Refashion Friday: Coral Vest

S on SnowdoniaThis week’s refashion started out as a present from my wonderful mother. She gives me lots of clothes, and this coral dress was pretty cute, and very springy. Quite suitable for this week, the first of spring.

(Did I mention I have the coolest Mom, who goes to the thrift store all the time and supplies me with most of my wardrobe, including a whole array of refashionable items?)

coral vest beforeUnfortunately, even though the weather is just beautiful out, I couldn’t wear that dress. Thing is, it had a secret: it couldn’t keep a secret (especially not Victoria’s?):

coral vest before flashing

Can’t go out flashing the whole world, can I? I didn’t feel like taking the whole thing apart and putting it back together again with a skirt that would close, so I decided to flip it upside down and make it into a vest. So I cut off the tank top part. Then I put it on upside down and stuck a pin where I thought the shoulder of the armholes should be, then I laid the shoulder hole of another dress over top of them and marked it with my handy dandy new chalk roller.

drawing new armholes

I cut those holes out.

cutting new armholesThen I folded them under to hem. But I didn’t hem straight away. First, I had to switch my machine out to my new best friend, the walking foot. Every time I’ve ever tried to sew jersey on my machine before, it got all unevenly stretched out and puckery and looked terrible. So I did some research into the problem and found out that I was using the wrong foot on my machine. I had really been doing everything in my life using the general foot, and I learned about all these different feet that do different things to make sewing easier. There are feet that will hold the edge of your fabric so your lines are straight against the edge. There are zipper feet (which I already knew), and the wrong foot was why I could never figure out how to make the buttonhole feature on machines work. And the walking foot. Which is amazing.

First you unscrew your regular foot, take it off, and remove the screw:

regular foot deinstallationSee the lines of zig-zaggy textured metal under where the foot goes? Those are the feed dogs, which pull your fabric through the machine as you sew. And they are the reason I couldn’t sew jersey. Since jersey is so stretchy, they pull the bottom layer, but the top layer stretches out instead of feeding through evenly. The walking foot has feed dogs on the foot as well, and it has gears that move it back and forth so that both the top and bottom layers of fabric move through at the same pace and stretchiness. (Also, when you want a nice even hem, don’t stretch jersey as you sew it, just feed it through evenly. If you want your seam to stretch, you can use a slightly zig-zagged stitch, which will allow the fabric to stretch). To attach the walking foot, you slip the little arm over the sewing machine arm, and screw it on to the black bar the foot sits on:

walking foot installation

See how it’s big and clunky at the back? Those are the gears. Anyway, I sewed the hem on the shoulders and put on my funny vest, and I didn’t like it at all.

Coral vest duringI had thought it would come out looking cool and drapey, but it just looked odd. So I decided to remove the elastic waistband to make one of those super drapey-fronted vests that are a little more stylish. So I did that. And then I was done!

coral vest afterTerrible to wearable, indeed. This one was really unwearable at first. And now I think it’s pretty darn cute!

coral vest before and after*On another note, if anyone is wondering why I’m always barefoot instead of wearing fashionable shoes that would complete my outfit and make me look totally hot, it’s that I don’t really like shoes because I’m a dancer. I try to wear shoes that are good for me so that I can keep dancing forever when I go out, but I really much prefer being barefoot at home.

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5 thoughts on “Refashion Friday: Coral Vest

  1. Well this sure taught me something when you were talking about different foot, I was thinking foot pedal. I could not figure out how the pedal changed the stitches. Guess my mother did not teach me anything about sewing machines.

  2. Pingback: Bike Baskets | Two 1/2 Eggs

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