Eddie blogs at Eddie’s room about her refashions, food, and other crafty pursuits. She shares the Grey Duckling brand and blog with her husband where he illustrates and she makes yarn and lace. Finally she is an editor on the Refashion Co-op and runs the Historic Crafts blog too! [busy gal!]
Thank you Kathreen for inviting me to join your ranks of guest bloggers and letting me share the word about refashioning and especially refashioning for maternity wear. I began refashioning about a year ago when I joined the Wardrobe Refashion community. Unfortunately I wasn’t a member for long before Nikki sadly decided to close down the blog (the archive is still online though). I had been emailing with a couple of fellow members for a bit to see if we could find a way of keeping the community alive when I got the idea of creating the Refashion Co-op based around the concept of having several editors working together to build a community. Currently Refashion Co-op has 12 editors from all over the world. We all work together to provide a community where our contributors and readers can share their refashion and be inspired by other’s refashions. The best thing about having so many editors is that we have 12 times the creative energy to build up the community. We somehow manage to keep track of it all by each having our own responsibilities. We are running a maternity refashion challenge to coincide with this post and we hope you will come over and join us in the refashioning fun.
But why maternity refashions? As I see it there are two reasons. I am pregnant in my 5th month and while I haven’t grown much yet there are already certain clothing items in my wardrobe I can’t fit anymore and because maternity clothes are quite expensive and with only a short wearing time. That’s the first reason. The second is the same reason that I began refashioning in the first place. I feel that there are enough new mass-produced clothes in the world already so I prefer not to add anymore. I have shopped in thrift stores for many years now and being able to refashion some of the clothes I find there means that there are a lot more fun possibilities. I also like refashioning from my own wardrobe instead of getting rid of clothes I can’t fit or don’t wear anymore.
So lets have a look at a couple of my favorite ideas for maternity refashions. First I want to talk about trousers. This is probably the first piece of clothing where you are going to need a bit of adjustment to fit into it. The big issue with trousers and being pregnant is buttons and sometimes zippers. They just sit there and gnaw into your skin and put pressure on a part of your body where the baby is already putting more than enough pressure, thank you! I tried making my own pair of maternity pants but didn’t have much luck. I will have to adjust them. You can follow my attempts at Eddie’s room. I have added a list of trouser tutorials where you can also see some more pictures of my own attempts at maternity refashion.
Next up is what to wear on your upper body once your tummy and breasts begin to grow. If you don’t wear too tight clothes to begin with you might be able to get away with using your previous clothes for a bit. But at some point this won’t do. For one thing you will stretch your old clothes and they won’t be much fun to wear once you get your figure back again. Furthermore, you might technically be able to fit your old t-shirts but may find that they unintentionally ride up. There are quite a few tutorials online for different maternity refashions of tops, shirts, tunics and dresses. A great place to start is the diy maternity blog by Megan Nielsen. She has done such a great job at collecting tutorials and ideas. Another idea is to have a look at the maternity refashion category on Refashion Co-op.
I hope this has inspired you to get into refashioning whether you are pregnant or not.
Kirstin and Jordan are sisters who blog at kojodesigns. And while ‘creativity’ sometimes looks different for each of them – Jordan’s kitchen is the backdrop for many an experiment in crafty cooking and she is rarely without her camera while Kirstin is slowly decorating her home with Anthropologie knock-offs and using her extra minutes to whip up new J Crew-y duds for her kiddos (and her sisters), there is a whole lot of crafty overlap as well (mostly their shared love for throwing kicking parties and showers).
Hello whipup friends! I am Kirstin, half of a sister team that blogs over at kojodesigns, and I am just thrilled to be here today!
Recently, I helped hostess a “retro patchwork” baby shower. For the decor, we tried to incorporate as many vintage items as possible (vintage quilts and afghans, a retro cooler, mason jar glasses, vintage serving ware). We also used vintage sheets to make several of the decor elements, including a vintage sheet flag bunting, vintage sheet cocktail napkins and vintage sheet fabric flower corsages. But why let the vintage sheet fun stop there?
I’m here today with a darling (and super simple) vintage pillowcase skirt tutorial.
To make one yourself, you’ll need:
- a vintage pillowcase
- sewing supplies
- a yard of contrasting bias tape
What to do:
- Cut the sewn top edge off of the pillowcase. Cut the rest of the pillowcase down to 20″ long.
- Measure your natural waist. Cut a length of 2″ wide elastic, the same length as your measurement. Sew the ends of the elastic together, right sides facing each other, creating a waistband. Trim the edges to look clean and top stitch them down.
- Pin the elastic tube to the top edge of the skirt. First turn the elastic inside out, slide on the outside of the skirt (so that the right sides are facing each other). Find the middle of the back of the skirt and pin to the middle of the back of the elastic tube. Repeat with the middle of the front of the skirt and the two edges (this ensures that your elastic is evenly spaced). Continue pinning at equal intervals. Sew the elastic to the top edge of the skirt. Pull the elastic taut as you go. Sew a zig zag stitch around the perimeter to prevent the minimize fraying.
- Finish off the hem with contrasting bias tape.
- Done! Super cute, super simple skirt with a retro vibe!
Making room – Guest post by Sophie from Roubidou
Getting ready for the baby seams to be above all an exercise in making room. The simplest task of all – at least for now – was to make room in my body for our little daughter who although at the moment still hidden under layers of me is so much already an invaluable family member. Just as my belly is growing slowly outwards all by itself, our thoughts and love are expanding exponentially to make room for her. There is certainly much, much more space in this immaterial territory than when it comes to the slightly more challenging part of preparing her actual room in our apartment. There was quite a bit of reshuffling and rearranging during the past few weeks. Although, now having emptied our former storage room (and more or less succeeded in making room for the things that were in that room) the fun part is about to begin.
And as my body was making room I would re-inspect my wardrobe every month or so to see what still fits my transforming self. Instead of looking at my clothes and only thinking ‘will this cover the bump’, I found myself wondering just as well ‘will this fit me ever again’ and ‘do I want to wear this ever again’? So I made room in my wardrobe, not so much for the baby but due to her. Some clothes went to my younger cousin, some to charity shops and a few were repurposed into something new for our October baby. These are the sartorial yields of my room making:
photo 1: I loved this cardigan, but due to a vinaigrette-shaking-incident that covered it with vinegar freckles I remade it. I cut around the freckles when tracing the little top and pants (improvised patterns). All you experienced mothers might find it amusingly naive that I would forsake this beloved cardigan because it ‘looks dirty’ when I will find myself covered with various baby related stains and surrounded by a huge pile of laundry for the year to come.
photo 2: This sweater was ousted from my wardrobe for being too baggy, even with my baby bump the neckline was just too loose. Luckily, I ended up with lots of material to repurpose (patterns: vest and bodysuit Ottobre 1/2011, hat Ottobre 4/2010).
photo 3: The T-shirt got the boot for the same reason, plus it’s terribly diaphanous (improvised patterns, hat Ottobre 4/2010).
photo 4: This top is one of the oldest clothing items I still own, so old that my mother paid for it and frankly it’s been a borderline fit for quite a while (improvised pattern).
photo credit: tape strips by puglypixel.com
Guest post by Wendi Gratz: You can find Wendi online at Shiny Happy World where she is on a mission to teach beginners of all ages how to sew. All of her patterns are especially designed for beginners and include links to free video tutorials teaching every skill you’ll need to complete the project.
Today Wendi is introducing a Workshop she is running called The Shirt Off Daddy’s Back Sewing Workshop which begins 10 July. The workshop will teach participants how to make girls’ clothes out of men’s shirts, and will include skirts, dresses, and aprons using both knit and woven fabric (from T-shirts and dress shirts). All patterns are included as well as video lessons for each project, plus a few extras such as how to crochet a scalloped border, embroider a pretty hem, and sew on knit ruffles. Find more info here.
Wendi is giving away a free spot in the workshop to a Whip Up reader! Just leave a comment telling me about your favorite thing to make for kids. Contest will be open for 48 hours. Congratulations Cinnamon. You have been contacted via email.
Choosing Shirts to Refashion
I love a good wardrobe refashion. It’s good for the environment; it pleases my thrifty soul; and when it involves reworking my husband’s clothes into outfits for my daughter – I find it incredibly sweet. She loves to wear her daddy’s old clothes!
When I started out refashioning, I was just cutting old garments apart to reuse the fabric. I’ve learned to go a step further and now I also work to reuse a lot of the finish and detail work from the original. It preserves some of the character of the shirt I started with, and it also gives me some great details in the finished piece – with less work! Here’s what to look for. . .
- A good hem. For dress shirts I love curved shirt tails – those look lovely at the bottom of a skirt or dress. Many casual button-down shirts have straight hems – but some of them have nice notches at the side seams and that’s also a nice detail. For T-shirts – make sure the hem is intact. That double-stitched hem is often the first seam to go on an inexpensive tee. But you can dress up those plain t-shirt hems in lots of cute ways.
- Pockets. Pockets with curved bottom corners are nice. So are nice details at the top edge.
- Shoulder yokes and back pleats. Both of these details add a lot to the construction time if you do them yourself. Some strategic cutting on a shirt with them already in place will add a professional finish and take you no extra time.
A word on fabric
If the fabric feels good – use it. Remember – if you’re sewing for kids, comfort is the most important thing. If it’s stiff or itchy they won’t wear it, no matter how great it looks. One of the great things about using worn clothes is that they’re already ‘broken in': t-shirts are buttery soft and dress shirts that are no longer “crisp” enough for business are perfect for a drapey skirt. Let your fingertips be your guide. Find more info here.
I am a huge fan of the refashioning and diy fashion movement. I love the creativity, the frugality and the recycling going on! Its huge. Here are a just a teensy tiny hint at what is happening.