April 11, 2011

A Renaissance-y reconstruction

Since I had all that unexpected free time this afternoon (see previous post), I was able to get my necessary  chores that I stayed home tonight for done much earlier than I'd thought I would. So I did some clothes chopping! (Picture-heavy post warning.)

So I had this shirt that I made back in college. Love the fabric--it's this burnout velvet with this swirly design in these gorgeous, rich, autumny colors. I forget what pattern I used--it may have been a Butterick, but it's not one that's showing up in its out of print section. (My other guess was Simplicity, and it's not there either.)

This was the main reason I wasn't wearing it anymore. This was right around the time that I was figuring out that my arms are longer than average, but before I realized that this means that I have to add length to everything I make that has long sleeves or it just isn't going to work. So the shortest part of the diagonally-hemmed sleeve ended up something like 3" above my wrist, and it drove me absolutely nuts. But I still like the fabric, so I wanted to make it work for me again.

So here's what I did....
I took the sleeve.... (in all of its rich autumnal glory!)

...cut a chunk out of it on either side...

...and was left with this. Yeah, there's a bit of a size difference there.

So, after flipping it so that the seam on the asymmetric end was the opposite of what it was before, I gathered it and reattached it to the now shorter sleeve.

I decided to do some work on the neckline while I was at it, too. It had a short zipper in the back neck, which I never really understood because I ended up being able to pull this thing over my head just fine even when it was zipped up. So I took the facing and the zipper out, then restitched the back seam.

I'd wanted to change the neckline up a little anyway, but it became necessary since I accidentally poked a small hole in the front with my seam ripper. Oops. So I just cut a modest scoop out of the front, then turned it under and stitched it down.

And voila! I think the more open neckline actually makes it much more flattering on me, and I love the way the sleeves turned out. (It'll probably be even better once I press it all for real, but I was a bit too impatient to get the pictures and all.)

And the obligatory shot on Donna, since I can get the lighting better on her than on me this time of day!


  1. What a wonderful upcycle project! I love that fabric too.

    I am back from traveling for 4.5 months...and catching up on all my blogs which I follow. Nice to "see" you again,

  2. That's a great reconstruction! The new version looks so much better and more flattering.

  3. VERY cool remake! Apparently clothes chopping is better than clothes shopping!

  4. These does look really fantastic! I love the new neckline, and the sleeve solution is pure genius! And I can see why that gorgeous fabric is well worth rejuvenating, those colours, sigh...


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