Sunday, June 03, 2012

Going for Rehab - I said No, No.... YES!

Yesterday I decided to tackle some Wardrobe Rehab.

Me Made May highlighted several recidivist garments whose period of probation  was drawing to an end.  It was time for action to make them wearable members of the community... or face banishment to the salt mines of Siberia (aka the Salvation Army Clothes Bank).

I started with my caramel-coloured Eva Dress trousers.  I don't know why they are such a flop, considering the success of their navy siblings.  I am sure they were fine when I made them.  I don't think I have lost much weight since then.  But they are certainly far too baggy round the rear end.

I used the pattern for my Betsey Johnson wide-legs as a template to re-cut the back rise, and tapered the inside leg seams to lose a little of the excess fabric. I "lifted" them as high as I could without losing leg length, and probably pared off 2 inches from the bum.  My hopes were high.... but my crotch was low.

Here are the "after" pictures:

The stupid thing is...from the front they look great!  But you could get a sack full of monkeys in the back.
I tried hoisting them up a but further, but there is" high-waisted" and there is "under-bust corset".
And of course, by then the legs were flapping around my ankles like Bay City Rollers trousers.
Yes, they have ginormous turn-ups which I could let down... but then there would be a visible line of machine stitching six inches from the ground. 
Yes, I could  add some sort of trim to cover the stitching.  Hmmm... let me think... how about tartan?!  Err... no. No, no, no, no, no.  Just "NO".
Goodbye trousers.  Your buttons will live to fight another war.

Moving on...

Who remembers the Vicar's Wife Blouse?
Here she is on the day she was made:

See that neckline?  Instant strangulation.  This is a prime example of a too-literal interpretation of a vintage pattern.  As I am not taking a part in any BBC costume dramas in the foreseeable future, I do not need a blouse that is quite so aggressively buttoned up.

So I took the scissors to the neckline.  I cut away about 5/8 of an inch, following the existing shape.  This happened to coincide with the line of the top buttonhole at the back of the neck.  Then I faced the cut edge with narrow bias binding, turning it to the inside, and made a replacement buttonhole just below the lower edge of the bias tape.

And then... then I was inspired!  I remembered seeing Jessica's Minnali blouseOoh - lovely!

Some time after Jessica's refashion triumph, I too became the delighted recipient of some of Debbie's stash of vintage lace.  I had every intention of writing a Sew Grateful post the day it arrived, and then somehow... hangs head in shame... I forgot.  I squirrelled it away "for best", waiting for the right project to come along.  And this was it!  LOOK!
Yes, that is a smug face.

THIS, my friends, is a successful piece of garment rehabilitation!  After the trauma of the trousers, you cannot imagine how pleased I am to have pulled this off! 

That prissy, uptight little blouse has visibly relaxed.  It is still vintage-looking, but it's got some edge to it now.  It has stopped looking like my granny's school sewing project, requiring that I team it with an old-lady skirt and brogues.  Now it looks happy with jeans, or shorts, or a Ginger skirt - in fact with pretty much everything in my wardrobe!

And it is all thanks to my fellow-sewing-bloggers Jessica and Debbie - woo hoo!

Oh...and in case she is feeling left out, can I also point out my Watch-Lace from Winnie?  It's the perfect piece of accent jewellery for this blouse - yay!


Kirsty said...

I am inspired by your vicar's blouse re-do.. may try that little trick myself on a blouse I have that is destined to be kicked out in the cold.

superheidi said...

Wow, that's some improvement!

Minnado said...

Yay, I am so glad the lace was useful, the top looks very pretty now. x

Jane said...

That's a really successful rescue mission, well done it looks lovely now.
I'm pleased to announce that as a very small girl, my mum made me a pair of Bay City Rollers trousers - white with obligatory tartan trim. Sadly, no photos exist but I'm sure there's one of me wearing BCR stripy socks - must try and find it! x

Marie said...

"But you could get a sack full of monkeys in the back" - you literally had me in stitches with this line! But I am sorry about your ill-fated trousers :o( However, you definitely made up for it with the blouse! What a difference the lowered neckline makes and the lace 'collar' is so divine! Nice work ;o)

Linda C said...

Beautiful re-do! Amazing what a little bit of neckline cutting down can make such a difference. I have a few crewnecks thatI need to get rid of the chokehold look.

The design on your blouse goes perfectly with the lae design.


Gail said...

Wow! I liked the Vicar's Wife blouse before, but now it is really amazing!

Lynne said...

Your blouse looks beautiful, what a great fix! :)

didyoumakethat said...

I love your new collar - so pretty.

Sigrid said...

Yes, that's a wonderful fix-up of the blouse. As for the pants, the only way I can imagine fixing the rear would be to add a decorative seam down through the back of the leg and use it to pull in some of the excess. They really are nice in all other ways and don't deserve to go to the gulag.