Refashioned: Drop-waist Lace


Time is precious right now. There is hardly enough to go around! My many projects– recovering a chair, painting an old bike, figuring out new curtains, making bread weekly, blogging…ever– have all been tossed to the wind. No time. This lovely little refashion, however, was so quick and easy that I found enough time to make it happen. Like most of my refashions, this vintage dress started out at an estate sale with a 50 cent tag attached.


Though it was pretty to start with, the waist was a bit too low for my taste; so I seam-ripped the skirt off and reattached it a bit higher. Then I added another panel of white lining under the second tier of lace to make it decent. So easy! Perhaps what I love most about this one is its versatility. Today at church, I wore the dress with a chambray tank over it, a leather belt, and cowboy boots. It would also be adorable with a cardigan and topped of with a cloche for an ultra Twenties look. Anyhow, I am looking forward to trying out options!





Refashioned: Pleated Peplum




My post have rather sparse lately, eh? Sorry, I have not been able to find much time to sew! But I do have some project ideas that will hopefully develop faster than this one has. This project has an interesting story. My grandma made it for my mom back in the late eighties or early nineties. It was stylish with its drop-waist, gold buttons, and gingham print. A few days ago, we found a bag in a refrigerator in our garage full of Mom’s old clothes. Having been saved in an airtight fridge for almost two decades, the dress was in perfect condition. The dress fit me but did not appeal to me left as it was. I made use of my seam-ripper to take the skirt and sleeves carefully off. I snipped the dress to a more peplum-friendly length and reattached the pleated ruffle. After I finished the armholes with a narrow double turn, I replaced the gold, basket weave buttons with less conspicuous white, pearly ones. I think it was the uncentered buttons that drew me in to this project. Aren’t they cute? This shirt will be a perfect top for a Fourth of July picnic (maybe because I am the picnic table cloth).

Here is the dress I began with. Don’t you just love the 90’s? But actually, I think this is rather a good specimen of that era :)

Here's what I started with.


Refashioned: Maxi-dress and Trousers… and a broken machine


I think this is the first time I’ve ever refashioned my own fashion (i.e. something I made). I made a maxi-dress last spring which was cute until I washed it…. it shrunk. Here it is before it shrunk:

Then it was far too tight for my liking. But I wore it last summer, belting it up to a shorter length. This year, I couldn’t even do that. So, I made it into a loose peplum top, which is splendid for hot summer days. It was super easy, too; that is, if you have a sewing machine that functions properly. Has anyone ever had the trouble of your thread breaking stitch after stitch? I’m legitimately asking, because I need some serious help! What’s even weirder is that my machine and my mom’s machine is doing the exact same thing. We’ve checked the tension, re- and re-threaded the bobbin, and tried different thread options. Any suggestions? Also, with my sick sewing machine, I refashioned some green trousers into shorts. This project would typically be a twenty minute project instead of one and a half hour project. But I love them! They may even have been worth the extra hour and ten minutes. Oooh, and the trousers were about 2 bucks at a garage sale and were in great condition. I am happy with my new refashioned outfit but less than happy about my machine.


Refashioned Pretty Pleats Dress

For this refashion, I started with a pleated-all-over 70’s dress.

As you can see, it has some long, flowing sleeves (hmmm, that seems to be a common characteristic among many of my refashions), an ultra high neck, and a bit of an awkward length. Oh, and I got it at an estate sale for 50 cents! Somehow that always makes the final product even better. Anyways, I bought it so that I could remake it into a winter church dress; I know, it has short sleeves, but you couldn’t have paid me to leave those sleeves on! I think it will actually work great for winter, as long as I wear a jacket or cardigan with it. So, it’s makeover consisted of chopping part of the sleeves off, hemming the dress to a slightly shorter length, and (the hard part) lowering the neckline a little bit. To succeed at this neckline business, I ended out having to hand sew my bias tape onto the dress. The whole process took all afternoon, but now I have a perfect dress to wear this winter! P.S. How about those pleats?!?!

Twirly Skirt

Today, a sweet lady gave three old dresses that she had made but doesn’t wear anymore. I could hardly believe that they were homemade— they have some amazing detail. Perhaps the greatest thing about them is that they all have circle skirts… full circle skirts. So, on the first one, which is a beautiful tealy, green color, I chopped off the top, plus a few inches of the skirt to make it the right length. I’d been waiting to get enough fabric to execute a gathered circle skirt, and here it is, already in the form of a circle! So I gathered the waist, which turned out to be a lot of gathering, and put a waistband on it (and there’s a zipper).  I absolutely love this skirt. Talk about twirling!

The Pacman dress

Last summer, I found a hilarious vintage shirt at a garage sale for 50 cents or so. It had a bow-collar and flowing, long sleeves. It also had this mesmerizing print that I could not resist: pacman print. Now, I don’t know if it was meant to look like pacman or not, but there’s nothing else it could possibly be. A lot of tears came with the making of this dress. I didn’t have enough fabric to perform my original plan, so I had to scrap for the bottom ruffle. It seems like many things went wrong with it, but I can’t remember them now… thank goodness! I really wish I had the “before” picture of this refash, because it went through quite a transformation. I do have a confession— I think I’ve worn it once since last summer. Any suggestions on how to wear it? It’s really short, for want of more fabric, so I for sure have to wear either leggings or jeans with it.

Asymmetrical refashion

This refashion began with a hilarious 70’s bowling blouse, complete with poofy sleeves and a white collar.

First, I chopped off the sleeves and collar, and then I embarked on cutting my first asymmetrical hemline. I first tried tracing the curve with a plate and, finding it too small a curve, used an elongated, oval, trashcan rim. It worked perfectly! I very recently got my first serger. It is amazing what all it can do. I’ve basically only used the normal 4 thread overlock stitch until today when I tried out the rolled hem on this top. I’m telling you- there is no better way to finish curved edges. In fact, I loved it so much that I even finished the armholes and neckline with the rolled hem. I’ll admit I’m not exactly sure where and with what I’m going to wear this funny top, but it was a neat experiment anyways. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to wear it? I definitely won’t be wearing it without anything under it. I was thinking it would be darling with a high-waisted skirt, but it’s still  just a little odd.

Awkward side view

60’s Shirt-dress

Today, I refashioned a garage sale find that I am very proud of. The lady running the sale told us it used to be her old lady friend’s dress. The instant I saw it, I knew I would wear it if only it fit. By the way, I think it was a size 18 in the beginning. I got it for 50 cents.

Basically, I took in the sides about 5 inches each, rolled up the sleeves, and slapped on a belt, to come out with this cute and casual little shirt-dress. It reminds of something from the sixties (or maybe fifties, I’m not quite sure). It will be great to wear any hot, summer day, when I want to be prettily comfy.

Refashioned— Pleated Granny Top

I started out with this great shirt from a resale center. It was kind of a granny shirt. I have a weird thing for ancient-looking crazy shirts. It was slightly too big and had some wide pleats (which I actually left :o) and some super flowing long sleeves. I must say I love the color. Let me just say: it got a makeover. I slimmed it up some through the waist and arm holes. Then I cut the sleeves off to a shorter length and gathered them into a cuff. My biggest accomplishment on this top is the bow. It came to me with just a plain Jane collar, but I used the extra fabric from the sleeves to make the darling bow. I’ve been wanting a shirt just like this (maybe minus the pleats, but oh well!).