I had a problem! My Performance Choir group (see our website
) had decided that we needed to up the classiness of our outfits. Before we were just wearing Black t- shirts with our group logo on it. But now we had to all be wearing black long sleeves and be in dresses that we could wear to a wedding. Oh help!
I had no tops and no extra cash to go and get one for the performance that weekend. So luckily I came across this great tutorial
to turn a simple top into a shrug.
So I found a basic long sleeve Merino wool top that had stretched a bit from wearing when I was pregnant with Mouse and set to it.
Basically you cut down the front of the top and then fold over the cut edge about 2cm and sew it down to make a tunnel you can thread ribbon through.
I was in such a rush to have this ready I just hand sewed the hem down, as it only had to last 20 minutes for the performance.
Afterwards I decided I liked the look so I unpicked my hand stitches and over locked the cut edge.
Then I straight stitched the hem down with my sewing machine.
I used about 2 metres of 5mm black statin ribbon that I thread through the seam tunnel using a safety pin.
Tied it up in a bow in the front and I was set to go sing.
I used this for performing all winter and I think it looks much dressier than a plain top and shows off any nice dress I wear underneath.
Super quick and easy to do and I will try on other tops in the future too I think.
I found some what I thought were some lovely dresses online a few years ago. They fitted my top half fine but must have been made for people with no shame, as they hardly covered my nether regions. So they ended up in my wardrobe unloved.
I loved the colour of this aqua strapless dress, and was wearing it as a skirt for a while until I noticed the frilly hem was falling off.
I think I could have sewed it back on but decided those frills had never been my style anyway.
So I unpicked them off with my trusty unpicker.
The edge of the unpicked seam was still in good overlocked condition so I just turned up the edge and sewed it down with matching thread.
Now I love wearing it as it is definitely a top length, not a dress, so hopefully will get some more wear out of it this hot summer!
When I had Mouse I splurged and got some great breastfeeding tops that I thought looked fantastic. Unfortunately I forgot that long sleeve tops tend to annoy me and I constantly end up pushing or pulling at the sleeve all day. So the sleeves of this top had to go.
I was being in a rush so instead of carefully un picking the sleeves I just chopped them off with my scissors.
I then overlocked the rough edges and folded them over and stitched them down with matching thread.
I love my new singlet and wear it all the time now.
Just have to find something to do with all the material left from those pesky sleeves now
I love it when I find a few tops in my old clothes stash that colours match.
I have had this funky hooded green tunic for about five years and have worn it to death.
As you can see it had some really attractive holes right in the front, for all to see.
But the rest of it was in really good condition and I couldn't bear to throw it out.
I also found this great green t-shirt that my husband got years ago that had been given to his brother and came back to us with some interesting stains from darkest India.
Nothing dodgy apparently!
The colours were so good together I thought I should be able to fix my tunic up a bit.
I found this great tutorial
on Pinterest that I thought could work by adding a pocket to the front
I got a bit of A4 paper and folded it in half.
Then traced around the edge of a side plate to get a curve for the pocket holes.
I then cut the curve out and it looked like the photo to the left.
You can see the couple of attempts it took me to get the shape I liked!
I then placed the shape onto my tunic top to see if I liked it and altered the pocket shape til it looked right.
I then used the pocket pattern to cut out a double layer thickness on the green t-shirt.
I pinned the 2 pieces together and overlocked it together with a small gap at the top to turn it inside out to put the seams inside.
I made sure no stains were visible on the side that was going to be on the outside of the pocket!
I then stitched the pocket on along the top, making sure my turning hole was stitched as well.
Also along the sides and bottom making sure the hand holes were open.
I am so glad I got to reuse the old t-shirt into making my tunic wearable again. And the pocket had been great for putting my keys in when carrying the kids.
I think I love refashioning Men's shirts! I found this one at an Op shop for about $2 and thought I might be able to do something with it. After last time making a top from a Men's shirt
I thought I should try a skirt this time. I had a look around Pinterest and was inspired by this
page of ideas.
The Men's shirt was a size 42 and was the largest I could get on that day. Next time I would try to get something larger to have more fabric to play with.
First up I chopped off the sleeves and upper collar area.
I ended up chopping about 5 cm above the pocket as I wanted to keep to pocket detail.
But it ended up being too high on the skirt so I should have just chopped it at the widest part to start with.
Then the scissors chopped off the sleeve cuffs.
I kept the buttons - I love keeping buttons for some reason!
I then chopped the sleeve material in half long ways to make the waist band for the skirt.
The top of the sleeve was rounded so I straightened it up with the scissors.
I had quite a bit of fabric in the sleeves and thought I could use them as ties to give some interest to the waist so I evened up part to the sleeve fabric to be about 10cm wide.
I decided I wanted to keep the pocket but not in its original place so I carefully unpicked it.
Then onto some sewing.
I pieced together the sleeve parts for my waist ties and overlocked them together and turned them inside out so the rough edges were on the inside.
I then got the rest of the wider reserved sleeve pieces and overlocked them together to make a circle about 20 cm larger than my waist.
I sewed in the waist ties where my hips would be.
Then I overlocked the waist band to make a tube which ended up being about 10 cm wide.
That part was then overlocked onto the rest of the shirt which I had straitened the top of with my scissors. I left a 5cm gap at the back to thread in some elastic.
Then I carefully re sewed the pocket back onto the shirt front lower down.
I also sewed the front of the shirt down by the buttons so when I moved around there wouldn't be any embarrassing gaping parts through the buttoned up part.
Then I threaded 3cm elastic that was cut to fit my waist through the hole in the waistband and sewed the ends together well. Then I sewed the gap up.
I am really happy how the skirt turned out since I made it up as I went along. The waist ties can be tied to the front or the back. I think I prefer the back as it gives it a bit more interest.
The only thing though is it does look a bit like my high school uniform with the small checks but Mr T doesn't mind that at all!
Mr T has finally let me refashion some of his tired work shirts, which I am super excited about as I have been bugging him for ages to let me use some of the older ones to have a play with.
I saw this top
on Pinterest and thought I could give it a go.
These are the steps I took to do it, but you can refer to the above tutorial for more help.
First I cut off the sleeves on both sides.
I then folded the edges over twice to the outside and pinned them.
The colour of the inside was pretty cool and vibrant so I left it like that.
I then sewed it down with a straight stitch.
I then cut off the collar.
The first time I did this I didn't go low enough, and had to re cut it below the back yoke of the shirt to make it sit better.
I then folded the front and back top parts over twice about 2cm to the front and sewed it down with a straight stitch.
This makes a tunnel to thread through cord/ribbon to make the shoulder straps.
I then cut the sleeve material in a spiral to get a really long continuous bit of material about 1.5cm wide.
I folded it in half and over locked the rough edge to make a sturdy cord.
I then cut the cord in half and used one half to thread through the front and back top tunnels.
I used the second half as a tie around my waist.
I really love wearing this top as it is really nice and loose to wear on hot days.
I actually have been wearing it inside out as the inside stitching is really neat and the colours of the inside are so much more vibrant.
But when I wear it the right way you can see the buttons and the inside parts are visible at the arm holes and neck as a sort of bias biding look.
Here is a photo with my lovely Nana and my new top on Christmas eve, which was a very hot day, so I loved having the coolness around my shoulders and loose fitting around my abdomen.
We had a wonderful couple of years when lots of our gorgeous friends got married. I ended up with a lot of dresses suitable to be a wedding guest that have been sitting in my wardrobe unused and unloved.
There doesn't seem to be many occasions to wear a pretty frock when you are surrounded by play dough and finger paint every day.
I thought that perhaps I would wear this pretty aqua dress more as a skirt.
Also while looking through Pinterest there seems to be a trend for flowy skirts at the moment.
So firstly I unpicked the bodice from the skirt. I'm going to save that for something else I think.
It was all a bit rough at the top so I over locked the seam.
Then I turned down the top hem about 5 cm and stitched around the top, making a tube.
I then thread some elastic through the tube with a safety pin, and stitched the hole shut.
This has made the skirt about knee length now and is super comfortable and airy. It feels great even on a hot sticky day. The only problems I had was dealing with the satin type fabric at the front of the skirt as it was very slippery to sew with, but it still turned out alright in the end.
I really like how it turned out and have worn the skirt heaps.
Also have had lovely comments every time I have worn it.
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I have had my seventh form ball dress in my wardrobe now for 14 years!!! It has sat there waiting to be worn and I never had anything to wear it too.
My mum actually made it for me after all the dresses I looked at and wanted were about $200 more than I could afford. I think in the interests of modesty she kept it rather loose fitting around the torso and very long.
Unfortunately the best photo I have to prove I wore it to my school ball is the one to the left..... I know, really this is the best! I don't know who was taking photos, but I think they may have had a few too many pre-drinks!
So last month we got invited to a dress up Halloween Party and I raided my wardrobe and the dress up box (I'm a theatre person, we have dress ups for adults at home!).
I found some angel wings and some hardcore bling and my ball dress so a fallen angel I was.
Unfortunately the dress needed to be spiced up a little to make me truly fallen.
So I took to it with some scissors and chopped it just above the knee. Due to the type of fabric it didn't need hemming.
Then I took it in on both sides to give it more of a pencil skirt slimming shape not so much A-line as previously.
It worked really well, even with me having trouble with the lining getting a bit tangled. Nothing a bit of unpicking couldn't fix!
I'm not sure when I'll wear this dress again, but considering it hasn't been worn in so long I'm glad it got another outing, although I definitely didn't have as much to drink this time around. I must be getting old and responsible!
A lovely work colleague gave me this light cotton dress to have when I was pregnant with Mouse.
It was lovely and cool to wear during the Hawkes Bay summer, but then the belly got too big and I was worried I would stretch it too much.
It did end up getting all out of shape, so I haven't worn it in about 2 years!
As you can see from the before picture I unpicked the top bit from the skirt.
I then over locked the top of the skirt and folded it down about 5 cm. I sewed a straight line around the top to make a tunnel with about 5 cm gap at the back
I then threaded some 2 cm wide elastic through the gap with a safety pin and sewed it shut.
I think I have worn this skirt about 10 times already, which is about a 100% improvement to it gathering dust in my wardrobe. I think it could be made to be a bit more fitting, but it is super comfy.
I still have the top bits and straps which I'll have to find something to do with.