Friday, February 22, 2013

Pinterest Project - Thrifted Sweater Redux

I have a ton of Pinterest pins for Fashion Inspiration, so I try to actually use them for inspiration as much as possible!  Here is a project based on Pinterest and using a thrifted sweater.
Inspiration photo from Pinterest
I’ve had this photograph pinned on Pinterest for a while now so last weekend I decided to tackle it!  Pinterest isn’t letting me click through to the original source for this photo.

I found a rather simple navy blue sweater at my local Salvation Army.  It’s nothing special, no special materials or anything, but it is very soft, fits well and has a fine knit.  It is also in great shape: no tears, pulls, or stains, it has retained its shape and isn’t too pilly.
Original sweater
I purchased 1 yard of pink ribbon at my go-to fabric store. The sweater was $4.50 and the ribbon was $1.65.  I already had matching thread, so I got a new and very unique sweater for less than $7!

How to:
1. Cut through the neckline and on either side of the shoulder seam to as far down the arm as you want.  Remove the bulky shoulder seam.

Cut a slit at the shoulder
2. Carefully, and without stretching the knit, stay stitch about 1/8 inch from the edge to stabilize it and keep the edge from unraveling while you work. 
Stay stitch the raw edge
3. Cut the ribbon in half so you have two ties.
4. Gently and without stretching the fabric, fold the seam over, laying the ribbon in as you go.  As I got closer to the end of the slit, my seam became less of a fold and more of a roll.  Just be sure to get the raw edge tucked inside the seam.  Also, if your new shoulder slit crosses any seams, be sure to keep them aligned as you fold over the raw edge.
Pinned seam with the ribbon pinned into the seam
5. I decided to hand baste the seam as the raw edge kept wanting to peek out between the pins and the pins were getting bulky.  Basting the edge kept the seam super secure for the machine sewing.
I chose a small stitch, a size 2 on my machine.  I had to advance it by hand to work it over the neck seam. 
Here you can see the hand basting
6. Remove your hand basting and gently press the seam with a warm iron.

7. Finish the seam on the ends of the ribbon.  Fold ¼ inch of the raw edge of the ribbon, press with the iron, then fold and press ¼ inch again.  Unfold and trim the edge to 1/8 inch of the first fold and clip the corners.  Fold the seam again, pin, sew, and press.
Clip the corners of the seam
8. The ribbon needs to be stitched down to the underside of the seam.  Here it is coming out of the finished sweater seam on the wrong side of the sweater, but it needs to lay flat along the seam.  
The ribbon, sewn into the finished seam
Pin the ribbon so it lays flat against the seam (wrong side)
9. Use thread to match your sweater in the needle, and thread to match the ribbon in your bobbin.  Pin the ribbon flat along the seam, and stitch right on top of your first seam.  With the threads matching your sweater and ribbon, this seam will blend. 

Sew the ribbon flat to the seam
10. Press gently with a warm iron and voila!
Finished sweater

Love the bare shoulder peeking out!
I also removed the sweater’s original and kinda ugly tag from the back of the neckline.  The machine care instructions are in the side seam and those I kept.

I think this would also be pretty with a longer slit down the arm, and lace inset into the slit up to the shoulder bow.  This would be a great solution to a sweater that fits in the body, but the arms are too slim.  Hmmmm…going to have to find another thrift store sweater now!!

Loving it with my new pale pink pumps!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chambray Shirt

I am loving the chambray shirts popping up everywhere.  Cute outfit ideas with chambray are all over Pinterest.  But it was so hard to find them in the stores, with the fit I wanted.  The ones I could find were too baggy and too short.

To my trusty stash of patterns!  I chose Simplicity pattern #2255 for the tunic length button up shirt.  It has front, back, and bust darts for a clean, slim fit, and long enough that I could wear it with leggings (and still cover the tush)!

I chose a lovely soft chambray and shirting buttons from Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics.  I left off the side tabs, figuring they would only add bulk to the hip area (umm, no thank you).  I haven’t yet decided whether to add the two front pockets or not.

I’m ready for spring!

Collared Shirt Refit

I’ve had this flowered button-up shirt for a while but just don’t really wear it much.  The collar never seems to lay right or stay crisp and it was a looser fit, with darts in the back but not in the front.  I thought it would look much better without the collar and with front darts to provide some shape.

Baggy shirt and floppy collar.

I started by carefully unpicking the seams attaching the collar to the shirt and removed the collar.  Then, I carefully restitched the seam, using a small stitch right over the original stitch line.  Now it has a cleaner, tab collar.

I also created two darts in the front for a slimmer fit, but not too tight!   
Dart drawn in chalk
Both the collar and the darts make a subtle difference but I think I will be wearing it a lot more!
Much better fit! (lousy photo)