It’s been two and a half months since my last refashion and in that time I’ve had three failed refashions. It has not been an easy time for me to be honest, because these projects really took a toll on my confidence. The projects didn’t work out because either the style didn’t work for my body or I didn’t plan the refashion well enough and didn’t realize how something would fall after a piece was removed.
It’s such a creativity killer to have a failed project. And it makes it harder to go into a new project because I don’t want to keep failing. I went into this refashion with little confidence, and little knowledge of how it would turn out.
In its time, this romper was probably really cute. It was a whole outfit of shorts, top and jacket put together in one piece! But time (and weather) did not treat it well. The shoulders had sun damage and the side had a few holes in it. But I loved the details like the fabric covered buttons and the mix of striped and solid fabric – and that bias trim was perfection!
I’ve had this piece in my closet for months because I really wanted to do something special with it. I had gone through several rounds of ideas with this piece, but ultimately cut into it with a general idea and no real plan. I figured it would either work or not but I had to try. A lot of my ideas would only work with more fabric, so I became a little limited. The one idea that remained consistent was turning the shorts into a skirt so that was my first step!
I really wanted to play with the jacket collar, and was hoping to keep the bias shown, but since it was attached to the “wrong side”, turning it out showed the facing. I tried to think of ways to hide the facing but nothing looked clean, so I scraped the idea and decided to turn the collar into the neckline. The only way to make this work would be to have the top curve of the collar turn into the shoulder seam.
Since I was moving the neckline, I had to re-cut the bodice front and back, which I was not expecting to do. I am not a pattern drafter, and don’t like going off my own patterns so this step made me SO nervous. I drafted a simple bodice front and back with a new curved shoulder. I mimicked the curve on the back so that I was able to remove the shoulder sun damage. I did this step fairly early on, and had to go back in a few times to re-size it.
After stitching the bodice together, I had to re-attach the zipper, and gather the skirt. After reattaching the skirt, I wanted to finish the piece off with a belt! The belt is attached to the side seam of the dress. It loops around the back once, then the front and finally ties in the back. I had just enough fabric from the bottom of the “jacket” to make the belt – and kept the original ties!
This refashion was a huge experiment. I had no idea if it would work but I think the end result is cute! While I love how the idea turned out, I have to admit, it is no where near perfect. This is a piece that looks great when you first put it on, but over time and with movement, things shift and don’t look quite right. You can tell from the photos that the belt scrunches the front and it doesn’t lay nicely. If I adjust and stand perfectly still, it looks great, but that isn’t wearable. There are a few other issues with this dress, the armholes got cut a little strange and the back feels too high up, but I really wanted to share this piece.
There are so many times in refashioning where ideas and projects don’t work out. It’s unfortunate when you put so much time and energy into a project but it doesn’t come out how you want it to. When that happens I think “the point of refashioning was to save the garment, and now that it failed you just wasted more fabric”. But I’m not chalking this up to a failed garment. I’m putting this project aside and thinking, let’s try that again! Just because this one didn’t come out perfectly doesn’t mean the next one wont.
Refashioning isn’t perfect. It’s far from it! There are so many things that could (and do!) go wrong. But one of the reasons I love refashioning so much is because it challenges my mind and tests my skills. I love looking at a garment and thinking, what else could this become?
So while I won’t be wearing this garment out on the town, I’m happy that I keep taking chances with refashioning. I think it’s an important lesson about sewing in general- you always have something to learn.