The upcycled blouse
The SWAP rules propose upcyling which I haven’t really done before. I have recut a skirt or two to make it fit, and have altered the style somewhat, but I haven’t done this before – pulled a garment apart and reused the fabric, so it was an interesting experience. I can’t say it was a great success and certainly it wasn’t worth the effort involved. If there was a war on, and we were genuinely short of materials, then I can see the point. Otherwise the £4 that I invested could have bought me a yard of fresh cloth that would have been much easier to use and could have saved me around five hours work. And maybe someone else would have bought the £4 second-hand skirt, and worn it with pride.
I asked for advice on what to do with the fabric I had harvested. And I got some great suggestions.
Elizabeth suggested lining a denim (or other) jacket with the lawn. Or a blouse back T-shirt, with a solid colour at the front. Annie came up with the idea of a soft contrast inside a collar or placket, or perhaps a solid top with a contrast pussy bow. Or to use this fabric for wide bias binding that could form a contrasting hem. I loved all these ideas. In fact, over time, I would really like to implement them all.
In the end I joined up the thin strips with the overlocker and used the fabric as one piece to make a simple, sleeveless blouse. Unfortunately it did not lie flat, the fabric was off grain (as manufactured items often are) and had joining seams and the odd repair (where I had ripped the cloth when deconstructing it) in funny places.
I had also saved the muslin lining which was in one piece but I didn’t expect it to be quite enough to line the blouse. But luckily, when ironed it proved to be just big enough and I decided to underline the top to give it a little more stability, to stop the overlocked seams from rubbing, and to prevent it being transparent. I got a kick out of recycling the lining, and the pattern too, which I had already used for my beetle SWAP blouse. It is a vintage 1964 pattern, Simplicity 7305, and I modified it by making it tunic length, and by using an invisible zip. (You can see my alterations to this b 32″ pattern).
Elizabeth wasn’t sure if a floral, feminine patterned fabric is “me” and she is probably right. My husband (ever helpful) said it looked like an overall. But I think it will have a place in my wardrobe, which is what a SWAP is all about. Here it is on the stand, with my daughter’s new wool trousers. I will photograph it on me later.
I tried to place the joins in sensible places including one on the CF. And at the top of this post you can see that Ted did a little recycling of his own, creating a “Ninja headband” from one of the offcuts.