When I started teaching myself to sew as a teenager,I didn’t have easy access to fabric. I mostly altered shop-bought clothes to fit my shape. I also cut apart old clothing to use the fabric. Things haven’t changed much and I still have a bundle of clothes waiting for a second chance….
Like these jeans for example –
The key to reusing fabric is to find a pattern that has alot of panels or smaller sections. This makes it easier to cut pattern pieces according to the correct grain, while also avoiding the original seams on the old clothing.
The pattern I’m using is V1316.
Which I bought after seeing this beautiful version on Handmade by Carolyn.
I’m using 3 pairs of blue jeans and a pair of light grey. They all have a small amount of lycra, which should make this comfortable to wear.
I cut a size eight after comparing my measurements (approx 34-28-37) to the finished measurements printed on the pattern pieces. I added an extra 2cm onto the centre back seam allowances as a safety measure! I also added some extra fabric at the shoulder seams as I usually change the shoulder slope on patterns (for straight shoulders).
I am using both the outside and inside of the denim depending on which shade looks better, or has less signs of wear-and-tear! The wrong side is marked with a chalk.
I didn’t muslin this dress as I mostly prefer to make fitting changes by trying on as I sew. (Another bonus with using free fabric is that it’s not a big deal if things don’t work out)…. Plus not sure I want the headache of adjusting the paper pattern..too many pieces!
The instructions are clear to follow. The pattern allows for a lining (a simpler shape without all the little pattern pieces!). But I have been overlocking seams as I go, as I’ll most likely leave this unlined.
I played around with the right/wrong side of the denims before stitching:
Here’s how it looks as I was attaching the shoulder yoke-
I have tacked the zip and tried it on. The back is gaping a little at the neck, so I’ll need help adjusting the seam, and pinning the shoulders.
Ps…. If you’ve never read Carolyn’s blog before, then I suggest making a big cup of tea….. There’s alot of good stuff there!