The Restyling Exchange is a sewing challenge run by Amy (of @amynicolestudio) and Pilar (of @pilar_bear). It involves refashioning someone else’s garment, and another sewist will refashion an item you send them.
So what did I make?
Kate sent me a beautiful turquoise skirt with a pink tulip print. She mentioned she liked the skirt but didn’t get much wear out of it, because it was a touch too formal for everyday wear. She also said her style icons included Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn so I knew I had a vintage style to aim for.
The genius of this skirt was the amount of material I had to play with. Not only is there the main fabric, but also a lining. I decided a shirt would be ideal, and ended up using the Vintage Shirt Dress pattern from Sew Over It which I already had in my stash. I hacked the pattern to make it into a shirt length, rather than the intended dress. In this way, I thought it would tick both boxes – wearable everyday, but also vintage inspired! Fortunately Kate and I were a similar size, so I was able to make it to fit me during the sewing process.
A few notes on the construction…
- I kept the main button band from the skirt; some would say this was clever refashioning, I’d say it was me being lazy and not wanting to redo button holes..!
- I finished the arm holes with bias binding, which worked pretty well.
- I used the hem of the skirt for the shirt hem… again, lazy not clever if I’m honest 🙂
- I decided very early on that pattern matching wasn’t going to happen. Although I had a lot of material, it just wasn’t enough to match the tulips. That being said, I tried to match the central tulip on the centre back seam as I thought that would be pretty obvious.
- The lining was pretty useful for the front facing, where I didn’t have quite enough of the main fabric to use.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with this make and was a bit sad to see it go – I really enjoyed sewing with such beautiful, bright fabric!
And what did I receive in return?
I sent (to be refashioned) a navy patterned dress that was just a tad too short (read: indecent), and a green Ogden cami that didn’t have enough drape so I just didn’t wear it (both me-mades). I received back two items (completely didn’t expect two!).
They were a lovely refashioned top (from the dress) and a bag to store sewing projects (from the Ogden cami). Both much more usable than the items I sent off!
This is such a great, environmentally friendly initiative. Plus it’s a great challenge to sew for someone else, trying to fit to their measurements and their style. I’ll definitely take part again next year 🙂