Category Archives: refashion

A FESA update, a refashion and the pants that almost didn´t come to be.

First of all, thank you all so much for the lovely comments on my last post, it prompted me to make another refashion of a shirt! This time a less radical change, I just wanted one of my darlings old crisp white shirts to fit me instead of him.


The shirt tucked into the wool version of my beloved Vogue 8604.

Just so you know, my camera didn´t want to co-operate with me today, so all recent photos are heavily edited…

I wanted to keep the dressy look of this shirt, so I kept the collar, I never wear it closed so I don´t mind that it is a bit big. I love the look of a clean white shirt, and it can be worn in so many different ways! Here are the changes I did:

  • I took in the sleeve and side seams with about 8 cm on each side.
  • I added 12 cm long contour darts on each shirt front
  • I added a 7×4 cm elastic band in the center back
  • I added tucks on the shoulder to rise the shoulder seam. 

That´s pretty much how I changed this shirt, I wanted to keep the length, as I would like to wear it untucked at times as well. I adjusted the sleeve length just by rolling up the sleeves one time the entire width of the cuff, and then closed the buttons.

Elastic band in the back    DSCN3791

Elastics in the back, and a view of the sleeves. 


There have been some change of plans. I have been working in a steady pace with the garments for the Fall Essentials Sew Along. But I have changed the plan a bit. First, here´s a recap of the original plan:


FEFA11_fabricNow, as some of you may know, I´m not much of a muslin sewer, but for this sew along I actually thought I´d stitch up some muslins for some of the items.  The first one I did was the pants. I made them up in a navy blue stretchy cotton sateen. For those of you who followed the Self- Stitched September may know them as the unblogged pants:


I am very happy that I actually made a muslin (although a wearable one) for these pants, as the fit was WAY off. For the most part I have used Burda patterns for snug fitting pants, and they fit me without any other alteration than the usual 8 cm or so in the length of the leg. This pattern, on the other hand, is from Patrones, and was sooo hard to fit! Everything was off, the rise is extremely low, the waistband was, in my opinion too narrow,  and the legs were too wide. All in all, not the pattern for me. Eventually I got a decent fit, but I will replace the waistband with a wider one both to get the look I am after, and to compensate for the low rise. I don´t know the average height of the Patrone´s models, but I am guessing it is shorter and more petite than Burda´s as the pattern really wasn´t for me. So I decided not to use that pattern for my planned FESA pants. And to use Burda 10-2010-110 instead.

The next thing I did, just to be on the safe side, was to make a shorts version to check the fit of the Burda pattern I chose. The shorts went together smoothly, except that I forgot to add some markings for the pocket placing, and so they are a tiny bit off grain on one of the fronts, but I don´t think it matters much.

SSS´11: Day 27

 The FESA shorts

I am very satisfied with these shorts, but there really are limited opportunities for wearing winter shorts in my life, I don´t need two pairs, so these took the place of the planned Simplicity 3850.

The problem with this change of plan was that I really love the fabric I had planned for the FESA shorts! Enter the pants that almost didn´t come to be.

So here´s the story: Last year, when I was struggling to make Vouge 8604 seen above, the one failed version I made was from a yummy mustard wool that looks a lot like this one, and the smart people over at Gorgeous Fabrics call it a nubby wool tweed, so lets call it that… There was enough fabric in this failed pair of trousers to fit another, more slim pair onto it. And so I did. Enthusiastically, I stitched up the new pair, but when I was to try them on, I didn´t understand, they were too small! I went back and checked the pattern instructions, and there it was, in black and white “only suitable for fabric with some stretch…” Oh the frustration! I threw them into the back of my UFO pile and didn´t want to see them again. Until this autumn.


 Can you guess the photo inspiration?

I pulled these out again in September, made a new seam as far out in the seam allowance as possible, ripped the old one, attached the waistband, and voilá! They fit! 🙂 Although I must admit that they are a bit tight, not to be worn for the holiday feasts…


The pants that almost didn´t come to be makes the perfect team together with my FESA silk blouse refahsion as well. I won´t bore you with the details of this refashion, it is more or less the same procedure as on the other recent refashions. But I will mention that I didn´t use the planned pattern for it, as it wasn´t enough fabric…;-)

So as you can see, there has been some change of plans, but I am happy with them. I will announce more changes, but I´ll save that for another day!

Until next time, happy stitching!


9 Responses to A FESA update, a refashion and the pants that almost didn´t come to be.

  1. Solvi, you look stunning as always! What a classy white shirt (and you’re making me yearn to finally try V8604) and all of these fabulous pants!! Love that mustard, so classy, so Marilyn! 😉

  2. First of all, I love your new white blouse refashion [Note to self: Must snatch one of Mr. Stitch’s shirts for myself]. Second, I really like both your pants, especially the wool ones. I’m in awe of accomplished sewists like you who can so competently fit pants. They look great on you.

  3. Love, love, love the new white shirt! I need to go hunting in Mr. Friday’s closet to find one for me! The shorts are terrific and so are the pants!! They look great on you and at first I thought they were Colette Patterns’ Clover! Well done!

  4. The white shirt looks very good with the black trousers. So glam! I admired your shorts in September. And the mustard ones are fabulous – what a great photo of you.

  5. Wow a trouser-a-thon!! The vogues are so classy, and look great with the White shirt. All the reiterations through muslin and shorts to get to your nubby wool mustard trousers show amazing skill to get such a range of wearable beauties. The mustards are very nice- great that you were able to save them.

  6. Oooh, those tweed trousers that nearly weren’t are stunning! What pattern did you use to make them in the end? xxx

  7. Thanks all for the lovely comments!

    @Zoe: I used a pattern from Burda.It´s pattern 117-2009-03.:-)

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Refashioning for the tall

Now, I dont know about you, but I have more than once been fooled by the gorgeous pictures on somebody’s blog where they are showcasing a smart and remarkably good- looking garment, refashioned from a men´s shirt. Just as many times, I have become disappointed about the unsatisfactory result when I try to do something similar. Why oh why isn´t the pretty shirtdress working for… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Refashioning for the tall

  1. Great refashion! Totally new look and better than those shirtdress refashions I see out there. Definite refashion inspiration! 🙂 Thanks for the step by step too; it helps me grasp some refashion principles more solidly.

  2. Ha! I have the same “problem”! There is never enough material in a shirt to make a dress or a skirt. And I found that I can refashion only shirts without bust darts, like the one you used here. Otherwise the darts hits high over the bust apex and the shirt pulls up on the chest.
    Your blouse turned out very pretty! The fabric is fabulous.

  3. Very cute! I love that you could keep the shoulder seams, sleeves and button! I took a shirt apart to make a neckholder dress but I gave it up until next summer. There barely is enough fabric (and I’m 1.64cm!), I even pieced the sleeves to make the bodice…! 😉

  4. Your new top s cute, and the fact that it’s up-cycled makes it even better. I must confess I’m on the short side of things so I’ve been successful in refashioning a few of my husband’s shirts (who’s extremely tall!) but your notes will be helpful for the next time I find a smallish man shirt at a charity shop – thank you!

  5. You did a great job with this! It is hard to believe fabrics like that were once popular for men–so much more interesting than the boring solids and stripes of today. 🙂 I also LOVE the picture of your earlier New Look 6808 and Beignet skirt. Must add that to my Pinterest style file! 🙂

  6. Wow, a great refashion! I enjoyed Zoe’s as well and I’ve got a stack of men’s shirts in the stash waiting to be tinkered with… 🙂

  7. Cute!!! I have that pattern and every time someone makes it up it makes me think I should try it again. The shirt refashion is fabulous. I have a pile of ladies blouses to refashion, so maybe I’ll experience a similar challenge! Thanks for tips 🙂

  8. Wow, it looks great! And what a wonderful print, loving those 70’s fashions. I’m always so in awe of anyone that refashions because I haven’t got a clue!

  9. Great refashion! I love the print on the shirt and the contrast collar. I bought this pattern after I saw Zoe’s refashion. I’ll be making the sleeveless top with a white collar too. I have the fabric ready, now I just need the time to make it.

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8 Responses to Some September preparations

  1. Yes the piggy bank idea is such a great on isn’t it? I am putting aside the money I used to spend on shop-bought coffee every morning – I am amazed how much I save!

    • The more stretch there is in the tee, the better it is. So some of my tee´s with more spandex works better than my man´s 100% cotton t-shirts. It´s really all about negative ease, which isn´t my area of expertise…:-) But so far, so good. I´ll report back when they get more wear!

  2. ” But so far, so good. I´ll report back when they get more wear!” Please…because my foray into making panties resulted in my drawers falling down…into my long pants. I am a curvy petite and most panties stay right where they are placed. 🙂

  3. The cami is so pretty! I’ve been meaning to make some undies for ages but I always think of something different to sew before I manage…

  4. How exciting I love your range of colours and what a pretty camisole. I’ve made undies and have not found the end result always satisfactory once worn! Im having fun looking at my mistakes though!

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0 Responses to Living in the World.

  1. Thank you for the link to that TED video! That was so neat to see. I don’t do everything I could, but I try to do what I can given my emotional limitations 😉

    The scariest thing to me about the future is that we are pumping massive amounts of carbon into the biosphere that has been out of circulation for hundreds of million years. The climate that that carbon was a part of was very, very different, and our society is highly adapted to our current climate, which we are changing rapidly. I suspect that we will limp along, getting by as we tend to. I doubt we’ll manage to do this without major cost to the planet, but I hope that our society will be affluent and flexible enough to meet the challenges we’ve created for ourselves. We know that civilizations can and do destroy themselves—I just hope that the modern, diversified world economy with wide distribution of knowledge will be able to compensate for the added strains we will encounter as we exhaust and disrupt our world.

    … Which amounts to a pretty big downer, so I try not to think about it and remind myself that we usually pull through.

  2. I believe in doing what you can, which is, like you said, different for everyone. Recycling is a good start, as if reusing things, or giving them away instead of just trashing them. I have been focusing mostly on food lately. Cooking my own instead of going out, choosing healthier, organic choices, etc. It is cetainly something worth thinking about!

  3. A great post. I do lots of the usual things like recycling and also try to think when I buy and not buy food etc wrapped up in extra packaging. I am told this is now called Precycling. I don’t buy new things. I do drive a car,my son’s school is not walkable nor on a bus route. I hope once we move this summer I will be able to walk and lift share with other families to get him to school. I try to limit my journeys and we have a day a week which is no driving day. I am not sure whether all these small things add up. I also am the light switcher off person in my house. BUt I do think it is my responsibility as a parent to practise what I preach and to show my kids positive actions.

  4. I love this post, Solvi. I’ve always been aware and made an effort, but in a very offhand way and I’m finally gaining more courage to do more. I think we can each do our part. Do I think it’ll reverse the insane damage? Probably not, but I feel good about my life and where I (choose to) live by being more mindful. It’s also easier to do when you live in a community that makes things so, so easy. I feel I must live in one of the greenest parts of the U.S. My concerns revolve aroundconsumption and waste — how can I not just buy less, but buy better? And how can I reduce my waste? Buying pre-packaged food during a crazy week is still better for me (health and pocketbook wise) than eating out those same days that week. How can I create good habits that are mutually beneficial for me and my community? I think that’s the sticking point: People rarely see that a life change can actually be greatly beneficial.

    But funnily enough, I’m spending more than ever (and I’m on a clothing ration!). Once I decided to buy quality, it means I own less but I’m dropping more bills — a hard sell in the U.S. I keep reminding myself these are investments, that I’ll save money in the long run. Whew, long comment 🙂

  5. great post solvi, i try to do what i can – the usual recycling, only using my car when i have to (i actually dream of getting my dad to extend his mechanical skills to building/customising a car that’d be greener for me, mechanical refashioning?!). i do muslin but i keep the material and resuse it where-ever possible in other muslins, like say smaller collars or sleeves cut out of bodies etc. i’m hoping to get my own place this summer and am having a lot of fun researching selvage yards where i can get everything from floorboards to sinks to doors and furniture rather than buying new bulk produced things.
    we’ve all got to do what we can, i personally try not to think about the huge-er picture, its overwhelming and paralysing so i plod along doing my little bit.

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0 Responses to My Baby´s Come Back!

  1. I have three men’s shirts lined up for refashioning. One is a white formal dress shirt with lots of pin tucks on the front in a kind of bib shape. I was thinking of just making it into a more fitted white shirt but now you have made me think of a tunic with casing for summer. Hmmm, you have inspited me now. I will let you know what I do. Good luck with the shirt sewing for your Darling. I have steered clear of sewing for Mr Minnado so far. The advice on MPB looked very good though. Have a good week. x

    • Ooo, that shirt sounds so nice for refashioning, I´d love to see what you do with it! 🙂

  2. What about using one of his discarded shirts to make a pattern from? It might take a lot less time to unpick the seams and trace the pieces rather than pattern fitting, since you already know it fits.

    • That´s a great idea, but none of his RTW shirts really fit him properly, (like in a tailor made kind of a way) so I think I´ll have to do it the “hard way”. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  3. Welcome back to your honey! Wow, 2 months is a long time!!! I love that refashion you linked to share! Good luck in your men’s shirt sewing, I need to make one for my husband but he is very particular in how things fit him so it would be a big endeavour. I’ve finally managed to make jumpers that fit him perfectly but somehow that comes a bit more easily to me than pattern drafting.

    • Yes, I know, two months are much longer than you´d think, isn´t it? You´re such an amazing knitter, Kristen. I´m very impressed by your skills!

    • Thank you so much for the links! I especially loved the peasant top. So cute! You did use a shirt for 6808? That´s so great. Love the idea. 🙂

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0 Responses to Pledges and sustainability.

  1. I’m so glad to have found you through SSS flickr group, what a great blog! I LOVE your grand plan and actually had been thinking about doing something like that myself! Very inspiring work, lady! xxKO

  2. i don’t have any tips for how to get rid of things in your closet, mine is crammed full as well. i find if i’m angry about something or in a random “i need to get rid of everything” mood, then i can cull things for at least 10 or so minutes (until i get out of the mood, try things on to see if they fit etc!). oooh and i love love love the ceylon dress!

  3. my best trick for getting rid of clothes: invite a friend or relative over to help (this is ESSENTIAL), then try on EVERYTHING (not all at once), and have this friend/relation be brutally honest with you (pick someone you’re comfortable with as far as being in your undies, so you can quick-change without leaving the room).
    The main rule is: if it doesn’t look fabulous, it goes.
    You likely have stuff you know you already love and look fab in, and those things can be set to one side, to help cut down on time.
    You are allowed to hold onto some not-so-fab items if all they need is alterations, but they must leave your closet and head for the sewing room right away. If they’re not fixed (or missed) in a month or so, those have to go, too.
    If you just can’t stand to get rid of something, because you made it, or you have strong memories, etc, you can keep it, but again, it has to leave the closet and be stored elsewhere. If you haven’t got that sort of space, take a picture, and let it go.
    My sisters and mom and I try to do this for each other once a year or so. Sometimes it’s a couple years in between. Can’t be done without the friend/relation, though. You have to have someone else there to help keep you going, and to keep you from rationalizing too many items that really don’t work.

    make sure you send it all off to charity/thrift stores, of course (after giving your helper their pick, if they wish). even the stuff that isn’t wearable gets used at those places – one near me bundles up their unsold or unwearable clothes and sends them to Africa (usually), where they are cut into strips and woven into rugs, which helps the impoverished make honest money, etc. Win-win.

    • Oh, thanks Laurel! That is a great idea to get someone to help me. Come to think of it, my sister IS the best clutter police I know. Only problem is she lives a 100 miles (european miles) away, so I´ll have to wait for her next visit. If I don´t suggest this as an activity for my sewing group.

      I love the part you added about the stuff that should be fixed. I have ALOT of stuff in my “ixing bin”, and they´ve been there way much longer than a month. So I´ll probably start there. 🙂

  4. I wrote a similar post yesterday! Last night, I filled two bin bags: one bag has gone into my “storage drawer” and contains my summer clothes; the other contains items for the charity shop. Once I got going, it wasn’t too hard. I still think I need to be more brutal with what’s left and intend to strike again tonight. I also know that I ought to edit the summer bag a bit more, but at least it is out of sight for a few months! One thing I would say: try to do your editing in daylight – then you can identify the items which need to go because they are past saving due to fading / bobbles etc. I feel quite refreshed! P.S. There are some interesting comments appearing on my post you might like to read.

    • Oh, that´s so funny that you did that too, must be the season?
      And the part about daylight, is soo very true.

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Refashioning and the finishing of a jacket (or two)

Since I came back to Uppsala, I first thought that I was super prepared for SSS. Now that September is here, I see that I have mistaken a closet full of self-made items with a closet full of useful autumn-y clothes. So, I have been doing some refashioning and some finishing of old UFO´s and… Continue Reading…

8 Responses to Refashioning and the finishing of a jacket (or two)

  1. Great stuff, I’m pleased to have found your blog through SSS flickr. I really like your pink blouse, and I tend to refashion using a pattern, too. The jacket is so cute!

  2. Thank you! SSS is a great way to discover new people, isn´t it? There are so many talented and creative people out there!

  3. The fact that you finished up your jacket after 5 years gives me hope for my two unfinished coats! I love the pink blouse, very pretty.

    • Thanks! We have a saying in Norway that says: “Necessity teaches the naked woman to spin (yarn).” Meaning, if I didn’t finish that jacket, I would have been freezing cold;-). So, when the right time comes those jackets will be finished! 🙂

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