Tag Archives: refashioning

(not so) wordless Wednesday 😉

In looking over my spare summer wardrobe before MeMadeMay I remembered a red Renfrew almost never worn.

Neatly-removed sleeves revealed where I’d cut to the seam line when easing in the sleeves.

Mind you, we’d already had several days flirting entirely too closely with 90℉ when this Renfrew came to light. But would I wear it?

NO!

I doubt I’ve worn it more than once or twice since completion several years ago.  😱

Why? It’s a solid medium weight cotton knit and the fit is snug. But in heat & humidity anything even slightly heavy or snug doesn’t get worn. It was forgotten during cooler weather.

Enter some Snug Hug rayon bias tape, stitched to those neatly trimmed seams where short sleeves used to be.

Would that be enough to put this back on the wearable list?

Happily, it was! And it’s been in constant rotation along with some stretch denim shorts made from leftovers of my (2014!) denim winter maxi skirt.

This is why we keep a fabric stash!

 

development or procrastination?

Right sides of both fabrics are showing.

Lately, whilst chatting with a dear sewing friend, I asked if she’d done any sewing, adding I hadn’t, but was planning several things.

She detailed some of her thought processes for a new piece of fabric, and I told her about some of my design thoughts for two projects.

Then I asked, rhetorically, if we were procrastinating, or simply in the development stages of our projects, remembering the steps I’d already gone through.

One process started out as a simple bag. Then I realised a full lining was necessary.  Over the weekend I realised that a handle would be an awfully handy thing to have, and added that to the overall design concept.

Meanwhile, scrap fabric had been located and the seam ripper separated what was backing on the previous project, and will become the lining for both projects.

What do you think, Dear Readers?  Is this procrastination? Or development as part of the overall design process?

(… if this sounds suspiciously like it could also apply to some fancy-smancy car or architectural design, doesn’t that say something about what we sewing peeps are really doing…  🤓 )

 

its thursday alreaaady?

If you notice any difference, I’ve been playing with piccies since publishing this.

 

Firstly, here’s the recipe for making your own version of Monday’s photo —

War, Raisin Spice, or Depression Cake

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I always use dark brown as it has more flavour)
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use whatever spices I like and am apt to double them.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Place all of the above in a pot, bring to a boil, and boil gently whilst stirring, for 5 minutes.
  • Make sure your pot is large enough to add the flour, and you’ve saved a bit of washing up. 😉
  • When above wet mixture is thoroughly cool it will slightly resemble glue. That’s a good thing.
  • SIFT and measure out 2 cups of flour.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon EACH of baking powder AND baking soda.
  • Thoroughly incorporate these into your 2 cups of SIFTED flour.
  • Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and thoroughly mix together.
  • Turn out this still slightly gluey mixture into a thoroughly greased loaf pan approx. 9x5x3.
  • Bake about 60 minutes at 350 degrees F., until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. A crack along the top of the cake is normal.
  • Cool in the pan, then turn out onto a plate, slice, and enjoy.

If you have to have icing, go for it. Your choice. My family didn’t.

Hope you enjoy it!

On to some sewing!

Wrong side of fabric is showing

Oddly, speaking about food, I’ve another quick project in mind involving rather a large amount of rice. I’ve done some preliminary tests and know the project needs to be larger than first assumed, and I dug up some cotton to recycle for the project. More in a few days. 😉 (No, it not a door stop, although I should be making one.)

I also have an old, very solid cotton twill shower curtain that’s about to get chopped up and made into 2 curtains, whenever I can get to the store for another curtain rod and more of those sets of clips I can never remember the name of. You know–the ones that clip to the top of the fabric with a ring attached that then goes onto the curtain rod.

That fabric is from Chicago days, and was slightly dyed to offset the bright white background. If I can locate that post  . . .  Well, here’s one with a nice photo, and showing some additional fabric. Wonder where it is . . . .

Aren’t we glad fabric lasts and lasts and lasts?

🤣     😂     🤣

books

As part of my holiday prezzies, I ordered the three new D. E. Stevenson books reprinted by Furrowed Middlebrow, Vittoria Cottage, Music in the Hills, and Winter and Rough Weather, and have finished them.

Together they comprise the lives of several members of a single family. The variety of characters and situations are interesting to me, being set in Scotland’s Lowlands just as World War II is over.

Next on my To Be Read list is another from F.M., a rare early book from Miss Read, Fresh from the Country. I downloaded the preview the other night, and it sounds like a great story for any Miss Read fan.

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… 🍫