refashion fails

Recently inspired by all the thrift shopping and refashioning from second hand clothes in blogland, I decided to try this for myself. After browsing a few yard sales and one nearby thrift store, then attempting to make something wearable out of the odd items I brought home, I've come to the following conclusion:

It is easier said than done.

Exhibit A:

                                               

When I picked this up at St. Vinny's, it was a halter dress with a dropped waist, long ties around the middle, and smocking in the back. Nothing I'd wear, obviously, even if I were 20 years younger. But the skirt seemed nice, so I cut off the skirt and sewed the ties on as a waistband that tie at the side. All fine and good, and the skirt even fit me, but seriously, can you see me wearing this? Ever?

Nope. Me neither. As soon as I put it on I looked like what would happen if someone tried to dress Donna Reed in a picnic tablecloth. It just didn't work. My husband took one look and said, "Uh, yeah. That's just not you."

So back in the thrift pile it goes. At least someone will be able to wear it.

Exhibit B: The silk scarf


This is still a work in progress. You may recall that the fabric is from a  skirt I got for 2 bucks at a yard sale. The main fabric and lining are both 100% silk, quite lovely. Also, as it turns out, very very slippery. It was impossible to cut any part of these in a straight line and even harder to sew them together, though it didn't stop me from trying.

See? It just doesn't look good. The lining is heavier than the main fabric, so they pull each other unevenly (on the original skirt this wasn't a problem because they were only stitched together at the waistband). Plus, the seams aren't straight.

And that $12 superfine weight polyester thread I got? Big mistake. It's much stronger than the silk, believe it or not, and it just puckers and pulls the fine fabric. I'll go back to using some cotton thread I have on hand. It's not fine weight, but it doesn't make the fabric go all wonky.


But you can also see that the print fabric is really quite pretty, and so soft and delicate, that I haven't give up quite yet. I cut off the lining (again) and have decided just to sew a very narrow hem all the way around. I tried this with my sewing machine and it looked dreadful. Even with a walking foot, it slipped all over the place. So I think I'm going to do it by  hand. This will take forever, but after all the effort I've put into this already, I want to end up with something usable!

What about you, readers? Are your refashion experiments always successful?



Comments

Emma said…
You might try putting tissue paper on top of the silk while you are sewing - it makes it much easier to sew, and tears right away afterwards. If you find yourself on Willy St, you could stop by Gayfeather Fabric; Virginia always gives thoughtful and useful advice (even when I am asking about something already in progress). She is the one who told me the tissue paper trick, when I was sewing one of the silk scarf kits she makes up at Christmas. (BTW, these are worth trying if you want to try a silk scarf again without the hassle of cutting. The kit consists of two pieces of silk, precisely cut, one burnout or other decorative silk and the other a coordinating lining. Not yard sale or St. Vinnie's prices, but not unreasonable, and definitely a less stressful crafting experience!) Good luck!
Unknown said…
Aww, I was hoping they would work out! the skirt really is cute, someone will love it! The silk looks rather ecclesiastical--maybe a church would like it?
-Jennifer aka jojoknits
Unknown said…
Aww, I was hoping they would work out! the skirt really is cute, someone will love it! The silk looks rather ecclesiastical--maybe a church would like it?
-Jennifer aka jojoknits
Unknown said…
Aww, I was hoping they would work out! the skirt really is cute, someone will love it! The silk looks rather ecclesiastical--maybe a church would like it?
-Jennifer aka jojoknits
Unknown said…
Aww, I was hoping they would work out! the skirt really is cute, someone will love it! The silk looks rather ecclesiastical--maybe a church would like it?
-Jennifer aka jojoknits

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