It’s finally time to show you all my secret project! Are you ready? I’ve been putting a ton of time in on my submission for the 2015 Refashioners Challenge, and I finished on Tuesday morning at 1 a.m. Hooray!
Oh! You want to know what I actually made? That does seem important! Here it is: I made a jacket using Simplicity 1699 as my base pattern.
The challenge was to make something out of a men’s button down shirt. Several bloggers were asked to participate and show off their refashions. Then the contest for the general public began. I like turning old things into new things, but the original deadline wasn’t one I could meet. However…when the deadline changed to September 27, I was IN!
Now you know there must be an onslaught of pictures. Ready?
I began my process with Simplicity 1699 and four men’s button down shirts from the thrift store.
I wanted a fairly simple silhouette for my garment so that I could do some interesting piecing with the fabric.
My husband helped me take a screen shot of the line drawings on the fabric so I could draw in style lines. I lengthened the sleeves from 3/4 to long and then worked on color blocking on the body and sleeve. You can see that faintly on the tracing paper. I put a lot of thought into how the various parts would interact with one another visually from different angles.
I also decided I wanted all my seams covered in some form or other.
The original sleeve placket from the cuffs became a secret detail on the inside.
It took a little head scratching to figure out the sleeves because I also decided that I wanted to learn how to put in some exposed zippers for added interest (a.k.a. “flair”).
The pattern originally had pleats in the shoulders, which just seemed off with the look of the jacket. They always bothered me, but I didn’t know how to get rid of them. When I asked for critiques from my husband and my Moms’ Group (we’ll call them my “design group” from here on out 😉 ), they all agreed the pleats would have to go. Luckily, my friend Maggie from Pintuck & Purl knew what to do and helped me understand the steps I needed to take to chop off those pleats!
I also wanted to learn to do bound seams for the insides of the sleeves.
The sleeves were a ton of work, but I am so happy with how they came out. Look at the finished sleeve binding! I love it! I can definitely see why people love this finish in jackets.
As for the body of the jacket, I added color blocking for interest and practicality. I was worried that I might not have enough fabric in each shirt to do a solid color. I’m so glad I did the color blocking. I love how is looks and it’s so awesome when you line of those angles just right.
I also added a lining to the body, per the pattern instructions, which I did manage to get out of one shirt. I even preserved the pocket in just the right spot. It was nice to have that lining to cover all the seams in the main part of the jacket.
The back seam also required some attention when, after piecing it, I realized that the button placket on the seam did not look as cool as I’d thought it would.
My solution was to add a strip of red, which also made a nice design detail. I basted it with a washable glue stick (So awesome! You should try it!), and then topstitched it.
After some thought and discussion with my design group, I realized the front needed…something. How about some more exposed zippers?! Perfect! I was learning how to put them at an edge; why not in the middle of fabric, too?
It got pretty crazy over here. At one point, I even had two machines going so I could go back and forth between them without changing thread. I always thought that was crazy, but…it’s more like CRAZY AWESOME!
When I finally finished and cleaned up on Tuesday (not at 1 a.m.–after I had actually slept), I made myself a little pattern envelope for all my pieces. It seemed like this was now its own pattern, rather than a slightly altered version of the original.
Because I’m sure you haven’t had enough pictures yet, here are the fancy, polished-looking ones, so you can get a full view of everything.
How about some outside shots? Let’s do the calm ones first. 🙂
What do you think? Reversible? I’ve had several people say yes.
And now for how I really feel about this project:
I’m hoping to revisit that face (with happy jumping and screaming) if I win, but either way, I decided that I needed to define how this could still be successful no matter what. In order to do that, I needed to create a garment that I would love and be proud of whether or not it was chosen as the winning piece. I’m happy to say that I’ve met that goal! I really like this jacket. It’s some of my very best work. I didn’t cut corners, and I made something of a higher quality than most of my past makes, not to mention all the new skills I’ve learned. Of course, I still hope to win the contest, too. 🙂 Keep your eye on the Makery blog to see how things progress.
Oh! And of course I’ll update you, too. 🙂