Monday, May 27, 2013

#38: Remake Combo!: Big Billowy Red Dress

Hey all! Happy Memorial Day!

I've got lots of great stuff in this post for you today, including an update of some of my pieces in action, and a a piece that I re-re-re-transformed!

First, let's take a look at today's piece. You may have seen it before, but keep reading because I've changed it again!

I picked it up for less than $3 last Summer while thrifting with my mom.

Before: Big, billowy red dress

Before: From behind

Definitely looked like there was a box under all that fabric! But I just LOVED it!

The Big Box Strut!

Back in October 2012, there was a little over a month after my first little sewing machine broke that I was without a machine. But that didn't stop me from trying a transformation anyway!

Armed with a needle, thread, and scissors, this is how I did the first transformation (sorry, no pics for this first process):


1) I removed the shoulder pads and the sequined shoulder decoration.
2) Then I cut off the sleeves and skirt.
3) I hand-sewed a hem around the bottom, as well as some darts to create a wavy effect.
4) I folded and stitched under some of the material at the shoulder.
5) I took half of the billowing material from the back, hand-sewed a button and button hole, and used a scrap of material from the sleeve to tie up some of the crazy amount of fabric in the back.
6) Finally, I took the rest of the billowy material on the front, gathered it together in the center, and stitched it together, embellishing it with the sequined shoulder decoration I had previously removed.

Here is the first way I transformed this big red dress---all with hand-stitching:

After #1: Drape-y Grecian

After #1: from behind


This first transformation whet my creative appetite, but I did not really want to keep it this way. So when I found this photo online advertising a hair makeover, I was more interested in the woman's shirt than her hair!

Fragment of a shirt

And I knew just what I wanted to do next with this transformation.


1) I undid most of what I had done previously (no more sequined center or back button).

Undoing it all

2) Then I removed the hand-stiched darts and bottom hem.

So long darts, so long hem!

3) Next, I completely separated the shoulders on both the outer and inner layers of the top.

Layers and layers

4) I cut out a wider neckline.

Wider neck

5) I took in the sides all the way down so the under layer would be more form-fitting, and cut off the excess material.

Slim the sides!

6) I pinned and sewed around the new neckline, shoulders, and arms on the inner layer.

Pinning and sewing

7) Then I pinned and sewed a new hem at the bottom of the piece.

Hemming it up!

8) I also hand-sewed a straight stitch and pulled it tight to scrunch it on the sides at the bottom of the piece.


9) Next, I cut a slit at the neckline in the under layer and sewed a v-shaped hem.


10) After that I cut and sewed a strip of material. I took the beaded, sequined decal, wrapped it inside the strip, and sewed it onto the strip.

Strip and sequins (not the Las Vegas kind)


11) I took the sparkle strip and pinned it to the under layer of the piece. Then I sewed it on both sides and cut off the excess.

Pin the strip

Sew and cut the strip

12) Then I separated the back seam all the way down on the outer layer and cut a deeper slit down the front of the outer layer.

13) I took the HUGE amount of material at the front and wrapped it around the front neckline, pinned it, and sewed around the front, leaving some of the sparkly decal exposed.


14) Then I did the same with the back, and cut off the excess material.

15) I did a few adjustments under the arms to make it fit better, and then I was done!

Here is a reminder of how it looked first:

Before #1

And then second:

Before #2

What I was aiming for:


And now the third!:

After #2

After #2: From behind

And a little less bright for more detail:

After #2: Less bright

After #2: From behind

I'm liking this much better. It still has a bit too much fabric for my liking, but it's much more practical than the billowing big red dress!

And if you're wondering what I did with the bottom skirt, I used that 2 different ways. First, I made a Halloween costume using all that fabric from the bottom portion of the original dress as both the skirt, cape, and mask, as well as borrowing elements from two of my previous projects.

After #3: Hero Girl!!

To save the day!

After Halloween, I used the skirt as a tree skirt for our Christmas tree!

After #4: Red Tree Skirt

Wow! I really re-re-re-transformed this big red dress! I can finally say that I've completed this transformation. Whew! :)

- - - - - - - - - - - -

And here's an update: On Mother's Day I was able to deliver my grandmother's bibs I made her (here's a refresher),

She loves them! younger cousin's yellow skirt I made,

She likes it! Hey Mikey!

...and the Barbie dress I made my family friend,

**More Barbie clothes to come soon!**

...all while wearing my Valentine's Dress!

Here are my creations in action!

(Sorry so fuzzy)

I hope you enjoyed this cram-packed post! I've enjoyed creating each of these transformations, and I'm looking forward to a brand-new start on a brand-new project.

Until next time, blessings.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

#37: Green Sweater

First, before I write the next sentence, I must say THANK YOU to all of those both now an throughout history who have sacrificed their lives and time so that I may have the many freedoms I enjoy daily. With that being said, I'm also excited to have a THREE DAY WEEKEND!!! I'm SO looking forward to having some extra time to breathe this weekend. But it's kind of lame because my hubby still has to work :(

So my piece for you today is one I made a while ago but never featured.

Before: Green Hoodie (must have been tired when I took this photo)

Before: Green Hoodie

I actually loved the before piece, but I found myself wearing hoodies less and less as I crept toward the professional world. This sweater just ended up sitting in my closet for months. I thought I would get rid of it, but I really liked the color, patterns, and material, so I decided to therap-ize it a bit to see if it could fit with my evolving style...

I didn't use a sewing machine at all with this project. I only used some scissors and a simple needle and thread.

First, I removed most of the hood. I left some of the lining from the edge of the hood attached at the front collar. Then I hand-sewed the hood edges all the way around the newly cut collar that would sit behind my neck, and sewed the hood edges together at the ends. This way I wouldn't have frayed ends around the collar from being cut.

Hood edge sewn around the collar, meeting in the middle

Next, I cut straight down the front center, cutting through the connected long pocket.

I hand-sewed around the edges up to the base of the original hoodie's v-neck.

A little rough around the edges

Finally, I sewed closed the cut open ends of the pockets on each side, and sewed the pocket corners to the sweater itself so it the pockets wouldn't bunch up or hang too far away from the sweater.

Inside pocket

Here's what it looked like again before:

Before: Young hoodie

And here's the transformation from young hoodie to cozy cardigan!

After: I could totally wear that to session!

The pockets remain!

Look Ma! No hood!

I can totally see me keeping this for a lot longer, as many therapists are all about warm, cozy cardigans. What a great way to recycle something that was already in my closet :)

Now that I have a sewing machine, I could go back and touch up the edges, but I don't really see the need to, as it's not fraying and the hand stitches don't bother me.

I hope you liked it! I may not get to wear it much more as Summer approaches, but It will be good and ready for me in the Fall!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone. Celebrate responsibly. 

Until next time, blessings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

#36: The Dress That Failed

Sometimes my clothing transformations just don't work. This is one of my earlier transformations that went bust last Summer. Thus, this is probably my shortest transformation post ever....

I found this dress at a local thrift store for $1.

Before: Shiny Black Dress

Before: From behind

I had high hopes for this dress. And honestly, I can't even remember what I did to it. Something about shortening, separating the top, folding, criss-crossing, and loop-de-looping material, and placing buttons at weird places on the inside to hold it all together.

Anyway, here's the transformation:


I became WAY too ambitious with this one. It may look nice in the photo, but it was a mess underneath. And it felt awful while I wore it.

I have a rule for myself that I have to wear everything I make at least once. I broke the rule with this one. I only wore it long enough to take the picture, then I literally ripped it off of me. Good thing it was only a dollar, right?

Sometimes simpler is better. And I thank God for grace, that I don't have to be perfect in everything I do :)

Until next time, blessings.

Monday, May 13, 2013

#35: Silver Jacket

Hi all! Welcome back!

Today's post is going to be a short one. As I work on new projects, I realized that I still have a number of old transformations that I have yet to post. Here's one of 'em!

I found this silver fashion jacket at a thrift store for $1.

Before: Silver fashion jacket

Before: From behind

The problem was that it had little holes in the back...

Little hole

...and red marks on the sleeves.

Out Red Spot!

But that would be no problem for me!

First, I removed the sleeves.

Next, I cut across the back just above the wide elastic waist.

Then I cut from the underarm up the front toward the collar. I cut out the entire upper back panel, leaving the collar in tact. I sewed some small darts at the side of the bust.

Lastly, I took a lighter and seared the edges around everything I had just cut.

With minimal sewing, a pair of scissors, and a lighter, I had a new look!

Here's what it looked like before:

Before: Silver Fashion Jacket

And here's the simple transformation:

After: Silver Fashion Vest!
After: From behind (in white)

After: From behind (in black)

This little hole and red spot didn't out-smart me!

I hope you liked it :)

Until next time, blessings.