Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Quick Refashion

I am always so jealous of folks who take an existing garment that is rather drab and re-fashion it into something amazing.  Sure, I have taken old clothing items apart, but I would say I use them more as fabric yardage.

And I was in desperate need of a quick project.  My velvet dress is not abandoned, but on hold for the moment.  More than anything, I want to assure myself that I am still able to finish something in less than a month!

For some reason, I purchased two of these cotton dresses back in 2007 at Old Navy (thank you Gap Corp. for putting dates on your tags).  I plead cheap clothing insanity.

There are certain styles that I just adore, however, I do not adore them when they are on me.  Every time I see an old Audrey Hepburn photograph, I want to put on a pair of cigarette pants and a striped sweater and flats - but I know that I would not be happy with the look on my body.

And as much as I love the trapeze line that Yves Saint Laurent created for Dior, they just do not work for me, either.  I did wear the black version of this dress with a thick cinch belt which looked rather cute, however, belting the dress raised the hemline a few inches too many for my comfort level.  It would have looked great with a pair of tights, but that defeats the whole purpose of a cotton summer dress, doesn’t it!?

This weekend I was attempting to find some extra room in my closet and rediscovered these dresses.

I measured from the hem up, wanting to keep the existing faced hemline in place.  A few gathers, a placket for the zipper, and a waistband, and I have a couple of "new" skirts!  All that I needed was a zipper and some thread to complete them. 

Cotton is not exactly suitable for this frigid weather we are experiencing, but I just know that these skirts will get more wear than the original dresses ever did!

Hooray for refashioning!  And now I can get back to a more involved project . . .


  1. Personally, I think the cigarette pants/striped sweater/flats look would really suit you, but I guess it's whatever makes you comfortable, right? (I have the same thing, I really love the look but I'm sure it would look hideous on me...)

  2. I know what you're talking about. I have the same issue with Jackie O. suits. I love them, but I look completely dressed up wearing them. And to some extent it's the same when wearing Vintage styles. Not that I don't feel comfortable in it, but I get the most compliments on my outfits when I'm not wearing vintage, but dress as I normally don't. I know that skinny jeans and ankle boots suit me, but well, I can't help prefering skirts and blouses.
    You made some lovely basic skirts there! I used to buy cheap stuff to refashion it a lot, but realizing that it often was more work than expected and having had to struggle with cheap materials I stopped it. If something doesn't fit me properly or I know I wouldn't wear it, I don't buy it anymore. It is hard sometimes, but it helps keeping the to-do-list short.

  3. Congratulations for being so resourceful and environmentally friendly by recycling your clothes. I used to do this all the time when my 3 girls were little and they were growing so fast. Last years favourite sundress that caused tears because it was outgrown, became this years skirt. More so with my twins, because there was no-one to hand the clothes down to, so I didn't have to keep any of them as dresses. Same as jeans that were too short, became 3/4 length pants or even shorts. My eldest daughters favourite preschool pants were actually a pair of mens cotton pj pants that were new and bought from an 2nd hand clothes shop for 50 cents. She saw and loved the stripey blue and orange pattern. I simply cut up the seams of the pants, ironed each leg flat and treated it as any other material. I love sewing, and it was the best way to survive on a very tight budget.

  4. Something relatively quick and gratifying to complete is a nice break from a more challenging project and can maintain sanity (and the post-publishing schedule). I need reminders of fairly straightforward repurposing projects, as I'm not very good at visualizing them. I often see consignment store clothes in styles or sizes I can't handle--but the fabric is there for the harvesting. When spring comes you'll rediscover these skirts and they'll be ready to go. Nice work.

  5. I love your refashion! Thank God for the ability to sew and to take momentary retail insanity and turn it into something wearable. What is it with cheap trendy clothing that is so hard to avoid anyway?
    I recently took an Old Navy jersey maxi dress and turned it into a vintage top. It too had sat unworn because, though trendy at the time, the style was an empire waist that looked more maternity on me than trendy, lol.

  6. These look like great skirts! I really like full, summery cotton skirts in black. I admire people who see potential in unwanted clothing, I find it so much easier to just start from scratch! These skirts seem like a good gateway project :)

  7. Lovely! I would have never thought of that.

  8. Genius idea! I never would have thought of doing that to a dress! I'm working on taking apart an old men's shirt to turn into a blouse for myself, so we'll see what I can do as far as refashioning goes.

    The Middle Sister and Singer

  9. I feel the same way about certain styles. Pretty much anything "boxy" looks terrible on me. I'm starting to learn to admire certain styles from afar and not try to wear them myself.

    What is with the weather we're having right now?! I keep thinking I must have been transported back to my home state of Iowa.

  10. Great refashions! I've never been able to muster up the creativity to refashion garments and am always impressed with others who can do it well. I love the trapeze style but it is a difficult style to pull off well -- your skirts are definitely more versatile, but we'll have to get past this cold weather before you can wear them!