Tuesday, 22 September 2015


I'm in a slightly unusual position with the blog at the moment. I've been doing quite a bit of making and not getting round to the blogging side of it, which means I have a backlog built up. So it's possible, if my ancient and extremely slow computer behaves relatively well whilst I sort through lots of muddled photos, that there might actually be a sudden splurge of posts over the next few days!

And the first few are most likely to be all about refashions. I started having a long overdue tidy in our bedroom, which included an even more overdue clear out of my wardrobe. But, unfortunately, I then got distracted by the idea of combining and refashioning different items I was clearing out, so I haven't actually finished any tidying and our bedroom is messier than ever. But the refashioning has been fun! Particularly making things for the girls, but I'll start today by showing you a couple of refashions for me.

Number One began with a top I never wear and a skirt that, sadly, is too small around the waist these days.

But then I tried on the top and remembered why I never wear it - the sleeves are slightly tight and uncomfortable. So I chopped them off and threw another top into the mix as well - this one has a shirred neck opening which has lost most of its elasticity and is very gaping, but the sleeves are still good!

 I chopped the skirt to just above the pleated gathers...

Did a bit more chopping of the two tops and then combined the three...

It looked a little too maternity like, so I then added another strip of the burgundy coloured top to pull it in a little. The strip is sewn at the front but lose at the back to be tied.

Possibly slightly maternity like still and those broad horizontal stripes aren't necessarily the most flattering (could be another reason why it was languishing at the back of the shelf!) but very comfy and wearable now. And definitely a style of refashioning that I could see myself repeating as I delve further into the wardrobe.

The trouble with making something for me though, is that I then feel like I need to share a photo of me wearing it. I'm not mad keen on photos of me generally; photos of me with the children are fine, photos of me on my own but doing something are occasionally OK, but I'm afraid photos of me artificially 'posing' to 'show' clothes are most definitely never OK! I'm really sorry, I did try! I wore the top to the beach, and after I'd finished taking photos of girls in their newly refashioned items, I handed over the camera and tried to stand there on my own and have my picture taken, but I just couldn't do it! So I left the camera with the girls, and tried to ignore it, and asked them to take photos of me while we were rock pooling and wandering. So here are a few photos of the top in action! Not the most glamorous of photos and they don't show the top particularly clearly but it's the best you're going to get!

Interesting angle on this one Maria took!

And for Refashion Number Two, I'm afraid you're not even getting any action shots! 

I finally finished off this shirt refashion...

I'd started this one way back in April here. The main thing I had left to do was sort out the collar. I was drawn to a Peter Pan collar, and found this post from Aimee over at Small Steps Big Noises very helpful. After lots of rummaging through old linens I found something possible...

I used pattern paper, as suggested in Aimee's post, to draft a collar which, in this case, needed to be the right shape to cover the embroidery.

And then used this to cut the neckline to the same shape.

I do like the idea of this collar but I'm not quite so keen on it in practice. Partly because I had to make the neckline very wide to accommodate the curve in the embroidery, partly because I completely forgot to topstitch it until it was too late, and partly because, as much as I love vintage embroidery, I'm not sure it's something I'll actually wear.

Once the collar was on, I just chopped off the original sleeves to make them shorter and reattached them.

As well as not being entirely sure about the success of the collar, the shirt as a whole isn't doing a great deal for me I'm afraid. There's something about the way it hangs that isn't quite right - but I can't put my finger on exactly what needs to be different. Maybe it's something that I'll get better at if I keep at it, but I think I might prefer more stretchy, jersey style fabrics for future refashions.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some more successful refashions for the girls.



  1. Well hello there, so nice to see you wearing your refashioned piece, I love it, and think it looks awesome on you.

  2. You did a great job of "not posing" to show us how well the new top works. I've always thought you were creative and clever but you've taken it to a new level with your refashioned pieces.

  3. Ooh you are clever! Love that first top and I think the shirt would look lovely with a belt round it ... either a wide leather one or something that ties in the collar a little.
    you could also under-stitch the collar to narrow it off a little and make it look smaller :-) Love the details on it though - and those pintucks too!
    link for belt picture inspiration https://www.etsy.com/listing/84857404/upcycled-eco-belt-repurposed-accessories?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

  4. What Jo said!!! Amazing that you were able to combine three very different pieces into something functional, never mind that it's also cute! (Did you ever get your bedroom tidied?)

  5. Glad you handed the camera to the girls to take photos. They've done a great job. A garment on a hanger never does it justice, whereas your no posing shots show it off beautifully. I'm becoming slightly more relaxed with posed shots, mainly thanks to my patient husband who makes me laugh. I LOVE what you've done with the three pieces of clothing. Bet you'll wear it heaps.

  6. Oh how wonderful to see your lovely face. :-) Good job with the reinventions... I love making clothes for my kiddos out of old clothes from our closet.


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