Thursday, April 4, 2013

Refashion: Zoe-Style Camisole/Vest/Singlet....And Some Other Stuff

Hello again! We're back to some modern day sewing this week - a Zoe-style camisole/vest/singlet (choose your own preferred name). I say Zoe-style because after I downloaded her fantastic free pattern my computer and printer stopped speaking to each other. (Why does technology hate me? Why??) So rather than spend the day encouraging, cajoling, threatening and shrieking at machines (yes, in that order) I decided to go it alone. But since the refashion itself was totally inspired by her versions, I thought credit should be given where credit's due!

Here's where we started, my 9 year old son's Old Faithful T-shirt:

 Joel has very strong views about pretty much everything. We call him the human version of Kipling's Cat Who Walked By Himself. And one thing he's particularly particular about is clothes. I don't mean he's one of those mini-fashionistas that seem to be everywhere nowadays (and thank goodness - clothes when you're a kid should really only be to prevent pneumonia or sunstroke), I mean he knows exactly what he likes and what he will not tolerate under any circumstances. The clothes he likes he will wear into the ground, or until he can't actually get them on his body anymore . The clothes he doesn't end up being passed down in pristine condition to our youngest, who thinks it's an outstanding system.

I have to admit, I sympathise! I have plenty of things in my wardrobe I've loved for years, and the idea of giving a new lease of life to one of Joel's old favourites really appealed to me. So, despite his initial reluctance ("Can I just take it on camp first, Mum?"), he did give me permission, and off we went.

Until roughly 5 minutes before I suggested he give it to me, the sleeve hem (torn about a year ago) was hanging down in a long strip. He cut it off to try and prove it was still wearable... But Mum prevailed!

A bit of fairly informal measuring (I eyeballed another singlet of mine)  and we were ready to cut into it. It's a bit hard to tell here, but the back is cut higher than the front. After cutting I unpicked the side seams about 5cm / 2", and shaped the sides a little.

I'd found some red folded elastic to use and sewed it along the front and back necklines first, remembering to cut it a little shorter than the fabric length. Then I sewed elastic onto the body starting at the side seam, up past the front neckline, sewing it in half for the strap, and then back down past the back neckline and around to the side seam again. Then it was just a matter of resewing the upper side seams closed again. Here 'tis:

This has become my favourite summer pjs top (Apologies, but I won't be modelling this personally here because frankly after three children going braless in public is unthinkable). I really want to find some red and blue checked cotton to make some boxer shorts to match. Perfect!

Well, almost. The only hicccup with this is that the elastic I used - which I chose purely for the colour - is not, shall we say, of the highest quality. You can see below how it stretched out of shape a little at the back after being sewn. (The front looks like it has too in this shot, but I've checked and it really is because of the way it's sitting here, I promise!) But for around-the-house-jarmies, I'm ok with that.

In knitting news, I've finished the scarf I was working on:

I like this pattern very much. But then I'm a sucker for cables. And the gratifying thing about scarves is that the tension/gauge (again, pick your preferred...) is completely irrelevant, so it's kind of stress-free knitting. Which is lovely after my Still Light epic fail! I'd like to try this one in a few different yarns, I think. Maybe down the track after a few other projects...

Now that the scarf and the Sew For Victory challenge is over, pretty much all of my available sewing time is being spent on the King & I costumes. I think I mentioned I've been asked to make the King's outfits, since it's my husband playing that role, which makes fittings easy! It's been a really enjoyable time, since because I'm not in charge of the costumes for this show, I feel like there's no pressure - I just have to follow directions. (But at the same time I've been allowed to play around and do what I think looks best.) And three of the five jackets are already made, they just need to be altered to suit. So I can just have fun with some serious embellishing! Below is a sneak peek of three works-in-progress. Please note the extensive beading on the blue ones - that's mine! I've been setting myself up on the couch of an evening with it and am working my way through all ten series of Spooks. Good times. :) 

The only other news I have to offer right now is that I've decided to take part in the Me-Made May 2013 challenge. So long as I can include refashions and am allowed to sew during the month - otherwise it's a very small pool of possible choices! Although I could just wear my new pj cami/vest/singlet to bed every night...;)  
On the subject of sewing challenges, I've decided that my rule of thumb is going to be Only One At A Time. That should keep me from over-committing - and help me evaluate which ones I really want to do. Sounds good in theory, anyhow!

How are your challenges going? Are you putting up your hand for Me-Made May?

Have a wonderful week :)

Danielle oxo


  1. Hey Danielle,

    I think your One At A Time rule sounds like a really good idea! I'm not convinced I have enough garments to do a full Me Made May. I need to have a think about that one, but I do like the idea.

    Love your cami (my preference). Great idea! And your scarf is gorgeous. I also have a thing for cable, although just to look at as I can't knit!

    Your costumes look really impressive - you've been very busy! Please can we see photos of the completed costumes once they are done?

    PS. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I'm feeling very loved in the online world just now, and you've been a big part in that! x

    1. I'm not convinced I have enough garments for MMM either! But I like the idea of seeing where my wardrobe "holes" are, and of finding new ways to wear what I do have.
      I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better, and that we (i.e. online world) have been able to help a bit with that. Hope every day from now on is better than the one before. oxo

  2. I too want a promise that we'll see The King modelling his robes - that hand work looks stunning!
    Really love the cable scarf too!
    Good idea about one challenge at a time - I too also over-committed on the online challenges and certainly won't do that again - I don't enjoy the guilt feeling at all.

    1. I'll definitely post some 'royal' photos! They're coming along nicely, if slowly...
      It's so easy to over-commit, isn't it? So many wonderful ideas and challenges out there... I'm hoping the One At A Time rule helps me avoid the guilt / panic from now on - sewing's meant to be fun, after all!

  3. I love the OXO scarf you did. The patten is reminiscent of the medieval. Would you be willing to email me the pattern?

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. I'm away at the moment, so couldn't send you the pattern for some time I'm afraid, but here's the link; you can easily download it from there:
      Have fun, it's a great pattern!