Charity Shop Refashion – Asymmetric Playsuit

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Take a look at my latest project, a playsuit refashion.

Refashioning is a great way to get more life out of a garment that is maybe past its best. The idea is not a new one, in fact I get a lot of my refashioning ideas from Make Do and Mend, the WW2 advice pamphlet.

However, it has been a little while since I have taken the time to actually do one. I have a list of possible makeovers a mile long. But recently, thanks to my health being on the blink, I have had lots more free time for this sort of thing.

So here we are. I picked up this Topshop Petite playsuit for £2 in a charity shop. I was really quite pleased with my bargain but when I got it home not only did I notice several burn holes on the back cape bit, but also, the cape bit was just a bit weird.

Playsuit Refashion - Before - Retro Claude
Before – with weird cape thing

Now I don’t have anything against one shoulder capes, but it just made me feel a bit 16th century nobleman. And that’s a look I only sport on very special occasions.

Burn holes

The burn holes weren’t huge and were quite close to the hem so I could have just re-hemmed the cape. But that would be too boring. I wanted a bit more of challenge.

The Method

So I started by unpicking the stitching around the neckline to remove the cape.

Unpicking the stitching

Yes I know I could have just cut the fabric and saved myself some time but I wanted to do this properly. Besides this rayon style fabric frayed like nobody’s business and I didn’t want to be pulling threads from the neckline for the rest of my life.

The neckline of the playsuit without the cape.

So once the cape was off I redid the topstitching I had unpicked and slipstitched the binding back in place. Again not the quickest way but it gave a nice crisp finish and saved me some more unpicking.

Slipstitching the neckline

I could have just left the playsuit as it was, unadorned and one shouldered but that’s not really a refashion is it? So I started to play around with some ideas for what I could do with my excess fabric. I wanted to do something draped and asymmetric to keep with the original design bit I decided it should be around the armhole and shoulder rather than the neck.

So I started by trimming down the cape section using some pinking shears to avoid the dreaded fray. Then I pinned the curved edge that had originally been around the neck around the armhole. I was pinning WS to RS as I was going to flip the cape over and enclose the raw edge. I found the centre of the curved edge and matched that to my side seam so the cape would be even front and back.

Pinning in the cape along the edge of the armhole

You can just about see in the picture the excess at the top of the shoulder. I left that for the moment as I planned to arrange it into a pleat later. In the mean time I zigzag stitched around the armhole over the raw edge of the fabric to keep the cape in place but also to stop any fraying.

The zigzag stitch will stop the fabric fraying as well as hold the cape in place

Now I flipped the cape piece back on itself so the right side was facing up and topstiched around the very edge of the armhole, catching the edge of the cape in place.

The topstiching around the edge of the armhole

This should stop the cape turning to the wrong side and hides the ugly zigzag stitching, bonus!

So what to do with the excess bits at the shoulder? Well I arranged them into a sort of pleat, front and back alike and hand stitched them in place as this was going to be visible.

Pinning the shoulder pleat in place

After that all I had to do was hem the cape section. This ment a tricky rolled hem, which I did just about manage but I was concentrating so much I forgot to take any pictures. Whoops.

But then, a press and a steam and Voilà! My playsuit refashion was complete!

The Finished Playsuit Refashion

The finished playsuit refashion!

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Much less Elizabethan man, much more edgy playsuit.

Before and After

I really enjoyed doing this little project and I hope to do some more. Is that something you guys would like to see? Let me know in the comments. I’d also love to know what you think of my little refashion.

I hope you’re inspired to bring new love to some of your wardrobe.

Love Claude xx