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february refashions — insatiable need

february refashions

by Valerie

in crafting,fashion,refashion,sewing

So far, my adventure as a refashionista has been going very well. I set the goal of two refashions a month, and so far so good. I don’t even remotely have the urge to buy clothes in a store, so there’s no problem there. Here’s what I’ve done for February.

First, the sweater. I found a bag full of 100% wool sweaters in the back of my closet. I’ve obviously been saving them for felting projects, but I have also obviously completely forgotten about them. I have never felted in my life, and I would still like to, but I would like to have warm, wearable layers even more. So! I decided to refashion the sweaters instead. This is the first one!

A charcoal gray crew neck, that I’m sure I haven’t seen or worn since college (!). I have no idea why I was drawn to something so unspeakably dull and shapeless, but I no doubt got a lot of wear out of it back then. College (in the winter anyway) was very much about jeans + tiny t-shirt + giant sweater + Doc Martens. Thrilling, right?

I knew I wanted to turn it into a cardigan, and that I wanted to use a contrasting fabric to make the edging. At first I was going to pick a wild print from my fabric stash, but most of my stash is made up of wovens.

Mini sewing lesson for newbies: Woven fabric (like a dress shirt) only stretches on the bias (diagonally). In order to make woven fabric follow a curve without wrinkling or buckling (like on a neckline), you’d have to cut it on the bias. Which is a bit more work, not to mention takes up more fabric. Knit fabric (like a t-shirt) stretches with the grain and the cross grain (vertically and horizontally), so you can cut with the grain (not on the bias), and it will still curve nicely around a neckline.

I was feeling lazy, and had no desire to cut the edging on the bias, so I picked a black jersey instead. While in theory I wanted to make something colorful, the black jersey I have is really cheap and I knew I wouldn’t be sad if I botched this refashion and therefore ruined/wasted the jersey. Here is before and after:

All I did was cut up the middle, cut off the neckline, and apply the edging all around the raw, cut edges. I added ties so I wouldn’t have to worry about buttons or button holes. I took process pictures, so one day I might turn this into a tutorial, if anybody is interested. This is totally beginning sewing, anybody could do this, I promise!

My second refashion was even easier, and is less “refashion” and more just embellishment. This plain, exceedingly dull khaki skirt is barely more than year old. I bought it when I still had my day job and I needing lots of boring “business casual” crap to wear. Not terribly exciting, but definitely a useful staple.

I can’t imagine actually wanting to wear a plain khaki skirt on purpose anymore, so I decided to jazz it up a bit with some applique. I cut up an old t-shirt I got from Target that was 2 layers of incredibly thin jersey – a lovely wine color on top, and white underneath. I added some indigo blue corduroy (from my stash) and a tiny bit of embroidery to add some texture, and here we are.

Not very dramatic, but a marked improvement nonetheless. You can see a closeup of the circle motif here. I wish I had the patience to make more of them, because it might be fun to have the circle motif repeat all the way around the hem. Eh, next time!

I still have more sweaters to cut up, so there might be more refashions before the end of the month! What are you sewing?


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy February 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

I love the cartigan! Oh how I wish I had your craftiness and skill.


Valerie February 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Katy, the cardigan was really easy and you could totally do it. If you have a sweater you want to refashion this way, we'll have a craft night and make it happen!


Shari February 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I just love how the cardigan turned out.It's addicting, huh! I have a cardigan that I'm attaching a scarf to, when I get to it. more procrastination….


Valerie February 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Thanks Shari! It is totally addicting. I'm intrigued by this scarf & cardigan project you mention…can't wait to see it! You should do it now since you're already done with your Sewing Olympics dress!


shopping plan December 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Should you tell you have deceived.


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