Red and Pink Refashioning...

I saw the polyester long-sleeved tunic hanging on the sale rack for just £3 in Sainsburys... The fabric was oh-so-right, the shape was oh-sew-wrong... What to do? On this refashioning, I decided to leave the design element to someone else, namely Burda Patterns!

Let's go back a stage for a moment; have you ever heard of harvesting fabric..? To me, I get flashbacks of scary movies I've seen, where a group of teenagers run around, mostly in the dark, somewhere abandoned, being slowly pulled apart and used by a psychotic maniac to build a 'new' human being... (Even writing this I run the risk of not sleeping tonight - I'm not good with frightening films!). Why is it that 'harvesting' doesn't make me think of hay bales, or baskets full of eggs..?! I wish. ANYWAY - hopefully this exercise will stop me from thinking of it in that way, and rather associate the term with "...using fabric from a ready-made outfit to make something new..,".


And the blogpost soundtrack for today? Well, if you're reading this on a PC, and can open another window whilst you're reading this, here's my favourite Christmas track of all time (well we are in December now!) - it makes me feel SO excited, and is therefore the perfect accompaniment to this party top refashioning!


Truth is I've been waiting for the right material to... materialise... to use a pattern I've had for quite some time in my stash. And the reason why I bought this pattern in the first place, is because the illustration on the front reminds me of a photo of my glam Mum (taken in the 70's) - but I can't find it at the moment... rest assured, the photo will go HERE, so you know what image I have in my mind, as and when I find it!! And, just so you know, I was going for the top on the left hand side on the Burda pattern envelope (the green one!).

Sew...

To begin with, I took the top apart, unpicking all the seams, then ironed the 'new' fabric to find out what I was working with...

You can see it's like a red paisley pattern, printed onto a cerise pink background. I love that colour clash, although I realise it's not to everyone's taste... 

And sew...

I thought I'd bought a top large enough to cover any pattern I felt like using. I hadn't. I (mistakenly) thought the tunic was big enough to cover all the pattern pieces needed for this top - when, in actual fact, the collar pattern piece ran a few centimetres longer than the original arm of the tunic (my only hope for that area!)... 

So, although I used the pattern as a guide, I knew I'd have to be a bit creative later on when it came to the collar...

The process itself was painless enough, considering how thin and slippery the fabric was. The best parts of the refashioning, in terms of doing something and feeling quite good about the result, were the invisible zip, and fitting the collar...

I'm not sure if anyone else would use so many pins to secure the collar before sewing, but I wasn't taking any chances!

Here's what the collar looked like finished, close up, with the top stitching... and the invisible zip on the right (no pulling, or ripples, hooray!!)...


And what happened with the collar..? Well, instead of a button & buttonhole fastening, I took some ribbon I had, and sewed two lengths into either end of the collar. It means that, although the fabric doesn't cross over the way it's supposed to (and fasten with a button), it still works well with the ribbon tying it shut. The invisible zip runs up through the centre back, then there's a peephole (yes, that's part of the design...), finishing with the ribbon as a final closure...
I should also tell you, at this point, that I've got a new gadget!

It's called Shuttr, and it connects via Bluetooth to the camera in my phone (there's a switch on the side that means it's compatible with both Apple and Android devices). That means I can now take photos of myself, by myself, by setting up my phone (in a stand), posing, and clicking the button on my Shuttr... it's great!! I'm not a fan of having my photo taken (who is?) - but using this nifty gadget meant I could keep snapping away until I felt happy enough my my goofy face... A LOT OF SHOTS WERE DISCARDED IN THIS PROCESS. (*And Rod was rather bored.) But hey, I don't have to get anyone else to take the pics now... yeay!


"Bored... Mum!"
(*By the way, just a little disclaimer to say, what I've written about the Shuttr is just my opinion. In fact, I was introduced to the Shuttr by another blogger, and I can't for the life of me remember who it was... BUT - if I could remember, I'd share that info with you. The point is, as always, I'm not paid to promote anyone or anything, I'm just telling you about something I like. That is all.)

So did the top turn out the way I'd expected it to? Well I made it longer than the pattern suggested, just so I'd have the option of wearing it in, or outside, my trousers/skirt, if I felt like it. Is it something I'll cherish and wear often? Not sure... it'll definitely get a Christmas outing, and it was a great learning process, and you know how I'm always up one for those...


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In other news...

  • As I said on my Facebook page, I'm taking part in Tilly's sewalong challenge - #SewingFrancoise - I'd love it if you'd join me, and I'd be more than happy to share your homemade efforts on my blog too! Here are some ideas I've cobbled together on Pinterest... what would YOU do with her pattern?
  • The second half of the interview with Great British Sewing Bee Producer, CL, will be posted here before Christmas... I found talking to her so enlightening, and hope you enjoy hearing her words of wisdom too :)
  • Another of my Crafty Sew and Sew tutorials is coming soon... if you're looking to upcycle items around the home, or you're looking for inspiration for some thrifty Christmas gifts, the next instalment is coming soon!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Gema x









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