Monday, August 15, 2011

Shop Your Closet - Repurposing a Tunic

Shop Your Closet

Ok, people, we are in a downed economy. Let’s get creative and make the best of it! I will do my best to periodically bring you wardrobe ideas that will only cost you a little time, potentially a needle and a spool of thread (if you do not already have it) and some creative imagination. 

The other night we went to Lakeside Grill to support our friend, Justin Echols, during his opening week of performances at his new jazz residency. We tend to migrate with the same group of people any time we do something social. This being said, I try to rotate my dresses as best I can. My husband has a habit of daily interrogation of my purchases. This keeps me humble, thrifty, and always able to justify. 

I bought this cover-up/tunic at a thrift store last winter. Out of season and at a thrift store...I’m sure it was next to nothing. Though I never intended it to be worn the way it was intended to be worn I saw interesting potential in it. 

A couple of hours before our reservation I stood in my usual funk peering at my dresses that had already enjoyed an outing or two this summer. My gaze caught the sight of this cotton plum-colored tunic and the crash corse with rapid repurposing began. I wanted something that would work for the setting...mostly an adult venue, yet still casual and family friendly. This is a...I don’t want to say “bad”...habit that began around my design school years. If I did not have the item I felt like wearing in my closet I would pin or sew something on the fly. 

I know many closets have tunics very similar to this one. If you are so inclined to try something a little different for an evening you can always rip out a few minor stitches and wear it in it’s original state. So, here is what I did... 

I first threw it on my dress form to look it over and make some mental notes of necessary changes. I came to the conclusion that the only major problem was the side slits. These slits can be closed a couple of ways, one being by hand with a needle and thread the other by sewing machine. 

Considering my limited time I chose the sewing machine. I simply folded the right sides together and began sewing from the point where the original seam stopped. 

I really like open backed pieces. They are tasteful and elegant, yet ever-so-slightly revealing. If that does not suit you feel free to sew the pieces together a little way up the back. Additionally, “V” front and cowl necked tunics will produce the same general look. 

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