A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.

ReFashion 2015: #SewSolidarity


Embroidered Top Header

Today’s ReFashion is remembering the April 24 two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which caused the deaths of 1,127 Bangladeshi garment workers, trauma, severe injuries and permanent disabilities to another 2,500 workers. TRAID is a UK charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. #SewSolidarity is a sewing project meant to give value to garments made by Bangladeshi garment workers by re-purposing a piece of clothing and giving it a longer life. Honoring the clothing as well as the workers who made them.

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This post features two ReFashions, the first is a long sleeved top that I upsized into a sleeveless top. I couldn’t resist the beautifully embroidered tunic I found at a thrift shop. Below is a very simplistic pictorial on the steps I took to make it.

Upsizing the Embroidered Top

  1. First I removed the sleeves from the tunic. and cut the back of the tunic up the middle. I now had my front and side panels in one piece.
  2. I removed the seams of my arms to create two flat panels which would become the bottom of a new back piece.
  3. I used a medium muslin that matched my top and created an upper piece for my new back piece. I attached the Arm panels to it and had and had my finished back side of my bodice.
  4. I took my front and back bodice pieces and sewed them together. I then hemmed the back bodice to the length of the front and made any fit adjustments by taking in seams at the front of the garment and around the arms.

The second pictorial is a previous refashion that can be revisited here. I included this one in my post since I got these pants years ago at JC Penny who is among the companies who owe compensation to the Rana Plaza Factory workers.

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I adore both pieces. The pants are already a staple and I see myself using this top all summer long. If you are new to the blog I am Refashioning My Wardrobe ReFashion2015! I am turning a Closet Makeover into a Year long mission to reuse my current closet and convert what I am not using into something far more wearable.  I love that TRAID is asking that we honor garment workers by extending the life of our clothing. IT makes perfect sense to me! ❤

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At 11:34 on April 24, 2015 there will be a moment of silence and remembering for the Rana Plaza Workers. You can also show support on social media by using the hashtags #Remember #RanaPlaza & Share your #Solidarity. For more actions and how to support fair compensation for garment workers at Rana Plaza and beyond, check out this post featuring a list of great organizations doing important work on putting an end to exploitation of workers in the Fashion Industry. We can make a difference.


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Author: sweetvanessaleigh

I am Vanessa Leigh, maker, writer and witchy goddess in training.

6 thoughts on “ReFashion 2015: #SewSolidarity

  1. I love this. Not only is that top fantastic, but you always give me thoughts to chew on. I am already a HUGE fan of thrifting and recycling our clothing, but you make me see just how much more we can do. Plus, I think I get smarter just reading your thoughts, too. Such a great post!

  2. Great refashion, and I love the styling with the colourful bead neckalce!!

  3. Gorgeous – and well played with the sunnies and neclace! I’m waiting for a quiet weekend to go through my wardrobe and see what I might be able to re-fashion… I don’t have a sewing machine, but my grandma taught me to patiently hand stitch, so it may take a while hehe keep the inspiration coming you magical woman!

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