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distressed sweatshirt

It seems that distressed fabrics are having their thing.  I’m always slow to jump on things fashion trends, but once in a while, it’s kind of fun to just experiment and see if you might possibly like something.  Refashions are one of my favorite ways to experiment with fashion.  Your investment in the project is low, so if it’s a total flop, no love is lost.  And if you really like the end result, you may just gain some fuel in your creative tank for future projects.  With that in mind, I set out to make this distressed sweatshirt refashion.

Distressed Sweatshirt Refashion

distressed sweatshirt

My questionable morning style sense

In the mornings, I am always cold.  I don’t like wearing kimonos (not warm enough, giant sleeves that get caught in my breakfast), and a jacket is not necessarily how I want to start the day.  For years, I’ve always grabbed a white very oversized sweatshirt hoodie.  It went through all of my pregnancies from week 0-40 and back again and all that postpartum time too.  By the end it was really gross.  In its stained and shredded state, I donated it and started wearing my husband’s hoodies.

At some point, my husband started complaining about his hoodies being left all over the house.  To remedy this, I recently went thrifting to find some kind of sweatshirting to make a version of Ottobre’s “Hideaway Hoodie” (Ottobre 2-2017-8)

from Ottobre 2-2017

Oatmeal and salmon

distressed sweatshirt

No I don’t eat salmon in my oatmeal.  That strikes me as odd, and not something I’d want to eat in my morning hoodie wearing session.  But thrifting did yield me a pair of oatmeal colored heavy french terry sweatpants as well as a salmony pink xxl french terry sweatshirt.  I instantly loved the salmon, but the oatmeal was too boring for me despite it being nice fabric.

distressed sweatshirt

To remedy the situation, I dyed the sweatpants with Rit DyeMore Kentucky sky.  Because I wanted a little more depth, I added 1/2 capful Rit DyeMore in Daffodil yellow to the dye pot in a couple of places.  I did not agitate the yellow once I added it; instead I let it spread out in the pot naturally.  What I ended up with was a fabric that was sky blue in places and a bright springy green in others.

Distressing

So what does all this have to do with distressed fabric?  Well, while I liked both of the colors after I dyed the sweatpants, it wasn’t obvious how they would go together.  They’re nearly on opposite sides of the color wheel and I had no middle tone that could pull them together.  I thought and thought until someone in Sew Much Talent popped up with a simple t-shirt made in distressed jersey.

The wheels started spinning in my head, and I thought I could connect them together if I slashed both colors and backed them with the opposite color.  The brand Generation Love has several distressed sweatshirts that are worth checking out.

Crazy piecing

This sweatshirt pattern is very long–it’s nearly knee length on me.  Unlike some of the sweatshirt dresses that are out there (Victory Patterns’ Lola comes to mind), it’s not super boxy and has some good shaping with princess seams in the front that end in deep, cozy inseam pockets.

distressed sweatshirt

 

Because of the length, I had to do a lot of creative piecing with the pattern.  One of the things that I love about refashioning is how it forces you to use every scrap available.  So it was with this refashion.  There’s seams in weird places that would never be there on a garment made from yardage.  It’s a look that’s either crazy cool or just crazy.  In the end, I had about a 6″x6″ square left from both fabrics.

Colorblocking

distressed sweatshirt

For most of my colorblocked projects, I will sketch out possibilities before I start cutting into fabric.  It’s kind of amazing how many different looks you can get by just moving colors around a bit.  For this one, I just kind of made decisions as I went along based on the limited yardage I had available.  I really like how some parts of it turned out.  The bi-color hood is a favorite, and I used the right and the wrong sides of the both french terry colors for a subtle difference in places.

Underlining and slashing

distressed sweatshirt

To achieve my distressed look, all of the sleeve pieces and the front pieces are underlined.  The green/blue is underlined with a salmon colored stretch lace (refashioned from a top).  For the salmon french terry, I used a seafoam quilted ponte leftover from another project I’ve not yet blogged.

Before I underlined everything, I used my rotary cutter to make horizontal slashes at random on the pieces.  I pulled at them *gently* to open them up a bit.  French terry has very little recovery, so it distresses really easily.

Construction

For this one, I didn’t use my serger. Of late, I’ve been using my regular sewing machine to sew seams on heavier knits like this, and then using my coverstitch to topstitch.  The coverstitch adds to the casual look and it does a nice job of flattening down these heavy seams in a nice professional looking way.

Welcome Colorado Spring!

Our weather has been, and is very fickle in Spring.  One day it’s 70, the next, there’s snow.  This has been a perfect sweatshirt for this time of year.  The day I took these pictures, it was about 45 and brazenly sunny.

distressed sweatshirt

Taking risks in sewing

I won’t be slashing up my fabrics anytime soon, but it was good to do something out of the ordinary for this project.  Sometimes I think it’s too easy to get stuck doing the same thing, making the same kind of garments the same way.  There’s nothing wrong with that, especially when you’re tired or your sewjo is gone, but there’s days that it’s good to push yourself to try something new.  If for no other reason, try something new so that you can have an opinion about it.


distressed sweatshirt

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your sewing?

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

There’s snow on the ground, but I’ve been slowly making some inroads into some much needed Spring sewing.  After The Day and Night Dress Challenge, my family and I all came down with a really nasty fever, hence my absence here.  Getting back to health and strength has taken some time, but here are my pink jeans and ivory tee that’s part of my Spring mini-capsule wardrobe.

Spring Mini-Capsule Wardrobe: pink jeans and ivory tee

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

I never really intend to go about sewing capsule wardrobes.  Projects that sound interesting to me, or fabrics that are exciting to work with will always take priority in my work over embracing the minimalist nature of a capsule.  When I’ve made capsules in the past, even after meticulously working out all of the various combinations, everything ends up feeling like varying shades of same.

That being said, I always try to make sure that any separates that I’m making don’t end up as wardrobe orphans.  This combination is a good example of that.

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Pink jeans

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Unadorned jeans are not usually how I roll.  After a frustrating round of fitting with the Otsu jeans, I just wanted to make a pair of jeans that fit.  I turned to my trusty Ottobre 5-2014-19 skinny jeans pattern.

All of my jeans are wearing out.  My two most heavily worn pairs, the giraffe sateen skinny jeans and my side buttoned Jalie 2908s are literally on their last legs.  It was good to make up a quick pair from one of my favorite patterns in this peachy pink stretch cotton from Colorado Fabrics.  The fit is pretty lived in and not perfect, but sewing up a fast pair of jeans was definitely more important to me than getting ultra picky about every last little wrinkle, especially given how much this cotton wrinkles all on its own volition.

Back gap

I’m starting to believe that most women have to deal with back gap in their jeans.  I don’t have no sway back and genetics has dealt me a rather flat-ish backside, and still there’s always a back gap.  Given the 7M hits you get when you Google “jeans back waist gap”, I don’t think I’m alone on this one.

For conquering the gap, I love a good contoured waistband.  For years, I’ve been using a contoured waistband from a Burda pattern that fit me really well and taking it with me to every other pants pattern I use.  This particular stretch cotton had more stretch than I anticipated.  As such, I still had a back gap even with my altered, much loved contoured waistband.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate that one…

Darts, smoke and mirrors

To fix the back waist gap, I added two 1/2″ darts when my gappiness tends to hang out–about 4″ on either side of CB.  To disguise the darts, I centered a belt loop right over the darts.  It’s not a perfect solution, but I never wear belts or tuck in my tops.  For the added comfort of a pant that’s not drifting forever downwards, I will take that little bit of messiness that 0% of people will see.

Fringe makes it better, especially if it’s lazy fringe

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

My only real embellishment on this pair of jeans is some fringe trim under the edges of the pockets.  I call it lazy fringe because it’s actually the selvage which had a nice little fringed edge to it.  No needles and pulling threads were required here as in other fringed projects like this dress or this cardigan.  I cut 1/2″ strips of the selvage and fused them to the underside of the pocket with Steam-a-Seam before topstitching the pockets down.

A fun clothespin print makes up the fly shield and pocket bags because it went so well with the pink.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Ivory top: Valentine & Stitch Cassandra dress hack

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

This ivory top was my muslin for my coffee dress.  I wanted to work out the back keyhole and also the width of the sleeve flounce.

On this version, I cut the sleeve flounce 1.5″ wide.  I think it’s a good scale for a top, but I widened it on my coffee dress for a little more drama.  I got this ivory cotton yarn stripe knit from Cali Fabrics store in San Francisco a couple years back.  It’s plain to be sure, but it’s soft and a great fabric for Spring as it adds a little warmth in long sleeves but doesn’t trap in heat either.  I love layering tees like this.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Creating a cohesive wardrobe with color

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Color just might be the best weapon in creating a wardrobe that works.  You’d be amazed at how seemingly disparate silhouettes and styles can suddenly make sense together when they employ a similar color palette.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

I’m utterly determined to pair my faux fur motorcycle vest with everything in my closet.  The contrast of the aqua against the peachy pink is totally my style. The matching hat was definitely a bonus on this cold, windy first day of Spring when I took these pictures.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

One of the things I love about using a color palette is being able to go way back in time in my closet and find some older makes to pair with some of my newer projects.  I’m starting to think that this might be a good way for me to challenge myself with Me Made May this year.  This gold rose cardigan made a comeback in this outfit.  I’m pretty sure I had forgotten all about it which is a shame because I’ve always enjoyed wearing it!

How about you?  Are you a capsule wardrobe believer, or do you approach outfit making more casually?

Sew Saturday Snippets #12

It’s time for Sew Saturday Snippets #12!  This series is all about highlighting cool makes, sewing community challenges, contests, and sewing videos.  Check out all the previous Snippets in the navigation bar above or here!  If you’re interested in being featured on an upcoming edition of Sew Saturday Snippets, please email me at elizabethmadethis@gmail.com.

Sew Saturday Snippets #12

Must-see Makes

Jackets and coats and vests, oh my!

Here in the Northern Hemisphere we’re in that awkward part of the year where it’s not quite Spring yet, but Winter is starting to lose it’s frosty bite.  As such, I have jackets on the brain.  Outerwear is not only one of my favorite things to sew, a good jacket goes a long way in adding a little warmth to a look when it’s not quite warm enough to bust out the short sleeved everything.  Here are some of my favorites I’ve seen lately!

Sew Saturday Snippets #12
picture courtesy of Ozzy Blackbeard

faux fur motorcycle vest

When I was making my dresses for The Day and Night Dress Challenge, I decided that a little jacket would be a great accessory piece to go with them.  Since my coffee dress has lovely little sleeve flounces,  I wanted to be able to show them off.  The style solution that came to mind was a vest.  This faux fur motorcycle vest has been a great little layering piece!

Faux fur motorcyle vest

faux fur motorcycle vest

 

Vests of all kinds are de rigeur in Colorado.  The wind picks up, and a chill comes in the air, and people here pull out their puffers, fleeces, quilted, faux furs and everything in between.  To be honest, I’ve eschewed the idea of a vest for years.  How is taking off the sleeves on a jacket keeping you warm?  Also, I kind of hate how wintery vests can be pretty boxy.

As I was thinking about making my own vest, I kept two things in mind: 1) It’s gotta be warm and 2)let’s reign in the poof. 

Fabric: not quite minky, definitely Muppet-like but with crop circles

faux fur motorcycle vest

For my faux fur motorcycle vest, I chose this pale aqua faux fur.  To say it’s my favorite color is an understatement!  I’ve used it before as accents on this cardigan, and as this hat.  It’s very warm, but it’s kind of hard to classify.  Upon feeling it, you’d think it felt a bit like minky, a bit like a super soft chenille, yet it has a good 1/2″ raised pile.  Picture someone’s head shaved with designs in it.

There’s a little bit of stretch in the fur, so I treated it as a knit, but for the most part, it’s rather stable.  To go with it, I added a matching rib knit from a thrifted sweater.  I previously used the body of the sweater for my colorblocked Lisbon cardigan.  There was ample ribbing leftover and it’s a good color match for the fur.

Pattern:  Ottobre 5-2014-3 knit motorcycle jacket

faux fur motorcycle vest

 

In keeping with my requirement that my vest be warm, I chose this knit motorcycle jacket from Ottobre.  I’ve made it before as this quilted jacket, and to date, it’s my most worn jacket.  It might be the only jacket that I’ve made an officially worn out.  The motorcycle style adds a tremendous amount of warmth to this jacket.  This is because the hood crosses over center front, thereby shielding your neck from the wind in a way that a standard hoodie does not.

I brought in the sides a bit so they’re more fitted.  It’s still boxier than a tailored jacket would be, but it’s a level of comfort I’m happy with.

Collar vs. hood

faux fur motorcycle vest

Because I wanted to incorporate the ribbing and did not have enough to make a full hood, I opted for a collar instead.  The collar is a simple rectangle the width of the ribbing that I had.  On the original sweater, it formed a huge cowl neck.

The ribbing also finishes the bottom of the jacket and the armholes since I took off the sleeves.

faux fur motorcycle vest

One thing I really like about this collar is that you can drape the ribbing for a slightly different scarf-like effect.

Hidden welts

faux fur motorcycle vest

 

There really are welt pockets in this vest though the fur obscures them!  Jackets without pockets are virtually unusable, so even though I was initially intimidated with putting in welt pockets in fur, I was going to do it to get the added functionality.

In the end, the welts went in really easily.  To make the welts more manageable, I did a couple things:

  • I added interfacing to the welts themselves.
  • There is interfacing in the pocket area with the rectangle to be sewn marked with a sharpie.  You should ALWAYS interface behind welt pockets, but the drawn rectangle is really helpful when working with a fabric that’s hard to see on like the fur.
  • I worked from the wrong side of the fur for better visibility.  The sharpie helped a lot, but the wrong side of the fabric was even better.

These went in so drama-free that I’m a little disappointed that the pile of the fur makes them hard to see.  Oh well.  I’ll enjoy the added warmth and place to stash my keys.

Separating zipper in faux fur

 

A separating zipper in theory could be the toughest part of this little jacket because of the fur.  There’s no good marking tool that will show up against the high pile, and there’s not a good way to baste the zipper in place.

To help with this, I drew a line on the backside of the fur and ran a simple line of basting right on the line.  Then, working from the right side, I lined up the edge of the zipper tape with the basting line.  You could remove the basting line if you wanted to, but I left it because it was invisible.  I finished the edge of the zipper tape with a tiny bit of the sweater knit.

Quick lining

faux fur motorcycle vest

Before I added the collar and the ribbing trim on the armholes, I made a quick lining from the same ivory sweater fleece I used for my yarn embroidered coat.  The combination of the fleece and the fur is extremely warm with little weight.  For a clean finish, I sandwiched the hem ribbing between the hem edge of the fur and the fleece.  The front edges are then stitched and turned towards the inside.

After that, I added the collar and the ribbing around the arms.

Lightning fast

All total, I spent about 2.5 hours on the whole jacket.  For a lined jacket with a zipper and welt pockets, I’m pretty pleased with that.  Who knew that sleeves took up so much extra time?

My new favorite wardrobe companion

faux fur motorcycle vest

This little vest has been changing my mind about vests in general.  It’s been nice to discover that with vests you get all the advantages of the warmth of a jacket, but with the added mobility that comes from the sleeveless style.  Around the house, I’m almost always wrapped in scarves in winter.  This is sometimes really a bad idea like when I’m cooking.  I may or may not have lit the fringe ends of my favorite cashmere scarf on fire on our gas stove!  Thank goodness wool is self-extinguishing!

With the vest, I can go sans scarf in the house and cook without lighting myself on fire.  I’ll go out on a limb and say that that’s a positive thing in any garment!

 

So what about you?  Are you pro-vest, or do you reach for the sweaters instead in the cold?

 

Sew Saturday Snippets #10

It’s time for Sew Saturday Snippets #11!  This series is all about highlighting cool makes, sewing community challenges, contests, and sewing videos.  Check out all the previous Snippets in the navigation bar above or here!  If you’re interested in being featured on an upcoming edition of Sew Saturday Snippets, please email me at elizabethmadethis@gmail.com.

There’s two days left to submit your pictures for the #dayandnightdresschallenge, so today’s Sew Saturday Snippets is all about sharing some of the wonderful entries that have popped up on Instagram.  If you’re sewing here at the last minute, let this fuel your creativity!

Sew Saturday Snippets #11

Must-see Makes

#dayandnightdresschallenge community participants

Wow, after a jam-packed week, we’ve reached the end of the vlogger/blogger part of The Day and Night Dress Challenge.  Perhaps I need a big cup of fancy tea to celebrate/be a little sad.  But before we go, be sure to catch these videos from these lovely SewTubers!  This is your daily vlogs #5.

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018: Daily vlogs #5

Renata of Runningnstyle chats about her dresses.  There’s sass and tropical fun + working under pressure.


Speaking of working gracefully under pressure, Doja of Elewa shows off her dresses inspired by Black Panther.  Read about her process for creating her dresses here.


Myra of Myra Lorraine makes two absolutely stunning dresses.  Best. blue. ever.


The blogger and vlogger part of The Day and Night Dress Challenge may have ended, but there’s still time to be a part of this challenge! 

WANT TO JOIN IN THE FUN YOURSELF?

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE?

    1. Sew some dresses!
    2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
    3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
    4. Post a picture of your day look (coffee) and your night look (cocktail) to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
    5. Grab a graphic and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:                          The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018

I’m grateful to call Renata of Runningnstyle a friend, and we’ve had a lot of good conversation this year leading up to her dresses for The Day and Night Dress Challenge.  Both of these dresses are such a lovely reflection of her and I hope you enjoy them!  Welcome Renata!

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018: Runningnstyle

Wow! where did the month go? Thanks Elizabeth for inviting me to take part in this fantastic challenge. I am humbled to be named among so many talented bloggers/ vloggers for a second year! It is with great pleasure I bring my coffee & cocktail dresses to you. BurdaStyle ended up stealing the show. I had plans to use my gifted fabric for one Burda Dress and the other for an Inspired dress using another brand as the foundation for the design. In this post you will see what I had originally planned to sew. Well faith had it’s own plan, my inspired dress went out the door and made room for another great dress. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first up the Day Dress.

I’m so glad to have the last of my fellow admin crew from Sew Much Talent here today sharing her dresses for The Day and Night Dress Challenge.  Welcome Tisa of Simply T Fashions!

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018: Simply T Fashions

Hello…My name is Tisa and I blog over at simplytfashions.com

This is my first time joining Elizabeth at the day/night-dress challenge and I was honored when she asked me to join.  As I accepted the challenge I immediately started thinking about what looks I wanted to create.  I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I do love me some tea. (The tea you drink that is…lol). So with that I knew I wanted a cute little off the shoulder dress. Why off the shoulder you ask…..Ii don’t know I just love showing  my shoulders.  So with that here’s what I decided……

Every time I read a post from Eli of Cat in a Wardrobe, I feel like I’m just amazed by the beauty of Japan and how each of her fantastic garments reflect the depth of that beauty.  I’m so honored that she decided to participate in this year’s round of The Day and Night Dress Challenge.  Welcome Eli! 

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018: Cat in a Wardrobe


Hi, friends! I’m Eli cat from Cat in a wardrobe. I would love to show my dresses to you for “Day and Night
Dress Challenge”. Both dress patterns are designed by Blank Slate Patterns.

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