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Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Dress to Cardigan refashion completed

I finished the refashion and now have a great button front cardigan with split cuff detail.

You may remember the original dress

First of all I measured the centre front and marked with a sliver of soap, and then cut up  the centre front with shears.

Next I cut the collar off, leaving the original seam for stability.

I then smoothed the line from the centre front cut into the neckline cut using the french curve and replicated to the other side.

I didn't finish the cut edges at this point, but I did lay it carefully to one side and not handle it.

Next I took the collar and cut it into strips. I sewed 3 strips together to make the front band.

I applied very lightweight interfacing to the front band area, leaving the neck area of the band stretchy to go around the neckline.

Next I made buttonholes in one side of the front band (carefully checking placement against a RTW cardigan), applied fray check and allowed to dry. I then cut them open with a buttonhole chisel.

Then I sewed the front band onto the cardigan with a straight stitch, and zigzagged the seam together. (I thought serging would be too bulky). I then pressed the band and left it on the dummy.

The next day the area where the front band joined the front was still very wiggly where the zigzag stitching had stretched things out. It looked quite bad I thought, so I hovered the steam iron above the seam (on the wrong side) and pressed a bit more and eventually got a fairly flat front.

I then marked the button positions and sewed them on by hand with a tapestry needle so as not to split the fibres. As a happy coincidence I had some buttons exactly the right colour which had been saved from a button front skirt suit I made in the late 1990s! (Though I slightly question the wisdom of keeping buttons for 20 years but hey ho).

I then made some cuffs with a split from the remainder of the collar pieces, added a button to each and sewed to the end of the sleeves.

It turned out to be quite a lot of work but I'm fairly pleased with the outcome.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Dress to Cardigan refashion plans

 There's a contest - The Sewing Place's Refashion and Repurpose Competition 2020 - which caught my interest. 

This is a Ben De Lisi for Principles sweater dress I bought on the sale rack at Debenhams a few years ago. Its a blue and black marl but reads as navy.

I've never actually worn it (I've tried it on plenty and tried to style it). I think the two main issues are the sleeves are only 3/4 length so I would have a warm body but cold wrists and more importantly I have hot flashes so would want to be able to take it off if I overheated which is rather impractical for a dress.

So I have several options I've been thinking about.

1 - shorten the length to make a top (ie turn the sweater dress into a sweater). Leave the neckline as is. Use the fabric cut off the bottom to make cuffs to make the sleeves full length. I would then wear it as a sweater/jumper and if I got too hot, could take it off and be wearing a top underneath. This would be fairly easy but not very exciting for the contest.

2a - cut it up the front to make a cardigan, keep the length but repurpose the fabric from the cowl to make front bands and cuffs. To make it different to my other navy/blue cardigans I could add buttons to the front so I could close it. This would be a lot more work and might need to use another fabric for the bands and cuffs if the cowl pieces don't work

2b - same as 2a but planning from the start to use another fabric for the bands and cuffs. Turn the cowl section into a cowl scarf which can be worn with it if wanted.

I think 2b is my favourite, I'm envisioning black bands and cuffs and antiqued silver buttons.

What do you think?

Monday, 12 October 2020

14 made out of the Navy Nineteen

 Fourteen made!

I've added the blue cardigan, blue knit trousers and plain blue tee shirt into the collection which now looks like this.

It looks to need more tops, maybe an accessory (snood?) and possibly also a refashion.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Blue Knit Trousers

 Blue Knit Trousers

These knit trousers are made from the same fabric as the blue tee shirt and another 'new' pattern! (The pattern is from stash but I've not used it before).

Here I used the trousers from the Simplicity 4697 wardrobe pattern though I made some alterations.

On the front I cut the crotch depth slightly deeper but reduced the crotch height at centre front tapering back to the original at the side. On the back I extended the crotch depth and scooped the curve for a low seat. I also increased the crotch height at the centre back tapering back to the original at the side.

Once I had done all of this (my normal trouser alterations) the original waistband approach of stitching the elastic directly to the top of the trousers and folding over was going to be tricky with the shaping I had brought in. The fabric was also very prone to rolling and flimsy on the edges, so I added a separate casing for the elastic which I stitched to the top of the trousers,

I did a deep stitched hem on the coverhem machine.

With the matching top this is a lounging outfit/PJs for sure.

Blue long sleeved t shirt

Blue long sleeved t shirt

This is made from a blue 100% cotton knit from my stash. It has no elastane and poor recovery. I seem to have bought quite a lot of it.

For this t shirt I decided to try a new pattern, I laid a purchased tee on the pattern and then cut up a size, but next time I will probably size down as its too large all over. The sleeve is from Simplicity 8375 and the body from Simplicity 8376. High round necklines don't work well for me so I scooped the front neckline down a little, but otherwise sewed as is.

This isn't (yet) a new basic for me so I'll need to tweak the fit before I start hacking!

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Blue Cardigan with lace pockets

 Blue Cardigan with lace pockets

This cardigan is adapted from the "Kinder" cardigan pattern in Wendy Wards Sewing with Knits book.

I used the mid length but also added a bottom band. I tapered the sleeves a bit and added a cuff. And I made a belt. To keep the belt in place there are small elastic loops in the side seams. When I constructed the pockets I laid some wide stretch lace along the top.

The other versions I've made of this cardigan sometimes feel a bit cold due to the width of the sleeves at the wrist and lack of front closure, so the belt and cuffs are an attempt to mitigate that in this version.

I have loads of the stretch lace left, but couldn't quite imagine where it could be used. I suppose it could have been used on the shoulders or for faux breast pockets to balance the volume of the lower body a bit.