The Refashioners 2015 Contest Submission

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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 Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

 

I wanted a fairly simple silhouette for my garment so that I could do some interesting piecing with the fabric.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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 Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The original sleeve placket from the cuffs became a secret detail on the inside.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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 Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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!

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

I also wanted to learn to do bound seams for the insides of the sleeves.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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 Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challege 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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?

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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!

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

How about some outside shots?  Let’s do the calm ones first.  🙂

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

What do you think?  Reversible?  I’ve had several people say yes.

And now for how I really feel about this project:

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

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.  🙂

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36 responses »

    • Ha ha! That is awesome! Thanks! I thought of you when I was making this since you are such an amazing refashioner yourself. You should check out some of the blog posts they did at the Makery. I think you would be inspired.

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    • Thanks, Kris! This project did feel more artistic than some of the others–lots of fun problem-solving (and sometimes frustrating problem-solving, but with a good end). Thanks for cheering me on. I appreciate it.

      Like

    • Thank you so much for your compliments! I didn’t intend for it to be reversible, but so many people have said what you said (and I do love the inside) that I will probably wear it both ways. It’s so great to have the ideas and encouragement of the sewing community. 🙂

      Like

  1. I simply loved how you handled and “hacked” the original pattern. Using recycled shirts is amazing as well as the outcome itself. I am really inspired to try this piecing method on a jacket i hope to sew. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Pingback: The Refashioners 2015: and the winner is….. | makery

    • Thanks, Kirsten! I was sort of in a sewing zone for a long time while I was working on it. I had to force myself to pay attention to the real world from time to time. 😉 I’ll have to bring it to Makers Night sometime. 🙂

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  3. Seriously… amazing job ! I want to do that now. 😀
    I just might have to.
    Kudos… personally, I choose you for the winning project…. I can only imagine how hard it was to choose the winner. SO many good “makes”. Yours is a style I could and would personally wear and wear again.

    Like

    • Thank you so much! That’s really flattering. I’d love to see your jacket if you decide to go for it. You could link to it here.

      Portia did say she really couldn’t decide for a long time, which was nice to know.

      Like

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