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.
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...