Monday, January 28, 2013

BBC Sweatshirt Refashion: Downton Abbey (fitted + glittered

Labor intensive weekend.
I started Friday on the three sweatshirts for this week and worked basically sun up til sun down right through Sunday night- but they are done and they are so fantastic!
These three sweatshirts (plus a bonus shirt and exciting announcement!) all came from a single Goodwill trip and are all based on my three favorite BBC shows, but you don't have to be a fan of the show to appreciate the refashion. Each of the sweatshirts features different refashioning techniques and tips to make them completely different from each other. So definitely check them out each day!
I worked on all four simultaneously because otherwise there was no way of finishing, but this was the easiest and was done by Saturday morning. Originally it didn't feature glitter, I've never seen glitter on a shirt and was worried about how it would stay on. But after I saw this colored sweatshirt at Goodwill, I realized that I had *the exact* same shade of glitter at home and thought it would be an interesting/girly approach to the "FREE BATES" logo I had chosen for this Downton refashion. I really de-bate-d (haha, get it?!) about using that phrase since it isn't a permanent part of the show. Americans haven't seen the end of the third season (though I definitely read all of the episode summaries, haha!), so don't spoil it, Brits! But possibly Bates will be released, killed, or remain in jail this season... still, I loved the FREE BATES shirts floating around the internet and wanted to use it. I won't say much about my love for Downton Abbey, because I already did an entire THEME about it for a week during the summer.
The shirt was really bulky and odd looking on my frame, so the first thing I did was make it fitted. This is an easy process and only takes a few minutes!
I put it on and used my hands to grab and see how many inches of fabric were excess. Then I took it off and pinned along the underarm and sleeve area, tapering it down to the seam on the cuff. 
Then I used a tight zigzag stitch to sew it off and cut away the excess. Try it on and see if it's tight enough or you'd like to remove more. I was satisfied with the fit.
I really liked the triangle detail at the neckline, but didn't like how the sweatshirt choked me (see opening before pic), so I cut the ribbed collar off *right at the seam*, which hides that the collar is unsewn now. Sweatshirt material will only roll, not fray, so this isn't a problem. Also, since I left that other seam intact, it won't even roll.
At this point I tried it on again and decided it was too big in the trunk area, so I took in an inch on each side of the sweatshirt, tapering each into the original seam at the cuff and new seam at the underarm. Remember to always backstitch at the beginning and end. I used another tight zigzag.
The fit is done and it's time to decorate! I stenciled out my phrase, "free bates" using regular plastic stencils. First I taped off a straight line horizontally and then vertically to make sure it was perfectly in line. I also considered, "What is a 'weekend'?" too, for the record. I used a felt tip pen to stencil with, but wanted to use my fabric marker. It was too light to show up on this fabric.
Here comes the glitter! Michael's website said that you could apply your fabric paint and then add the glitter, allow to dry for 24h and then wash after 72h for applying shaker glitter to fabric. I disagree. I tried it and didn't feel like the hold was nearly good enough on Saturday after 24h. We went to Hobby Lobby and I found "Glitter and Gem" glue from Aleene. What works better is to fabric paint a base, allow that to dry, add the Glitter and Gem glue on top and dump glitter over it. Allow that to dry for an hour, then shake off the extra. That should be enough, but I am really concerned about the hold. I'm trying another layer of the glue on top, though the instructions warn not to "over apply". I wouldn't trust anything else to make it through the washing machine and I don't like telling my readers to rely on methods that won't work long term. The care instructions for Aleene's glue say to allow it to cure for 10 days and then it can be machine washed inside out on the gentle cycle, or hand washed.
We tried taking indoor photos on the stairway to our complex because it was *so cold* this weekend, but it didn't quite work. I do like how loungy the sweatshirt looks, so they remained. Also, check out those pink legwarmers, haha!!! 
I like the texture play with glitter and jersey and how they are nearly the same color. Of course, you can use whatever glitter color and fabric you'd like! Perhaps I'll do a contrasting glitter project just to showcase it.
So there you have it! From "frumpy" to "fitted" and super girly! The shirt is periwinkle and a little more purple than blue, but came out really blue looking in the outdoor photos. The next refashion is pretty crazy, but I still think it's street-wearable. I gave a hint to it on our facebook page the other day... but for those of you not on facebook, it has to do with a certain Doctor ;) I hope your weekend was fab and that the start of your week brings lots of fun and excitement! All the best, and as always, thanks for reading! 


  1. I always like when blogs try something and tell us if it isn't working for them - like your glitter letters and how you made it work (like Project Runway!). Also like the basic how to instructions for taking in a big sweatshirt. Being a Downton Abbey fan I also love the "Free Bates" :) Posted the before and after photo and a finished photo on trueblue.

    1. I'm always scared of being the blogger who posts things that don't work just to get it out there. Wastes time and money for readers!!! So glad you're on team BBC!!!!! And much gratitude, as always!!

  2. I´m also planning some sweatshirts refashion for myself, this is great ;)

    Visit me at

    1. Awesome, Clau! I'm all about making the most comfortable thing in the world (the sweatshirt!) super cute :) <3 <3


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