Sunday, September 15, 2013

#1: Recycled Challenge - McCalls 6293


This is my entry for the first challenge in the FabricMart Fabricista Fashion Challenge.

The instructions for this one-week challenge were as follows:

Make a garment out of recycled materials or materials that would have otherwise been thrown away, such as scraps from your sewing room or grocery bags. You can reconstruct a garment to make it more fashion forward and utilize unconventional items to add accessories and embellishments. Be creative!

TOC

Materials Used

Because materials were crucial to this challenge, let me explain what I used.

A few of my scraps

I had a bounty of riches to choose from. I have many bags of fabric scraps, including some bags I haven't yet located. (I have more wool scraps somewhere!) I had a large bag of failed sewing projects, wadded up. I also have bags of home dec samples and silk scraps that are so small that they must be collaged together to make a wearable garment.

After canvassing the contents of several garbage bags, I pulled out the bag that contained two failed projects. I vaguely recalled mentioning both of these failed projects in a blog post and I was able to find it! If you read the post, Failure Galore, back in March, 2012, I had made a list of wadders. ("Wadders" equals failed projects, as in you wad them up and throw them away or into a corner.)

A bag of wadders

If you look at the list in that post, you'll see failed project #1 and failed project #2. I shoved both projects into a plastic bag, stuck the bag in a corner, and mostly forgot about it. It saddened me because both projects used beautiful fabrics: one used a black and cream Narcisco Rodriguez wool coating from FabricMart. With this I had paired a solid black wool/rayon boiled wool for the sleeves and collar. I was very disappointed when this pattern did not work.

The failed coat. Only one sleeve is sewn in

The second project used an expensive wool knit I had mail ordered. For that project I had the idea of taking the Teagarden Tee pattern that I loved and to convert it to a jacket.

I paired that fabric with a fuzzy black synthetic knit for the underarm gusset and a contrasting strip down the side seam to make it more roomy. This idea was a bust - the jacket was a disaster, partly because the print was just too much.

Failed Teagarden jacket. Only the right sleeve/side seam was sewn. You can't see it, but this jacket was still full of my sewing pins, which I happily retrieved.

Auditioning fabrics and patterns

Oh for two.

I decided to mix the fabrics together, along with some leftover fabrics from several other projects. I used 8 fabrics in all:

  1. A solid black boiled wool/rayon from the failed black-and-white coat.
  2. A black-and-cream Narcisco Rodruigez wool coating from the failed black-and-white coat. This was purchased from FabricMart.
  3. A wool knit with red medallions from the failed Teagarden Tee jacket.
  4. Leftover red boiled wool/rayon from the Sewing Workshop Opal jacket.
  5. A (different) solid black wool left over from the Style Arc Grace coat.
  6. A wild black-and-white lining left over from the Style Arc Grace coat.
  7. A black-with-white polka dot lining left over from a Sandra Betzina coat.
  8. Solid black lining left over from another project - I can't remember which one, but it was in my bag of lining scraps.

Pattern Modifications and Alterations

The pattern, from my pattern stash, is now out of print - McCalls 6293. This jacket features princess seams, an asymmetric closure, and a collar. It is unlined. I made the following changes:

  • A 2" princess seam FBA.
    Side front after FBA
  • As you can see in the pattern photo, the neckline, as designed, is rather wide. I changed the shape of the neckline, bringing it closer to the neck by 1" on each side.
  • Omitted the collar.
  • Narrowed the shoulder by 1-1/8".
  • At first I wanted to use welt pockets, but they would have crossed the front princess seam and the different fabrics. I decided I didn't want to break up the lines this way, so I added in-seam pockets. (The pattern has no pockets.)
  • I did quite a bit of fitting in the side seam - taking in about 1" under the arm and many inches at the hip.
  • Added a strip of the wool knit to the front edge of the jacket; this mimics the belt in the back (which uses the same fabric).
  • At first I planned to use the medallion knit for the sleeves, but it was just too busy. Instead I pieced sleeves from leftover red wool scraps.
  • Drafted a lining.

Constructing the Shell

Cutting the center back from the original coat

Originally, the red wool knit was going to feature more prominently in the design, but in the end I just used two strips of it. One on the center back, and one on the front.

The side back was cut from the black boiled wool sleeves of the black and white coat. But there was not enough fabric to cut out the side front. For this, I used leftover black fabric from the Grace coat. As you can see in the following picture, they are not the same, but they are the same shade of black, at least.

Constructing the Sleeves

Originally I was planning on using the red wool knit with medallions for the sleeves. But when I auditioned the fabric on the jacket, I felt it was too much. This fabric can only be used in small doses. I didn't have enough of the red wool fabric for the sleeves, unless I pieced them. I wanted the piecing to show, so I made piping using 1-1/8" bias strips of lining fabric and some thin rattail cord. I inserted the piping between the fabric joins.

Once the fabric was pieced together, I cut out the sleeves, which are not identical to each other.

I decided to make the sleeves 3/4 length, partly because it requires less fabric, but also because it lets me wear some of the bracelets I've collected.

I am still without a steam iron and am using my dry iron. For some reason, the dry iron just didn't work well on the boiled wool. I pressed and pressed and still there were wrinkles.

Constructing the Lining

The pattern was unlined. I decided to line it to the edge. I did not want to use the wool on the front or neck facing, as it is rather scratchy and thick. I had less than a yard left of the wild print lining fabric. In order to cut out the body, I had to turn the side back pattern piece on the cross grain. I did not have enough to cut out the sleeves, so I used the leftover polka dot fabric from the Sandra Betzina jacket for the sleeves.

Inside of jacket, showing the lining fabrics.

Closure

The jacket closes with 4 jumbo snaps which you may (or may not) be able to make out in the following pic.

Necklace

Part of the challenge was to "utilize unconventional items to add accessories and embellishments". For this part of the challenge, I made a necklace.

Last April when I made the Sewing Workshop Opal jacket, I chose to leave the edges of the jacket raw. The boiled wool fabric did not require hemming. After I'd finished the jacket, I then cut off the hem allowance around the entire jacket, resulting in one long, continuous strip. I just eyeballed the amount that I cut off, which measured from 7/8" to 5/8" wide, but was mostly around 3/4". Afterwards, I had a little pile of a long red strip of fabric. I couldn't bear to throw away the lovely wool, so it's been sitting on a little table adjacent to my sewing machine for months. As I was finishing up the jacket and piecing the leftovers of the red wool, I was looking at the long red strip, wondering if I could use it somehow.

I finally got the idea of using it to make a necklace. I got the idea for the construction of the necklace from a necklace I'd seen in a boutique. My twist on the original idea was to use the boiled wool, with the raw edges exposed. In fact, the long wool strip included seams, even flat felled seams, as the original jacket had several seams. I decided to leave the seams and to let them fall where they may. My other change from the inspiration necklace was in the shape of my necklace, which has a Y-drop shape.

Essentially, I sewed a long narrow tube using the strip of red wool. I inserted a length of electrical wire (14 gauge), and made what is, in effect, a fabric-covered pipe cleaner.

One of my covered wires, similar to a "pipe cleaner".

I rolled each one into a ball and joined them using ponytail holders (hair elastics).

Voilà. Necklace completed.

Conclusion

Nothing's ever perfect, but I'm pretty happy with both the jacket and the necklace. I wore both to church this morning, after the photo shoot, and it's pretty comfy.

In the next day or so, the voting will be open on the FabricMart blog, so stay tuned!

This has been a pretty busy week, with all the sewing. I had to skip two events I would have liked to attend, but I had sewing to do. Next, I'm taking a nap, and then I begin on challenge #2, which will be quite a challenge for me! :)

More Pics

A little scrap cleanup

81 comments:

  1. This is so ingenious and creative! Perfectly balanced use of fabric and texture. Looks great and can't wait to see your next one.

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  2. Very charming, shams! It looks great on you!

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  3. That is really a lovely jacket . It must feel so good to have made out of disaters which I would have felt so BAD about !! I look forward to see more recycleing . I have a huge cupboard of fabric which I have vowed to use , so your encouraging example is greatly appreciated.

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  4. OMG...it's perfect! You are so creative (even tho you think you aren't) to put these fabrics together like you have.It is a gorgeous jacket...and very YOU. And I LOVE the necklace! Brava
    Shams!

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  5. Wow - what an amazing jacket. I love it. You are so clever and creative. Good luck in the contest. Let us know how and when we can vote.

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  6. Utterly fabulous. This has won the game in my book. Good luck and I will be watching closely. IMO you've set the bar for the rest of the contest.

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  7. This is so awesome! And this is going to be quite a contest since this is the third Fabric Mart challenge review that I've read and been in awe of the talent, creativity and imagination that you all have shown!

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  8. This is fabulous and so you.....Love it...everyone in this contest is sooooo talented!!

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  9. Killer lining! Wonderful re-make!! I've seen a couple other contestants garments already... I posted mine as well today. This is so exciting! This is really beautiful work here-- your going to be a tough one to beat in this competition :)

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  10. This is SO BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, if you hadn't explained the background behind each scrap it would have looked like you bought each of the fabrics for the sole purpose of making this jacket. I love the way you used the red medallion fabric - eek! So beautiful!

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  11. All I can think to say is AMAZING!!!You are truly creative and talented. I'll be following this contest with great interest and anticipation.

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  12. Beautifully made! Such a lovely jacket in every way and bonus to have turned the wadders into such an emphatic success :) The result is very high end boutique, suits your style perfectly and the fit is spot on. Its fantastic :)

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  13. Love, love, love what you did with scrap fabrics and your imagination!!! It looks fabulous on you and you definitely have my vote. I'm so looking forward to seeing the rest of your creations.

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  14. Lovely! The black and white with red accents are very striking! The jacket does not look like scrapes or left-overs. I agree--the ensemble is very high-end. Great job!

    Rose in SV

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  15. I've been blown away so far by all the contestants submissions! Your jacket is awesome! It looks very professional!

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  16. I am quite certain that had I only seen the picture, and not read the text, that I'd have thought this was purposefully made as a combination of colors and textures, and not as a re-fashion. It looks like the sort of jacket that could be used as a keynote piece to base a wardrobe around. And I am particular impressed/amused/boggled by your clever use of hair elastics as a jewelry component (filing that one away for future reference...) It will be quite the virtual event to see what each contestant comes up with, and they will have to be at the top of their game to do as well as this one. I say Bravo!! to you

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  17. It's fanTAStic, as I knew it would be! What a
    perfectly wow tapestry piece you made from
    lovely, quality so-called "scraps." I particularly
    like the style for this .. and especially adore
    how you did the sleeves. Super unique and
    creative choices throughout. The necklace ..
    out of the park .. great work!

    ~Joy~

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  18. Good job! Make sure to let us know when voting is open, as I will most assuredly vote! - Heather

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  19. Excellent! Love it all. Special mention for the sleeves which are maybe my favorite part of the jacket and the super cool necklace. Bravo!

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  20. Such a fun piece with a definitive sense of style, as always. While I always find your projects delightful to look at, they are rarely my style. However, I adore what you did for the necklace and do see myself copying you on that front! Putting the rosettes together with hair ties is genius!

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  21. So beautifully designed and executed. It looks wonderful on you!

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  22. Terrific! A fabulous combination of creativity and execution. You are one heck of a artist. Elle

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  23. Omg I LOVE this!!! Your creative self totally shines through here - you pulled it off with major panache - way to nail it girl!

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  24. Love the recycle! It looks like it was all meant to be used together. Win!!!

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  25. Perfecto! And it looks like you've had fun too. Very happy for your process and the terrific outcome. I think you'll need to start a line of jewelry- in your spare time. ;)

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  26. This is so impressive. What a great job, looks like you set out to do this, which I'm sure is the purpose of the challenge. I love the necklace. Good luck in the challenge.

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  27. What a completely fabulous jacket! It is gorgeous. You have a great eye. I am in complete awe. I hope you win!

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  28. That just looks like it was meant to be! Just so extremely individualistic, and you!!! ...J

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  29. What a smashing jacket! Seems that you nailed the brief and ended up with something that really flatters as well. A real winner - whatever the contest outcome.

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  30. Totally sensational jacket. If you ever grow tired of it send over to Australia!!

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  31. Very very nice recycle from wadder (You have wadders?) to fabulous jacket. Love the detail on the sleeves.

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  32. What a great jacket! Brilliant way to turn some wadders into wearables.

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  33. Amazing use of the wadders! Perfect combinations. Love it.

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  34. I've been anxiously awaiting this post to see your masterpiece and it is exactly that! Great, great piece. And the necklace, well, I am going to have to make one for myself:)

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  35. Yes Ma'am!!!! That looks like it was a plan from day 1. Bravo!

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  36. From Wadders to WOW! What an amazing transformation. I think the sleeves are my favorite part, although it's hard to choose. Your bracelets look super with it too! Well done!

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  37. I agree, a work of art! Can´t believe it´s recycled! And the "jewlery"? Ace!

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  38. Trying to come up with a specific detail to comment on, but they are all so good! You balanced all the elements into such a harmonious and satisfying whole. The sleeves are awesome, and so is the use of the medallion print (especially how it appears both front and back). Then there's the piping... It just goes on and on. Another tour de force.

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  39. I thought to myself, Shams uses the most wonderful fabrics in her garments, if she uses scraps for this challenge, the result will be fabulous. And it is! Bravo!

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  40. Fabulous! Can we, your readers, vote for you? If so, you win!

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  41. Oh, that is just gorgeous! I love how you paid as much attention to detailing the back as the front.

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  42. Love the sleeves! What a creative outfit.

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  43. Love, love your jacket! Can't wait to give it my vote.

    Karen

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  44. Really terrific! The necklace ties it all together. You win :-)

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  45. Your gonna WIN! I'm ready to vote.
    I got lots of ideas from this project, it's got a terrific balance of textures and color. Fantastic!

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  46. Amazing! When do we get to vote?

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  47. I love it! I usually don't like garments with lots of different fabrics, but you have done it so artfully! You are the winner! Love the necklace, too.

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  48. Sensational jacket! Don't you dare think for a moment you're not creative. Your jacket and necklace are stunning, original, unusual and beautifully made. I really can't imagine what could beat it. The necklace out of fabric strips and hair elastics is brilliant. Brava, brava, brava!

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  49. and now i will never be able to throw a scrap of anything away (even though i could never put it together the way you have). so cool! you look amazing.

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  50. Everything about it is perfect and absolutely gorgeous!!!

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  51. WOW is about all I can say....a piece of art. You are AMAZING and when I look at your older posts what a tremendous difference in the way your clothes look on you....such a transformation! Great job!

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  52. Ooh that's a great color combo! I love how you did it :)

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  54. Gorgeous, gorgeous!! Fabulous combination of fabrics and spotless execution. The necklace is just the right icing for the cake as well.

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  55. Once again, you are my hero! You create and wear your own fabulously fitting and looking art.

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  56. Speechless with admiration, that's all I can say....

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  57. Fantastic! Good use of scraps to end up with a stunning jacket but better than that I am so happy to hear that you too have wadders! LOL

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  58. That is quite a unique and interesting jacket! It's awesome how fabrics that you loved in failed garments can live on in a new one!

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  59. This is so darned clever! The sleeve design is dynamite. Where and when is the voting?

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  60. You are Terrific! So glad I know you!

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  61. That is beyond fabulous. Should have known that you'd have some great "scraps," but your talent in putting it all together never ceases to amaze me. But I shouldn't be surprised. Love the necklace too!

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  62. I think that is one of the best tops I've ever seen on someone's blog. So well-sewn, and such a great use of two failed projects. Truly inspirational! I can't wait to vote for you!!

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  63. Shams, that is GORGEOUS!!!It is also artistic, unique and VERY creative! I absolutely love it on you!

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  64. Gosh, what a great jacket! I hope, hope, hope you win the contest because you so deserve it, Sharon. And P.S. I wish my scrap bags yielded such gorgeous bounty. :)

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  65. Absolutely fabulous. Jacket and necklace are the epitome of creativity. Those scraps went to a good cause.

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  66. LOVE what you have done here - definitely a save from your wadder pile. good luck!

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  67. Fantabulous jacket! You are great at making lemonade from your lemons. I like the necklace too. I may try something similar.

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  68. Spectacular. I always love your terrific fabric choices for "regular" garments so what a hoot to see you make this gorgeous jacket and hip necklace from scraps!! I bow to your creative spirit.

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  69. Love, love, love your jacket--it is gorgeous from outside to inside. Went and voted for you. I'm a fairly new follower of your blog and I really enjoy it. You are very talented.
    Nancy from PugMom Quilts!

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  70. Wow, I am entranced with your jacket! Thanks so much for all the detail-good luck in this challenge.

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  71. The jacket turned out beautiful! Loved the necklace idea too. Great way to use those much loved scraps from favorite fabrics. Such attention to detail Sharon, you are a wonderful sewer. I voted for YOU!

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  72. This is a fabulous jacket - the balance of the bold prints with solids is great, and I love the piping & sleeve piecing. Well done!

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  73. Great job, Shams, I'm only sorry that I've just gotten to see it tonight, too late to vote for you. But you're a winner anyway, what a save!#
    Margaret

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  74. So great to see that recycling efforts are spreading in the sewing community. A few months ago, I visited a place in Washington, DC called Scrap DC that specializes in gathering, and re-selling fabric donated by people who for one reason or another decided to give it a new home. Check it out... http://www.sewinginsight.com/scrap-dc/

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  75. I saw your beautiful jacket on Margy's blog today! It is gorgeous. I may have to give those spiraled sleeves a whirl!

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