01 January 2013

Reworking an Old Garment Using a Sloper

blue floral print

Remember that fabric up there? Back in the summer I bought it with the intention of making a short-sleeved, hooded jacket, but right from the start I was unhappy with nearly everything about it. I complained about the cutesy flowers and I whined about the bandana border print. I grumbled that the blue was too girlish and the white too boring. I insisted, in short, that this was not the fabric for me.

The thing is, I think the fabric heard all my cruel comments about it. It knew.

Or at least that's how I'm choosing to explain the fact that when I sewed up the basic jacket the fit was terrible--like absolutely, completely off. After that disappointment I decided that I'd been right about the fabric and proceeded to stuff the half-finished jacket into one of my drawers, where it languished, unseen, for the next four months.

Well, last week that fabric made a comeback.

blue sleeveless homemade shirt
Cue dramatic music

The new shirt is still light and a little summery, but I think that overly-dramatic photo does justice to the fabric's new look, which is modern and practical instead of cute and homemade. (One might say, in fact, that the fabric was transformed from a beauty into a beast of a shirt. That's right.)

blue sleeveless homemade shirt
blue sleeveless homemade shirt

I'm being a little smug over a sleeveless top, I know, but I'm just satisfied at having turned a badly-fitting jacket into something that I like and will actually wear! And I did it with the help of a sloper I made earlier in the break, which makes me doubly happy.

Ah. A sloper. That's the real point of interest here.

shirt sloper

Isn't it great? With its help I reworked my jacket after having taken out the side seams and darts.
This is the jacket flat and deseamed (and unpressed):

sleeveless homemade shirt pieces with darts

I'd originally planned to just place the sloper pieces on top of these and retrace the edges, but that didn't work at all:

using a sloper to make a shirtusing a sloper to make a shirt

As you can probably tell, the darts and curves didn't come close to matching, so I had to divide up the deseamed shirt into panels, since I didn't have enough fabric to make my new shirt the normal way (one front and one back piece). There were three panels at the front and three at the back, for six in total. The panels that made up the sides were split horizontally just above the underarm. Like so:

blue sleeveless shirt drawing

After planning this out I placed my sloper over the deseamed shirt and some leftover fabric and proceeded to cut. 

tracing pattern piecestracing pattern piecestracing pattern piecestracing pattern pieces

It actually took a while getting everything to fit, but I did it! Hm. Maybe that's why I'm so proud of this shirt.

Here's a close up of one of the panels (I used the bandana border print assymetrically, only on the right panel at the front):

And see that line of dots below? 

Yeah, that's from the darts sewn down the front of the old shirt. I don't mind that it's there. I don't think anyone will be able to notice it, and I kind of like having that bit of evidence of the process of reworking this shirt.

Happy 2013!

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