Linda's wardrobe Challenge
A whole year of not buying any new clothes, and just revamping the ones I already own.
Adapting the top part of a maxi dress to make it…..well…..better!
So I have this maxi dress I bought several years ago from Zara. I love it, but there was always something about the top part of it I didnt like. It just wasn’t very flattering and it had these two beads at the front of the straps that were just plain uncomfortable.
So, after mulling over for ages what to do with it, I thought I should stop thinking just get on with it.
To start with I realised that if I wanted to change the top part of the dress and cut it away I would need material to replace it, and the long frill at the bottom of the skirt seemed perfect to use. So I unpicked the entire frill - which took a very tediously long time.
Then I cut the straps and took off two of the annoying beads, (hurrah!), and cut away the part of the front of the top that I wanted to change. I laid this out on a section of the frill and used this as a size guide to cut a new top piece.
I then pinned and stitched this to the waistband.
I then decided to make a cut half way down along the centre front and carefully hemmed this.
Next I gathered the front top pieces and stitched the gathers in place.
Then I used the straps to join up the two front pieces as shown.
I also stitched a thin piece of elastic around the waistband to give it a bit more shape.
Finally I stitched the frill piece back into a loop and sewed it back onto the bottom hem of the skirt…….and its done!!!! Woohoooo!
I was actually quite nervous about this revamp because i really love this dress and I didn’t have a clear idea of if it would work. I’m so happy with how it looks now, I think it may be my new favourite! ♡
I had seen recently that its possible to make a braided rug from old t-shirts. So over the last week I’ve cut up any old discarded tshirts I have at home, into long thin continuous strips. They now look like t-shirt balls of wool. I think I’ll need loads more than what Ive got, and hopefully some more interesting colours. Ive just started plaiting it to give me an idea of how it will look. Ive a long way to go, so it’ll be a work in progress for sometime, but I think its an awesome way of upcycling. Im really excited about getting this made!
Duvet cover pyjama bottoms: I’ve had a ‘making pyjamas’ kind of week it seems.
A while back I made myself pyjamas from a vintage swedish duvet cover I had, and this week I used the remaining material from it to make my son and daughter a pair of simple pj trousers each. I made a basic pattern for them just by drawong around another pair as a template. The ones I made for my son were just plain striped, but my daughter’s I finished off using this pretty flower ribbon that I’d been given a few years ago.
I also used the last of the material to make a pillow case too.
I’m so pleased to have been able to make so many things out of just the two single duvet covers - it was such a waste before just having them in the airing cupboard never being used.
Pyjama bottoms upcycled into summer pyjama set:
My daughter, emily, and I were having a bit of sort out of her clothes at the weekend. One of the things that she’d grown out of was a sweet pair of pyjama bottoms, which now come half way up her leg. Since its summer I thought I could cut them into shorts length pj bottoms - perfect! So thats what I did. Easy peasy, just cut them and hemmed.
But then I thought that I could use the cut off lower part of the trouser to make a pyjama top to go with the shorts. It wasnt quite enough fabric so I found a small piece of blue cotton material to make it with too.
Im really pleased how its turned out, but more importantly Emily is too!
Turning a long sleeved shirt into a sleeveless shirt:
I love wearing the colour coral, it’s my favourite. I have a huge amount of clothes in various shades of coral, so I should love this long sleeved shirt by Topshop that I bought second hand last year……. but I don’t. I haven’t worn it in ages because it just kind of hangs on me and flops about doing nothing appealing!
So I thought if I cut the sleeves off it would look less shapeless. So to do this…….(no surprises)…. I chopped the sleeves off right at the seam. I then tried it on quickly and realised that removing the sleeves had made the arm holes a bit too gaping, so I took in a little off from the arm hole and down the side seams. To edge the arm holes I cut two strips of the sleeve fabric approximately two and a half inches wide, and long enough to go around the arm hole. I sewed these into loops and then pinned these along one edge to the right side of the shirt’s arm holes. I then sewed these where I’d pinned leaving about a one centimeter seam allowance. I then folded over the fabric strip so that I encased the seam allowances and folded in the raw edge of the fabric strip and pinned this in place all the way round. This was then also sewed, close to the folded edge of the fabric strip, all the way around.
Next I carefully unpicked and removed the pocket as I wanted the shirt to look more simple.
Lastly I stitched closed the centre front opening by an extra couple of inches as it was too low before and would be too revealing sometimes.
And that was it! Just a few simple changes but it really has made a big difference. Im definitely going to wear it again now. :)
Seriously cute rainbow knickers made from a headband:
I found this brightly striped headband in my drawer the other day. I’d actually forgotten I even had it. I never wear it because it looks ridiculous on me but I think the material is really pretty so I had kept hold of it.
I had a think about what I could turn it into and I decided I would use the fabric (which there was just enough of), and make them into a pair of rainbow knickers.
I tried out sewing knickers a while ago for the first time and showed how is done in a previous post by drawing around another pair to make the pattern pieces, but you could use this downloadable pattern with really clear and easy instructions: http://www.madalynne.com/amerson-the-details-pattern
It took me about 45 minutes to make as they are so simple, (might have been quicker if I hadn’t kept stopping to drink tea and text….but then what’s the fun in that?!?
So from a discarded headband shoved at the back of a drawer to super cool knickers in under an hour - Hurrah!
I’m really happy that as from September I’ll be running a new dressmaking course at Cambridge Regional College every monday morning.
It’s suitable for both beginners and those with experience - and the room is great - has overlockers, dressmaker dummies, pattern drafting blocks etc…..perfect!
Here is the link for further details:
Ive been busy hand sewing trims on to the old vintage plain black bolero jacket that Amanda Kelleher gave me. Its to be worn on stage as part of her outfit for her one woman stand up comedy show ‘Mean Things I did to my Sister’, which she’ll be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
I saw the show when she performed it in Cambridge in January and its hilarious!
Her promo photoshoot is today so I needed to get the jacket in a ready state for it. So its sort of done, but I still plan to add a lot more to it before the festival.