Silk Charmeuse Shirt Refashion

Silk-Charmeuse-Refashion-FSwebI have seen a number of wonderful refashion projects using shirts to make skirts. I owned a few silk charmeuse shirts that I never wear and then found another at a used clothing store. My fabulous mother-in-law gifted me the black one on the right.Shirts-before-cutting-SI-web First I washed and dried the shirts with the cotton setting on my washer. Yes, hot water and a hot drier! Silk is very strong and I wanted this outfit to be washable for everyday wear. The first photo is of the shirts after washing. Hardly any wrinkles, and if they did shrink then better now than after sewing.

I started by cutting off all of the elements and sorting. The collars in one area, sleeves, cuffs, and the main body parts are each placed in their own pile. The leopard shirt caught my eye and I decided to save the body of that shirt to make into a sleeveless shirt/vest. This photo shows the shirts placed to form bottom of the skirt.Shirts-in-progress-SIweb It’s fun to include some of the plackets with buttons. I decided to use the Taos Skirt pattern from Diane Ericson. It has a simple front and back and multiple ways to make the waistband so I could postpone that decision until later. In the end I decided (with the help of my BSF Debra) to make the waist out of the cuffs from the shirts.Skirt-Back-SBweb The shirt was simple with binding from one of the shirts and a doubled collar from another shirt. I think it will feel great when the warm weather finally hits!Silk-Charmeuse-Shirt-refashion-SOweb

Dressy Jacket

I’m working on an evening look for an upcoming benefit gala.Dressy-Jacket-OM Dressing up for an event is always fun to plan for. I’m making palazzo pants, a slinky top and then I’m topping it off with this jacket. I’ll show the pant and top as I finish them, but both are already under construction.

I’ve had this fabric in my stash for at least 5 years just waiting for the right moment. The texture has some dimension and a bit of stiffness, but also drapes enough for this Vogue pattern by Geoffrey Beene (V2232 out-of-print). Dressy-Jacket1-OM-web

Black, copper and bright blue threads are woven together to make this slightly iridescent textile. It’s the blue threads that really make the copper pop. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but the other pieces have a lot of gold metallic so I added the gold studs on the pockets for just a dash of sparkle.Dressy-Jacket-web-DM

Not just another sweatshirt

Lauren-Sweatshirt-FMwI wear my first sweatshirt refashion so much I decided to tackle another. I started with a very small Ralph Lauren sweatshirt with an awesome military collar. I took the back off again and added it to the front. This time there wasn’t enough fabric in the original sweatshirt to allow for princess seams, but I cut the sweatshirt in a triangle with the smallest part aligning with the collar shape. I think it still has a slimming line on top.

Lauren-Sweatshirt-OMwWhen I tried it on it was still too small on top. Aha, a GDO! (good design opportunity). I took the fabric from the sleeves and added a triangular gusset under the arms. I like the detail it adds to the garment.

Lauren-Sweatshirt-DBwA triangle in the back finishes the line and concept. Overall this tunic is slimmer than the last one and I may even like it better!

Shirt Refashion #2

I mentioned on my first men’s shirt refashion that it came out a bit more formal than I had intended. While I loved the result I really wanted an everyday shirt for spring. This shirt is going in the right direction.Yellow-Shirt-FS

My BSF Debra and I got together to each make another refashioned shirt. She is still promising photos of her pieces, and as usual our two projects look nothing alike!

I started with two of my husband’s shirts that are too large for him. I liked the fabrics, but was hesitant about the color. Shirt-Refashion-2-FSI have red hair and brown eyes unlike most redheads with blue or green eyes. Fall colors look best on me. The light blues, while pretty just looked like an anomaly in my closet. In the end I put the shirt in a marigold dye bath and the result works better for me.

 These shirts are so much fun to make. All the hard parts like the collar and plackets are already finished. The final shirt just needs the panels added to the sides and some details to add some interest.


Yellow-Shirt-Sleeve-Buttonholes-DNotice that the side panels still have the buttons and buttonholes! My BSF gave me that idea from her first shirt.

This shirt looked baggy around my waist, so I added a fabric tie belt. Yellow-Shirt-BSThe pocket is a nice addition for everyday wear. I try to add pockets whenever possible.Yellow-Shirt-Pocket-D

Valentine’s Vest and Tunic Top

Vest-and-Tunic-FMwebI bought this cool fabric from The RainShed back in September when I returned from my Diane Ericson retreat in Taos. A fellow sewer, Gwen was making a cool vest out of the fabric, which is grey wool laminated to a black knit. Both sides are attractive and the fabric does not ravel so Gwen was cutting holes out to add interest to her project. I had to try some of this fabric!

Finding the right pattern for me took a while, but I finally settled on Vogue 8932, since it has so many panels to show off both sides of the textile. I like to wear layers so a vest is perfect. I added 2” to the length of the pattern and eliminated any facings. Frankly, I think the final vest looks more like the photos on the pattern cover and it would have felt too short if I had not added the length. Instead of facings a knit stripe finishes off all of the edges.Vest-and-Tunic-BMweb

I added the cut outs to emphasize the lines of the front,Vest-Cut-Detail-DSweb and placed a few appliqué pieces to carry an asymmetrical line on my left.Vest-Detail-FS-copy The piece needed a little sparkle so I added a small triangle of metallic paint to each of these larger triangles. Just one triangle brought the design to the backside.Vest-Detail-BSweb

 Finishing the vest left me with the question of what to wear underneath. I had pulled out a number of coordinating knits when deciding on the edge treatment. Since several of them went well with the grey/black fabric, I decided to whip up a knit top to wear under the vest. Vogue 8952 is so easy and only took about 2-3 hours to cut out and put together.Tunic-Top-FMweb

I can’t wait to wear this on Valentine’s Day! Hmm…red pants might be a fun look.

First Shirt of Summer – Men’s Shirt Refashion #1

I am so pleased with this project I can hardly believe it!Shirt-Refashion-1-FHMy BSF Debra and I got together to refashion some men’s shirts. She is going on some warm vacations so needs some new spring clothes now while it is still cold. After looking through our stash of used men’s shirts, I chose a linen shirt. In addition I added a frayed pair of black linen pants and a pair of linen overalls that had never worked for me. While not an absolute necessity, both Debra and I like to include a touch of black in our projects whenever possible to go with our favorite black jeans or leggings. Including your favorite neutral makes wardrobe management so much easier.


I owned a white shirt that had a square poncho shape instead of sleeves. We both used it to get our basic idea for the refashion.Shirt-Refashion-1-BM I promise Debra is going to get me pictures of her projects soon. No one will believe how different our two projects ended up this day!

The men’s shirt is in the center with trim from my black pants and sleeve panels made from the legs of the overalls. Shirt-Refashion-1-FD2The bias tape decoration is made from the overall straps that I just left hanging instead of cutting. Shirt-Refashion-1-BDStill not done, I added some Diane Ericson stencils to one sleeve for balance.Shirt-Refashion-1-FD

While it ended up dressier than I had ever imagined, I am very happy with the end result. So much so that I have already made a second version that is not photographed yet. I usually hate summer clothes, but have high expectations for my warm weather wardrobe.

2T Vest #2

I published the 2T Vest #1 knowing I had more than enough materials to make at least one more vest. Well here it is!2T2-Front-Model1I like this one even more than the first, but wear both constantly. The vest is so simple to make without a pattern, by using a couple of Goodwill knit shirts and a little left over black knit. The altered neckline in this version flatters using various fabric scraps.2T2-Neck-Stencil-detail The front hem has a diagonal cut. The piece removed added to the back continues the diagonal theme.2T2-Back-Hem-DetailI just filled in with a hem/ruffle made up from one of the purchased shirts. I didn’t have enough of the existing curly serged hem so I just made some extra to match. The stencil mimics the print and ties the three fabrics together.2T2-Pocket-DetailIt’s warm, washable and has a pocket making this vest perfect for hanging around the house or running errands. Love it!2T2-Back-Neck-Detail

2T Vest #1

I had to name this vest #1 since I love it so much I have already made a second one. I’ll photograph that one and put it on a later post. The idea started with a vest on Diane Ericson’s blog.  My BSF (Best Sewing Friend) Debra and I started with a trip to Goodwill. Goodwill HaulWe met there and spent a half hour picking out men’s and women’s knit tops that color coordinated. Her stash was black, grey and blue. Size doesn’t matter, in fact the larger the top the more fabric you get. I spent about $24 and will be able to make at least 3 tops from this pile.

The next day we met and started to chop and sew. This vest is made from the two tops from the lower right. 2T Vest #1We tried them on before sewing any side seams and made adjustments like darts if needed. The whole idea for this garment is to wear it over a turtleneck, so the fit is easy. The original collar is from the man’s shirt so you get a zippered neck without any effort! The black pockets and back detail consist of some black knit from my stash embellished with scraps from the women’s shirt. A little hand stitching and a sewn on “necklace” finished it off. Women’s clothes so rarely have usable pockets making this an awesome practical top for everyday wear.2T Vest #1 Details2T Vest Back Neck

Log Cabin Heartfelt Coat

Log Cabin Heart Felt Coat- Front_wfLog Cabin Heart Felt Coat- Back_wf

My first blog entry!

I just finished a new fall coat using Diane Ericson’s Heartfelt Coat Pattern. I hot water machine washed the wool yardage to felt the fibers together. After that I worked with the fabric patterning in order to build yardage that would enhance with the coat pattern. The wool is butted together and held with a decorative stitch. I actually started this 5 years ago and put it in a basket because it was just too big of a project.

I wore it on Saturday night and it was a success!