Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How-To: Turn Men's suit pants into Women's slacks

The jumpsuit-how-to post 1 is all about how I fitted the pants. You can use this tutorial by itself just to fit pants, or you continue on to the jacket post to make the whole overall (Link is at the bottom of this post)...

So I started out with a dull grey suit... You want to make sure that the collar still looks good enough for you to want to wear, as well as the sleeve cuffs... Generally, the whole suit still needs to be in pretty good condition.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Here it is, my January contribution to the Refashion Co-op!
I'm sure you have at some point been in your boyfriend/husband/brother's closet? Wearing "his" clothes can be so great - but it gets better! Get him to hand it down to you and you can "tune" it to your needs...

This is what I made from my husbands old, gray suit:

 The Before:

I wrote a full how-to for this project in two posts:
the first one is all about the pants HERE
and the second is about fitting the bodice HERE

This post is just about show-and-tell...;-))

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The 1938 Dress: Tutorial basting and setting in Sleeves

Here we go, today I'll show you how I first basted in, then set in the sleeves I so nicely prepared yesterday. I'll also explain the whole point of basting sleeves a bit later in the post:

Again, I am using the book from 1935 as a reference. It is a fairly small book, but there is so much information in it!

 This illustration is our reference for the basting:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The 1938 Dress: Tutorial Preparing Sleeves

 Today: Applying the stripes and preparing the sleeves!

It's funny, even though I am going at an extremely slow pace, reading up every stitch I make in my vintage sewing book and stopping to take pictures after each move, I feel like I am moving along nicely!
Gone are the days where I thought I could finish a dress in one evening, here are the slow-paced precision days! :-)

I'll first show you how I applied the velvet stripes, but you can just scroll down to get to the sleeves if that's what you stopped by for...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Diva Coat! Making-of #3

Welcome to Part 4 of my Diva-Coat Post Series, the finale!
This is about the coat I made for the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, my name there, by the way, is ajtak7171.

THIS FIRST POST gives you an overview, initial sketches and an outline of how many days it took me and what I did on each day.

THIS SECOND POST gives you the detailed description of the changes I made from the original pattern, and details of days 1-4, with close-up photos of the sewing process and whatever bits of insight I can give.

THIS THIRD POST continues with the sewing of the coat from days 5-8, everything up to the lining, again including lots of pictures of course.


Half days = 2-4 hrs. of work
3/4 days = up to 6 hrs.
whole days = 8 - 10 hrs.

I always started the day with cutting out the pattern pieces that I would need for the next step. Which meant about an hour of cutting in the beginning of each day...

(click to read on!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The 1938 Dress: Tutorial Built-up Neckline

Dear Readers: Happy 2012!

I want to apologize for my long absence, but really, it was for the better. And I don't only mean for the better of myself, but for you, too ;-)
The blogging got quite stressful, because I couldn't keep up with my own ideas and instead of enjoying my hobby, it became pressure. So I stepped back, thought about where I wanted to go with this blog - and came back.
Well, I will bring you even more information. I will not merely "show and tell" what I've sewn, but I will provide you with more details - things I am learning along the way, techniques I am picking up, patterns I'm creating. Maybe less posts in total, but the posts will be filled with information that hopefully inspire you and give you useful information.
I promise to try and make better pictures (it's difficult with the low-light winter season...), answer questions (as always!) and only write when I feel like it. I can't promise that my fingernails will always be perfectly manicured, but hey, my priorities lie elsewhere ;-)

The beginning of my 2012 blogging is this 1938 dress I have had on my list FOREVER. I was just going to sew it up and show you, but what's the point? As you might know, vintage instructions are usually minimal and say little more than: put it together. In this instance for example, it says to leave the left side open within the marks and prepare it for snap-button closure. But how exactly is a snap-button closure done? Well, here enters my 1935 sewing book!

It has a lovely signature from the previous owner that says 1958, but the copyright of the book is 1935, so a match made in heaven. And while I first only planned to give you the snap button tutorial, I decided we'll go top to bottom.

So let's get to it!
This dress features a gorgeous built-up neckline which is achieved with a slit and facing.