Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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In Re-Covery: The Great Pillow Makeover!

Yes, I missed posting last week’s Makeover Monday, but in a good cause: I was in Seattle, visiting my mom/making over the pillows for her new couch.

Why change the pillows? Well, that’s what I asked Mom: what was the actual issue with the existing pillows? Wrong colors, sizes, shapes? For her, it was a combination of wrong colors and too much of them, i.e. solid-color pillows creating large blocks of colors, as in this “before” picture:

Mom's pillows before

Mom’s pillow issues, pre-makeover: Not terrible, but… the reds don’t match, the patterned pillow seems out of place, the dark-gold pillow isn’t quite the right shade, and all the pillows are the same size. Inset: both the size and the colors of the solid pillows just look off somehow.

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Run, Don’t Walk: Out-of-print Sewing Patterns on Sale!

This just in: select sewing patterns from Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, and Kwik Sew that were previously out-of-print are not only available again, but on sale! The Vogue patterns are $5.99 each (and you know how expensive they can be at their regular prices), and all the others are just $3.99 each. But don’t wait— you have until Tuesday, November 26.

Where can you find these goodies? Click on the photo below; this will take you to the sale information page, and from there, you can go to any (or all) of the 4 pattern companies.

Vogue 8605 sewing pattern

Vogue 8605 sewing pattern. This and other out-of-print sewing patterns are available in limited quantities and sizes, so don’t wait! Click on the photo (courtesy of Vogue Patterns) to head straight to this sale!


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Makeover Monday: Second Coating, Part 2

In which I finish creating a monster: the Franken-Coat!

In last week’s Part 1, I got started on this experiment in the CYC lab. Preparations for this radical disassembly-shuffle parts-reassembly project involved analyzing the 2 thrift-shop jackets for compatibility, doing a folded mock-up, and finally, rather extensive surgical (scissor-al?) procedures on both jackets. Here’s a quick recap:

Franken-Coat prep

Franken-Coat prep. At top left and right are the 2 thrift-shop jackets I started with, and the jacket parts after cutting them up are shown at bottom. (Details of this process are in Second Coating, Part 1.)

Now that everything is ready for the next step, I’m scrubbed and ready to sew!

Action plan:

  1. Stitch jackets together at waist seam, keeping linings out of the way.
  2. Add shoulder pads to, well, shoulders, between lining and outside fabric.
  3. Repair pocket lining on lower part.
  4. Make and add belt loops to sides.
  5. Remove old linings; use as patterns, and replace the lining.*
  6. Remove existing buttons; replace with new ones. Alter buttonholes if necessary.

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Second Coating, Part 1: A Belated Thrift-Shop Thursday

On this Thrift-Shop Thursday, I find myself wanting to extend the Halloween spirit just a little longer. (Click here to read my special Halloween project post, the alleged reason for this TST post’s belatedness.) To that end, I’ve decided this is the perfect time for a rather extreme idea that starts with not one, but two thrift-shop jackets. Yes, folks, I will be attempting something so wildly, radically, even insanely experimental, it has never been seen before! (Okay, never on this blog.) Follow me into the Changing Your Clothes laboratory as I prepare to create…

The Franken-Coat!

Jackets before...

My black-and-white thrift-shop jackets, before entering the CYC lab. 1. Wool/cotton/rayon blend tweed/windowpane plaid jacket, lined. Thrift-shop price: $9.95. 2. Wool/polyester blend bird’s-eye tweed coat, lined. Thrift-shop price: $14.95.

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Happy Halloween! Love, Mummy Dearest

Since today is the last Thursday of the month, this would normally be a Thrift-Shop Thursday post*, but because it is also Halloween, I have another treat for you: I’m going to show you how I came up with my costume!

You may have already met my archaeologist daughter in her debut guest post here at CYC; my original costume idea was for us to go together to our Halloween tango party as The Archaeologist and her Mummy. (Well, I thought it was funny.) In the end, though, she wasn’t really in a costume kind of mood, but that didn’t stop me! Here’s how I did turned myself into a different kind of mummy, starting with a list of criteria, mostly based on dancing needs:

  1. Length can’t be longer than mid-calf. (Trust me, you do not want to risk catching your high heel in your dress.)
  2. Must be stretchy, or at least allow for flexibility (think doing a lunge).
  3. Should have an element that flows, swishes, or otherwise creates movement, particularly in the back.
  4. Must not interfere with dance partner, i.e. ability to put his arm around my left side, nothing on my hands that would be uncomfortable on either his upper back or left hand, nothing on the right side of my face that would be uncomfortable for both of us while cheek-to-cheek.
  5. Should not involve serious expenses (ideally under $50.00 total).
  6. Should be within my ability to make myself.
  7. Must have minimal wardrobe malfunction potential.
  8. Must be relatively quick to make.
  9. Should at least attempt to combine costume with chic.
  10. If at all possible, make main garment wearable as non-costume.

That’s not asking too much, is it? Continue reading


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Closet Confessions: My Commitment Problem

How do you know when you’ve met The One?

Is it the pattern? The fabric? Or the perfect combination of the two? Exactly how do you decide what materials to match up with a particular design? And when you do decide, how can you be sure you can live with your choice?

Stretch cotton print fabric

Stretch cotton floral print, a months-long victim of my fabric commitment phobia.

Remember this fabric?

Yes, I first showed this to you way back in June, when I unexpectedly was offered a trip to Illinois, and was trying to plan a last-minute travel wardrobe. (To see all the posts in that series, click here.) To cut a long story very short, I ended up not making something for this trip with the print fabric, allegedly due to a combination of other priorities and lack of time.

Right.

Here and now, I confess to you, my sympathetic readers, the plain unvarnished truth: I didn’t want to commit this fabric to a specific project. Continue reading


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Makeover Monday: Lining up!

You know how sometimes, even when something doesn’t need to be changed, you feel like changing it anyway? (I’m convinced this is the explanation for my lipgloss collection.) Well, I was in that kind of mood coming into today’s Makeover Monday; I only had to choose a suitable victim garment on which to experiment.

Enter the grey knit skirt.

I’ve had this skirt for at least 8 years, probably longer; I got it from Anthropologie, and it’s a triumph of featherweight 100% merino wool sweater-knit, with a pure silk lining, in my favorite shades of grey: charcoal and silver.

Grey knit skirt, before

Grey knit skirt, before. Nothing wrong with it, I love the style, I just suddenly want to change the lining, which, as you can see, peeks through the drop-stitch panels.

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