Me-Made-May 2017: Week 1 recap

It’s my first year participating in Me-Made-May and if I’m being completely honest, I started stress sewing on the last day of April because I was already worried I was going to run out of clothes.

THEN I remembered this post from Heidi Parkes (a hand-quilter / creative mender / yoga teacher I discovered through QuiltCon & admire very much). Clothes are meant to be WORN. They’re meant to be loved and repaired. Repeating outfits just means I love my clothes enough to wear them again and again 😉

This reminds me of the quote “all my secrets are hidden in my seam allowances” 😉 {source}

All that said, you’ll definitely see some repeats this month…

For those of you not following along on Instagram [and also for those who want to know more about the outfits posted], I’m going to try to share a recap of my Me-Made-May posts each week on the blog so stay tuned!

My #MMMay17 pledge:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2017.

As I warned in my first #mmmay17 post, get ready for an abundance of work-bathroom selfies this month! Somehow the new YMCA does not have any full length mirrors in the women’s locker room [can you even believe it?!] and I’m too awkward to ask fellow gym-goers or coworkers to assist…and I’m too impatient to wait until I get home for the day in hopes the Hubs could assist {because let me be honest, my PJ’s come on ASAP once I’m through the door from work so evening pictures would not be a great plan anyhow}. So, forgive me for these unprofessional documentations 😉

Day 1: My 1st Tank Dress

Day 2: My 1st Fen Dress

Day 3: Refashioned Housedress

Day 4: My 2nd Tank Dress

  • Pattern: The Tank Dress with optional elastic casing in the back (moved up a few inches to better match my natural waist) from Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: quilting cotton from my local JoAnn’s
  • Blogged: On My most worn garments of 2016 list

Day 5: My long-sleeved Out and About Dress

Day 6: My London Backpack

I KNOW what you’re thinking. I’m already cheating by posting bags I’ve made instead of outfits. BUT I was totally honest in my pledge 😉 – I USE my bags [and accessorize with them] daily! Plus, I LOVE this bag. It’s one of my most used – especially for traveling or walking around town on the weekends.

PS: This photo was taken in front of the new Indah Coffee shop. If you’re local, go visit! Their coffee is great {also served at the Soda City market} & the shop looks like a delightful place to hang out [we were only there briefly before heading to the market but we’ll be back!]

  • Pattern: The London Backpack by LBG Studio
  • Fabric: Mostly scrap upholstery from my stash along with this Cath Kidston fabric I picked up when we went to England in 2014
  • Blogged: I’m embarrassed to admit that I have almost an entire post drafted but for some reason I haven’t shared it. Le sigh. I’ll add that to my list of things to eventually do (so stay tuned 😉 )

Day 7: my Day Tripper Top

How cute is this mug?! My sisters-in-law got it for me for Christmas & it’s a definite favorite.

  • Pattern: Day Tripper Top {short sleeved without shoulder tabs & bottom band} by Shwin Designs
  • Fabric: floral knit from my local Hancock Fabric before they closed. I wish I had a thousand yards of it – it’s so soft & beautiful!
  • Blogged: here!

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. These tips for custom fitting a pattern / handmade garment

Straight Stitch Designs mentioned this post in her recent newsletter about Me-Made-May and highlighted the same quote that jumped out at me:

Ego has no place in a well fitting garment.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on making more advanced fitting alterations to garments I’m making. After viewing most of this Intro to Fitting video from the Blank Slate Patterns team, I realized there are many more fit options out there that may be applicable in helping me love my handmade wardrobe even more.

2. The Reggie wrap dress pattern just released by Seamwork Magazine

I’ve already used a credit to claim it. My Spring/Summer to-sew list just grew by one very cute, loose-fitting wrap dress…those sleeves make the 90’s child in me so happy!

3. The Self-Created Podcast with Jernell & Shanika

One of my favorite things to do while sewing is to listen to podcasts. My favorite right now is the Self-Created Podcast. My creative bestie (Shanika) is a co-host and I could listen to these gals talk forever. They discuss some really interesting topics. Browse their episodes and find one that speaks to you – I think you’ll love it. {PS: I got multiple shout-outs in the last episode so it gets my recommendation 😉 }

Week 1 Reflections

I’m really enjoying participating in Me-Made-May. It’s giving me a whole new outlook on my handmade wardrobe and forcing me to take a second look at some of my less-worn handmade garments to think about how I can incorporate them back in or alter them to be a favorite (or cut them up for a new project 😉 ).

Posting pictures of myself day-after-day is pretty awkward. I’ve really appreciated all of the positive feedback and encouragement on Instagram. I’ve also loved seeing everyone else’s photos and browsing the #mmmay17 hashtag.

My most worn handmade garments

If you set a resolution for 2017 to build/expand your handmade wardrobe, this list is for you!

With almost 3 years (!!) of sewing garments under my belt, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my most-worn, most-loved patterns. I have learned a lot along this journey. While some garments were fun to construct [or maybe not so fun], they may not have turned out to be as loved in a day-to-day way.

My goal with this list is to provide you a few pattern recommendations that will surely be worth your time!

handmade-wardrobe

Disclaimer: The list is purely subjective and recalled from memory; not from actual daily tallies of use [but wouldn’t that be a fun experiment?!].

Being that I have avoided adding closures of any kind to a garment thus far {no zippers, no buttons, no problem!}, I would say that all of these patterns are beginner-friendly.

beautiful-things

Along this journey to build my handmade wardrobe, I have discovered “my style.” It’s eclectic {code word for: comfortably weird}.

My style moves on a continuum between dressing like a tween to dressing like a 90-year-old. To be honest: it’s not much a continuum – I mostly cling to one end or the other without much that fits in between. But I think that’s the beauty of sewing your own clothes: You have the freedom to choose exactly how you want your garment to look. You want a dress to match your dachshund? Girl Charlee’s got you covered. Need bright green leggings to make spin class more appealing? Imagine Gnats has you covered.

You’ll see both extremes of my style throughout the list below. I can’t promise my style is in style, but it’s mine. And I’m embracing it 🙂

iris-apfel

Handmade Garments I wore most in 2016

TRANSITION PIECES

Below are pieces that easily transitioned from season to season [aka: just-add-leggings]. 

Sew Caroline’s Out and About Dress | pattern

out-and-about-dress

The 3 Out & About Dresses I’ve made so far – from L to R: version 3, 1, and 2.

This was the very first pattern I sewed {first dress ever} and it has remained my very favorite! I even turned it into a shirt once.

The dress transitions perfectly to fall with a few layers – just add leggings, boots, a sweater and your favorite scarf!

out-and-about-dress-2

During the cooler weather, I wear my long-sleeved version almost every week.

I just ordered some dark gray ponte de roma fabric from imagine gnats that I’m hoping to turn into my 4th Out & About Dress – stay tuned!

{Read all about version 1 & 2 here and version 3 here.}

Sew Caroline’s Tank Dress | pattern

tank-dress-2

When this pattern was first released, I didn’t think I’d jump on that bandwagon. I thought the hemline was “too trendy” {I’ve already confessed my inner 90-year-old}, BUT I love it. It’s actually really easy to construct since it can be made with a woven [non-stretchy] fabric.

My second version [pictured here] is my most-worn because: I raised the elastic casing on the back of the dress about 2 inches [I think]. I’m petite which often requires altering (usually raising the waistline in dresses works for me). In my first version {mentioned in this post}, I was having some bunching in the back above the elastic because it was sliding up to my waist. It was such a simple alteration that completely changed the comfort and fit of the dress for me.

I wear this dress to work with a simple black cardigan and platforms in the summer and transition to fall/winter by adding leggings and boots. I love the versatility of the dress – easy to layer from season to season.

Fancy Tiger Craft’s Fen Dress

fen-dress

My first version of the Fen Dress [pictured here] is my favorite.

{Read all about both of my Fen Dresses in this post and see my 1st Fen Dress in action in this post.}

Shwin Designs’ Day Tripper Top | pattern

day-tripper-top

I got this pattern a long time ago as part of the Pattern Anthology “Just Add Jeans” collection. Embarrassingly, it’s the only pattern I’ve sewn from the collection so far.

For my version, I accidentally omitted the shoulder tabs and waist band which shortened the top (perfect length for petite frame FYI).

{Read all about my Day Tripper Top in this post and see it in action herehere and here on Thanksgiving.}

 

SUMMER

Sew Caroline’s Magnolia Shorts | pattern

magnolia-shorts

These shorts got some serious wear this summer. In past summers I have lived in my black Patagonia elastic waist shorts. The fabric is great for the heat (light and quick-drying/nearly-sweat-proof). While I love them so much, they make me look like a soccer mom (but not the kind that dresses up to sit on the sidelines. I’m the soccer mom wearing big sunglasses trying to hide the fact that she’s napping in her bag chair).

The Magnolia Shorts helped my summer wardrobe appear slightly more pulled together. I used a crepe fabric that had been donated to my stash from someone’s attic. The fabric was perfect for the shorts – drapey and breezy. It made my version morph into a skirt visually {thus, taking my wardrobe up 10 notches}.

{Read all about my Magnolia shorts in this post and see them in action in this post and here on Instagram.}

*PS: If you’re looking for shorts with pockets, check out the Parkside Shorts {read all about mine here}! I made 2 pairs – you can see the second pair in action at the bottom of this post.

My Refashioned Housedress

housedress_before after

This was one of the quickest, easiest projects so far. It was an easy-breezy hack-and-hem into the most comfortable dress ever saved from a landfill.

{Read all about the project in this post. I’m feeling inspired for more refashions – hopefully I’ll find some fun ones for 2017!}

 

WINTER

Blank Slate Pattern’s Tulip Top | pattern

leopard tulip top

I found 2 versions of the Tulip Top particularly inspiring: Sewbon {I love the textured knit and really like how she lengthened it and omitted the sleeve cuffs & neckband for a whole new look} & Sew Charleston {I loved the short-sleeve hack – we’re both in the always-hot-state-of-SC so short-sleeves get a lot of wear}. I actually copied Sew Charleston’s short-sleeved hack in this version, but unfortunately this version hasn’t been worn as much as it should be.

Fun note about the Tulip Top – it was just re-released with a cross-over back option.

Also: I was recently shopping for my adorably preggo sister at Motherhood Maternity and saw a nursing top (similar) that made me think this pattern might be a fun modification for maternity (cross-over in the back) and nursing (cross-over in the front). I’d love to say I’m going to make one for my sister, but my sewing list is so long my nephew might be walking by then!

{Read more about my leopard print Tulip Top in this post.}

I hope this post has inspired you and given you fresh ideas to build your handmade wardrobe. I’d love to hear what’s on your “to make” list for 2017 – share in the comments below!

Sewing Revelations

With the new year fast approaching, I’m still bouncing around resolutions. Last year my goal was to continue to build my handmade wardrobe which I feel like I did a pretty good job of. Next year I would like to do the same but with intention. I want to be more focused and intentional about what I’m making. I want to waste less (time to bust my stash!) and focus more on making timeless pieces that better reflect my style.

I have found quite a bit of inspiration around the blogosphere lately which has led to a few personal “sewing revelations” that I wanted to share…

Revelations on not sewing everything

Crab and Bee recently posted about not sewing everything which really ignited some personal reflection.

crab-bee

Sometimes I feel crippled by my “to sew” list. The post sparked a reminder to myself that sewing is something that I enjoy and if I’m feeling pressured or frustrated with a project, perhaps I should re-evaluate why I’m making it. If it’s not something I enjoy sewing [maybe the material is hard to work with, the pattern is too difficult, or it’s something that someone else wanted but not something I wanted to make], I don’t need to pressure myself into making it.

Revelations on creating with intention

Over the past few years of sewing garments I have learned a lot. It has taken me quite a while to reign in my focus. Building a handmade wardrobe doesn’t mean you are immune to being wasteful or unintentional. We are just as vulnerable to sewing clothes that are ill-fitting, not our true style, or focusing too much on what’s “trendy” and not enough on what is our style. {I found this post particularly enlightening about how to stop sewing “unworns.”}

I have been trying very hard to be more intentional with planning garments to make with a focus of styles I know I will wear in more timeless fabric (i.e. more neutral, versatile prints and solids).

simplicity-quote

Revelations on purchasing something I “could” make myself

When purchasing something, I try to support local businesses and makers or source it second-hand for an environmentally-friendly option. Yes, I’m an Amazon Prime member, and yes – I occasionally get sucked into the Target spiral, and that’s okay too.

Sometimes the best option is to choose what will create the lowest level of stress.

For me, sewing is a stress reliever. It’s the place for me to dump my creative energy. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, an outlet like sewing is important for me to protect.

Over the past year or so, I have tried to step back from feeling the pressure to sew for others {to my fellow seamstresses out there: how do you handle this?}. I often get frustrated with expectations of others that I will sew things for them {not every gift I give has to be handmade..} and then get even more frustrated when I find myself volunteering {I have a bad habit of spreading myself thin} and even more frustrated with the guilt I often feel for not sewing something for someone that I wanted to {hello, anxiety}.

Purchasing a thoughtful gift can be just as special. Plus, it can be an opportunity to support a fellow maker!

Revelations of repairing old clothes

“…old is better than new, and when it breaks, keep fixing it.” – 91 year old, Eric.

worn-wear

{Click the image to read the full story}

I ran across the best post via Worn Wear on Instagram. Crab & Bee mentioned them which sent me into stalking browsing their feed. Equally inspiring are the repairs shared by Santa Cruz Gear Repair on Instagram.

I absolutely loved the post about Eric (above). He was gifted a handmade jacket which he then had modified to a vest that he has worn daily. Perhaps after all the work one puts into sewing a jacket, having the recipient modify it would be sad, BUT if it makes the piece something they can enjoy the heck out of, it’s so worth it! ❤

My take-away: I need to love my current wardrobe more. I should be repairing and investing in long-lasting pieces [handmade or otherwise]. I’ve never been big on “trendy” clothing {I’m always out-of-style} and have always appreciated quality {sewing has further pushed me into being a clothing-quality-snob now that I understand construction} so I have a good platform to start.

Revelations and inspiration for Refashioning

I tend to focus more on making-from-scratch and occasionally reusing/recycling material {like my Dad’s shorts for these baby shoes, a handkerchief for this zip pouch}, but I don’t find myself altering or repairing clothing as often as I wish I did.

My sister gifted me DIY Wardrobe Makeovers: Alter, Refresh & Refashion Your Clothes. She didn’t know I’d been following Suzannah’s blog, Create/Enjoy, for a few months now and loving it.

book

I have been known to refashion in the past {like this housedress and this skirt}, but it’s been a while since I have taken a look at my closet [or the thrift store] through the lens of planning a refashion.

I want to focus more on altering clothes I already have [handmade and RTW] so that they become pieces I want to and will wear more often.

Revelations on sewing as therapy

A few years ago when I was making jewelry and sewing bags for my shop, I realized creating had transitioned from being an enjoyable activity to share with those I love to what felt like a never-ending-cycle of trying to “stock inventory” for customers who were beginning to become more and more sparse.

My day job was feeding the fuel (financially) for my shop. Since my shop was only a side-hustle and never became a dependent income, I had the luxury of walking away before my creative joy was depleted.

I began transitioning to creating for myself with a focus on patterns and projects that excited me.

Since then, sewing has become so much more than just sewing for me. It is something that I retreat to in times of stress and something I “reward” myself with in times of celebration. Through my sewing journey I have not only learned so many skills, I have also learned so much about myself.

creativity

Conclusion

I’m not perfect. I don’t have the skill set [or the time] to make everything…and that’s okay! If I can make intentional purchases and use those to support my fellow makers as often as possible, that’s wonderful.

At the end of the day, the focus should be on joy. Creating should energize and inspire you. It’s important to show grace to yourself – it’s okay to say no to or walk away from a project that will not or is not bringing you joy. This is all easier said than done, but I will be doing my best to put it into practice in 2017 🙂

Thrifted Thursday: Sailor Skirt

A few weeks ago I hit the jackpot while thrifting. I found this super 80s (though I have no idea which decade it’s actually from) sailor dress that was in perfect condition and just screamed “take me home tonight!” So I did.

It's like I'm a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

It’s like I’m a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

I know what you’re thinking: “Jordan, why on earth would you even consider refashioning this dress? It’s like 11 shades of all things perfect!”

Well, friends – here’s my defense:

1. Long dresses are a short girl’s worst nightmare (is it possible for my legs to look shorter?! Oh yes, it is.)

2. My sister’s birthday was fast approaching and I had not even started on that bag I’d promised her (new designs are fun to dream up in your head, but extremely intimidating to actually start so I’d caved to the intimidation…for now). I knew I wanted to make her something special. She loves sailing so obviously she loves anything nautical and THIS was IT.

In addition, my sister had recently started a new job (being that myself, my sister and both our Hubs started new jobs this year, we’ve declared 2014 “The Year of the Slices” – which includes spouses 😉 ). She was transitioning from the classroom to take on the role of a “Reading Coach” at the same school where she’d been planting her roots for the last 5 years. Since she’d be out of the classroom and in meetings a lot more often she’d already started the hunt for more “grown-up” clothes. So I thought: “I can help with this!”

My definition of “grown-up” clothes is a little skewed. Rather than being defined by suits of any kind [I. will. not!] I believe in cardigans. Lots of cardigans! And this was about to be a “just-add-cardigan” outfit!

While trying on this beauty, I realized the back zipper stopped just above the skirt. Meaning: I could easily chop off the bottom and preserve the top without struggling around removing a zipper. Win!

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it's just too stellar.

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it’s just so stellar.

Like any thrifted outfit, I started by washing (because duh) and drying – a recommendation for all fabric you work with. Whether you are chopping cloth off the bolt or refashioning, always wash and dry so that you don’t end up with an outfit for a toddler after it’s first wash.

I used some washi tape to secure the sides of the dress to the door I’d hung it on. It’d probably be better to cut on a flat surface, but I like to bend the rules for my convenience.

Since I’d decided this would make a super easy (did I mention my sister’s birthday was fast approaching?!) elastic waist skirt that would be a perfect gift for my sister, I started by cutting the skirt off just below the gathered top/waist of the original dress.

taped edge

Snip snip!

This pretty much ends my photographed steps – I’m not so great at documenting my visual progress. However, I loosely followed a tutorial I found a while ago that worked for me – it’s this one from Extra Petite.

I adapted this tutorial a little: I omitted the pockets because my sister always complains they make her hips look too big. If you love pockets and have little hips like myself, include them – they’re fun! I also decreased the width a bit because the first skirt I made following the tutorial was a bit too full for me.

Once I had inserted the elastic waist band, I had my husband stretch the skirt to it’s full capacity. Then I went around it and vertically pinned a few places about 6 inches apart. I used those places to stitch vertical lines so that the skirt wouldn’t bunch unevenly at the waist. Bonus: you can’t see the stitches because of how they fall between the bunching.

pinned elastic

Here you can see the pins – they are a bit closer (maybe 3 inches) once the elastic is “un-stretched”

And – tada! – the final product of this simple skirt:

skirt

Makes for a pretty cute skirt, right?!

While it is cute on my door and all, it’s way cuter on my sister!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn't even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn’t even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

TIP: I have several skirt tutorials pinned on my Seamstress Dreams Pinterest board where I collect all the clothing tutorials I’ll probably never try, but dream about conquering one day. I usually read several tutorials before starting a project like this and combine little pieces from each until I get what I want.

I hope you enjoyed this #ThriftedThursday post!

PS: I’m still working on finishing up the matching top. Keep an eye out for that one – coming soon!

{Catch up on all the Thrifted Thursday posts here.}

Thrifted Thursday: Housedress Refashion

I’ve already confessed to you my love for the ReFashionista’s blog on July’s What I’m Lovin’ post so it should be no surprise that I’m attempting to put that inspiration into action!

Today I’m showcasing my first refashion which I’m excited to say was a total success!

I tried my best to take pictures of the steps, but I encourage you to browse through the ReFashionista’s blog for tips and inspiration! She’s been at this refashioning business far longer than I have and she’s much better at taking step-by-step pictures.

My favorite outfit from the ReFashionista so far has been the seersucker house dress she revamped a few weeks ago. As I admitted in July’s What I’m Lovin’ post, I’ve been in search of a house dress to do the same! If you’ve ever tried on a house dress (or a muu muu), you know exactly why. Comfort is THE reason these fabulous things were created. Fashion or figure flattery (is that a word? Spell Check thinks so. I’m running with it!) were not the intention here.

My mission to find the perfect house dress to refashion journey began as the thrift racks parted and out jumped this wonderfully wrinkled seersucker linen blend house dress right into my arms.

It barely covered my sneakers :)

It barely covered my sneakers 🙂

Yes, it was long. And wide. And super unflattering on someone of my height.

But the sleeves!!

Despite your assuming the square front pockets were my initial attraction, it was actually the fabulous sleeves!

Despite your assuming the square front pockets were my initial attraction, it was actually the fabulous sleeves!

These sleeves reminded me of the April Rhodes Date Night Dress pattern I’d bought and told myself I’d make this summer, but of course I let fear (and a lack of time..) drive me away from tackling that project (yet!).

In addition, these are the kind of sleeves that every Southern lady appreciates. They’re flouncy enough to let a little breeze in so you’re not a total puddle of sweat when venturing outdoors in this swamp-like heat.

This one made me so giddy to tackle! So, I decided to make it my first refashion. Ever!

I started by trying on the dress inside out (so I could make marks) and pulling it in on each side to get an estimate of about how much I would need to take it in.

Then I turned the dress back to it’s right side and gently started ripping off the square pockets from the front of the dress. I would’ve loved to keep them (because I love pockets of all sorts and kinds…even though I never use them), but upon trying it on I realized the pockets would get split down the middle and be useless anyway when I took it in.

housedress_seamripAfter successfully (and painstakingly slowly..) ripping the pockets off, I turned the dress inside out and tried it on again. This time I placed pins along the sides of the dress until the fit was roughly what I wanted.

I think this dress may have been handmade because there were no tags in it. That being said, I kept having trouble telling the front from the back so once I figured it out, I stitched in one of my old fabric resliced labels so I’d easily know the back of the dress now.

Plus, we can say this dress has officially been "resliced"!

Plus, we can say this dress has officially been “resliced”!

I then drew a few marks with my vanishing ink fabric marker (highly recommend getting one of these!) in the arm pit / bust area. This is an area that can make or break your dress so be sure to mark carefully (give yourself a little extra “wiggle room”). After the pins are placed, be very careful when taking the dress back off so your pins don’t fall off and you lose your measurements (you could make marks with your marker where the pins are just in case. If you do this, be sure to mark both sides of where the pin is placed).

The door to my craft room + one of those hangers with the swivel hook on top has become the best set up for alterations. If I had one of those fancy dress making mannequins that’d be a good substitute, but I’m workin’ with what I’ve got!

So, I hung up the dress & used washi tape (it’s just fancy painters tape, but I found some cute rolls for only $1 at JoAnn’s!) to secure the edges of the skirt to my surface (in this case: my door).

housedress_before 1

I taped this area so that I could cut the bottom of the dress easily while it was hanging. If you have room on the floor, you could get fancy and use a cutting board or even a table, but again – I’m workin’ with what I’ve got!

See this cute washi tape! I love that it won’t rip the paint off and it’s easy to rip off the roll. Great for crafting!

housedress_washi

 

Here you can see the pins along the outer edge of the dress (turned inside out). If you look close you can even see my purple marks.housedress_sleeve & pins

I cut quite a bit off the bottom of the dress. This material is great weight and very sturdy so I’m looking forward to using the scraps to make a purse.

housedress_scrap

 

From here, I basically straight stitched along my marks from the edge of the sleeve to the bottom of the dress (where the edge was still raw).

Before cutting the excess fabric, I tried on the dress one more time to make sure it fit. After confirming the new seams worked, I cut the excess fabric from each side of the dress.

To secure the bottom hem of the dress, I used fusible hem tape.

hem tape

Sew Caroline introduced me to this stuff in her Out And About Dress pattern. Basically, you just roll the tape out and stick it to the edge of your seam. Then remove the paper so that both sides of the tape are sticky. Flip the edge of the fabric so that the tape is sandwiched between your hem. Iron it in place so that it fuses to the fabric. If you’d like, you can leave it like this because the tape is supposed to be permanent. I don’t trust it, so I always top stitch over it to secure the edge. If your raw edges fray, you can use a tight zig zag stitch or serger if you’re fancy like that.

Here’s what my final product looks like!

housedress_after

I picked the dress up for only $3 & found the belt for 50 cent! Win, win.

And here – a side by side before and after!

housedress_before after

So what do you think?

This refashion was oh-so-easy and super fun! I’m definitely going to be doing more of these in my new Thrifted Thursday series (I’m using “series” loosely here since I may not have a new refashion every week, but when I do – I’ll post it on Thursdays!).

 

Thrifted Thursday: Getting Started

This is the first of [*hopefully*] many future posts that I’ll try to save for Thursdays. I can’t promise I’ll have enough for every Thursday, but wouldn’t that be fun?

Long ago I worked at a thrift store which ignited my passion for thrifting. I’ve never been afraid to dig through trash to find treasure because I have seen the reward! One time someone donated a brand new (tags still on it!) mustard yellow “The Lauren” Hobo wallet. At the time I didn’t know it was as valuable as it was I just knew I loved the yellow leather and all the pockets (I’ve always had a thing for functional bags) so I snagged it for myself. A friend googled it and informed of the value so of course my dog ate it a few weeks later.

I’m going to use these posts to tell you all about what I found while thrifting – be it really stellar furniture, weird knick knacks or vintage clothes! I hope they’ll inspire you stop by your local thrift store for an upcycling project.

Last Friday I dropped my dog off for a bath and shots (a double whammy – I did not get elected for Mom-of-the-year that day) and headed in the direction of the craft store to pick up a few pieces of hardware for a purse I am planning to make for my sister.

Welp. Next thing I know my car had skidded (literally.. it was a snap decision plus it was raining..) into the Goodwill parking lot. Brian Williams did a Nightly News report not so long ago about how little Goodwill was paying their disable employees (they found a loophole in the Fair Pay Act and decided to exploit it) so I’ve been on a Goodwill strike. I’m ashamed to admit that’s where I ended up for thrifting, but I’m trying to be honest here. At least the staff at this store were super friendly (thus, I’m justifying that I like supporting this store’s staff 😉 ).

First, I saw this amazing vintage love seat sized sofa:

Even with the ceiling fan cluttering my picture, you can tell this is a BEAUTY!

Even with the ceiling fan cluttering my picture, you can tell this is a BEAUTY!

The green crushed velvet literally made my heart skip a beat. {I admit that I petted it for a minute or two…} I so wish I had a good excuse to take that sucker home with me because it was only $55. Aside from the slightly droopy cushions, it was in perfect condition. It was even a sleeper sofa with a fold-out mattress inside.

I’m sinking into not-buying-guilt so let’s proceed on.

Last week my friend and former (if we don’t work together can he still be my current? Because he’s awesome) Work Hubs sent me an email titled “6 grandma trends you want to try TODAY” (he knows me SO well!). Enclosed was a link to a Refinery 29 post justifying my desire to become “old lady chic” as Markessce (Works Hubs) puts it.

My favorite quote from the list of Old Lady Style Tricks: “One important style lesson worth learning is old folks sacrifice their comfort for no one” – YES.

My closet is primarily made up of elastic waist skirts and loose dresses so I’m half way to living this fashion rule in my mid-twenties {and I don’t hate it.}

I was so inspired to embrace my inner old lady I almost went for it with this polyester stretchy workin’ girl outfit:

suit

Imagine this: shoulder pads & lace collar embellishment removed. Plus, my promise to never wear the top & bottom at the same time. Wouldn’t be so bad, huh?

The black and white floral print was a little busy, but the super soft light weight fabric, elastic waist of the skirt and sweet scalloped bottom of the blouse had the pair riding around in my buggy until I decided at last minute to leave them for the next lucky shopper.

I did take home 2 dresses that won’t require much (if any) refashioning.

The first is this mint polyester, stretchy dress with a slouchy bust line.

I think my tennis shoes really bring out the color. Don't you?

I think my tennis shoes really bring out the color. Don’t you?

I appreciate the fact that this dress came with a matching tie to add some jazz to the waist. (And I love bows.)

I’m trying to get behind the slouchy neckline, but it’s possible I may have to figure out how to change it because I’m still not totally feeling it.

One of the shoulders has 4 buttons and hoops that hold the dress closed. Only one of the buttons still maintained the original fabric cover so I picked up a pack of 4 plastic pearl colored buttons to replace them. A few of the hoops were a little loose so I’ve got a bit of repair work to do, but otherwise this dress is not in dire need of refashioning.

Second up is this adorable mint colored house dress!

mint house dress 1

Mint is fast becoming my favorite color (and all these years I thought it was pink…).

If it has a zipper down the back, is it really a house dress? That seems a bit fancy for something one lays around the house in. Doesn’t matter either way because I’m going to pretend it’s fancy enough to add a belt + a few snazzy accessories and wear to work. 😉

The sweet ruffled neckline and cinched shoulders are my favorite part! (Of course they are because there’s really not much else to this simple number)

Here's a close-up so you can appreciate the ruffled detail :)

Here’s a close-up so you can appreciate the ruffled detail 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram, I already ruined the surprise of my first refashion.

BUT – next week I’m going to reveal the [almost] step-by-step on how I performed the surgery (err…I mean: refashion).

Plus – I’ve got another refashion coming down the pipe line that involves one dress and TWO totally revamped closet staples.

Hope you have a great weekend!