Friday, 28 April 2017

Maxi dress to Agnes top refashion

Refashion. Now there's a word you don't see very often on this blog. Sadly, I'm not one of those people who can take a voluminous grandma dress and instantly transform it into a trench coat... or a jumpsuit...or a pair of shoes... When the Great British Sewing Bee was on TV, I'd still be pondering what to make for the refashion challenge days later, whilst the poor contestants generally had about ninety minutes. Let's just say I'm not a natural.

Very occasionally though, a garment will fall into my hands that's crying out to be turned into something else. This happened recently when I was sorting out my wardrobe and came across this maxi dress. All I could think about was how much better it would look as a T shirt!


It's a perfectly nice dress, but I haven't worn a maxi since I was a child in the seventies (most people seemed to be in possession of one for parties), they're just not a style I feel comfortable wearing. My friend gave it to me a couple of years ago (I think she'd bought two by mistake on eBay) and despite good intentions, it's never been worn. The fabric is a stretchy chevron jersey with a nice drape and because it's full length, there's plenty of it, so I decided to see if I could turn it into a simple fitted T shirt that would get worn. The pattern I used was the Agnes top by Tilly and the Buttons.


First off I removed the weirdly short empire line bodice, which gave me enough uninterrupted fabric from the long skirt section to play with. There was just enough to cut out a front, back, short sleeves and neckband. I kept the original hem and made sure the downward point of the chevron was directly on the fold when I was cutting it out, so it was centred. I also spent a bit of time trying to incorporate the ruched neckline, but the effect was completely lost amongst the chevrons, so I removed it.


I wanted this version to be a tighter fit than my first version, so cut a size 4 all over, grading out to a size 5 at the bust. I think the fit is just right and I now have a go-to T shirt pattern that I can use again and again, yay!

I'm delighted with the finished top, it's exactly how I envisaged it, and so wearable too! It works really well with jeans and I can also see myself pairing it with skirts (see above!) and shorts in the summer. I could have taken the dress to the charity shop and somebody would probably have snapped it up, but I'm glad I didn't. I'd have missed out on making this cute little top if I had!  x


16 comments:

  1. Oh, a lovely job of refashioning! Good job, you, for figuring out how to use all that free yardage.

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    1. Thank you, I'm really pleased I was able to re-use it! x

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  2. Great job on the refashion. Your blog is great and you always look great in your creations! As I am a new to the game I have a question - when you sized out to a 5 in the bust did you cut the sleeve in a size 4 or a size 5, or does it matter? The more you know.....

    Thanks

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    1. Aw thank you! I've just had to find my pattern pieces as I honestly couldn't remember about the sizing! For this T shirt I actually kept the sleeve at a size 4 as the fabric was so stretchy and I figured it could stretch to fit! If I was grading the same way with a woven fabric I'd probably grade the bottom section of the front part of the sleeve out to a size 5 so that it matched the front bodice underarm. The back curve of the sleeve I'd keep as a 4 to match the back bodice underarm. Hope that makes sense?! x

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  3. It looks great. I love doing refashions and about 30% off my sewings are refashions like new tops but also boxershorts and useful objects and soft toys. I don't know if the original was cut on the bias but the stripe on the bias in the sleeve gives this top a great twist.

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    1. Thanks Sonja! No the original fabric was cut on the straight grain and the chevron shape was already printed. I didn't have much fabric to play with for the sleeves so I'm really pleased how the stripes ended up! x

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  4. I often use fabric out of something else to make things for my girls because I can cut small pieces but you did really well to get this out of the unwanted dress, it looks fabulous. Jo x

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    1. Thanks Jo. If I had girls I'd probably do more refashioning! x

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  5. This is a lovely T shirt and you look great. I expect you will get a lot of wear out of it now. The stripes are really nice. I refashion quite a lot, especially hem lines.

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    1. Thank you! I chop things off at the waist and turn them into skirts or tops quite a bit, but this is the first time I've re-used fashion with a completely different pattern! x

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  6. Very nicely done. Looks flattering on you!

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  7. Great refashion!!! I really like the dress but the tee looks amazing on you!

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    1. Thanks Margo. It was a nice dress, but looks much better as a T shirt on me! x

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  8. You look so nice in the top, well done. This had me thinking i have a similar maxi that i have never worn, so guess what my next sewing project will be? Love your taste in sewing.
    Rosie xx

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    1. Ah thank you! Go for it with your maxi project, I was amazed how much fabric there was! x

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