Thursday, September 5, 2013

Two Shirts & A Pair Of Trousers

It's not as easy as it sounds to recycle used clothing into new clothing. While I hate to use this word in relation to myself, I'm of average size which means that my thigh is only slightly larger than the smaller children's chest/hip size and slightly smaller than the larger children's chest/hip sizes. That translates to mean that the width of a trouser leg will not necessarily - or easily - accommodate the width of a child's garment especially if the design has any fullness or flare. Almost always, the recycled garment has to be a compilation of fabrics. Yesterday's is the only one of this grouping made from knits probably because when recycling I much prefer to work with woven fabrics. They're crisper and more stable. This fourth version is made from two shirts and a pair of trousers.




The paisley shirt was a favourite of my youngest son only he outgrew it. It's 100% cotton, softened, and lovely to work with. The trousers are a rayon blend with gorgeous drape. The only label I could find on the striped shirt said to dry clean only even though it feels like a polyester blend.




The weight of the paisley was too different from the weight of the rayon so I underlined those sections with the striped fabric intending to use it again as piping in the seams and as binding around the bottom except it just didn't feel right - too white - so it's only on the inside. While I'm not one for fancy seam finishes, I do like the inside to be neat and clean as you can see above.




The side front lining section was cut from the front of the striped shirt including the pocket section. Since it wasn't creating any issues, it was fun to leave that bit of pocket - proof that I am indeed recycling older garments.




There was not enough yardage of either the grey or the paisley to cut full sleeves so this version has short sleeves and is more of a twirly dress than a twirly coat. I re-used the original sleeve hem, zigzagging over the edge because it was starting to fray. That zigzag led to...




... zigzagging across the back yoke and at center front. There wasn't enough of the grey to cut the center back piece in either length or width so I separated it into the lower portion and the upper yoke and cut the lower portion wider than necessary to create the pleat.




Next time, I would figure out a better way to deal with the pleat along the bottom. The way it flares out isn't horrible but it's not exactly what I'd like - although - overall - the back has a nice crisp look that I do like.




What to do with the hem is the question I'm pondering the most right now. Typically, it's my last decision and often limited by earlier decisions. I need to give the hemline more advance thought. Here, I wrapped it with bias strips of the grey and top stitched with the fuchsia thread. It's quite strong and has a mind of its own. I'm not sure I like that so I'm debating cutting it off and trying something else. I do like the topstitching. It's the same thread used in yesterday's project. Isn't it interesting how different it looks when combined with different fabrics? Relativity at work.




Because the original inspiration garment was a men's shirt, I decided to create a collar stand and collar for the dress. The original was faded, frayed, and had ink stains on it so I drafted new ones and then redrafted newer ones. It took about three tries to get both the width and height correct. Since my fabric was limited, I played with scraps first. The collar stand is quite narrow so I stitched the top buttonhole across and into the button band to avoid making one small horizontal buttonhole. What do you think?




Flip up the back of the collar and you'll see the original label minus the seam allowance along the bottom. The made in China part gives me a giggle. A friend sells hand dyed silk scarves at a local co-operative gallery. One day, a customer came in and argued that the scarves were not hand dyed, that they were purchased from China and being sold under false pretenses because my friend had not removed the little, tiny, made in China label that came on the silk blank. She now removes them.




And here's the front. It's a different look from the previous three and - as I said - more of a summer dress than a coat. This version does not have the godets and it works well so I may eliminate them more often or altogether by drafting the other pieces slightly wider at the hem.

I picked up two more patterns that have possibilities for twirl coats. One is a shorter jacket with  princess seams and a set-in sleeve and the other is longer with full pieces, no seam at center back, and set-in sleeves. Both have potential but they'd be much harder to work with because of the larger pieces. I may transfer the set-in sleeve to my current pattern along with a few other details and work with them that way.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - Series work is always good learning especially about what I'd do differently and what I'd do more of next time. This is good.

8 comments:

  1. Myrna: These little coats (and this dress) are just adorable. I can't wait to see more and to see what desogn you come up with next!
    Helen

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    1. Thanks Helen. Tomorrow's is working with a familiar fabric, different color. It's a dream to work with. If I'd known that when I bought it, I'd have bought several bolts - that much of a dream.

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  2. I'm so enjoying these. And yes, you could sell them, but....please please please don't have that as your driving rationale or focus! I have a feeling that that would shut you down right now, and we don't want that!!

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    1. You're right... I could... But... more on that tomorrow. Glad you're enjoying them. I'm having a lot of fun sewing them.

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  3. Wow - what a great, creative project. I love how you paired those fabrics.

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    1. Thanks. My son is a bit in shock at what his favourite shirt became. Poor boy ! ! !

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  4. I just wanted to say that I admire your creativity and perseverance in getting the result you are aiming at in your sewing. I am sewing almost 1,5 years now and I often find that I don't have the patience to undo those parts of my work that don't satisfy me- as if I am under pressure to get done with a gament and move to the next one...Anyway, this blog is a real inspiration for me. Thanks for documenting your sewing prosess!

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    1. Thank you. It's lovely to hear that I'm inspiring you. I'm glad. I've been sewing for almost forty years. It's unlikely you'll ever get to the stage where you make no mistakes but there are ways to make less such as giving yourself lots of lead time so you're sewing with less pressure, sewing slower instead of faster when you are under pressure (or any time), removing a mistake and then taking a break so you come back to starting fresh, changing what you can change, leaving what you can't, and learning what you can live with. About fifteen years ago, I learned to think more creatively and evolve things outside of the pattern instructions. That was VERY helpful and comes much easier with practice. Patience comes with persistence.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.