Thursday, November 7, 2013

Behind the 'Seams' of Refashion Runway, a Look Back

At the beginning of Refashion Runway,
I purposed to at least make it to the Peplum challenge.
But God gave me the continued grace and inspiration to far exceed those expectations!
  I was SO ecstatic when I first found out Beth from Renegade Seamstress
had selected me to be a part of the second season of Refashion Runway!
Little did I know I would make it to the final round and place Fourth Overall!

There wasn't a single week in this competition that I didn't do something I hadn't done before.
As a result, I feel my skills have more than doubled since I first started.
Here is a little look back at each one of the six challenges,
and a little 'behind the scenes' info you didn't get in the previous blog posts.

I was running off of pure adrenaline for this project!
On Friday I got word that I had been accepted into the contest, and my project was done by Sunday.
I already had a piece on hand to refashion, which made it that much quicker.
And honestly, it was not cool enough to be wearing these boots...I was baking!
This is Texas after all.
Week 2, Emerald Green

This one took me the longest out of all six projects to complete.
I just couldn't get a vision for this piece.
I started working on it still in the first week of competition, and I didn't get it finished
until the following Wednesday, so about nine days!
A lot of that time, it just sat there and I wondered what to do with it.
It is the piece I least like of all my RR projects.
This one came together through prayer and encouragement.
I dubbed it The Green Monster.

This was only the second peplum I've made,
and really, I was NOT impressed with the first one.
But it gave me a clear vision on what I DIDN'T like about peplums,
so I was able to change up the look for this RR project and up with something I did like.
This was a pretty smooth project, I didn't have any bumps or setbacks with this one.
As far as trying new things went, this one probably ranked up at the top.
This was really the first time I had drafted a pattern before.
I also had never sewn a button hole the right way with my machine,
AND I had never used bias tape to finish off inside seams (similar to a Hong Kong seam).
When it was finished, I felt pretty proud, it was one of the most classy pieces I've made so far.
And it was in one of my favorite colors.


This one scared me.
At the onset of the competition, I knew this one would be a biggy!
I tried to focus on one week at a time, not thinking ahead until I was finished with the present job.
But this one kept sneaking into my thoughts.
Honestly, I wasn't sure that I would make it to this round when I began the competition,
so it required a special thrift store trip to find a leather piece to work with.
If the Emerald challenge was the hardest inspirationally, the leather one was the hardest technically.
It nearly got the better of me, but I told myself that if others could sew on leather, so could I!
It took a lot of research and some special tricks, but in the end I got it.

Coming off the leather project,
 I was going into the costume challenge with less than a full tank of emotional energy.
I had a hard time deciding on what I wanted to make,
and when I made the first of four thrift store stops, I had three different projects in my head.
I actually broke down into tears at Goodwill after more than an hour with still no clear direction.
I was still buying pieces on Monday, just four days before it was due!
Despite the bumpy start, I was able to settle on an idea, find what I needed, and get the project done.
There were more tears involved when I thought I had broken a zipper after three tries to get it sewn in, and there was more than once that I had to ask God for help. But it got done!
Up to this point, this was the latest I had worked into the week to complete my project,
finishing up on Thursday night!
I was still stressed though because we were supposed to get a bunch of rain the next day,
and I was worried about getting the pictures done.
As it turns out, the pictures I was most worried about turned out to be the most fun I had taking pictures! We got up early and had a great time freezing our hands off in the chilly dampness for a great shoot!
God is funny that way, isn't He?
Putting all niceties aside, this was kind of like my week of hell.
I had pushed long and hard with my costume project, and by this point, I was pretty much exhausted.
I got started late in the week (Tuesday, four days before deadline) because I was so worn out.
When I finally set myself to the task, I realized I had picked a very difficult fabric to work with.
What I wanted to do seemed pretty straight forward,
but the fabric made it three times harder and five times longer to get done.
The entire week I took two steps forward, one step back.
There were lots of tears. Lots of chocolate. And LOTS of support from my family.
But this week was honestly fueled by prayer and the shear grace of God.
I probably prayed hourly asking for clarity of mind
(I was making so many uncharacteristic mistakes), strength and support.
There was more than one day I was ready to give up and I seriously doubted
having a completed project to submit by the deadline.
On top of all that, I was getting sick with a cold my last two days of sewing.
But it happened.
I actually finished and God even gave me a wave of strength to cross over the finish line with a smile to show in the 'after' photos.
This top was pretty much my miracle piece!

 Finally, finally, I was finished with it.
Completely finished. No more projects to submit.
I had made it through the complete season of Refashion Runway!
Honestly, it didn't matter a whit what place I got, the real accomplishment was that
I had given my best, conquered every challenge and held my own amongst the company of
some extraordinarily talented women, all of whom had been doing this a lot longer than me!
And on top of that,
I met all of you!
Thank you to everyone who left comments, voted, and generally encouraged me each week!
Honestly, without my supportive family
and my very talented, patient brother who took all of the amazing photos,
AND without everyone's encouragement and comments
I would not have been able to make it as far as I did.

So here is to a very successful and unforgettable second season of Refashion Runway.
We did it, y'all!


  1. Great post. I found the competition about halfway thru and enjoy reading your behind the scenes posts. I like how you called your troubles on the winter white blouse "uncharacteristic mistakes. That is the perfect way to explain it when you are exhausted and overwhelmed.

    1. Thanks, Ang! Well, there really was no other way to describe it- I was making really basic-sewing level mistakes and just not thinking things through. :) I'm sorry you got in have way through the fun, but I'm glad you got in on it towards the end! You should go back to Beth's archives and look at the First Season posts too! It is a good way to stave off RR Withdrawals. :)

  2. I can't decide if the peplum or the costume is my favourite; I love them both.

    What a lovely post to wrap up the season - so positive and joyful. It's been delightful to find your blog! I'll be dropping in regularly to see what is going on here :)

    1. Thank you, Jenny! I'm glad you plan to stick around, I always enjoy hearing from you. :)

  3. That peplum really blew me away. I enjoyed reading the behind the scenes details and just how great you did through all the competition. Even though I was voted off with the peplum theme, I really don't feel like I lost. This is an amazing community, isn't it? Can't wait to see what else you'll come up with.

    1. Wow, thank you, Magda! Yes, it is a great community- that is a big part of what I've loved so much about it! You have so much talent, Magda, more than I do, and I know you could have made it to the finals, it was just the way the votes turned out. I'm so glad to have met your through RR! :)

  4. Congratulations on placing 4th :) You have done an amazing job on each item and I can tell your sewing abilities have expanded! Well done :) Happy weekend to you!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! :) I hope you have a blessed weekend as well!

  5. Fantastic job! My faves are the costume and winter white. Just love how you put that top together. You have a classy sense of style and you've tackled and succeeded with so many techniques! So much fun to read this post.

    1. Yes, the winter white- it is amazing that a project so terrible turned out so great in the end! Thank you, Marilyn for your sweet comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!


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