Curtains Dress

Curtains Dress

Curtains Dress

One day I went out for some errands and found myself in a middle of a huge rummage sale.   I think I was looking for kitchen drawer linings when saw the sign about the sale.  Today was the last day and everything was 50% off.

Lately, I’ve been disappointed going to any garage/yard/estate sale.  I wonder if most people donate or sell online.   But anyhoo…

In the midst of this huge rummage sale, I landed in the fabrics.   There were boxes and boxes of fabrics for only $1.50 for few yards.  I got a huge crap load of fabric and one of them was this beautiful green/teal with pink roses fabric.

Now all the fabric was wrapped up in bundles with tape around them, so all you knew was the yardage and the cost.   Well, when I unwrapped this lovely vintage fabric at home, it turned out to be a cut-off homemade curtain.   The fabric wasn’t all one piece either.

Front View

Strike a pose

So I washed the fabric and seamed ripped the two pieces apart as well as undid the hand stitched hem.   I measured out the sizing and went through my sewing books and patterns to find something that would work with the amount of material I had.

Side View

Over the shoulder

I ended up doing Dress R from Stylish Dress book.

I didn’t have enough fabric after I traced out the pattern in my size with the biggest piece of the fabric, but it was close.    To make it happened, I overlapped the two pieces so I had enough fabric for the back piece.

I found some other teal fabric I bought from a garage sale years ago.  Then went off and created the dress.

The dress turned out pretty lovely.   This was the first time I used this pattern from the book.   Since the fabric was a bit heavy weight, I would imagine using a lighter weight would be great for summer wear.  However, in the northwest, all our summer days are not warm.  So soon I shall wear my new dress.



Then something happened.   After I tried it on and took all my pictures, something flew out of my dressform.     A freaking huge, no, gigantic moth flew around my sewing room.   The moth was swirling in circles in an air attack formation.  Did I mention it was huge?

Luckily, my hubby came and saved the day to take it outside..

Man, it was freakin’ huge.  See it on my room curtain.  HUUUUGE! Bleh.

Red, White, and Blue Refashioning over Memorial Day weekend

Wow.  Who knew I’d try doing a blog again.    Not me.

I’ve always avoided writing like the plague as I’d rather do some sort of non-language communication such as programming, music, or arts.     So why the blog?   I’d like to share my adventures into sewing and reconstruction.  Something I’ve wanted to do for some time but felt discouraged for many reasons, but I also wanted to practice my writing.

Anyhoo.    My first, well, third upcycle/reconstruction/recycle project was this past Memorial Day weekend.   It was lots of fun.  Well, to be honest, some moments were frustrating, but isn’t working through the tough parts make the end result worth it?

In the beginning, there was a large button down shirt that I picked up from my most favorite thrift shop down the street, such lovely red, white and blue plaid, but a bit big and manly.


Big and manly

First step, ripping out the seams.  The sleeves didn’t take that long to undo, but they were strong flat felled seams.  What surprised me (yet not) is the fact that the seams had some sloppy parts to them.  Not sure about you but I always thought retail sewing was perfect and only *I* had misaligned seams.

After removing the sleeves, the side seams were next.   I started going down the seams when I realized I was going to bring them in so cutting them open would be fine.   So snip, snip, snip, I had the shirt ready for refashioning…   wait, what about the shoulders and collar?   Well, I was happy with them and made my life easier.  No need to do more work if it works.

Now that it’s ready to become my next awesome top, I first started with reshaping the sleeves.    They were huge and long.   So I took a pattern’s cap and recut the sleeve to have a smaller opening and shorter in length.

Then I took the sample pattern’s front and back that had the matching sleeve hole and laid it over the body.    In the back of my mind, I knew going overboard and trimming the body to the same shape as this pattern’s outside might make the shirt a bit small.   Well, once I sewed the sleeves and the sides back together and tried it on, my intuition was correct.  The top few buttons did become a bit tight, but that’s easily fixed with a cute top under.  Who buttons to the top anyways. 🙂

Now that I had reshaped the shirt, I tried it on and it as a bit bunchy in the back.   I looked into darts or pleats or something to help it out, but the little voice came back and said, “It’s a bit long too”.    So I took the effort to shorten the length first.

Guess what happened?   The bunchiness wasn’t so bunchy anymore.  Woot!!

So now I have a cute top, but could it be cuter?   Yes it can!

I have tons of vintage lace scraps from that favorite thrift store.   One day, I got a boat load that the ladies in the back was stashing away.   That load was an awesome score! So on goes some lace.

The shirt reminded me of some lovely country or mountain or mori girl style.   So I swooped the lace over the shoulders.

Front Side

Front Side

I also draped it across the upper back.    Definitely getting more girly.  But this was not enough.  I needed MOOOOORE.

Back Side

Back Side

Then I recalled some pretty reverse applique.   So beautiful and intricate, they provide just a bit more love for any garment.  On goes some thread with some white fabric and wala!  Cuter top with a pair of daisy like flowers.

So pretty!

So pretty!

All in all, I got a cuter top from this big, frumpy, manly button down shirt.    Definitely gave me the momentum to do some more refashioning.

Before and After

Before and After