Tuesday, September 18, 2018

FO: Acid Agnes Top Refashion

This feels like a miracle, but I actually have a finished object to post! lol I've missed having something to share, so it's nice to have something to talk about on the ole blog. First up is the first finished - my new Acid Green Agnes Top. Believe it or not, this came to me looking quite different originally:
Yep - this is a refashion, and one I'm pretty proud of. I bought this New York & Co size XS cotton/modal dress at a thrift store well over a year ago (maybe a few years now, to be honest). I bought it for the express purpose of refashioning since it had a lot of fabric to work with (thank you full length) and it was an interesting color. Honestly I think I bought this thinking I would dye it, lol. But time changes our minds on certain things. I had recently finished my Quill Peggy Skirt and I've worn my Lotta Sailor Top with it out of sheer stubbornness. I really don't care for the two items together (though I've worn the Lotta top loads with other skirts). This means my lovely skirt has hung up unworn. Imagine my thrill when I came across this thrifted dress again and discovered it was the exact color of the acid green accents on the Quill print linen :) I immediately set to work to make this into a top specifically for this skirt.
The only interesting aspect of the original dress was the pull string ruching on the sides. There were channels stitched almost the entire length of the dress, so technically you could pull this up to be knee length if you wanted to. The original owner had the ties knotted at a certain length (as you can see). Seeing this ruching ignited my love of a good puffed sleeve. I wanted to make this as part of the The Refashioners 2018 and the prompt this year is just that it needs to be inspired by an image - this is a bit of a different method for me with refashions since I usually just let the available fabric tell me what it needs to be. But since I knew I wanted to use the pull ties on the sleeves and that I wanted a puffed sleeve look, I started searching for inspiration photos and I came away with this top:
photo c/o Miss Selfridge
I love the sleeves on this top - they are puffed and near elbow length, but the rest of the top is very simple and a solid color. Perfect! The only real change I wanted to make was the neckline -  I just don't care for V necks on me - just personal preference. I decided to use the Agnes Top pattern by Tilly and the Buttons to recreate this look but with my preferred scoop neck. Since I was limited on fabric, I just had the little added suspense to find out if I could make the pattern pieces fit. It took some serious pattern Tetris, but I managed to just squeeze out the pieces.
To maximize my fabric, I cut the front and back pattern pieces from the upper front and back of the dress - since the dress was an XS, there wasn't enough width for my body to complete these pieces though. I just cut as wide as possible and then set them aside. Next I decided to cut my sleeves using the ruched side sections instead of adding the elastic ruching of the pattern. I used the existing skirt hem and lined the ruching up with the center of the sleeve the whole way down.
I seriously love these sleeves and I'm pretty smug about it, lol. I still gathered the top of the sleeve like usual because I love me a puffed sleeve. After cutting those out, I chopped the ties much shorter. I used the original sleeve bands to cut my neckband piece. That is all the pattern pieces, so once I had everything cut out, I laid out all my remaining bits. I had just enough width to make 2 triangular gusset-like pieces to make up the difference on the body pieces.
I sewed the extra piece to the front and back, spanning the area that would usually have a side seam. This was a total gamble - meaning I suspected I would have enough but it might be a bit snug - and it totally paid off. The shirt fits just fine :) Things were a little complicated under the arms when it came time to set in the sleeves, but I got there in the end.
And here's a blurry view of the back - whoops. Confession - there was a small spot on the front of the dress that I could not get completely out (and believe me, I tried - it must have been very old). So I decided to cut the back piece on the front of the dress, making that spot somewhere on my upper back. It's very faint and now it's on my back so I doubt anyone will notice.
So after I assembled the whole shirt, I had to decide on a sleeve ruching length. I pulled the sleeve ties up to how I liked it, then tied a double knot and a bow, cutting off the excess of the ties. I hand sewed the bow and knots down to avoid any issues. This left me with several decent sized tie pieces left over. Earlier in the project,  I decided to try sewing this entire shirt with my serger (aside from the hemming and whatnot), and while I was setting in my neckband I didn't notice that the body of the shirt had wrinkled under my foot and I sewed in a pucker :/ Luckily it didn't reach the knife so I was able to unpick the serging, but this fabric is a bit temperamental with unpicking and I accidentally pulled a small hole just off center on the front. Ugh. I had originally planned to leave the front of the shirt plain like the inspiration photo, but now I had a small hole that I repaired but would drive me crazy to see every time I wore this top. So I started playing with the scrap ties. I rolled them into rosettes and tried out some placement, asking opinions on Instagram. In the end I decided to use all the tie pieces to make the rosettes as big as possible and to go with a configuration of three.
I deliberately made the center one a little bigger just because it looked a bit off when they were the same size. My hole is up by the stitching line under the left rosette in this photo - totally covered :) These rosettes were a pain in the butt - not gonna lie. I just rolled them as I went, hand stitching them to the previous row to secure it neatly the whole way around. Once they were totally sewn as a rosette, then I secured them to the shirt with large stitches to keep them in place. I spent about as much time sewing them as I did on the entire rest of the shirt, but I like the added detail and I love that the hole is not visible. Project saved!
Here's a look at my crazy under arm area. Press as I might, I could not get the old stitching lines to disappear where the old channels were for the ties. I'm hoping this fades after a wash. It's not a huge deal in the meantime though since it's under my arms.
In the end, this was all that remained of the dress - talk about almost zero waste! I was pretty proud of this result, lol.
And I even saved the original tag, sewing it into the side seam - after I unpicked the XS and Made in Indonesia on the label, of course. Since those things weren't true anymore :)
And now I have a shirt to wear with my awesome skirt! I'm glad to finally have an outfit for this skirt - it's so cute and it deserves to be worn! Here's hoping my shirt holds out. I think the first washing will tell a great deal (I'm just concerned about those previous stitching lines). This turned out to be a super cheap make, but really I would've paid more to make this skirt more wearable :)
And in spite of my minor issues and on-the-fly changes I had to make, I think this is a pretty good representation of the inspiration top :) Yay for refashioning!

Fabric: Size XS New York & Co acid green cotton/modal knit dress - $1.00 (thrifted)
Pattern: Agnes Top by Tilly and the Buttons
Notions: thread - $1.00, knit stay tape - $0.25
Time: 4 hours
Total Cost: $ 2.25

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!