Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Romper Room

The moment my eyes met this glorious romper, I knew I had to have it.  I didn't even second guess myself OR try to envision how I would end up refashioning it.  I just knew it would work. And the bright yellow buttons made me happy.  I was double happy when I saw that it was only $1.  (I know, I couldn't believe it either! lol) 

The first image I got in my head when I saw this was Angela Bower from "Who's The Boss".  The second image I got in my head was a pregnant woman from 1990 and I thought "WHO in their right mind would wear something so ridiculous?!"  So I knew I couldn't just leave this as a romper.  It had to be made into a cute summer dress.  When I put it on to take the before picture, I must admit, I kicked around the idea of keeping it exactly the way I bought it.  It was just so comfortable.  Then I realized why someone would wear this.  (But I'm still not sure why anyone would wear it in public.)

The first thing I did to this was rip out the bow pockets and the cuffs on the legs.  Those came off easily.  Then I had to take out the seams in the crotch and legs.  Once that was finished, I had to lay it together and pin it together to form a dress.  This took a little more time than taking off the pockets.  For some reason the construction of any article of clothing with it pants or shorts...boggles my mind.  Making them or taking them apart, it doesn't matter.  (see my blog entitled The Point Of This to read about "the great boxer short incident of 1996"). 

Once I pinned it in the form of a dress, I cut the bottom straight across to the length I needed.  Then I started sewing.  I sewed the front and back seams to make the dress and then hemmed the dress.  Once I tried it on, it was frumpy. Really frumpy.  I decided to put darts in to make it more fitted.  I made huge darts and I liked the way they looked and made the dress have a little more definition, but the dress was still frumpy in my opinion.  I decided to leave it that way however, because it was super comfortable. 

I wanted to add a cardigan to "dress it up" a little. During the goodwill shopping trip when I purchased this beauty, I also picked out a long sleeved coral ribbed t-shirt to make into a cardigan.  I knew I wanted ruffles on the front, so I found another long sleeved tshirt in (almost) the exact same color. 

The first thing I did was cut straight down the front of the ribbed t-shirt. I then folded down the neckline just a little so it formed a rounded v-neck and sewed that in place.  Next I cut strips out of the other tshirt.  2 strips that were 2.5 inches wide and 2 strips that were 1.75 inches wide.  I placed one of the smaller strips on top of one of the wider strips.  I set my sewing machine stitch to 5 (the biggest stitch length) and my tension to 5.  I sewed the strips straight down the middle to form a ruffle.  I then pinned the ruffle into place on the ribbed tshirt and sewed over the stitches I made to form the ruffle. (I made sure to change my sewing machine settings back to normal first.)  I did the same thing with the other strips of fabric and I was finished. Easy Peasy. =)

On a side note, I really think a yellow cardigan and yellow shoes would have been better with this dress.  But goodwill didn't have any yellow shirts I liked and I don't have any yellow shoes.  So I had to settle with what I could find.  But all in all, I think it looks pretty darn good for only having spent $3. =)  (That doesn't include the shoes. I've had those since 2006 and I paid $19.95 for those at Payless.)

***If you have some time, swing by my zibbet shop and take a look around!***
Thanks! =D

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pretty In Pink

My favorite color is pink. It doesn't matter what shade. I love them all. I can't get enough pink. I also love the movie Pretty In Pink. There's a scene in that movie when Molly Ringwold takes 2 fancy dresses and turns them into 1 beautiful PINK prom dress. That has always been one of my favorite scenes from that movie since I first saw it (only second to the last scene when she runs out to the parking lot to find Blain and they kiss.)  Maybe that's why I love dress refashioning so much.   

So when I went to Goodwill last Saturday, and found a dress in a super pretty shade of pink and it was only $1, I couldn't pass it up. It had an awesome detail on the bodice, too.  It was a big dress. Although the tag said medium, I would have guessed at least an XL just by looking at it, but maybe it was just supposed to be billowy.

My original plan when I saw this dress was to lose the sleeves, shoulder pads, collar, length and pockets. (It amazes me how many dresses come with pockets. As I've said before, I think they are pointless. Does anyone really put anything other than maybe tissues in those pockets???)

Once I got to work on this dress, everything seemed to go smoothly at first. All the unnecessary parts were coming off the dress easily. Then I tried the dress on to see how the "rough draft" looked.   I wasn't impressed. =( 

The armholes were HUGE. And as it turned out, the bodice fit me just right, so there wasn't extra fabric to take in on the sides so I could make the armholes smaller the easy way.  Instead, I had to get the seam ripper out and undo the shoulder seams. This way, I could bring the dress "up" and therefore the armholes wouldn't be as big. 
But wait....When I did this, the top button was choking me because in the process, that came up, too. So I got creative. I decided on a different neckline. I folded the neckline under to the 3rd button. And that worked great! 

So I tried the dress on again. The armholes were fixed, the neckline looked great, but there were still problems. Ugh! 
The top of the armholes stuck out further than my shoulders and the dress still seemed to loose at the bottom. It looked like a bad maternity dress from the 80's. (ewww).  Since the bottom of the dress was gathered, I had the big idea that if I undo all the seams and take out the gathered portion, I could stretch it out a bit, cut it to where I needed and sew it back together.  I spent a long time ripping out seams and only when I was done did I realize this wouldn't work. It wouldn't work, because it wouldn't change the shape of the bodice. (Normally, I would put darts in to make a dress more fitted, but because of the design on the bodice coupled with the fact the bodice already fit, I couldn't do that for this dress.)
I sewed the seams back up and had to think...
I had a bunch of extra fabric from shortening this dress.

I came to the decision of making a sash and sewing it to the front of the dress. Then I could tie it in the back and make it as tight as I needed. That worked out perfectly (in my opinion).  And bonus: attaching the sash actually covered up a tiny blue marker stain (see picture) on the dress. =)

As for the top of the armholes, I just kept turning the armhole seams under until they were where I needed them to be and I sewed them in place. 

I think the dress turned out nicely. I feel very feminine in it. And it feels like a party dress. 

I hope all of this made sense. lol I think my brain is still tired from trying to figure out this dress refashion. =)

***If you have some time, swing by my zibbet shop and take a look around!***
Thanks! =D

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Another Woman's Trash Is This Gal's Treasure!

I can't believe it's almost been a year since I posted anything! About a month ago, I wanted to go shopping for a pretty dress to go with a pair of riding boots I got back in October for my birthday. (I've been hooked on the show Nashville and I love the style of the character and short flirty dresses) Except, I didn't really want to spend alot of money. Where did I go? Goodwill of course! I love love love that store. Especially my local goodwill. They have tons of clothes. And every week they have a sale where certain items are only $1. That's right. $1!!!! Sometimes I let myself splurge on the regularly priced $5 dresses. Especially if I love the fabric and have a vision of what the dress could be. I took my daughters with me (bad idea). They were NOT in the mood to stand around while I searched the dress racks for hours. But I did find a perfect dress for my boots that day. YAY! I altered that dress and I love it. I ended up getting a great response from alot of my facebook friends on my cute little dress and it sparked an obsession for refashioning more dresses.
 So I made a few more trips to goodwill.
 Lets just say, I'm gonna be wearing only dresses this summer. Now I wish the snow would stop and sunshine would start because I'm chomping at the bit to wear my "new" clothes.

Here they are:

Dress #1 (Where the obsession started)
This dress was $5 and 3 sizes too big.
Here's how I fixed it...
1) It came with a belt (but it also had those string belt loops...I cut those off)
2) It had an invisible side zipper and I really didn't want the headache of taking out and putting that back in, so I took it out and left it out.
3) I took it in evenly on each side.
4) I cut off the bottom to the length I wanted and hemmed it.
Now it's perfect! I just wish I had a brown cardigan so I could wear it right now!

Dress #2 :
I look like a school teacher from the olden days in the first picture. (yikes) But once I removed that awful collar and football shoulder pads most of the ugly was gone. After that I:
 1) removed the sleeves and sewed the edges on the armholes.
 2) Sewed the edges around the neck from when I removed the collar.
 3) Took up the shoulder seams a tad so the armholes weren't too big.
 4) Cut quite a bit of fabric from the bottom and hemmed.
And now I have a dress that I would totally wear out and feel good in.
This was a $5 splurge dress...I told you I had a vision ;D

Dress #3
I fell in love with this dress because of the retro look and the fabric is beautiful. But I don't do long sleeves on dresses. I just don't like the feel of it.
So I:
1) Removed the sleeves with a seam ripper and sewed the armholes.
2) Put 2 darts in the front to make it more fitted. You can't really see in the before picture, but there was a very thin belt...I got rid of that.
3) Shortened the dress and hemmed it.
and I was done! Now I have a cute "date night" dress.
This dress was $5.

Dress #4
When my boyfriend took the before picture, he said "How are you gonna make that dress look good?" To which I replied, "magic." lol
And to be honest, I didn't have to do much.
1) I removed the sleeves with a seam ripper and sewed the armholes. (Are you starting to see a pattern here? haha)
2) I cut a little off the bottom to shorten it. Then I hemmed it.
3) I made a belt from the fabric that was taken from the bottom. The dress was missing the original belt that was supposed to cover the elastic waistline.
The best part is, I already had jewelry to match this dress!
This dress was $5.

Dress #5
This dress was waaaay too big on me. My 10 year old said it looked like I could be pregnant with tripletts in this dress. The whole time I was fixing this dress, I referred to it as the "triplett dress".  I love the color.
1) I took the dress in evenly on both sides.
2) I brought up the shoulder seams because the armholes were much too big for me.
3) I shortened the dress and hemmed it.
4) I took leftover fabric from this dress and from dress #2 and made a cute fabric flower pin.
Best part...This dress was $1!!!!

Dress #6
I love gingham!  I remember women wearing dresses almost exactly like this in church back in the mid 90's. This dress was also too big for me. 
1) I took off the small collar that was on this. Then I sewed the seam.
2) I removed the sleeves and sewed the armholes.
3) I removed the 3 decorative buttons.
4) I shortened the dress and hemmed it.
5) I made a belt from the leftover fabric from the bottom and sewed it to the front of the dress. It ties in the back.
6) I made two strips and cinched the shoulder seams and tied the strips into knots.
Now it's a super cute summer dress. This dress was $5.

Dress #7
The fabric on this dress is so feminine and soft. The colors are pretty, too. Sage green with light blue, yellow, and peach flowers. The before picture looks like a nightgown. This one fit, but it was still too loose.
1) I shortened the dress first. Then hemmed it.
2) I removed the pockets and sewed up the seams. I'm not a fan of pockets in a dress...I think they are pointless and who needs the extra bulk on the thighs, right?
3) I removed the buttons. I had to get crafty on this part, because those buttons were functional and had buttonholes. I sewed the flap together.
Then (and this is my favorite part...)
4) I made a ruffle and sewed it over the flap of buttonholes.
5) I noticed that it was still too loose. It almost looked like a maternity dress. So I put in 2 darts under the bust and it was just right.
I also made the fabric flower in my hair. I used the leftover fabric from this dress and fabric from a vintage sheet I bought at a rummage sale over the summer.
This will totally be my favorite dress this summer. It is so comfortable! And it was only $1. =) 

So that's it for now. I went to goodwill this past Saturday and I have more dresses just waiting to be beautiful. =)  I will post more as I finish them.

***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***

Thanks! =D