The story of this outfit began when I realized that my red sweater/shirt had seen better days. I didn’t want to throw it out because I still liked it, so I decided to re-fashion it with another shirt I had. That other shirt was made entirely out of burnout velvet, a velvet fabric that’s had a design etched out of the pile by use of a caustic chemical. The technique used to create this kind of fabric is called Devore. Both shirts were bought second hand from Goodwill. I’d had the velvet shirt for ages, I picked it up on a whim for the unusual fabric, which I’d liked but had never found anything to do with. I thought it was time to find a use for it already (being in a stashbusting mood at the time). You might be surprised to find out that it’s a completely woven fabric, and has no stretch whatsoever, however it looks as though it does! Therefore, the shirt refashion is one of a melding of stretch and woven, and for that reason, I really struggled with it. I now see why burnout velvet is only made into simple boxy garments or cut into rectangles for things like scarves.
Here’s a pic of both shirts individually before the refashion:
As you can see, the red shirt has an oil stain smack dab in the center of it. The velvet shirt never fit me right: it was boxy and simultaneously short, while also having cuffed sleeves that were way too long for my arms. The velvet shirt is by Chico’s Design.
What I Did:
At first I wasn’t sure how to refashion these two pieces into one new garment. I thought about it for awhile and then it hit me: I had to get rid of the oil stain on the one shirt, so why not take the button placket from the velvet shirt and turn the red pullover shirt into a button up? It was a good idea that I managed to make work, but not without considerable effort. I realized that I couldn’t just take the front placket, I also had to take the collar too, since that was attached to the placket. As I mentioned earlier, this fabric is hard to work with, and getting a straight seam like the kind needed to show a straight transition line from the knit shirt to the newly placed placket wasn’t easy. I haven’t even discussed the attachment of the collar. It was difficult! It kept me busy for
The sleeves were the next challenge. I had cut off the sleeves to the pullover (I can’t remember why I did that, it wasn’t a good idea), so I had to think of a way to return them to the shirt with a refashioned theme. I decided to take a portion of the sleeves from the velvet shirt, attach them to the knit shirt sleeves, and then re-attach them back to the body of the shirt. Another good idea that took several re-do’s to achieve. It was at this point that I realized I’d need to cover the shoulders in velvet, in order to make a solid line between the collar and sleeves. Matching everything up correctly while dealing with both the slippery uneven velvet and the stretchy knit was a continuous challenge throughout this project.
Once the major difficulties were conquered, the finishing was fairly easy. Adding the velvet hem piece to the bottom of the shirt and the cuff overlays to the sleeves was easy in comparison to the main overhaul. I used Stitch Witchery to seal the hem without a fuss.
These were refashioned from a plain stretch velvet dress that was bought from Goodwill that was going to be re-donated. I pulled it from the donation bag and claimed it for myself, tossing it into my stretch knits pile, knowing that basic black would come in handy at some point. I’m glad I saved it, because I needed matching pants to wear with my newly refashioned shirt, and what better idea than a pair of refashioned pants? I originally thought of making a skirt, but the truth is that I wear pants more often than skirts, and I wanted a useful go-to garment for everyday wear, so pants it was. Here’s a pic of the dress before the refashion:
The next question was: What kind of pants should they be? I decided on Drop Crotch Pants, which I really love the look of. According to my research on this style of pants, you either love them or hate them. There don’t seem to be any in between opinions on this style. Here’s a good article that I found on the subject: Drop Crotch Pants – The Ultimate Guide.
What I did:
I cut up the dress as shown in the pics below, and used the labeled parts for the pants. Most of the skirt section was used as the upper body and upper legs of the pants, and the part that was cut away was used as the drop crotch insert. I had to cut it down quite a bit more because the effect was too droopy. The dress sleeves were used as the lower legs of the pants, which were attached to the main body. The only thing I did that isn’t shown was gathering the upper body part before joining it to the waistband piece.
And that’s it! Here’s the pics of the finished outfit: