Thursday, 19 March 2015

Adapted sweatshirt

This was another of those pre-loved sweatshirts that I was given. The quality is good, but the style was just not me - another long, baggy, hooded top that would not have been out of place at a sailing club. Sad to say the likelihood of me going sailing is extremely slim, so it seemed more useful to adapt it to something more suited to my lifestyle.

Off came the hood, and the neckline was trimmed down to create a boat-neck (apologies for seeming to be a stuck on the nautical theme!).

Off came the elasticated waistband and cuffs.

Off came the pouch pocket.

Off came approximately five inches of the length.

Some of the removed length was used to create a new dropped collar. The pocket was cut into two, and re-positioned to give side patch-pockets. And the bottom and cuffs were given a simple turned hem.
The new shape and style

And so to the decorations! I had an old t-shirt made of fine netting fabric with a rose pattern. It was another garment that had seen better days, and that I no longer wore. Out with the scissors! I spent a very happy afternoon cutting out all the individual flowers and leaves.

Some of the flowers were incomplete, and had an almost straight line down one side. Rather than throw these away, I decided to utilise the flat edges of the re-positioned pockets. With careful placing, the flowers looked as if they were peeping out from behind the seams. I also had one of them positioned at a pocket opening, with similar effect. By happy chance, placing the flowers in this way also covered any slight mis-alignment of the stripes on the pockets and the main body. I had positioned the pieces carefully when I pinned them, but the fabric shifted very slightly during stitching. This is probably one of those moments when a walking foot on my sewing machine would have been helpful!

I kept the decorations on the pockets themselves to a minimum - opting to embroider only leaves rather than whole flowers. These were stitched before the pockets were attached to main body, and I used thread in a slightly lighter tone of green to give some definition. I like the detail it creates.

All of the flowers were stitched using the freehand embroidery foot on my sewing machine. I used the faint detailing on the flowers and leaves as a rough guide, and went over each stitched line twice. This gives some shape to the roses, as well as a slightly shabby-chic feel to the whole piece.
I think freehand machine embroidery is rapidly becoming my new crafting addiction! Apart from liking the finished results, I really enjoy the process. There is something extremely satisfying about putting my foot down on the sewing-machine pedal whilst steering the fabric in every which way. It's like having control and complete chaos at the same time, and the finished result has potential, but little predictability. As the late, great Spike Milligan said, "We don't have a plan, so nothing can possibly go wrong!"

H x

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