Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grandpas Shirts - Refashion # 3 - Another dress!

This dress is technically still in progress. I'm not too happy with how it is right now; it's a little shapeless (it looks better in the pictures than in real life, I think..). I'm thinking of maybe tightening the skirt a little bit - making it more pencil skirt-ish to give it some shape.

Basically, all I did with this dress is cut the top part of the shirt and the sleeves off so I had a long tube, just like with the blue dress. I sewed the sides up, made armhole shapes, and then pleated the top. You can't see it very well, but the neckline is 3 big pleats that are are also pleated at the waistline.

I ran some elastic through the waist , then created a 'sash' out of the leftover material.
I have super narrow shoulders, so this bar across the back became a necessity after adding the straps...
I liked the buttons in the back for this one!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pintucked Cotton Shirt

I love love LOVE this shirt! It was made out of remnants of a shirt my grandpa had made for him (I never found the actual shirt though...weird). Luckily, my grandma always buys way more fabric than needed, so lots of remnants!

The fabric is absolutely beautiful - you might not be able to tell in the pictures, but the flowers are all rimmed with gold. I knew I had to make something that I would wear a lot with it, because the fabric is just too pretty to waste!

I started out just cutting two squares out with the selvage edge (yay no hemming) at the bottom. I sewed them together making a tube big enough to fit around my hips with some room to spare. Then, I made a little yoke - that was the tough part, since I didn't really use a pattern and just made it up. I used some plain black fabric for the 'strap' part in front, and made the 'straps' in the back out of of the same fabric. Quite frankly, I did this because I was running out of material!

Then came the fun - pin tucks! I was going to use this as a tutorial for pin tucks, but once again no camera. I'll be making a shirt with tucks soon though, so look for a tutorial on them coming up! I did tucks along the front of the shirt to help shape it.

The black straps in front were looking a little plain to me, so I added rows of stitching to give it some texture. I like the effect!

I then made a lining for the top yoke part, and attached it to the main shirt piece. At this point I had a shirt with a yoke that didn't actually connect at the shoulders - I kept the two straps seperate. I wasn't sure what I would do next, but I knew I wanted to do something cool. I was cleaning out some crafting drawers at the same time as making this, and remembered something I saw earlier... black bias tape remnants! Aha!

So, the two straps are connected with three bias tape strips each. I really like that detail, and was pretty impressed with myself on that one! :)
Unbelted, the shirt has a swing, trapezy look to it. For the pictures (and for most of the time I wear it), it's belted with a stretched out braided headband I scored at forever 21 for a buck.

Ta da!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Grandpas Shirts - Refashion # 2 - dress!

My grandparents own a timeshare in Hawaii, and every couple years we go with them. My grandpa had numerous 'tropical' shirts that he'd wear to Hawaii, so I'm going to be making shirts and dresses out of those to bring this year as a tribute to him.

This is by far my favorite refashion so far. I kind of made it up as I went along, and if I could do it over again there are somethings I would do differently! But overall I like it a lot. The color is bold and beautiful, and I just lOVE the big graphic chrysanthemum type flowers on it!

I started taking pictures as I went with this, but then my camera died and I lost my charger. So no pictures along the way :(. I'll try to describe what I did though!

First, I removed the sleeves and the very top of the shirt (mainly the collar), so I had a tube with some armholes cut in it. I straighted the edges out (trimming where the armholes end, if that makes sense) so I had two trapezoidal shapes. I used these for the skirt.

Then, I cut the bodice part out of the sleeves. This is where I really wish I had my pictures, as it's hard to explain! Basically though, the shape I cut out was about the same as what it looks like, only a little bigger. I gathered down the middle of the bodice, and then here's my favorite part - BUILT IN BRA! I always save old crappy bras for projects like this. I cut the bra apart so I just had two attached cups, then hand-sewed it into the front of my bodice. I then sewed a cotton lining over the top of it. Next, I smocked the whole darn thing from the bra all the way around the back, and even a couple rows on the very top of the bra (which give it that ruffled look).

I attached the top to the skirt and did some more smocking around the bottom of the bodice because it was a little too maternity-ish for my taste.

Finally, I added two straps of just plain white elastic. And they tuck down easily if I want to go strapless. I know this is a pretty crappy tutorial - let me know if you have any questions or comments :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tropical Sweetheart Dress - in progress

As you probably already know, I don't often use patterns. I usually prefer to draft my own (without much success) or to just start cutting and cross my fingers (also not so successful). However, sometimes even I am realistic and realize that without a pattern my idea probably won't work.

So, I am using a pattern for the first time in a while, and hoping it works! I love the style of it, so if it works out I will definitely use it again. For this one I'm doing it without the sleeves, as it's kind of a tropical print. Here it is: McCalls 5971

I also wanted to post a picture of the cotton fabric I got for it - it's a lovely tropical watercolor kind of pattern, with big turquoise and fuchsia flowers on a white background. I couldn't find it on the Joann's website though, so you'll have to wait to see it :)

Grandpas Shirts - Refashion #1 continued

So, I FINALLY have some pictures to put up of some refashions I've done! I have several completed ones that I'll be posting when I have time, so keep checking back.

Here's a couple more pictures of the last one I posted forever ago, belted with jeans version!


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