Changing Your Clothes

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


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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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Closet Confessions: How My Trousers Got Their Stripes

Remember my pale sage green linen trousers I made for my Santa Fe travel wardrobe? Well, there’s a reason they have those sporty side stripes— and I’m willing to tell all, purely out of consideration for you, dear readers.

For my sewing friends: have you run into this problem with multi-sized patterns? The one where the size range is, say, 6-14 or 16-22, but you are in between? This is what happened to me with the trouser pattern I used. It went up to a size 14; in ready-to-wear, I’m more like a size 12, but in sewing patterns (which are sized differently), I’m finding that a 14 or 16 is more appropriate, depending on what type of garment it is. (But even that isn’t consistent across pattern brands. Aargh.) When purchasing the pattern, I decided optimistically to get the smaller size range, intending to cut the largest size (14). Which I did.

Problem:  <Deeeep breath>  The trousers were too small. In some fabrics (stretch wovens, for example), this might not have been such an issue, but I was using a substantial linen, and the trousers were cut with wide legs, so I didn’t want the fit to be tight. Aargh encore. Continue reading


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Santa Fe Wardrobe: The fabrics & projects

Now that I’ve chosen the color palette for my Santa Fe travel mini-wardrobe, let me show you how that translates into fabric. (Yes, it’s true that I plan to sew most of this wardrobe, but stay tuned for the shopper’s version in my next post! I will also show you how I incorporated several items from my existing wardrobe into this travel collection.)

Remember my palette? Here it is again, below the fabrics (plus my turquoise necklace) with the palette colors:

Palette Fabrics

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Changing a Pattern 3: Details

So far, the changes I’ve made just to get ready to make my jersey dress (Vogue 1305, photo 1) are:

1. Decided to make shorter version (long was the only length the pattern came in);

2. Chose to use a contrast lining, since some of the lining may be visible, due to slits on the sleeve and center back;

3. Chose a larger button than called for (closed with a bias fabric loop which can easily be made larger), being careful to choose one that’s both washable and lightweight.

(Details of the above are in Changing a Pattern; details of the process of shortening the pattern are in Changing a Pattern 2.)

Today, the final detail I need to deal with is that long slit in the center back of the dress, you know, the one that goes from the neck all the way down to there. Tres sexy indeed, but how does one wear a bra with it?? I decided that slit needed some closure (but then, don’t we all?). Continue reading


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Changing a Pattern 2

The dress pattern I’m using, Vogue 1305 (photo 1) is quite interesting; one side is draped, the other side is not, and there is a loosely-cut dolman sleeve on the draped side (the non-draped side is sleeveless). Slits on the sleeve, center back, and on the non-draped leg are featured. This dress is also fully lined (interesting for a stretch-fabric garment), which means that the color of the lining fabric will show to some extent. (See more about my choice of lining fabric, plus details of initial issues with this project, in my 7/25/12 post.)

Looking at the pattern pieces (photo 2), you can see that the pieces for the draped sides have a shape that’s dramatically different than the non-draping sides; this presented a bit of a challenge, since I planned on making a shorter version of this dress. Here’s how to do it (and note that this is specific to this pattern): Continue reading