Friday, December 30, 2022

Dressember #9- No Sewing Needed

 Hello Readers. 2022 is almost over. Congratulations! If you made it it this far then it's like you won the game. I have been refashioning dresses all month in honor of Dressember. This organization works to fight human trafficking and forced labor in the U.S. and world-wide. They estimate that 1/10 children worldwide is forced into child labor. You can go to to learn more and see how you can help. 

December is a really busy month for everyone. It is the busiest time for me at work and of course at home too. This is my last refashion for the month and it is an easy one. No sewing needed. I just needed to do some cutting. 

Before and after.

I love the tiers of this full skirt but this knit dress was too long for me. When I walked up stairs I was stepping all over the hemline and tripping. It was an accident waiting to happen It needed to be shorter. 
This dress was an extra-small, why was it so long? I usually wear a medium and this dress fit well in the body. It must just run big. 
I had a plan to make this dress shorter and safer for me to wear. I only needed to cut it down to size.

I measured the ruffle so I could make sure to get the length right. I also noticed how imperfect the original edge was. This put my mind at ease about how good my cutting would have to be. 

I cut the new ruffled edge the same length as the old one. Each tier of this dress was made with unhemmed/raw cut edges. It makes the dress very lightweight and the edges do not fray because it is a knit. 

This new dress is almost exactly the same, it's just shorter. 

I loved the fun twirly skirt and I feel like I still have that. This shorter dress is a better length for me. I can walk without tripping. Thanks for reading along and I wish you a Happy New Year!
*Year End Note From Chickie- Casual, fun, twirly... I love it all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Dressember #8- Mother of the Bride

 Hello Readers. I got this this "mother-of-the-bride" dress as a hand-me-down and I loved the sage green color. It was so pretty. But it was very long on me and the jacket just made me look older. I decided to take the jacket away and see if I could make the dress look less matronly. 

Before and after.

This dress fit well when I tried it on, it was just way too long. Even the highest of high heels couldn't fix this. I needed to give this dress a whole new hem. That meant I could choose the length I liked best. 

I used my dress form to make sure I was cutting the skirt even all around. This dress had a lining so I actually had to cut and hem 2 skirts. I used a yard stick to make sure the skirt was the same distance from the floor all the way around the dress form. I cut the lining 2 inches shorter than the outer skirt.

The lining was easy to hem. I just cut it and used my serger on that cut edge to control fraying.

Here is actual footage of my serger at work. It's not that exciting.
The outer layer of the dress got a traditional hem. I turned it under twice and stitched it down. I tried to make the smallest little hem possible. This material was very slippery and it was hard to control. It turned out well overall.

A shorter length was all this dress needed to fit better, look better and it took no time at all. I could still wear the jacket if I wanted but I have a plan for that. We will get to that in 2023. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- I think this will be simple and timeless.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Dressember #7-The Plaid Jacket

 Hello Readers. I have been talking about Dressember every December for the past few years. They do amazing work to fight human trafficking and they do it with a style challenge. I like clothes and dresses especially so, of course, I was in. Dressember estimates that in 2021 there were 50 million people trapped in human trafficking situations worldwide. This problem won't just go away and survivors need help. All my refashions this month are dresses and I am wearing a dress or tie everyday as an advocate.

I have seen so many jackets as dresses.  I thought I would try to make one of my own. I found this jacket a few years ago at a swap and it just screamed Christmas. I used the sleeves last year to make a belt. This year I want to use the jacket itself.

Before and after.

I removed the shoulder pads because they were the largest shoulder pads I had ever seen in my life. I used my seam ripper to unpick the stitches and pulled the pads out of the jacket. 
 I wanted to turn the edges of the armholes under so I had a sleeveless look. I turned the edges under and sewed along the edge of the armhole.
 I added a strip of Velcro to keep the front of the jacket closed when I walked.  Put the Velcro under the button closure.

The jacket was too low cut for me so I wore a shirt under it. It is definitely a mini dress. What do you think? Would you wear a jacket as a dress? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- This seems like it's only going to be worn at Christmas but I like it a lot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Dressember #6- The Velvet Cape Dress

 Hello Readers. I am refashioning dresses all month in honor of Dressember. I try to advocate for this organization every year to help raise awareness and raise money to fight human trafficking and assist survivors. 78% of the organizations in the Dressember network employ survivors. This kind of thoughtful planning gives survivors hope for the future. Go to to learn more.

Have you ever gotten something from Amazon that you didn't order? I received this black velvet cape along with the item I actually ordered. (Amazon did not want it back so I kept it.) I wasn't sure what to do with it. It seemed very Halloween-ish.

Before and after. 
It would be perfect for a Halloween costume, what could it be now, in this month of wearing and refashioning dresses? It was too light weight for a coat or jacket.The fabric was kind of cheap quality, what could it be used for?

I grabbed this book with multiple patterns. I knew there was a dress in here that would work. Even if the fabric isn't great quality it would be great fabric to use to test out a pattern before using expensive fabric.

This is a simple one piece pattern that I could fit on this velvet piece. It's a quick and easy sew project.
I didn't even need to used the upper part of the cape. I can save it for another project.
The pattern called for bias tape as the straps and to finish the cut edges around the top of the dress.
I stitched the gold bias tape onto the dress with my sewing machine. 
I really liked how the pattern turned out. The knit fabric was a good choice but better quality fabric would make a nicer dress but this did work out well enough. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
*Year End Note From Chickie- There is more to come from this cape in January 2023.





Monday, December 19, 2022

Easy Fabric Ornaments

 Hello Readers. It is Christmas time and that might mean decorating a tree with ornaments. I had an idea to make ornaments using fabric and small embroidery hoops. I thought this would be a great way to save a piece of fabric or scrap from a sentimental sewing project. 

These ornaments were quick and easy to put together. They also gave me a way to use these little embroidery pieces.
 I got my embroidery pieces from a failed sewing project but you could use almost anything. Scraps from a wedding or christening gown. A piece of a favorite baby blanket. The character from a t-shirt your child loved but outgrew. Anything you like.
When you place the piece of fabric between the 2 pieces of the embroidery hoop and tighten the screw on top the fabric will be very secure and will not come out unless you loosen the screw. There will be a lot of excess fabric sticking out in the back though.
You can use scissors to trim that excess off. Cut as close the the embroidery hoop as you can to remove as much excess as possible. 

The back of my ornament looked OK but if you want to hide the back of your fabric you can glue on a piece of felt. Felt doesn't fray so it will be great as a backing.

Trace around the embroidery hoop so you can cut out a circle that is exactly the right size for your hoop. .
Grab some fabric or craft glue to attach your felt circle.

Put glue on the back, all the way around the hoop. 

Press the felt in place so it really gets adhered to the hoop. I let my ornaments dry over night.

The felt gives the ornament a very clean look in the back but you can skip this step if you don't think it is necessary for your ornament. 

When I bought my little wooden hoops I saw this brightly colored plastic hoop. 

I thought this would be a fun kid project. I let my son put an ornament together using basically the same method. He liked this Santa fabric scrap. He was able to put the fabric in and cut off the excess. I made sure the screw was tightened and would keep the fabric in place for him before he started cutting.

This ornament turned out cute and he was very happy with it. 

I hope you can make an ornament using this idea and I wish you very Happy Holidays.
*Year End Note From Chickie- These are still on the tree and I will pack them away after the holiday season is over.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Dressember #5- Giraffe 2 Piece

 Hello Readers. December is such a busy time of year and it is also the month that Dressember does it's biggest fundraiser of the year. The idea is to wear dresses (Or ties!) all month to raise awareness about human trafficking. Dressember works to fight human trafficking and assist survivors as they start a new life. Go to to learn more about their work and how you can help.

What is better than one giraffe sweater? Two giraffe sweaters of course! What was I going to make with these 2 sweaters? A two piece dress!

 Before and after.

These 2 sweaters are exactly the same. They are the same size and the same maker. I really want to make one into a skirt to wear with the matching sweater. It will look like a dress and I can wear it for Dressember.

I started by cutting the sleeves and neckline off the sweater. I was going to make a narrow pencil skirt with the body of the sweater. It is very stretchy material and that will help me get the new skirt to fit. I planned of adding an elastic waistband to finish the cut edge. 

I used my serger on the new side seams and along the top of the new skirt. 

This off-white elastic would match well to the sweater.

But when the whole outfit is together, you don't see the elastic anyway.

I thought this sweater would be good for warmth because it is cold outside! Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- This is like pajamas and the sweater feels like a robe. I love them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Dressember #4- Plaid Overload

 Hello Readers. This is the fourth dress I am refashioning this month in honor of Dressember. Dressember is a style challenge and a fund raiser all in one. We were dresses or ties all month to raise awareness and money to fight human trafficking and assist survivors. Dressember estimated that 50 million people were living in human trafficking situations in 2021. Go to to learn more about how you can help. 

Let's talk about this dress. This flannel was really overwhelming. It was soft and cozy but the bright plaid was too much. 

Before and after.

This dress was not doing anything good for me. I think the tie in the back was to improve the shape of the dress and make it more flattering but even that tie couldn't fix this dress for me. 

I put the dress on my dress form inside out and pinned the sides to make the dress fit better. I cut the bottom of the dress shorter too. It really did not need to be floor length. 
I used my serger on the new side seams because you can see how the fabric was fraying.
I thought short sleeves would be easier on the eyes I wasn't sure about this look. But then I found something else.

I thought the dress had shoulder pads and I wanted to remove them. But they weren't actually shoulder pads. They were these little fabric pieces and the fabric was pleated and looked like a little ruffle. That gave me an idea. 
I cut the sleeves off and left about 1/4 of an inch in place. I turned it under and stitched it down to make a sleeveless dress. 
I pinned the little ruffles to the shoulders so they peeked out from under the dress. They were such a great detail and they were more interesting than the simple short sleeves were. 
This is such a big improvement over the beginning look. The green plaid with small lines of red is perfect for the Christmas season. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- I love the plaid and the extra fabric from the skirt became a scarf.