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Anne’s Dramatically Groovy Reader ReFash

Kimono-Style Dress Refashion
Mad Woman Dress

I’m excited to share a Reader ReFash with you that came to me from a kindred spirit named Anne. She teaches Fashion/Design and Speech/Drama at two junior high schools, which I find impressive given my fear of youths. I obviously love fashion, and I less-obviously hold a degree in Theatre (my professional career has been a winding path indeed). Anne recently challenged her students to upcycle a garment of their choosing, and I hope she’ll share some pics with me, as I’d love to see them and feature them here (with their parents’ permission of course).

I won’t lie. I get a little misty-eyed at the thought of an educator teaching kids to think about what they’re wearing, where it came from, and how they can creatively define their own style. This work is important. People like Anne are changing the world and creating a new generation of conscious consumers.

But I’ve said enough. Let’s let Anne take over, shall we?


I have been doing refashions a lot this year prior to finding you, especially with the school spirit and fundraising t-shirts we accumulate over the year, but, alas, no before photos were taken. Being quite inspired by your bag o’ tricks for refashions, and having some rare spare time, being on winter break and all, I wanted to do a refashion to share with you. Plus, it would be SO COOL to be featured on your blog and be able to share it with my students. Here it is:


I especially loved the little dress you made out of a skirt for a wine event at the zoo. I headed to my favorite local charity thrift store, Morning Star’s Treasure Chest, to look for a long broomstick circle skirt with a funky print (I too LOVE a good funky print) to make a dress. Lo and behold, I found this:



I turned it inside out and I measured and pinned about 9 inches from the sides to sew seams and make cuts between what would be the sleeves and the body of the dress.


She is starting to look like a dress already! Excitedly I tried it on to see what it fit like, and oh, my. I couldn’t move my arms above my elbows. I felt like a T-Rex. I sewed the sleeves and body seams a bit higher and cut again, and it was not getting better. Frustrated, I chopped off the sleeves entirely, and thought about making it sleeveless. But, I REALLY wanted the sleeves. I do not live in the south. I live in Chicagoland. It’s cold. Plus, nobody would confuse my arms with those of Michelle Obama. Nobody.


I thought this would be so simple, but it was not to be! I really wanted it to work out though, and now my sons (ages 8 and 5) were watching, so a mom must be a good role model and persevere until the job is done! Giving up is not an option! I think it didn’t work out easily because the skirt wasn’t a true circle skirt, and didn’t have the room for curvy me with just the long v-shaped seams separating sleeves and body.


This is where the fact that I am a long-time pattern sewer actually became helpful. After SEVERAL trials of sewing and ripping and sewing and ripping, the solution was to add some inserts (salvaged from the FEW itsy bitsy scraps I had strewn on the floor) into the sides under the armpit to make the body roomier, and then I attached sleeves in the “traditional” way – sewing all the way around, making shoulder seams. Once finished, I held my breath and slipped it over my head…


TA-DA! I am looking forward to wearing my new dress at school next week!

“Here comes that Mrs. Styx, she just always wears the most interesting things!”

I am looking forward to trying some more!


Sincerely Yours In Sewing and Drama, Anne Styx, New Lenox, IL


Kimono-Style Dress Refashion
Mad Woman Dress