refashion lessons learned

This blue top was made from a finer knit fabric than the wrap dress in the previous post. At first I planned to reduce the waterfall effect of the original cardigan, shorten the length to remove the points, and reduce the width at the shoulders. Well, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious… soooo I removed the set-in sleeves, trimmed the shoulders, took in the side seams to adjust for the now widened arm scye and re-cut the sleeves to fit but it didn’t work out too well. The shoulders and sleeves were fine but now it was a little less roomy across the back – I had forgotten to consider that altering the shoulder width and reshaping the arm scye would also narrow the width of the back. I then convinced myself that it would still be wearable if I wore slinky sleeveless vests underneath so I went ahead and pinned and basted my proposed refashioning for the hem and front edges. Unfortunately it now looked Very Boring Indeed instead of just Slightly Dated But With Possibilities. Another top was beginning to look like a better option and this time, if the refashioning failed, it had only cost me £4, several hours of dithering, and some lessons learned the hard way.

To hang on to what was left of my sanity a little longer, I unpicked every single seam whilst semi-watching three episodes of Suits, at the end of which a raglan sleeve top was climbing rapidly to the top of the possibles list. I found excellent instructions from Autumn on how to draft a raglan sleeve from a standard tee shirt and downloaded her breezy tee pattern to work from. Thanks to Autumn, the raglan sleeves ended up being the easiest part of this refashion project. A godet inserted into each side seam addressed the problem of the front and back pieces being slightly narrower than desired due to the limited fabric available. I couldn’t add any length to the body which is a little shorter than I’d like but it’s still a decent length. I increased the sleeves length by adding a band of scrap fabric cut cross-wise and then added a cuff for visual interest and even more length. The cuffs and neck facing were cuttings from the hem of another knit fabric dress I had shortened previously. The photo shows my third (and best) neck facing thanks to Sarai Mitnick’s Colette patterns blog, where I found brilliant instructions on various methods for attaching neck bindings.






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