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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Dressember 2018; Dress 5

Hello Readers. This is the fifth dress in honor of Dressember. You can go to to learn more about the work that they do. 
The main idea is to wear dresses all month to raise awareness about human trafficking. I am doing that but also sharing dress refashions with you all month.

Today's dress was originally a simple, but SO soft flannel shirt.

I bought this shirt for my husband as a gift a long time ago. Did he wear it? No, no he did not. So I took it back. He obviously didn't like it very much. It was now going to begin a new life. 

I began by removing the pocket on the chest. I saved it for later. Everybody likes pockets right?

I also removed the collar and the cuffs.

I cut the body of the shirt off, right across the chest. If I had not removed the pocket first it would have been cut in half. I also grabbed this sweatshirt. I was going to use that as the bodice or top of my dress.

I used my machine to attach the flannel piece to the waistband of the sweatshirt. I used a zigzag stitch to cover the edge of the flannel in case it wanted to fray.
I put the pocket back on. I placed it at hip level so I could use it easily.

I also inserted wide elastic into the waistband of the sweatshirt. I wanted the waist to be fitted and hold up the flannel skirt.

Then I was ready to go to a casual family Christmas party. 
I don't know what you and your family do at parties, but we had a lot of fun!

**** SCRAP WORK *****

Remember the sleeves and shoulders I had leftover?

It was basically a long tube. I connected the ends so I had a circle, and it became my new flannel infinity scarf.
You can still see the seams of the shirt in it but when it is wrapped around my neck, it looks great. And it is so soft and warm too!

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

Dressember 2018; Dress 4

Hello Readers. This is the fourth dress refashion this month in honor of Dressember. This organization was created by Blythe Hill to fight human trafficking. She worked in the fashion industry, but wanted to do something more about this global issue. You can learn more about her and Dressember's mission here.

I found this very plain and simple dress at a clothes swap and didn't think it was very exciting. I did like how it felt though, it was a soft and thick knit material. It felt like a cushy cloud. I am all about being cozy so I took it home. It was a bit big and shapeless but I could fix that.

I liked the V in the back and that seam down the middle of the back gave me a perfect place to take the dress in a little. It had a little pleat in the back that I didn't really need. That pleat made the dress more round and full than I really wanted.

I did some quick sewing to make it a little less baggy. I removed some fabric from the back, about 5 inches. I also made the sleeves a little more narrow. The shape of the dress is basically the same, I didn't change that much about it.

 But it looks so much better because it fits so much better.  Adding a belt didn't hurt either.

*Note-I added a photo of the back as requested by a reader. 

This refashion was so fast that I had time for something else...

*****     SHRINKING A PURSE    *****

I had a big purse. A really big purse. It was just too long for me. Big bags are great but this was a little too big. It was difficult to find things at the bottom of it too.

I liked that it had a long strap so the bag could be worn cross-body, but did it need to be this long? Who is this tall???

I started cutting it up. I am not experienced in sewing leather or faux leather. I decided to experiment with this bag and see what I could do. I cut off the straps and trim at the top. Next, I cut out as much of the purse as I could without damaging the front pocket.

When I cut the bag apart I realized the lining was worn. I made a new lining from some scrap fabric. I fit the lining and the bag itself back into the top trim piece again. It was difficult to hold it all together and I couldn't pin it. I used a leather needle to stitch through the layers of faux leather. Could my machine handle all this? It worked out but it wasn't my neatest sewing.

 My new lining didn't have any little pockets to hold my lip balm. I wanted to make a couple little pockets. I decided to used the back pockets of these tiny pants. My son outgrew these, so I was free to cut them up. I attached them inside the bag to the lining.

Using these two little corduroy pockets saved me time because I didn't have to make them myself. They were just the right size.

 This is the view of the inside of my new bag. It is very hard to take a good picture of the inside of a bag.)

 Here is my new smaller bag. It suits me better at this length, and it is easier to find all my stuff, and junk, and my kid's stuff, and my kid's junk.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dressember 2018; Dress 3

Hello Readers. This is the third dress in this series in honor of Dressember, a non-profit organization working to fight human trafficking. Dressember estimates that every 30 seconds someone becomes a slave, 71% are women and girls. We wear dresses all month to represent them.
Today's dress is a vintage find from a clothes swap. This graphic black and white design really caught my eye.

This knit dress fit well but this ruffled collar and these wrist cuffs were way too much for me. I hate things around my neck. I feel like I am being strangled. These seemed like they belonge in a Shakespearean play. "Be gone foul ruffles!"

Look at the cute worm on the tag. I wish he was bigger, he's adorable. And this dress was made in Italy. That had to be good. It seemed to be a vintage dress, I love finding vintage clothing. They are always such unique pieces.

The first thing I did was cut that collar off. There was no way I would wear it with that collar. I thought a V-neck would open the whole dress up a little. I also cut the sleeves to 3/4 length. This print design is so strong, I thought a little less of it might be better.

I cut off some of the length at the bottom and gave it a new hem too. I wanted it to be knee length.

 Here is a look at all the scraps I cut off. I wound up cutting more off the bottom than you see in this picture. But you can get the gist of it.

I liked this dress in the new simpler form. I think the bold fabric is great without big ruffles. The dress is simpler and the fabric gets to be the star.

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