Thursday, March 13, 2008

Viva La Spring!

Spring arrives in just over a week and I've been haunted by some sweet little floral fabrics that have been screaming for a destiny. Maybe they're vintage, maybe not. I scored them at estate sale I hit a couple years ago. Anyway, the other day inspiration decided to play hookie. So I went digging around in my pattern box to see if I could find something to get myself going. I came across a McCall's pattern for some cute little tops (M5388). Just what I needed to get things rolling.
First, I cut the pattern length for a dress instead of a top. When the dress was finished, I thought it looked like an oldy nightgown so I went back to work. I added a ruffle, made a belt and finished it off with a big button. This was the final look:

But wait there's more, lots more floral fabrics, haunting and haunting me, so now what? I didn't want two of the same dress. So I decided to further modify the pattern. I made only the pattern front part twice (once inverted) and started off on another dress. I also eliminated the sleeves this time around. Instead of a ruffle, I added some recycled curtain sheer fabric at the bottom and a little ribbon trim. I made my own bias tape from the fabric to finish the armholes (which had to be enlarged by the way).
The resulting dress was cute hanging naturally, but still a bit frumpy for my taste so I made a little apron instead of a belt this time and this is the resulting dress:

After I had finished, I was walking past a bag of clothing destined for the Goodwill when I spotted a little sweater poking out that was the same color as the trim of my new dress.
It was my daughters from some years ago a girls small sz 7-8. I wear a misses medium myself. But, being that it was a lightweight ribbed sweater, it was quite stretchy. I started chop, chop, chopping to see if I could make it work as a shrug.
Yes! I removed the collar, cut the sweater shorter, cut the sleeves short and split them on the underside. I trimmed the corners of the sleeves to a rounder shape and took the whole thing to the serger. It worked great!

So now when the weather warms up, I'll be ready to roll.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Projects and Questions

This is a simple sundress I made yesterday from a variety of materials. The top was previously a 70's mens shirt. The old shirt had a few rust spots from hanging on a hanger but I liked the fabric so I've been holding onto it until I could put it to use. The waistband and ruffle were once a 70's lounge dress. Again a really nice fabric, but the former utilization was well, fugly. The skirt portion is just some pretty cotton fabric I had laying around.
On another note, my partner and I have been thinking of expanding and maybe even changing our operations at the Green Closet.
Recycling textiles and clothing is very important but it is only one part of the bigger reuse picture. With that in mind, we've been thinking of making the GC more of a community sustainability center that includes recycled art in the mix. Mostly, but not limited to functional recycled art like furniture, lighting etc. Is it possible?
We were thinking of creating a coop of recycled artists and having regular gallery events. I've seen some pretty amazing works around and I think that there should be a place where these artist can be seen.
There are many places that are recycling clothing but few (if any) that are showcasing the many re-uses of trash as art in form and function.
Is it possible to merge the two? I wonder. Must we sacrifice one to support the other? Any thoughts? We welcome and encourage your comments and suggestions.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The price of oil

Today the price of oil continues it's climb crossing over $107 a barrel. It ain't a pretty picture, what's on the horizon for our economy I fear. Maybe the bright side to all the mayhem is that more folks will take to the reduce, reuse and recycle lifestyle.
I made a little sun dress today but blogger's not uploading photos at the moment so I'll have to post that later.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Please, please, please take a few minutes from your busy day to watch this incredible 20 minute film. Then, link it on your own blog or pass it around to everyone you know. The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard is a short documentary on about the production, consumption and disposal of all that stuff we use everyday. It is very educational but done in a fun and easy to understand way.

Honestly I could never better describe why I do what I do. In my mind it even helps to explain why we've set up the Green Closet like a boutique instead of a typical resale shop. We wanted to take the second-best mindset out of the resale shopping experience. Recycled is the good way, the best way and reconstructed fashions are the bestest way of all!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blue Dress Redo

Here is the finished product from the blue vintage poly dress I started with yesterday.
My dress form has a shorter torso than I do. Which makes it appear as though the blue band sits at the waist. In actuality, it sits just below the breast in an empress style and the hemline is just above the knee.
I'm off to start another project.
Cheers and happy sewing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Process

It's late in Vermont and I've been working on another dress similar in original style to yesterdays project. (A simple shift)
It begins with a vintage boxy long sleeve poly dress. (I've already removed the collar and sleeves)

Next I've cut the sleeves short and gathered them at the top. I'll add elastic inside the bottom of the shortened sleeve for a puffy finish. Next, I gather the dress under each breast. I cut a few inches from the bottom of the dress to both shorten the length and give me the fabric for the empress waist detail. I will place that just over the breast gathers. The finished dress will look something like this:

I would have just posted when the dress was completed, but I realized all my navy thread is at the shop with my other machine. ( don't you just hate when that happens?) So I thought I'd just post the process for the time being.
Of course I'll post the finished project when I'm done. I still have a few more of these boxy poly dresses in waiting so there will be more style ideas to come. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A simple shift

This was a very simple refashion. The original dress was one of those frumpy vintage long sleeve & shapeless polyester frocks. The dress was too long falling well below the knee. So I removed the lavender strip from the bottom and moved it to the waistline. This gave the dress some shape and set the length just above the knee. I removed the long sleeves and cut the armholes to a more shoulder flattering shape. Viola' a comfy little shift with a vintage flare.
I just acquired a few more of these vintage doldrums, so let's see what becomes of them in the coming days.

Monday, March 3, 2008

denim & chiffon project

One pair old blue jeans
Some old yard sale chiffon
light jersey (thrifted)

Originally I envisioned something with a lot more and much chunkier denim on the top (kinda rope like), offset with the airy flow of chiffon below. But my mind was kinda cloudy about what I really wanted to do with the denim. So I ended up with some simple denim accents instead. The denim swirl accents are just strips of denim twisted and coiled.

I realized that the chiffon would be too sheer even with two layers. So, I decided I'd make a flapper-like ruffle dress and since chiffon isn't the hardiest of fabrics I used a light jersey for the core.

I made a simple slip pattern from and old slip to make the foundation. Jersey has a nice drape to it so I thought it would work well.
Then I just cut several strips from the chiffon and put a rolled hem on the edges of each strip.
I used the seams from the jeans as an embellishment over the top ruffle and as the straps. and viola' the resulting dress.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Scrappy dress

I made this scrappy dress to wear to the last fashion show. It's just a bunch of scraps and a couple of t shirts. Kinda funky, but it was fun. I wore a corset type waistbelt with it. (see photo) The corset thingy was made from the bodice (inversed) of a 1940's silk satin ball gown that I chopped up to to make the bows on this pewter silk piece in the show. There is a another huge bow in the back too sorry no photos of the back:

Anyway, I thought I better get the scrappy dress posted to the blog before I forget to log it in. I've been thinking about changing it too.

Take the Pledge, I did!

The Pledge

I, Xmas pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!

Signed Xmas.

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