imagine gnats--take it slow
this week's challenge is all about creative reuse, which is a thing near and dear to my heart. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to approach this particular challenge. do I cut apart an old dress from the back of the closet, find something fabulous at the thrift store, rework a previously sewn garment? in the end, it was some well-timed inspiration from the amazing Alabama Chanin that sent me searching for ill fitting knit garments in my own closet. what I found were two long-sleeved t-shirts in shades of blue and one pair of heathered grey leggings that never did fit quite right, and what I did with them... well, it wasn't something I ever expected I would do!
as I tried out techniques for the reverse applique, I found myself enjoying the time I spent stitching and really feeling a wonderful connection to my work. I thought of the Slow Sewing Series from Sew, Mama, Sew and Carolyn Friedlander's Slow Sewing Studio, about mindfulness, and I decided that the entire outfit - yes, the hat, dress, and even leggings - was meant to be sewn completely by hand. I did not once use a sewing machine in the making of this outfit. in fact, even the muslins I made for the dress and hat were sewn by hand. for me, this look combines modern aesthetics and traditional techniques in a way that celebrates making, much like the mindfulness of creative reuse.
stop by my blog, imagine gnats, to read more about the details of this outfit and see which patterns I used. and don't forget to vote!
The cape has been on my to-do-list for a few weeks, but I didn’t really find the time to draft and make it. It’s made out of a maxi wool skirt in navy blue. I made a few muslins during the past weeks to get the basic shape the way I wanted it. I put a lot of effort in the shape of seams around the shoulder, as I wanted the cape to have an opening for the arms. It was only last weekend that I really did start making the actual cape, so some night sewing was involved. The pocket flaps, the lining and the buttons are repurposed from the original skirt. I’m very glad I persisted because I really love the result. I drew it from scratch and I’m very proud of how it came out.
I hope you love this outfit as much as I do. If you want to see more pictures, head over to the blog!
Lily Shine Boutique--Timeless Treasure
Wahoo for Week 2! I am still in a bit of shock and awe at Week 1's results, and am beyond grateful to be a part of this adventure! If you remember from my post in week 1, I began prepping for the contest while visiting family back in Michigan. My mom is a great collector who has held on to some amazing items from our family to pass on to me when we moved back near home. I was blessed to acquire mounds of lace tablecloths, placemats, doilies, and such, handed down from generation to generation. My mom also kept a jewelry box full of unique, treasured clip-on earrings, broaches, pins, cuff links, and various trinkets from family members who have passed. I wanted to create an outfit that would be an heirloom ensemble for my daughter to cherish forever, but wear today. In creating my own high-waisted suspender skirt pattern, I layered strips of varied lace linens: crocheted, needled, embroidered, and more, all aged in shades of ivory, cream, gold and antiqued white. I used a pillowcase to create the straps for the suspenders and waistband for the skirt. I used a window valance as an underskirt for fullness and structure.
But, I couldn't just create a skirt so I set out to find something that would be the perfect upcycle to make into a top. I came across this muumuu style night gown at a second hand shop and it had the most perfect under-layer of lavender stripes. I started with Violette Field Thread's Pattern for the Josephine Blouse. I wanted the top to be nice and slim so it wouldn't bubble over the high waistband of the skirt, so I slimmed the silhouette. I omitted the ruffle detail down the button placket to keep the top simple and clean. I took the waist sash piece, extended it and used it for a necktie instead. I also rounded the tips of the collar. Who knew a muumuu could be so cute? Now, I know you've been waiting to hear about the shoes. Those.Shoes. My mom's jewelry box was full of treasured trinkets, most of which she told me were from her Aunt Margie. She said that Margie would wear a new outfit each day, loved clothes, jewelry, shopping and the sunshine. I'm pretty sure if we had met, we would have been best friends! I fixed each pin, broach, earring, tie tack, and trinket to the shoes (recognize them from last week's look?) and used the trim of the muumuu to make ruffled boot socks. There are trinkets dated back to the 20s in the collection, and many of the lace linens were from the same era. To think that Kenzie's ensemble is composed of items handed down in my family for over 90 years makes this week's entry truly a Timeless Treasure.
Photo credit: Hailey Faria Photography
Compagnie M.-- The Grey Shirt DressThe "Hand-me-down" makeover! My personal favourite theme in this Project Run & Play season. Every time I walk through the thrift store, I see up-cycling projects everywhere. I can never leave without buying something! ;) For this week's challenge I choose to sew a dress from a dull grey man's shirt. My personal mission: using all typical elements of this shirt in my new garment. Next to this challenge, I tried not to use new pattern pieces: I recycled all pattern pieces in this dress from my own patterns. Nothing new added!
This is basically what I did: I kept the collar that's now a little bit oversized. I did shorten the shoulder seams. Used the bodice of my Lotta dress and added a skirt (this one is just as wide as the fabric). I placed the Louisa sleeve on the lower part of the shirt's sleeve, but turned it in order to position the closure at the top. The sleeve was too wide, so I've sewn a dart to make it exactly as wide as my pattern piece. Didn't want to take of the cuffs, since I tried to sew as less new seams as possible. I added my new sleeve to the dress and closed the side seam! Easy as that. To turn this dress into a fashionable garment, I added in-seam pockets (again from my Lotta dress) and a small belt sewn from a more colourful fabric. Recycled from an old skirt from Essentiel (a Belgian fashion brand).
To accentuate what I did, I topstitched all new seams with some 'Compagnie-m-yellow' thread. I didn't just top-stitch, but did it in a very 'unusual' way. I started at the hem, then moved upwards at the side seam, at once, I did the sleeve and then went downwards again to the back hem. I've sewn all the way to the other side and repeated these steps. Without stopping I top-stitched all new seams! My personal signature to this up-cycling project. This yellow is the main colour also of the little cardigan. I just copied the curve of my own Julia sweater to cut the sleeves. To make the outfit complete, I've sewn some super cute leg warmers that I made from the sleeves. Both recycled from an old cardigan of mine. Lisa's first reaction when she saw this cardigan: Now I have the same one as you! Too small to realise that it was actually mine! Super cute! :)