Post 38 – The Mustard Chef

Things are getting busier and busier in life and at work, so despite the fact that I wore this outfit last week, I have not had time to blog about it. Hopefully you will forgive my more sporadic posting.

Today’s refashion is a top that I found at the Goodwill bins. It is a lightweight polyester, so it cost about $1. There is a lot to love about this top and a lot to raise an eyebrow at.  What is your first impression?

Mustard Chef - befores

Clearly, my first impression was, “I can make this work!”  However, I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me. I really like the vibrant yellow, though I know it is not to everyone’s taste and there is a lot of it.  Also,  I have really been into ties at the neck lately, which are on trend, but for some reason this one was coming off as really dated and 70’s, but it took me a while to realize why. It’s the width of the end! It makes me look more like a chef than Joan Watson.

Have you seen Lucy Liu on Elementary? Her wardrobe is amazing! She wears a lot of tops/dresses with ties at the neck, see:

Lucy LiuIMG_0655

I also did not quite feel as glamorous as the tag would indicate I was meant to feel while wearing it:

Mustard Chef - pageant top

Pageant?! What are the odds that the woman who wore this received a tiara?  I’m guessing slim to none.

Anyhow, I started the refashion process on this top months ago, by removing the interesting sleeves. Apparently, fancy pageant women need to wear cuff links?

Mustard Chef - cuff link holes

I probably would have relished the opportunity to scour ebay for hours, looking at hundreds of sets of decorative cuff links, but instead I let Jack do the right thing.

Mustard Chef - removing sleeves

Au revoir sleeves! Then I pinned and sewed the remaining hem down.

Mustard Chef - sewing sleeves

My next step was to leave it hanging on a hangar for weeks and weeks as I was chickening out on finishing it the way I had planned.

Alas, I did pull it off that hangar and put it on The Body as it still needed to be taken in some, to get rid of the boxiness….spellcheck doesn’t believe that is a word. I say it is!

So here she is all pinned up:

Mustard Chef - on the body

Some quick stitches and I was well on my way again:

Mustard Chef - taking in sides

I tried it on and it did fit, but the time had come to get creative. I wanted to reduce the width of the neck ties without taking the collar apart to get at them, turn them inside out, cut them, sew them up and finally re-attach them. That would be a lot of work and potentially end up ruining the whole thing. Instead, I decided to do a quick version that could potentially end up ruining the whole thing. 🙂

First, my goal was to make the ends of the ties the same width as the top, so I put my quilt ruler on top of it and tried to figure out how to draw a  straight line all the way across with a fabric pen.  Folding wasn’t going to work quite right.

Mustard Chef - marking line

I then had the genius idea to put the ruler underneath and draw my line along the edge. Yeah, this makes no sense and you can see why I immediately regretted this decision,

Mustard Chef - marking line underneath

Beautiful. Pretty choppy and definitely not a line to follow with my sewing machine.

Instead, I decided to use the machine itself as  a guide, lining the edge of the tie up with the edge of my machine arm.

Mustard Chef - sewing tie

Though,  prior to this,  I needed to pick a nice zig-zag-like stitch that would help prevent fraying, but also something cute that I would be okay with being seen on the outside.

I did a couple of decorative test stitches on some remnants of My Purple Comeback. 

Mustard Chef - decorative stitch test

I liked the way that this double criss-cross looked, so I went for it!

Mustard Chef - decorative stitch

Only a couple little flubs, but all in all it looked nice!

The real moment of truth was in the cutting. I had to get as close to the stitches as possible, to avoid little yellow threads poking out everywhere as it frayed up to them.

Mustard Chef -  removing tie excess

Mustard Chef - removing tie excess done

I repeated the process on the other tie and voila! I was finished!

Mustard Chef - afters 3-4

A definite improvement that removed a lot of bulk without completely trashing the style. Sometimes these sewing risks I take actually do result in reward! Imagine that. 🙂

Final comparison:

Mustard Chef - final comparison

I don’t typically use my blog as a platform for my views and opinions on the world or recent events. However, in light of the many and frequent tragedies that seem to keep occurring in the U.S., I just want to remind you to take care of yourselves and each other. Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you and that you are there to support them. Sometimes standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity is all it takes to be a true ally.


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