Tag Archives: refashion

Refashion: Dress Shirt to Shirtdress

29 Jan

The end of January is approaching, and with it the deadline for my 2/ month sewing projects resolution. I got this shirt for C at Goodwill a while ago, but, since he didn’t like it, it ended up in my languishing refashion pile. This mini-tutorial outlines some easy steps to turn a dress shirt into a shirtdress, and I decided to try it out. 


Yes, the template shirt is heading straight for the wash, and that's not my drink.

The sleeves were a bit tricky. I opened up the shirt at the shoulders and used the curve to cut out a sleeve. Originally I wanted to use the cuffs, but they’re so big that they ended up looking a bit ridiculous.


This looks a lot more deliberate than it was.

After an emergency run to Jo-Ann’s to pick up some elastic thread, which I’d unaccountably run out of, I was able to finish this pretty quickly. 


Abby is saying "DurDur," her current interpretation of "turtle."

There are no closeups, because the stitching is totally wack. Which is why I’m really looking forward to my birthday next month: I’m getting the joint present of a new sewing machine!!!!


I got a little turned around with the instructions for the ties, so I just winged it.

I’m torn right now between a Babylock Tempo and a Bernina 330. The Bernina is much more expensive, but … it’s a Bernina. 


On the other hand, I’m never going to be much more than a hobby sewist, so I probably don’t need a machine that costs almost a month’s rent.


Abby's Ellen Tree.

On the other other hand, they do last forever. And a month’s rent amortized over forever is, well, practically free.


C is starting to receive law school admissions. Right now it’s looking like Excellent Public School or Fancy Private School. We’ll see! 


FO: The Kate Dress

3 Sep

This dress is Frankensteined out of some scrap fabric and a onesie, both of which were gifts–well, the scrap fabric was just a leftover–from a lovely friend, hence the name.

This doesn't look like a baby who woke up at 5.30 this morning.

A started wearing this onesie at 6 weeks and fit into it until about 6 months. I know for a fact it was six weeks, because I took an iPhone picture to send to my friend.

A rare moment of non-crying.

When I could no longer squeeze it over her butt, I chopped off the crotch* and sleeves and made a dress. There’s not too much to say about it: if I had a serger, I would have serged the edges of the sleeves but as it is I just zigzagged them tightly to make them ruffle and to finish the edges. I just used up the fabric I had for the skirt and turned a narrow hem.

She's about to stuff one of those flowers into her mouth.

I was not too sure about the results at first, but now that she’s fits into it, I think it’s pretty cute!

Yum yum!

I didn’t use a tutorial for this, but they do exist. This is a nice one over at Prudent Baby, and here is a fancier one that I might try.

*I’ve noticed a lot of craft bloggers apologizing for the word “crotch” or looking for a different one. But why? It’s the technical term for the area, isn’t it?

FO: Colette Madeleine Mini-Bloomers

13 Aug

long and lean!

If you are looking at the picture of this lanky model in her wee little bloomers right now and thinking, “Wow, that does not seem like it would be a good look for Firstmute,” you would, alas, be right. I’ve been working on these things for almost two weeks with the intention of boosting my sleepwear collection, which currently consists of one cute chemise and lots and lots of boxer briefs that I filch from C’s dresser. I actually had visions of making a whole army of these and debuting them here in a nifty little pile.

At first everything was going great: I used fabric from a hideous thrifted Victoria Secret nightgown (imagine a full-length prairie nightgown in this fabric and you’ll get the idea), got the pattern printed out and lined up and taped, and even ordered a 144-yd roll of 1/4″ elastic for the occasion, since I’d decided I’d leave out the ribbon for simplicity’s sake. Everything came together smoothly, and there’s no reason for these to have taken two weeks–two hours would have been more the thing–but, as I said, I’ve been really busy with the chapter lately. Anyway, I finally finished them up this morning during a surprise nap by A, thought they looked pretty cute, tried them on, and … yeah. Wee little bloomers, just not a great look for me right now.

Not too bad on the hanger, a little unfortunate on the butt.

Oh, well. Time marches on!

FO: Refashioned skirt from giant shorts

7 Jul

People who are really good at refashioning and upcycling seem to be able to look at something hideous and see something beautiful. Mostly I look at ugly things and see only ugly. When I do have a vision, the reality often turns out to be … well, less than satisfactory. Sometimes, though, even I get lucky.

Yikes. Even without bad lighting, they'd be terrifying.

I picked up these humungous shorts from the 1$ rack at Goodwill a while ago and finally got around to doing something with them.

Look at those nommable knees!

An adorable little skirt!


I used the same method for the pieced linen skirt, although the lower tier is not nearly as long–maybe only a few inches longer than the upper tier.

And, since I’ve been frustrated by my hems lately, I added some piping around the bottom instead of turning a hem.

All-important squatting picture.

You can’t see it, but the elastic is sewn directly into the waistband. The material is fairly thick, so I thought a casing would be too bulk (and let’s face it, I was trying to cut corners). I worried a little that the elastic would leave belly marks, but it seems just fine.

Yay! A cute new skirt just in time for our trip to Salt Lake. I won’t be posting much, but I’ve got a new bonnet and new shirt AND new skirt to show off when I get back and get the pictures uploaded.

Ooh. And someone has a birthday coming up!!

Shirt into baby skirt

17 May

ETA: I was well over 1,000 page views this morning, hooray! Feel free to de-lurk in celebration.


Since I’m almost out of FOs, I needed something quick to make during naptime. I’ve been meaning to get rid of this old t-shirt for a while–it’s gotten a little stretched out and unflattering since the last few washes. (Arguably, the horizontal striping was never that flattering to begin with, but that’s a topic for a different day.)

The scissors are labeled so they don't accidently get used to cut anything else.

I ran across this tutorial a while ago and worked from memory and common sense. (I say “common sense” like it actually is common, but until recently I referred to tutorials for hemming napkins.)

Basically, you cut a tube from the bottom, grab some fabric from the back to make a smaller tube for the waistband, gather the bottom tube, and stitch everything together.

Put on baby and exclaim over how quickly that came together!

Look at these adorable little feet. She’s highly motivated to walk because she refuses to crawl. She’ll scooch around on her belly when she wants to get somewhere, but she just won’t get up on her hands and knees. I know she can do it because I’ve seen her do it in the bathtub; somehow, she hasn’t made the conceptual leap to realizing that she can do it on the floor, too.

Yes, we have a cat.

Oh, and the childproofing’s going really well.

Hippie skirt refashion

11 May

About nine days postpartum, I snuck out of the house to buy some new clothes. I couldn’t stand the thought of wearing any of my maternity gear (not to mention that most of it was borrowed, and I didn’t want to get it covered in any more bodily fluids than absolutely necessary), and I sure couldn’t fit into any of my pre-baby clothes. I went to Old Navy and bought everything on sale that had a stretchy waistband.

Including this.

Yep, it's over-edited because half of it was in pitch black shadow.

I mean, whatever, it’s fine, and I ended up wearing it a lot. But I’m really not much of an Earth Mother, cloth diapering aside, and it’s hung unworn in my closet since about October. So, I chopped it up and made three new garments: a knee length skirt for myself, and a dress and a skirt for Abby. Here’s the dress:

We can't quite stand by ourselves yet.

Very simple: I used the existing hem, sewed it in a tube, shirred in a spiral, and then made some folded straps because I didn’t want to fuss with turning them.

Of course she immediately got strawberry on it, but a little timely Shout took care of that.

I haven't quite figured out how to deal with a high armscye when the bodice top goes straight across.

Hooray for refashioning! I love sticking it to the man.