Thursday, November 08, 2012


I'm heading to India today.  I'll spend the first week in the state of Haryana, home of Delhi where I will meet new friends and get to know existing ones much better. 

On Sunday I'll travel to Agra where I will get to check off another item on my bucket list, "See the Taj Mahal."  Then Tuesday is Diwali and I am excited to be in India for the celebration!

The second week, I will be traveling with my friends to Rajasthan to visit Jodhpur, Jaipur and Pushkar.  Jodhpur is where we got the name for the classic riding pants.  Jaipur has a step well like the one seen in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" that I am dying to see and we're going to a camel fair in Pushkar.

I am so excited to experience this country and it's culture. I love the food, the music and the people.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Refashion Alert!

I spent some time in my sewing room today (sweating my butt off).

I made this shirt from a men's shirt and a necktie I picked up at Goodwill, Savers, or Salvation Army (can't remember which).

Loving it! Now I want to make more.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Chair

I have been searching Craigslist and eBay for a chair to go in our Living Room that I could reupholster. They were so expensive or the shipping was cost prohibitive.

Then, one day last week, when I was driving to the grocery store, I found this on the side of the road.

Now the search for the perfect fabric is ON!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You made this from that?

Don't ask me why but when I saw these 1970-esque, red white and blue, granny polyester pants, I had to have them.  I bought them on my inaugural trip to the thrift store back in December.  I knew I wanted to turn them into a shirt but wasn't sure how I was going to do it (or why for that matter LOL).

The first thing I did was open up the waist band and take out the elastic, which I set aside to use in a future project since part of the reason I am doing this is to reduce waste.  Of course, we all know that the main reason I am doing it is to ensure NO ONE will have the same outfits as me.  People can try to come close, but they will never be exact.

Next, I cut the legs off just below the crotch and opened up the seam so I had a tube.  I decided to put it on the dress form and see where it would lead me.  I put it on upside down and it just started to materialize in my head.

This is what I came up with.....

Here is a shot that shows the armhole.  I took the cuffs from the bottom of the legs and sewed the raw edges of the top inside the cuff and extended them over the shoulder area to make a boat neck.  I also took part of the legs and added a band to the bottom to extend the length. I finished the look with a flower  made out of the leftover fabric by sewing a running stitch,  gathering it like you would for a ruffle but then rolled it into a circle and sewed it together.

Viola!!   Here's a close up of the top and the flower.  I can't wait to wear it!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Perfect Shirt??

What do you do when you know exactly what you want but can't find it?  Make it!

I decided I want to wear the skirt I made at the end of December for a work thing this week, but, I didn't own a shirt to match.  I've really been loving the color mustard lately and the skirt had it in the design.  So, I decided to try to find something at the mall today.  All I could find was this shirt.

They only had it in a 3X but it was on clearance for $4.  In other words, it was singing the "Refashion Me" song.

I took the size down quite a bit.  The I took the scraps from my alterations and added some pleated ruffles to the top.


Here's a close up of the top.  I love it and can't wait to wear it with my skirt and mustard colored tights.

Monday, January 02, 2012

China Shirt Refashion

I bought this shirt/tunic/mumuu/whatever-the-heck-it-is in Beijing when I went to China in April. The colors grabbed me, but once I got home and tried to wear it, I looked ridiculous.  I tried tucking it in and that worked ok, except there as sooo much excess fabric that it made it a pain in the butt when I needed to use the bathroom and needed to tuck it back in several times a day.  Plus, it looked like a huge shirt would look when it was tucked in.....unflattering.

So, it hid in my closet for months until I finally tossed it into my Refashion pile and tackled it today.

A web search turned up this pretty Butterfly Shirt from etsy (link to shop under pic).  It is also a refashion, and fit the vision I had for this shirt from the moment I bought it.

Butterfly Shirt

First I took in the sides a little bit and trimmed off a few inches from the bottom.  Then I cut off the sleeve area turning it into more of a tank top.  I hemmed all of the new edges and the sleeves.  Then I sewed a couple of gathering stitches.  I ruffled the sleeves as I pinned them onto the shoulder area.  Finally, I shirred the bottom using elastic thread.

Let me know what you think!

Skirt Refashion

Once again, I forgot to take a before picture.  Ugh! 

Imagine a very ugly black skirt that fell somewhere between the ankle and the knee with back pockets.  It wasn't very flattering so I never wore it. But for some reason, I held onto it.

My refashions up until now have been on clothes I found at Thrift stores or eBay.  So, it was time to refashion something out of my own closet.

I love it now!  I cut it just above the knee and added the ruffle so it will fall just at or below my knees. It looks exactly how I planned it.

I took the excess fabric I removed and cut it in two.  I then sewed it together so it was twice the old circumference. I hemmed both sides before sewing a gathering stitch and pulling it into a ruffle. Once it was back to the original size it was easily reattached to the bottom of the skirt.  Such an easy update.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Satiny Blouse Refashion

I had a different plan for this shirt when I bought it on eBay.  I found another idea on Pinterest after I got it in the mail.

I keep forgetting to take a before pic on my refashions.  As you can see, I remembered it on this one just after I began cutting. 

 I followed the tutorial on the Viola & Pearl blog.  Excellent instructions.  My shirt came out fabulous. 

I flipped the shirt around so it would button up the back and removed the sleeves.  I made the ruffles from the sleeves.  Rather than serging my edges, I hemmed them.

The pictures are a bit deceiving. It's not as shiny as it looks.  It's a satiny material so the flash was reflected back at me.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dress to Skirt and shirt - Refashion

I saw this cute dress in Savers and immediately saw it's potential.  The bottom of it was screaming SKIRT to me and it was wide enough to make one to fit me where the dress would have been way too small.

I laid the dress out and cut the bottom off leaving just enough to sew a gathering stitch where I could adjust the width to fit  my waist and attach it to some wide elastic.

This was so simple to do, I don't think I am even need to explain it.  Now I can't wait until spring so I can wear it!

So as to not waste anything, I hemmed the bottom of the top portion and turned it into a cute summer top for my daughter.  It fits her perfectly.  (bad photo, the color is all wrong)

Denim Tie-Neck - Refashion

While searching the web for a black and white polka dot tie-neck blouse, I came across this picture of a denim version and fell in love.  But, it cost $67 and I refuse to pay that much for a shirt.

So...what do I do?  I make my own!  I knew I had a couple of very old man-shaped denim shirts in my closet left-over from sadder fashion days.

I didn't take any photos of the shirt before, but I'm sure you get the idea.  They were loose and boxy and not very fashionable.  They were also a very light chambray color and I wanted my shirt to be darker like my inspiration photo. 

I bought some RIT dye in Denim and dyed them before I started cutting.  I'm not in love with the color that came out but it's livable.

First, with my hand dandy seam ripper, I removed the collar from the shirt I would use as the base.  The only other alterations I made to that shirt was to give it a more feminine shape.

From the second shirt, I cut what would become my bow. I took off the front pockets and sewed all around them and the ties with Coats Dual Duty Denim Thread which is the gold color we're all familiar with from our favorite Levi's.

I then attached them to the shirt and was done.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Can you say OMG??? Boot Refashion

I am loving this!  Who knew refashioning could be so fun?  I am building the cheapest, unique, and most awesomest wardrobe in the world!

While we were shopping at Saver's the other day, I was looking for pumps that I could glitterfy (see earlier post).  My search was very narrow, so I thank GOD my oldest daughter was with me and pointed out these boots. Once I came out of my high-heel-fog, my mind started spinning with possibilities.  They had so much potential.

When I got home, I dug through my fabric stash for something with enough yardage to cover the boots and enough personality to deliver on my vision.

I settled on this pink, orange and white polka dotted fabric without even realizing it would match my cardigan refashion I started the same night.

I started out by adding pieces of newsprint to the boots in order to make a pattern to cut out the fabric.  I sectioned it out so that I would have separate pieces of fabric for each side and another for the top/front of the boot.  I taped pieces of paper together to get the best coverage and used a razor knife to trim it to the right size and shape.

After the boot was covered with the paper, I carefully removed it and transformed it into a flat shape which I pinned to my fabric.  Both sides of each boot were the same, so I only used one template and cut both pieces from the fabric at the same time with wrong sides together (giving me mirror images).  See below for what it looked like before I cut.

I then used Modge Podge to adhere the fabric to the boots and used my handy dandy razor knife to trim it to fit perfectly.    If you try this, work fast so that the modge podge remains wet while you pull and slide the fabric into place.  My fabric also stretched a bit as it absorbed the modge podge and made it easier to form fit.  I cut slits on the front piece so that I could layer it and mold it into a rounded shape over the toe.

After the fabric was on, I painted more modge podge over the entire surface to "seal" it and painted the back strip and areas near the laces with Martha Stewart orange glitter paint which allowed the black to show through and gave it a refreshed and professional look.  I then allowed the boots to dry completely overnight (at least 24 hours) and then sprayed them with Plaid Royal Coat Spray Finish which made them shiny and gave them further protection from the elements.

drumroll please..........

Can you say $9.99 Doc Marten/John Fluevog knock offs?  I knew you could.

See below for some more boot porn.

Faaaaaaaabulous! Shoe Refashion

Here are a pair of booooooring tan pumps I bought at Savers for $6.99.

They went from this....

To this....

All it took was some Modge Podge and some glitter.  You'll definitely want to seal them to keep the glitter from falling off with every step.  I used Plaid Royal Coat High Gloss Finish Spray which I found at Michel's in the glue section.  Be sure to buy a high gloss sealer so the glitter isn't dulled.

Aren't they FABULOUS??

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cardigan Refashion

When I went to Saver's yesterday, I bought this pink cardigan for $5.99 and also bought an orange table runner.

I removed the lace from the table runner and added it to the sweater along with a ruffle I made out of the main piece. I am LOVING it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Refashion

Last week, I decided to take a stab at recreating the Corporate Zip Top from the Brassy Apple Blog but I wanted mine to be a Christmas shirt.  So, I dug out this great, red plaid, men's, button down shirt I picked up at the Salvation Army.


Here is a picture of the sleeves after I cut them to the length I wanted and then gathered them and sewed a band on to neaten them up.  I can't even begin to try to explain how I did it because I just winged it.  But, basically, I put the shirt on and cut them to a length about 2 inches shorter than I wanted them to be. I cut two strips about 4 inches wide, and long enough to circle my biceps and sewed each of them into a ring. I then folded it in half so use as a 2 inch cuff and pinned the gathered edge of the sleeve inside of the doubled edge being sure to keep all of the raw edges inside to make it nice and neat.  Then I just sewed around the circumference of each sleeve.  I can try to draw a diagram of what I did and upload it if anyone needs help recreating it.

I don't know why I thought a shirred bodice would look good on my body, but somehow I made myself believe it and went through all of the trouble to make it only to resign myself to the fact that I will have to wait until next Christmas when I WILL BE at least 20-30 pounds lighter (you heard it here first) to wear it.

If you decide to make this shirt, be sure to buy 2 - 20 inch zippers for the ruffles and 1 30-40 inch zipper for the collar.  The instructions just say 60 inches. It doesn't say how it will be divided up.  Each ruffle is about 10 inches long before it is gathered and there are 4 ruffles.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Living Room project

I've been working on my living room on and off for the past several months. I bought the roman shades I had always wanted and a TV stand at IKEA.

I decided that I had dusted enough so I took everything off of the walls and started painting design instead. Now I have a living room like no one else.

This is hand drawn and painted. Quite a lot cheaper than those wall decals.