End of Semester and a Refashion

Phew!  I’ve been a bit busy lately.  I’ve just finished all my exams for my first semester of nursing and I finally can do what’s really important – sew!

I’ve actually made a surprising amount in the last few weeks.  It turns out my form of procastination is now sewing.  A giant exam tomorrow that I think I might fail?  Sounds like a perfect time to whip up a(nother) Scout Tee!  Need a 10 minute study break?  Hmm, it’ll take at least 3 hours to refashion this men’s shirt – make that a 3 hour break.

You can imagine how much study I’ve gotten done.

But I digress.

Like a lot of people I’ve been following Miss P’s “The Refashioners” series and I was completely inspired by Tasha’s skirt-from-men’s-shirt refashion.  So I went down to my favourite op shop and started scouting through the men’s section.  (As a side note, I’ve found it very difficult to look for items to refashion at the op shop.  I find there’s always a sweet old lady volunteering who tells me nicely that I’m looking in the men’s section, or the plus-sized section.  And then it’s just awkward when I try to explain what I’m doing.)checkered-placket

Anyway, I found a nice XXL shirt for $2.50, took it home, washed it and hung it inside to dry (it was raining).  I’d picked a very similar shirt to the inspiration one (red plaid) and was pretty set to be a complete copy cat.

And despite all my intentions of following the great instructions Tasha posted, the longer it hung there, the more I saw it as a blouse.

Yeah.

So, one day in the heights of my procastination, I took out my Colette Sorbetto pattern and turned it into a top.

I’ve always really liked the look of buttons down the back of a blouse, a la Tilly’s Mathilde blouse or the Datura by Deer and Doe.  I’ve had vague plans of adding a placket and back buttons to the Sorbetto at one time or another, but never really got round to it.

But, here I had a premade placket, premade buttonholes (I’m yet to master the one-step buttonholes on my Bernina – really, you’d think it would be pretty easy, given that I barely have to do anything) and I even reused the existing hem.checkered-back

So here it is!

checkered-front

It’s a tad more sack-like than I would have liked – a drapier fabric would pr  obably be better.  But meh, I’m happy.  It looks good tucked in, which is how I wear most of my tops these days anyway.

My boyfriend told me it looks like I’m wearing a tablecloth.  It’s a testament to how much I like this blouse that I told him I look fabulous and not like a table.  🙂

I made an adjustment this time too – I added 3″ to the bottom.  My last Sorbetto was much too short for me to wear comfortably over shorts.  This one is a fraction long though, so I’ll probably just add 2″ next time.

Oh, and I still don’t particularly like the front pleat, so I skipped that again.

So, despite the fact that this is a hundred miles away from my original plans, I really do like it.  And I’ll probably end up doing the skirt refashion at some time or another – I still love the look of it!

A Lacy Meringue

In about October last year, I bought The Colette Sewing Handbook.  It was about the time I was just starting to sew and read sewing blogs and everyone was raving about it.  Well, I bought it.  I thumbed through it and I oohed and aahed at all the patterns and used some of the instructions for techniques.

I made plans for all the things I was going to sew from the patterns.

And then I didn’t touch it for 8 months.

But, finally, the Meringue Skirt is made!

I’d traced it off months ago – and the size was much bigger than I actually am.  This is interesting, because I’m actually bigger now than I was three months ago.  Clearly, my measuring left a little to be desired.  But I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to retrace, so just made it up anyway.

I used a red organic cotton from Fabric.com.  I’d bought it originally to make a second Miette skirt – I had (and still do have) visions of a fire-engine red Miette skirt.  But when the fabric arrived, it was more a pale red and not at all what I had in mind.

In that same order I’d also bought some fuchsia lace for my Meringue.  I was planning to take it with me to Spotlight and find an appropriately coloured underlining.  Colour matching online seemed doomed to failure.

But, despite the difference in colours, I quite liked how the “red” cotton looked underneath the hot pink lace.  I confirmed with my mum that they didn’t clash too badly (you know sometimes you can’t quite tell if something is incredibly fabulous or revolting?  Yeah, it was one of those) and set it aside for the Meringue.

pink-meringue-up-closeThree months later…

It was on my sewing list for my holidays.  But I was over studying (recurring theme?) and wanted to sew.

So I put on my Les Miserables DVD (erm… twice) and got to work!

I started at about 6.30 and by 9.30pm had a finished skirt.

pink-meringue

Tada!

I know heaps of people in blogland hate facings with a passion that I don’t really understand.  Well, I understand it even less now I found something utterly awesome to do with them.  Embroidery!  It’s like my “Handmade” tags, only with a lot more class.  Added bonus – it makes it easier to tell which is the front and which is the back.

All I did was write “Made by Laura” in my regular handwriting, not being perfectionist at all, grabbed some floss that sort of coordinated with the underlining, if not with the lace and got to it!  It only took about half an hour – my embroidery isn’t terribly precise either.

pink-meringue-facing

It’s actually the first Colette pattern I’ve properly used (with my Sorbettos, I didn’t really read the instructions.  I never thought I’d see that day come, but there you go).  And wow, it was fabulous!  The instructions were an absolute breeze and even the one bit I found a little tricky – attaching the facing to the invisible zipper – was easy peasy.

I’ve also noticed that my quality of sewing has gone up lately.  I guess I just have a better hang of things now.  When I first started sewing, I left finishing my seams til last.  Um.  No, fool!  But comparing the insides of this to some of my earlier makes is quite gratifying.  The side seams are french seams, the facing is pinked and I catch-stitched the bottom facing to the underlining.  For the first time ever, my catch-stitching looked semi-decent.  Woot!

pink-meringue-insides

And added bonus – even though I sewed it in too large a size, it still fits, it’s just a bit more comfy.  The kind of skirt you could eat a big meal in AND still look polished.

I like this skirt – it’s a few inches shorter than I usually wear and sits a little lower, but in a completely good way.  It’s so cute!

Now… where does one wear a hot pink scalloped lace skirt?