Thursday, 11 February 2016

Cold Kaleidoscope

How to use a summer dress all year round:

Layer it over a big warm dress!


Come see it on my blog!

Refashioning a refashion - Kaftan to Sundress - Upcycling T-shirts

Hi All,

Don't know if you remember but about a year ago I made this kaften dress from some old T-shirts.  I always liked the way the color blocking went together but it turns out I am not really a kaftan person so I never wore it.  I had the black top from a different refashion.  So with a little cutting and sewing I made myself this sundress.  I think I will get more use out of it now, but I have to wait for the snow to melt here to find out.  :-)

You can see more of the process here.

Happy Refashioning,
Cindy - Upcycled Design Lab

Fixing the Neckline, Uncomfortable to Comfortable Pretty Purple Shirt

This Shirt.

I bought it over a year ago because a) it's purple, and b) it has some really pretty lace inserts on the sleeves. Unfortunately, while it mostly fit well, it also had a really big neckline. It was always either too low in the front or falling off my shoulders. Very annoying to wear! For the past year it has mostly stayed in my closet. Then last week I wanted a purple shirt to wear with a new skirt I made, so out this one came.

The neck binding looked like it would work for an elastic casing, so I made a little snip in it, right above the tag, being careful to only snip through one layer of fabric. Through this little hole I threaded some 1/4 inch elastic, cut to the size I wanted my new neckline to be.

Once that was done, the shirt really did fit perfectly! Now it should be seeing a lot more time out of my closet. 
I wore it with my brand new skirt on a trip I took with my mom and brother over the weekend, and I'm happy to say I was comfortable the entire time! To see how my skirt was made and some pics from my trip check out my blog.

Peace. Out.

Now that I am well on my way toward a capsule wardrobe, almost all the sentimental items I've kept aside to refashion have been sent to charities after a picture was taken or snippet of fabric taken from an unobtrusive spot.

This sleeveless dress was the last thing I bought as a single person. I haven't worn it for years and years, but I have started wearing aprons in the kitchen and studio so the choice of what to do with this dress was an easy one.

I used a pattern I drafted a while back (I made the original apron from a curtain so it doesn't qualify to be shown here at RFC)

but did not cut it exactly as I figured I could take advantage of the finished hem.

I used the rest of the dress for the neck straps

and the side ties of the dress for the, um, side ties of the apron.

Pockets from processed-for-crafts jeans (Little Sis needs sturdy cushions and quilts for her new beach house, so my enormous denim stash is pretty much spoken for) and a belt loop for my reading/close work glasses

made for a quick finish.


Leather Skirt Refashioned to Leather Jacket

My son has been begging for a leather jacket.  So I made him one for his Cosplay Indiana Jones outfit.  Read all about it here.
I started with a leather skirt and a leather jacket that was the same exact suede brown leather as the skirt I'd bought many years ago.  Apparently the jacket was very old too as some of the leather was quite brittle.

Here's the process I used:
Step one: Harvest the zipper from the old jacket.
Step 2: Take off the sleeves.

Here you can see how the leather from the old jacket ripped very easily!
Step 4: Trace the pattern for the front of the jacket onto the bak of the skirt.  (The back of the skirt had a slit, so I needed the front of the skirt for the back of the jacket.)  I used the Downton Duffle pattern for my template.  I found it easiest to use chalk to mark on the leather.
Here you can see how I preserved the side seams of the skirt for the side seams of the jacket!  The less sewing on leather, the better because leather retains every hole you make in it.  This also allowed me to easily keep the lining of the skirt together with the leather since I was using the same hem.
Step 5: Next I traced the front of the jacket onto one side of the skirt back.  Then I flipped it over to ensure that the two sides of my jacket back would be perfectly even.  
Step 6: I traced the collar piece (from yet another pattern!) onto the remains of the skirt.  I needed two collar pieces and two collar stand pieces and got them from the skirt.
Step 7: I wanted to reuse those cool pockets from the original jacket, so I traced around them and cut them out.  
Step 8:  I cut out my 4 pocket flaps from the sides of the original jacket, under the arms where there didn't seem to be as much decay.
Step 9: I sewed one of the lower pockets from the original jacket onto the lining only.  My son had requested a secret interior pocket.  

Step 10: I sewed the new pockets I'd made onto the fronts.  So the patch pockets on the new jacket front actually have 2 pockets, one behind the zipper and one under the flap!
Step 11: I inserted the zipper in an totally unconventional way!  I just separated the lining from the skirt along the edge and slipped the zipper in.  Then I topstitched the two back together.
At this point I stopped taking photos, but it was pretty standard for jacket making.  I sewed the shoulders together on both the lining and the leather, separately to have inclosed seams.  Then I attached the collar stand and collar.  Finally, I attached the sleeves, using the set in method.  I ended up having to open up the back seam and narrow down the jacket for my very thin son.  But he's totally enamored with the fininshed results, and I'm pretty proud I stuck with it until the end.  There were some points there where I was ready to give up!