Huipil fever has somehow been getting to me, and I have been wondering how to make a scarf huipil with a simple square. Of course my scarf – Japanese, polyester, from the charity shop – could have been combined with a plain back in order to make a huipil. But then I realised it was the perfect size to make a bias halter top.
This is very simple to do. You fold the scarf in half, wrong sides together, to create a big triangle. About 5″/12.5cms down from the point put in two rows of parallel stitching, about 1.5cms apart. Thread some braid or cotton tape, or a thin leather piece through here, long enough to tie at the back of your neck. To wear it tie the other two corners around your back waist and tie in a knot. This top is better without a bra, or perhaps over a bikini or sports bra. Or wear it under a cardigan or jacket. As you can see I have styled it with Gus’s lobster shorts and a pom pom head-dress! This Fridishness seems to taking over my life!
Before I briefly describe the refashion I want to share something else.
It is Borrow Box. You may have heard of it, or even use it, but I only just discovered it. This is a way to borrow audio books completely free, simply by joining your local library. There are plenty of good books available this way, and obviously you can listen to them easily while you sew or knit, or brush your teeth, do the ironing, yoga etc. I have taken to putting my phone in my pocket while I wander around the house, and I am very excited about it. I am also thinking it might be good for children as an alternative to reading.
To find out if the books are any good I still go to Amazon for reviews and information. I quite like the idea that while people look at books in shops and then buy on Amazon, now we can browse on Amazon then get the audio books for free from the library.
On with another cheapskate idea.
I sometimes pick up items from a sale rack at Topshop and other high street shops, regardless of size and without trying them on. This is a good example. I was attracted to the print – I liked the colours and the big red flowers – and thought it was worth a £4 bet. If it didn’t look good I could use the fabric.
It didn’t look good.
The neckline is horrible on me. Too high. The colour is too dark (it is a deep charcoal grey rather than black) near my face. The body is shapeless and overall the effect is deadening.
So what would you do (other than give it away)? I suspect it was on the final reductions rack as it is hard to decide who would suit this other than a dentist with a penchant for florals.
I ripped off the collar and sleeves, and very slightly straightened up the shoulder line.
By revealing much more skin the “too dark” rather overpowering look has gone. I looked through lots of trims – white, pink and various greens, and decided that a muted, faded green would give the lightness that I wanted. I used the last of my Liberty print bias binding handmade by my friend Linde Carr, to bind the neck, sleeves and hem. This provides a nice “frame” for the print.
I cut away some of the length as it was swamping me. And the piece I cut off from the back included some pink flower print. I cut this out and appliqued it on to the front to increase the pinkness of the item.
I have kept the sleeves which I like. Maybe they will turn up later on something else. We will see.
The only issue is the depth of the armholes. Once the sleeves were removed and, the armholes bound, I realised they would reveal my bra. I put a sleeveless T-shirt under it, but it is not an ideal solution. I guess this is what happens when you get a baggy top with rather full sleeves. When you draft a sleeveless top you usually bring the armhole up a centimetre of two – which is obviously not possible with a re-make.
But overall, I like it. Florals – and pom pom crowns – all the way…
I haven’t done many re-fashions. The last one was a SWAP requirement that wasn’t massively successful. The skirt was Indian and horrendously over-sewn with every panel and section very determinedly overlocked. Unpicking is such a bore when it is not even your own mistake, don’t you find.
I suppose if you find nice fabric, at a low-cost – in charity shops or on sale – refashioning might be a good way to go. And if you have something with sentimental meaning that might be good. Last month I met Shelagh (of @sewshelagh) who told me she made cushion covers with old silk ties from the charity shops. It’s a nice idea. Does it work for you?