Refash., Thrift Store Thursdays

Shirt refash!

Have you heard of the Refashioners? I’ve stumbled upon Portia Laurie’s blog about a year ago, while checking out a pin about a stunning upcycling project. She invites bloggers every year to – you’ve guessed it – refashion old pieces of clothing. This year round there’s even a competition with an absolutely amazing amount of sewing related prizes, and what’s best, everyone is welcome to join in.

So for this month’s Thrift Store Thursday, I decided to show you what I’m entering the competition with… and you know, if there’s going to be a vote, feel free to choose my dress if you like it! ;) )

TheSecretCostumier - £1 shirt turned into summer dress for #therefashioners community challenge

TheSecretCostumier - £1 shirt turned into summer dress for #therefashioners community challenge

I got this plain, blue Marks & Spencer shirt in one of Brighton’s many vintage shops for £1. I had no idea what to do with it, and I was just gonna use it to make a toilet for the final version, but I thought I was running out of time, so I just I went with this.

I wanted to make a folksy/boho summer dress with loads of details. I was looking for embellishments on Pinterest that could be recreated quickly. Originally I was going to get guipure lace and appliqué it on the dress, but I couldn’t find red in the shop, and after eliminating black and white, that was the colour I was going with.

I knew already what shape I wanted the dress to be like, but after assembling the top bit (quilting it, attaching the piping, attaching the ribbon, then the lining), I realized that the front and back piece alone wouldn’t be enough for a gathered A-line skirt. I played with all the remaining pieces (the cuffs, the collar, etc) until I could work out how to make a bigger piece of fabric. I wanted to have pockets and I actually had to have pockets, as there was a slit on one of the side panels – where the placket was inserted into the sleeve originally.

TheSecretCostumier - £1 shirt turned into summer dress for #therefashioners community challenge

TheSecretCostumier - £1 shirt turned into summer dress for #therefashioners community challenge

TheSecretCostumier - £1 shirt turned into summer dress for #therefashioners community challenge

The fit is not exactly perfect as the skirt dives down at the back, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I am quite happy with how it turned out as it’s super comfortable and I really love how the red pops on the blue.

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TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

TheSecretCostumier - Marseille

Ready & waiting, Refash.

Marseille…and another peek of the dress I made for The Refashioners’ community challenge

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TheSecretCostumier - Buttons

Ready & waiting

Five blue buttons. That is all I went shopping for…

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From scratch

Yet another wrap dress

Last year I was wearing the original version (on the left) of this Burdastyle wrap dress (bodice and skirt, sleeves from f this pattern – without the zipper) during Me-Made-May a couple of times, but I never blogged about the dress itself. This second model (on the right) has quickly became one of my favorites, and apart from some minor changes this has basically the same story as the first one, so here is the quick(ish) lowdown on how both of them were made.

I found both fabrics in the remnant box – as usual. Then I started thinking about updating the wrap dress somehow, and I stumbled upon an article on how the Diane von Furstenberg dresses are finished. Instead of using an entirely different pattern, I decided to stick with what I have used before and just modify it here and there.

According to the blog post, on the Diane von Furstenberg dresses the facing is cut together with the front panels and simply turned under and ironed, instead of cutting a separate facing, understitching it, then turning it under. I had difficulties doing the understitching with the first version, so I was seriously considering redrawing the front pattern pieces, but the fabric is way too fine to allow me any invisible blind stitching, and I was worried it wouldn’t lay flat, so I decided to stick with the original faced front pieces.

The facings were not attached to the back of the front panels at all first time around, which was really very annoying. This time around I used a hemming tape, which gives the neckline a tiny bit of structure too.

The biggest alteration I made was changing how the sleeves are finished.  On the first one they are simply turned under twice and stitched down. This made them a little bulky and not very even. On the second dress I shortened the sleeves and added cuffs which I absolutely love.

Instead of turning the skirt under and stitching it down, like I did on the first dress, I blind hemmed this one. Again, I think doing this must be easier on a thicker jersey, like what the DvFs are made of, as for me it was quite a pain, and it is not totally invisible, but it still looks a lot nicer than on the previous version.

This is one of those dresses that tick most boxes: I love the fit; it makes me feel professional enough-yet casual at work and it is super comfy. I would declare it the perfect dress, if it didn’t have this minor issue: I am flashing like crazy while cycling… :)

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furry bag1

From scratch

Sneak peak #7

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TheSecretCostumier - Homemade birthday cake
Refash.

The birthday dress – finished!

I turned 28 a few days ago. The cake is the one I made for my sister’s 28th when it was her time to celebrate, and my present to myself was to finish a project that I have started a long, long time ago…

You probably don’t remember my enthusiastic post from last year, planning to refashion a thrift store find for my 27th birthday. Now, that did not happen back then – as you might have guessed, but I finished it for this year’s shenanigans. I did not end up wearing it at the end of course, but I did get to go to Frank’s (and all around Peckham), and had an amazing time, like I planned last year.

I am hoping to wear it to someone’s wedding, which given my age, should be an everyday occasion during summer. That is if my waist does not get any larger. You see, I am an impatient sewist, and since I only had a short zip, I used that. Removing the dress therefore is a two (wo)men job, and it is so tight that I could not possibly have a 3 course meal wearing it, but I still love the fit.

Construction wise it was pretty straight forward. I disassembled the original dress and used the bodice of my favourite Burdastyle pattern for cutting out the top pieces. I then cut out the lining pieces from the original lining, and 2 extra layers from cotton, to use as interlining. I then basted the interlinings to the lining and outer fabric, and sewed the Rigilene bonings to the interlining bit. I made it sound super complicated, but trust me, it was just as easy as this Threads article suggested it would be.

As for the skirt, it was trial and error really. I matched the side seams of the skirt to the “side seams” of the bodice, only to realize that they are not exactly on the side and ended up twisting the skirt out of shape. The pockets got an interesting drape this way, but the side seams were wonky, so I decided to do the right thing, and put pleats into the front, and darts on the back to match the two waistlines.

I finished it within 2 days, which counts as a quick project in my book. It does look slightly different from the one I planned last year, but I guess that is the beauty of the process: being able to change it as we go! :)

The Secret Costumier -The birthday dress

 

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maci

From scratch, Stash diet/ Scrap revival

Sneak peak #6

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