Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Altering or Refashioning Garments

At the Sewing Summit, in Salt Lake City, in October, I went to a inspiring class by Melissa Esplin. She taught us about refashioning garments. She goes to thrift stores and finds things that anyone else might immediately dismiss and turns a man's shirt into a button-up skirt or completely changes the look of an outdated shirt. Her style is very different than mine, but her message rang loud and clear. I need to change the look of the clothes that I have bought for some reason and can't wear for whatever reason or don't like anymore. I have not yet totally changed anything from one kind of a garment to another, but I have done a lot of altering to make things more modest or to fit my taste more. Here are a few examples:

I LOVE this dress, but I bought it a size smaller than I wear. It was too short, and the neck was too wide. So I bought a small amount of black fabric that was the same stretchy "rayonish" feel of the dress and added some length in black. I topstitched and was very careful to make it flow and look right. Then I opened the neckline and took off about 5 inches of elastic for a smaller neckline. It fits perfectly now. I love it.

I bought this dress a few years ago and after the first time I washed it, it was too short for my liking. So I found two T-shirts that my son had outgrown and cut them. I added a small strip of folded white cotton between the addition and the dress and didn't even  bother to finish the bottom edge of the dress because it is knit and won't fray. I wear this dress a lot in the summer. It is so comfy and I don't have to worry when I lift my arms up that I am revealing too much.

Cute suit, right? I bought it right after I had a baby and couldn't even try it on because I was 3 or 4 sizes larger than usual. I bought it in this color and black because I liked it so much. When I finally lost my baby weight and tried them on, I found them to be WAY too low cut. They looked bad. I haven't gotten to the pink one yet, but I did make a change to the black one that has worked out very well.

I cut some fabric off an old black swimsuit that I don't wear anymore and applied a ruffle to the neckline. It added just a bit more coverage, and that was all I needed. I feel much more comfortable in the swim suit now.

This is my next project. I bought this Lands End dress and really liked it. But then I washed it and now it doesn't fit right. It is short and the neckline shows my bra straps. I also don't like the fold up sleeve. So I have some work to do. Wish me luck.

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