Posts Tagged ‘reconstructed’

been a while since i did a simple t-shirt reconstruction. even with all the regular band shirts i still have. it’s not quite as epic as my recent scrap dress, but still pretty damn fabulous.

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i feel like i’m always saying how i love the clothes i make so much. now i’m going to have to say it again. I LOVE THIS DRESS SO MUCH. it’s the tea. it gives it that amazing impossible-to-capture-properly antique look. & makes the fabrics look much better together.
not that i don’t love everything else about this dress.

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& the back! i was actually really stuck with that, for a good three quarters of a day. i wanted to keep part of it open, but how? vivifromage eventually inspired this. she’s amazing with those details.

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i also really like how the sleeve things turned out. as you can see, they’re ruffles all around the arm opening. with all those ruffles they feel like little wings.

i can’t wait to wear this when i see etid again this sunday! or, you know, just to see them again.

bonus, just for fun picture:

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thanks for looking!

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or: THE MOST FABULOUS THING I’VE EVER MADE. probably.

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i’m so happy with it! i can’t wait for an excuse to wear this.

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SO MUCH work & time & materials went into this. i started it the sunday before last, worked on it for four whole days straight, then one of the lenses of my glasses broke & because of all that led to, i couldn’t work on it as much as i liked for the rest of the week. i was away the weekend & then spent the greater part of the past three days on it. & now it’s finally done! i think.

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it was such a massive project, i loved the whole process. i should make things like this more often.

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looking at this picture, i might add some more to that side…

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this whole dress started with a bra. a lovely pink one with black lace i had never worn, would never wear & couldn’t bring myself to get rid of. while i was fanatically getting rid of loads of other crap, i thought why not use it in a scrap dress i would wear? i had so many pink & black scraps i could use for it. so i went through my box of scraps & failures, to-be-reconstructed pile, the debris at the bottom of my sewing box, my accessory boxes, the bag i had just packed for the clothing bin, the suitcase of stuff i was going to sell & this was what i found:

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i didn’t use all of it, but definitely most. despite how fanatically i emptied out my massive closet, there is no way in hell the finished product will fit.
one of the things i unearthed in my box of scraps & failures was half of the beginning of an ill-fitting corset. that & the bra & an atari teenage riot shirt i had forgotten about, formed the base of the bodice. i pinned them to my dressform, which is lovely & alterable & i had already set to my size. to that base i added some matching scraps, decorations & a zipper i had never used, molding it all into shape on my dressform. i almost always work with patterns drawn beforehand & that was quite nice to do for a change. thank you artemis, for introducing me to that other way of making clothes.

here are the only in-progress pictures i made:

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(some of those things i removed, lots of other things were added)

at the front i only added a couple of longer pieces to flow into the skirt at that point. when it was to my satisfaction i took it off my dressform & sewed all the way over the scrappy parts to make it a whole piece. the bra part was later hand-sewn to it. quite a lot in this dress is hand-sewn, mostly in the skirt part.

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then i left the top for what it was & started on the skirt part. that was the most work, of course. for those scrappy skirts you always need more than you think you do.
for the base of it i used cut pieces from an old flared pinstriped dress i made, an old poison industries dress i never wore & a pink petticoat i made with too little tulle. i’m so glad i finally found a use for that poison industries dress. i bought it in an emergency (one of the hottest april days in the history of the netherlands in a full v costume) at the elf fantasy fair four or five years ago & hadn’t worn it since. i started with a full piece of the skirt cut from it, pinning it to the back in an upwards curve. i added some more long scraps of fabric to the front.

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then i cut the petticoat in half & gathered it into about half its size. it made a nice base for the other half of the skirt part. in-between & above i added parts of the pinstriped dress. then it was a long, long process of adding smaller scraps to it all. among those scraps are a black with white print bandanna i bought at some random bazaar in surinam & was a sort of signature of mine throughout my childhood & early teens, a pink polka dotted sheer scarf i got for free with a copy of cosmo girl & i had worn to death in lots of different ways when i still loved pink, the sleeves from that old laughing vampire dress & fabric samples that were too small to use for anything else. at some point i sewed together all the base parts of the skirt to make it one piece. i also added one tier from the poison industries dress to the other side & continued pinning & (hand-)sewing the scraps in co-ordinating layers.

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when i was done with all that, it still seemed like something was missing at the front. so i fell back on one of my old trademarks, a bow. i made it out of the lining of an old hell bunny dress, also bought in an emergency, for a party in 2008, because i had ‘nothing to wear’, & never worn again. the painfully cute skull fabric is from that same dress.

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then i went on to the top of the bodice. i bought some new lace for that, my supply was very low. it was pretty hard to find a good way to sufficiently disguise the origin of the cups, but, after looking through my inspiration folder from gibbous, i think i succeeded quite well.

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besides lace & a ruffled bit of a fabric sample i bought for that old fashion course of mine, i also used half of the top of a tank an aunt gave to me because she didn’t think she’d wear it after all. for one of the straps i used a whole strap cut from my pinstriped dress, with some scraps sewn to it at the front. for the other i first only used the elastic strap attached to the glittery top, but it looked so small & awkward next to the other one. so i added half of a garter belt bought in the wrong size & more of that fabric sample used for the front. it turned out super cute.

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to top it off i added some beads to the front top. they were from a bracelet i got for my sixteenth birthday from some of my favourite people at the time, loved & wore almost every day until it tragically snapped at an arch enemy show some years later. at the back i also added another, open, zipper & one of the strange wheel things i got with my serger & never discovered the use of.
i was planning on adding lots more of those small things, but everything else i added seemed to detract from the perfection of it.

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some suggestions if you want to make your own:
+ gather as many different materials as you can, at least twice as much as you think you’ll need
+ the higher quality your materials are, the higher quality of the end product
+ specifically for the skirt part: the more light, sheer, shimmery materials, the better it will look
+ also for the skirt part: don’t just bunch all the scraps together at the top, work in layers; it’s easiest to start at the bottom with these
+ the more smaller pieces you use, the better
+ for molding on a dressform: keep in mind that you’ll have to remove your clothing from it in one piece, don’t stick your pins in the body
+ preferably pin in a way that you don’t have to remove your pins & they won’t hinder you when sewing
+ more is more.
+ if you’re using clothes that still look good on its own & you’re hesitant to cut them up, just start cutting; staring at them for hours on end is not helpful
+ don’t just do some random shit, it’s better if you have some sort of base/rhythm/recurring theme
+ keep track of your pins! it’s very easy to lose them &/or get them stuck in the patchworky parts
+ use old, existing things in a completely different way
+ surprise yourself
+ feel free to change things you’ve already pinned or even sewn; our first ideas aren’t always the best
+ be patient
+ it’s better not to listen to very energetic/aggressive music when you work on it
+ if it starts to irritate you, step away, take a deep breath, have a cup of tea, go back to it at a better time
+ don’t forget to change to thicker needles for thicker parts
+ if you can’t decide between this way or that way, pin & take pictures of both & decide later
+ serge/zigzag edges where you can; you don’t want something like this falling apart on you, do you?

thanks so much for looking & reading!

& all that drama.
anyway, i was purging my closet of the massive amount of clothes i’ve outgrown stylistically recently & with all that cleared space & room to improve my wardrobe, i was inspired to sew again (: after almost half a year! my sewing machines were so dusty. where does time go?

first in an upcoming sewing spree is a reconstructed dress.

before:

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that classic laughing vampire dress that so many of us european goths owned or considered owning at some point. as much as i loved it, i didn’t wear it more than once. which is probably a good thing.

even now it was actually pretty hard to cut up. i kept thinking what a shame it would be to waste such a pretty dress. & what to DO with it? i was questioning all my ideas for hours.

after:

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but in the end it became much cuter & wearable on a daily basis. i love it more now ^-^ it’s so much lighter & more practical. especially lighter! the clowns who designed it obviously didn’t consider how the massive weight of such a large amount of fabric that heavy would affect the shape of the dress. if i had worn it more often it would probably have stretched completely out of proportion. but now it’s nice & light. i added elastic on the inside too, because it still stretched too much for my liking at the waistline.

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the fabric really isn’t captured very well. it looks SO MUCH better with the naked eye. i love that fabric. i could really use more of it in my wardrobe.

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[subtle plug] & since you’re interested in the clothes i make, a lot of what was purged from my closet is what i made myself, in excellent condition & for sale at a super low price. also some clothing from other diy designers & some odd vintage. i put all the good stuff in an album on my facebook page thing. take a gander! you can e-mail (maraleopard [at] gmail [dot] com) me if you see anything you want. everything that’s not sold before may 16th is going in the charity clothing bins, so bid now or forever hold your peace. [/subtle plug]

thanks for looking & reading & your continued support! have a fabulous day/night, wherever you are.

ps. i didn’t mean that bidding literally. i don’t like haggling over prices.

yesterday & this morning i reconstructed two band shirts, for me. only my second & third things i’ve fully sewn this year! it’s ridiculous.
they’re not even all that exciting. but that was intentional, i didn’t want anything too frilly/girlie. i’m kind of sick of all the frilly/girlie things in my closet. might even sell some.

anyway, from a good charlotte shirt:

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[/fangirl moment]

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i have a bit of an obsession with raglan sleeves right now. & military tabs.

from a dillinger escape plan shirt: (i’ve had this one since october!)

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it’s amazing how much something as simple as exposed serged seams can do. i also love, love, love how that open back turned out.

thanks for looking!

so, i’m in fashion school now. this week a teacher asked if any of us were bloggers. i tentatively raised my hand. & decided that i really should resurrect this thing. as much time as i don’t have. i’m not sure yet if i’ll continue with my old regular segments or do more spontaneous posts. i kind of love the idea of spontaneous posts. what do you think? speaking of, thank you so much for still checking my blog! my stats page was nowhere near as sad as i expected it to be.

here are some things i’ve sewn lately:

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my jeans from last year got unbearably baggy. & i really wanted some kind of sleeveless jean jacket/vest. so i reconstructed it. i LOVE how it turned out. it was nice & easy to make too. i used a pre-made burda pattern for this one. it was one of those super rare occasions. the only other things i’ve ever used pre-made patterns for are an over-bust corset, a pair of pants, a button-up shirt, a hoop skirt & one other vest like this.

this is what it looked like before:

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it had been very comfortable, for a while.

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another reconstruction. reconstructed from a wednesday 13 t-shirt attempted reconstruction to a faux motorcycle jacket. that poor ruined shirt had been sitting on my to-fix pile for, what? nearly two years? then i saw the murderdolls two weeks ago (in germany! it was ah-maaah-ziiiiiing) & in that murderdolls/wednesday’s-bands-in-general mood i thought the time was ripe to save it.
this hoodie was very much inspired by angrygirl gear. i love her work. i made this a little roomier than usual (& with nice warm fleece), because i wanted just one comfortable non-fitted hoodie.

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& that’s almost all i’ve sewn since that last dress. it’s ridiculous. otherwise i’ve only resized a few things & made a totally plain pink racerback top. hopefully i’ll get to do more this weekend.

thanks, as always, for looking!

p.s. for those of you who may have noticed & were wondering about my now empty shops, yes, they’ll absolutely be restocked. soonish. & customs are back open! (help a poor student out here)

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just finished it! i was kind of in a hurry to reconstruct this, because i wanted to go to another show of them today in antwerp & wear it. it would look so lovely with my smarmy scrap skirt. but i’m not going after all & now it’ll probably just sit in my closet for a while. anyhow, i really like how this turned out :] i wanted to make a dress at first, but i didn’t have enough fabric for anything good. so i made this! i haven’t made a top like this in a long time. i learned to make that contour bust part at what the craft.

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it’s kind of inspired by wearydrearies, maybe you can tell. if you disregard the bright colours & overall polished look :p

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in case you were wondering, i did not make that flower, only added the heart button to it. it came with a necklace i bought & i didn’t really use it & thought it would look much better on this.

thanks for looking! feel free to comment! i’ve noticed an alarming decrease in comments the past week or two.

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i made this yesterday. i love it so very much. i could wear it every day. it’s so cute & fruity & comfortable & flattering & has CANCER BATS on it <(^-^)> i usually don’t model clothes i don’t plan to sell myself, but my dressform really wouldn’t do this dress justice.

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this is the first empire-waisted dress i’ve ever made out of a t-shirt. to me, it always seemed like such an obvious way to reconstruct a big ol’ t-shirt, which is why i always refused to do it. & also because these are very easy to get wrong. aesthetically, i mean. but then i saw this amazing hooded one & was inspired.

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i bought that t-shirt at a cancer bats show on tuesday. i loved the colours of it. unfortunately i bought a medium (note to self: when planning to reconstruct it, ALWAYS buy the largest) & it didn’t quite have enough fabric in it for the part above the empire waist. that part is made out of four sleeves! two from other t-shirt remnants. it was a very tight fit, but i think it turned out well. & at the front i was able to use the sleeve parts to my advantage :]

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i didn’t have to buy anything new to make this dress, which was awesome. have i mentioned how much i love it?

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thanks for looking!