I’m closing in on having lost a total of 95 pounds now. It has been a very slow year, but I think it has allowed my body to catch up a bit because there have still been significant clothes-fitting changes even though the scale has only budged a little bit. I am hoping to cross that 100 pound mark before DH gets home and would love to cross into the “Normal” category as well, but that could be a tad bit unrealistic. We’ll have to see if all the yardwork, gardening and rejoining the gym pick up my pace :-)
I did hold back some of my large clothes. There were a few things where I just really loved the item or the print and didn’t want to part with them. Before DH left I did some alterations on a few things. First up was a black and white linen sheath that was one of the first pieces of clothing I bought when I moved here to Fort Collins Memorial Day Weekend of 1999. When I bought the dress I was at my then smallest size as an adult. I remember being so excited to be buying an XL piece of clothing and not something plus-sized.
The beauty of sheaths is that they are classic so I decided to finally jump in and alter it to fit better. I used an existing woven shirt dress to guide me on where to put my new seam lines. The shirt dress has some stretch so I was generous in drawing my new seam lines. Though in retrospect a shirt dress is less fitted than a sheath so I really didn’t need to worry about that. I didn’t cut the fabric, instead I tried it on inside out after putting in the new seam lines and decided some areas needed brought in more so I put pins in to rough out the changes. I applied the changes to one side, then used it to match the other side. Again I didn’t cut, I just put the new seams in to the inside of my previous ones in case I needed make more changes. It was good, so I cut, pressed and finished the seam allowances. Overall I took out about 4-6″ in circumference depending on the area.
Here I am wearing it with a light weight cardigan, tights and boots. It was a cool spring day, but the white of the dress made the outfit still feel spring-like. I’ve since worn it with and without the cardigan but with heeled black sandals when the temps have been more summer-like. I’m so glad I hung onto this dress. It was always a favorite. Plus, for just a few yards of thread and less than an hour I have a new dress in my wardrobe!
This new button up tank top was from a short sleeve 1X shirt my mom had bought but never worn before she shrunk out of it. The sleeves were puffed, which isn’t a good look on me, so I cut them off and turned it into a tank. I used the above dress as a pattern for taking this in. This shirt also has some stretch like the shirt dress so I knew it could handle the more fitted silhouette of the top part of the sheath. I had originally planned to use the sleeves to make bias tape to encase the armholes. There was so little fabric in those short sleeves that I ended up with lots of seams in the bias tape so I scrapped that idea. Instead, I used used some 1/4″ double fold white bias tape to face the armholes on the inside.
This one isn’t quite as thrilling as the dress. Boy am I glad I did the dress first so I was enthused about altering/refashion! This one being a 1X resulted in the existing bust darts landing too low for me now (a little less so if I wear my “wow” bra). It is still totally wearable and I have a nice little red cardigan I can layer over it on cool nights or in AC which totally disguises the issue. Here I’m wearing it with my dark skinny jeans (which aren’t so skinny anymore and require a belt), but I could see wearing it with my navy pencil skirt and skinny red belt too.
Have you ever made drastic alterations to your clothing or thrift store finds? I may be a bit more motivated to troll the thrift stores now after these successes! I have a 4X linen big shirt from J. Jill that was always too big but I loved the striped fabric. I want to turn it into a sleeveless tunic of sorts. Because it is a big shirt it was meant to have generous ease so there are no existing bust darts to worry about. But, I don’t want the tunic quite that shapeless so I’m pondering if I could add in bust darts. That would make the front side seams shorter than the back though… :-/ Although maybe I can put in a bit of a split at the side seams and have the back be longer than the front? Anyone know of any good tutorials on making a split side seam on shirts?
I have another dress I want to take in, but the fabric is kind of slippery and it is another favorite from about the same time period as the sheath so I’m procrastinating on that for fear of ruining it. I have two knit skirts I need to hem yet and two - three other handmade skirts I want to try taking in at the side seams. Then I have fabric and supplies for two Laurels I want to dive in and do as well. Though I keep waffling a ton on what size is the right one to cut and procrastinating on making a non-wearable muslin. I also have a couple top ideas (and have the fabric for them), and the fabric and pattern for a fun tank top too. Now if I can figure out how to set up my space so I don’t have to take down my computer set-up to sew and my sewing stuff to work and I’ll be golden! I’m looking forward to having a refresh of my wardrobe for summer!