As another month rolls by, it’s at the last Tuesday that I get to share with you another Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION project. yahoo! This is a fun time for me as it gives me a chance to work with other textiles and (hopefully) inspire you to give this a try as well. Take a look at these adorable pants I found at the thrift store with brand new tags on it. They’re about to become a ladies’ smocked blouse. Check it out…
When I first found the pants, I was hoping they were in my size. Sadly, they are a size small and too short for me. However, I couldn’t resist the ticking stripe and so home with me they come. Also, I notice in the store that the smocked waistband is coming loose from the legs. Not a problem for me.
First order of business is to finish the dismantling of the smocked waistband that has already starting. I use my seam ripper to take it off the legs of the pants and set it aside.
Then, once I have the waistband off, I cut up the leg seams to open each up for making the most use of the fabric. I’m a unique sort that I like to make my own patterns. Many years in the making using desk calendars or recycling my paper to make my patterns. Here’s a stack of some of them. Notice my upcycled sweater dog coat pattern is on top. I miss my dog, Teddy. sniff.
Also, here’s my doodle of my vision for the pant fabric. I, honestly, don’t know if I’ll have enough fabric, but there’s only one way to find out.
Next, I pull out a pattern I made for a nursing nightgown a decade or so ago, and use it to cut pieces for my blouse. These are to be the sleeves.
After that, I cut the smock top, and then the rest of the leg becomes the skirt of the blouse. My goal is not as much to show you how I did it, but that it can be done. This projects is pretty simple and straightforward with basic knowledge of sewing. If you want to try, there’s only one way to start…today! Cutting up a pair of thrifted pants is affordable – you can even use clearance fabrics to practice on.
Finally, now that I have my pieces, it’s time to assemble. I use a combination of my serger and sewing machine to add the sleeves to the top, then add a casing for elastic on both the neckline and sleeves. Handy tip: I use my crochet hooks to pull the elastic through the casings and attach.
Next, I use elastic thread to add my top to my smocked middle, and then the bottom as well. This stuff is da bomb! Ever try using it?
This makes it handy to attach the pieces while allowing them to stretch to fit. I will admit that I totally forgot to use this on my first assembly. However, after getting completely stuck with my arms in an upright position while trying to make this thing go on, and while laughing my head off because I couldn’t get it off by myself, I had a revelation. Maybe more like a head smack. ahem.
Yeah…elastic is a godsend.
After using my seam ripper AGAIN, I finally got my ladies’ smocked blouse together…and ON. woot!
My vision was a peasant style, comfy look and feel. I think I achieved that and I’m excited! It’s the little things, right?
If you haven’t tried your hand at sewing or it’s been awhile since you gave it a go, be sure to try! It’s fun, challenging, and even relaxing as well. Feel free to send me pics of things you’ve refashioned. I’d love to take a peek!
In addition, let’s inspire others to give refashioning a try. Do pin and share!
Up next, I’m eager to show this pediment piece in a whole new style. See it in its new life HERE.
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Rebecca - NC says
So adorable!!! It looks so sweet on you! Elastic thread?? ?Hmmm…. what will they think of next?!?! I need it and didn’t even know it!! ??
tee hee hee! Right? I’ve used it for years for smocking and various things. It’s such a fun and handy notion. Thanks for the smiles, Rebecca!
Shelley S says
So cute, and I love that it’s 100% one of a kind!
Sewing is one of the things I miss most as a result of my hands being disabled. It’s a combination of the unique creativity aspect and the fact that it reminds me so much of my mom who was a fantastic seamstress who made ALL of our clothing when we were kids. We were truly the best-dressed kids I knew. She taught me everything I know about sewing.
I used to buy name-brand jeans at yard and garage sales not just for the fabric to make other things, but specifically for the tags on the pockets to add to my homemade jeans. When all my girlfriends were complaining that store-bought jeans – which back then were mostly designed for boys bodes and didn’t fit their curves – mine fit fine and were much more comfortable because I’d created them from my own pattern.
I’m sure I violated some rules when I copied added the particular pocket stitching design and tab, but no one ever knew the difference unless I told them.
My last big project several years back was to sew a 3 layer renaissance wedding gown for a dear friend. I was a silk peasant-style dress as the inner layer, then a gorgeous electric blue iridescent full satin skirt, all topped by a suede dress created in a very authentic manner. Other than cheating and using the sewing machine everything was done without zippers or buttons. The sleeves were tied on, the bodice laced, neck and waist of the inner layer and skirt had ties where I used a specific handy tool called a bodkin to pull lacings through similar to your crochet tool.
My friend looked stunning, and the performers at the venue where she was married were quite impressed with the authenticity of her gown. It was my last proud sewing moment.
That is AMAZING!! I’ve always wanted to try period sewing in my “free time” (whatever that is). Closest I’ve come is prairie dresses, smocks, bloomers, and bonnets for my daughters. I can only imagine what a treasure it was to learn from your mom. Is there someone you pass down the blessing to?
So cute!! And ingenious!
aww…thank you, Noelle! I certainly had fun recreating it.
Marie - Interior Frugalista says
I’ve never heard of elastic thread and it’s been added to my Must Have list. What a pretty smocked blouse creation, Larissa, it looks very nice on you!
Ooooh…you gotta try it! Perfect when my kids were little for waists and such. Even smocked dresses! You will have a blast with it. Thanks for the love, Marie!
Hi Larissa, you did such a beautiful job creating your peasant blouse. I love that fabric and it looks just gorgeous on you.
Thank you for the kind words, Kaycee. 🙂