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.