Wannabe Wednesday: Tarjay Edition

I shop at Target at least once a week.  Whether I’m out of shampoo, dog food, or I’ve suddenly ran out of soy milk, Tarjay has my back!  I always check out their clothes too…because…well…they have a lot of really cute stuff.

One such cute thing is this lovely maxi dress with grosgrain ribbon straps!

That'll be $29.99.

That’ll be $29.99.

Now…doesn’t that look like just about the most comfy/classy summer maxi you’ve seen?

Here.  Take a closer look at those straps!

Love it!

Love it!

The closest thing I had in my refashion stash was this suuuuper-long maxi dress that was also originally from Target.

So long!

So long!

WAIT!  What the!?!  That’s right, guys!  I’ve got a new ‘do!  Robin over at Bombshell Studio chopped my mass of tresses into a much more manageable bob!  :)

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First photo post-cut!

Alright…back to the refash!  :)

My first step for this refashion was cutting a small strip from the bottom of the dress, like so:

My real estate is limited, but I make it work!  :)

My real estate is limited, but I make it work! :)

The biggest thing I needed to change on this dress was the strappage!  Luckily, I had a roll of grosgrain ribbon in my stash.  I chopped off a section from each of the straps.  This is where the ribbon will go.

Snip! Snip!

Snip! Snip!

You don't need much at all!

You don’t need much at all!

Before I started with the ribbon, I really needed to change the neckline to make it more of a cowl, like on the original.  To do this, I cut off the hemmed edge of the neckline and stretched it out.

Snip and stretch!

Snip and stretch!

Now for the ribbon!  Okay…if I tried to just pin and sew the ribbon onto the dress, the feed dogs on my machine would pull one part more than the other, causing a bunched-up mess.  BUT, if I stabilize it, it’ll work just fine!  To accomplish this task, I reached for a roll of medical tape from when I had to tape up my broken toe a couple of months ago!

See?

See?

I just stitched right over the tape, then pulled it off when I was done!  And whaddyaknow?  It did the trick!  :)

Stitchin' right along!

Stitchin’ right along!

After my straps were attached, I still needed to take in the top a tad to make the arm holes not quite so gapey.

It ain't no big thing.

It ain’t no big thing.

 

Stitch me one!  Stitch me twice!  Come on pretty baby...stitch me deadly!  :P

Stitch me one! Stitch me twice! Come on pretty baby…stitch me deadly! :P

After trimming off that extra fabric and tying the bottom strip around my waist, my copycat was complete!  :)

Here we find Jillian in her natural habitat!

Here we find Jillian in her natural habitat!

Le back!

Le back!

I was pretty happy with my new frock.

Or maybe it was just the bubbly...;)

Or maybe it was just the bubbly…;)

My new haircut and my new dress kept me quite comfy and cool for an evening with friends!  :)

Short hair rocks!

Short hair rocks!

 

This is Dan.  I am fond of him.  :)

This is Dan. I am fond of him. :)

Cheers!

Original Price:  $29.99

Copycat Price:  $1

Savings:  $28.99!

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From Muumuu to Wrap Dress

I take back everything I’ve ever said about enjoying summer, or wanting winter to end, or being tired of wearing jackets.  Every year, I think I love summer, as long as it isn’t actually summer at the time.  Every year I’m wrong.  I’m not sure if it’s the bugs, the yard work in 90+ degree heat, the effect of humidity on my hair, being constantly red & sweaty, or the elevated electricity bill – but I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!

When I was invited to a goat roast (Why do people want to do things outside right now?!?), I reluctantly accepted.  I knew that no matter what I wore, I was going to swelter and marinate in my own sweat, so I went with the lightest and most comfy item on my refashion rack.

Welcome to my muumuu!

Welcome to my muumuu!

It’s hard to see in the photo, but this muumuu was bit faded.  I tossed it in a dye bath with a mixture of these guys…hoping for a darker, more muted color.

Should work, right?

Should work, right?

I couldn’t find a tag to tell me the fabric content of this piece, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it was 100% cotton (so the dye would really soak it!).

It's not looking too good.  :/

It’s not looking too good. :/

See how the dress doesn’t seem to be picking up much of the dye?  Yeah…that’s because it didn’t.  Sadness.  :(

I have multiple plans for this frock, but for today, I went with a no-sew refashion!

I took the sleeves and twisted them towards the front of me, like so:

See?

See?

I tied the sleeves together near my left side and tucked them in.  Then I pulled the fabric around my waist and pinned it to make it more fitted.

Pin!

Pin!

I grabbed one of my favorite brooches that used to belong to my grandmother and used it to hide the pin/give my frock a bit of something special!

Isn't it wonderful?

Isn’t it wonderful?

And just like that, I was ready to roast with a goat!  :)

Jamie apparently approves!

Jamie apparently approves!

I like the Caribbean look of my new dress, and it seems pretty fitting for the occasion!  :)

Goat!

Goat!

We shouldn't be trusted with spears, you guys.  :/

It’s like ‘Lord of the Flies’, but with crazy grownups! :)

 

A most speartastic Supper Club!

A most speartastic Supper Club!

We take our goat verrrrry seriously.

We take our goat verrrrry seriously.

Like I said, I have other pro-sew plans for this frock as well.  I think I can get at least a couple of fun summer pieces out of it!  :)

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Cheers!

 

 

Andrea’s Reader ReFash!

Some of you (who have read my bio) already know that I used to be really active in Theatre.  When I saw this refashion by Andrea, I felt a whiff of nostalgia was over me.  :)  I’ve held on to a few special costume pieces just like her, but I’d never thought to refashion them!

Recently I was in a musical called “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” all about love and relationships and the various forms and stages they go through. For one of my characters I was an old widow finding love again (at a funeral of all places). Muriel needed a dress, and instead of raiding the costume bags at the theater, I decided to thrift a dress that I could refashion later to be the part of the show I kept as a souvenir. (I usually keep a costume piece or prop from every show.) Well this was the dress I found:

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I don’t love this dress. It’s not perfect. Change it, Andrea!

 

Oh, and here’s a shot of Muriel in action with Arthur (sorry she’s covered by a shawl):

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I know it sounds odd, but this was the best scene I’ve done in a show and the Muriel dress held a lot of memories. It was extremely difficult to cut into it, but I’ve had a lot of major life changes in the last month since the show closed and decided that part of changing myself meant finally refashioning “Muriel”.  Since the weatherman got our Michigan weather mixed up with that of the Rainforest, I decided to lose the sleeves, part of the back and a good amount of the length and take the new Muriel out for a spin for a few beers to celebrate my friend’s birthday Thursday night and again Saturday for some BBQ and Whiskey with a few more theater friends. They all loved it (especially my cast mates from “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” who knew Muriel), so, what do you think??

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I dig!

 

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Oooh la la to that sexy low-cut back! :)

 

And a shot of Muriel out and about. Unfortunately, Tyler wouldn’t share his vintage gas mask we found at this amazing market In Ferndale, MI. Teenage boys…

OMG!  Save Muriel!!!!

OMG! Save Muriel!!!!

And just in case you were wondering, yes, the cut out back provided ample opportunity for this descendant of the Celts to burn profusely. Especially since I forgot to put on sunscreen before standing in the sun for 2 hours indulging in some of the Metro Detroit Area’s best BBQ. Lesson learned.

I think Andrea’s refashion deserves a standing ovation!  Bravo and Brava!  Looks like acting isn’t your only talent!  :)

Cheers!

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A ReFashionista Transformed?

Hello all!  I haven’t posted in awhile, now have I?  What’s up with that?  What’s going on? It’s almost like I was dragged into the woods for days on end without any way to communicate with the outside world!

And that’s exactly where I’ve been!

See?

See?

When Dan first suggested that I go to a local burn with him, I was squeamish.  I had never camped before, and the idea had absolutely no appeal to me.  I like showers, air conditioners, hair dryers, and my espresso machine.  Plus, I have a blog to write!  I can’t just step off the face of the earth to gallivant with a bunch of hippies in the woods!

The more Dan talked to me about Transformus, the more I felt I needed to go.  This section of their website sealed the deal:

Transformus is an outdoor camping experience like no other. There are no vendors. There are no overpriced meals being slung, nor will you find kegs selling watered-down beer. The artists are not trying to sell their CD’s or get their names out into the business world; in fact, they’re probably not even using their real names. You will find no business cards being exchanged, yet there is plenty of business going on. The rangers, technicians, and service providers are working tirelessly, yet they have smiles on their faces the whole time; even though they aren’t being paid a dime for their services.

What you will find instead is a wild world of self-expression: music, art, parades, games, amazing performances, gatherings, meals, shows and magic. Where creativity runs wild to produce experiences that are seen nowhere else in the default world. Where one can be mystified, shocked, astounded, exhausted, exhilarated, and yet feel completely safe. Where total strangers are best friends.

I’d been feeling burned out and tired.  I felt I had lost my mojo.  This blog didn’t excite me any more and I didn’t want to make any more clothes.  What used to be a labor of love had become a list of things to worry about.  Generate content.  Check analytics.  Marketing.  Try to get around to answering all those emails from really nice people who deserve a response, dammit.  Check analytics again.  Check analytics again.  Research how to build traffic.  Check analytics again.  And when you’re not sick of all that, sew…and hope other people like it.  Make it grow.  Make it grow faster.

I didn’t refashion anything for this trip, friends.  I packed up some fun thrifted threads and headed to the mountains…and in a few short days, I felt my old desires and motivations coming back.  Seeing the creativity, beauty, and surprises of so many others brought me back to my old self.

Here are a few pics.  There aren’t many.  But you can get the idea.  :)

$1 thrifted Thai Fisherman Pants!

$1 thrifted Thai Fisherman Pants!

First day at camp!  :)

First day at camp! :)

 

A human puppet!?!

A human puppet!?!

Brad and Dan enjoy the splendor of the Alien Pyramid!

Brad and Dan enjoy the splendor of the Alien Pyramid!

Bagels, anyone?

Bagels, anyone?

Ice Moon : A 75 pound sphere of ice

Ice Moon : A 75 pound sphere of ice

 

No really.  Look at it.

No really. Look at it.

It's beaaaauuutiful!

It’s beaaaauuutiful!

 

$1 thrifted sequined top & Dan's pants which I sneakily took in to it me!  ;)

$1 thrifted sequined top & Dan’s pants which I sneakily took in to fit me! ;)

Can you spot the flame-throwing tuba in this pic?

Can you spot the flame-throwing tuba in this pic?

Nom!  Pork for whoever wants it!

Nom! Pork for whoever wants it!

Camping is exhausting!

Camping is exhausting!

 

Last day of camp!  :(

Last day of camp! :(

Wait...what is this?

Wait…what is this?

 

I wonder what they're up to?

I wonder what they’re up to?

You can't have a burn without fire!

You can’t have a burn without fire!

Lovely!

Lovely!

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Everything wonderful must come to an end.

Everything wonderful must come to an end.

Apparently all I needed was a dose of dancing, art, music, food, camaraderie, creativity, nature, beauty, and friendship to get out of my rut.  :)  Oh…and please don’t be concerned when I’m totally unreachable for a few days this time next year.

Cheers!

A Totally Tubular Dress

Ah!  Whatever was I to wear for just another typical weeknight of music with friends?

Why this, of course:

It’s hot here, folks!  There’s no way I can wear this sweater dress as-is…even if I wanted to!

Let the choppage begin!

Chop without mercy!

Chop without mercy!

I look forward to working with that top part this fall, but for now, I’m going to concentrate on the bottom!

I put that bottom part on my dress form, like ya do, and measured how much I would need to take this dress in on one side.

Measure for Measure!

Measure for Measure!

 

PIn, then sew!

PIn, then sew!

Once my new dress was all taken in, I still needed to deal with that raw edge on the top!  And deal with it I did!

PIn!

Pin!

Whirrrrr!

Whirrrrr!

I left a small section unsewn so I could work some elastic through my new casing.  To do this, I used a safety pin!  All you have to do is thread it through!

Just a lil ol' pin!

Just a lil ol’ pin!

After a bit of accessorizing, I was all set!

Like the new 'do?  :)

Like the new ‘do? :)

My new dress really enjoyed some tasty noms by Joe Turkaly!

His Mac 'n Cheese is epic!  :)

His Mac ‘n Cheese is epic! :)

The music was pretty amazeballs too!

Which one wins?  Dan's shirt or my hair?

Which one wins? Dan’s shirt or my hair?

From my days with Andy Warhol's Factory!  ;)

From my days with Andy Warhol’s Factory! ;)

Cheers!

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