Back to the fuchsia

I have recently been trying to grab time to tackle pieces of clothing from my 'It's a little bit too...' pile. This is a modest pile of garments purchased in charity shops because I like the fabric, or something about the cut, but that I don't wear because they are a little bit too long/wide/baggy/malformed.

I love making clothing from scratch, but I often postpone alterations because they seem like a lot of work. Ultimately, I like the flash bang result of making something entirely myself from start to finish.

Altering is something that deserves time spent on it, as it can transform useless clothing into something functional, bringing it out from the grave-like back of the wardrobe into the pulsing circulatory system of clothing that gets worn, tossed aside, washed and worn again. In other words, altering can resurrect clothing from the dead, and that is powerful!

I picked up this fitted T-shirt in the Sense charity shop on Mare Street over a year ago. It was the colour I found enchanting, but it was unflatteringly long.

 I did a very quick alteration, trimming about 25cm from the bottom and doing a double hem. This took about ten minutes and transformed it into something I now wear on a regular basis. This photo was taken before I ironed the hem so it looks a little lumpy.

Looking at those images, though I admire my fix-'em-up job on the top, I've got to admit the pink trousers steal the show. Let's dwell on that colour for a moment:

It's one of the three key colours used in digital design, know in web programming as #FF00FF and in fashion magazines as Hollywood cerise. I had some fabric in this beautiful deep magenta left over from a mini collection of clothing I made earlier in the year.

I decided to use it up testing a sewing pattern (on the right below) I had bought for skinny jeans. It is my goal to be able to make all my basics as well as fancier garments and I had trauled the internet looking for a good pattern for top-to-toe tight fitting jeans. Finally I found this McCall's pattern via this blog post.

The pattern is for trousers that finish just above the hips, but I wanted to make mine high-waisted so I used a pair of jeans I already owned to create a paper extension.

I roughly sketched an additional bit of height for the top of the trousers and guessed an outline for the darts. I decided I could alter these later if they were too big.

I cut my extra paper piece.

I used the same piece to help me roughly extend the back pieces of the pattern too.

The pattern is easy to follow. I had to unpick and alter the crotch line a couple of times, sewing very close to the cut edge of fabric to stop the trousers bunching up. This is probably because I have a large bum for a person of my overall size.

I made my own lazy alternative to the waistband the pattern suggests, and finished it with a press stud fastening (which I hadn't sewn on at this point, hence the flapping waistband ends).

Though the fabric has a tendency to stick to my skin, I'm happy with the overall fit and the colour is glorious.

My test piece has turned into something I am actively wearing, which is a great result and I look forward to experimenting with the same pattern in different fabrics.


  1. Dear Rosie, as your blog is something I look at quite often, I now also wrote a little review about it. I hope you like it. Please do tell me if there's anything you disagree with!
    xxx Anne

  2. Ah thank you so much Ann, that's very kind of you! Lovely comments - thank you! I have also never heard of the other blog you mention so will check it out : ). Rosie xx

  3. I love that short look for the t-shirt. It goes perfectly with your trousers


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