Sunday, April 28, 2013

Refashion: Girl's Summer Top

Hello all! I'm feeling pretty cheerful today, because this morning I sewed on the very last press stud (popper? snap?) on the last of my allotted The King and I costumes. I've absolutely loved making them, but it's always nice to tick a major project off the list, plus Me Made May seems to be just galloping towards us all. At least I can say I haven't done any panic sewing! (Mind you, there are a couple more days...) I'll post photos of the King in his regalia after the show opens on Friday - since it's not my own personal project I don't feel quite right doing show-and-tell before then.

Since that's been taking up all available free time, I thought I'd post one of my favourite refashions so far. I did this one late last year, about a month or before I starting blogging. It started out life as this skirt:

Very cute and summery, yes; lovely print, absolutely. But, in case you can't tell on the dress form, it's very short. And frankly, I have neither the insouciance, the youth or the legs to carry it off successfully! So with a bit of reworking it became a summery top for my daughter:

It was an eight panel, lined skirt, with elastic at the waist and shirring from waist to hip. The nice thing about this style is that there's plenty of fabric. Even better, it had a drawstring at the waist, ergo the straps for the top were already done!

I started by taking out the black cotton lining, and then cut down the sides to make two four panel pieces. I kept the waist band elastic and the shirring in one of these, and unpicked it all from the other. From the unpicked piece I also separated one of the panels. The four panel elasticated half formed the back of the top. (see below)

I used one of Beth's singlet tops to make a bodice pattern and cut this out of the single panel. Even though this was cut on the cross grain, given the fabric overall has a chevron pattern it didn't look out of place. (This may not have worked with a very directional pattern, I'm not sure.). I used the original lining to line it, and used the drawstring, as said, for straps. Those little buckles and rings that make straps adjustable were really hard to come by; I ended up taking them off another top I had waiting in the to-be-refashioned pile. T

The bodice piece was sewn to the unpicked three panel section, which I gathered lightly to fit. A length of black crochet lace gave a nice finish to the seam, then I sewed the front to the back.

I'm not sure if it's a bit cheeky, but I was able to position the skirt's original embroidered logo in the lower left corner of the top too...

This was actually a really painless refashion, and my girl loves it! It got a lot of wear during our ridiculously hot summer. One advantage of making it for a pre-teen is that there's no need to worry about covering up the back of a bra. It's not a low back by any means, but the empire line at the front continues around to the back at the same height, so if you were making this in an adult size, the single panel may have to accommodate both front and back bodice pieces. Unless going braless is your thing, of course. Just a thought. :)

As I said, I haven't done any MMM panic sewing yet - no time - so instead, I've done a little panic buying. (I guess the whole aspect of MMM helping to evaluate the holes in your handmade wardrobe is already taking effect!)  These are from Style Arc, one of my favourite indie pattern companies:

I'm going to need pants - sorry, trousers. (I forget that means something different for lots of you!) I had a pretty near perfect experience fit-wise with my last pair of Style Arc pa...uh, trousers, so I'm looking forward to these, which are a cigarette or slimline style. I very much like that they can be worn with heels or flats (let's hear it for versatility!) and am hoping they'll fill the void left by forsaking the skinny jeans for much of the month.  I also really like the look of this tee / dress, which if successful, will mean I can haul the skinnies back into rotation a bit more.

Also, and very much in the cake category (or possibly even more basic - "bread", perhaps??) I got this ponte pants (sorry) or leggings pattern. It won't make a spectacular outfit component - unless I can track down the ski-style print I have in my head - but it will be extremely useful. Besides, I like bread... AND I got a free pattern - this blouse. I have a few ideas for this...

I think these are doable. Part of my MMM pledge was to make four queued projects, so even though technically these weren't in the queue at the time, I'll think I'll bump them up to the front. It's the making four new garments that was the main point, anyhow.

It's been so fun reading about other people's preparations. It's a great challenge, isn't it? And it's lovely to know there are so many others taking part in it with you. How are your preparations going?

On a final note, look what I saw when I opened my bedroom curtains this morning! (it's a bit fuzzy, because I had to zoom in a fair bit.) We've been living in the country - well, the outskirts of the country - for nearly two years now, but I still have enough of the suburbanite in my soul to get excited by unexpected wildlife. :)

Happy (panic) sewing, and have a wonderful week :)

Danielle  oxo


  1. That refashion is AMAZING! I love how you make it sound so easy to put together!
    I too am looking forward to MMM 13, although I've kept my goal challenging yet achievable, I too am starting to see holes in the plan!

  2. The refashion is brilliant and your daughter looks fab!

    Your plans definitely sound achievable, and I like the look of your patterns. I'm not familiar with Style Arc so will need to check them out! Can't wai to see your versions! And I panic bought yet more fabric on Friday! So you are being remarkably self restrained by contrast!

  3. Great refashion! The fabric is very pretty and I love that style of top in summer.
    Heh, my last blogpost was about sewing bread&butter (instead of cake) garments, too. I like that others are having the same association. :)
    A kangaroo in front of your window! o_O I'm a bit jealous. We only have magpies nesting in front of our window...