Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Few Starts

Back in September, I started thinking about my creative goals for 2014 and rather than share them right away, chose to let them sit and develop and all was going well until last week when my thoughts suddenly took an unexpected turn. And now... I'm once again letting the goals sit and develop while debating whether I should share the not quite developed concept in order to get feedback however... while I'm thinking about that... here are a few starts I went back to the second hand store for.

When thinking about what I might want to do, one thing I know for sure is how much I enjoy the challenge of refashioning garments and of not knowing the end at the beginning. That not knowing is something I want more of and when I couldn't stop thinking about the dress at the end of this posting, I went back to the store for it... and a few more garments followed me home - LOL.

Not all of these are in my size and that's okay. I let go of "it" fitting me a few months ago to enjoy the creative journey and that seems to have been a wise decision. It allows me to instead concentrate on choosing garments of a higher quality with refashioning potential and on the process of refashioning them with the sometimes happy bonus of a garment to wear. That may not last but it works for now.




This is a 100% cotton sweater in a rather dull taupe color. It's neat, crisp, and well constructed and has no flaws, stains, or areas where it's pulled out of shape. I'm contemplating overdyeing to begin with. This was the least expensive piece at $3.98. The buttons alone would cost that.




I mentioned this skirt in Friday's posting. When I went back to the store, it was $4.98 rather than the $7.98 I'd remembered which was slightly more reasonable. I cut it apart and washed the fabric. It's a wool/silk blend that even on a cold setting, felted somewhat. It'll need to become part of another piece.




This piece is a cashmere silk blend which is a lovely combination of fibers only the garment has not been well maintained and has a hole center front near the hem and another on the right collar near the ribbing. It was $4.98 which made me angry. Many people shop second hand not because they have the skills to refashion something but because that's all they can afford. $4.98 for what is basically a rag is ridiculous.




This piece is petite sizing so it's short and tight on me but it's that fabulous viscose, polyamide, spandex blend that has never ending longevity and a great weight. I love this shade of lime especially with black. For $4.98, I'll see if I can get it to fit me somehow.




This is the dress I actually went back for. It's $5.98, a Naomi brand, 40% silk, 20% acrylic, 15% ramie, and 15% angora dress which has no angora left after I washed it in the machine. The good news is that the stain on the back came out. The bad news is that a hole showed up but I think it's reasonably positioned so that I can work around it and - if not - as I told my friend today - a "mistake" presents a wonderful challenge to come up with answers. Sometimes, a mistake is exactly what we need.




One thing I really needed was to do something. It's been a rough week, the paralyzing kind where starting is difficult so I - finally - made myself go into the studio yesterday and trace the top from the Vogue 2971 pattern. With the skirt, I went down four sizes based on the amount of ease and could have gone down more. With the top, I went down two sizes based on the fabric's stretch factor. I'm treating this version as a wearable muslin as I'm not sure about tying it around the waist like that however...

... I was intrigued to note that the sleeve has a high cap and that the back is narrow and the back armhole is more L than J shaped. All of these work well for my figure. The only changes I had to make were a 5/16" narrow chest adjustment and 3/8" length adjustment above the waist. That was it. Now to sew. I'm busy most of today so it's a good thing I have until Friday to finish. I want to wear it with the skirt to my creativity group's get together.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the highs in life's highs and lows

10 comments:

  1. Great finds. That is one of my frustrations with thrift stores too. The stuff is often so overpriced. I always think, "You got this for FREE, let's hold off on the crazy, insane profit margin!".

    I was in my local thrift store and saw a Hanes crewneck sweatshirt for $6.99. I seriously think they are $5.47 new at the big box store that starts with a W...That made me angry!

    I think the green and black top can be used in colorblocking!! Maybe a raglan style princess top? You could do solid black all around with the print on the front/back center piece.

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    1. I had the same experience recently - saw a piece that I figured was less expensive brand new. I know there are overhead expenses but...

      Color blocking... hmm... something to think about. Thanks.

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  2. Here's another idea for the green and black top--you could insert black vertical stripes at regular intervals. Like one of those optical illusions or modern paintings.

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    1. OH... another interesting thought to ponder and a possible answer to how to make it wide enough to fit me. THANKS.

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  3. Re the black and green top, I wondered if you could add some princess side panels to it, and also panels to the underside of the sleeves if needed. If you chose black that would look very streamlined, and work with the colour blocking I have seen a lot in higher end pieces. January Burda has a plus dress done in this sort of style which I think looks great. Of course it may not be your vibe.

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    1. I'd thought about something along that lines myself, especially how to add some ease to the sleeve and princess seams are definitely my favourite. Great idea. Thanks.

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  4. Everyone seems to have an idea about the green and black top. Funny. My first thought was to make a black body and use this fabric for the sleeves and maybe neck finishing.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

    BTW, if you are ever in Kelowna, apparently "our" Value Village is known far and wide for the great selection of treasures. I met a couple of women there once, and one just got off the plane from Calgary and she demanded her friend take her to VV Boutique first. They had a cart full of goodies. Something to think about.

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    1. LOL - I look forward to seeing what I do to and especially to getting to it. I'm on very very slow lately.

      You're in Kelowna - ? ? ? ? ? ? - I'm not sure if I knew and forgot that or if I didn't know. Do you shop at Value Village? Are you interested in a meet-up, lunch, and a shopping day. We could check out the bargain center at Fabricland too. I'd be happy to drive there and spend some time together if that worked for you.

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  5. Your comment about letting go of the idea of "Will this fit me?" and concentrating instead on the fabric/notions/whatever really struck a chord with me! I have a number of linen garments, mostly shirts, but a lovely sheath dress w/ jacket that I need to use creatively.

    Thanks AGAIN for inspiration!
    JoyceP in Wisconsin

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    1. Letting go of fitting has been a really helpful decision. It includes including colors that I wouldn't normally work with if that's what the garment needs. It's an idea that developed from making the child size garments. They're such a good practice field mainly because they don't need to fit and they are not for me. I wanted to bring that less stress approach forward and apply it to garments. If I make something I don't like, I can typically cut it up again and/or there is usually someone around willing to take it. For me, it's the learning that's the most important. Let me know how it works for you.

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