Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Paisley with Purpose - Reworked Dress into Top

reworked dress into top by karen vallerius

A few years ago I reworked a vintage cotton paisley dress into this 1950s style retro top.  I love the colourway of this paisley and like to wear the top with jeans.  Of course, there were a few smaller scraps left over from the project and this week I made some "new" design Deco Daisy brooches, one of them shown above.


vintage 50s sewing pattern by karen vallerius

Above is the 1950s vintage sewing pattern which I used.  It was for a 32" bust (a measurement I have not fitted into since some time in the 1970s!) so I adjusted the pattern to fit.

reworked dress into top by karen vallerius

This is the original donor dress, I would guess 1960s, and a bit uninspiring to say the least.

Here is a very old photo of me wearing the newly refashioned top, I think this was about 6 years ago.

Change of address, hairstyle and number of wrinkles since then ...

reworked dress into top by karen vallerius

I have been trying to improve my virtually non-existent free motion embroidery skills by making some flower brooches this week.  I love the way that the reverse of the work is almost as pretty as the front in a sketchy, artsy sort of way.

vintage fabric flower by karen vallerius

vintage fabric flower by karen vallerius

Anyway, here is a close up of the freshly stitched flower brooch.  It is worked as a raw edge applique with some free motion machine embroidery and a button from the vintage stash.

OOAK handmade flower brooch by karen vallerius

Please visit my etsy shop if you would like to see more OOAK vintage and reworked garments.

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Saturday, 5 August 2017

A Tale of Two Tops

upcycled pretty pink tops by karen vallerius

More vintage embroidered linens and vintage Laura Ashley textiles have been upcycled into these two pretty in pink tops.  The lovely abstract floral cotton lawn in shades of pink and teal was cut from the skirt section of a vintage Laura Ashley sundress.  The top on the right also has panels of a check shirting in soft shades of grey and pink, rescued from a vintage mod shirt.  The collars are cut from vintage embroidered tray cloths.  It is always so lovely to repurpose vintage linens which would otherwise remain closed away in the linen cupboard.  I always think that the original needleworkers would be glad that their needlecraft finds a new purpose.

Find these tops and other OOAK upcycled clothing in my etsy shop.

vintage embroidered linen collar by karen vallerius

vintage embroidered linen collar by karen vallerius

The top on the left has a gathered hemline frill made from broderie anglaise cotton which was cut from a ruffled skirt.

broderie anglaise hemline ruffle by karen vallerius


pretty patch pocket in vintage Laura Ashley textile by karen vallerius

This top has a cute patch pocket stitched from a different vintage Laura Ashley cotton with a tiny embroidered floral patch from the tray cloth.  I left the edges of the pocket "raw" so that they will softly fray as the top is washed and worn, giving a gentle homespun charm.  And you all know how much I love vintage Laura Ashley textiles, see my Dottie Angel frock reworked from vintage Laura Ashley clothing here.

vintage textile scraps by karen vallerius

Now, what to do with the scraps?  I never can throw any textile pieces away - as demonstrated by the boxes and cupboards full of textiles in my sewing room.

Find these tops and other OOAK upcycled clothing in my etsy shop.

(PS have just shared this blog post with a link on one of my favourite fashion blogs, click through if you want to read Catherine's lovely blog notdressedaslamb)


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