unpicking pockets (aka, refashioning)

This has become a somewhat muddled accumulation of maybe too many things, and if I ever get all the old links linked properly it will be a minor miracle, which is why I’ve been putting off writing, but here goes . . .

Sewing terminology:
  • Refashion – To make changes to an existing garment, such as cutting a dress to make a skirt, or blouse; or combining pieces of fabric from several different garments to make a new garment.
  • Seam ripper – A small tool used to remove stitches.
  • Unpick – To unpick is to carefully remove stitching, frequently, a seam or seams.

This summer—still considering it’s summer as we’re still having some 80 degree days— I’ve been doing more refashioning than new fashion.

Must say its felt like an obstacle, like an unending pile of repairs to be completed before going on to the fun of sewing something new.

Thus, it’s been surprising to read online that refashioning is so current. What? I’m on-trend?! 😳

What’s being/been chopped up? Basically, dresses made roughly five years ago. I hadn’t been inclined to wear them at all this summer, and needed more tops, so . . .

Also several hems were raised from the waist instead of re-hemming as there were hem features I didn’t want to disturb. Oh, and several pockets got added to existing items. Plus two pockets removed from a dress-that’s-now-a-blouse.

Then along came Love to Sew’s Refashioning podcast, including great suggestions I can use for a certain very holey linen knit. (Intentionally misspelt because it’s faaar from “holy.” 🥴)

Do popover and at least scroll through all the wonderful examples listed. Just looking at them should give you ideas. It did for me.

Then The Fold Line included a very intriguing BBC programme about forecasting trends…

“When the distinguished trends forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort provides her vision of the future in her General Trends Books, her pronouncements are eagerly awaited by those working in the worlds of fashion and design. She talks to Mary about the reasons behind the one forecast she’s made that the fashion world hasn’t wanted to hear – Fashion is dead. However it’s not all bad news as she shares her thoughts about the trends she thinks will be influencing what we’ll be wearing in the very near future…”

Her web site mentions concepts of forgiveness, understanding, comprehension, and compassion.

Li Edelkoort: “We need to trust our instincts to build a better future, full with genuine love towards ourselves and others, even those at fault. . . Desire needs to be embedded in empathy.”

In keeping with her thoughts, I do feel good about my summer’s very different kind of sewing, partly because some old favourites are “new” again, and combine with other pieces for more use.

Now for the refashioning thus far . . .

The rayon top (used to be a dress) works well with the cut offs made several summers ago. I’d like to make another set or two like these, as they are in constant rotation. (Click pic to go to 2013 dress.)

This green cotton print was originally made in 2013 and got a lot of wear. When I decided to cut it off I cut it a bit longer, because of the neckline gathers. They make the waist wider.

That meant I needed to cut into the two side seam pockets. That meant I needed to unpick those pockets. (Now the title makes sense. 😉) However, that wider waist is making me a tad nervous because it can get windy here… we shall see how it works.

The black linen skirt I’ve paired with this is one of the skirts shortened from the waist to save the skirt vent. It was originally a full length RTW dress I cut into a skirt and blouse. (Click pic to see original green dress; no photo of original RTW dress.)

Phew. If you’ve made it all the way you deserve a treat. Your choice! I’m opting for dark chocolate… 🍫

13 thoughts on “unpicking pockets (aka, refashioning)”

  1. Ooh I have a giant pile of to modify clothing. But rarely have any motivation to do anything with it. Well done on tackling your pile

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    1. How interesting❣️ Lol! 😆
      I was thinking of you t’other day, wondering what to do with a 4″ wide strip of suede cut off the bottom of a skirt I used to wear on coldest Chicago days. It’s made of about 8 pieces cut on the bias and sewn together. Sort of looks like a bunch of triangles… impossible to describe and probably not worth salvaging.

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  2. This is something I frequently ‘intend’ to do but rarely actually do. I’m impressed that you have – and I’d I ever get my own wardrobe sorted then you can take credit as an inspiration. Or influencer, or whatever is current.

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  3. You definitely are ‘on trend’. I’m refashioning a dress I bought in a sale last year and, as soon as i got it home, realised it was too short, too flouncy at the hem and too high at the neck. I hadn’t tried it on in the shop because it was at the end of a long shipping trip and it was only a few euros in the sale and I thought ‘if it doesn’t suit I can do something with it.’ Well, that was last summer and the other day I cut the flounce off the hem and that’s as far as I’ve got. It may or may not emerge as a sort of tunic length top with a scoop(ier) neck and 3/4 length sleeves with little ruffles at the end.

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    1. The redesign sounds promising! It sometimes takes me ages to actually DO something, but sometimes it’s because there’s another, better plan, and I just haven’t gotten the message yet. 😉
      (Doesn’t that sound better than “I didn’t want to do it” ??? 🤣)


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