12 March 2014

Teal Polyester Refab!!

While perusing the racks at my favorite thrift store, I found this! Stunning in all of its polyester glory, I know.

I did not waste any time. First, I chopped off the sleeves and turned it around. I really did not want to deal with buttons down the front, and this seemed like the easiest way to avoid them. 

Next, I cut off the collar and turned it inside out.

I also cut off the fabric with the buttons and the button holes. Then, I pinned the seam back together and sewed it in place.

Next, I got to work making it fit by bringing in the sides some

Then, I sewed the sides in place and cut off the excess fabric.

Not too bad, so far!

There was some gaping on the sides, so I put in some darts to fix this. I seriously just start pinching and pinning the fabric until it lies flat. Nothing fancy. 

The front was still a little too high so I cut off an inch there. I also knew I wanted a key hole, so I marked with a pin where I wanted it to end and snipped! 

Then, I pinned and sewed the raw edges of the key hole. 

Next, I pinned and sewed the top of the key hole in place.

Making progress! I sewed all of the raw edges around the arms and neck under and slapped it back on the dress form. 

The fit was still not great. I found some elastic and decided it would do the job. I made it about 2 inches shorter than the circumference of my waist and sewed the ends together. 

Next, I pinned the elastic to the inside waist of the dress. I made sure that I got it on there evenly by pinning it first to all of the seams. Then, I sewed it in place with a zig zag stitch (so it stretches)!

I found some very thin ribbon type stuff that I had and used this for the straps. I sewed it by hand to the inside of the fabric so that the edges and stitches would not be visible.

And, done! 



I love it! The pattern gives it a bit of a 60s feel. 

Here is the breakdown.
$2.99 for the dress
About 30 cents for the ribbon and piece of elastic.
Total cost=$3.29

23 January 2014

Plaid and Lace Refab!

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I have seen what appears to be a resurrection of the plaid shirt phenomenon. I had not had good luck in finding a suitable version for myself because the shirts I have looked at were either too masculine for my taste or were made of fabric that did not feel nice against my skin. And really, if it doesn't feel good, why buy it?

I definitely thought I could do better. So, I set out for the thrift store and found this.

I really liked the colors (kind of muted and retro). I also picked it because it felt so nice. This shirt clearly belonged to some gentlemanly farmer who probably wore it 2-4 times a week. The fabric is pretty thin, well-worn, and feels like a 1970s dream. I mean, this shirt could probably write a book about all the things it has seen. "Today, on the farm, I helped raise a barn and milk some cows. Oh, and some jerk dropped apple pie on me." ~Shirt

To make it easier on me, I started by removing the sleeves. Awesome plaid vest, anyone?

Next, I got to work on the fit. I brought in the sides by pinning them and then sewed my new side seams.

To make this shirt a little more feminine, I decided to add some lace. To do this, I pinned the back pleat in place a few inches lower because I liked this feature. Then, I sewed a straight line across the back to hold the pleat in place.

Next, I took out my scissors and cut 1/4 inch above the line I just sewed above the back pleat. Then, I cut 1/4 inch from the shoulder and collar seams on the back side of the shirt. This left me with enough fabric for my seam allowance.  This is what I was left with.

I laid the piece of fabric I just cut on top of my lace as a template. I knew I wanted the scalloped edge to show so I lined up my fabric and cut the lace 1/4 inch larger all the way around. This provided me with the extra fabric for the seam allowance.

Now, I folded over the raw edge on the back of the shirt and sewed it in place.

Time for the lace! After pinning the right side of the lace to the right sides of the shoulders and collar, I sewed it in place.

After that, I turned the garment inside out and pinned the scalloped edge to the right side of the shirt. I lined it up so the scallops were even all the way across and then sewed it to the shirt. Whirrrr!

Now, the sleeves. For this, I simply put the sleeve on my arm inside out and pinned it until it fit me. Then, I sewed the new seam and cut off the excess fabric. I used this sleeve as a template for the second sleeve by laying it on top and cutting out around it. To save myself some work, I tapered the sleeve before I got to the cuff, that way I didn't have to mess with trying to alter the cuff.

Next, I pinned the right sides of the sleeves to the right side of the shirt and sewed them on.

And here is the final product!

I am in love. And if you can sew a straight line, you can totally do this one!

Here's the breakdown:
Shirt: $3.99
Lace: $1.35 ($8.99/yard on sale for 40% off, and I only needed less than 1/4 of a yard)
Total cost=$5.34

06 January 2014

Polka Dot Top Refab!!

Now that the busyness of the holidays is passed, I can get back to refabbing!!  A couple months ago, I found this polka dotted top at a local thrift store.  Let's just say that it leaves much to be desired.  

I tried to strike my most 80's pose.  I think I succeeded.  Why did I buy it?  Because I like the white with navy polka dots, and because it was cheap!

First things first, I removed the shoulder pads.  I mean, that's a given.  I also made the key hole a little bit bigger by removing about two inches of stitches.  

Next, I removed the sleeves to make bringing in the body a little easier.  Also because they were terrible.  

Now to make it fit!  Also, how do you like my dress form?!  I love it.  It makes these projects so much easier!  I would also like to give a shout out to Jo-Ann Fabrics and their Black Friday sales as well as to my husband for being the first one in line to get this for me!  Back to work.  I started pinning the sides to make this thing fit.  

Time to sew it in place!

In full disclosure, I ran into a problem here.  Because the fabric does not stretch at all, I could not get this top on.  Solution?  Put a zipper in!!  I got to work pinning and sewing the zipper to the inside of the back center seam.  After I sewed the zipper in place, I removed the back seam.  Voila!  I could get it on me!  

There was a little gaping across the chest, so I put the top on inside out and pinned the darts where needed and sewed them in place.  

Now for the sleeves.  I decided on very short cap sleeves for this one.  I started with the original sleeves and cut them to 2 1/2 inches to have enough for the seam allowance.  Then I sewed them in place.  

And the final product!!!

I think it turned out great!!  Dexter seems to love it, too!

So, here it is.  
$1.99 for the top, $3.99 for the zipper
Total cost=$5.98

That's pretty great, too!