Wednesday, 5 December 2018

A 4-in-1 remake roundup

 I've always considered taking pictures to be the bottleneck when it came to creating new blog posts. Apparently that's not entirely true, as I've had these pictures waiting for ages. So, what kept me from blogging for so long? Honestly? I sewed myself to sleep!

It's not that I didn't sew at all in recent months. But my choices were boring, like I was sewing on automatic pilot. Once I realised what was happening I made a few changes that will have a positive impact on my sewing for the coming years, but that's a subject for another post. For now I do have a few of those boring things to share. After all I use this blog to keep track of what I made, and when, and for the sake of keeping it real I think it's best to document less inspired moments as well.

So let's get this out of the way!

In June I made a Deer and Doe Plantain, a t-shirt that is fitted at the shoulders and flares at the hips. I had used the pattern a few times and wanted to recreate the look of one of my favourite versions that I made in January 2015. That tee has been in heavy rotation since then and can no longer be worn in public as it's almost see-through now.

Here's a close up of the fabric. A sturdy textured knit, perhaps a bit too stiff do do justice to the flared hipline, but all in all a versatile garment that makes retiring its predecessor much easier.

Next: a refashioning project.

ConcordTShirt in the Portuguese mountains

I'd been wanting to make a navy and white striped Cashmerette Concord T-shirt but just couldn't find the right fabric. One day I discovered this monstrosity in the back of my closet:

A long forgotten RTW top with a neckline that would only look good when the ties were pulled so tight that the V ended up at belly button level. But the fabric was exactly what I had in mind and the top was tunic length, so plenty of fabric to play with. For a short moment I considered keeping as much of the top intact as I could, but I ended up taking it apart to start from scratch. The sewing was horrible! 

RTW hem on the left, hand stiched hem on the right.

I cut off just enough from the bottom to create a neckband (navy on the outside, half white/half navy on the inside) and ended up with what turned out to be one of my favourite travel shirts.

Working with the Concord pattern reminded me of the time I used this pattern to make sleepwear.
Apparently our high summer temperatures were killing my creativity as not only did I use the same pattern, I used the same print again as well.

In order to prevent a total deja vu effect I used a different colourway of the fabric, drafted cap sleeves and used matching lingerie elastic not only to the neckline but also along the sleeves and hem.

The last remake of this summer is another Helen's Closet Blackwood cardigan.

It was my fourth version of this pattern and I call it Murphy. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The fabric, a lovely cotton jersey, had a faded line down the middle. I was so happy to finally find the shade of pink I was looking for that I failed to notice this flaw. I managed to mostly work around this issue, only to discover later that there was barely enough stretch for this pattern. And it is wrinkling like crazy. Then, right in the middle of this project, my serger knife hit a pin so Murphy's insides looked wonky and frayed.

By this time the only thing that kept me going was that gorgeous pink.

When I first made this floral Blackwood I wasn't too happy with the horizontal seam hitting me at the widest part of my high hip. I considered making the band the same width as the front bands, but suspected the counterweight was needed for a correct hang. So I kept the band at the original width and added 7 cm length to the bodice. Guess what? That looked odd. When I asked Mr Foxgloves for his opinion, without mentioning the length issue, he took one glance, raised an eyebrow and said: 'That cardigan is either too long or too short.' I did not want to restart the now blunt and misbehaving serger so I simply folded the hem band over and hand stitched it to the seam, thus enclosing the frayed edges.
Smaller hem band, same weight, shorter length. Still far from perfect, but much better.
And pink :)

Next up: a few new patterns, sewing for men, Christmas dresses, a brand new sewing machine and exciting sewing plans.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. refashioning that striped top was quite a feat but so worthwhile - it looks perfect now.

    1. Thanks. Still confused how this ended up in my closet in the first place!

  2. I'm glad you persevered with the pink cardi the colour looks so good on you.

    Your photos from Portugal make me want to go there. I'd love to do a kayak trip down the Douro. Can only dream!

    1. We've stayed a few days in the Douro valley and it's breathtakingly beautiful! A kayak trip with overnight stays in the small port houses located on the borders of the Douro would be a dream trip indeed!

  3. A nice collection of garments. I love the pink cardi, the colour is beautiful.

    1. Thank you. That pink is the best feature of this cardigan!

  4. You hit two of my favorite things in this post - stripes and PINK! Looking forward to hearing about your future sewing plans - sounds intriguing!

    1. Pink and stripes for the win! I have a few good reasons to make some changes to my wardrobe and I'm having fun with the planning part!

  5. You have some great pieces here, super versatile and wearable. I totally understand your words on blogging except that photographs really are the roadblock for me, so good for you for catching up.

    1. I don't like taking blog pictures, and they sure can Hold things up. Especially during winter as it's either too dark or too cold and I'm not good at taking indoor pictures. I just wasn't too excited about this batch, which apparently can be a roadblock too!

  6. That was a great refashioning project. I had a lot of clothes to refashion but felt totally overwhelmed so donated the vast bulk of them - I hope someone else gets good use from them - I certainly wasn't.