Make do and mend

I hadn’t realised how long it has been since I posted. Please accept my apologies – I have been working on clearing ‘that pile’ of odd garments that we all seem to have which we intend to try and make more wearable. I may have managed with some of these but I will leave you to decide.

Slightly sloppy sleeve

Slightly sloppy sleeve

Nicer narrowed

Nicer narrowed

I decided to make a start with this blue top that I ‘Quite liked’ but never really picked out to wear. After some deliberation I decided that  the problem was the sleeve – it just felt a bit ‘baggy’ and carried on into the underarm. The fabric was not expensive so I was very happy to just run the sleeve through the overlocker  to narrow it , continuing a little way into the body side seam. Better I think. This top was from Burda magazine (10/2008) and whilst I quite like it I remember making an adjustment to tighten up the front neckline (to make it a bit more modest I think). In retrospect this really wasn’t necessary.

Rear view - and those leggings!

Rear view – and those leggings!

Tunic length - and Vogue 1214 leggings.

Tunic length – and Vogue 1214 leggings.

I pulled out a dress in a fabulously bright (not what The Management called it!) cotton jersey. This was also from Burda 10/2008 – the magazine obviously hit a chord with me that month. I know this pattern is available on the Burda site to download and have seen some other versions blogged fairly recently. I love this dress. It would have been nice to have had a picture when it was a dress but I forgot that. Why wasn’t it worn? No idea. I have another version in purple crushed velvet which is my ‘go to’ dress for winter. Anyway, as so many of my tops and t-shirts seem to be looking a bit sad I decided to convert this dress to tunic length. The hem is now about 24cm shorter than it was and I think I will probably wear it more now  (that will make ‘him’ happy!).

You might also notice the black leggings. Yes, they are the black Vogue 1214 leggings from the last post. I took the thigh seam in about an inch and graduated that to about 1cm (anyone else choose metric or imperial depending on whichever suits the purpose rather than sticking to one?) at the ankle. I had to go into the crotch seam a little but not significantly to do this so the body is almost as it was. I did however add elastic into the band around the waist. It is a nice deep band, and I am sure it would have been just fine to hold the leggings up, but I’m a bit of a wuss and wanted the security of that elastic! I think I like these now – but I have bought the Papercut pattern that seems to be well regarded so I will try that next time.

Yes - I really liked this pattern!

Yes – I really liked this pattern!

I liked the adaption to the loud colourful dress so much I decided to shorten another from the pile. This is a polyester jersey that I bought from Birmingham – I can’t think why particularly but I do like it. And the pattern. So, another tunic.

The next victim was a dress I made last year. This is Vogue 1027, and I really liked this when I first made it but it never felt quite right. The bust/waist ratio never felt quite right when I was wearing it. I was pretty upset about this – I thought I had found a real gem to make again and again. Maybe I am just not a dress sort of a gal. Or not the ones I have been choosing. Scissors at the ready, and now it is a skirt – with pockets. Don’t you just love pockets to swing in?

Vogue 1027

Bessie models 1027

Pockets in skirts are great!

Pockets in skirts are great!

I suspect it may get more ‘outings’ now that it is a skirt but I would still love to find that elusive dress that would make my wardrobe sing. I love the idea of dresses  even though I am not a ‘girly girl’ . Maybe this on was too full skirted. Maybe there is just too much me. I am not going to get upset about the previous mistakes as I think you have to try new things out to have a wonderful surprise from time to time.

I have also been knitting – and that Kim Hargreaves sweater is almost finished now. I think that will probably get a bit more attention to get it to the finish line! What it really needs is a pair of smart trousers to go with it …..

Back soon. I promise.

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12 Comments on “Make do and mend”

  1. Sewbussted says:

    I love everything you did. Please forgive me for making a suggestion that maybe I shoudn’t, but here goes;)…you have great legs so don’t hide them. I would shorten the dress now skirt piece.

    • That comment about my legs elevates you to ‘best friend’ status! I wasn’t sure about the skirt – I still think it is too full for me to be comfortable. Maybe I am over concerned anout my ‘apple’ shape.

  2. Anne W says:

    Isn’t it great to get a new wardrobe without having to do too much to the old stuff? I have to confess I have a pile of those garments too, it’s just way more fun to make something new..

  3. mrsmole says:

    Depending on our work, our wardrobe should reflect our physical needs like bending and stretching etc. Your leggings are great and the tops/tunics reflect a woman who has to get around a lot…no wonder you did not feel right in the dress although it would have been flattering and elongate the body with all one color. Your skirt, while better in a way draws the eye to it’s width and adds bulk…ok we love pockets but even they make us draw attention to the wider lower half which is you good feature…great legs the rest of us envy.

    • I think this skirt is on its way to the scrap bag…. and probably with good reason. I look a lot bigger in that than the leggings/tunic combo.
      I really appreciate all of the comments helping me clear my mind. Honest. I’m enjoying the legs comments even more :). Perhaps my jogging is having some benefits!

  4. I’ll join the “great legs” fan club – show them off girl! Love what you’ve been doing and I love Making Do and Mending (I even bought a book of that title last year). I went through my wardrobe last year and made lots of changes to existing clothes to give them a whole new lease of life, it was fun and so worthwhile.

  5. velosewer says:

    This shows how adaptable your sewing is to your lifestyle. Nice changes.

  6. Lynn says:

    Those all look great. I also need to do some stuff like that. I had high, noble intentions of declaring February “Fix It or Toss It” month but I “tossed” a few, fixed one and then started sewing new stuff again. [sigh] The pull of new fabric is too strong.


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