Monday, August 31, 2015

Refashion Runway Sew-Along: Asymmetrical

I can admit it. I have issues. I like things in proper order, whether it's alphabetical, numerical, chronological, rainbow. I sort my M&M's into color piles before eating them. I perform repetitive tasks in multiples of four. And I like symmetry. So as you can imagine, Beth's asymmetrical Refashion Runway challenge this week was just that - a challenge.

Now I'm not saying I've never worn or refashioned anything asymmetrical. My idiosyncrasies are rather tame compared to some people out there, and I try to push my limits and get out of my comfort zone whenever my brain will allow it. I've found I do much better with garments that have structural symmetry, but perhaps an off-centered decorative element. So, with little tolerance for imbalance and little time for sewing this weekend, I decided to keep it simple and make over a basic boyfriend tee that fit fine but could use some lovin'.

Button-Embellished Tee - BeforeButton-Embellished Tee - Before

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Refashion Runway Sew-Along: Boho Chic

When I hear "boho," I think lace, florals, loose and flowy fabrics. So when Beth posted this week's Refashion Runway theme, I dove into my refash stash and came up with two excellent candidates: a $2 thrifted 90s floral dress that was too tight across my bosom (though Rosy squeezed into it okay enough) and a frazzled scarf gifted to me by a friend who told me to "just do something with it!"

Teal Floral Dress - BeforeLace Kimono - Before

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Refashion Runway Sew-Along: Maxi Skirt

I'm back from a long weekend road trip and finally posting last week's refashion project! This one was another Refashion Runway/The Refashioners double-play! The Refashion Runway challenge this past week was to make a maxi skirt or dress, and of course, the ongoing theme of The Refashioners 2015 is giving new life to men's dress shirts. And so I chose to create a maxi skirt from - you guessed it - men's dress shirts.

I selected four shirts in varying shades of blue and one white shirt to turn into an ombre tiered skirt.

Ombre Tiered Skirt - BeforeOmbre Tiered Skirt - Before

But first, I had a little too much fun taking my before pictures!

Ombre Tiered Skirt - Before

Ombre Tiered Skirt - Before

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thrift Style Thursday: Risking It All

We're facing our fashion fears this week, thanks to Megan. She asked us to try out a trend that scares us, and I have to say, I feel like I've done a pretty darn good job of doing that this year. Since joining the Thrift Style Thursday crew, I've worn a lot of things I never thought I would, and to my surprise, most of them went swimmingly! Let's take a look back, shall we?

Long, long ago in a month called January, I began to ease into things with a bit of neutrals. Heretofore, combining black and brown was a big no-no in my book, but I liked what I saw on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Then there were the white pants, which seemed like a disaster in the making for a klutz like me. I've gotten a lot of use out of these babies in the past several months though, and I'm proud to say they are still white!

The following week, I broke new ground in several areas. I introduced a little mustard, a color I had previously declared off limits due to my yellow-y skin tone. I also wore a summery skirt in winter, and I did it with a little help from a colorful pair of tights. (Boy, did I hate tights when I was a kid!) I even began to dabble in pattern mixing. I've found it easier to mix patterns if they have at least one color in common. And if one of the patterns is polka dots because, c'mon, polka dots.

In the past, I usually stuck with a neutral base and then added a pop of a single color, a standard that still works quite well. But I've also now branched into multi-colored outfits. My collection of brightly-colored pants has grown immensely this year, and I frequently pair them with a different colored top and/or accessories.

I even tried pairing multiple shades of the same color!

Years of being much heavier had caused me to avoid plaid and gingham in the past, but the geometry really appeals to me. And hey, there're those white pants again!

So what are some of your fashion phobias? If you gave them a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised! Now let's go see what scares the other Thrift Style Thursday ladies! Click their pics below to go see their blogs, or the TST logo in the center will take you to our Facebook page. And don't forget two newest members, Alison and Amalia!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Refashion Runway Sew-Along: Bags

Almost two years ago, Beth challenged me to work with leather for the very first time, and apparently, it left me a bit scarred. I loved the jacket I made for season two of Refashion Runway, but I remember what a pain it was sewing that leather on a regular sewing machine. I'm ashamed to say, I haven't even tried again since then. But with this week's season three theme - Clutch, Tote Bag, or Purse - it seemed only fitting that I give leather another chance.

I pulled out this old leather jacket I got for free last year, left over from someone's garage sale. It was incredibly soft, well-loved leather, but in an extremely dated form with completely worn out elastic at the waist.

Recycled Leather Fold-Over Bag - Before

Just look at those batwings! All that leather! For free!

Recycled Leather Fold-Over Bag - Before

Recycled Leather Fold-Over Bag - Before

I'm also going to need a strap for my new bag, so I dug out an old leather belt (sans buckle).

Recycled Leather Fold-Over Bag - Before

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit

This week, Mounia suggested we focus on tribal prints and boho-inspired fashion. I have to say, my closet is quite lacking in that area, but after much searching, I came across this maxi dress I refashioned last year, the top of which has a vaguely tribal-esque print.

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit

Maybe if I were cool enough to go to music festivals, I would have a larger cache of boho-style garments. Maybe if I acquired more boho-style clothing, I would become cool. That's how that works, right? Maybe?

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit

To boost the tribal feel, I dug out with all the gold/brass bangles I could find, which remind me a bit of those neck rings some women in Myanmar wear to elongate their necks. I also added my fake gauges (because nothing says "hard core" like pretending you've stretched out your earlobes?).

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit

Thrift Style Thursday: Tribe Spirit
Dress: refashioned // Sandals: $5 Yerdle // Bracelets: $2 thrifted // Earrings: Etsy
Mother-of-Pearl ring: old, thrifted // Hematite ring: Earthbound Trading Co.

Do you think the other Thrift Style Thursday ladies were more prepared for this theme than I was? Click their pics below to go see their blogs, or the TST logo in the center will take you to our Facebook page. And don't forget our newest member, Alison!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Refashion Runway Sew-Along: Gingham

Today's project is a twofer! It falls in line with this week's Refashion Runway gingham theme, and it's also a men's shirt refashion to celebrate tomorrow's kick-off of The Refashioners 2015 series on Makery.

I began with this 3XL Tall pink gingham Ralph Lauren men's dress shirt, which I picked up for $6 at a nearby thrift shop, after scouring three different thrift stores for something, anything gingham. It was much more difficult than I expected.

Gingham Sundress - Before
Gingham Sundress - BeforeGingham Sundress - Before

[Yes, that means I've already broken my self-imposed, no-new-purchases challenge after only a week, but here's the deal: the only gingham thing I had my refash stash was a slightly too-small shirt. I gave it a shot, but the resulting top was... unsatisfactory. I don't even want to show it to you. Let's never speak of it again. I'm sure I'll use its components in another project down the line, but for now, it never happened.]

So anywho, this shirt was super thin cotton - great for a man who's going to wear an undershirt, but not so great for the dress I planned to make. So what's a slip-hating seamstress to do? How 'bout lining it with an old white cotton bed sheet? Yep, that'll do the trick.

Gingham Sundress - Before

Warning: This post is gonna be pretty picture-heavy, just so ya know...