Saturday, September 21, 2013

Refashion Runway Season Two:
Week 1, Plaid

I love plaid.
I did not, however, love this outfit...

When I first saw this poor ensamble in our local thrift store,
I fell in love with the colors. Rich, deep tones are my favorite.
But the fit and style were terrible- so I left it alone.
For several months it languished alone and unwanted on the rack...
 then I learned how to sew!
I quickly snatched that baby up (at a bag sale no less) amid a few questioning looks.
In my mind, this was too pretty a fabric to simple start hacking away at,
so I laid it aside until the day arrived that I could bring out
the beautiful potential lurking in those folds!

When I found out this week's Refashion Runway challenge was plaid,
I knew that day had come!

Like I said, I love plaid,
but I have to admit there was just a little too much plaid going on.
So I decided to use a deep blue, tank top to break things up.
It had some lovely princess seams which made it perfect for a dress bodice.

Both the skirt and tank were too small.
The skirt was an easy fix, I simply removed the waist band and took out the side zipper.
Letting out those pleats created lots of extra breathing room.
As I started turning things inside out and tearing them apart,
I realized this was a home sewn garment.
The skirt was fully lined and even had pockets!

Removing the side zipper had resulted in a gaping hole,
so I pinned and stitched it closed.

Next, it was onto the bodice of the dress!
The tank top I chose was way too small,
but not to worry, I knew exactly how to fix that!

Using my handy-dandy seam ripper, I separated the front from the back by tearing apart
the seams at the sides.

This is what it looked like.

I measured how much extra girth I needed to add,
then divided that by two and cut two long strips from the back
of the plaid bag shirt.

I paid special attention to matching up the plaid so both strips
were the same.

I then pinned those sections to the sides of the tank top.

After hemming some raw edges and sewing the pieces together,
this is what it looked like!

With the bodice done,
 it was time to connect the skirt.

I'll admit, this was the longest part of the process.
I pinned, stitched, tore it out, and repined at least three times.
Once I finally had the length of the bodice and positioning of the pleats
as I wanted them, I sewed it all together and moved onto making a sash.

Using the waist band I had removed from the skirt,
I laid it out on the front piece of the shirt, lining up the plaid so it would match.

Then I cut it out!

There was pinning and ironing, and some folding right-side in,
until I created another band just like the original.
I stitched them together, then stitched them closed.

Now that I had a cute sash to tie around my dress,
I figured I had better add some sort of sleeves.

I messed around with a few different ideas,
cutting pieces from an ugly scrap fabric I had laying around,
but it just wasn't clicking.

Then I noticed this plaid scrap in the shape of a triangle,
and the perfect idea hit me!

I measured to make sure the length was right, cut off the ends accordingly,
then laid out my triangle onto another remaining piece and cut out a second triangle.

It was then that I noticed the plaid matched up perfectly!
I was just using the pieces I had, so this was completely unplanned!
This is what I call a 'God-smile'!

After my moment of 'awe',
 I set to work folding and hemming up all the sides of each triangle piece.

For the bottom of the triangle,
the edge I intended to attach to the straps of the tank top,
I did something a little different.
Not wanting a lot of bulk since it would be resting on my shoulder,
I zig-zagged the edge, then went back and straight stitched right along
the inner edge of the zig-zag.
I figured this would keep the fabric from fraying without the bulk of a folded hem.

To attach my triangular flutter sleeves,
I pinned them to the tank straps and stitched them down
right over the existing stitch lines.

After all that, I still had some scraps left over from the plaid shirt.
Now all I needed was a pair of boots...

And voila!
 I am in love with my new dress!

It even has the original pockets!

I love how the sleeves turned out,
and the plaid insert panels add a nice touch!

I know this pictures is out of focus...but I really like it.

One project down!
How many to go?
We'll see!

Head on over to The Renegade Seamstress and vote for your favorite!


  1. Very clever! I like that navy bodice with the plaid, helps break it up.

    1. Thank you, Lynn! When I dug it out of my refashion stash, I knew it was the perfect accompaniment! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Very did an awesome job! The dark blue bodice is a perfect addition. Good luck!

  3. Love this, Des!!! It turned out SO cute. The blue top totally made it stylish while still preserving the lovely plaid (I'm a fan of plaid, too!). :) I loved the sleeves. Too cute! I'm thinking that perhaps a fabric rose or something made out of the leftover plaid would be lovely as a hair embellishment... hmm... ;)

    1. Yes, I was thinking the same thing as far as the leftovers went...I wasn't sure if that would be too much plaid in one look or not? At any rate, I'll be saving and using those beautiful scraps for *something*!

  4. BAMMM!!! you always have magic hands :)
    I LOVE IT! so much! keep up Des, you always do your best in sewing. sometimes I have no idea to respond here hehe.


    1. Oh, Delvalina, your comment made me laugh and smile so big!! Thank you for your flattering comment about my 'magic hands'! I can tell you honestly, those 'magic hands' did a lot of folding in prayer over this week too! :) Blessings sweet girl!

  5. This is really attractive, and I love that you showed us a way to make a garment bigger instead of smaller - a handy skill for some of us who have "outgrown" (ahem) a favorite garment :)

    - Jo H.

    1. Why, thank you! Yes, refashioning something larger is so much easier than upsizing a too-small piece. It seems the cute clothes are always too small-- so it is great when you can find a way to alter them! I'm glad this could be of help!

  6. You did a great job! I love the idea on the flutter sleeves! Can't wait to see what you do for the next challenge. :)

    1. Thank you, Lauren! I really liked the sleeves too- I think it adds a whimsical feminine feel to the whole dress. :) I hope I meet your expectations with the next challenge!


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