Friday, January 11, 2019

The Bandage Waistband

Hello Readers. I think it's time to put together an outfit. Why did I title this post "The Bandage Waistband"? You'll see very soon.

I was not feeling this shirt because of its sleeves. The sleeves were not meant for me. They were really long and wide at the wrists. My sister-in-law J. handed it down to me. (Thanks J.) That beige color was such a great neutral and the fabric was so beautiful. Surely I could do something with it.

I also had this very pretty sweater all the way from Paris thanks to my daughter. I really liked the colors off the sweater with the color of the shirt.

So this cool shirt with the really long sleeves would be a skirt. It would be great. I cut the shoulders and sleeves off the body of the shirt. I didn't want to make a casing for an elastic waist, that would use too much fabric and make the skirt shorter. I was going to attach the elastic at the top. I wanted 3-4" wide beige elastic to blend in with the fabric. When I looked on Amazon to see if such elastic existed, it suggested...

Elastic bandages. You know the kind you wrap around a sprained ankle. I was not expecting that. It seemed a little weird but I had several in my first aid supplies. I could use one for free! (Free is my favorite!)

I had a lot of sleeve material left over and it occurred to me that pockets would be a very useful addition to the skirt. Who doesn't want pockets? I cut the ends of the sleeves off, and used them as pockets. The size and shape are already perfect and all I had to do was fold the cut edge under and stitch it down.

Here is the skirt with its bandage waistband. It was very soft elastic and it went through my machine fine. I wish I had thought of it sooner. (Thanks to Amazon for the idea.)

The finished outfit turned out great. And I was right, pockets are always a great idea. 
We had some warmer weather so this was nice to wear but now a winter storm is coming.  I need to put this away until it gets warm again.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Beef Burgundy Dress

Hello Readers. Do you ever want to snuggle up and wear a big cozy sweatshirt? (Yes, me too!) This Burgundy dress is really just a long sweatshirt. I liked that. It was a very dark wine color and I liked that too.

The original dress was too long and too big. And that cowl neck was a little too much on me. My daughter handed this dress down to me. She is taller and a little bigger than I am so it fit her great. Me? Not so much.

This great sweatshirt dress had fitted sleeves and they were fine the way they were so I left them alone. I took the sides in a little at the waist and took the skirt in quite a bit. It had a drawstring at the waist so I pulled it in a bit so the back would be a little gathered when I stitched the new side seams. Because it is sewn in place, the back of the drawstring doesn't move anymore. The front of the drawstring can still be pulled tight and loosened. I made a shorter hem and took some of the cowl neck away in the back.

I loved the new fit of the dress and the dark burgundy color inspired me to cook something I have always wanted to make, Beef Burgundy.

I have never made Beef Burgundy before. I am no Julia Child so I found an easy slow-cooker recipe from Pinterest. It was easy except that I couldn't find a cork screw to open this wine. The wine seemed like an important ingredient. (I mean it was in the name.) This was my husbands solution.
That's right, it's a giant hook from the garage with a screw on one end. 

But it worked! And it was so good. 

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Super Hero Week; Robin

Hello Readers. This is the second, and last, of my superhero posts. I only had 2 superhero shirts to refashion. I wanted fun and casual this week, so here it is.

I found this Robin nightshirt at a clothes swap. I thought it would be fun for the next Batman and Robin movie that came out. This nightshirt must have been made for a woman who was 7 feet tall and weighed 101 lbs. It was so long and so narrow, it seemed very odd to me. it was very low cut in the armholes and the neck too. I needed to fix that before I could do anything else. I wanted to add sleeves but I couldn't really work with these arm holes.

I had this black cropped sweater sitting and waiting for a purpose. I didn't like how fitted it was in the chest and I didn't like that big old knot right under my chest either. But it fit well in the sleeves. And that is what my new shirt needed so I could wear it without freezing in winter weather.

I put the resized Robin nightshirt on top of the black sweater and pinned the armholes with a lot of pins. I mean a lot of pins. I wanted to stitch the sleeves on with my machine and I didn't want anything to shift around while I was sewing.

Once I stitched the two layers together, then I cut the body of the sweater away. I just wanted the sleeves. I didn't want the body or that huge knot underneath my shirt. Ireally liked the sheer yellow mesh. It looked very superhero-ish. I didn't want the black sweater to distort the original color.

I didn't want a night shirt. I want a regular shirt. I cut the bottom off and gave it a new hem so it was more shirt length. I want to wear it during the day so it needed to be normal t-shirt length.

The hem has a slight curve to it that I really liked. It also had enough room to be comfortable, and sleeves to keep me warm.

Did I wear it right away? You know I did! It wasn't really appropriate for work but it was perfect for a day off.

This shirt would be perfect for a superhero themed party. If one comes up, I am ready. Thanks for reading along, now go make something super for yourself.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Super Hero Week; The Flash

Hello Readers. I was in the mood to focus on some fun casual clothes. I decided nothing could be more fun than superheroes. My kids are really into the Marvel movies so I have learned what little I know from them. So let's make a fun shirt that I can wear with jeans. After wearing dresses all last month for Dressember, I am really looking forward to pants!

This Flash t-shirt was a men's large. It was too baggy on me and a little long. The striped shirt was great but it was a ladies extra-small, so it was too tight.
 Could I put them together and make a sweatshirt of some kind?

 My first step was to make this t-shirt smaller and shorter. That was easy to do.

The striped shirt was too small but the sleeves fit and could be used. I could use the waistband too.

I added the striped sleeves to the red sleeves. I stitched over the stitches that were at the end of the red sleeves. I also attached the black waistband so it would feel more like a sweatshirt.The striped sleeves were only 3/4 length but when I added them to the red sleeves I got full length sleeves. That was perfect for winter.

I was trying my best to look like a superhero in this picture. As much as a 40-something suburban mom can look like a superhero anyway. 

Thanks for reading along, now go make something super for yourself.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Year End Update

Hello Readers. I thought I would try something new this year. I went back and added a note to all my posts from January to November of this year. I wanted to let you know how the clothes held up and if I still like them as much as I did when I made them.
Some of my projects were wonderful successes and some were not. I mean they were real disasters. I enjoyed them all and I hope you did/will too.

I am looking forward to more refashion fun in 2019. Thanks to all of you for your time and for reading along.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Dressember 2018; Dress 8

Hello Readers. This is the last post in my Dressember 2018 series. I hope you liked the series as much as I did. I hope I shined a light on the issue of human trafficking. And organizations like Dressember, who are fighting for and rescuing victims around the world.

Today's post is about a black lace dress. A long lace dress that was sheer at the bottom. It wasn't a great dress on me because it was way too long. It was almost impossible to photograph as well. It was like a black hole that just absorbed all light. I used all the lighting I had but in pictures it was so hard to get the details of the lace to show up.

Here is a close up of the material. It was very pretty. There were 2 layers, a solid black lining and a lace outer layer. 

You can see the layers here. The lining ended at knee length and the lace went on forever it seemed. If I was tall and leggy, this would have fit fine. But I'm not. I'm more short and stumpy, so this dress was a mess on me. I cut off the lace layer of the dress at knee length.

I decided to use that lace to make a ruffle along the bottom of the dress. It would be at knee length and have a lot of movement when I walked. It would make the dress a lot more fun. I cut long strips of material and connected them so I had a very long strip of material. I kept the existing hem to save time and effort.

I pinned and gathered the ruffle and stitched it onto the dress. The gathered lace was really thick. My thread broke a few times when I was sewing but I got through it.

I kept the ruffle sheer. The thick connecting seam is camouflaged by the dark lining. It lets the focus to be on the ruffle and not the thick seam. And the sheer ruffle is a nice balance for the sheer sleeves of the dress.

I thought this would be a great dress for a night out and New Year's Eve is coming very soon. How do you celebrate? Honestly, I don't normally do anything that requires getting this dressed up, but now I am ready if a party happens suddenly.

Thanks for reading along, now go make 2019 fun for yourself.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Dressember 2018; Dress 7

Hello Readers. This is a busy time of year. It is probably the busiest and it can be the most stressful. I find a little sewing is very relaxing so I have a quick refashion to show you today. This is number 7 in the Dressember series if you are counting and reading along with me.
 You can visit to learn more about how they fight human trafficking and modern slavery around the globe.

 This original black dress was really not appealing to me. It was at a clothes swap and I took it home because the black and white appliques really caught my eye. Well, I guess the whole dress caught my eye but not in a good way. The only part I liked were the appliques at the neckline.
The baby-doll style, the puffed sleeves, the ruffles and the scratchy nylon were all a big no for me.

When I looked inside I saw that the little pieces I liked were sewn on with big loose stitches. Those big loose stitches would be easy to cut and remove. So, that's what I did.

I got some thread and a needle. I thought the best thing to do would be to put those little appliques onto a piece of clothing that I did like. And since it's Dressember, it was another       dress.

This little black sheath dress was sitting on my refashion rack. It was my daughter's dress until I washed it in hot water in the washing machine. (Oops, sorry Daughter!)
This dress was very plain and could use a little fun. I didn't use all the little black and white pieces. The original dress was a little over the top for me. I thought using just a few would be better. I didn't want to cover my whole chest with a bunch of little circles. 
(Who designed the original? Who thought there needed to be SO MANY of them?)

This dress was simple and comfortable but  really fun. It was perfect for a family Christmas party. We had a ginger bread house building contest. You can see here that I am no builder.

Some of my family were more skilled at building and some just gave up and started eating their house. It was fun, and tasty too.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Dressember 2018; Dress 6

Hello Readers. It's almost Christmas and I am still making dresses in honor of Dressember. Dressember works to fight human trafficking, forced labor and modern day slavery. Since it is almost Christmas I made a Christmas dress.

 This dress started as a robe of some kind. Or was it a nightgown? Did that count as a dress? I said yes. This robe was peach and and miles too long and I just wasn't loving it. It seemed like a nylon fire hazard to sleep in it. But I thought it had potential.

The first thing I did was use dye made for synthetic fabric. This kind of dye needed very hot water and at least half an hour.

Here is what I ended up with. The hem didn't seem even so I put it on my dress form and used a yard stick to measure as I cut it to knee length.

To make "fur trim I used batting. I didn't want to buy fur. The whole point of this blog is to try and NOT spend money. Or at least spend as very little as possible. 

 I cut the batting into strips and made little curved cuts in it. I thought that would look more like fur. Really straight lines didn't seem like fur to me. I didn't make it perfectly even in width either.


 I added some white lace on top of the batting just to jazz it up. I used narrow lace everywhere and wide lace at the collar and cuffs. All it needed was a wide black belt to look like Mrs. Claus. This would be perfect for Christmas day or anytime I want to look like Santa's wife.

Thanks for reading along, and I hope you have a Merry Christmas.