REFASHION: Men’s Shirt To Springy Play Dress

This was a beautiful men’s shirt–except a three-corner tear on the back shoulder.  And, really, for my men it was too small.  And too…well…too the way it is–the embroidery.  And the stripes.  And the colors.

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But, it looked like it could be something pretty cute.

So I recut and trimmed and stitched and created this….

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Springy Play Dress. With accompanying skirt for the baby doll.

I am mailing it to granddaughter for a fit check.  If it works, or can work with alterations, there are  two more shirts begging to be made into something similar!

Refashion Runway Week Three: Peplum

What is peplum anyway?  A dictionary definition might be something like:

A short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse, or dress.

It comes from a Greek word, peplos, that referred to a robe worn by women in Ancient Greece.

But how was that going to help me with this week’s challenge as I sew along with the Refashion Runway?

Well,  first we needed raw material.

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This looked pretty raw to me…

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Husband said, “That hurts my eyes.”  Young son said, “How tall a person was that meant for?”  Daughter added, “That is ghastly!”

But, it was what I had,  and it was time to get to work.

First, I wanted to open up the neck.  There was a very wide facing inside that was ready-made to be a little wider.

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Then it was time to get serious with scissors. This is always a scary moment–what if I take off too much?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That skirt-thing on the bottom, at least the smaller top layer, was an already shaped and hemmed peplum.  Just needed to do a little fitting and add a few belt loops.  Also, shortened the sleeves to my favorite 3/4 length. Ta-dah!  A top!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADaughter was the photographer and had to dodge chickens and the rain, but we got the job done.

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Go check out Refashion Runway Season Two to see  other refashionista peplum creations.

Refashion Runway: Emerald Green

Emerald Green?  There is a wide open Refashion Runway challenge.  But,  emerald green items were hard to find.  Perhaps because it is the Pantone 2013 Color of the Year, in fashion and snapped up in thrift stores.  Our friend, Doug, found this piece for me.  Let’s just say it had lots of potential.

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GOOD POINTS:

1. Correct Color

2. Lots of fabric to work with

3. Fit Daughter reasonably well

WEAK POINTS:

1. The open back

2. The footballer shoulder pads

2. The “jeweled” front

3. That bow…and bustle.

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Not what I had in mind…but if you have shopped for fancy dresses lately, you know that the prices can be mind blowing.  As Daughter moves through her teens she seems to need nice dresses for more and more occasions.  Can we make this one work?

It was a fairly complex re-fashion, because so many things needed to change.  I still wanted a dress when it was done, but  a dress Daughter could wear to her winter band concert, not an 80’s revival party.

The first step was a lot of picking out:  shoulders, bustle, skirt.

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Then it was time to start putting it all back together.

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The bodice needed new sleeves, a new neckline, no deep V in the waist,  and some detailing.

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The skirt needed to be shortened. And the bustle and bow?  All that extra fabric needed to come off.

I really wanted to build a whole new back to the bodice, but just filling in the gap with fabric from the v-shaped bustle left a keyhole opening that Daughter liked–modest but interesting.

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The finish is a winter dress with a 50’s vibe.

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Such a nice change from Before…

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To after…

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Take a minute to visit Refashion Runway Season Two and see the Week 2 work of all the contestants.  And, take a minute to VOTE for your favorite. Even though I was eliminated this week, I’ll sure be browsing  and voting for the remaining contestants.

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Off to work on Week 3: Peplum.  Who knows?  Maybe this one will even be a refashion for ME!

ps–I didn’t mean to lead anyone astray with my earlier post about a curtain dress.  It was the resourceful use of green that I found inspiring.  And the reminder that refashioning isn’t really a new idea.  But, I do have some home-decor items in mind for a future challenge, should I get there.  Hmm…doilies and tablecloths? ddt.

The Girly Movement Spreads

After seeing all the finery created for Daughter lately, Daughter’s friend “needed” a skirt, too.  So, this morning while I couldn’t sleep, I whipped up this creation.

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She had looked through the available fabric and set aside some that appealed to her.  I particularly like the ruffle made from what I think is a scrap of a vintage sheet.

This isn’t exactly what she thought she wanted, as the creative mood moves us where it will.  But, I hope she likes it. I really like the trim detail between the yoke and body  (Though, after a second look, it is not perfectly applied).  It is Soutache Braid, which was in my big pile of junk marked at 85-cents.

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And, on the inside of the label, this special offer.

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Sure wish they still honored it!

A Green Dress

Daughter wanted a green dress…Notice, I didn’t say NEEDED….and she knew she didn’t need it…but she did WANT it.

I told her that after the lace dress (see a few entries back) I wasn’t making a new dress this soon.  She could see the sense in that and decided that she would go thrifting and see what she could see.

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Really?!  That is a horrible dress.

Horrible except that it fit pretty well in the bodice…and it looked like an interesting challenge.

The real issue was that I had nearly no black fabric in my big pile of junk and certainly not the shiny stuff she desired. We did a quick trip to Joann’s for some shiny and sparkly…

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Scissors, ruffles and trim later, we had a dress…

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And, of course, a pin…

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And a happy daughter!

Frankenstein Taking Shape

It is always a worry to take pieces of three different patterns and hope the whole thing fits together in the end, but the Frankenstein dress is taking shape. The zipper is in–the biggest hurtle.  As Sparkle Jane has a very small waist, the fit there isn’t quite form-fitting, but a sash will go a long way towards fixing that.

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Today is a holiday from school (President’s Day) so there is a good possibility it will be finished.  Update coming as soon as there is something to share.

Thanks for all your kind comments and encouragement.  This would be much harder without sympathy from friends.

A New Blue Top

Another shirt.  I am having fun building a bit of a better wardrobe.  As money has been tight and I have felt chubby, clothes have been pretty low on the list.  But a recent small weight loss (8 pounds so far), and encouragement and inspiration from blogs for sewing clothing have given me a bit of a reason to try a few things.  I had some fabric and some patterns on hand, so here we go.

Joanne suggested using a double needle for the hems in knits and, wow, it worked.  Thanks Joanne.

This is modified from the same pattern as the last one, Simplicity 4076.

I still have fitting issues, but, just like quilting, you don’t learn by thinking about it.  Sometimes you have to haul out scissors, needle and thread and take your chances.