A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

The Kitty Sitters Club

Today's post is about my first major project for a draping course I took this past semester. 
At the beginning of the semester, we were tasked with one thing: to design and create an activewear look using only recycled garments. As the world and fashion industry move towards more sustainable practices, it's important to be able to incorporate these techniques into our construction. 

All of the fabric used in our look needed to come from donated clothing collected by another course within our program. There were over 1500 items donated, and we were split into groups to search for items we intended to use. With the idea of a jacket in mind, I picked up a number of knits and grey heather T-shirts. The following are the items I ended up using. 

The numbers 1, 4, 5, and 7 were used in the construction of the jacket itself; numbers 2,3, 4, and 7 were used for the applique. Finally, numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 were used for the shorts.

The only materials I ended up purchasing were two eyelets, a separating zipper, and of course, thread.

Upon inspection of the recycled garments I selected, I knew I wanted to create a top and bottom of some kind. In the end, I decided for my activity to be cat sitting. Inspired by 80's pastels, I wanted to create a short and bomber jacket set.


The first step in this project was to begin draping the pieces in muslin. I have a few pictures of this process, but unfortunately not as many as I should. The images I do have reflect my initial plan of asymmetrical sleeves, which I later decided against.

I created paper patterns from the draped muslin for both the shorts and jacket.

As for sewing, the first section I tackled was the applique first. I started with a picture of my cat Ambrose, which I then turned into a drawing. From the drawing, I created a template using different pieces of construction paper to cut the fabric out with. Then, after testing the layout, I stitched the pieces together on top of each other, starting with the smaller pieces first. Because all of the fabrics used were knits, I wasn't concerned with frayed edges, so long as the stitching was close to the edge. This process can be seen below.

Up-Close View of the Applique

By far, the hardest part of the process was sizing the applique. The hoodie that I used to cut the jacket pieces from had a very large screen printed baseball design on the front. Its asymmetric size made it hard to cover with a round cat face; the border around the face needed to be extended to fully cover the design. The design was also situated very high on the hoodie itself, making the placement on the back of the jacket very high. If I had purchased fabric to make this jacket with, I would've situated the applique a bit further down and made it a bit smaller.

Here's the design that needed to be covered. 

After finishing the applique, I attached it to the jacket over the baseball design. Then I sewed the rest of the garment. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of that.

Everything was made from recycled tops. The shorts were cut from two grey t-shirts, and the ribbed waistband came from a grey sweatshirt. The drawstring came from the large hoodie. The only thing I added were the two eyelets to put the drawstring through. The jacket was cut primarily from the hoodie above, and was embellished with colored t-shirts.

Here's the final result!

Pictures from the Class Panel

Overall, this project was quite rewarding in the end. What initially seemed like an overwhelming and daunting task proved to be worthwhile. The jacket is definitely my favorite part of this, but I do like how the shorts turned out with the blue trim from the t-shirt. There will be better pictures to come!

I would have done a few things differently had I been able to buy my own fabric, but if that had been the case, I probably wouldn't have ended up making this look.

Thanks for reading! 

No comments

Post a Comment

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig