The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Four Befores and Two Afters

This month has become the month of refashioning projects. Maybe that's part of spring cleaning? Finding the things you can't get rid of but need some improvement to make them work? Not sure, but I've got a few fun things to work on this month.

My client Jen is one of the first people who contacted me about making a skirt for her. She has now lost weight (4 inches from her waistline - go, Jen!) and the skirt needed to be taken in at the waist and hips. This isn't a true refashioning project, but since it was fun to revisit a skirt I made early on in my sewing career, I wanted to include it. Boy, did I use tiny stitches at that point! They were a challenge to pick out! And this was before my serger, when I was still zig-zagging the seam allowances . . .

Skirt is a soft corduroy - I can't remember if I found it on Etsy or

The second refashion was for my client, Melissa. She's going to coach her daughter's softball team this summer, and since the league is used to only having male coaches, the coach shirts were huge!

I took 5.5" off the length, 3" off the sleeve, and added elastic to the waist and back for a bit more definition.

I completely understand where she was coming from on this. I HATE wearing boxy t-shirts, and I usually do something similar if I'm forced to wear one for some cause or campaign. Otherwise I spend the whole time I'm in the shirt trying to adjust the damn thing, feeling awkward and out-of-my skin.

I'm really excited about this next one. One of my client, Carrie, is really into vintage 70's fashion. I refashioned a couple of dresses for her a while back, and next up is a housecoat. Yep, you heard me correctly, she bought a vintage, shapeless housecoat!

Housecoat sans sleeves

Carrie had already attempted to remake the housecoat but needed help. She took apart the garment and used the pieces to cut a lining, sewed the lining and put the housecoat back together. I'll be shortening the length and using the excess to make a collar, attaching the lining (including taking out the sleeves and putting them back on correctly), adding darts, adding a belt and decorative strips to the sleeve cuffs. It's going to look fantastic when it's all done. Carrie is fun to work with and we have a great time bouncing ideas off one another. I can't wait to see what she asks for next!

Fabric detail

This scarf will become the belt and sleeve detail

Lining that Carrie made on her own.

And last up is a wedding dress refashion. Jamie wanted to use her mom's wedding dress, but it needs an update.

First, I'll remove the lace sleeves and most of the yoke. Then I'll add boning and straps to the bodice . . .

and a corset back with modesty panel (it's a tad small), using Mrs Mole's method. Jamie wants "Cubby Blue" ribbons for the corset lacing - I think she's a fan!

I've also got some non-refashioning projects going on this month (copying a client's skirt, some baptismal gown alterations) and I just finished two more wrap dresses which I hope to show you next week. I'm also wrestling with the Style Arc Marni jacket - I plan to coax that one into submission this weekend.

What interesting refashions have you done or dreamed about doing? I have dreams of someday giving the wedding dress from my first wedding (long story) a dye bath and refashion.

1 comment on "Four Befores and Two Afters"
  1. Very curious to see how you alter the wedding dress :) It looks so fragile.. I do not do much of refashioning ..