Tag Archives: re-fashion

T-Shirt Re-Fashion

30 May

Having delivered a baby just three weeks ago, I am sort of in between sizes these days.  I am certainly more comfortable in my husband’s t-shirts and boxers, but I can’t go out in public like that (can I?).

Well one afternoon while “resting” I took one of his XL plain white Hanes T-Shirts and did a little surgery.

First, I cut along the neckline and both sleeves to remove them.  Then, I made a single cut all the way down the center of the back, rounding the bottom corners.  I then overlapped the two pieces of the back by about 1 or 2 inches and hand stitched it in place, sewing a straight seam down the back so that my bra wouldn’t show.

Then I tried it on.  Looking in the mirror, I pinned a box pleat front and center and hand stitched it in place as well.

Finally, I made the arm holes a little smaller by pinning them shut and hand stitching a straight seam down each side.

I added a decorative touch by ironing on some feathers I cut out of some scrap fabric I had lying around using Heat and Bond.

Not only is this top cute and comfortable, it provides pretty easy access for nursing my new baby!  And the best part is that I had everything I needed on hand.  This project was completely free!


2 Sep

Before our trip to Scottsdale last month I was looking for a new purse and/or weekend bag to take with me.  I wanted a “carry on” for the front seat during our road trip.  You know that bag that is stylish enough for you to carry you magazines and sparkling water, but durable enough to also hold a leaky sippy cup and diaper cream?  Ya, I wanted a new one of those…

I dug up the purse grave yard at the bottom of my closet and found this horrific purse that I am embarrassed to have once used (and regularly).  I didn’t even bother photographing it.  The one redeeming quality about  it was its handles.  It had great faux bamboo handles.  I cut them off and decided to make my own bag.  I happened to have some canvas, home decor fabric that didn’t work out for another project.

I didn’t measure or anything, sorry….but I can tell you that all I did was lay the handles on the ground next to the fabric and eye ball what size I thought was proportionate to the size of the handles.  I cut 4 pieces of fabric all that same size.  Two pieces would make the lined inside and the other two would be the outside.  I sewed three sides together on each set.  I then turned one set inside out and placed the other inside it.

Then I cut small strips and sewed them into loops to attach the bamboo handles.  I turned the top edges in and pinned in place, also pinning the loops in place.  Then I just had to sew one seam around the top.

I was also able to salvage a cardboard bottom from another bag and recovered that with the same fabric.  To get the bottom to have squared off edges like the cardboard bottom I simply folded the corners down and sewed them in place.

I can take this bag to the beach, the pool or a weekend getaway.  My favorite part is that it was completely free and I had everything on hand.


Hope everyone has a safe and fun-filled holiday weekend!






Always a Bridesmaid?

31 Aug

I’m headed to a wedding this weekend.  Instead of buying another dress, I opened my hall closet and sifted through the many bridesmaid dresses I own.  My first thought was to ombre one of the dresses, but after some research I learned that you cannot dye or bleach polyester satin.  While I do own a sewing machine and can sew a straight line, I am in every sense of the word a novice, so I wanted to avoid a total overhaul at all costs.  Why not just take the dress to a real seamstress you ask?  Well, I wanted to avoid any additional costs at all costs as well.

So…many moons ago, I was a bridesmaid in my dear friend Gaby’s wedding.  I wore this dress.

Its a perfectly lovely bridesmaid dress, but lets face it, where am I going in that dress after the wedding?  I walked down the aisle in this dress about a week after finding out I was pregnant with my eldest son.  Today, two giant baby boys later there was no way I could squeeze into this dress.  So, I started ripping at the seams.  I took the guts of the bodice out and the cut the skirt to the length that I wanted the new dress (with seam allowances).  I sewed the guts of the bodice back together, with the boning and pinned it inside what would be the new top  of the dress.  Then I carefully sewed the top seam.  So at that point I had a cape-like garment.  I don’t own a dress form and I tried having my 5 year old pin me in the dress but that didn’t work either.  Then, my dog got tangled in the cord to the sewing machine and dragged it to the ground where it broke into pieces.  I gave up at that point.  So, I moved on to make a belt…

I saw this on 100 Layer Cake and saved the scraps from the cut up dress.  I had everything on hand so it came together quickly.  I cut all my pieces and then began gathering and sewing by hand.  The effect was amazing.  I love this belt.

Rejuvenated by my belt, I took my cape to Caasi’s house.  Not only does she have a dress form, she is much more skilled than I am at sewing.  She literally looked at what I brought her and said, “oh, that’ll be easy.”

I don’t know how easy it really was, but she made it look easy!  I saved the zipper from the original dress so Caasi was able to fit the dress properly and sew the zipper in.

So, now for no additional cost I have a super cute dress to wear to this weekend’s wedding, giving new life to an old dress!

Re-Style File #2: Jeans Makeover

21 Jul

I have had these jeans for YEARS! I originally purchased these destroyed denim jeans at Abercrombie & Fitch with my amazing employee discount. They were my most comfortable jeans I owned. Over the years, they have become particularly destroyed, way beyond what they were when I bought them. I just couldn’t part with them, so I decided to give them a makeover!

I started by seam ripping out the inseam. and cut the jean legs where the holes were (at the knees). With the exta material left from the legs, I cut 2 patches to fill in for a later step. Tip: don’t throw away the extra material, keep it just in case you need to patch other jeans in the future.

Start to pin the jeans at the top. Pin in one of the material patches and sew the underside first. I matched the stitching method that the jeans had. After that, I repeated the overlapped section using the same stitching.

Flip the skirt inside out and trim the excess seam allowance.

Lastly, hem the skirt to desired length.

After I was finished, I went back and patched some of the holes with the extra material from the jeans legs.

This is a great project to re-purpose your old jeans. You can also try this with little girls jeans that have holes at the knees, or even hand me downs that don’t quite fit in length. I have also seen jeans re-purposed as capris, shorts and even a purse! The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Tiny Totes

27 May

After staring at a bag of my daughter’s old clothes for about 3 months, I decided to go through it once more for before donating. There were so many cute printed tees that my daughter loved..when they fit. I thought I might be able to give a few of them new life.

I took one of the tees and chose to make it into a drawstring tote bag. This project couldn’t be easier. The only materials I needed were the tee, ribbon and thread. I started by cutting off the sleeves and made a straight cut across the top to get rid of the neck line. Once I finished that, I sewed up the side hem, only partially, to join where the sleeves were cut. I marked a line with fabric chalk to know where to sew. I then folded the top down 1″  (turn shirt inside-out) to create the casing for the ribbon at the top. I sewed a 3/4″ seam allowance all the way around. Once finished, I seam ripped at the side seam to create the opening for threading the ribbon through. I took two long ribbon sections and thread one at a time. The ribbon should be threaded through one side and should finish to the side it started. The next step would be to thread the other ribbon through the opposite side and the end returns to the side you started that section. Once both sides are threaded (tip: use a large safety pin at the end to help you thread the ribbon through the casing) measure and cut the excess ribbon (tip: pull the ribbons so that the tote closes and try the tote on to mark where to cut) to fit. Lastly, while inside out, pin the bottom closed and make sure the ribbon ends are at the side seams and sandwiched between the front and back of the tee. Once you sew the bottom (seam allowance 5/8″- 3/4″),  turn the tote right side out and pull the draw strings… FINISHED! This was such a fast and easy project and the best part… I had all the materials on hand!

Another One Bites the Dust

21 Mar

In my previous post,  I turned my spring cleaning into some re-fashion.  Well I found another shirt that had seen better days.  With some minor surgery, my blue and white striped tee is now another cute wrap around scarf.

I took this project straight out of P.S. I Made This.  This project is seriously simple and it only took me about 5 minutes total to complete.  I literally started cutting just before walking out the door.

I love giving my old clothes new life…

Re-Style File #2

15 Mar

The Original

In the spirit of Spring, I have dug this lovely garment from my closet to “re-style”. It was given to me a while back, but was too large for me to wear. I love the fabric and the color… most of all, I didn’t want it to go to waste hiding in the depths of my closet.

Step 1- Adjust to fit

My first step was to adjust the fit. There are many ways to do this. The correct way, carefully seam rip the sleeves, pin and mark the sides from my dress form.. etc, etc. I chose the lazy/fast way… with two kids, I take all the short cuts I can get! I laid out the top on a flat surface and found a shirt with the same stretch that fits well to lay on top. I marked the the top with a 5/8″ seam allowance in mind. I grabbed the scissors, cut the sides and it that was it! I pinned and sewed the new side seams and the arm holes.

With the sleeves, I opened them up and cut them into strips. I basted the strips and gathered the seams to create different sized ruffles. You can also zig zag stitch the sides of the ruffle strips to minimize fraying of the fabric. I chose not to do this because I wanted the ruffles to be soft and organic while shaping. I pinned the ruffles to the top while on the dress form. After I found the layout I wanted, I carefully removed the top and hand stitched the ruffles into place. This part took the longest, but well worth it to not see machine stitches all over. My new Springtime top is ready to wear! Of course, I will be hand washing this top from now on so the ruffles wont fray.

Wrap yourself in Spring

14 Mar

…with a wrap around scarf…or is it a necklace?

After my last post I got a lot feedback about how cute that necklace/scarf was.  So I thought I’d try my hand at it…

So at Caasi’s suggestion I sifted through my closet to find a tank or t-shirt that I was willing to part with.  I found a tank top that had a tiny little hole in it and the hoarder deep down inside me hadn’t parted ways with it yet.  I started at the bottom hem and began cutting it into about a one inch strip.  I just went around and around until I reached the arm holes and the neckline and could not continue.

Next, I tugged on the long strand so that the edges kind of curl into each other.  This works best with cotton and jersey fabrics. 

Once I had my material ready, I stood in front of a mirror and began wrapping until I had the desired effect.  In order to keep everything in place I very carefully ran it through my sewing machine in two places–the spot where my flowers would be places and where I would line it up with the back of my neck. 

This is where the flowers will be placed so the strands of fabric are a little more spread out.

These I gathered a little tighter since they will be at the back of my neck.

So on to the flowers…I decided on three, but really there are so many possibilities.  You don’t even have to use flowers.  Be creative!

The final step is applying the flowers.  This was probably the most time-consuming part.  I just hand sewed each one, one at a time.  Holding them in place while sewing with the other hand was a little challenging.  But I love the results. 

I wore this the very next day with a white v-neck t-shirt and it totally dressed it up in a cool dressed down kind of way. 

I have my eye on another old t-shirt…stripes!  Can’t wait!  This project is pretty darn easy and my favorite part is that it was totally free.  I had everything on hand.  So this year, while you’re doing your spring cleaning, look at your closet with an eye for repurposing some of your old favorites.  You might surprise yourself!

Re-Style File #1

16 Feb

I have a tub full of clothes that are too big, weird, out of style, etc. Today I tackled a dress. This dress was given to me and it just didn’t work. It had some fit issues. Also, the before pic wasn’t the original before pic. By this point, I had already seam ripped off half of the length.

I decided to make a cute spring time skirt. I seperated the top of the dress from the skirt. I took the bottom length of the skirt and added it as an extra layer for fullness. I had a lace trim in a box of goodies and used it for a subtle detail just below the elastic waist… and viole!

Tee Shirt Re-Fashion

10 Dec

I have lots of over-sized tee shirts in my dresser drawer. Most of these shirts are Los Angeles Lakers shirts in extra large. I get them from my Mother-in-Law because she frequently goes to the games and gets them as door prizes. I didn’t really know what to do with such a large shirt and with so many of them. I have been re-sizing larger shirts to fit for sometime now… I thought this was an opportunity  to re-size these with  a twist.

I took the large shirt and I took my favorite shirt (one that fits well) and used it as my template. I matched up the shoulders and with a fabric pen, I roughly outlined the top with a 5/8″ seam allowance. I also marked out a new neck line.

Next, I took out the scissors. I cut the sides and the neck along the lines I made.

After that, I matched up, and sewed both sides. The fun part comes next…

As a cute twist, and also to help with the length.. I decided to add side ties.

Out of the remaining fabric I cut out two pieces, rectangular shaped 2″ by 10″. I pinned them on each side, spaced evenly over the inside, side seam and folded under 1/2″ so it was finished at the bottom. I sewed the pieces on three sides leaving the bottom open like a little upside down pocket. I then sewed up the ditch of the side seam and stopped 3/4″ from the top seam creating an upside down, u-shaped channel.

I cut two long strips, they don’t have to be perfect, about 3/4″ to 1″ wide and however long, not hard, fast rule on that. After they are cut, stretch them out and they will curl up. Use a safety pin on one end and help feed the cord through the “u” pocket to the other side.

Next, even out the sides, pull and tie! Repeat on the other side.

Lastly, I used single fold biased tape to create the finished neckline. I happened to have left over purple from my daughter’s dinosaur costume on hand. Luckily, the Lakers team colors are purple and gold!

I really like my new shirts! I re-fashioned 2 of them and possibly more. They never have really cute sports team shirts for women and now I have my own original one to wear to the games! I’ll be one of a kind and super cute! Above all, I have given life to two shirts I never really wore… you should check out your local Goodwill, husband’s/boyfriend’s closet or outlet stores for cheap finds and make your own favorite sports team shirt!

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