Sunday, 26 July 2015

Hot Christmas in July (a mixed quilting/refashioning post)

Today was the July Sew-In of my Guild.  I was only able to go for a couple hours so I needed a low-fuss project with not too many moving parts.  The weather was on the cool side, so I though a little Christmas quilting would be appropriate...  Remember this Christmas-sy top?

Well it's now all sandwiched an pinned and I started quilting a couple days ago.  I thought it would be a great project to take with me.

There was only one problem, though.  I was dressed for cool temperatures but our sewing room felt more like the beach (minus the sun, the sand and the water).  Thankfully my back-up project was not a quilt, but a re-fashion I had been meaning to do ever since I started following Gillian's blog, the Refashionista (go see her blog even if you are only interested in quilting... it's worth it!).  Anyhoo, rather than buy ugly clothes from second hand stores, I figured I might as well work with my own unloved closet.

Today's project is a dress from my early 2000s April Cornell period (anyone remember La Cache stores?  I used to love these stores...) I have not worn this for years, yet I could not bear to give it away.    Here is the before picture:

This is so 2003...

Yikes!  This dress is big, ill-fitting, does not do anything for my shape, and although I like the colour, it's not particularly good for my skin tone.

My plan was very simple:  take in the sides a little, and chop it to make a top.    I would love to show you a picture of the big chop, but whoever tried to take the picture did not actually press on the button... Ironically one of the reasons I waited that long to work on this dress is I wanted help in documenting the how-to...  Well, at least I have this one... thanks Linda!

Notice I am wearing long sleeves?  Man that was hot!

So, one chop and one hem later, I had a new outfit for a hot sewing day!  The whole process probably took 20 minutes...

Don't be fooled, though, it was still cool outside...

I wasn't entirely sure about the angle and the pointy side, but my top got rave reviews from my guild mates and I have to say, it's comfy!  The colour is still not the best for me, but there is less of it, and I think it looks pretty sharp.

And so, dressed with my weather appropriate outfit, I enjoyed working on the Christmas quilt for an hour or so.

Anyone else intrigued by re-fashioning / upcycling? 

PS: to check out my other upcycling / refashioning projects, check the "Upcycling" tab at the top of the page.  It's a work in progress...


  1. Dominique you totally outdid yourself in this dress/top refashioning! Wow-oh-Wow! I bet you'll get a lot of wear out of this new top. I am constantly telling myself that I need to wear the clothes I already have instead of buying new. However, up to this point my alterations consist of taking them in to make them more fitted...why was everything so loose and baggy?

  2. I love how you took advantage of the bias! I thing that's now a super top. Well done. And hope you're well.

  3. Good job you had that second project with you! You made a great job of it - the shaped hem really makes the difference. xx

  4. Too bad you didn't get the picture of the big cut. I like the angle and am glad you kept it. Now off to check out the Refashionista.

  5. I have followed the Refashionista for years! She is a wizard when it comes to refashioning stuff, love her blog! Awesome job with the dress to shirt transformation, I like the asymmetrical hemline. :)

  6. I definitely remember La Cache. I wore a purple and green floral (wasn't everything floral?) from there to my high school graduation. Lovin' your refashioning projects and I'd kind of like to steal your Christmas quilt! :)

  7. I just love how your new top turned out. Seriously cute! Your Christmas quilt is just yummy! Awesome colours.

  8. I'm so amazed! Great job recycling. I'm going to sit later and peruse your archived posts for more!

  9. wow - way late commenting here but had to say it was such fun to watch you transform your dress/top. You always bring the best projects to Sew In. Stuff I would normally ever see - I love your bravery!

  10. I love your top redo! such a neat idea


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