I'm particularly fond of refashioning old clothes in to new garments to wear. So when I stumbled across Merricks Art, I thought I had found my sister from another mister.
There are a few pieces of my wardrobe I plan on refashioning. I finally set to work on the first one. I recieved a hand-me-down cardigan/scarf thingy...I don't really understand them.
While I felt awkward trying to wear it, the knit was so soft, and I really dug the thick stripes. It had to be transformed. I originally thought - skirt - but changed my mind since horizontal stripes should never go around my lower half. Plus, a knit skirt like that would get stretched out immediately after putting it on - Frump City, no bueno.
I went at this sans pattern, which is a huge challenge for me. I also wanted this top to be a boatneck. I had never made anything with a boatneck before, and here I was going at it without a pattern.
I cut the wings off this sweater - I don't know what else to call them. To prevent the knit from unraveling, I zig-zag stitched the raw edge.
I didn't plan on the zig-zag causing the edges to stretch and ruffle.
I wasn't pleased about this, but I pressed on. I pinned up the edges, and basted in about 5 inches, so I could gather the sides.
I gathered the basted edges, then sewed the raw edges down, turned it right-side-out, and tried it on.
It felt really flimsy, and I had not gathered enough on the sides - the boatneck was more like 80's off-the-shoulder. I tried it on my dressform to assess the situation.
Not only was it flimsy, but I really didn't like the black hem stitching that was showing through the grey knit. I tried it on about 12 more times before deciding it would not do.
I cut off the top grey stripe, and started over with the black stripe on top. Instead of gathering the shoulders, I pinned some pleats to bring in the fabric, and to reduce the bulk. To stablize the knit, I sewed bias tape to the right side of the raw edge, then folded it open and that became my seam allowance.
Thinking of the boatneck concept, I wanted to make sure the top would fit over my head, and not look too confining, so I left the back piece with a bit less pleating. In hindsight, I should have just made the same amount of pleats, because it didn't look right with that extra few inches of fabric going around the back of my neck -- due to the bias tape, it was too rigid to drape or lay flat.
I sewed about 5.5 inches from the outside shoulder to the opening of the neckhole. I ended up hand-stitching some additional pleats to take in the excess fabric around the back of the neck.
Once I was satisfied with the neck opening, I topstitched both sides, tacking down the bias tape, and giving it a polished look.
I stitched up the sides, and presto! An awesome new look just in time for summer!
Check me out, trying to be discreet with my fancy new camera remote -- it's hard to take a shot without pointing that thing directly at the camera!