Silk blouse refashioned bigger

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My friend gave me this 100% silk blouse which was cut on the bias but there was zero ease around the bust area.

The sizing in this blouse was XL but the dart was really small and I can not imagine are many XL women for whom the dart would be correctly positioned.

My finger is pointing to the point of the dart

I decided the fix would be to add a little more ease down the side seams, increase the size and position the bust dart.

Un picking the side seams and original dart was straight forward enough but revealed there was very little side seam allowance.

I made a new dart by pinning using a mirror. The bias cut fabric meant that the two sides often looked asymmetric when I was trying on, so I just had to trust to measuring to get it right.

I selected some lace trim to add into the side seam. The lace only added around 2 inches of ease in total because I had to use some of the original seam allowance to join it, at least with the bias cut there was no fraying.

I also added some different lace at the front bottom edge to make up for the fabric taken up by the larger dart. I suppose the side lace is meant to be functional and the bottom lace is meant to be decorative.

finished garment, no more pulling around the bust
Here’s the lace, and you can also see the new bust dart is in the right place

It’s been a while since I’ve done a refashion like this so felt the pressure was on to produce something with a good finish as I’ve done a lot of sewing and gained experience since.

Vintage dressing gown rescue

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I bought this beautiful vintage dressing gown at a market in Bath about 8 years ago for £15. By vintage I mean before clothes even had labels, the only label was this one. The lack of labels and the design make me think it is pre 1960’s.

I loved the unusual curved shape of the patch pocket.

It’s had light but regular wear for 8 years but the fabric is fragile and has deteriorated, holes started to appear, it got to the stage where it was unwearable.

It’s difficult to see here but the seams had been sewn with a very long stitch, maybe even 5 mm, which I would use as a tacking length, and the edges had been overlocked with a much darker thread.

I decided that a lining to take the strain, was the answer, in the form of a man’s shirt. This one was £2 in a Traid sale 53% linen 47% cotton, brand is Reiss.

I cut off the collar, button plackets, and cuffs.

Then sewed the shirt onto the dressing gown like a lining, with zig zag stitch. It was quite a pleasant project, lots of freestyle sewing.

I am now wearing the dressing gown again, and the Reiss label is useful for hanging it up by.