Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lessons in Refashioning

Incredibly inspired by this awesomeness created by Gina - yes, I wanted to be her neighbour! - I marched down to the Op Shop on a mission. I found the "thought to be perfect" jumper to refashion into my own felted top.

After 2 washes in hot water and NO sign on shrinkage or any resemblance of felting, I emailed Gina in a tizz... what was I doing wrong?

It turned out that it wasn't what I WAS doing wrong.... it was what I had DONE wrong...

Lesson 1: read the label

Determined not to give up and waste my big spend of $4, I soldiered on. Having to let go of my original plan gave me a strange sense of freedom, something I am not really all that comfortable with as I am very much a follow-the-pattern type of girl.

Anyway, things were looking good. I overlocked the neck edge and left it raw, assuring myself this was deliberate and not unfinished (again with the pattern and rules thing). I shortened the arms to 3/4 length and sewed them back on. I even cut the front bigger than the back, leaving extra fabric along the front neckline which could be folded up with a pin.

My masterpiece was finished and I must admit, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed not following a pattern and at how well it had turned out.

Then I tried it on.
Lesson 2: measure your length

I made the jumper too short. In this photo, it is pulled down as much as possible, and even with a top underneath, it rides up and comes dangerously close to being a mid-rif. And while I do puffer vests, I don't do mid-rifs.

So while I love the raw (not unfinished!) necklane and the way it sits with a gorgeous brooch, and the baggy 3/4 sleeves, it's back to the drawing board.

But I'm not writing this top off yet... the scissors are hovering close by, especially after seeing this on Tricia's blog. And a felted top remains on my 'To Do' list... as does buying a woollen jumper that is NOT Machine washable!


LaurieStar said...

Hi! I was just blog surfing and found you through Clare's Craftroom. I love what you did with that! Wow - you are talented. Can you explain to an American, though, what you define as a "jumper"? I just finished reading an English book with that word in it and am not sure what it means to you.
Oh - and nice blog by the way! :)

Gina said...

Nikki this is just fabulous! I really love it, and in fact I think the mid-riff look works well. It's all about LAYERING you see... and because of where it sits, it emphasises the waist and therefore accentuates your figure very nicely! (I've been reading up on my body-shape books!)

I'm also glad that you enjoyed the sense of freedom and play that came with a bit of freestyle sewing. Fun isn't it? Even when the result is not quite as you imagined... still very satisfying.

Well done you.

Chasing Snails said...

Honestly, it looks pretty damn sweet IMHO! I think you did a fabbo job and should wear it with pride.

I can't help but giggle tho.. you silly billy not checking the label :p

Tricia (Little eco footprints) said...

I agree with Julianne and Gina - I think it looks great! I love the neck line.

If you still want it longer perhaps you could cut the waist band off and add length by adding the botton of another jumper...Perhaps even a contrasting red to match your lovely flower? Alternatively it would also look good as a 5 second cardi.

Have fun..

Cathie said...

that looks great with the layering & I love the neckline! you can just pull anything off my dear!

Tania said...

Don't you just hate it when it turns out there are still rules when you're purposely NOT following ANY? Grr. Having said that - what a fab creation. Also not one for the midriff look (three pregnancies - yeek) but you can definitely get away with wearing something underneath - no?

Also itching to get to the oppie to see what potential to unearth. We're all going to be wandering around in Gina Jumpers!

Miss Muggins said...

You look fab, and can certainly carry it off. You have done a wonderful job of turning an ugly thing into a thing of beauty

CurlyPops said...

That's some fantastic refashioning! I love the rolled neckline.
Could you chop off the bottom ribbing, add some fabric and then re-attach to make it longer?

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

What a shame about the length. It's really cute and very clever.

Maria Rose said...

I'm with you on the no midriff bearing sweaters, but I think you're onto something!

Sandrine said...

Oh Nikki, I like it very much and with layers under it is quite cool!
I can not wait to see your next refashionista project;)

Peta @ Pippiwillow said...

Oh come on Nik' , first the (quasi) puffer vest now the mid rif top - aren't you just busting to unearth your 'inner Brittany"? Thanks for the links on this post, you know how I feel about felted things. Petaxo

Annie said...

I love the beautiful scarf, and want to know more about the felted top!!

Anonymous said...

I think it is great the way it is!! So clever!!! I wouldn't know where to start if you handed me a pattern - ha! Wear a red longer top underneath & it will be great layering & match the gorgeous flower!!

Unknown said...

I think it looks fantastic!
I lllllllllove the sleeves! it makes it so originaly


edward and lilly said...

How cool is it! I love the puffy 3/4 sleeve action you've got going on. I so need to get in on the re-fashioning act after seeing so many great outcomes.

MooBear Designs said...

Awww see what I miss when I am not in blog land... I am so proud of you!! Let go of the rules and just go for it!! Patterns scare me hehe. The brooch you won is the perfect off set!! *Applauding Loudly*

xo Steph

Angie said...

this is great, could you add a bit to the bottom or middle or whatever to make it longer. Love the neckline!