If you aren’t aware of the awesome refashion challenges going on over at The Renegade Seamstress, you should definitely head over and check out the Week One creations. The theme for the first week was “Plaid” and boy were there some awesome plaid refashions!

When Season One of Refashion Runway was underway, I managed to sew along with all of one challenge!! My excuse was that I was busy cleaning out op shops in San Francisco at the time. But this time I am determined to sew along with at least two!

One thing has become abundantly clear: I am completely incapable of sewing to a deadline. Casting my mind back, I seem to remember this has happened many times in the past: a total underestimation of the sewing time required, usually a late start, add in a couple of ‘where’s the stitch ripper??’ moments and suddenly it’s 2am and the darn thing is still not finished.

Anyway, I did finally get my first sewalong finished – only 5 days late!

I had to scratch my head for plaid – I could only think of one plaid item in my refashion stash, and that was a failure – a plaid wool coat I tried to dye. Fail. I’m hoping inspiration will still strike on that one.

But then I was hunting through The Stash and came across a pair of trousers I had deconstructed a couple of years ago, planning on remaking them for a better and more stylish fit. I had taken them apart all the way except for the zipper (I hate doing zippers on pants!) Now, I’d recently been bemoaning the lack of slim-leg pants in my work wardrobe, so here was my chance!

Deconstructed plaid.

I’d also been lucky enough to snaffle a bunch of Burda magazines at an opshop (for $1 each! YES! airpunch!), from 2006/2007, all still with their pattern sheets and instructions – a couple of them had the pattern sheets still stapled in and had never been used. Sweet. I noted a pair of slim-leg trousers in Burda December 2007 and decided I could make that work.

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I quickly traced off the pattern pieces, then laid them onto my deconstructed pants. Burda’s pants had an interesting shaped waistband, but I was not going to have enough material to do that – so I cheated.

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I chalked in where the seamline for the pants & waistband pieces were on both the front and back, then turned that into a shaping dart! I tell you, it worked a bloody treat. The pants had always been too long in the seat for me, which is why they had ended up on the refashioning pile. This way, I got shape from the dart, and a reduction in length as well. I sewed the pants together in the normal way.

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Because I wasn’t using a proper waistband, I cut some pieces of iron-on interfacing using the waistband pattern, and ironed it straight onto the wrong side of the pants fabric.

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Then I scrounged around in The Stash for something suitable for a waistband facing, again using the waistband pattern. Sewed that on, then realised it was all a little stretchy and was probably going to fall down and annoy me. There was some cotton tape in The Stash so I understitched that to the facing to give it some stability.

I topstitched around the top of the waist, and around the pants at the dart line – sadly, my darts didn’t match up at the side seams, but I was past the point of unpicking by the time that happened. It’s a design feature now 🙂

The pattern also had a nice feature of a pin-tucked front crease that I really liked, so I pressed my pants and sewed that in. As you can see, my ‘centre line’ was waaaaaay off centre!

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So I unpicked, ironed and stitched again. Result!

Plaid, with amp rack

Stay tuned for Week Two of Refashion Runway. The next theme is ‘Emerald Green’ and amazingly I actually have something in the pipeline! Come by next week and check it out.

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