Today I’m sharing a little video of my process in transforming this denim maternity dress for Michele of the Restyling Exchange. Can’t wait to show you what I did with it!Click here if you would like to continue reading
It’s that time! Pilar and I have been pouring over all of your amazing makes and we just can’t believe the amazing work y’all have done!
I’ve been wanting to share this refashion for a while but it sat on the back burner and then it was winter and seemed seasonally inappropriate but now spring is upon us so here she is!! Keep reading for more on my process & inspiration for this project.
If you follow me on instagram I hinted at doing this tutorial a little while back and well… here it is! One of my many side gigs is doing alterations for the locals in our small town. Recently I had a rush of bridesmaid clients and this is the second time I’ve had to do this particular alteration so I figured it would make a nice tutorial.
This particular alteration is helpful when you need to let out a dress in the bust/torso area but there is no room in the seam allowance to do so. One solution would be to find a matching fabric and add panels on the sides. But rarely is it possible to find a perfect match and this solution does not always look great. If the wearer is up for it, I’ve found a great solution is to add a corseted back in place of the zipper. This gives the wearer adjustable breathing room and doesn’t look like an awkward addition to the dress.
Want to see how its done? Keep reading!
I’m finally sharing a bit of my wedding day today! Back in September my best friend and I got hitched under the huge oak trees in my grandmother’s back yard. Everything about the day was so perfect, but one of my absolute favorite things was getting to walk down the aisle in my mom’s wedding dress which was made by my grandmother in 1981. I wanted to share with you all my process for updating it and why I chose to change what I did.
Since I was little, I always thought it would be so cool to wear my moms wedding dress one day. I would pull it out from under her bed, preserved all neatly in its box and just gaze at it through the plastic window. When the time came to try it on and see if it would work I was a little nervous. I had no idea if it would fit (my mom was smaller than me when she got married) and I had never seen it up close in person. Sure enough.. it was a little snug. You can see in the above picture on the right how it wouldn’t zip up past my ribcage. Luckily I had some tricks up my sleeve and it didn’t take much to make it fit beautifully.
I made four fairly easy changes to the original dress. First I shortened and took in the sleeves. My parents were married indoors in May. Our wedding was going to be outside in September (in Texas). I knew I wouldn’t be able to tolerate those long sleeves in the potential Texas heat. I also knew a shorter, slimmer sleeve would modernize the dress a bit. I didn’t want to loose the beautiful lace details at the bicep, so I hemmed the sleeves just below where the lace ends. The original sleeves were a bit blouson toward the wrist so I also took them in at the under seam to slim them down. This change alone really updated the dress a lot.
The original dress was made to fit a huge petticoat underneath. I didn’t want a lot of fullness so I chose to slim down the side seams in the skirt quite a bit. I only worked with the side seams because I didn’t want to loose the pleating detail at the back. I only took out volume at the hips and slightly down the leg area, meeting back up with the original seam at the hem. I love the big train and didn’t want to effect the way it fell at the floor. Since I was already fidgeting with the side seams I of course had to go ahead and throw some inseam pockets in there (because, hello you need pockets at all times!) You can kind of see the pockets in the above picture.
Lastly, I made some changes to the back. I needed to be able to fit into the dress, and there wasn’t really much room for letting out any seams. I was not deterred by this because I’m in LOVE with the open back look, and knew if I cut the zipper at the waist seam I’d be able to zip it all the way, and a cut out in the back would allow me to breathe up top. Luckily I was able to save the lace detail around the neckline by adding a small back strap across the shoulders and re-attatching the lace. I also left the lace along the waist line so it peeked up a bit over my skin. This was my absolute FAVORITE change to the dress. I adore the way the back looks with the little lace overlays on top and bottom. I really didn’t want to take it off!
Our whole wedding day was absolutely perfect. Im in love with our photos by Mimi Nguyen. My only wish is that my mom was there to see me walk down the aisle in her beautiful dress. I know she was smiling from above. Soon I’ll be sharing the details of my second dress (yes I had TWO DRESSES!) that I made myself for the reception. And yes it also has pockets :).
Continue reading for some pics of the dress guts and how I made the changes I did.
I love a good shirt dress. Let me rephrase that … I am ADDICTED to shirt dresses. I mean, its the dress version of a button down shirt (my other love). Its so easy, just throw it on and go. I got this grey shirt dress a LONG while back from Urban Outfitters. The style was super cute, but I just wasn’t wearing it that much. I was cleaning out my closet and tempted to toss it, but decided to rework it and give it another try. I swear I’ve worn it at least three times since I finished it last week!
Lets talk about why I wanted to change it up. First, the under ams. Y’all know me and my under arm issue. I don’t like anything tight up in my armpits. Sure, tight armholes make for a snugger, more feminine and flattering fit. But form over fashion people – I hate them. Also the length of the sleeves compared to the length of the hem was a conflict for me. The fabric is so light and the hem was so short I wanted to wear it in summer, but no way I’m wearing those sleeves in the heat of a Texas summer. Lastly that dang bubble hem. Am I the only one that hates bubble hems and finds them completely unflattering? This is the second hem I’ve un-bubbled. Besides being unflattering, this particular bubble was really constricting my movement – no squatting, crouching, or running in this baby. Changes needed to be made.
The changes I made were all pretty simple. I removed the sleeves right at the seams and cleaned them up with bias tape. I “un-bubbled” the hem to let it swing freely. Lastly, I added pockets using the fabric from the removed sleeves (gotta use up that scrap waste!) I really love the way it turned out. Its so much more comfortable and much more seasonal. I want to wear it all the time.
Above are the close up details of my clean finished armholes using bias tape and my little patch pockets I added up front. Below you will see a peek at how I fixed the bubble hem. This dress was made with a hem band. To release the bubble I removed the hem band, pulled out all the stitching and pressed the dress straight, measured the new hem, cut a piece from the extra sleeve fabric to extend the hem band, and re-attached the new hem band. I could very easily have just removed the hem band and hemmed the dress but it was already pretty short and I didn’t want to loose any length.
I am so much happier with this dress now. It’s so refreshing to take something that has been gathering dust in your closet and make a few quick changes to make it something you actually wear. I am going to be tackling more quick projects like these so stay tuned!
What about you.. whats in your closet that needs a little gussy-ing up?
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Summer is here and if you live anywhere in the south you are definitely feeling it! There is something about the summer heat I just love… maybe that just comes naturally with my southern blood but the temperatures rise and even though we are all talking about how hot it is theres something comforting about it. Not to mention its another excuse to head out to the beach/river/pool more often! Then there are those days that the heat makes you absolutely crazy. You walk in the door and the first thing you do is strip down and sit in front of the a/c or rub ice cubes on your neck. Its those kind of days that inspire projects like these. It never fails that when summer rolls around I loose at least 2 or 3 T-shirts to the wrath of my scissors. Anything that helps the air flow and keeps the sweat to a minimum. Today I’m sharing with you six of my favorite T-shirt cutting techniques complete with easy-to-follow diagrams. All of which can be completed in less than 30 min.
GATHERED CROP TOP
First up is a simple gathered boxy crop. This style works best starting with a t-shirt thats a few sizes too big and goes great with anything high-waisted on bottom. Skip the “cropped” step for a more modest look.
This one is probably one of my favorites. I call it “gills” because it reminds me of the gills on a fish. In the summer I wear a lot of cute bandeaus and soft bras. This style shows them off without being too revealing. Plus if your man finds you a great motorcycle T at a thrift shop like this one.. you look extra badass!
I use this technique to turn a lot of old T’s into workout shirts. I just cut mine by eye, but if the diagram isn’t enough you could lay a racerback T you already have over another T-shirt and mark your cut lines. This could work with a tight or loose fitted shirt.
CROPPED & GATHERED RAGLAN
I wear this style a lot as a cover up over my swimsuit top and a pair of shorts. It also looks great with a cute bra top or simple tank underneath, it all depends on how much skin you want to show. Again, you can eliminate the “cropped” part and go for a longer style that’d work just as well. I recommend looser fitting shirts for this project.
Business in the front… party in the back! (If you can call vintage Garth Brooks “business” – I say you can) Another fun style to show of a cute bra top or bandeau. This would look great with a fitted T as well. Cut the slashes as thick or thin as you like. Cut more “fish-eye” shaped slashes to reveal more skin.
Probably the trickiest technique (and the only one that involves a bit of sewing) but it gives you a really cool effect. Also if you plan correctly, it will cover your bra line. Slightly more fitted shirts recommended for this technique, but keep in mind your shirt will be a little tighter since you’re taking it up a bit in the back.
There are SO MANY great T-shirt cutting tutorials out there so go explore! These are just a few of my tried-and-true styles. I hope you like them, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment!
Hello Hello Hello!!! And a big WARM WELCOME to my FIRST POST on the NEW WEBSITE!!! Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL!?! I’ve poured a lot of time and brainwork into this site and I couldn’t be happier with the way she is looking and the possibilities that lay ahead (seriously – some really cool shit is coming your way!)
But first, to the task at hand. I have really been wanting to challenge myself to do more refashioned posts for a couple reasons:
- I love refashioning. I love seeing the potential in a fabric or shape and turning something a little shabby or ill-fitting into something fun and wearable.
- Refashioning is good for the environment and I’m a sort-of-tree-hugger. (minimize waste and use what ya got people!)
- I’m still in the brainstorming stages but I’ve got big plans for a new clothing line that combines my love for fashion and vintage textiles and involves refashioning and working with existing and rescued fabrics. (more to come on that!)
All that being said, I bring you my first refashioning post of the year:
I acquired this coat when my cousin was cleaning out her closet. She informed me that it came from the kids section at Neimans! The coat was ill-fitting, with these horrible bell sleeves and a flared hem at a strange length that accentuated the hips in a very unflattering way… but the FABRIC!!! Oh my goodness am I a sucker for horribly shaped clothes in a great fabric. I immediately had a vision… a little tuck and snip of the sleeves and some strategic hem shaping and voila!
Changes I made: As you can see from the before picture above the sleeves were WAY too big. The length was actually technically correct but with such a loud fabric I felt like the whole coat needed to be cropped and given a cleaner look. To accomplish this I tapered the sleeves and hemmed them to a cropped length. (I’m totally into that Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s cropped sleeve look) Second, to make the coat more appealing to my height I hemmed it – a lot! I wanted to show more leg but I didn’t want it to look “pea-coat-ish” so I gave it an asymmetrical hem for a more modern feel.
The grand result of these few changes? A trendy-fun coat that looks great over skinny jeans and bright sweaters!
The below picture shows some close ups of the details of the coat. The beautiful woven quality of the fabric, the little buttons on the sides, etc.
All in all I’m super happy with the way it turned out! What was once taking up a TON of space in my “to-be-delt-with” pile, is now a very wearable piece in my closet! LOVE the way it turned out.
Original: Neiman Marcus kids coat
Adjustments: Taper and hem sleeves, adjust hem.
Final Product: A fitted, cropped sleeved, asymmetric hem coat.
Difficulty: Moderate. The lining on the coat was separated at the hem which gave me easy access, but these things can still be tricky if you dont know what your dealing with – especially the sleeves.
Finishes: Blind hem, lining bound sleeves
Time: One day – about 2-3 hours?
Do another like this? Oh yes! I love fun outter wear, and the cropped look makes it very chic!
Welcome again to my new site… poke around and let me know what you think!