A Perfect Peplum Sweater

While digging through my closet trying to find something to wear for work, I realized something…I have very few tops and almost only dresses.  This makes days when I feel like wearing jeans a bit trickier than they should be.

When I plucked this black sweater dress off my refashion rack, I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to keep it as a dress or not.

 

Oh Pinot Noir…guide me in this decision!

Oh Pinot Noir…guide me in this decision!

 

I liked the neckline of this dress, as well as how soft, warm, and cozy the fabric was.  But…dress or sweater?  I really wasn’t sure which way I was going to go.

I got started by resizing the dress with the help of my dress form.

 

Let the tailoring begin!

Let the tailoring begin!

 

Then, I ran each side through my machine.

 

Whirrrrr!

Whirrrrr!

 

I chopped off the extra fabric from the sides…

 

Choppy choppy!

Choppy choppy!

 

…and then made a major decision!  I have plllllenty of black dresses and really don’t need any others right now.  However, I have precious few black tops.  Necessity would indeed be the master of invention today!

 

I regret nothing!

I regret nothing!

 

To complete this refash, I ran the bottom raw edge through my serger.  I could have just hemmed it, but I wanted my new top to have a more funky/edgy look to it. I think it looks pretty nifty now!  :)

 

Edgy, no?

Edgy, no?

 

What do you think?

 

Fitted & Warm!

Fitted & Warm!

 

 

I think I made the right decision!

I think I made the right decision!

 

On a side note:  I was thinking about how when I first started this blog, it wasn’t so odd for someone to be snapping pics with an actual camera all the time.  But now, when everyone pretty much just uses their phones, I tend to stand out a bit with my clunky Nikon…;)

 

It ain't no big thing!

It ain’t no big thing!

 

I don’t mind!  I want to take the best pics I can for you guys, even if selfies are a bit weird…

 

We do what we can!

We do what we can!

 

My new top was perfect for an evening celebrating a good friend of mine starting his new job/celebrating a great week!

 

Yay Phillip!

Eh… phone pics are okay too…on occasion! :)

 

We're so happy for him! :)

We’re so happy for Phillip! :)

 

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

Cheers!

 

ba21515

A Cowl Back Conversion

When I found this frock on the 50 cent sale rack at the Goodwill near my house, I thought, “Wow!  A dress I don’t even have to refashion!”

Not too shabs!

Not too shabs!

 

But then I looked a little closer…

 

See it?

See it?

 

Here.  Let me help you out a bit.

 

WHAT.

WHAT.

 

Do you see the bizarre patched-up crotch hole?  HOW DID THAT GET THERE?  WHYYYYYYY?  And WHY am I so terrified of the implications of said crotch hole? :/

*Shudder*

Step 1:

Ahhhhhh!  Much better already!

Ahhhhhh! Much better already!

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel much better now!

So, I could have reattached that bottom bit to the newly crotch-hole-less bit, but the temps here have dropped, and I definitely need more shoulder coverage now!

But first, I needed to restitch the top of the elastic waist that had come undone.

 

...like Duran Duran.

…like Duran Duran no more!

 

Then, I had that bottom raw edge to tend to.

 

Whirrrrrr!

Whirrrrrr!

 

I used a straight stitch for this, but it was quite finicky with the weirdo stretchy knit of this fabric.  I SHOULD have used a tight zigzag, as it would have saved me a bit of frustration.

I promptly reset my machine for the remainder of this refashion!

 

Now we're talkin'!

Now we’re talkin’!

 

Now for that bottom scrap!  First, I unpicked the hastily hand-sewn hem that was already in place.  I commend the effort, but I wanted something a tad sturdier for my new top!

 

Byeeeee!

Byeeeee!

 

Then, I pinned a new hem for each side of the scrap.

 

No big.

No big.

 

Next, I stitched each hem down.

 

Zigzaggery!

Zigzaggery!

 

But now what?  I’m going to be a bit chilly without some upper arm coverage, no?

I took that scrap and did this with it:

 

Just playing around a bit...

Just playing around a bit…

 

Then I did this!

 

Hmmmnnn...

Hmmmnnn…

 

HMMMMM...

HMMMMM…

 

I stitched down those parts I pinned at the front.

 

Once again, using a zigzag.

Once again, using a zigzag.

 

The back was left drapey.  :)

And here’s my new top!

 

My shoulders are now draft-free!

My shoulders are now draft-free!

 

Le back!

Le back!

 

Amauri thought my new top was pretty swell too!

 

Love this fella right here.  :)

Love this fella right here. :)

 

I had a blast wearing my new top at Soda City’s Oktoberfest!

 

They juuuust might...

They juuuust might…

 

Cheers!

 

ba1025

 

 

 

Peepshow Top

I’ve had this black dress on my refashion rack for a couple of months.  I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it.

 

Seeking the heavens for guidance & inspiration!

Seeking the heavens for guidance & inspiration!

 

SPOILER ALERT:  My original plan doesn’t work out!

I finally decided to turn this dress into an entirely different dress!  I snipped off the seam to one of the shoulders.

 

Snip!

Snip!

 

Then, I grabbed a spool of grosgrain ribbon…

 

This stuff is just way too flippin' handy!

This stuff is just way too flippin’ handy!

 

…and pinned it to both sides of the  recently cut shoulder.

 

Like this!

Like this!

 

I stitched each one down.

 

Whirrr!

Whirrr!

 

Do you see where I’m going with this?  My plan was to make the two shoulder pieces the new front of the dress, and use the other arm hole as a cool keyhole back!

 

Something like this!

Something like this!

 

I still had some fitting to do!  I took the whole thing in from the front (so as not to lose the back).

 

It seems like such a great idea, right?

It seems like such a great idea, right?

 

Taking it in!

Taking it in!

 

I trimmed off the extra fabric, threw my new dress on, and was immediately disappointed. :/

It just looked weird, folks.  First off, it wasn’t the casual dress I was going for.  It looked way too formal for anything I have coming up in the near future.  AND I didn’t take into account that the front and back of the dress weren’t identical.  This made the dress hang askew on me.

BLERG!

I thought all was lost, until I remembered this post by Sally over at Charity Shop Chic!

 

She refashioned this!  :)

She refashioned this! :)

 

I NEVER think of going bare-midriffed.  I’m over 30. It just seems weird and inappropriate, right? But Sally looks so very cute in her top!  Surely I can look cute in what was about to be mine as well!

I made a big chop!

 

Don't worry!  That bottom scrap will make a lovely skirt!

Don’t worry! That bottom scrap will make a lovely skirt!

 

To play a bit more with the asymmetry of my new top, I decided to stitch down only one of the shoulders into a V, and left the other one as-is!

 

It'll all make sense in just a moment, I swear!

It’ll all make sense in just a moment, I swear!

 

I think it’s quite fetching!

 

Showing a lil skin!

Showing a lil skin!

 

And just look at the back with its built-in air conditioning!

 

Le back!

Le back!

 

My new top was perfect for a birthday brunch with friends!

 

Happy Birthday Ken!

Happy Birthday Ken!

 

I hope he doesn't get mad at me for posting this...

I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for posting this…

 

Hmmmn.  Who is this?

Hmmmn. Who is this?

 

 

Lahvely People!

Lahvely People!

 

I decorated his bag myself!  :)

I decorated his bag myself! :)

 

Happy birthday revelers!

Happy birthday revelers!

 

Ryan seems quite smitten with my new Nana bag!  :)

Ryan seems quite smitten with my new Nana bag! :)

 

See?  Just because a refashion isn’t turning out quite how you wanted it to, that doesn’t mean you have to give up!  Just keep playing and see what happens!

Cheers!

 

ba82614

 

 

 

 

 

Dress to Top and Fun Life Things!

Hello!  Welcome to November!

I’m happy to start this new month with some pretty big news!  :)  As most of you know, I don’t just get to hang out at home refashioning all day.  I, like many of you, have a full-time day job.  I’ve been working at the South Carolina Arts Commission for seven years as their Grants Manager.  It’s been real.

But sometimes you just need a change.  I’m very excited to announce I’ve accepted a position with the United Way of the Midlands!  :)

United-Way-logo

I’ll be working as the Program Assistant for the Health Council and the Financial Stability Council in UWM’s community work.  This will include organization of community impact work, grant management & development, and program research.  I’m greatly looking forward to helping the underserved through my work with this terrific organization!

But this doesn’t mean the refashioning can stop!  Heck no!  I needed to make something fast for a relaxing movie night with friends.  I thought this lovely black dress would work nicely.

Did I say work nicely?  I meant twerk nicely!  ;)

Did I say work nicely? I meant twerk nicely! ;)

I’m about to make yet another top (don’t worry, I’ll get back to dresses again soon!).  All I really needed was a big chop.

Thanks for the help, Douglas!

Thanks for the help, Douglas!

I could’ve taken it in, but I was in a loose & flowy mood! :) I couldn’t just leave that raw edge fraying away, so I gave it a hem.

Whirrrrrr!

Whirrrrrr!

I used the bottom scrap as a sash to give my new flowy top a bit of shape, and ran out the door…but I didn’t go it alone!

Every outfit pairs well with a dachshund!  ;)

Every outfit pairs well with a dachshund! ;)

Bandito!

Bandito!

Yep, I still have my sweet little foster kid, Bandit.  He’s doing great, and he really enjoyed the movie too!  :)  If you think you’d be a good furever (see what I did there?) home for him, you can check out his profile on Little Paws Dachshund Rescue’s website.

2013 has been an awesome year full of new things, hasn’t it?  :)

Cheers!

ba110513

Midnight at the Mountain Oasis: A Dress to Top ReFashion!

Don’t you just love when you make plans months ahead for something really exciting?  There’s always something to look forward to on the distant horizon!  Well, Dan bought tickets for the Mountain Oasis music festival in Asheville the first day they went on sale.  I loooove Asheville and I’m fond of electronic music, so I’d been eagerly awaiting the trip!

The first day of the festival finally arrived, but I didn’t have anything to wear for the chilly temps of the mountains!  This is where all of you “Why don’t you make something with sleeves???” people can say, “Toldja so!”.  :)

Luckily, I did have this long-sleeved number:

Wait...Did Douglas get bigger?

Wait…Did Douglas get bigger?

Wait a second!  Is that Douglas down there?  Nope!  I’m fostering a sweet little Dachshund named Bandit!  He’s a rescue from a high-kill shelter here in SC.  You can read more about my adventures in first-time fostering in my MidlandsLife column.  :)  He’s happy and safe with me and Douglas now, and will hopefully have wonderful forever home soon!  :)

Back to that dress!  The color is awesome, but it’s super-dated.  :/

Oh…and there were these:

Teeny Tiny Pads!

Teeny Tiny Pads!

This dress is also lined, which I usually don’t like, but in this case that extra layer was going to help keep me warm.

I wasn’t in the mood for a dress, so I chopped off the bottom to make myself a new top!

OooooOOOOoooh...the haunted dress is cutting itself!  OoooooOOOOoooh!

OooooOOOOoooh…the haunted dress is cutting itself! OoooooOOOOoooh!

This left me with two raw edges to deal with – the outer layer and the lining.  I needed to hem them separately.  I started with the lining.  When adding this hem, I made sure to make the rolled edge face the outside, so only the smooth part would be against my skin.  I also hemmed it about 1″ more than I planned on hemming the outer layer so it wouldn’t stick out.

Big ol' hem!

Big ol’ hem!

After this was stitched down, I added a smaller hem to the outer layer, keeping that rolled edge out of view!

You take the high road, and I'll take the low road!

You take the high road, and I’ll take the low road!

Whirrrrrrr!!!

Whirrrrrrr!!!

After pressing down my new hems, my top was ready to take in some awesome sounds!

Comfy & Warm at our AirBnB abode!

Comfy & Warm at our AirBnB abode!

Look, Ma!  SLEEVES!  :)

Look, Ma! SLEEVES! :)

Sadly, temps dropped into the lower 30s…making bundling up highly necessary.

These guys seem nice enough...

These guys seem nice enough…

Gotta keep warm in the light defraction tunnel!

Gotta keep warm in the light refraction tunnel!

I dunno...these ladies seem warm enough...

I dunno…these ladies seem warm enough…

Luckily, I was able to de-layer a bit when we got inside!  :)

Checking out the sweet sounds and amazing sights of Purity Ring!

Checking out the sweet sounds and amazing sights of Purity Ring!

Cheers!

ba103013