Hi, my name is Laika! I came to live with Carissa this week. I'm a 7-week-old American Pit Bull Terrier. I'm super cute, extra cuddly, have my own theme song, and like to monopolize all of Carissa's time. Luckily, she was able to squeeze in a little sewing before my arrival.
Okay, enough of the adorable excuses for my lack of posting this week. I've been thinking a lot recently about how much I enjoyed the Refashion Runway competition and how sad I am that it's over. I know, I know, broken record, but I mean it. Having a weekly goal and a specific theme was really good for me. I want to keep doing that. So without further adieu, I bring you the very first installment of Sunday Sew-Day:
1. For a few weeks at a time, I will post (at least) weekly refashions, focusing on a given theme - some trend I've seen on runways or in magazines, a color or pattern I'm particularly found of, a technique I've been wanting to experiment with, whatever!
2. If you have an idea for a theme, shout it out! I'd love to hear what sorts of things you'd like to see done, and I'll give it a shot!
3. If you'd like to play along, I'd be happy to feature one of your projects that fits the theme. Just send an email to CarissaKnits at gmail dot com (or click the little email icon at the top left of this page). Include a few before and after pics, some details of how you refashioned your piece, and a link to your blog post about it, if you like.
4. This is my blog. I make the rules. I can break the rules. I'll certainly try to stick to the plan, but I may have to make exceptions for holidays and such as that. Please understand I do, on occasion, have a life.
The first theme I'd like to tackle is something I've seen a lot on the runways recently, but is classic enough to always be in style, in my opinion. I'm talking about the simple color combo of black and white. Black and white patterned fabrics are easy to find at thrift shops everywhere. And you don't have to worry about whether you're a "spring" or an "autumn" or what have you - anybody call pull this off! And if you're feeling a little too plain, you can snazz it up with a brightly-colored cardigan, hot heels, or a cute clutch!
I began with this lovely polyester church-lady number in a black and white floral print on a houndstooth background. The pleated skirt was what drew my attention initially, looking past the drop waist and shoulder pads that don't quit.
Step one was to nix those shoulder pads.
Then I removed the sleeves, cutting along the pseudo-raglan seam.
Once those were out of the way, I could focus on what kind of top I wanted for my new dress.
I wanted to hike it up to keep the skirt as is, but at the empire waist level. So I folded it in half and cut a new silhouette for the back, a good 6-8 inches below the existing shoulder edge.
Then I cut straight across for a sort of bandeau style front.
I hemmed the top of the new front.
Then I grabbed my sleeves and trimmed off the shoulders in a straight line. These are going to be front panels that go over the bandeau part.
I set those aside for a moment, and turned back to the waistline. It had this weird flappy thing that was about four inches wide all the way around.
I cut off about two-thirds of that band.
And I folded the remainder upward and pinned it to my bodice. This will create a little pocket for some elastic later to pinch in the waist.
But before I sewed that down, I inserted the wide end of each sleeve under that flap on either side of the front, overlapping slightly in the center.
I sewed my waistband, leaving a small opening on one side to insert my elastic. Once it was fed through, I joined the ends and closed up the opening.
The flat ex-sleeves required some darts in order to contour to the shape of my chest. One long vertical dart each.
And then a small horizontal dart coming inward from each armhole.
I also added a couple little tacks to keep the front pieces in place on top of the bandeau.
From the scraps, I cut some strips to use as a binding on the edges of my back piece.
I pinned and sewed them to the armhole and collar edges with right sides facing.
Then I pressed them outward.
I folded them over again and pinned them to the inside.
A quick top-stitching finished them off.
Finally, it was time to join my shoulder seams. I trimmed off the excess fabric, leaving the front a little longer than the back.
In order to encase the raw (and easily frayed) edges, I folded the longer edge over the shorter edge, then folded it down again and gave it a sew.
And behold! Church lady no more!
For the ultimate accessory to pair with your black and white ensemble, choose your favorite ebony pooch to tote around town.