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Man Shirt with Necktie Refashion

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Lovely Blouse with big BOW from a man’s shirt and polkadot Necktie

Last Year I was part of the  first ever “Junk to Jewel” event in Oakengates and started working on a new Shirt Upcycle/Refashion there. I finished it a few days later at home and was wearing it right away. Even during my pregnancy I liked this top, as it gave my belly room to grow without showing it.
All you need for this top:

  • (white) man shirt,
  • necktie (in this case a wonderful “Belvedere Vienna” necktie)
  • thread
  • Sewing machine and scissors

The photos I took should be self-explanatory but I will try to put it into words as well 😉

  1. Cut sleeves off and open them up to make a bias tape out of them.
    Bias Tape or Binding is a strip of fabric cut at a 45 degree angle to the straight weave of a fabric. It is cut this way to give it stretchiness.

    (Find other post: What is a Bias Tape – How to make a bias tape)

  2. Cut off the collar in a straight line. Back part should be a bit higher up than front part.
  3. Sew the bias tape onto the sleeve hole (how to sew with bias tape)
  4. Front of Shirt: Measure your above your bust from armhole to armhole to see how wide the front has to be. Put the front into pleads so you get the measured width.
  5. Back of shirt: Make two straight seams (1 cm from edge and then 1 cm from first seamline)  with the longest stitch possible and top thread with no tension. Then take the bottom threads and pull. Width should be just a bit more than front.
When you have front and back part in the right widths, fold the edge over twice and sew with a straight stitch.

Then you have to prepare the bow – chose a necktie that goes well with the shirt. As I had a white shirt, the colour of the necktie didn’t really matter but if your chosen shirt is very colourful, it is better to pick a plain necktie to make the bow and neckline.

You cut off about 15cm from the thinner end of the necktie to wrap it around the bow (as shown in pictures) In my case the bow itself is about 26cm long and is situated above one shoulder.

The best is you make your bow, pin it onto the back and front part,  the loose part of the necktie pin to the front neckline and then try it on and see how much of the necktie you need for your other shoulder. Then pin the rest of the necktie to the back until you reach the bow again.

Handstitch the necktie to the shirt.

Even though the necktie is made of silk, I washed the blouse in the washing machine. I just put the top into a washing bag and hung it on a hanger to dry.

I hope you understand the single steps, if there are any questions, just message me.

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online. But you can also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina

 


Make a Skirt fit

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Not just a Maternity refashion – How to make an oversized skirt fit your waist

I made and refashioned a few skirts to wear during pregnancy (and even afterwards). I love skirts as they are very comfortable and you can wear them with different tops and therefor changing your style. Today I start with one of my favourite skirts. It’s a flowing, light weight sheer fabric skirt that I found in a size 14 (my regular size is 8).

It has a zipper on the side, which made the whole project even easier. Make sure you get a long skirt that is at least 2 sizes bigger (without a zipper you need an even bigger size) than your pre-pregnancy size – otherwise this refashion does not work.

(First picture shows how I used safety pins to keep the skirt in place – also an alternative)

 

All I had to do with my skirt was to measure my “waist” (which meant the under-bust line) and then measure the waistband of the skirt.

Then calculate:

 

(Waist band skirt) – (waist) = (width difference)

90cm – 70cm = 20cm

 

waist/2 = front half of skirt

70cm/2= 35cm

 

(front half of skirt) – (width difference) = (length of elastic)

45cm-20cm=25cm

In my case I had to cut the elastic band in a length of 25cm (burn the ends with a lighter so it won’t fray) and stretch it out 45cm (from zipper to other side seam) while sewing it on to get the ruffles and the right width of the waistband to fit properly. In your case the numbers could be completely different but as long as you follow the calculations it should work fine.

As you can see in the pictures, I pinned the elastic band to the middle of the front waist band, then pinned the sides of the elastic to the sides of the front waist band. I secured the elastic band to the waist band with straight stitches. That way you can stretch it better.

 

I used the longest straight stitch I had to sew the stretched elastic band to the waist band of the skirt. First sew the top, secure the side on the other end and then sew  the bottom of the elastic/waistband. But again start from the zipper end.

I hope you have lots of fun next time you go second hand or charity shopping, now that you know you can buy that gorgeous skirt even if it is a few sizes too big.

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina

 


DIY maternity leggings

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English weather – DIY maternity leggings from tights

After a wonderful summer in Austria with very hot weather I’m back to English grounds and all my lovely summer dresses are not wearable here…

But wait a minute… I could use leggings.

Immediately, I took one of my older (hip) tights that I had darned already twice and which seemed to have another ladder at the toes.

First I cut the toe piece off to make them leggings and then I opened up the top front seam to make room for my belly. Just be careful to not cut too far down, better just do a bit, try it on and then cut more. I ended up sewing one toe piece into the tights again, as I cut too much the first time.

In the end I had very comfy leggings to wear under my dress. Perfect for the autumn weather. In the meantime I made some more in different colours.

For winter I will make some leggings that also keep my belly warm but that is another Re-Fashion.

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina


Maternity dress from skirt

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Maternity dress from oversized skirt

That’s an easy refashion, although  depending on the material, the dress might only fits in the first and second trimester. As there is no extra fabric added for the growing bump, it depends on the elasticity of the fabric to fit further into pregnancy.

So what I got was a skirt about 2-3 sizes bigger than my regular size. The skirt itself should have some elasticity – this comes either from a stretchy fabric or if the skirt pieces were cut in the bias which makes every fabric at least a bit stretchy. The lighter dress in the picture was made with a skirt without any elasticity and a zipper on the side. Hence, I could only wear it the first few month.

For a very easy refashion, the waistband should have an elastic band, so you can easily pull it over your shoulders.

The dark skirt was perfect for this type of refashion in every point.

  • stretchy material & bias cut
  • elastic waistband
  • long enough to work as a dress

Now you only have to put the skirt up over your chest and see where your waist is so you can add two darts in the back and narrow the waist to have a better fit there. The darts should start at the shoulder blades (in this case on top just under the elastic)  and get wider until you hit your waistline, then they get smaller again to run out a bit above the hips. You can see this in the picture below where I put my back dress pattern on top of the skirt.

You wear the dress with a t-shirt underneath (to hide your bra straps) and a belt above your bump. That will give you a new waistline and therefore the perfect curves.

The pink belt I use is made from an old necktie and here is how I made this perfect maternity belt:

Blog post Upcycled Necktie Belt

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina


perfect belt

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Upcycle Necktie Belt with exchangeable elastic – perfect maternity and children’s belt

 

I have a REALLY BIG collection of neckties, as they are one of my favorite upcycling material and I started gathering them when I was still in school.

The original idea for this belt was to create a kids belt that grows with them as you can exchange the elastic. When my daughter was just 3 years old, she tried to wear belts all the time but because her belly was wider than her hips, they would always slip down. The other problem she had was dealing with the buckle… an impossible task for little people.

So I made her a belt from a necktie with an elastic band in the back and snaps to close. GREAT!

When I got pregnant I quickly realized that my regular (non-elastic) belts felt either too loose or too tight, depending on the time of the day and the activity I just did. I tried one of my daughter’s belts – just used a much longer elastic band in the back – and VOILÀ – my problems were gone. Perfect maternity belt!!

I made a few more belts, this time a bit longer, to fit my growing waist.

What you need:

– Old necktie

– Sewing needle and thread in colour of necktie

– 4 Kam snaps (I tell you, it’s worth investing in a few of those – you can use them for so many things!!)

– elastic band as wide as the necktie

What you have to do:

  • measure how long you need the belt. I made the length about 10cm shorter than my pre-pregnancy waist, so I can still use the belts when I’m –hopefully- back to my old self. But whatever you measure, deduct 15cm of that measurement. That’s how long you want the necktie part of the belt
  • cut the necktie in the measured length.
  • Cut off about 4 cm of the lining of the necktie and then fold over the edges and sew it shut.
  • Cut the desired length + 6cm of the elastic band, burn the edges with a lighter or candle, turn over 3 cm on each side and put the snaps in.

Soooo… What do you think?

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina


What clothes do you already have to use during pregnancy

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What from your wardrobe can function as maternity clothes?

It only took 10 weeks of pregnancy and I had to start packing my regular clothes away. We didn’t even announce that I was expecting, yet, but already 50% of my wardrobe was useless. My regular size is 6-8 UK (34/36 EU) and I my style is “fitted” dresses, pretty much all of them tight around the waist. Therefore, the first box was packed with all my dresses at only 10 weeks. By week 14 I had 3 boxes packed to put into the loft, as I wouldn’t be able to wear any of it for a long, long time. And by the time these clothes fit again we would have moved to Austria again, so why not already pack them away ready for moving.

You might wonder if my pregnancy might last longer than the 40 weeks and I can assure you that it will not. But I remember my last pregnancy and the 8 months of breastfeeding afterwards and the fact that I won’t be able to wear any dress with a zip in the back for exactly that amount of time. It also took me about 6 months after giving birth to get my small waist back. I have no idea how some of those celebrity mums like Kate Middleton do it. Just 8 weeks after the baby was born and she is back to her slim self, not a trace of a belly left.

Anyway, not even half way through pregnancy and I was standing in front of an almost empty wardrobe. In my case that meant I had about 80 pieces of clothing left. That might sound a lot to you, but for someone who is used to not wear the same piece more than twice a year, this is horrible. Especially when the ratio is 7:1 for tops to bottoms (tops were mostly cardigans) and only 5 dresses left in the whole count.

 

But the good news, most of the tops would last me throughout the whole pregnancy. So here is what I can recommend to look for in your wardrobe that will fit at least during the first few months of pregnancy:

 

  • Stretchy materials – shirts, skirts and dresses that are made of stretchy materials will fit over your bump but… they also have to be long enough.
  • A- line dresses and tops – these garments are not fitted in the waist and therefore hide your bump.
  • Thin, stretchy belts – to fit between your boobs and your belly, so even really wide clothes give you some shape.
  • Long cardigans
  • Blazer and jackets

 

For inspiration have a look on websites for maternity clothing and just see if you have something similar in your wardrobe.

 

https://www.hatchcollection.com/

https://www.nineinthemirror.com/

 

 

And as soon as you have found the maternity appropriate pieces in your wardrobe, see what you are missing and hit the charity and second hand shops.

Here are some more articles I found about that topic:

https://www.thebump.com/a/maternity-clothes

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a562984/buying-maternity-clothes-on-a-budget

Trendy Maternity Clothes for Fall

How to Wear Non-Maternity Clothes While Pregnant

Gorgeous Summer Pregnancy Clothing Ideas for You

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/jan/14/maternity-wear-fashion-designed-to-last

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/may/04/can-you-be-pregnant-and-still-be-stylish-duchess-of-cambridge

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina


How to build a maternity wardrobe on a budget

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Maternity Clothes Refashion

 

Lately, I was very busy building up a maternity wardrobe. Most items are second hand clothes from charity shops that I could wear as they are. I just use a few styling tricks to make them fit my ever so much changing body. Some clothes I had to refashion to look better fitted for my growing bump.

 

Because I realized how many pregnant women struggle to afford cute and fashionable maternity clothes, I decided to put all my experience into a blog.

The next few weeks/months I will show you:
– how to find items in your own wardrobe that are also suitable during pregnancy
– how to shop for great maternity items in charity shops/second hand shops
– how to style up simple clothes during pregnancy
– how to alter regular clothes to make them maternity fit
– what is suitable for maternity and nursing afterwards (for those who are breastfeeding)

I will also make some baby items like activity blanket, clothes etc.

Some of the maternity refashion projects just show how to alter clothes to your size if they are too small or too big. So I’m sure there will still be interesting alterations for those who are not pregnant.

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina