Saturday, 14 February 2015

Some refashioning

I don't know if you've heard of the One year one outfit challenge being hosted by Nicki of 'This is Moonlight blog, but it's got me to thinking how I can be a bit more sustainable with my sewing! I'm not going to take part in the challenge officially because I do not feel in a place where I can apply myself completely to the idea, but I think that it's a brilliant way to get people thinking about how and why they do things. With this in mind the following garments in this post are all made up of refashioned, vintage or scrap material.

This first item was previously this Maya dress. I think I only wore it once, maybe twice as a dress, but the sleeves were just too tight as they were and needed to be shortened to the point where they were wide enough to be comfortable. I did this alteration, but then whilst I was cutting away I also considered how much more wearable it would be if were a top, so chopped off the bottom too and re-hemmed it. I have been wearing it for two days straight now, so I would say that this was an alteration definitely worth doing. In fact the pictures are of me today in my 'actual' outfit!

I think I'll apply some of these changes to future Maya tops as I really like the slightly longer sleeve (it is approximately 2" longer than the pattern). The neckline is also slightly higher because I bias bound it without chopping off the seam allowance, which just gives it a slightly more masculine edge. I can't for the life of me work out why I hadn't made myself a chambray version already!!!

This is  dodgy Instagram picture of it layed out flat. I neglected to photograph it properly and now it's all wrinkly. I really like the plain bottom too and can see myself doing this again, as I sometimes feel annoyed with button downs and the way they peek open at the bottom. I think it's because I'm scared of revealing wobbly bits!

This next one is a special one, because it was made with some vintage fabric sent to me all the way from Australia. I've made friends with some lovely people recently and Jen is just the sweetest. The bib, sleeves and back yoke are also pretty special, because they're refashioned from a denim shirt that I used to wear a lot when I was breast feeding my son. Silly to get attached, but I am and the fit was never quite right on the hips. I felt sad to cut it up, because it seems so wearable, but it was too snug and I have been avoiding wearing it lately.

Here I am with the dribbling little man in our old flat! I seriously used to wear this aaaaallll the time.

Anyway, so this is my second incarnation of the Merchant and Mills dress shirt. The first one is here, but I ignored my advice on the first go and put in the back yoke gathers and I just don't like them! I removed the front pleat, which I do like (although had to sew a deeper seam on the bottom of the bib to make it sit flat) and narrowed the sleeves a touch, because they looked too gapey on this version

I really like the denim details and the re-using of the button placket (doing that again), so a success!

Last, but not least are some undies. I used the free pattern from SoZo. These are great and I'd already made a test pair from scraps to make sure they are comfortable to wear. I cut up an old nighty (stripes), a t-shirt and used scraps to make six pairs. I've currently only sewn three as they take a lot longer than I imagined, but the other three are sat by my machine and I plan to just make a pair every now and then. I am so proud of these even though they are so simple. Re-using old t-shirts feels fab, as there are few other uses that I can think of other than for use as rags! Maybe my imagination is not as developed as I hoped!!!

Overall I am not sure that sewing is a particularly sustainable past-time unless you are committed to using only vintage fabrics, but I am going to try and be less wasteful. I guess opening up the discussion and getting people thinking is a good start isn't it? Well done Nicki for coming up with the challenge!


Kathryn said...

These are all brilliant refashions! I really need to give the pants patterns a go - Jenna's pic on instagrAm started me thinking on it & you've encouraged me more! I love your maya shirt too. I've also been thinking a lot about sustainability, especially after reading how so much of what we donate of charity shops is shipped & sold abroad thereby damaging textile industries & tailors in other countries too - I never knew this before! Going to try & use up more scraps & old clothes for sewing if I can now.

Marilla Walker said...

Definitely give the pants a go! I can honestly say that I will not be buying any more pants!!! I saw that documentary about the donated clothes going abroad and I was shocked by the damage to their local textile industry. I still donate regularly, but only if I do not think I can do anything else with an item myself. Kids clothes are easy to donate, as they are too small to re-use and I feel they sell quite well anyway!

Zoe said...

Aww, that's so nice that you have found a way to give new life to your breast-feeding shirt! like the Maya top with lover sleeves too. Nice variation xxx

Jen said...

I always love the thought that people give new life to makes that just haven't worked for them as they were. I really need to do this myself with some of my previous makes that never get worn.

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Zoe and Jen! Always nice to breath new life into the unwanted and so nice to have you to Lovely ladies in my humble abode! ;-)

nicola jarvis said...

Hi I saw your comment ably children's clothes. I love the bright colours and and patterns of children's clothing and refashioned several skirts using baby or children items. I integrated different fabrics and created a layered skirt. I even left the detail on such as cute pockets and buttons or braiding. It feels very individual this way