Are you confident to adapt clothes to fit??

April 22, 2013

I know I’m not.. I’ve been watching the Great British Sewing Bee avidly, wishing I had the skills of the contestants. For those who do not live in the UK it a contestant show where the contestants are set sewing tasks, to find the best amateur UK sewer. The first weeks tasks were to sew an A line skirt with invisible zip in 4 hrs, adapt a neckline of a white blouse in an hr, and sew a dress adapted to fit their model in 7 hours.

I had seen the program advertising for contestants and had for a brief moment toyed with the idea.. thank goodness I never applied!

Are you watching it and feeling inspired? Apart from feeling intimidated I am also feeling determined to push myself and try new projects. A book has been published to accompany the series, and you can download patterns for free here. Rather handily it includes an apron pattern, ready for the apron swap I signed up for (that’s this weeks task:))

To start with I have decided to adapt clothes from charity shops/jumble sales.
Last weekend I visited a jumble sale and came back with a few items including this top.. which looks dreadful on me. However my 6 year old loves it.. Here goes then for a remake:)


I started off looking at patterns, but soon became discouraged. Instead I laid out a dress my daughter has which fits, and used it as a template. Bias binding seemed the obvious choice for the neckline, and the yellow picks out the colour in the flower.

Remodelled dress

Overall I am delighted with the result, a dress for £1:) The neckline is baggy, but as she rarely wears dresses I am not too worried about this (I like her to have some dresses in her wardrobe so she has a choice to wear a dress).

Other sewing this week has been finishing those bits and pieces that kick around.. repairs to clothes, altering a dress for a friend to become a dressing up outfit etc..


I strongly encourage you to have a go at whatever project you have been putting off for lack of confidence/time. The dress only took and hour and a half, and was far easier than I anticipated:) I love the fact that it is a make do and mend project, perfect for todays Earth Day:)


20 comments so far.

20 responses to “Are you confident to adapt clothes to fit??”

  1. Happy Earth Day! Found you from the Linky Party!

  2. Melissa says:

    I’ve been wanting to upcycle from used dressy tops/dresses for quite awhile, but it’s mildly intimidating. But I LOVE the idea of starting with kids’ clothes! It seems much more manageable, thanks for the inspiriation!

  3. I have a couple of really large thrifted mens T-shirts that I’ve been wanting to chop and turn into something that would flatter my girlish curves…terrified would not be an understatement. But I’m going to do it! Thanks for sharing at the Love 2 Upcycle linky party this week

  4. I adore that dress! I might have to do something similar for my daughter.

  5. I have pair of jeans that are badly frayed around the hem. I would like to upcycle them into a pencil skirt. I’m always cutting up jeans to make bags but making them into a garment to wear and show people is something else. I might give it a go.


  6. Natalie says:

    That dress is beautiful! I have never really thought about restyling old clothes, although I seem to have stopped recycling them via charity shops because I think the fabric/trim/logo might come in handy one day. Perhaps I ought to have a rummage through my own cupboards!

  7. Handbagsbyhelen says:

    Fab job

  8. What is the betting she lives in that dress this summer? Great make. I really should go to charity shops more it is just finding the time!

  9. Sue says:

    I am not good at sewing clothes but I make lots of bags 🙂 I have been doing some for the Air Ambuland charity shop. The manager gives me mens shirts and jeans and other items that will not sell and give them back as bags or cushions so they can raise money for the charity 🙂

  10. julietwilson says:

    what a wonderful transformation!


  11. After a long time of not sewing much at all, I’m working my way back to making clothes for myself. I find I can psych myself out very quickly, but once I get going, it’s not that bad. I definitely need the practice though! 🙂

    Love the redo — especially the yellow bias! Great compliment to a great dress.

  12. Ginny says:

    I am really enjoying the programme, but find the idea of sewing to time pressure truly horrific. Love your little dress – it is so pretty.

  13. I have enjoyed the programme though it might appear daunting for anyone who has not made their own clothes before. I’d recommend the book, whether you have or not. I’ve not made anything yet (I’m going to try the tunic first), but the diagrams and instructions are clear.
    The dress you’ve made for your daughter is lovely.

  14. Super dress, and great plan!
    Thank you so much for sharing this on Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party.
    I look forward to seeing what you share with us all this week 🙂
    Marigolds’ Loft

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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