Tag Archives: refashioning

Happy Tartan Day!

The Fashion History Museum‘s monthly newsletter landed in my In-Box this morning and first item of business was announcing today is National Tartan Day. As Wiki has it,

“Tartan Day is a North American celebration of Scottish heritage on 6 April, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. It originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. In Australia, a similar International Tartan Day is held on 1 July, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan.”

Thought I’d pass that along in case anyone has some tartan in their closet. 😉 But if not . . . . .

Image from Great Scot https://greatscotscotland.com/

You may have already seen this on other social media sites, but if not, check out Great Scot, the company that’s made a new plaid in honor of Ukraine, and is busy weaving more yardage for all the orders they’re getting. From their home page:

“With every single Ukraine Forever tartan item we make, sell and ship we will donate funds to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, run by the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee.

“We also have a donation option on our checkout page; we will match the value of any donation made up to £20.

Thank you.”

The new tartan has been named the Ukraine Forever Tartan, and it’s beautiful! Click over to the company for a video to see it being woven.

Now back to the Cambridge, Ontario Fashion History Museum

They’re a lovely smallish museum housed in an old post office building, and have some interesting things to exhibit. (Ever heard of bead strings? 😲 Me neither. Imagine all those antique beeeeads. . . .)

Today’s addition to their YouTube collection gave me several new ideas for some of my own pieces – more repair/recycle/up-cycle! All I need is time to get to them all! If you’re curious, look for the 38 minute interview with Carol Campbell.

Psss . . . . . just in case you’re wondering about that pile of giant paper. It’s been reduced to 5 neat piles of pattern pieces, scraps tossed, and planning begun. 😅

Yes, I know there are only 4 piles. The 5th got cut out after this piccie. Reeeally!

🌻 💕 🇺🇦 💕 🌻

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope everyone has something special planned for the day, and has a lovely time, no matter the weather!

The pillow was finished a fortnight ago, cobbled together from leftover strips of 2 cotton panels, plus an addition.

The pillow size I’d wanted to make needed more yardage than just the 2 beige strips. I remembered some red cotton I’d bought, and snitched a few inches off an end. Stuffed with leftovers from an already partly remade pillow, it’s turned out beautifully!

Middle fabric used to be a dress.

Almost complete are some face masks made from a new-to-me pattern I’d seen on Marcy Harriell’s YouTube channel. She used double-sided fabric so I had to pay attention to which side went where in mine. (In a later video she clears up any confusion.)

Also completed was the bottom section of a dress I hadn’t worn the past couple of summers. It’s now a simple elasticated-waist skirt, being laundered so no photo. But if you look carefully at the masks, you’ll see the green tropical print face mask I cut from the leftover dress bodice. Waste not–want not! 😉

Lest you think I’ve forgotten a Valentine’s card for you, I’ve a treat instead.

Follow this link over to the New York Public Library’s online digital collection of vintage Valentine’s Day cards and scroll down til you see the small blue “View as book” link in the center of the page. Click there and the collection will enlarge and you can scroll through the collection.

❤️ I couldn’t decide which one’s my favourite, so I’ve sent them all! ❤️

Tell me which one – or ones – you like❣️

Happy Valentine’s Day❣️

thread chicken & pockets

For those who don’t know what the heck the title means, let me explain.

Among sewing. knitting and crocheting enthusiasts, playing thread chicken involves wondering whether you’ve enough thread to complete a specific task or project.

In the case of the above, it was a pocket. Or two…

There appears to be a difference between the colour of the pockets and the shorts in the second photo, which is an error I couldn’t sort out with the lighting. (More about those shorts here.)

The pockets really are the same fabric as the shorts – a heavy stretch denim fabric from my Chicago Collection (a.k.a., Vogue Fabrics). It’s the lining in the first photo that’s different – a lightweight rayon that in it’s former life was the top of a well-loved rayon denim dress (DKNY V1236) that might become a skirt, but the jury’s still out on that.

Speaking of pockets, I ran into some interesting history whilst reading one of Lizzie’s (The Vintage Traveler) blog posts. In the pockets article she lists The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

“Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege, and not just in evening wear. In her 2017 doctoral dissertation, “The Gendered Pocket: Fashion and Patriarchal Anxieties about the Female Consumer in Select Victorian Literature,” Samantha Fitch made the case that a sexist history of oppression is behind the dearth of pockets. Without pockets, women were traditionally dependent on men for essentials—like money. Ms. Fitch wrote, “Women’s pockets, in general, are smaller than men’s pockets, less numerous, or simply non-existent. Possibly worst of all, many times women find that their pockets are actually faux pockets.”

Think about it for a minute: “Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege…”

Might that have had something to do with my adding pockets to this pair of shorts, something I’d been procrastinating doing for months . . . . .

😉

(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… 🍫