Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tunic Tee

In the search for the perfect tunic materials last week, I came across this linen blend skirt from a clothes swap a year or two ago. I never really knew what I was going to do with it until now. I only snagged it at the end of the night because no one else wanted it, and come on, quality fabric and hot pink?

Tunic Tee - Before

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 4: Tunic

For the next Refashion Runway challenge - Tunic - I took inspiration from the traditional tunics of southern Asia, known as "kurtas," which are typically straight cut, loose fitting, collarless shirts that fall somewhere around knee length with slits up the sides. They can be made from a variety of materials, such as luxurious silks for formal occasions, simple cotton or linen for everyday summer wear, or sturdy wool during winter. Rummaging through my refashion closet, I pulled out this skirt and top set in a linen blend, which I brought home from a clothes swap a couple years ago because I loved the pattern and fabric.

Refashion Runway: Tunic

Unfortunately, this fabric was a bit thin to be worn by itself, I thought, so I began to ponder my options for a lining. That's when the light bulb went on. REVERSIBLE! Another dive into the stash produced this cotton muumuu with convenient nursing zippers hidden under the front ruffles. This one came from Goodwill a while back for... $3?

Refashion Runway: Tunic

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Penny For Your Thoughts

If you've been following the other competitors in this season of Refashion Runway, you may have seen Jen, of Diary of a Mad Mama, mention that, of all the weekly challenges, she was most looking forward to the metallic theme. Well, I was most looking forward to the button theme. Little did I know it was for the Exact. Same. Reason.

Penny Buttons - Before

Yup. I originally made myself a beautiful set of penny buttons to be sewn onto my new blue shirt dress. Then, when the metallic entries were revealed a couple days later and I saw Jen's gypsy-esque dress with the dangling penny charms all over it, my heart sank. Don't get me wrong - she did a beautiful job! It was just my bad luck the metallic theme came before the buttons. Obviously, I couldn't use pennies for the next challenge and look like a copycat, so I had to figure out a different route to take for my buttons. But if you're interested, here's how I made my original penny buttons.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 3: Buttons

On this episode of Refashion Runway, the contestants were given the theme "Buttons" to inspire our creativity! Have a gander at my project below before you hop on over to The Renegade Seamstress to see the other entries and vote for your favorite!

I picked up this giant, blue, faux wrap dress at Thrift City a couple months ago with the intention of turning it into the shirt dress of my dreams, and this button challenge played right into my hands!

Refashion Runway: Buttons

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Metallic Meh

For last week's Refashion Runway metallic challenge, I had originally planned an all gold outfit, pairing this oversized gold sparkly sweater with my pleated curtain skirt. It's difficult to capture the sparkles, but trust me, they're there.

Gold Sweater - Before

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 2: Metallic

The next hurdle along the Refashion Runway was metallic! Check out my entry below, then go to The Renegade Seamstress to see the other refashionistas' creations and cast your vote for your favorite!

As I browsed Pinterest for ideas, I became increasingly envious of all the pleated skirts I was seeing, so my mind was made up. I scoured the thrift shops for anything pleated I could paint metallic or anything metallic I could pleat, and eventually I found the perfect ultra-high-sheen, gold satin (well, polyester) curtains at Thrift City. There were some holes and snags, but I could certainly work around those. To accompany my gold skirt, I also pulled out a silver metallic lace skirt that's been hanging forgotten in my craft room closet following a clothes swap a couple years ago.

Refashion Runway: MetallicRefashion Runway: Metallic

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Velvet Fallback

I'm an overly cautious person. Always have been. So I like to have a Plan B, in case things don't work out the first time. I did this during Season Two - thrifted multiple themed and plan to continue to do so for the current season as well. In fact, for the velvet challenge, the project I submitted in the end was actually Plan C. Plan B was an utter disaster. As my husband put it, I looked like I was headed for a renaissance festival... to play the jester. Okay, so maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but certainly it wasn't competition worthy, or even Internet worthy for that matter. What follows was Plan A, which turned out fine, but I didn't feel it had that "wow" factor needed for the contest. It began with this lovely smocked velvet robe.

Velvet Tulip Dress - Before

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 1: Velvet

The latest season of Refashion Runway - the All Stars edition - is finally here! And we're kicking it off with a velvet challenge! This fabric has been all over the runways lately, and it's predicted to be all over a city near you soon as well. Once you've read my submission below, be sure to click over to The Renegade Seamstress to check out the other entries and vote for your favorite!

I found this 90s crushed velvet dress at Thrift City recently and knew it'd be the perfect starting point for a makeover. It had giant shoulder pads and was a bit too snug and too long, but I loved the color and the strappy details on the upper back.

Refashion Runway: VelvetRefashion Runway: Velvet

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Refashion Runway Season 4

I so enjoyed competing in Refashion Runway Season 2 a few years ago and then sewing along with the challenges during Season 3 last summer, so you can imagine my excitement when Beth contacted me with an invitation to return as a competitor for Season 4 - the All Stars edition! That's right! A whole new season full of some of your favorite refashionistas from seasons past, and it all starts this Saturday!

Refashion Runway

So take the next few days to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the fun and inspiration to come. Make sure your voting finger is nice and limber. And if you're interested in sewing along with us, please do! You can read more about the other All Star competitors, get the scoop on the weekly challenges, and find out how to submit your sew-along projects right here!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Rugged Knits

I recently received a copy of Andrea Rangel's Rugged Knits from Interweave and was blown away by the simple, practical patterns within.

Rugged Knits

Ms. Rangel's designs aren't trendy or groundbreaking. They're made to last forever, both in terms of style and durability. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to spend weeks or, even months, knitting myself a sweater, I don't want it to look dated in a few years' time.

Raspberry Grove Cowl

I was particularly drawn to the Blackberry Grove cowl, which flares slightly to fit over the shoulders if you prefer to wear it that way. This is accomplished by working each cable repeat with progressively larger needles.

Raspberry Grove Cowl

I used some long-time stash yarn - Elsebeth Lavold Angora in Magenta - which was not quite as thick as the super bulky yarn the pattern recommended. I compensated by going down a needle size across the board, but also casting on enough stitches to do three additional repeats of the cable pattern around the cowl. And to make the cowl roughly the same height as the original, I did one more repeat of the cables vertically as well on needles one size larger than the last repeat.

Raspberry Grove Cowl

I found the instructions to be well-written and error-free. Once the weather cools off and I can stand to have more wool on my lap, perhaps I'll whip up one of the lovely pullovers from this book!