Resizing a man's blazer

This tutorial was made especially for Jericha! I bought this men's blazer/overcoat from the op-shop for five dollars. It was really massive so here's how I made it more fitted and feminine. The concept is really similar to my shirt refashion tutorial (link here), but the main difference was that the blazer is really thick, with several layers of lining, interfacing, and padding, so I substituted the boob dart from the shirt for an hourglass-curve on the sides of the body. And I'm so sorry that I forgot to take 'before' photos! Just imagine me wearing an overwhelmingly large jacket. The process was quite fun, so I might go back and buy a few more blazers to refine the resizing technique later! In the meantime, here's how I refitted my first men's blazer to fit myself.

STEP 1: Unpick the sleeves and lining from the shoulder seams. Take out the shoulder pads, and the L-shaped batting, and put aside for later.
STEP 2: Put on the blazer and with chalk, mark where your shoulders are. Then mark 1.5cm out from your shoulder line for seam allowance. Curve this line all the way down to the original armpits.
STEP 3: Cut this line, removing the excess fabric from the shoulders.

STEP 4: Put the shoulder pad back into the shoulders, between the outer layer and the lining. 'Cos you've narrowed the shoulders you won't need the whole pad. Pin it in place and check yourself out in the mirror. Adjust depending on how padded you want the shoulders. Do the same for the other shoulder.

STEP 5: When you're happy with how the shoulder pads are placed, hand-sew (just really quickly, no need to be neat) the shoulder pad in place. Repeat for the other shoulder.
This is how it looks with the bodice inside out. Make sure your stitches catch the inner lining as well.
STEP 6: Cut off the excess padding.
Now we're going to do the sleeves, in three parts. Firstly, we have to shorten the sleeve at the shoulders, then re-attach them back to the bodice. Lastly we'll then narrow them width-wise together with the bodice :)
STEP 7: Put on the sleeve and mark on  your shoulder like so.
STEP 8: Cut off the excess 1.5cm away from your line (for seams). You can cut both the back and front of the sleeve together.
STEP 9: We're going to put back in the L-shaped batting. I think this piece is there so that the shoulder silhouette less extreme as it meets the sleeves.

Turn your sleeves inside out and peel back the lining. Pin the L-pad to the outer layer as shown.
STEP 10: Cover with the lining and pin.
STEP 11: Tack into place (again no need to be neat).

We've just shortened the sleeve!
STEP 12: Time to re-attach the sleeves. Turn the sleeve right-side out, then turn the bodice inside out as shown.
STEP 13: Put the sleeve inside the armhole as shown and match the shoulder tips with the bodice.
STEP 14: Pin the sleeve and bodice together around the armhole. Leave a bit of space at the bottom (the armpit area) so that we can narrow the width of the sleeves and the bodice later.

It's better to leave unpinned a bigger space rather than smaller- you can always go back and pin some more later.
STEP 15: Tack together. Here the red thread is the tacking of the L-pad and sleeves, while the pink thread is the tacking of the sleeve and bodice.
STEP 16: With the bodice still inside out, turn the sleeve inside out too. Put on your blazer.

Follow the curve of your body from the armpit to the hip, and pin the bodice accordingly. This part will be easier if you have a full-body mirror, or a friend to do it for you.
My blazer had two side seams and I pinned my line while pinching the back side seam so that I wouldn't add a third seam.
Here's what it looks like laid out flat.

STEP 18: Tack it down.

STEP 19: Try on the blazer and pinch the excess fabric under the sleeve. Pin- the excess fabric is under this 'pin line'.

Stitch on this pin line and cut away the excess fabric.

STEP 20: Pin the excess fabric at the armhole so that the new sleeve will fit the armhole.

STEP 21: Stitch down this dart.
And that's it! I'll post up some pictures of me wearing it soon...? Hope you all are enjoying the holidays!

How to make a pink skirt?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Made a video today for the first time ever. Have a look? Now I understand the tendency for You Tubers to talk cute. It's hard not to laugh at my blank expressions as I was watching myself. I had a hard time keeping my voice from squeaking...

 Thank you to new followers Valerie, belindvhv, Joy, madi_thehottie_23, miss mino li and Vivian

Oh by the way, if you're going Boxing Day shopping tomorrow, We Don't Care Inc. will be at Melbourne Central collecting gifts to pass on to Vinnies. Bring your unwanted gifts or shopping steals and pass on the holiday cheer to someone who needs it! We'll be in the florescent cube at Shot Tower Square (the clocks/Jurlique) on the ground floor. Come and say hello!

Wishing you all a wonderful and restful holiday.

Granny pants love!

So especially for Spirit and Amie... here's a photo of me rocking my grannies! The tutorial is here. I'm also wearing a loose t-shirt I made a few months earlier (tutorial here). Photo courtesy of my brother. Thank you also to Pockets (Anna <3!!) for following! Also, Emma had her party last weekend so hopefully I'll get those photos of the finished Belle dress up soon. Have a fabulous week!  

How to make tapered pleat pants - from granny pants!

So it's been a while since my last tutorial - here's one from a pair of granny pants I bought for $3.00 at the op-shop. I made this because I really need some fitted pants for work- I'm starting an internship soon at an office, and when I went there for my interview, all the women were wearing work slacks. These 'granny pants' were tagged from Miller's, which is a sort of older brand- the type with lots of kaftans, oversized shirts and waistbanded slacks. It has an elastic waistband with three belt loops and sort of looks like a pair of crepe trackies. They were two sizes too big for me, so I made them smaller by adding in a few pleats and adjusting the leg width. As always, this is what I did for my pants and might not be exactly the same for yours- please read all instructions beforehand :)

STEP 1: Unpick the belt loops and stitches from the waistband. This will take ages if your waistband looks like mine, with four stitch lines running through the elastic... but when you finish it will be hugely satisifying, trust me! Remove the belt loops and elastic and keep in safe place for later.
STEP 2: Measure around your waist/hip, depending on how high you want your trousers. I chose mine to be just above the hip (84cm).

Halve this measurement (I got 42cm).

Basically we want the front waistline to be this measurement (42cm for me), so we need to make the waist smaller till we reach this.
STEP 3: Go ahead and pleat! Taper it down at the bottom. It's probably more accurate to say that these are just massive darts.

I made four pleats, going from on pleat the right to the left for the second pleat, then again for the third and fourth pleats- just to make sure it's all even.

Pin down your pleats at the waistband, and at the end point of your pleat/dart.
STEP 4: I turned the pants inside out and pinned down the darts, removing the pins from the front.

I'm not sure if you can just substitute this step for Step 3. I just did my pleats with the pants right-side out first because I wanted to see what they'd look like from the front.
STEP 5: Use a straight-edge to make sure that your tapered ends all finish at the same length. (So that they're not longer than each other).
STEP 6: While the pants are still inside out, stitch down your darts. Here they just look like little triangles.
STEP 7: Iron down your darts.
Here's what they look like from the front :)
STEP 8: Measure your crotch depth. You can do this by sitting down on a chair and measuring the height from the seat to your waist/hip (it's your waist or hip depending on where you chose your pants to sit. I measured to my hip- 20cm). Add 2cm to this measurement.

Fold down the waistband as it would be with the elastic replaced, and mark your crotch depth (with the added 2cm) with chalk. On the photo it's the blue line.

We're going to slim down the inner-leg, so this measurement will make sure that we leave enough allowance for your crotch and butt areas.
STEP 9: Fold over the little flap, and with a straight-edge and chalk, draw the line where you want to sew your new inner leg. Make sure it's below your crotch depth line!

We're going for a tapered slack, so that's why we're not being super exact with how slim to make the leg.
STEP 10: Do the same for the other side.
STEP 11: We'll leave the inner leg for the outer leg for now.

You can try on your pants at this point just to check how much more to take in at the waist.

Turn them inside-out again and use chalk to mark a new seam on the outer edge of the legs. Your line should point towards the inside of the pants as it travels down the leg. Draw the curve from the waistband to the pocket, following the original curve.
STEP 12: Stitch your new outer leg seam, following your chalk line.
STEP 13: Make sure that your pants are still inside-out, and that the front of the pants with your pleats is face-up.

Cut the inner leg, 1cm away from your chalk line for seam allowance. Only cut the front of the pants!

This is because we want the back pieces to be slightly bigger to allow for your butt.
STEP 14: Cut the back inner legs, about 1cm lower than the cut you made for the front legs.
STEP 15: Match up the cut edges, and pin together. Sew on your chalk line.
STEP 16: Try on your pants! They should still be a bit big at the back and just right at the front.

Turn them inside-out again and cut off the excess fabric on the outside leg.
STEP 17: Iron open your new seam. This step is really important for that polished look and will help your pants lie flat.
STEP 18: Finish your seams. I zig-zagged mine twice.
STEP 19: Almost there! Using the elastic we saved before, stretch it on your back waist/hip comfortably. The length should be smaller than, but can stretch out to, the first measurement we took (waist/hip circumference halved).

Cut it.
STEP 20: We're going to fix up the extra space at the back with the elastic.

Mark the middle of the elastic you cut.
STEP 21: Stitch down the elastic at the centre, to the centre back.

Then stitch down both ends of the elastic to the left and right of the back waistband.
STEP 22: Fold over your waistband to enclose the elastic.

Stretch the elastic to match the cloth as you sew.

Once you have finished enclosing the elastic at the back, keep going around the waistband to the front, folding over the front waistband as it was originally.
STEP 22: Reattach your belt loops. Done!

Op Shop Haul

A gold party dress with rouched sides. It's a little hard to see from the picture but it has some glitter detail. 

Nude jumpsuit, stretchy fabric.

Shift dress. Differing patterns on the front and back. 
The second frame shows the back, which has some gold petal pattern interwoven into the cloth.

Tan overcoat, hand-sewn.

Beige wide-leg pants with gold button close.

Brown linen cropped pants.

Turquoise crepe granny pants

Went to the op shop today and here a few of my finds! I'm planning to re-craft a few of these as well for work attire. Even op shops have 'seasons', so a lot of their winter clothing was marked cheaper. I bought a lot of neutral colours because I think that they'll keep for next autumn. One of the advantages of living in the southern hemisphere is that we're a season behind, and it's easy to see what will be in fashion next year :) Ohh and thank you Amie and Chasity, two fabulous bloggers, for following!
Watch out tomorrow for a refashion tutorial with these awesome granny pants!!