Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Restyling, What's all the Hoopla?

When I was a child and saw my friend wearing a dress with rick rack an inch from the hem, I knew she had grown and her mom had done what most moms did, she let down the hem and covered the faded line with a decorative trim.

When I was a teenager and my favorite jeans became too short, I cut two pieces of scrap denim, embroidered a mountain scene on each and sewed them onto each hem. Well, that little confession dates me, yes, end of the "hippie" era. My favorite was the pair of jeans, made into a midi skirt by opening the inside leg seams and adding a long triangle to the front and back, connecting the legs. And, wow, all the "groovy" things we could do with a bandana!

When my own children out grew pants or wore out the knees, they became shorts. Faded t-shirts became fresh in tie-dye. I could take the neighbors hand-me-downs and add fun pockets or change the sleeve length so sometimes you could not tell that the child next door had worn the shirt last year. Outgrown boy jeans to fit a little sister were the easiest, just add some eyelet trim or ribbon to the pocket edging and match a pretty top.

This is what frugal mothers have done since the Garden, I wonder how Eve made over Cain's garments to fit Abel.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been is what shall be, what has been done is what shall be done, and there is no new matter under the sun.

A few weeks ago I was perusing a few articles on a hot new trend in clothing, you guessed it, restyling! You take an old garment and make it over using trims, or make it into something else, like a purse, or pants into a skirt. Who knew?!

Last week, my dear husband put a load of rags and nasty stuff in the washing machine, with bleach. Bleach is not something we use very often, which is an article for another time, but he must have left drops on the edge of the machine because when I put the next load in, my favorite sweater soaked it up.


Next trip to the fabric store I took the sweater along to look for inspiration. I found, on the clearance table no less, a pretty synthetic sheer with shiny dots, the color matched perfectly. I purchased 2/3 of a yard, some bias tape, and matching thread.

At home, I cut 2  3 inch strips.

Joined them at the ends to make one long strip, folded in half, gathered with a basting stitch and pinned to the edge far enough in that I would be cutting off the largest bleach spot and the button holes. I also removed buttons and set them aside.

Unfold bias tape and apply on top of the fabric with the edge close to the edge of the strip of sheer.

I sewed it far enough in that the spot would be cut off, but lined it up with the knitted design. Zigzag next to the seam to keep it from unraveling or fraying. Fold and sew bias tape to the inside.
Carefully iron on a low setting considering the sheer fabric.

I used the leftover buttons to cover the remaining bleach spots and duplicated the pattern on the other side. I experimented with tucks to hide them but that made the front too small, so I just used the buttons to hide them.
I hemmed the leftover fabric to make a matching scarf. Can't wait to wear them! Do you have a favorite "restyle"? I would love to hear about it.