The Refashioners 2016: Erin

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE
When it came to working on the latest Refashioners challenge, I knew I wanted to do something simple. Mostly because it had to be simple. My sewing skills are beginner at best, and I know nothing about how to draft a pattern, so these projects are always a bit tricky for me. Fortunately, I tend to love to wear very simple designs. I own a lot of huipil style dresses and tops, and I adore them even if they are essentially two pieces of fabric sewn together. So I got to thinking about other styles of clothing in a similar vein and it dawned on me: a poncho! Which is, by design, “a single large sheet of fabric with an opening in the center for the head,” according to the Wikipedia definition.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

I used the legs of two pairs of jeans to create the fabric for the vest, which is essentially an open-front poncho.

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The fabric panels for the vest portion of the jacket were simply the legs of the jeans. Bonus: you now have some jorts to wear in the summer, if that’s your thing.

Simply trim the pieces of fabric until they are identical in size, and you’re ready to start sewing.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGE
I lined-up the bottom hems of the trousers to create the bottom hem of the vest. Face the fabric inwards and sew both the two pairs of panels together horizontally across the top edge. These are the two shoulder seams.THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGE
THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGE

Now that the shoulder seams have been sewn, we’ll sew up the back of the jacket. Place the two long panels RS together and sew along the back, stopping short of the shoulder seams.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGE

Now you have created an open-front poncho. You can stop here and ponder different variations. The remaining edges can be finished and worn as a vest.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

You can leave an opening for the collar and continue sewing down the front for a top, or you can add  sleeves to create a jacket…

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN CALIVINTAGE

Which is what I did! I decided to get a bit adventurous and used two more trouser legs to create the arms for a jacket. I cut the fabric in such a way that I was utilizing the finished hems of the trousers as much as possible while constructing my jacket. (they ended up being my cuffs)

Simply line-up your trouser leg with the shoulder seam, pin it in place, and sew it on. Once those have been attached, you can sew the side seams and finish the front edges.

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 As a very optional last step, I decided to use a natural indigo dye to create a single deep blue shade for the entire garment, but this isn’t really necessary if you start with a pair of dark wash jeans.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE
And there you have it!  A simple denim poncho jacket ready to wear!

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGETHE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

The fun part is that you can do the same with a closed front if you prefer a shirt, or you can skip adding the arms for a shorter length vest or top. Hope you enjoy!

Gloriously simple right?!! The earliest clothes were made from simple rectangles of fabric and while clothes have gotten alot more complicated construction wise since ancient times; the appeal of simple styles and shapes has endured through it all. If anything it’s seen a significant resurgence in recent years. Refashions (sewing in general in fact) needn’t be complex. It’s all just shapes sewn together. So start with simple rectangles, (conveniently you have some sat right there in the legs of those unloved jeans!) sew them together in different configurations, try stuff….see what happens 😉

You can find Erin 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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The Refashioners 2016: Sally

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

This year’s challenge for “The Refashioners” refashion series is to remake a pair of jeans into something, with the majority of the finished project coming from the source garment, that is, it should be a mainly denim item.

Personally, I rarely work with denim as I do worry that I’d get carried away and end up with something like this, that is, something very obviously having been made from a pair of old jeans. It looks a bit strange because there are very few garment types that are typically made from the same heavy denim as jeans are – even denim jackets use lighter weight denim.

So, my target garment for this fabric had to be another pair of jeans. Cut up jeans to make more jeans, you ask? What is the point?

Well, the look I’m hoping to emulate is a designer pair of jeans which is made from… old jeans. These Vetements Fall 2015 jeans originally retailed at $1450 (here they are on Net a Porter) and they came in several different styles. The label basically bought up loads of vintage Levi 501s (!!) and cut them up using their own pattern to make an interesting new style.

Key to the look is the ‘pocket within a pocket’ shapes on the back (no actual back pockets), seams down the front and back legs, and uneven, unfinished hems.

These were absolutely everywhere at one time… like you could barely read a fashion blog without seeing them at some fashion week or other.

I actually read quite a few articles praising these jeans before coming across one that mentioned they use TWO pairs of vintage Levis for each finished pair. Two! Pairs! Of vintage, wearable jeans!

Of course, I’m going to emulate these using something ugly and turning it into something… interesting, if not 100% beautiful.

I started with a pair of ordinary jeans.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

 

These particular jeans are bog standard Marks and Spencer dad-jeans of absolutely no fashion merit of any kind (no vintage Levis were harmed in the making of this project). The only criteria for selection were that they were a little big on me (but not massively outsized) and they are a fairly light wash (so the pocket shapes will show up once the pockets are removed).

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I picked these up in my local Cancer Research shop for £2. Bargain!

First step obviously was to remove the back pockets and remove the lint (urgh). Note the lovely colour difference between the washed areas and the original denim (this is key to getting the look).

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I unpicked the waistband everywhere except the centre front section (that would be hard to sew back on).

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I also unpicked the back seam.

I merrily cut up the back legs and at ninety degrees into the centre back seam.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Sewing the back sections in gave me the look I wanted for the pocket sections, but my overenthusiastic seam allowance left me with a bit of a gap at centre back, as it turns out.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Trying them on, I made a new centre back seam.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Because of the aforementioned gap, I ended up with a dark blue stripe in the middle. No big deal.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I cut up the front legs, making sure to cut far enough away from any rivets that I could sew it back together without having to sew over any.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I included the pocket bags in the seams, so the front pockets still work.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

The slight colour variations in the wash help emphasise the new style lines, I think.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I made some fitting adjustments on the back seams to make them a bit tighter, but overall the fit was OK.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

The only issue was to shorten the waistband accordingly.

I cut it and reattached it in two places (to avoid bulk from seam allowances at the join between the centre back seam and the waistband). I actually ended up sewing the belt loop back on by hand as it was more than my machine could take!

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And here are the finished jeans!

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

There is room for my phone in the front pockets, just about.

I left the hems uneven and unfinished. To get them to unravel a bit, I just ran them through the washing machine.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

The back pocket pattern I think looks great!

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Thank you Portia for asking me to be part of this series again!

 

Yep, been seeing these everywhere too! Such a subtle change that completely transforms a pair of jeans from shapeless and styless to fitted and edgy. Not only does this process provide really interesting style details but it also fixes the issue of a too big pair of jeans. Win win I’d say! Thank you so much Sally!!

You can find Sally 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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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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The Refashioners 2016: Heather

Jeans Refashion_Refashioners 2016_Closet Case Files-10

When Portia first asked if I’d liked to participate in a jeans-centered Refashioners challenge, my answer was clearly “HELLS YES!” Jeans are a bit of an obsession for me. I design jeans sewing patterns, wrote a book about how to sew them, and teach jeans making workshops. A refashioning challenge featuring second hand jeans is pretty much my jam. I also knew immediately what I wanted to make: a perfect, deconstructed pair of Levi 501s.

The Refashioners 2016 - Heather

 

If you’re a heavy Pinterest user like I am, it would be hard not to notice what a huge comeback 501s have had in the past year or so. Everything 90s is back (whether we like it or not), but there is something perennially classic and eternal about a stonewashed pair of Levis. While I would happily collect dozens of vintage pairs, I happen to have a pair of hips; 501s are drafted for men and therefore are nearly impossible to wear if you have a pear shaped body like mine. While I’ve picked up a number of pairs over the years for research purposes, not one ever managed to fit just right. I could rarely get the buttons done up without crying, and the straight leg never felt very flattering or modern. I’ve also found myself incredibly inspired by all the deconstructed jeans I’ve been seeing lately (many examples of which I’ve collected here), so I decided that it was high time to make myself a pair of frankensteined 501s that actually fit.

I started with three pairs of vintage Levi’s in a gradient of washes. The best fitting pair couldn’t even do up as you can see below, but they did give me the magical 501 butt I’ve been chasing like a dragon for years, so I decided to use those as my base.

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I started with figuring out how much I’d need to add to the waist, which added up to about 1 1/2 inches on each side. I decided to replicate the method I used in high school when I wanted to make jeans that fit, which involves sewing in inserts of fabric along the side seams. However, unlike the hippyish pairs I made when I was 14, I decided to insert the side seam from one of the other pairs in order to create a subtle colour blocked effect. Since I didn’t want this panel to be too skinny, each side seam panel ended up being about 3″ wide, which meant removing the extra 1 1/2″ of width from the side seams of my base pair. I made sure to include lots of extra waistband from the new panel so I could stagger the waistband seam.

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Once I had everything cut out, I did a quick baste to see what it looked like. While the fit was great through the waist, the legs were way too wide, so using my Morgan Jeans pattern as a base, I narrowed the legs substantially on the base pair. While the new sewn in panel is a consistent width, the main jeans leg was tapered quite a bit to give more of a skinny fit.

The Refashioners 2016 - Heather

 

At this stage I realized that the difference in wash was almost too subtle, so I decided to add some more dramatic contrast. I made a pattern piece for the back calf and cut it from my lightest jeans, and then replaced the back lower leg of my base pair with this new piece. The top seam was serged and topstitched into place.

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I also added hefty knee patches to break up the darker blue. I hoped to handstitch straight lines using sashiko thread, but after sewing up a sample I realized I didn’t have the time or hand strength to stitch through that much denim, so I resorted to a simple straight topstitch on my machine.

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Once I was sure that the legs fit well, I sewed everything up and serged and pressed open the inner seams. I decided to leave the hem raw for now since I liked how it looked folded up, but I will definitely have to trim off any errant threads after I wash them for the first time.

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Finally, I pieced together a newly expanded waistband. This was probably the trickiest bit of sewing since I had to rip everything open and carefully sew it back together. Luckily the two darker pairs of jeans were similar sizes so it was pretty easy to get the yoke and pocket openings to line up evenly. I love the way the extra belt loop looks too. I used a matching topstitching thread along the waistband once I was sure the fit was spot on.

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Perhaps my favourite detail is the overlapping coin pockets; I love the different textures of denim all playing off each other.

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In the end, I am over the moon for these jeans. It was a lot more work than I anticipated, but they fit like a total dream and let my hips enjoy the 90s stonewash denim trend. My boyfriend likes them so much he’s now pleading with me to make him a pair too. We’ll be quite the sight walking around in all our patchwork 501 glory.

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A big thank you to Portia for inspiring this refashion! This denim obsessive is really happy to have this deconstructed pair in her collection….
Aaargh! Another pair of jeans I now want! Aside from the fab decorative elements of this refashion there’s a particular technique, that for me, is the big “takeaway” from this make. And that is the “T” shaped panel, harvested from another pair of jeans, and inserted into the base pair to make them fit. So if you have a pair of jeans that are way too small, there’s your solution. RIGHT. THERE. You can use a contrast panel or go for one in a closely matching wash. And hopefully by this stage of the series, you have a few more ideas of what you can do with what’s left of your “donor” jeans afterwards 😉

You can find Heather 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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