Remix: Shhhhirt

DSCF1098_2

DSCF1101_2

Shirt: Princess Highway

Cardigan: Crossroads

Skirt: Portmans

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Today’s remix project is my little secret when it comes to button-up-blouses.

Princess Highway and my all-time-favourite cardigan suppliers Friends of Couture are sister companies, and both have an aesthetic that appeals the the preppy, vintage-loving square that I really am. Cardigans and buttons and peter pan collars and polkadots. Yum!

I live just near Brunswick Street at the moment, and almost every day I walk past the Princess Highway flagship store, which can be agony. The skirts and dresses are little too short for my personal taste, but the blouses and cardigans often leaving me yearning.

But yearning’s all I ever do, because the top size at Princess Highway is a 14, and there’s no way a size 14 will encompass the Rack Of Doom. Open cardigans & stretchy t-shirts, maybe. Blouses and shirts? No.

I saw this, most gorgeous, cream blouse in the window a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t resist. I figured as long as the 14 would fit my shoulders, I might be able to perform my favourite remix, the “gapectomy”, and then it could be mine!

What’s the gapectomy? It’s a necessary alteration that I do to 99% of my button-up wardrobe. AKA, the sew-the-front-trick that anyone with a big bust should embrace.

See, this is the Princess Highway blouse BEFORE the Gapectomy:

DSCF0980_2Boo to you, boobs! Why won’t you let me have nice things?

And this is the same blouse, a quick five minute remix project later:

DSCF0987_2Yay! Buxom, but modest.

It’s pretty self explanatory, but here’s what you do:

1. Button your blouse up and make sure you can actually pull it on and off without undoing it. There’s no point in sewing up the front of something if it makes it unwearable! If you’re working with a narrow neckline unbutton it until the point where you can fit your head through the hole, then make a note of how many buttons need to stay functional.

DSCF0982

2. Set your sewing machine up with thread that closely matches the fabric, and adjust the needle so that it’s closest to the side that the buttons are on. For instance – I buttoned the right side of the blouse over the left, so I had to move the needle as far to the left of the foot as I could.

DSCF0983_2

3. Take your time, sew smoothly and straight down from the collar (or the highest button that you can keep fastened up and still put the shirt over your head) to the bottom of the shirt. Try and sew as closely to edge as you can.

DSCF09844. And you’re done! No more gapeage!

 

Remix: Heart of Gold

DSCF0829_2 DSCF0826

 

Cardigan: Eugenie Cashmere – Remixed

Dress: Crossroads

Shoes: Yeswalker

It’s hot in Australia at the moment. WAY too hot for a wooly cardigan, but I did the trek out to my favourite cashmere shop Eugenie anyway, knowing that this is when they have ridiculously good savings on their beautiful cashmere basics.

I had my eye on the cropped crew-neck cardigan, which I’d seen on sale for $99 down from $199, because I had a special remix in mind.

Elbow patches.

I’d needle felted a set of heart appliques onto the elbows of cardigan previously, but I had in mind something a little more glamorous for the cashmere cardigan.

SEQUIN elbow patches.

I bought the cardigan in the cream, thinking it would be versatile, and would be perfect over florally frocks as the weather turned colder (it’s officially autumn…. it’ll happen eventually). DSCF0806

Pretty boring, huh? I didn’t love the grey buttons, so they were the first things to go. I dropped into Clegs and bought sparkly diamante buttons with which to replace them:

DSCF0809

Next up to choose my preferred appliqué fabric. I was tossing up between matte gold sequins and plain red fabric, so I put the choice out to Twitter. You guys came back with gold sequins, but when I went into the Clegs they had RED SEQUINS. Just like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. So I bought 20 cms of both. (Just covering my bases)

DSCF0836

Making the hearts is easy.

Fold a piece of paper in half, then cut half a heart shape on the fold:

DSCF0834

Voila! Heart template

DSCF0835

Lay your template down on the non-sequinned side of your fabric and pin it in place. Using sharp scissors (though probably not your best fabric scissors, the sequins will destroy the blades) cut around the heart, then repeat for the second heart.

DSCF0837

The sequinned fabric won’t fray, so you don’t need to finish the edges, but if you’re persnickety like me you can remove any half-sequins that you may have cut through by easing them out with tweezers, just so you don’t have any sharp edges.

At this point I put down both gold and red hearts to help me reach a decision. I thought the red looked AMAZING, but the gold was more understated and would be more versatile. So I played it safe and went the gold. It’s a cashmere cardigan…. I want to be able to wear it ALL the time!

DSCF0807

Put the cardigan on, then pin the hearts into place on the elbows.

DSCF0820_2

Take the cardigan off and compare the two sleeves to make sure the hearts are properly lined up, and straight against the seamsDSCF0810

OK! Now you’re ready to sew!

I did mine by hand, partly because I wasn’t quite sure how machine sewing sequinned fabric would work, partly because machine sewing long sleeves is annoying and fraught with danger, and partly because I thought hand-stitching would be easier to unpick should I decide again sequinned elbow patches some time in the future (as if!).

DSCF0824

I used a basic fell stitch to attach the heart, and always fed my needle through the centre of a sequin, so it’s pretty sturdily attached.

The finished product is a bit gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

DSCF0830_2

….. and I didn’t let those red hearts go to waste, either

DSCF0833_2