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Friday, July 23, 2021

Grandmom's House Dress

 Hello Readers. Did your grandmother wear casual house dresses or something like this when she was at home? My Grandmom did. When I saw this dress at a swap I thought of my Grandmom. Could I make it look less like a robe and more like a summer dress.

I started this refashion by deciding what I liked and what I didn't. The colorful neckline and the gigantic pockets were great. The fit of the whole dress wasn't very flattering.

I decided to cut the sleeves off. They were just too puffy. I cut them off but left about half an inch so I could stitch them under that big collar. 

I turned that cut edge under and stitched it down. 

I removed the pockets and cut them down in size. I like pockets as much as the next woman but these were very large. I wanted them to be smaller. (Note* I realized after this that I made the pockets just a bit too small for my cell phone. #Devastated)

I cut the hem off the dress. I wanted to make the dress shorter anyway. I cut the bottom 3 inches off and saved it for later. 

My next step was to try the dress on and pin it on the sides to get a better fit.

I made new side seams and then turned the arm holes in and stitched the edges down. 

I used the piece I cut from the hem to make a long thin waist tie. This dress would look much better with a belt and making one out of the same fabric means it will match perfectly. 

You can see what got removed from the dress here. 

What do you think? Does it still look like my Grandmom's house dress or is it ready to go out?

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

White Shirt

 Hello Readers. Button-down shirts are classic and they are great for refashions too. This white shirt was a hand-me-down and the sleeves were a little long. Let's see what we can do with it. 

I started by cutting off the long sleeves that did not fit. I kept about 3 inches of sleeve to work with. 

I wanted to roll the sleeves up and keep them in that rolled position. I stitched each sleeve roll down in a few places to keep it rolled.

I wanted to crop the shirt a little and add a waistband. You can choose any length you like. I wanted to cover my tummy. I used this tan ribbon because it seemed to look good with the stripes of the shirt. I folded the ribbon ends and stitched them down so it would not fray. 

I attached the ribbon to the shirt as a waistband. I left enough at the ends so I could tie it in the front. 

The shirt fits great now. I noticed that the ribbon matched the ribbon I added to these jeans last year. 

 I wore this to go get Hawaiian shave ice. It was hot and humid but that strawberry shave ice was so good!

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

Friday, July 16, 2021

Replacing a Waistband

 Hello Readers. Summer means hot weather and shorts. I had an idea to fix the tight waistband of these shorts so I could wear them comfortably. 

These shorts were roomy enough in the hips and the rear but the waistband was really tight. Like painfully tight! I needed to do something because I don't wear clothes that hurt me. This t-shirt was cute but baggy. I could fix that too.

My first step was to find a new waistband. I decided to cut the waistband off these dark gray sweats that my mom gave me. (Thanks Mom!) I cut the elastic band off and made sure to leave about 1/2 an inch extra for the seam. I wanted to have enough extra fabric to attach it to the shorts.

Then I cut the waistband off the shorts. I just cut all the way around also removing the belt loops.  I won't need a belt with these shorts so I won't need belt loops either. *Notice the zipper is down. You can't cut through the zipper pull. Don't try it. You will ruin your scissors. This zipper is plastic so it was easy to cut through. If the zipper is metal, you need to cut between the zipper teeth.

 The next thing I did was attach the new waistband. It was easy to attach. I put the right sides together.  A zigzag stitch or a serger will keep the cut fabric of the shorts from fraying. I do not recommend trying to sew over the zipper. Skip that part and do it by hand so you do not break your sewing machine/serger needles. 

You can see here that the new waistband here. It is enough stretch to get the shorts on and off. And it does not dig in to my mom-belly. (I have 3 kids, and I like snacks, the tummy is what it is.)

I made new side seams on both sides of this shirt to make the body of it a little more fitted. Sometimes baggy t-shirts can look a little sloppy and bulky. I want to avoid that if I can. 

I also took in the side seams of these shorts. They were just a little too roomy in the legs. I only needed to remove about an inch from each side. You can see the original side seam I removed. It has a lot of strong stitching. When you make new side seams remember how strong they were originally. You need to try and match that strength. Sew over the new seam more than once if you need too. That will make clothes that can last a long time.

My "new clothes' fit so much better now. I found this shirt at a swap and I loved the graphic. Sewing always feels a little like magic to me.

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

*If you are following along with my plan to refashion for free in 2021, I am on track. I made it to one out-door swap and I was given enough hand-me-downs to keep going. I am already planning fall and winter. It did occur to me that buying a serger might have been a cheat. I did spend money but not on the clothes. If it was cheating, I apologize. But I love the serger, and I am going to keep it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Pink Suit

 Hello Readers. Check out this fabulous pink suit I found at a swap. I loved everything about it.  How could I make it fit and keep it casual and fun?

This suit was a little baggy in the pants but they were cropped so I thought this would easy to fix.

These pants just needed a tweak and they would work for me. I made new seams on the sides. I tried them on and marked them so I knew I needed to take out about 2 inches. 

The pants were fun and casual by themselves, I paired them with a casual t-shirt. 

The little jacket was wonderful too. I took the sides in just a bit so the waist fit better. 

I used my serger to make the new side seams but a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch would work just as well. These pink stripes were just fabulous!

The jacket fit much better and it looked good with the matching pants too.

And it is such a fun outfit!

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

Friday, July 9, 2021

Start Too Big

Hello Readers. Every summer people cut their pants into shorts. It may seem at first that the pants I am wearing are too baggy but they will make great shorts. I have found that starting with clothes that are too big and sizing down, I get the best fit.

If shorts that are too fitted they will ride up. I don't like that. It isn't comfortable. These loose cropped twill pants have enough room in the legs to make them fit well as shorts. This shirt is fine but a bit boxy. We can fix that.

 I started by trying on these pants and marking where I wanted to make new side seams. I needed to take the waist in so it would fit well and keep the shorts up higher on my waist. I like my pants and shorts to have a high waist. 

I made the waist a little smaller by making new side seams. You could use a zigzag stitch or a serger to make new side seams. This is the best way to get the fit you want. I did not make the legs smaller or tighter, I just made them shorter.

 I gave the shorts a quick hem and I was done. 

I also took the shirt is a little at the waist to make it look a little less boxy and shapeless. It was roomy enough through the shoulders and bustline and now the waist fits closer to the body as well. 

My outfit looks so much better now that it fits so much better. It was easy to start with roomy clothes and size down a little. 

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

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Summer Bag

 Hello Readers. I was in the mood to make a summer bag. I had a lot of purse straps and handles that my mother-in-law gave me. I thought I should use some of them. I also had some of the fabric samples she gave me. Let's put them together.

I am not very good at bags so this was going to be very simple. The fabric was the real star of the show. I loved this orange and yellow fabric. It was so summery. It was thick cotton and it would make a great bag. I had some round and oval bamboo handles. After I took this picture I decided to use oval handles. These kinds of purse handles are available at fabric stores and on Amazon.

I cut a strip of fabric off the side. I needed to get this grommet out of the way. 

I used the strip and another I cut to make small pieces that I could use to attach the handles. I basically made small tubes about 4 inches long. Stay with me, it's going to make more sense as we go.

I made some fabric and handle sandwiches. There are 2 rectangles of the fabric with the right side facing the other right side. The small tubes are folded in half and open ends are sticking out out the sandwich. The handles are in the loops and in the sandwich. 

 Here is a peek inside the sandwich. you can see the handles in there. I stitched around the sides and the top where the little straps are sticking out. Then I flipped it right-side out. 

 This is what I made, these 2 identical pieces. Each one looks the same from front and back. I wanted to use this fabric everywhere for this bag.  The bottom of each piece is not sewn closed yet but that is OK. We will do that next. I stitched these 2 pieces to each other on the sides and the bottom and flipped them right-side out again.

Here is a peak inside. I connected the 2 pieces you saw above and flipped it inside out again. I did this so the fabric would be visible at the top of the bag. Doing this also made clean seams inside the bag.

This is a great little summer bag, I am loving the orange and yellow. 

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