Last week, Mr. Refashionista and I took a nice little trip to Denver, Colorado!
Neither of us had been before. We found a cheap flight. Mr. R has a bajillion PTO days stocked up. In other words, the stars aligned to grant us a wonderful getaway…the first we’ve had together since having to flee Ireland on Day 3 of what was supposed to be our honeymoon as the world began to shut down.
While there, we did a lot of hiking, eating, beer-ing, and yes…thrifting!
I found a few thrift stores that had $1 clearance racks, which is basically a siren’s song for me.
While at one such store, Mr. Refashionista picked out this dress for me to refashion because it “looks like R2D2”.
This dress isn’t bad. I love the print & colors!
I also loved these buttons along the shoulders:
I didn’t, however like how shapeless this dress was.
After one glance, I knew exactly how I wanted to refashion it. I would turn this dress into a skirt and matching top!
First, I made two chops!
You can see how I’ve cut my dress into two parts, but also that I left a tiny middle scrap too.
This is because I didn’t bring any elastic or closures (think: zippers or anything like that) in my travel sewing stash. The only way I’d be able to make the skirt work would be to add a drawstring and the only source I had available for said drawstring was the dress itself.
Next, I pinned the top part of my dress at the top where I wanted to take it in.
My biggest priority was closing up those super-gapey armholes a bit.
I wanted my top to be a little boxy for the overall look I was planning, so I took it in more at the top and then tapered down to the bottom.
Then, I stitched each side of the top down!
But wait! What machine is this?
One of you anonymously sent this to me when I mentioned I regretted getting rid of my Janome Sew Mini, which is no longer in production (they found it on eBay). Which was incredibly sweet & kind. Thank you (whoever you are)! I hope you’re happy to see it in action!
Once each side was stitched down, I cut off the excess fabric with my pinking shears (I checked my bag at the airport this time).
I folded the bottom of my top under twice and pinned it into place.
I had to be careful not to make my new top too short (as I didn’t want my stomach to show), so I made my bottom hem just as teensy as I could!
I sewed my hem down.
I was really happy my new-to-me machine didn’t experience any of the needle clamp issues that plagued me with the Janome New Home in my recent Austin, TX refashion.
So, my top was finished, but what about my skirt?
Since I wanted to add a drawstring closure, I needed to give my skirt a place for the drawstring to go in the front.
I decided to use the zigzag stitch on my machine to make a sort of buttonhole that would allow me to thread the drawstring through and not fray.
To do this, I first marked the front center of my skirt, leaving enough room to add a casing behind the buttonhole-ish thing.
You can see I also pressed the top in place to make this part a little easier.
I stitched my buttonhole-ish thing by sewing to side-by-side zigzag stitches followed by a small stitch at the top and bottom.
After it was sewn in place, I carefully snipped out the middle.
If you’re following along at home, I recommend coating the opening with fray check to further reinforce it.
Time to make that casing!
I pinned the top part, folding it over the buttonhole thing, and sewed it down.
Next, I pinned a safety pin to the end of my (primitive) drawstring and threaded it through.
I know…this drawstring looks pretty shabby right? Don’t worry! It’s only temporary! I’m going to replace it with a long white shoestring, but this’ll work as a placeholder for now. I
I don’t recommend using fabric cut against the grain (horizontal instead of vertical, if that makes sense) of the fabric like I’ve done here, as it won’t be as strong. But, like I said, this was the best option I could come up with given my limited setup & materials.
When my (slightly janky) drawstring was threaded through, I slipped into my swell new 2-piecer!
I’ve gotta say, I like this SO much better as a top & skirt set!
Of course, temps in Denver were quite a bit lower than Columbia. Luckily, I came prepared with my trusty denim jacket I’ve had since college!
Mr Refashionista thought my new outfit was cute too!
We had the best time exploring this remarkably chill city.
I’ll be posting more pics of our Colorado trip on my Patreon Page!
I like that I can now either wear my new top and skirt together or separately, as I have a ton of dresses, but not so many tops or skirts!
- You might also like this sweater dress to sweater refashion!
- I also turned the bottom part into a swell skirt! I wear them together all the time, but sadly haven’t photographed them as a matching set yet!
Want more refashions in your life (and inbox)?