Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Put A Little Pep In Your Shirt

While thinking about which refashion to do next, I realized I've done mostly dresses. And while I really like dresses, I don't get to go many places to wear them.  So, for this project, I decided to transform a $1 Goodwill dress into a Peplum top. I've seen peplum tops everywhere lately.  Anthropology has them for around $58 each. (yikes!) 
But first, I decided to go to Goodwill and find a pair of red capri pants that would go with my future peplum top.  I lucked out and found a pair of red capri pants in my size.

                                The dress I used was 3 sizes too big for me. 

So the first thing I did was to try on the dress inside out.  I looked in the mirror and pinched the sides of the dress until it "fit" and measured how much fabric I needed to trim off the sides.  Then I laid the dress in the floor and pinned up the sides and sewed. I trimmed the excess fabric off and used a zig zag stitch on the raw edges. 

I tried the dress on again (right side out) and measured how far down I wanted the finished top to be.  I laid the dress on the floor again and cut to the desired shirt length.

I put the excess fabric aside because I would use it as the peplum part of the shirt.
Then I tried the shirt on AGAIN.  At this point, I measured from the neckline to 1" above my belly button. (This measurement for me was 13") This is where I wanted the seam for my peplum.  I took off the shirt and cut where I measured 1" above my belly button. 

Then I did some math. I knew what length I wanted the finished shirt to be and I knew how long the shirt was at this point, so I had to figure out how long the peplum needed to be.  For me it was 8". 

Next, I cut the excess fabric to 8" long for the peplum.  Then I put it in my sewing machine to put in a gathering stitch to make it "ruffle-y".

  I turned the shirt inside out and the peplum fabric inside out.  I matched up the seams and pinned the peplum to the top. I tried it on again just to make sure I didn't mess up the seam like I did with this dress .  Liking what I saw, I sewed them together. It worked! YAY! =)  I trimmed the excess fabric from the seam (to cut down on the extra bulk) and used a zig zag seam to clean up the look on the inside.

However, the top still needed something else to make it more fitted.  So I decided to add two darts to the front.

(I'm glad I used tan thread. If I had used black, it would have been impossible to see the stitches.)

 I tried it on for a final time and was super happy to see that it turned out exactly as I wanted.

Don't ya just love when you do something right?

The total cost of my outfit was $4.76. ($1.06 for the dress I used to make the top and $3.70 for the capris).

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew

This dress has been in my closet for months taunting me.  I knew I needed to do something to it, but I didn't know what. I thought many times about making it into a skirt, because I have a cute summer shirt that would work great with it, but I like dresses. 
I had the idea this morning to make it into a shorter, swingy dress.   Sounds easy peasy right? I thought so, too.  I was way off! lol 
I think I had the concept right, but my skill level is not what it needs to be to put all of that together the way it should look.

And in typical Monica fashion, I just thought "oh well!" and did it anyway. 

So I pinned it all together and sewed it. The waistline came out looking all wonky. Which also resulted in an uneven hem. And again, being me, I decided not to take it apart and fix it. I just added a sash to cover it up. lol  (You'd be surprised with all of the mistakes a sash/belt will cover up.)

I was gonna leave the sleeves on this dress, because I thought it would look cute, but I guess because it's a used dress, one of the sleeves was stretched out all weird.  So, off came the sleeves!!! 

I put on the dress and looked in the mirror to decide where the top of the dress should be cut.  I wanted the finished bottom of the dress to fall around my knee (which is usually around 21" from my waist, so I measured from the bottom of the dress up 21" and cut there. I had a middle section left over. (I used this piece to make the sash.)

On the bottom piece of the dress, I cut off the buttons and button holes.  I then sewed a gathering stitch along the top. Next I pinned the bottom of the dress to the top of the dress (and this is precisely the moment it all went downhill.) I sewed it together and tried it on.  It looked alright for something I guessed at and gave a try. But you can tell I didn't really know what I was doing.

To make the sash, I cut off the buttons and button holes on the middle piece of fabric, sewed the raw edges under and sewed the sash to the front of the dress (making sure it was completely covering the waistline.)  I left the ends of the sash hanging off the dress so I could tie it in the back. 

I'm kinda bummed I didn't do it exactly right, but thankfully, the dress was only $1.  Hopefully I'll do better on future dresses. 

So, I guess you could say I pulled a "Monica".  lol  (That's a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reference for those of you who aren't as crazy obsessed with that tv show as I am. hehe)

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Most Special Refashion - My Mom's Dress

This is the most special refashion I've ever done. This dress once belonged to my mom, Penny.  As a child, my mom always wore dresses. She was a good Christian woman and we were always going to church, so she had tons of dresses and skirts.  When I was young (7 or 8), she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. In my teens, the disease got bad and she was confined to a wheelchair.  Once I became an adult, she had to be put in a nursing home where she lived until she passed away in 2008.  When she died, she only had two dresses. Which is what makes this dress so special.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of my mom wearing this dress. But here are some of my favorite pictures of my mom...

 The picture to the left is my mom with her mother, Opal at my mom's wedding in 1976. 
  This is my mom at my sisters wedding in 1997.   This is my mom and me in 1995 (don't judge my glasses...It was the 90's lol)
 This picture is my mom in the nursing home holding my daughter Vivian. Viv was just 6 months old when my mom died. This is my favorite picture ever.

My sister and I decided we would each take a dress and refashion them for us to wear.  There was a pink dress and a blue one.  After months of my sister and I being indecisive about which one of us was gonna take which dress, we finally  came to a decision yesterday and I went to work on the refashion. 
*For the record, we weren't arguing over who would get which dress...It's like we were afraid we would take the dress the other one wanted. Yeah, we're like that. lol

I was lucky this dress pretty much fit me already, so there wasn't a whole lot of work involved to make it work for me.
(However, there was alot of pressure on me not to mess up! And I mess up frequently, so this was nerve racking!) 

Here is what I did to rework this dress:

1) I took off the sleeves, then sewed the raw edges of the armholes under.

2) I shortened the dress ALOT. Then sewed the hem. 

3) From leftover fabric from the bottom of the dress, I made a belt. I did this by cutting a long wide strip of fabric and sewing it together inside out. I then turned the fabric strip right side out and sewed up the ends.

I absolutely LOVE the end result!  I think mom would be proud. =)

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mad for Plaid

 I'm gonna take a guess and say this dress is from the mid 90's. I remember buying a bunch of dresses in this style from Jean-Nicole at the mall when I was a teenager.  I loved that store.  When I spotted this at Goodwill, it was the colors that grabbed my attention. Just looking at it puts me in a better mood.  That's when I knew this should be reworked into something fun. 

The sleeves had to go. And it needed to be shorter.  Once I did that I realized this had to be made into a strapless number.  So I cut the top off, made a casing at the top of the dress and ran elastic through it.  Trying it on, I decided it shouldn't be a dress anymore. It should be a bathing suit cover up! It's perfect because it's fun and it matches my bathing suit. =)
I did have to add 2 darts in the front and 2 darts in the back to bring the cover up in a smidge.  All that was left to do was hem it and now it's ready to wear to the pool! =)

This took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete and cost $1.

I apologize for the awful pictures. I realize that it looks like I'm leaning to the left. lol I had to take my own pictures. This is what happens when your 6 year old is so done with taking your before and after pictures that she makes up excuses why she can't.

                                        Her excuse? She was late for work. lol

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Updated Sundress

When I saw this dress for the first time, I loved the fabric. It was knit, it was pink, and it was floral.  Super feminine.  The fit, however, was frumpy.  Comfortable, but frumpy.  The fabric screamed FLIRTY, but the style didn't.  So, I knew I had to change it.

I decided the best way to update this was to cut the top right off.  It was the best decision, because it brought the drop-waist up (which is way more flattering.) 
I chose to cut the fabric right above the second button.
I hemmed the raw edges around the top (without sewing the button flap shut...I may or may not have sewed it shut the first time. Thank God for seam rippers.)
I had to add darts to the bodice to make this dress more fitted. Without them, it looked like a maternity dress.
I also had to take the dress in a teensy bit around the underarms. It needed to fit snug with this new design and the original didn't require that.
Next, I shortened the dress. It hit mid calf and on my legs, and that's not a good look. So I cut it right at the knee and sewed a 1 inch hem.
Last came the straps. I used the fabric I took off from the bottom of the dress to make those. Once those were made, I sewed the straps to the dress. 

This dress took 3 hours to make. Now I have a cute, flirty, $1 summer dress!

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

80's Refashion

This dress looks white in pictures. It's not. It's more of a cream with a grid pattern. The lines in the grid are red and turquoise. It's very 80's. For some reason it reminds me of Contact Paper from the 80's, although I'm not even sure contact paper looked like that back then.  Looking at it now, it reminds me of paper towels. lol

I think this refashion was a personal best for me.  I finished in 2.5 hours. And everything went smoothly. Usually, I have to rethread my machine at least 5 times during a project and my bobbin almost never threads right the first time. But today, I had no problems at all. It was quite nice.

I had a bunch of things to do to this dress.
  • It was too big.
  • It had unattractive sleeves.
  • The neckline was too high. (I'm not a fan of peter pan-ish collars.)
  • It was too long.

The first thing I did (and always do) was remove the sleeves. I used my seamripper for that. 
I removed the collar and pinned down the neckline to a comfortable shape. Then I sewed the neckline. 
I cut the dress to a more flattering length.
I took in the dress. I did that by trying on the dress inside out and pinning the sides to fit me. Then I sewed along the pins.
I sewed the raw edges of the armholes. 
Then I hemmed the dress.
Once the dress was finished, I took leftover fabric from the bottom of the dress and made a belt.

I love the end result. =)  And as usual, this dress was only $1 from Goodwill.

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

Almost Forgot To Post These...

I just realized I forgot to post a bunch of refashions that I did in the spring!
Here they are:

I had planned on wearing brown riding boots with this, but once I changed the neckline, shortened it, and took out the pockets, I realized I looked like I was ready to go on a safari. So I added a blue belt and wore my favorite blue wedge sandals. =)

I think this has to be the best refashion ever for a couple of reasons. #1 This dress was free! It was given to our girls as a hand-me-down.  and #2 All I had to do was remove that collar and sleeves and voila! a fancy and expensive looking dress!
 I found this shirt at goodwill. It was probably only $1 because that's usually the only stuff I buy anymore at goodwill. lol  I loved the pattern and knew I could use the blue belt and sandals (again).
 This dress was reaaaaallly old fashioned.  I love the way it turned out!
 I originally bought these thinking I would keep them as capris. But I'm glad I made them into a skirt instead. A skirt is much nicer in the summer than capri pants.
 I'm not a fan of this dress refashion (or the after picture of myself lol...I look like a deer in headlights.) I tried to do a ruffle, but I think the fabric was too stiff or something. When I put it on, it felt like a tutu. The ruffle was sticking out instead of down. It was weird. =P Good thing it was only $1.
 I love this refashion! I got this dress at a yardsale for 25 cents! (I love yardsales so much!) However, this dress will never be seen in public with those shoes. Those heels are so high, I almost fell over just standing in them. lol

This was my Easter dress. The only thing I had to do was add the strip of fabric to the middle to match my shoes. =)

Keep an eye out for the refashioning of these beauties =)

***If you have some time, swing by my zibbet shop and take a look around!***
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I'll Wear Your Grandma's Clothes. I'll Look Incredible.

  About 2 years ago, I bought a gorgeous polka dot skirt for myself at a yardsale. It was 10 cents. It was a great deal as it was in perfect condition and my size. However, I never wore the skirt. It was a chiffon-y kind of fabric and the only tops I had to match it were knit. I just didn't feel like they would go with it.  One day, while refashioning other clothes, my youngest asked if I would make that skirt into a dress for her. I decided it needed something else with it in order to make a pretty dress so we headed off to Goodwill.  That's where I purchased a ladies yellow skirt (for $1). 
First, I reworked the yellow skirt for the dress and accented it with pieces from the polka dot skirt. It was pretty easy to do. I just had my daughter try on the skirt and pull it up under her arms. Then I pinned the dress on the sides to make it fit. It already had a button and zipper. Then I sewed up the sides where the pins were. I hemmed it to a length comfortable for her.
 I made the straps with leftover yellow fabric from the skirt and covered them with the polka dot fabric.  I sewed those on the top.  Then I made a belt with fabric from the polka dot skirt. I sewed the belt to the yellow skirt on each side so the dress wouldn't move around much while she played in it.
I LOVE how it turned out! My daughter wore this to the Mother's Day Tea at school and she looked so cute! (Of course, she looks cute no matter what she wears.) =)  This dress only cost $1.10. YAY!
PS- I also made that bow on her headband. ;)

I also made this dress. I used to same format. I thought it turned out pretty good.


The blue dress cost $2.

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