You guys! I’m so SO happy! Last week, I got to fly to Austin to visit my much-missed friend Susan and do research for an upcoming Thrifting in Austin blog post!
We’ve been friends for years and years. She used to live here in Columbia, SC but moved to one of my favorite cities about six years ago. While we’ve been pretty good at visiting each other and keeping in touch, 2020 made that…difficult.
But now we’re both vaxxed up, and the good times can (slowly) return!
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Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t pack my new travel sewing machine so I could whip up a spring dress refashion from one of my thrifted finds!
That print is awesome, is it not? While they may not be groundbreaking, I still love floral prints for spring.
Sure, floral prints are quite common. But brown floral prints? A little less so.
I also liked this neat drawstring thingy on the back of my dress.
For some reason, I found myself giggling at the label too.
However, there were a couple of things I didn’t particularly care for with this dress.
I’ll add on to the list of things I didn’t like about this one with its length & the length of its sleeves, as well as it’s too big for me.
In other words, I couldn’t go out looking like this:
I packed light for this trip, which meant my mini sewing machine took up half of my carry-on suitcase (I try to avoid checking my luggage whenever possible).
I relegated my sewing supplies to a small cosmetics bag.
Here’s what my makeshift sewing setup looked like:
I started my refashion by removing those ginormous pads!
After I removed those shoulder pads, I found additional pads hiding inside my dress as well, which I promptly snipped out.
With the paddage removed, I figured out how much I needed to take my dress in.
I wanted it to be more fitted than it was, but still loose enough to be comfortable on a hot day.
I didn’t have my dress form with me (she only flies first class and I’m cheap), so I grabbed my dress’ sides at the bust, waist, and hips, noting (aka guesstimating) how much each part needed to be taken in for it to fit me.
Then, I turned my dress inside out and got to pinning.
I stitched each side down…
Then I cut off the extra fabric from the sides with my tiny snips.
In case you’re wondering, I only packed my smallest sewing scissors as I was worried that my larger ones (even my pinking shears) would be confiscated by TSA. Ideally, I would use pinking shears for this part.
I mean, I already end up getting my bag examined almost every time I try to fly with my sewing machine (apparently this isn’t a common practice), so why tempt fate?
Next, I cut off part of the sleeves, as well as some of the length!
My tiny scissors were really getting a workout!
I folded the bottoms of my sleeves under twice and clipped them into place.
Then I stitched them down…or rather TRIED TO!
If you look closely at the above pic, you can see the needle has slipped out of the needle clamp.
This happened when I was working on the sides too, but I at first thought I hadn’t tightened the needle clamp screw enough. NOPE. The screw just wouldn’t tighten enough to securely hold the needle in place!
This meant I had to put the needle back in place about TWENTY TIMES in order to finish this refashion. GAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!
I was originally going to do something a little more interesting with the sleeves, but decided to give up on that dream since my machine wasn’t cooperating.
When I was (finally) done with the sleeves, I still had to complete that bottom hem.
I pinned my hem in place.
Then I went through the same sew a bit/put the needle back in routine as before.
Note: I’m exchanging this machine so I can write a fair review of it, as I think the needle clamp issue on this particular machine is just a random fluke. If the new one works well, it’ll be going to my niece as her first sewing machine!
In the meantime, one of you awesome darlings anonymously sent me a Janome Sew Mini that I can use for my travels, so it’ll be hitting the road soon!
At LAST, I was DONE!
I’m really happy this refashion worked out (otherwise I’d be stuck wearing the same outfit as the day before!).
Did I mention how much I love Austin, TX?
Here’s what my dress looked like from the back:
My new dress enjoyed some quality & quantity time with Susan…
…as well as a few bevvies & some brisket!
I love how even after months of separation, good friends can always pick right back up where they left off.
In the evening, we got to enjoy the vocal stylings of one of her friends, Mac McIntosh at The Half Step on Rainey Street. If you like Jazz, you should check him out!
So, while this was a frustrating refashion, in the end it worked out just fine!
…Pssst! I have just launched the official Refashionista Patreon page!
I’ve been wanting to give you guys more content (that doesn’t necessarily fit all that well on this blog) AND build more of a Refashionista community for a while now, and Patreon is the perfect vehicle to help me achieve these goals.
Supporting me on Patreon is the best way to help this blog. It will enable me to create more content (both refashions and non-refashions), and help Refashionista expand into video as well. You can learn more on my Patreon page.
And even if you can’t/don’t wanna do that, you can still get a little behind-the-scenes goodness with my weekly newsletter!