Friday, 5 September 2014

The Re-Fashion (Upcycle) Edition

My First Re-Fashion

Edited: this is more of an Upcycle than a re-fashion... But i am counting this as a refashion.

A couple months ago while getting sidetracked in blogland, I stumbled upon a fabulous blog called Refashionista.  Refashion?  Take unwanted, unloved items (sometimes hideous), and turn them into something you actually want to wear?  I had no idea it was a thing...   And then I discovered there is actually a whole refashion blogging community... (why did that strike me as a surprise?  Of course there is!). 

Making garments from scratch is time consuming, so I don't have much interest for it right now.  But refashion?  Half the work is already done, and it is really inexpensive (if you mess up, it is a learning experience).  Gillian, the Refashionista blogger makes it look so easy... Ah, the possibilities!  I have visions in my head of walking out of my local goodwill store with seriously unloved clothes and turning them into beauties to wear the next day.

But I am getting ahead of myself....   Right now, these are only ideas in my head.  My time is limited and, well, I kinda want to keep quilting too!  For my first re-fashion project, I started small:   My daughter needed an art smock for school and it wanted to make her one.  I headed to the Salvation Army and came home with this colourful number:

Not bad for $2
I started by chopping off the collar and the sleeves:

The first cut is the deepest scariest

I measured against an old store-bought art smock and chopped the bottom too.

It helps to have a model

I used a piece of pink stretchy jersey from my non-quilting bin for the collar and cuffs:

Not perfect but close enough

Before finishing off the cuffs, I needed to take in the sides and the sleeves.

This is way too big for her right now...

...but that is an easy fix!

I sewed on the cuffs and hemmed the bottom, then proudly showed my creation to my husband and presented him the following dilemma: how to machine embroider my daughter's initials on the front pocket without rendering the pocket unusable?  

You can't see it, but there is a pocket
In his wisdom, he said: Do the initials have to be on the front pocket?  Why don't you just embroider her name somewhere else? Duh!  Of course!  The idea with refashion is not to have a set idea of how you are going to do things, but to work with what you have.  I embroidered her name on the back using free motion quilting (no picture).  I first stabilized my fabric with freezer paper in the back, which I just tore it afterwards, like you would do for paper pieced block.

My daughter tried it, and it was still too big.  So I took it in a bit more, and then, just for fun, I added a bright orange pocket in front.

So I present to you my first official refashion:

From man shirt to girl art smock

One person's trash...

- We will resume our regular quilting programming next post -


  1. Really cool. The buttons are already, that's he worst to do. That was my nightmare when I sew my first (and last) shirt: 10 buttonholes. And now, I'm doing dozens of identical pieces for one quilt and I don't mind ! Looks like I learned patience.

  2. How awesome is this! Well Done!


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