Category Archives: The Refashioners 2015

So Close! So Very, Very Close!

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Image from www.makery.uk

Well, my friends, you may discern by the title of this post that I did not win the Refashioners 2015 contest.  I lost by a very narrow margin.  I’m certainly sad not to have won, but if I had to lose, I did lose out to a pretty cool project.  The winner, Mirjam Liechti, made a pair of PANTS out of a single shirt.  And they fit well and looked cool.  She also made a pretty impressive shirt as an additional entry.  You can read the whole thing over at the Makery blog.

Thanks so much to Portia of Makery and all those who helped to sponsor the contest.  It was such a great experience, and I’m very, very glad I participated.  It was so encouraging to know that I got so close.  I’m happy to have pushed myself, learned new techniques, made a jacket I love, and “met” so many new people on my blog as you all came over to check out my project.  Plus, it was fun to fully immerse myself in this creative endeavor.  Thanks also to everyone who helped me think through the process of creating my entry.  Putting out creative work and getting positive feedback is so valuable and always encourages me to make more.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

I’m Featured on Makery!

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Hi, Readers!  If you read the last post, you’ll know I’m currently entered in a competition called The Refashioners 2015.  The contest closed on Sunday, and now we are all waiting to see who will win.  Along with many other entries, you can see my jacket posted on the Makery blog.  The decision is supposed to be announced on Friday, and I’m really hoping to win!  Win or lose, though, I’m a better seamstress with much more knowledge than I had before the competition (and an awesome jacket).

For anyone who is new, here is the jacket I entered, made out of four men’s button down shirts:

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

Front

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

Back

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

Inner lining, front

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

Inner lining back

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

Front, showing inner lining

To see all the entries, you can look at the Refashioners 2015 Pinterest board here.  Wish me luck!

 

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.  🙂