Sunday, 3 April 2011

Here's Some I Made Earlier...

I hope everyone is having a rocking weekend and those who participated in MMMar '11 are still feeling pleasure from not having to take a photo of your outfit every day! Remembering to take and upload those daily photos is for me, like everyone else who particpated/s from what I can tell, the most taxing part of these me-made/self-stitched challenges. There is also the concern that I am boring other partcipants and readers to tears with seeing the same garments that I wear again and again.

I have no problem with the garment repetition in the sense that it was an accurate reflection of what I was wearing. I see little point in offering a false images of myself in amazing unique daily looks if that's not how I really dress. The point of MMM's and SSS is to show that we can live our normal lives in clothing that we made ourselves. But of course it would be nice to offer as much inspiration as possible to other sewers through an exciting array of self-stitched/refashioned clothes. So, whilst I didn't get much time to sew for myself in MMMar' 11, I did make lots of clothes at work which are now on the website which I can offer for your delectation. I hope that they may give you an idea or two.

Denim halter dress:

For this dress I used a panelled strapless dress pattern. I cut the panels from the legs of donated unwanted jeans. I tried to pick jeans that were a similar tone, but I like the slight shade difference between them. I didn't bother with a facing on the top edge because I figured denim is ridgid enough so I bound the top edge with a scrap of contrast cherry print fabric instead.

High-waisted denim shorts:These shorts are made from donated denim, but I made a panelled version from unwanted jeans as well. Tracing off and splitting sewing patterns into panels means that you can often squeeze the pieces out of more awkward existing garments. The tabs on these shorts were a bit time consuming to construct but make an otherwise plain garment a bit more special. If you have a smaller garment you want to reuse or fabric scraps, using it to make contrast tabs, facings, collars etc. can be a nice way to use them up.

Remade shirt-blouse: For quite a while now I've been pretty obsessed with the 'Make Do and Mend' movement that existed in Britain in the Second World War, and specifically the ways the Government employed 'sewing experts' advised women to refashion old unwearable garments into new ones. Those information leaflets often proffered recutting large mens skirts into womens' blouses. I've chatted on about this before and probably will do again, so I won't go massively into this creation right now. In fact, if there's any interest I may do a 'How To' create a women's blouse from men's shirts. Nothing anybody couldn't figure out for themselves, but I know a couple of time saving techniques that might be of use.

Refashioned sweatshirt:FYI, this sweatshirt is probably in my top three of garments I've made at work. It's been cut from an unwanted men's hoodie using a very basic jumper pattern (you could use the ones in the Sew U: Home Stretch book, for example). I cut the front and back pieces with the ribbing still attached along the bottom so I didn't need to deal with making/applying something for the hem. The sleeves are 3/4 length to make the whole thing a bit more feminine and the cuffs are thick stretch jersey folded in half and overlocked (serged) to the bottom of the sleeve pieces. The neck hole is bound using the same contrast jersey fabric cut in a bias strip. I made some covered buttons (this is a lie now I think about it, my boss made them because I am rubbish at making covered buttons) from the same contrast to make it more interesting. This has been made from a hoodie so has the front pocket but of course you could use a normal sweatshirt for a cleaner look. Once again, if anyone is interested, I could do a 'How To' for this style.

Sweater dress:
This casual dress is made from two unwanted sweatshirts and one knit jumper, so not a very good ratio of new garments for old, but if they are going to go to waste otherwise, why not?! I can't remember quite how I developed this pattern, but you could figure out something similar, probably with the assistance of the Sew U: Home Stretch patterns again maybe. The knit jumper that I used was probably stained or moth eaten on the front (that's the general state of the garments we receive to work with), but the back panel was fine so I used that part. As with the sweatshirt above, here I kept the ribbing band of the sweatshirt intact to keep a neat finish.

I hope this post didn't come across as too 'Look! I made this!', I just feel that I am in a position to share some ideas that we've (my boss and I) spent a long time developing that I hope might encourage DIY activities. BTW, I'm LOVING the new(ish) Refashion Co-op blog. So many creative, genius and varied approaches going on over there...

32 comments:

montanachic said...

I love the sweater dress and the blouse, you are so creative!

didyoumakethat said...

They all look absolutely BRILLIANT. A tutorial on adapting a man's shirt into a blouse would be fab.

DeniseAngela said...

I love the denim halter dress & The top with red contrast....so cool!

Claire said...

Such cool refashions, all very wearable and don't look at all like 'Frankenstein' creations! When I think of refashioning, it does conjure up the idea of garments that end up looking confused and homemade, but these look stylish and inventive :) Please post more of the stuff you make!

Donna said...

Awesome new pieces - and we *want* you to show them off. :)

Miss P said...

Wow!! Yes please to ANY and ALL How To's that you'd be able to share. These are so inspiring! I am BEYOND impressed. Wow, wow,and more wow!
Px

Heather said...

What creative refashions! I adore the refashioned men's sweatshirt into the women's sweatshirt, and I'd love any suggestions you may have for doing this. Because I want one badly! :) Now I just need to find some red and white polka dot heavy jersey (my local fabric store is somewhat lacking at times). Or could you get away with using a woven?

Corrine said...

Wow, what great pieces you have shared! I am totally impressed and you have given me some ideas, thanks.

Debbie said...

All the pieces are great, you are so creative. Would love some how-to blogs. I especially like the denim halter dress and the sweatshirt from a man's sweatshirt. Ill have to take myself off to the thrift store tomorrow and start collecting some items!

Ali said...

Please, more "I made this" kind of posts, I love the inspiration. I would never have looked twice at a halter dress pattern, but now I have to make some version of that refashioned jean one to wear with a red sweater in the fall

Anonymous said...

I say do the how-to for both the sweatshirt and the blouse.

Daruma-san said...

So cool. My ultimate goal with sewing is to use less new materials so I love seeing this projects! Thanks for the inspiration!

Fourth Daughter said...

Why shouldn't you show off what you've made? The sweater dress is a great idea. Have to say I didn't go so well with MMM - managed to wear me-made stuff every day, but didn't get on to flickr at all. And hardly checked out what other people were up to either. oops! Next time, hopefully!

Fourth Daughter said...

oh, and I managed to put up two super-easy T-shirt tutorials if you want to take a look..
stylewilderness.blogspot.com

Carolyn said...

These are amazing and very inspirational! You have great creativity!
I wore something different each day for MMM, and I sure hope I didn't come across as "false" as they are an accurate depiction what I was wearing that day and in fact every day. I like to play in my wardrobe and mix things up a bit differently.
And I'd love to see more of what you are making, please post more of these pictures!

kristenmakes said...

WOW! Amazing refashions, they blew me away. So creative and so NOT looking like a refashion, but rather a brand new garment. I feel the same as you on using MMM and SSS to be real and not fain outfits that you don't really wear and there is no shame in repeating garments and outfits, at all! I think it is very important to keep a minimal wardrobe and not let it consume you. Thanks again for sponsoring another amazing self-made month!

Law said...

Zoe this is fab!

I would love a "how to" on most of those clothes. I really lack imagination when it comes to refashioning, charity shops can be a bit overwhelming if i don't know what i'm looking for. If i could say "right i need a men's shirt / sweater or whatever because i want to follow a Zoe how to", that'd be great! Also do you have to have an overlocker if you want to sew with jersey or stretch fabrics? I don't have one and they aren't cheap but i am starting to think i might need to invest...

julia said...

brilliant!! all of them!

Alexandra Mason said...

These are wonderful! I love the blouse a tutorial would be fantastic xx

Minnado said...

These are so great and have a distinct So-Zo flavour to them. Love the top with polka dot trim the best.

Darci said...

Those are great refashions! I'd love to know any timesaving tips you might have on the men's shirt refashions. I can always get those shirts for a screamin' bargain at the op shops around here.

And I'm seriously greedy about that paneled denim dress. So wearable and COOL.

MMMar '11 was FANTASTIC, but I'm super glad not to be photographing every outfit. It was fun to play along, tho!

Lovenicky said...

I love your refashions. I wish I have a job as wonderful as yours! It's all so creative and for such a worthy cause. I love the denim dress. I am so inspired!

Anonymous said...

Hi Zo, I really enjoy your blog. I love your refashions. I would like your your advice on the following:

1. How do you incorporate knits that stretch differently into the same garment? Is it by eye or do you use a dress form to determine the fit?
2. I would like to sew a knit top to a woven skirt. How would you do it to make sure that it can be pulled over the hips?

Thanks very much!

Nik

Anonymous said...

You're concerned that this post comes off as too "look what I made"? What would be the point of reading your blog then? Please brag! I WANT to see what you'd made.

The denim halter dress is fecking brilliant!

I realize there's probably a very good production reason for why it's made as it is, but I would bind both sides of the neck edge so as to encase the upper edge of the zipper for a neater look. I'd also use a zipper that has pulls on both ends so that the slit could be made higher. (For those lucky ladies with fabulous legs and no cellulite.)

I'd line the straps with a thinner fabric (recycled bias binding made from shirts) to give it a little more flexibility and comfort. Perhaps make them ties (for flexibility in fitting more figures) or insert a piece of elastic at strap center neck (for the same reason).

I love the website; the products. The concept is amazing. This seems like the perfect job for you. I hope you find it challenging and rewarding!

And please, don't hesitate to share!

Scruffybadger said...

Totally the right kind of inspiration- thank you! I'm most partial to the men's shirt into blouse & the sweatshirt - both very cute.

christina said...

Those are wonderful creations. And very inspirational. Like others said: Please show us more!!!

Sølvi said...

Love everything! I am especially fond of the men´s sweater (and I´ll stand in line for a tutorial), your job do rock, and sharing it with us is so great! Thanks!

Zoe said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!

I just wrote a detailed response to all the questions asked, but blogger decided to make my comment disappear instead of publish it. If you still would like any suggestion with the question to asked me in regards to this post, please email me at sozoblog (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll be happy to give you my advice.

Thansk for your feedback regarding the How'To's, I will endeavour to post one soon.

Zoe xxx

jessica said...

Zoe, those are some ROCKIN looks!!! I am swooning like mad. Tutorials and tips on refashioning ALWAYS welcome too!!!

Bhoomika said...

I love these. I would especially be interested in the men's shirt to woman's blouse tutorial, if you feel inclined!

Stevie said...

Hey Zoe. Looking forward to the 16th.
I have just tagged you for an award on my blog!
Hope your enjoying the Brighton sunshine!
Stevie x

Cirque Du Bebe said...

Wow I love that dress! Wanna sell it haha? I really like your photos here with just the item of clothing against a white background...if its not a secret, I would love to know how you did them! x Sophie

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...