Every year between the 23rd and 28th of April the Fashion Revolution Week takes place. This is an awareness campaign to remember the victims of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Sadly, today 5 years ago on 24th April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory collapsed, which killed 1138 people and injured many more. To raise awareness that the fashion industry also has to be a clean industry—fashion can’t come at the cost of people or our planet—there are several campaigns and challenges this week on social media.
On Instagram, we have the ‘Makers for Fashion Revolution’ campaign hosted by Emily from ‘In the Folds’. Today’s prompt is ‘New Lease’.
Besides sewing your own new clothes there are also a lot of ways to changes old clothes to new ones. You can upcycle, recycle, restyle, refashion, embellish… them and so create new dazzling garments.
In this spirit, I want to draw attention to the annual restyling exchange of Amy and Pilar. This exchange fits perfectly with the Makers for Fashion Revolution action. I participated last year I want to share my experience with restyling a garment.
My first experience with restyling: a ‘New Lease’
*** This post was previously posted on June 17, 2017. ***
When Amy and Pilar announced the first annual restyling exchange I immediately jumped on board. Those who read my blog know that I am always in for a challenge!
What is this restyling challenge? You receive a garment from someone to restyle it. Meanwhile, you send a garment from yourself to someone else, also to restyle it. So I received a men’s shirt from Elisabete and sent an old dress to Linda. A simple and beautiful concept. To make it more easy to sew something a questionnaire with measurements, colour and style wishes was sent with the garment.
Restyling: how do you start?
I have never restyled or refashioned an existing garment before. So I started with unpicking the main seams of the shirt. In the meantime, I thoroughly went through Elisabete’s IG-feed and read her blog. This gave me an insight into her style, but it was also a little intimidating because she is a very skilled seamstress and ‘refashionista’!
Looking through her pictures I got the idea of sewing the Kastrup top from ‘How To Do Fashion’. I have this pattern in my pattern collection but I didn’t use it so far. So no extra costs were made.
Fitting the new pattern on the shirt
Once I decided to sew the Kastrup top I stuck to it. This top has a vintage vibe and also nice sleeves. And, Elisabete has a thing for particular sleeves.
It was quite a puzzle to get the top out of the shirt. This was also the hardest work of the restyling.
Fitting in all the pieces and cut them single layer.
It was not possible to get the back pieces out in one piece. So I made a yoke for the back and used the original closure of the front for the rest of the back.
I unpicked a little of the sleeve placket to be able to cut the new sleeve pattern.
Making my own border print
After cutting the pattern I was not satisfied. I wanted to give this restyling a more personal touch. So I decided to make my own border print. Also prompted by the recent positive experience I had with a border print.
My husband, who is an editor of artists books, has these Indian woodblock stamps, that would be perfect. I bought some blue textile ink and together we gave it a go!
It is easy to print your border after your pattern pieces are cut. Then pattern matching is not difficult.
I was able to give one sleeve a non-conventional placing of the print. Which I adore.
Later on, I needed the test pieces to cut out the arm facings.
The Kastrup Top
Here is the result: «insert drumroll» the Kastrup Top! I adore how it came out. There are several features that I am proud of:
– The back with the yoke and the original front button placket.
– The sleeve with the non-conventional placing of the border.
– The vintage fabric used for the lining of the sleeves.
I am super satisfied with my first restyle project ever. Now I hope that Elisabete likes what I’ve done with her husband’s shirt. I want to thank Amy and Pilar for this great challenge. I enjoyed every minute of it. More restyling projects will definitely follow.
When I was finishing this post, the message came through that Elisabete finally received my restyled top. She liked it and, moreover, the top fits! I am a happy woman now.