Friday, July 30, 2021

The Crazy Low-Cut Dress

 Hello Readers. My last post was about an ultra-marine dress and this post is too. I really love this color! This dress was 100% silk. I knew I wanted to try and make it into something, I just was not sure what. 

This dress was so pretty but it was the lowest cut dress I have ever had in my life. It was crazy low. It was also completely back less.


 I did not even know what to do with all this lack of dress. The fabric was thin and there was no way to wear a bra for some extra coverage. What would my 49 year old mom-of-3 body going to do with this dress? It would not be good that's for sure. 

So... I decided to make a top I could wear with a normal mom bra. (That's who I am. Normal. Simple. Vanilla. It's fine. I'm at peace with it.) This beautiful silk would be sure to make a pretty top. I cut the halter top off the skirt. I was going to use the skirt piece to make a new shirt. (I will get to that halter later.)

I wanted to keep that ruffle at the hem so I cut the skirt of this dress into a loose flowy top with wide shoulder straps. There was not enough fabric to make sleeves. That was OK. Sleeveless silk would be great for summer. I went over the edges with a tiny zigzag stitch to reinforce the ruffle.

The only complicated part was cutting this silk because it was so slippery. I had to cut the lining and the outer layer. Neither layer was cooperative and I may have called it names.

I connected the 2 layers around the neckline and around the armholes. This gave the shirt finished edges all around. Then I connected the shoulders. There was a lot of turning it inside out and then right-side out, back and forth to do the sewing from the inside. 

It was like 2 shirts really. It came together well and I liked how it turned out. It had a nice shorter modern length that was long enough to cover my stomach. And it was so soft and light.

 This top was pretty but I could dress it down with jeans and flats and wear it casually. 

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. And if you are wondering about that halter part of the dress, we will get to that project very soon. 

***Chickie's Year End Review-This silk shirt is a favorite. It feels so good to wear and it so light in summer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dressy & Casual

 Hello Readers. I love this ultra marine color. I always want the clothes I see in this color. When I saw this dress I thought for sure I could make something I liked with it. 

When I tried this dress on at home I thought it fit well but it was just too long on me. I didn't think this dress needed a huge change to be great. Look at the satin ribbon belt and the cute collar and buttons. This dress was great.

I wanted to cut off 5-6 inches. 

I used my serger to stitch the edge of my new shorter skirt. Then I turned the edge under and stitched it down with my sewing machine. I did not want to turn the edge under twice and stitch it down because I thought it would make a heavy, bulky hem. I thought a lighter weight hem would look better.

You can see how much shorter the dress is now. 

I liked this dress so much. It was dressy but still comfortable. 

But what if I want to be casual? This dress can do that too. I put on a white t-shirt and knotted it in the front. I tucked the knot under.

It's perfect for a movie. I went to see the new Black Widow movie. How long has it been since I have been IN a theater? I can't even remember. Why did I bring that big purse? It might have sushi, brownies and an adult beverage in it. Shhh.... don't tell anyone.

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-I still have this dress and I still like it an think it has a great retro vibe to it.

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. 

***Chickie's Year End Review-This dress is so great I like it so much. It has happy bright colors and it is so fun to wear.

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. 

***Chickie's Year End Review-I really liked how this shirt turned out. It was fun to make and went with everything. It got a lot of wear in the summer. 

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. 

***Chickie's Year End Review-Neither of these pieces was going to win a design award but I still have them and wore them to play outside with my youngest.

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. 

***Chickie's Year End Review-I love this pink suit. It is so fun. I love it.