Thursday, 29 September 2016

Refashioners 2016: Jeanius!

Jeans. Ugh. I haven't actually worn a proper pair of jeans in a loooooooong time. After seeing Portia's post about this year's Refashioners theme, I wasn't really sure if I should participate. I mean, I've participated in contests before only to end up with a garment I never wear.
So I decided to lay out some ground rules for participating:

1. My end garment MUST be something I will wear. Not like to a wedding one time, but often. (i.e. Must resist all temptation to make a ball gown just because I like to be crazy like that.)

2. In line with rule #1, I will only participate if I find a coloured or patterned pair of jeans in a colour/pattern I like since I am not huge on plain old denim.

In essence, I would only participate by making this challenge work for me, not the other way around.
Well...BINGO! I found these ridiculously amazing patterned jeans at the local thrift shop. I won't share prices because, needless to say, thrifting in Canada ain't cheap. But those jeans! And they look like beautiful brush strokes! I was sold.
I decided really early on in the process that I wanted something that would work with the jeans, opting for a dress with more structure. I had about a million ideas for this (which if you follow me on Pinterest, you will undoubtedly have noticed), but decided that because of the limited amount of fabric, I needed to take it one step at a time.
First I started with the bodice. After some humming and hawing, I decided that I wanted the bodice to be in the patterned jeans. Originally I had wanted to do the back bodice in the patterned jeans with burgundy jeans in the front (with a front zipper), but decided I liked the pattern too much to have it hide behind me all day. So I whipped the bodice up using my trusty Simplicity 1873.
Next I had to decide on a skirt. After seeing how artsy the bodice looked, I wanted a skirt that matched the artsy-ness of the bodice but more so in terms of the shape and structure of the skirt. I had really liked the looks of the three skirts below. I settled on the far left one (with input from my sister), until I realized I would need two jeans of the same colour to get enough fabric for it. I had already bought different coloured jeans and on principle I wasn't going out to pick up a fourth pair. (And I didn't like the idea of just using the two different colours to make up this skirt.)
That's when I came across the below pic on Pinterest.
EUREKA! I thought this would look pretty nice with the two tones and I knew I would have enough fabric to pull it off. I used a basic skirt block (for the first time), and just sort of laid things out until it worked. I don't think you can call that draping, but whatever it was, I like the outcome.
I used the inseam of the white jeans to make the front overlap, and the hem on both the burgundy and white parts of the skirt are the jeans hems (Hooray for no hemming!).
At this point, I tried the dress on and.....I hated it. It didn't fit right and it was missing something. I took the hips in where it meets the waist and took in the back zipper at the top by a lot. Taking it in to be more fitted completely changed my perspective on the dress.
I then decided to make a big bow to add just that final little "oomphf". I figured the jeans would help the bow to hold its shape really well. Luckily, I was right and I am SO glad I added it! I think it takes this dress to another level. I also really like how you can see the jeans pocket in the bow. It's my little tip of the hat to the dress' former life.
As a last little detail, I used some of the leftover jeans scraps to make some matching earrings.
This dress has been such an emotional rollercoaster. I love it, I hate it, I need a break from it, I might like it sort of, I love it, I hate it, I love it but it doesn't fit, it fits but it is too plain, I LOVE IT! (Not to mention cutting through my fabric while trimming a seam, accidentally cutting out a pattern piece twice without remembering to flip the pattern, and almost tearing a hole in the front when pinning on the bow with a broken safety pin in order to determine bow placement.) I've really learned a lot and am so happy to see people's reactions when I tell them this used to be jeans. (Read: everyone is amazed!)
I'm pleased to say that I feel like a fancy babe when I wear the dress and thus will be wearing it often to work (i.e. mission accomplished).
Well, only one day left until the deadline: did you participate in the Refashioners this year? Would you wear something that is quite "out there" like this is? If you've already made something you would classify as "artsy", please do share!

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