Tag Archives: upcycle

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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!!!!

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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!

Sadie Shirt, attempt #1

31 May

Look at this adorable Sadie Shirt, made from a Goodwill men’s shirt. I didn’t have any fabric that coordinated, so I cut things sideways and on the bias to add visual interest. For the pattern, I used a new 18-24M t-shirt from Old Navy (yay, Memorial Day sale!), since Abby’s 12-18M were getting a little tight.

See? Bias placket! Horizontal ruffles!

Ignore the wrinkles. I didn't bother ironing it, since she can't actually wear it.

I spent all yesterday working on it during naptimes and finally finished right before the end of Abby’s afternoon nap. She woke up and I rushed in, barely getting her out of her crib and sleep sack before trying it on. And … it wouldn’t even fit over her head. Well, I could get it over her head and one arm, but it didn’t have enough give to stretch over her second arm. Partly, I didn’t compensate enough for the woven fabric, but also it turns out that the t-shirt, which I didn’t both to try on before drafting the pattern, doesn’t fit her that well.

 

Oh, well. You live, you learn, you practice making button closures. I’ve got lots more shirts to cut down.

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.

Pink ruffle upcycle

21 Apr

I had a majorly crappy day yesterday. A missed appointment, $200 on brakepads, and 5 loads of laundry do not make for a happy camper. Added to that, I’ve had two major sewing catastrophes–the ill-fated peasant blouse, which I was unable to salvage, and a pair of baby shoes that started out cute until I tried to improve the pattern. Mistake!

So I figured I’d do a quick sewing project that would be sure (or, almost sure) to turn out: an upcycled tank for Abby made from an old T-shirt. I bought the original T-shirt from the Gap two years ago for $5, and I was very excited to get my money’s worth out of it … except I cut the damn thing out wrong. I used the side seam as the fold, so the bodice had a big, fat, ugly seam running right now the middle. But I forged ahead and made a casing for the neck and shirred the sleeves. Ick. It still looked very homemade. What to do?

Ruffles!

Much better, even if the third row of ruffles is a little wonked. I will probably fix that at some point.

And a third picture, because I love her expression and because it’s not over-exposed:

The pants are actually another pair of Big Butt Baby Pants (my other versions here and here), so her entire outfit is mama-made. Yay!