My Own Transformation Challenge

transformation sewing challenge project

We just had The Great British Sewing Bee Series 5, and this year’s winner was the youngest yet at 33. Sadly the BBC just archive all these series, so you never get to see them again if you missed them when the aired. So sad, I would have bought them all on DVD if they were available, I find them so addictive. Moving on, I recently gave myself a GBSB style transformation challenge, but with no time limit to contend with!


Juliet Uzor has become the youngest ever winner of the Great British Sewing Bee

I started with this black and white striped t-shirt the other half was throwing out. It looked fine until I found all the little holes in the back and the sleeve. It still seemed too good to trash so I decided to give it a makeover and cover the holes with pieces from a plain black T shirt also slated for the bin.

here’s a hole, there’s a hole….

I used my pinboard to draft the shape of the shoulders to cut my first piece, to cover the shoulders, and a pair of patches for the front. However I didn’t like the front patches when I tried them, and scrapped that idea.

I hand sewed the back piece in place across the shoulder seams, around the neckline and sleeve top, the lower edge I hemmed and left to hang loose.

I then decided to drop the neckline a couple of inches. I removed the neck band carefully first and did the same with the black t-shirt. Coincidentally they were exactly the same so I joined them together and fit them to the new lower neckline. I top-stitched to finish it off.

I played around with scraps and tried a more nautical look with a loose scarf effect around the neck, and added cuffs over the sleeves.

Trying out ideas..

I went ahead with the scarf effect – cutting two triangles, overlocking the edges and hand sewing them to the shoulders. It gives the effect I wanted but I am not sure I like the cuffs, they are too big. Re-think time.

I decided to simply cut the sleeves to elbow length to give myself a new summer top and hem them with my new cover-stitch machine. I neatened the edges with my over-locker, then used double sided tape to get them turned up ready to cover stitch.

Then I only have to re-thread my Cover Pro in black and test to see if I got it right! Having tested my stitches I changed from a wide 2 needle stitch to a narrow one, then tackled the sleeve hems. All this was helped by the manual but mainly by the ONLY book on cover stitch machines to date, “Master the Coverstitch Machine” by Johanna Lundstrom.

My Janome Cover Pro 2000 CPX has a little free arm just for doing this very job, for which I was grateful! (see a full video review of this machine at the bottom of this post!)

I did struggle to keep my stitching straight, and belatedly realised I could have threaded the right needle in white so my wobbliness didn’t show so well. It is only the second time I have used it, so I cut myself some slack. All done, time to model my transformation.

Here are the before and after shots from the back and front, on my dummy and on me…

Transformation complete!


Janome Coverpro 2000 CPX Review + Troubleshooting Tips

In this extensive review, I tackle the good and the bad with this polarizing cover-stitch machine and also give lots of troubleshooting tips!

The Last Stitch

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