Category Archives: Refashion

{Refashion} Shirred Maxi Dress

My inspiration for this dress came from SoCo Vintage’s Stripe It Lucky dress. I liked how the top of the skirt had a bit of shirring and since I had this yellow dress in my refashion stash, I decided to give it a try. (I ended up swapping out this navy tank for a different printed tank you’ll see further down):

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I bought the strapless shirred maxi dress for a swimsuit cover-up last summer when I was pregnant with Shiloh. Much to my dismay, a bright yellow dress and very pregnant belly wasn’t a pretty combination. Suffice it to say I looked as though I was trying to compete with the sun.

First, I cut off the top shirred part except for the last line:

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Then I took in the sides of the skirt a good bit to fit my now post-pregnancy hips. I literally took in probably a foot all together, or at least it seemed that way. All my pregnancy weight went straight to my hips. Beautiful baby belly sans stretch marks but definitely can’t say the same about my hip area.

Once the waist of the skirt matched the waist of my tank top, I pinned them together along the natural waist line of the tank and sewed them together along the shirring line:

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The neckline of the tank was a little too low for comfort, so I pinned up the straps about an inch and sewed them together, which made the waist of the skirt rise a little above the natural waist where I actually wanted it to fall.

How do you like the end result?

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It’s weird seeing the photos because the length of the dress doesn’t seem as long as it looks. I can walk very easily without having to pull up the dress away from my feet. Maybe it’s the jersey stretch material? Either way, I love it and cannot wait to wear it to PCB this year, which happens to be only TWO weeks away! Much more toned down and shapely than the original dress.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Matthew’s 28th birthday was yesterday and the babies and I surprised him with a little party with streamers and a “Happy Birthday” banner and cooked him homemade barbecue chicken pizza and no-bake cheesecake for supper.

(Matthew’s crappy cellphone photo)

28th pizza

Tomorrow we’re continuing the celebration, both his and his mom’s birthday, with more food and fun grilling steaks and hanging out. Can’t have fun without food or food without fun!

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{Refashion} Lavender-Mint Dress

As most of my refashions have come about, I picked up this dress at a local thrift store with the specific purpose of refashioning it. If you can’t tell on Susan, it’s about two sizes too big.

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I just couldn’t pass up that print though and the potential I had in mind for recreating it. I started by turning the dress inside-out on my dress form to take in the sides. Yes, I did pin the two layers together and took them in with one single stitch. Jilly did it, so can I.

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As you can tell, even after taking it in the sides were a still a bit too “billowy” for my liking. The inner layer fit perfectly, but the outer layer still wanted to hang loose (no pun intended).

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To further take in the outer layer, I pinned the two layers together on the dress form at the outer arm hole to keep the sleeve from shifting. Then I pulled the excess fabric of the outside layer inside the v-neck and pinned to create a more fitted shape.

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I stitched the new v-neck down, then pulled the dress wrong-side-out again to trim up the bottom layer. I made sure to pull out the outer layer away from the bottom layer to prevent any possible snips in the fabric.

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Using the extra fabric from the bottom layer, I constructed a wider lining across each side of the v-neck, pinned it in place, stitched it down, and trimmed off the excess material.

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I’m not too overly thrilled about the final outcome, but it’s 100% better than before. At least it’s wearable now. I do love the skirt portion of the dress with the higher inner layer. I tried googling what this type of dress this is called, but no luck…

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Oh, and I’m sporting two new pieces of jewelry, scored through Sassy Steals and Very Jane. I’ve never been a big fan of chunky bracelets before, but once I started seeing these classic chunky chains around the blogosphere, I knew I had to get one for myself. And, yes, I love it. I found the earrings were so much prettier once I put them on. I can see myself wearing both of these pieces quite often.

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sunburst filigree earrings in cream
gold classic link bracelet by MidnightGirls

{Refashion} Floral 4th of July Shirt

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This shirt was another thrift store purchase made with the sole intention of refashioning. I really like the dark navy and red floral-print combo, and thought it would be perfect to wear for our upcoming 4th of July festivities.

As you can tell, the shirt is far too big and with Alabama 70+% humidity now those sleeves are NOT going to fly. So off they went:

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Then I took the sides in. I only pinned one side on my dress form so I was able to take it off the form to sew. I laid the shirt flat and measured and pinned the un-pinned side the same as the pinned side:

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After both sides were pinned, I stitched them up and tried it on to make sure it fit well before cutting off the excess material. It fit perfectly (after 3 attempts) so off came those sides:

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Not finished just yet! Since the shirt was too big to start with I still needed to take in the arm holes a bit since the edges hung over my shoulders. I swiped some of Elisha’s sidewalk chalk to sketch the line seeing that yellow marker wouldn’t show up too well on dark navy fabric. Once I measured, drew, and cut my first arm hole, I used the leftover scrap to measure the other arm hole to match:

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Using more leftover scraps from the sides, I cut two strips of fabric to use as double-sided bias tape to hem the arm holes:

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To make: 1) fold and press a strip in half length-wise. 2) unfold, then fold and press the two pressed sides in toward the center length-wise. 3) fold the two new folds in together length-wise and press. Here’s a better tutorial here (I only follow steps 9-11, so you can skip all the before mess unless you just want to see how difficult you can make creating your own tape can be).

I pinned the bias tape on my arm holes and stitched them down. When I tried the shirt back on to see how they fit, the arm holes were still too wide, so I folded them under once and stitched them down. This made them fit perfectly!

How do you like my new 4th shirt?

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It came out just as I had imagined it in the thrift store. Now all that’s left is to lounge poolside and eat Matthew’s famous pulled-pork barbeque with our babies, my mom, and sister.

What do you all have planned for the 4th? Hopefully lots of good food and lots of good company.

{Refashion} Denim Shorts + a bit of joy

One last super-easy, quick refashion for your week.

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These jeans were previously refashioned from a pair of jeans that I wore post-pregnancy with both my babies. They were fine as refashioned skinny jeans, but I found myself never wearing them… So going with my “chop-it-if-you-don’t-like-it” theme this week, I got rid of those legs to make a new pair of long shorts:

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These I like a lot more than just another pair of skinny jeans. I left the edges raw to fray, but I may go back and hem them if I decide I don’t like it after a wash.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll leave you with a little pick-me-up…

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You are created like no one else. You are fashioned with a specific purpose that no one else can complete. Stop comparing yourself to others, who themselves are created for separate plans other than your own. You cannot complete their purpose. They cannot complete yours. Love yourself for all that you are.

{Refashion} Thrifted Airplane Dress

“Today, everything you want,
I swear it will all come true.”

Sometimes I think I came behind my time…

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I thrifted this beauty Saturday. I’m not a big fan at all of those ruffled sleeves (anyone else thinking Gremlins?) so I decided a small refashion was in order.

But first, you should see this print a little better:

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Yes, those would be airplanes. And if you haven’t clicked the lyrics link at the beginning of this post, you should do so now.

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A little chop of the sleeves and voila!

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I give you my Jefferson Airplane dress! Too bad I’m 40 years behind…

{Refashion} Dress Mash-Up

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I have a slight reputation for failing a lot of refashions. These two shirts were no different. Two different projects, two different failures. Sadly, one actually happened the same day as this Pinterest fail happened. It was a bad day for refashioning.

However, Tuesday night a refashion revelation of sorts came to me. Why not try to mesh them together into something completely new? Use the good parts, stash the bad for scraps.

Here’s what I started with:

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The white dress shirt belonged to my Dad and the taupe shirt belonged to my BIL who passed it down to Matthew after he started losing weight. It quickly became too big for him so it got handed off to me for use in my refashion endeavors.

The white shirt failed because I took in the seams a little too tightly around the hips. The taupe shirt failed because I just couldn’t decide what else to do with it after taking it in to fit more like a dress, which turned out to be too short, then removing the collar to make it into a split-neck tunic since it felt too big and bulky for my liking. I still ended up not liking it.

I first picked the pocket off the taupe shirt, then chopped off the bottom part, like so:

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I laid the white shirt (right side out) and pinned the bottom part of the taupe shirt (right side out, after folding and pressing the raw edge down about 1/2 inch) to the waist of the white shirt, like so:

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See where this is going?

After pinning the bottom part in place, I sewed them together. Then another hiccup. I tried the dress on and the bottom part ended up being too tight around my hips. Thanks, kids. So I removed the side seams of the bottom part and sewed “triangles” to widen the bottom.

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aaaaaaaaaaaaand… SUCCESS!

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Relief and joy are both understatements for me at this point when I look back at this dress. I love it. It really came out better than I expected, at however, much more frustration than I really wanted. A small price to pay, though, for the life of an amateur refashionista. Small learning strides made and a pretty new dress I couldn’t have even pulled off making just a few months ago. This is where I cheer “yay, me!” for myself. Please feel free to join me, if the urge strikes you.

Oh, and TAKE THAT! you miserable refashion failures. I win. The end.

Pinned it/Tried it/It’s Okay… T-Shirt Cover-Up

I pinned this swimsuit cover-up tutorial from a blog that I love; so, I’m not going to post the link here since everything else she does is brilliant and I don’t want to negatively affect her blog in any way. I think the only thing I should have done differently was to choose a shirt that was more my size than swiping one of Matthew’s tees.

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I marked my t-shirt from the outside edge of the collar to the bottom edge of the armpit and cut:

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Then I cut the collar “straps” and used it as casing to insert my ribbon to make new straps:

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I stitched the edges of the ribbon to secure them together. This could also be made into a “no-sew” project by tying the ends together in a cute bow or a simple knot.

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Eh. Not impressed. It felt more like a “down by the river” cover-up versus a “lounging by the pool” cover-up. I’m not giving up on it yet, though. I threw it on Susan to have the arm holes taken it a little more. Should make for the perfect beach cover-up once that’s taken care of. Only 2 months and 13 days to go!!

{Refashion} Baby Swimsuit Cover-Up

WARNING! Cute baby belly approaching…

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Yeah, I warned you.

Every year, the Cunningham/Davis clan ventures down to Panama City Beach, Florida for our week-long family vacation. One of our must-eat places is Pineapple Willy’s (also known as Coconut Bill’s by my FIL). Being the super-touristy tourists we are, we always get new t-shirts every year and this one just so happens to be Elisha’s first one. Obviously, it’s too small now, revealing that beyond adorably precious big baby belly of his. Instead of tossing it of course I’m going to hand it down to Shiloh. But who just wants an old hand-me-down shirt? Yep. I’m going to refashion it.

I first wanted to refashion it into a little sleeveless dress for her to wear on her first trip to PW, but in the end I think it works out better as a swimsuit cover-up. And since we usually go to PW for lunch, she’ll probably be wearing it anyway when we go.

First, I turned the shirt inside out and cut off the sleeves at the seams:

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Then, I used one of her 6-12 months sleeveless dresses as a guideline to take in the sides of the shirt. I made sure to line up the collar and top of the sleeves of the dress to the collar and top of the shirt to make sure the cover-up would be symmetrical:

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After marking the sides with my lovely yellow washable marker, I cut and pinned the new sides to sew down:

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Instead of folding, ironing, pinning, and sewing down the raw edges of the sleeves, I decided to use a drawstring from an old pair of my pajama pants in my refash pile as double-fold bias tape to cover my raw edges. At least doing so prevented me from having to iron…

(Sorry, no photos to document this process.)

I ripped out the seams of my drawstring, which opened the string up to use like the bias tape. I pinned the string around the raw edges of the sleeves and sewed them down:

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To give it more of a girly flair, I used the rest of the drawstring to make a little bow I hand-sewed on the opposite shoulder of the PW logo:

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(The sides were stretched as I hemmed the sleeves, that’s why they look weird. They should straighten up after being washed and dried.)

This little project slightly appeased my beach fever, but probably for not very long. Our little inflatable baby pool also helped out until it had a hole popped in the bottom of it, which I can’t find to patch. Sad day.

5 Ways to Refashion a Men’s Button-Up Shirt

I love button-up shirts. Even as a kid, I wanted to wear them, even though in the ’90s cool kids weren’t wearing button-up shirts but baggy t-shirts and Levi’s Pipes jeans. But myself? I was wearing cotton jumpers, colored jean shorts with colored tights underneath, and tie-dyed t-shirts. Weird kid, right here.

Now that Matthew has lost 50 lbs (proud wife, right here) due to cholesterol and HBP issues, I have a slew of his L and XL long-sleeve button-up dress shirts to work with. Happy refashionista, right here.

And seeing that I don’t necessarily need 100+ button-up skirts (like this earlier refashion) I’ve been on the lookout for some different ways to refashion them. Here are my top 5 favorites:

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Kaitlin over at wunderbarlife inspires me on a constant basis. The girl is brilliant when it comes to refashions. I love her mash-up of a striped tee and long-sleeve button-up.

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Laura over at makeandbakesisters dubbed this boatneck blouse the “Anti-Fail Shirt Refashion.” Let’s hope it stands true to my epic reputation for tragic refashion fails.

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Anien over at anienessence created this super hot pencil skirt that’s at the top of my refashion list. Even though I have no job to wear a pencil skirt to…

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Kalleen at At Second Street made this neck tie top along with a matching navy blue skirt. This top was originally made for a little girl, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this one for myself.

And last, but certainly not least…

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Anna at Crazy About Coral takes the cake for me. She made this dress from TWO button-up shirts. Impressive, right? Yes. Impressive, indeed.

Okay, now that I’m inspired, back to work on the button-up tunic I’ve been working on since March.

{Refashion} Navy-Striped Dress

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This is my favorite dress of my mom’s she used to wear when I was a child. Thankfully she offered it to me before putting it in a yard sale. It has a lot of sentimental value and it took a whole lot of courage to take the refashion plunge with it. But I did it and it’s over! Expels large sigh here.

First, I turned the dress inside out and took in the sides with a single stitch then a zig-zag stitch once I made sure the dress fit after pinning it.

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Then I chopped off the sleeves at the hem. This left a cute cap-sleeve effect and plus I don’t have to hem since it’s already “hemmed” at the edge. And Mom, please don’t freak out. I know you’re thinking Barbies with no hair. I promise it looks great!

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Next, I tried the dress on to figure out where I wanted the bottom of the dress to fall. Once I pinned the bottom to mark the hem, I laid the dress out flat on one side to measure how much to chop the skirt. It came to 18-inches. So I measured and pinned from the hem of the skirt up 18-inches on one side, pinned, and chopped. Then I laid the other side of the dress flat and used the chopped portion of the dress as my guide to cut the other side.

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Either my Mom is totally okay and wondering why I think she may be freaking out or she’s totally freaking out right now.

Once the big chop was complete, I ran a single stitch across the bottom of the skirt to prevent any fringing or running. I did this to keep a more “flowy” effect to the dress.

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And here’s the finished product:

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I adore this dress.

It’s my new favorite. Especially for how simple it was to complete. Mostly just a bunch of chopping and single stitching. I’m actually kind of bummed that I waited so long to refashion it, but at least I can rest easy knowing that it came out as well as it did. I mean, I could have ridiculously botched it and deeply regretted it.

Linking up with the Refashion Co-op’s:

Best tutorials on dress refashions by Eddie's Room, roued.com

And Domestic Superhero’s Thursday Link Party:

Domestic Superhero