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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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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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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Makeover Monday, Meet Closet Confessions: Who Am I, Anyway?

I promised you another juicy Closet Confession, and today is my monthly Makeover Monday, ergo…

This is hard. I’ve been thinking about tackling this subject here for quite a while, and now seems to be as good a time as any to stop procrastinating. Yes, it will be a makeover (eventually), but I have to start with the confession.

Here’s the thing. You know how I’ve written about our wardrobes evolving as a reflection of changes in our lives, and in us as individuals? Well, for several months now I’ve been feeling thoroughly confused, clothes-wise; it’s like I’m no longer sure what works on me, what’s flattering, what’s age-appropriate, and most perplexing of all, what is actually a reflection of who I am?

Ah, there’s the real question I’ve been avoiding like an itchy wool sweater:

Who am I?

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Makeover Monday: Ballroom Dress to Tango Skirt!

Previously on Makeover Monday, I cut up a stretch-velvet dress I had made several years ago for ballroom dancing; so far, this has netted me an asymmetrically-hemmed top. Today, I’m taking the remainder of the erstwhile dress, adding some contrasting velvet, and turning it into a tango skirt!

Here’s my ballroom dress, before I went a little scissors-happy:

Velvet dress

Velvet dress, pre-makeover.

After cutting this dress diagonally into 2 pieces, here’s what the skirt portion looks like; I’ve laid it over a pencil skirt to get an idea of what I’d have to add to turn this oddly-shaped thing into a useable garment.

Mockup 1

Skirt mock-up 1. Since the original dress was quite close-fitting, I thought this slim pencil skirt would give me some idea how to add on to the remaining velvet piece, to create a new skirt.

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Makeover Monday: Cropping Jeans

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you how to crop thrift-shop yoga pants to capri length. Today, I’ll show you how I cropped a pair of jeans; the process is very similar, except that the jeans are a non-stretch fabric, requiring a different stitching technique.

Here are my jeans at their original length:

Jeans at original length

My jeans at their original length. (You may recognize them from some early Makeover Mondays.)

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Makeover Monday: A Tale of Two Skirts, Part Two

Previously on Makeover Monday, I showed you how to create a peplum out of a full skirt, and prepare it to be attached to a pencil skirt. Today, we’ll finish this project by sewing the peplum to the skirt, then reattaching the partially-removed zipper and the waistband.

Let’s get started, continuing from last week’s post, which got us to the point of pinning the peplum in place and adjusting the gathers.

1. Pin and machine-baste the gathered peplum to grey skirt.

Red Alert! If the zipper on your skirt is not an invisible zipper, like mine, reattach your zipper before adding the peplum.

Adding peplum to skirt

Adding peplum to skirt. As shown, make sure that the seam allowance of your pencil skirt are folded out; this is where you will reattach your zipper. And fold the zipper-opening edges of your peplum under before pinning it to the skirt. Machine-baste, using previous stitching line as your guide.

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