Restyling Exchange 2018

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? 

Excuse the background mess…

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!

Verdict.

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 🙂

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