reading and I hope you’re inspired to do your own refashions. – Dixie

It’s fair to say the word “genius” can be over used. Not in the case of those shorts Dixie! A seriously¬†ingenious¬†placement of those button plackets!! Wow!! Wouldn’t a denim shirt be a great base garment for this?! Love the stripe play too. And Dixie makes a good point about the bonus of working with a shirt with a strong check like the first one. You basically have a fantastic cutting and measuring guide built into the fabric!

You can find Dixie here and here. And don’t forget amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. Including a copy of Dixie’s Bonnell Dress pattern! So get involved for a chance to win!!! Grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Stay tuned for more inspiration throughout the WHOLE of August!

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