Saturday, May 10, 2014

Altered States

What must you think of me? First I did a post called SToned (the capital T was a happy accident that I decided to leave because it looked, well, stoned) and now Altered States. In fact, the only intoxicant I use anymore is wine – regularly, but not in huge quantities. Only enough to alter my mood, not my state.

But I've been altering lots of things in my closet. Since I learned to make peace with the sewing machine (and read the manual), I've been getting a lot done and making my clothes fit better. So, I've got some photos to show you, taken with my new Canon PowerShot. I wanted a better pocket camera, but I'm not sure if this is an actual improvement or not.

There's the camera and a mirror selfie. I wanted to try out the camera (I still need to read THAT manual) and I had no choice but to use it because Mr. S is on a video shoot and took the good stills/video camera as a spare. And the good tripods. He left me this wonky little thing.

It's crap.

Anyway, on to the clothes. Here's a top from Marketplace: Handwork of India, seen on my old blog here. That was a good post, too - you should go read it. ;-)

The top is meant to be boxy, but I wanted it a little less like a chopped-off gunny sack. But how to do it?

After lots of pinning and pondering, I created a seam on each side that adds an interesting detail, and with front and back combined I took in the top by about two inches, which neatly included the shoulders. 

I used a light blue thread, like is used in the embroidery. I plan to add some additional embroidery one of these days.

thrifted Levi's; sandals are Bare Traps
And I plan to get rid of these jeans that add too much heft to my hips and thighs!

I've also taken in the seams of a shirt, a tunic, and all these jeans.

It's not like I've lost weight or anything. They were just too wide in the legs, and it was easy to sew up the seam that wasn't a French seam (because that would be a real pain). 

But here's the piece de resistance!

The jacket was pretty cool before (seen here and here). But I've been wanting to do a real altered couture piece, and this one started rustling in the closet and whispering, "Pick me! Pick me!" So I cut up a lacy scarf and some ties that were in an obi from Megan Mae, and I just starting pinning things on.

It still has pins and bits of thread all over - another work in progress - so I still have lots of hand sewing, and embroidery to do. But I'm really itching to work with paper and glue now, and that will tie in perfectly with my next post for Thoughtful Third Thursday!

This one I'll link up with Creative Mondays at Claire Justine.



  1. Remaking our clothes. It's a great hobby. I think there should be way more of it going on. I'm completely serious. And I love your pants star. Keep it up Girl.

  2. Ooooh, how lovely that jacket is!!!!! Clever you! X

  3. That jacket is very steampunk. J'adore! You and Sue are both making me want to get over my fear of sewing and just create already. I bet it'd be cheaper (oh, woe to my tailor!) and more rewarding.

    Can't wait to see what you've got in store for T3!

  4. Ooh, I like the creativity in the jacket, with all the lace and bits! Also, nice gargoyle!

  5. What a creative person you are, Val! I admire your jacket. Love the two different prints on your boxy top - and you did a great job on alteration.

    I actually like the relaxed fit of these blue jeans on you - very California. :)

  6. Val's got her sewing head on! The Marketplace top looks so much better in your altered, more fitted version (boxy is a tricky shape, I think) and the steampunk embellished jacket looks amazing! What will you tackle next, I wonder? You're recreating your wardrobe a piece at a time, and it's brilliant! xxx

  7. Great work on the shirt! I find alterations one of the toughest things to get right.

  8. OMG! That jacket turned out gooorgeous. Sometimes I go on DIY raids. Yours turned out so amazing.

  9. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one who hates reading manuals.... The jacket is quite impressive, looking forward to seeing it on you.

  10. I'm jealous of your skills. I need a sewing machine.

  11. Wow Val! so impress! love the jacket! How long did it take you to do the jacket?
    I have a sewing machine, everyday i look at it and say i should do something one of those days, something simple to start with- One of those days hey!

    We are having glorious weather these past few days!
    Doing better, but off till June 15, hopefully i will feel better and better quickly so i can enjoy the weather, fuck work!



  12. So clever! You really made that first top fit more flatteringly and I love the blue thread embroidery! I love your creative piece in progress too! I have a pair of beige capri pants I am wanting to do something too but I'm sure it will take me forever! You are inspiring me though!

  13. Manuals suck, obviously reading them is a good thing because you have been creating and altering with brilliant results. Your altered top makes a difference, the blue thread is a nice touch too, the jacket is a masterpiece! I can't wait to see you modelling it! I have had a much more moderate creative spurt too, although I shouldn't really count hacking things then leaving bare hems x x x

  14. Hi Val, I am just into refashioning my clothes and wow I love your jacket. You have gave me a good idea on what to do with my old black on that is a little large, so need somthing doing to it. Would look great with lace one :)

    Thanks for sharing your very creative jacket over at Creative Mondays...

    Love it :)

    1. Hi again :) told you I loved your jacket, pinning and featuring on Creative Monday this week...

  15. I am very inspired by the top makeover. If I ever get my stuff unpacked (UGH!) I want to start altering my clothes.

  16. Altering stuff you already have is the best. Sometimes it's the little touches that make all the difference, like taking in seams for a better fit - or using blue thread on a rose-colored top. I love that, with the embroidered stitches here and there. Yes, don't stop now on the doily jacket...who knows where she'll end up? By the way, nothing wrong with using a camera to take a picture of yourself in the mirror, ahem.

  17. I'm very impressed with your sewing skills and your creativity with the jacket! I admire your ability to alter pieces that don't fit or that you want to change. Sigh! I'm taking a few things to be altered by someone else this week.

  18. That pinstriped jacket looks fantastic and the Indian top much, much nicer! I love it when I get my sewing head on and deal with stuff that needs a tweak, there's a dress in my wardrobe crying out to be taken in but I keep putting it off! xxxx

  19. That blazer is so COOL! What fun to create a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art. I can't wait to see you wearing it.

    Great job on the boxy jacket. It looks so much better on you now.


  20. you're a really inspiring seamstress, I feel encouraged to stay reading my sewing machine manuals and stay trying it!
    And your jacket looks a work of art in progress, so fabulous lace and details!

  21. feck needl sew awsum ness wow real gud luv
    i liv in alterd provins celebray queen victora whaaa u like here me like u here...
    jaket ooh hote cuture yesh izzz reely


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