Adjustments, Vintage & Refashion

Diesen Beitrag habe ich ursprünglich auf http://www.vanboy.net/ veröffentlicht. Aber die ganze Upcycling und Refashion-Geschichte ja eigentlich im Humanist Lab losgegangen ist (und auch weitergehen wird), gehört er eigentlich auch hierher.

I started sewing some years ago. I can't even remember why I initially started. There was a sewing machine in my possession that I had bought for another project but never actually used it. Now I remember, the first thing I made was - surprise - a pullover! It has a very specific collar. I always wanted to have such a pullover but couldn't find one in the shops. So I decided to make it. Later I made some dresses and enjoyed the fact that they fit my silhouette and not somebody else's or some ideal average person.

As part of the Humanist Lab I then started to think about upcycling / sustainability and we did some experiments on that. Since then I try to buy fewer clothes and make them myself instead. Or I try to turn the clothes I have but do not like anymore or that do not fit into something new. This can be clothing or clothing turned into bags, pillowcases, etc.. Last time I was going through my closet looking for stuff to take to the collection bin, I kept 80% and put it aside for refashion or upcycling. Only in 20% I couldn´t see any potential for that. (Mostly wool, though some people love to refashion wool, it is just me who doesn't.) Recently I started to go to vintage shops which is a very good way to find inspiration and save resources.

Once we had a clothing swap party in the Humanist Lab. I noticed that people look at the clothes and only see them as what they are right now. They do not really look at the fabric, what kind of material it is and what it could be turned into. At best most people think about amending but not about re-inventing clothes. I find it hard to explain how I decide what I will do with something. So I will simply show you three examples of what can be done: One simple adjustment, one adjusted vintage piece and one refashioned piece. Here they come!

This dress never fitted properly. Even when I bought it, I loved the idea (especially the scarfy collar) but not the shape. It was relatively tight at the lower hem and there was even a denim draw cord to make it even tighter and therefore saggier on the whole. The simplest solution is sometimes the best. I took some fabric from an old denim blouse and added two triangles on both sides to create more of an a-line shape.
This dress never fitted properly. Even when I bought it, I loved the idea (especially the scarfy collar) but not the shape. It was relatively tight at the lower hem and there was even a denim draw cord to make it even tighter and therefore saggier on the whole. The simplest solution is sometimes the best. I took some fabric from an old denim blouse and added two triangles on both sides to create more of an a-line shape.
Tartan is big right now which is good as I had always liked it anyway. Still I am not sure whether I would have gone for it it if it wasn't for this very lively tartan skirt I recently found in a vintage store. (I think it was about EUR 7,-.) It was XS and far too long for me. I am not very tall, so a flared skirt has to be short unless I really want to look like a walking christmas tree. Now it should be easy to guess what I did. I shortened the skirt and used the cut off part as a scarf. Two seams that's it. Well, not quite. I had to adjust the small belts and add an extra buttonhole for the belt to go through to fit my size.
Tartan is big right now which is good as I had always liked it anyway. Still I am not sure whether I would have gone for it it if it wasn't for this very lively tartan skirt I recently found in a vintage store. (I think it was about EUR 7,-.) It was XS and far too long for me. I am not very tall, so a flared skirt has to be short unless I really want to look like a walking christmas tree. Now it should be easy to guess what I did. I shortened the skirt and used the cut off part as a scarf. Two seams that's it. Well, not quite. I had to adjust the small belts and add an extra buttonhole for the belt to go through to fit my size.
I loved the colour of this jumper but stopped wearing it because I found it looked very plain. So I decided to turn it into a kind of college-jacket-style jumper. Of course you could wear it as a jacket but it really looks best buttoned up. So I wanted to make it more interesting but still let the nice green colour shine. I still had some of the grey fabric with the printed stars, but added the black cuff fabric for the collar and cuffs for more contrast.
I loved the colour of this jumper but stopped wearing it because I found it looked very plain. So I decided to turn it into a kind of college-jacket-style jumper. Of course you could wear it as a jacket but it really looks best buttoned up. So I wanted to make it more interesting but still let the nice green colour shine. I still had some of the grey fabric with the printed stars, but added the black cuff fabric for the collar and cuffs for more contrast.
Now I am thinking, maybe I should replace the green hem of the sweater with a hem of black cuff fabric, too? Well, there is always something that could be improved or altered or might look even better, but I am going to leave it as it is... for today. ;-)
Now I am thinking, maybe I should replace the green hem of the sweater with a hem of black cuff fabric, too? Well, there is always something that could be improved or altered or might look even better, but I am going to leave it as it is... for today. ;-)