Saturday, February 15, 2020

Refashion Runway Week 4: Small To Large, Contestant Michelle Paganini

Hello, I am Michelle Paganini.  You may already know me from my business, Paganoonoo, or appearances on the syndicated PBS TV show

Lucky me! I juried into Refashion Runway hosted by Beth Huntington a.k.a. "The Renegade Seamstress. It is an online 6 week challenge to refashion with the emphasis for each week selected in advance, much like Project Runway. There is winner each week, based on votes (like yours) 50%, and 50% judges choice.  You can vote for your favorites once a day, every day, Sat - Friday.

This weeks challenge is "Small to Large"
So many possibilities!  I settled on vintage linen pieces combined to make a larger piece - a Haori-style jacket.

The two main base pieces were a linen tablecloth with fading embroidery and a large strip of a cutter quilt (too damaged in parts to be useable as a whole quilt.)
As I sorted through all the small pieces I found those that made the best color combinations, and trimmed the to size.
  Sometimes I needed to square the pieces.  The flannel english bulldog is from a pair of Nick and Nora PJs.
  One front side is lined linen and the other is quilted.  

The sleeves are from embroidered runners and bits of an old pillowcase.
The back is a mix of both linen tablecloth and quilted pieces,.  The banded collar is quilted.
It It was a pleasure to combine all of the smaller pieces into a larger garment!

   












The whole garment makes me smile. What role will it play in my wardrobe? Probably multiple: #1 super cool bed jacket, #2 playful lunch out with girlfriends, #3 sewing workshop wear... the possibilities are endless. Probably will not work for date night, as my hubby would be likely say, "This makes my teeth itch!".
To me, this one is a winner!

  




Vote for me here. 
What's coming in the next weeks? If I stay in the contest then...  5) Southwest, and 6) Kentucky Derby Hats.

Previous weeks:
We started three weeks ago.  
In challenge #1, "statement sleeves", I tied for 3rd!  See full details on my sleeve refashion entry on this blog post, and all the contestant entries here.
In challenge #2, "1970's", I was inspired by one of my favorite 1970's sewing patterns!  See full details on my blog post, and all the contestant entries here.
In challenge #3, "Faux Fur" I modified a jacket to a vest. See full details on my Blog post, and all contestant entries here.


P.S.  Find out more about Michelle and shop Paganoonoo upcycle sewing tutorials at www.paganoonoo.com 


P.P.S. Mishap!!! I had never even heard of such a thing being possible. My beautiful oversized red spool of thread was, I thought, innocently sitting behind my machine waiting to be used. Oh NO!
When I clipped it and left it hanging over the top of the machine, it migrated over to the turn wheel and got wound up.

Apparently it was feeding onto the turn wheel for hours and hours and eventually displaced the turn wheel cover which dropped off the machine and finally caught my attention.


Unbelievable. Time to order more red thread. Lol.
  

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Refashion Runway Week 3, Faux Fur, Michelle Paganini

Hello, I am Michelle Paganini.  You may already know me from my business, Paganoonoo, or appearances on the syndicated PBS TV show

Lucky me! I juried into Refashion Runway hosted by Beth Huntington a.k.a. "The Renegade Seamstress. It is an online 6 week challenge to refashion with the emphasis for each week selected in advance, much like Project Runway. There is winner each week, based on votes (like yours) 50%, and 50% judges choice.  You can vote for your favorites once a day, every day, Sat - Friday.
This weeks challenge is "Faux Fur"
I had never worked with faux fur before, so felt a bit intimidated. I selected a faux lambs wool coat to transform. It is very well made and was a steal for $35 at www.happydragonthriftshop.com in Los Gatos, CA where I volunteer.

Vests are also more wearable  in our temperate northern California climate, so a vest transformation was my plan.

The before pictures were taken in bright sunlight, which makes the "fur" look a completely different color than the after shots. My photographer (husband George) advised open shade for the remainder of photos, right as always - thanks honey.  

The coat is a classic shape, with nice in-seam pockets. Liking the simplicity of the cut I decided to maintain the basic silhouette.  
I removed the sleeves, removed the shoulder padding, detached the armhole lining, and sculpted out vest shaped armholes.  I also tightened the armhole by taking in the side seam and shoulder seams a bit.
 
After turning under the raw fur edges and stitching them in place by hand I tackled the lining.  In order to curve the lining shy of the armhole opening I clipped it all the way around, turned it under, and hand stitched it in place.



I considered adding embellishments. Tassels would have been fun but limited the wearing options (for me).  I found ribbon that was a perfect match but looked awkward sitting on top of the textured fur.
I opted for straight up simple and classic. I'm loving the result.  It is a very wearable vest, much more so than the jacket.  Paired with a thrifted linen blouse, thrifted jeans, and gifted earrings it looks great.



 
I wore my vest over to to the Happy Dragon to show the ladies the transformation (which they loved) and ran into my doppleganger!  Marley is an adorable 5 year old Labradoodle from Scotts Valley, CA.  His human graciously agreed he could appear here for your viewing pleasure. 
I hope you love the results too and vote for me here. 

What's coming in the next weeks? If I stay in the contest then... 4) Small to Large, 5) Southwest, and 6) Kentucky Derby Hats.

Previous weeks:
We started two weeks ago with 15 contestants.  

In challenge #1, "statement sleeves", I tied for 3rd!  See full details on my sleeve refashion entry on this blog post, and all the contestant entries here.
In challenge #2, "1970's", I was inspired by one of my favorite 1970's sewing patterns!  See full details on my blog post, and all the contestant entries here.

P.S.  Find out more about Michelle and shop Paganoonoo upcycle sewing tutorials at www.paganoonoo.com 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Refashion Runway, Week 2: 1970's Challenge, contestant Michelle Paganini

Hello, I am Michelle Paganini.  You may already know me from Paganoonoo, or appearances on the syndicated PBS TV show It's Sew Easy, or my upcycle sewing YouTube tips.

Lucky me! I juried into Refashion Runway hosted by Beth Huntington a.k.a. "The Renegade Seamstress. It is an online 6 week challenge to refashion with the emphasis for each week selected in advance, much like Project Runway. There is winner each week, based on votes (like yours) 50%, and 50% judges choice.  You can vote for your favorites once a day, every day, Sat - Friday.

We started last week with 15 contestants.  The challenge was "statement sleeves" and I tied for 3rd!  See full details on my sleeve refashion entry on this blog post, and all the contestant entries here.

Week 2 the challenge is "1970's".  

I was actively sewing much of my high school wardrobe in the 1970's so the first place I turned to for inspiration was sewing patterns, what memories!!! 

When I was in grade school I received a canvas bank bag (remember those?) full of buttons from my Great Grandmother.  As stated above I found a set to use on the vest I made from this pattern.  I loved that vest!!!!  I was slender then and a perfect fit for the patterns as a result. The vest fit me so well that I did not need to wear a bra, lol.  Would never happen now. 

Once I saw the vest pattern I knew I wanted to make a vest, and make it from an existing jacket, as I have done in the past.  I had a very oversized silk/rayon velvet jacket in my stash in a beautiful shade of blue/slightly teal.  Preferring to keep as many existing features from the starting garments as possible, I thought the lines were similar enough to the pattern to work. 


The skirt is a bias cut dirndl and a terrific color match for the jacket. It was also very oversized.

This garment was quite a challenge. I had never sewn with velvet before.  I think I had tossed the jacket in the washer and drier when I first purchased it (something I almost always do no matter the fabric) because the lining was far too big for the jacket.  I removed it entirely and it frayed terribly so did not seem worth trying to add back in and the end. The velvet still looked great.
As I unpicked most of the seams I could see that any machine stitching left permanent marks. Given the liquid nature of velvet it was tough to reshape the seams without stitching and trying the garment on to check fit.  I ended up doing quite a bit of hand basting.  It took 2 days to wrestle the shape into what I wanted.  Whew!  Would have been easier to have a friend help pin fit. 
The collar was floppy, and the velvet layers shifted around. It was even worse once the lining was removed. I check my stash of thrifted embroidery thread and found a perfect color match, then topstitched around the edges of the collar to hold the layers in place. I repeated the top stitching on other seams to help control the lay of the velvet and for decorative reasons. 
 
I added 4 snaps as closures on the vest. The jacket had 2 self covered velvet buttons that could have been added back on as a decorative element, but they just did not look good so the front was left plain. 

As you can see from my collection, I never pass up a vintage (or modern) set of snaps at thrift stores, estate sales, etc.  I have an identical cigar box full of hooks.  Thrifted notions can be better quality and less expensive than those found in big box fabric stores.  See my YouTube tip on thrifted notions.

I took about 6" of width off of the skirt, which improved the fit, although it is hard to see a difference in the photos.  

Overall I am very pleased with the result.  It looks so simple in the photograph compared to the effort it took to achieve the result!  

You may recognize the Marlo Thomas pattern cover pose, hand out and flat to the ground.  The illustrations on those patterns were so charming.
I hope you love the results too and vote for my entry!  To vote you must scroll all the way to the bottom of the post until you see a list of names, click a name and then scroll down and click vote.

This time I am up against some formidable competition, particularly the coats made by Diane and Peggy which to my eye are spot on for the era.  

The lady that won last time makes amazing results and works by harvesting fabric from existing garments (or this time a couch) and using it like regular flat fold cloth. I am seeing that I have a bias towards refashions/upcycles that retain original features.  It feels a bit like cheating to me to use just fabric bits. That said, I'm not sure exactly why it occurs to me like that.  Anything that causes discarded textiles material to be reused is fantastic!  Applause for all of the contestants!

What's coming in the next weeks?  3) Faux Fur,  4) Small to Large, 5) Southwest, and 6) Kentucky Derby Hats.

P.S.  Find out more about Michelle and shop Paganoonoo upcycle sewing designs at www.paganoonoo.com