Monday, April 14, 2014

Refashioned Top Tutorial: ModCloth Knockoff

Here is a follow up to my refashioned outfit post with a tutorial on how to create the Modcloth top knockoff.

This top was inspired from this Modcloth top: 

and began like this: 

Step 1. Find a button up blouse in a couple sizes larger than you normally wear. Begin by cutting off the collar, sleeves (2 inches below the seam to allow enough fabric for your new sleeve), cut out the shoulder pads if your top has them, and finally carefully cut up the side seams.

Step 2. Put the top on backwards with the buttons in the back. Use a piece of chalk to draw in a new neckline. Take the top off and cut out close to the new neckline, leaving a small seam allowance.

3. Step 3: **This step is not shown but I used bias tape to finish my new neckline.** Next take the top and put it on yourself or a dress form inside out. Pin up the sides to create your new side seams. You should pin from the sleeve edge all the way down the side. Make sure you do not make the top fitted. You want to have a blousy effect and you will be pulling in the waist with shirring. Sew the new side seam. Then try your top on right side out and draw a chalk line where you want your waist shirring to begin. 

Step 4: Take off the top and begin drawing a line all the way around the top using your waistline mark. My mark was about 8.5 inches up from the bottom edge. However, when I went around to the back I noticed it would be too close to the button, so I drew my line at the 9 inch mark instead. Once you have a line drawn all the way around your top, thread your machine with elastic thread in the bobbin. (You will have to hand wind elastic thread onto your bobbin.) Begin stitching all the way around on top of the line you drew. I pull the fabric somewhat taut as I sew this line. It will begin shirring up if it is done correctly. Once I get back to the beginning of the line, I simply keep stitching in a spiral pattern to create another line 1/4 inch below or above my first line. Keep stitching around the top until you have the desired effect. My top has 5 lines of shirred stitching. 

Step 5: Finish your sleeve hem. You can either fold up the fabric 1/4 inch, press, and 1/4 inch again, press and stitch or use bias tape created from the left over sleeve fabric to finish the edge. I actually did it both ways and I am not sure which I prefer. They were both somewhat difficult with the slinky fabric so I would say go with whatever your preferred method is for finishing a sleeve hem and take your time. Finally, we need to cut out the bow for the front. Use the collar you cut off in step 1 and cut it into two pieces. I cut one smaller than the other. One piece ended up being about 9 inches long and the other about 7 inches.

Step 6: Cut a rounded bow shape out of your two strips of fabric. Turn them inside out, placing right sides together and stitch close to the edge leaving an opening to turn them right side out. Turn it right side out and top stitch it all the way around to close the opening. Next stack the smaller bow on top of the larger one and pinch it together in the center. Hand stitch the cinch in the center to hold it together. Then use an extra piece of fabric (I used a small rectangle shape from the original sleeve cuff) and wrap it around the center of the bow over your hand stitching. Hand stitch it together in the back of the bow.

Step 7: Pin the bow to the front of the top and hand stitch it in place. Finally I added a snap closure at the back top edge of my blouse. And that's it. You have a new fun top! 

It really was an easy refashion and it only took about an hour. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at 2ndstorysewing at gmail dot com.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Refashion Challenge

This week over at Skirt Fixation the designers are focused on refashioning. For the sew along I decided to submit an outfit that was all refashioned, except for the shoes!

To begin there was the Polka dot top. This refashion was inspired by this top from ModCloth:

I will be providing the tutorial in a follow up post (UPDATE: Refashion Post Here) because it would make this one way too long, but it was actually fairly quick and easy and I am happy with the results. 

The sweater was just a quick snip and sew project. I simply cut the center of the sweater open and used bias tape to make a finished hem on both openings...viola, easy cardigan! 

The maternity jeans I am wearing were regular flared leg jeans that were way too long. I took off two inches from the hem and then made them into skinny jeans. And finally, I had some fabric samples that were given to me and I remade them into a small leather clutch. I will also show that one more in detail in a follow up post because I am running out of time to submit my link...yikes, gotta get going! 

The clutch was made out of these: 

I will follow up soon with tutorials :) 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Simplicity 1614 and a Budding Belly

This week Skirt Fixation is kicking off a new sew along and designer contest on their blog. The first theme was Nature Inspired and I thought it would be fun to sew along. I brought the nature into my look through my choice of fabric.

I have had this blue and gold floral cotton print in my stash for about a year. I found it at a flea market and have always loved it but didn't quite know what to make with it. Unfortunately there was not much of it, so I had to get a little creative with this top and only use it for the front piece and back strap. I gambled and mixed fabric types on this top by using a navy knit as the back fabric. I am happy to say it ended up working out pretty well and I love the soft drape the knit adds to the top, but it does pull a bit funny with the strap.

The pattern is Simplicity 1614 and I mixed two views together. I used view D in the front and View A for the back. I cut a 10 at the top and graded it out past the size 12 at the hip. I wanted to add a little extra wiggle room for my growing tummy (We are expecting our 3rd later this year). I messed up when piecing the back together so, I pretty much did not follow the instructions, and needed to cut things here and there to even them up and in the end it worked out. 

The inside is finished with bias tape I made from the left over floral fabric. 

I love that I can wear this loose during the summer and stay cool or layer it with a belt and cardigan for the cooler days we are still experiencing here (it snowed again!!). I am glad I finally put this pattern to use. It was a quick and easy sew (well, except when you decide to mix everything up and do it your own way.) And I would definitely recommend it to others and will be making more to add to my wardrobe for summer. I think I want to make one all out of knit and see if it works out- the soft and loose look it would create would be nice for the continuing expansion :)