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Monday, May 23, 2011

Men's shirt Refashion

The conversation went like this:

Me: You don't need this anymore, do you?
Stef: Hm, I don't know
Me: It doesn't suit you very well anyway
Stef: Well, I guess not then

And thus, a very nice light blue gingham shirt was mine! Muhaha, evil plans are the best. As you can see some work needed to be done. I wanted to keep a loose fit because the fabric is perfect for it: light and supple. And I love how oversized shirts are comfortable without being sloppy. I took in between pics this time, so I can explain what I did.

I started with chopping off the collar and the sleeves at the seams. Chopping them off only works if you have enough fabric left for new seams. I was careful with the collar, taking it off cm by cm, until it had the right shape, indicated by the pink line. The front pocket was too big and at the wrong place, so I took it off.

I wanted the sleeves to fall right below the elbow so I took them in at the top, about 10 cm including seam allowance. Be sure to follow the curve of the armhole when tracing the line. The shoulders were also too big. To keep the size of the armholes, trace a horzontal line from the bottom of the armhole to the point where it meets the line you trace around the armhole. This point automatically indicates how much to take in at the sides. In this case, it was about the same as I had wanted to take in at the sides, but I don't know if that will always be the case.

I really like how the cuffs turned out. I sewed the plackets together, removed the buttons and folded the cuff up. I topstitched the cuffs so they would stay in place, and show their round shapes. Instant removal of the masculinity of this shirt! The sleeves already had some pleats on the outside which now give it some body. I replaced the button on the placket with a shiny , slightly bigger blue one which covers up the buttonhole.

A few other things I like about this shirt: French seams! It's the first time I used them, and it's so easy and neat! I'm thinking the green skirt could really use some french seams, maybe I'll have to do a remake of that one. I found Tasia's tutorial very helpful. And check out the label. Sorry for chopping up your shirt, Master Shirtmaker! But thank you for choosing a non-iron fabric :)

And now, the endresult! I'm really happy with how the shirt turned out, but I do need your help on deciding: left or right? I made a small bow out of the pocket, to add something at the neckline. I think it suits the shirt, but does it suit me? (You'll understand this question if you've read this post) What do you think?

P.S. The hat's purpose is to cover up a bad hairday, it's not like I wear it all the time :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Start Sewing!

Just a quick post for everyone who wants to start sewing: Sunni from A Fashionable Stitch is hosting a sewalong for beginners. You'll be making a skirt with a pattern from Colette Patterns, and will get a discount when you enter the sewalong. It'll be a great way to start your first project, with Sunni leading you through every step! Below is a pic of the Ginger skirt Sunni made. It has already started, but it'll last two weeks. If you join in, have fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Birth of Taste

Only a few years ago, the majority of my wardrobe consisted of T-shirts, jeans and sneakers. I almost never wore a skirt or dress, certainly not in winter. In other words: I had no sense of fashion at all. No boots, no heels, no jewelry, no floral dresses, no shawls. Just T-shirts, sometimes with funny texts or images (รก la Threadless). This changed after I became friends with a colleague. I don't know how, but she slowly transformed me. I think it's because I really like her style, and she was the first friend who really cared about clothing.
For a long long time I always had only one pair of shoes. I really had no idea why you would need more. Until I saw that having boots would mean being able to wear skirts in winter, and I did want that. I remember buying my first pair of boots (these ones, actually) after a long search. The thing is, if you don't wear or use certain items, you don't really have an opinion about it. It took me several weeks to find boots, because I first had to develop a certain taste in boots. The first few times I just went into a shoe shop and stared at the boots for a while. They did not speak to me at first, I had no clue to what I liked in a boot. I was just thinking they were not really 'me'. In the end I bought some grey, quite neutral, flat boots.

And now, into my second pair of boots, I see boots I like everywhere! After the boots came the heels, and now I have really developed a certain taste. I finally understand women with dozens of pairs of footwear - there are just so many pretty shoes! I have eight pairs now, and there are lots of pretty ones out there waiting for me. If I knew where to find them, these gorgeous mustard oxfords would be mine in a heartbeat.

The only problem with this evolving taste - or should I say expanding taste - is that the world around me seems to hold more and more things that matter in a sense. It's like these things are popping up, staring at me from shop windows, saying: 'Have you thought of buying me? I would really match with that dress you just made'. Life was simpler when I just wore jeans and T- shirts.

Lately, bracelets have caught my eye. Necklaces are still silent, like the boots once were. I look at a rack of necklaces, and nothing happens. But bracelets - yes, I can see why they could really finish off your outfit. I think this is Emma's fault, she really understands the purpose of jewelry. I discovered I like bracelets with leather or wood, bold but feminine. These ones on the right are a bit too expensive (and yes, I am still very much into yellow), but fortunately, bracelets are a lot easier to make than shoes! Be prepared to see some handmade bracelets here soon!

Funny, how this challenge was born out of an antipathy with consumerism, and is now somehow luring me into owning more...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Exit Sewalong

When I was trying to catch up on Sherry's Sewalong, I discovered it was a bit too complicated for me. I have never sewn a jacket before, and with all the alterations she uses it took me too much time figuring out how to apply them to my patterns. So, I resigned from the Sewalong and now just follow Burda's instructions. Here's where I am so far:

The wool is not easy to work with, it frays like crazy and it won't iron nice and flat. I still need to sew the sleeves and make the lining, but I think it will be quite pretty when finished! I really like the pointy lapels. I've put it aside last week to make place for another project, which turned out to be my new favourite pants. More on them later this week!