Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Refashion Challenge: Results

 I think I'm happy.

Tuesday's post has all the pics of the original top and where it came from, but if you don't want to click through, here's what I started with (not sure if I mentioned it, but the tag said it was a 3XL):  

And, if you want the reveal before the 'what I did''s the shirt, remade:

You have to look to see the godets I added to the side from a gray-and-black stripe remnant that I 'd kept in the scrap box, but you can sure see the difference it makes in the drape of the shirt.  That stripe knit was a pricey one, actually, that I bought at one of the Sewing Expos I went to...I want to say it was Indianapolis in 2014, but that might not be right.  I'd made a t-shirt out of it, that has disappeared (no idea how a t shirt could disappear, but I haven't seen it in at least a couple of years).  I had a good bit left over, so I paired it up with an abstract print and used the stripe on the sleeves and neckband.  The print was royal blue, black white and gray and I loved the way the stripes played with the print.  But, over the years, the gray in the print changed from gray to a pinky-mauve color (I have another, entirely different print that did the same thing; now instead of grayscale it looks sepia).  The pink kinda clashed w/ the royal blue in the print and it definitely looked odd with the stripe in the sleeves and neckband; it was still in the closet but I just didn't wear it.

So, with that backstory in mind, we return to the weird oversized shirt.  I used my Vogue 9057 pattern for the base of the alterations.  After unstitching the sideseams and removing the sleeves,  I folded the shirt in half lengthwise.  I could only cut one side at a time because the hem-to-hem length was longer than my table, so I cut the front first, laying the pattern with the center front along the fold and the intersection between the neckline and the shoulder seam at the shoulder seam/ neckline of the shirt.   Where the waist shaping on the sideseam began to increase just below the waist, I laid my long ruler there to connect that line with the bottom edge of the shirt.  Whacked it down, then carefully moved the shirt so that I could cut the back the same way.  I cut something like 13" off of the shoulder seam, so it was enough to cut some cap sleeves from the scraps at the shoulder area...if I put the former shoulder seam down the center of the sleeves.

Then I carefully folded my little remnant of stripe and managed to get two godets that were 11" wide at the bottom and 15" tall.  I didn't do any scientific calculations...that was just the size I could get from the piece I had.

I did that after writing Tuesday's post, and then I pondered what to do. I thought it would just look like I stuck extra fabric in it if I didn't do something besides just the godets...and I remembered the 'rule of three' from my days costuming school shows. Basically, the rule of three is that if you use an element in an outfit/ garment, you should use it in three places so that it looks like a part of the garment.  But I was down to mere scraps of the knit...what could I do?

Then I remembered the top with the striped sleeves and neckband that didn't work anymore.  I hustled up to the closet and took the sleeves and the neckband off before I went to bed (really late, lol).  The faded remnants of the top went into the trash bin.  RIP.

I thought I'd just put the sleeves on the new top...they were from the same Vogue pattern.  But as I thought about what I could do while at work yesterday I realized that the long sleeves and the long godets would kind of compete.  Maybe it would be better to use the cap sleeves.  Maybe  there was enough scraps left to get a couple of strips to use as a band on the bottom of the sleeves...bonus, then I wouldn't have to hem the sleeves.  Hm.  And what about the neckband?   I didn't even know if the neckband that I pulled off of the faded shirt would fit or if I would need to add some length to it.

I came home, ate dinner, walked with my hubby, and then pondered what I could do and how I could do it.   I finally measured the bottom of the cap sleeves I'd cut, then measured the scraps and found that I could get two strips 1 1/2" wide long enough to go around the bottom of the sleeves, and I matched up the neckband to the neckline of the shirt and saw that I would only have to stretch the recycled neckband a little bit to make it work. would pull that really wide neckline into a better size for me. The only caveat was that I realized I would have to hand sew the neckband on; I just layered it behind the original finished neckline of the top (it had a wrap-around binding).  Took a bit to sew it on, but now I have a double neckline that suits my narrow shoulders better than the original; not only did the stretched neckband pull it in slightly, but it extends about 3/8" beyond the original finished edge so it fills it in a bit.

From that point, it was just a matter of sewing it together and hemming the godets.  I actually finished last night and wore it today.

I am sad that I wasn't able to keep the pockets but they would have looked odd in the godet seam.  It's comy and swishy and fun to wear.  And the button back is cool. serger is still not cutting as nicely as I would like. It's not horrible...but it's not clean as it should be, either.  We may have to make another trip west in the next couple of weeks.  Sigh.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

A Refashion Challenge...

 At the end of last week, a large bag was circulated around the admin office at church.  Someone had unearthed a bag w/ some past conference merch T-shirts...all in 2 & 3 XL sizes.  There weren't many, and we were told we could have whatever struck our fancy.

I dug through the bag, whilst one of my co-workers shook her head, 'I don't think you're going to find anything in there...they're all Plus sizes'

'Oh, I'm not looking for a top that fits, ' I commented.  'I'm looking for raw material.'

She was shocked.  'You mean you're going to cut it up?'


I found a shirt from 2016 that I had thought was kinda cute...but it was only in plus sizes back then, and it was kinda odd shaped.

I brought it home and took some pics...

 First, I tried it on, just to see what I had to work with.  And I will say, when I pulled it over my head, I thought, 'This shirt has been worn before'...slight remnants of a fragrance, and a bit of perspiration.  Then I realized what the shirts in the bag likely were...shirts that had been modeled in a photo shoot and then couldn't be sold.

 No matter.  I just ran it through the laundry after the pics, lol.

It's tunic length... just a hair longer than my shorts...and very wide in the shoulders and upper body, but almost snug through the thighs.  I suppose I could just roll with the oversized vibe but it would annoy the stew outta me.

You can see the shape laid out on the bed; it looks like it's straight, which is odd, considering how it fits like an inverted triangle.

The back is the part I liked the best.  It's a pleat, with buttons, so it looks like it buttons up the back.  

All the kids who are in town came by the house last night and we all sat around the front porch, socially distanced, and visited.  I put the time to good use and opened the side seams, removed the pockets and took off the sleeeves.  I have a couple of ideas of what I can do...we'll see what develops.

I am definitely keeping the back button detail, lol.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

She's Back...

 And we are very glad.  

It was $1 for parts ((a new upper knife) and $110  for labor, but she's all cleaned, tuned, tweaked and sharp and ready to go.  She's running a little more growly than in the old days, but, hey, she's 30 years old and she's still quieter than the new backup.  And I'm glad I now have a backup sewing machine and a back up serger that I can take to church for sewing days and still have my sewing set up at home.

On another note, I've had to turn off comments on some posts; that really shouldn't matter much because a) I only get about  3 actual comments a month and b) the posts are from the first of the year so they're not likely to get actual comments anyway.  But I've begun to be afflicted with really offensive R-rated comments.  I've got comment moderation turned on, so they're not getting any actual air play, but I have to look at them to moderate and I am not happy.  I finally noticed last week that they seemed to be recurring on the same two or three  12 Month wardrobe posts, so I turned off the comments for those posts.  We'll see if that stops the influx.  I have the comment moderation on, plus the capcha, so someone is working hard to leave yuckky stuff for no good purpose; it's not going to make it to public eyes. But maybe if I throw a leaf on the path the way will be blocked, lol.  We'll see.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

...and a milestone that I *didn't* miss...a non-sewing post...

 On August 16, 1980, My Sweet Babboo and I pledged our lives and love to each other in front of a church full of friends and family.

It was a cold, rainy day in central Indiana, but it was the beginning of an adventure.

Back in January, we were looking at Adventures...did we want to do a train ride across Canada?  An Alaskan cruise?  What would be a big enough commemoration?


About two weeks ago we looked at each other and said, 'We have to do SOMETHING.'

So we decided to go to our favorite getaway spot about an hour and a half away.  We were first there for our 30th anniversary, so it was a 10 year celebration for that, too.  It's a perfect place to just enjoy the quiet.  And it's remote enough that we weren't worried about...catching anything.  We probably saw about ten people all weekend.

 It's right on the edge of a bluff on Sand Mountain, overlooking the Tennessee River.   


 The weather was perfect; relatively low humidity, but still warm enough that we could enjoy the swimming pool, nearly exclusively, but there were enough clouds for a  pretty sunset.

We waited until about 9:30 Monday night and then went out to look at the night sky, well coated with bug repellent.  If I had had a tripod, the sky pictures would have been much better.  There were no moon and no clouds; the stars were breathtaking.  There aren't a lot of  places dark enough to see the Milky Way any more...but it was on full display for us.  But the best I could do w/ my camera was the Big Dipper...or Ursa Major, depending on your school of thought.  I was amazed that I got anything at all.  I don't know if it will show up on everyone's device, but I can see it...



 The Lodge where we stayed has a reputation for fine dining.  We had a 3 course dinner on Sunday, in honor of our anniversary.  It was fabulous...but my hubby's camera seems to have eaten our photos; he couldn't pull them off.  Fortunately, we took a selfie with mine after we ate.  Don't we look well fed? LOL.


It was just two days away, but it was enough to kinda relax a little bit.  We have plans for another getaway...a conference that was supposed to have happened the weekend after Easter and was rescheduled for Mid-September...but who knows if we will actually get to go.  Hoping...

Oh, I guess there is a little sewing news to report.  On the way back, I jokingly said something about dropping our luggage off, picking up my serger and driving it an hour and a half in the other direction for repair.  My Sweet Babboo was in the mood for a drive, so we did.  Now I'm waiting on the service department to give me a call with an estimate for repair.  I will be glad to get it back.  The new backup is...ok...but I miss my old friend.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

I missed a milestone...

I just happened to notice that, according to Blogger's count, this is post number 2030 on Sew Random.

I totally missed that 2000 milestone...(counts back).. it looks like it was the first post-vacation trip post back in September.   Wow, I really hadn't been paying attention to that counter.

But I did finish another item for the closet...back in, oh, February of last year, I cut out a red shell top, thinking I might use it for either SWAP or the 12 months/12 outfits wardrobe.  But it didn't end up being needed and, to tell the truth, I forgot about it.  Found it Friday and sewed it up. Only a hanger shot at the moment...and it looks like a sack on the hanger.  But it's viscose challis and it's as light as air.

I had about 2 yards;  I folded one selvedge in just wide enough to cut the front and back on the same fold so the uncut remnant ran the length of the yardage.  I squared it up, fringed the ends and narrow hemmed the long edges and now I have a lightweight red scarf.  I liked the fabric so much I bought another fairly good sized chunk for a floaty dress...someday...

But I think I need to make another batch of masks before I work on another closet item.The mandates mean everyone needs one...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Life Update

So...remember this cutie, who was so happy in her sweet little butterfly dress that I made back in 2003?  That was a year before  I started blogging, but I did put a review up on Pattern Review for that little dress.

Well...guess what...she got engaged last night. Time flies.

I think I have another dozen or so of those butterfly appliques around somewhere...maybe I'll sew them on her wedding dress...

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Finally Finished...

And it ain't nothing to brag about, but it will be something I can throw on.

It's the Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous LaStrada T...made from ONE YARD of ITY jersey:

I really didn't have enough fabric for the shirt, because I didn't have enough to match it up.  I didn't think it would show that much...ha ha and ha.  From the slight angle of the shirt on the hanger, the mismatch at the front is kinda not so obvious, which is encouraging; maybe if I keep moving no one will pick up on it, lol.

This is the second LaStrada I've made with a patterned fabric; the first time I didn't think at all about balancing the print and I was very sorry, because I *could* have made it look much nicer.  This one...I thought as long as I had the stripes even it would be ok.  Meh.  The teardrop shapes are not quite symmetric at the center front seam. It will bug me. 

Plus, this was the shirt that killed my serger.  It was almost dead anyway, but the pin that buried itself in the gathers finished it off.  I did take the new backup serger and  re-finish off the gathered back seam, which was AWFUL.  It helped a bit, but the distortion that happened from the dragging knife couldn't be completely atoned for.  Fortunately, 1) it really isn't horrible now, if you don't know and 2) it's in the back anyway and will likely be under a cardigan or other topper.  I will wear it and be glad for it, but it could have been better...had I had a smidge more fabric and cooperative equipment, lol.  And I thought it would be a quick project. 

But, you guys...this is just the SECOND garment I have made for myself this entire YEAR. 

That's seriously depressing. 

There are, um, reasons, I suppose.  The subpar serger being one of them; the complete and total disarray of all things sewing related in the house is another.  I'm not going into detail; but it's really detracting from my enjoyment of the craft.  And then there are all those masks...and I should make another batch; I've given away almost all of them that I made earlier.  I gained weight (didn't everyone?) while we were basically locked down in March and April; none of my patterns fit. (Back to walking and tracking calories on the Fitbit; the quarantine weight is almost gone.  This is going to be a long haul to get rid of the weight that had crept on before that; I hope I have the stamina to stick to it).

But probably the biggest issue is...I'm home almost all the time.  We had some folks at work develop the virus (my precautionary test came back negative) so after being back in the office for about six weeks we are now working from home again for at least the next week. While we did have services for the month of June, My Sweet Babboo and I still watched from home, since he has some immune system issues.  In any case...there's no choir, and that's likely not to change so long as we are in virus-avoidance mode. 

So I really don't have much demand for new clothes.  I have decided I'm going to work on straightening and sorting and...dare I say it...paring down some of the superfluous stash.  Maybe I'll make some...interesting...things that I haven't had time to make for a while. While I sew batches of masks.

If I'm really brave I will clean through the closet and do some weeding.  I might as well get rid of stuff I don't LOVE...things that were in the closet because that was a color we wore for choir and I never wear it any where else. 

Maybe I'll play around with some more of the capsule wardrobe planning tools, just for fun.  I really don't know from here. 

Maybe once my space is cleared and the recent fabric and pattern acquisitions are properly stored and I can breath again...inspiration will hit.

I can hope.

The trick is to stay off the fabric vendor sites.  I do want to support the businesses, but I honestly believe I could sew from my stash for like, from now on. 

Maybe I'll do a little sewing for my family.  Daughter number one...the expecting grandson number one in November, and daughter number two has some gaps in her closet that I could perhaps fill.  I think they're both past the 'oh, no, not MOMS SEWING' stage, lol.