Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Shawl

It's been a while since I've had anything to show you guys.  Here is a shawl I finished this week.


Details and more pictures are on my blog.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brown shorts

Made with a linen remnant, several different fabric scraps and recycled notions.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Just finished this top up on Saturday.

I used the vintage pattern Simplicity 7458. This item is part of my projects for the Summer Wardrobe Essential Sewalong!

See more here. Who else is participating in this sewalong?

A rosy dress

I made this dress for my friend S~.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Frankenblouse x3

I wanted something light to wear over tank tops this summer--and I had a bunch of blouses that didn't work for whatever reasons. So, this is handsewn from three different blouses--the main part was a cotton blouse (opened up the front); the ruffle is linen from another blouse; the sleeve ruffles are silk cuffs from a third blouse. It looks a little pirate-y, I guess, but it works for what I wanted. I might still add more laces and ruffles and such.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A tool from the 1950's that still brings joy in 2010

I've just acquired these:

See the price tags? Yeah, you saw it right, $2 and $1. They go online for $69.95 and $34.95 here.
Yeah, I'm jumping for joy. Come read about it on my blog.

Sonya from missbossypants

Blackwatch Baby & Delft Darling Dresses

Neither one of thee are spectacular or overwhelmingly complicated so I'm grouping them into one post.

This dress is actually a much darker, richer green, but for some reason it came outalmost like a teal in the photos. It's about an 18/24 month size and made of good old-fashioned velvet. I bought the dress at a thrift store about a year ago. It had a horrible crispy lace ruffle around the bottom and a HUGE ugly, stained white bib around the neck. I first removed both of those and the cut a new hem ruffle and a small stand up neck ruffle out of some plaid taffeta I had that is similar to the Blackwatch plaid. I hand sewed both ruffles onto the dress myself in a hotel room in Pensacola. LOL. I also hand hemmed the bottom ruffle. I had the plaid as a remnant for under $1 and the dress was thrifted for $1. Total cost of the re-do was about $1.30.

I call this dress the Delft Darling because it is white and blue like a piece of Delft pottery I used a 1970's pattern for the basic shape of the dress but made a few changes. Instead of one skirt, I made two skirts; I felt it added to the dutch look of the dress. I also gave it a stand up ruffle collar instead of a bib and I made contrasting cuffs on the sleeves instead of elastic on a single color. The dress is a small toddle dress, I'll have to dig up the pattern to find out exactly what the size is. One sleeve is NOT bigger than the other, it's just the way it looks in the photo because the wind was blowing it around. I hand sewed this entire piece at the hotel in Memphis. It's made from a pillow case (28 cents at a Salvos in NY) and about1/2 a yard of old $1-a-yard fabric I had laying around. The zipper is new and was about $1.30. The approx cost of the whole thing is $2.80. I plan to add an embroidered scene onto the over skirt eventually, either a design that mimics the fabric pattern or a small dutch pottery scene. It depends on how elaborate I want to get with it.

Jenny at Kerrfect!

Spring Fling Pillowcase Dress

I completely hand stitched this dress in a Residence Inn we stayed at in Memphis. I was bored and had brought some sewing supplies with me so I figured why not!? It's made from a 50 cent pillow case, about 10 cents worth of vintage lace from a thrift store and some green remnant fabric that I think cost me $1.20, but I only used about 3/4ths of it. The buttons were on sale at Jo Ann's about a year ago and were 20 cents. Grand total of approx $1.70. It's made from a 1960's pattern I had with me. I really liked the exterior fabric, The crisp white and bright flowers really got me. I simply cut the pieces and made it as the instructions said to. The only things I did differently was to add the lace trim on the dress and to substitute drawstrings in the bloomers for elastic. to do this all I had to do was to make the "string" out of the floral fabric by folding it over twice and sewing it down.

Jenny at Kerrfect!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

$4.03 dress

So this dress started out as muslin for fit, but the more I sewed, the more I liked it!  I got the fabric for a dollar at a garage sale.  Pearl snaps were $2.70, zipper was $0.33, grand total was $4.03.  How's that for frugal?

Rather long-winded back story on this dress is on my blog.  I love how this dress turned out and can see myself wearing it often.


Rosebud Pillowcase Dress

I made this dress from a pillow case I bought at a thrift store for 50 cents I think. The pillow case had a yellow cuff at one end and the main body was this white muslin with yellow rose buds. I used a vintage 70's patterns for the main dress shape, but I added the front ruffles, sleeve ruffles and other trim on my own. The lace trim was more thrifted vintage lace from a bag of various type that cost me $2, so I used probably 10 cents worth of that. The zipper is new and was $1.30. This makes the total cost of the dress about $1.90. I sort of had a mini-Marie Antoinette vision when I picked up the pillow case and examined it and so that's what I was going for here. I wish I had a little one to put in the dress so you could see it better but I don't It's a size 2 if I remember right. I made the front ruffles by folding strips of yellow over on themselves and sewing them down with a piece of lace over the seam, then while I was making the top half of the dress I just pined them on in a ruffled way and sewed up the seams, then I came back and hand tacked the ruffles down. I added the neck line lace and hem lace after the dress was completed. The arm ruffles were also added after the fact. They are the edge of the yellow pillow edge, folded just as they were on the pillow. I simple cut them larger then the arm holes, sewed up the under arm edge and ruffled as I sewed. The lace trim went on last to give the arm ruffles a more finished look.

Jenny at Kerrfect!

Election Shoulder Bag

This bag took me about an hour and 1/2 to make. I used all but two tiny carrot shaped strips of the state fabric. I bought it at Jo Ann as a remnant for 70 cents I think. It was cut crooked so I had to level it up. It was so bright and interesting I knew I wanted to make a bag out of it but I wasn't sure what to do for the lining. I wanted it to be sort of stiff but not terribly rigid so I used a super thick white glossed canvas drapery sample I bought at Lowe's for $1 about a year ago (still have about 1/3 left). They were cleaning out all of the discontinued stuff. I knew I'd be able to use it for something ONE day. It cost me $1. The top trim and strap are made from vintage woven cotton strips that spell out VOTE. I found a whole roll of it at a thrift store for $3. I used a little less that half the roll so I'll value that at about $1.40. The closure is a BIG red button I already had and a loop made from the scrap left of the state fabric. So the total cost of the bag was approx $3+/-. I started by leveling and determining how big the state fabric piece I had was. Then I cut an equal size piece out of the drape sample making it a little bit taller than the state fabric. The drapes had a very pretty side seam I wanted to use as the top-inside of the bag. I folded each in half and sewed the open sides of each together. I worked with the pieces inside out, the state fabric will later be turned right side out but the drapes will stay inside out. Next I made a small fold in the center of the side that didn't need to be sewn up and I sewed it inward, making a pin tuck of crease. Then I did the same thing 1/2 an inch to either side of both side seams; on the state fabric I made them outward facing. Then I did the same thing to the bottom of the bag pieces, creating sort of a squared off shape. I folded and sewed the corners completing the structure of the bag. I turned the state fabric right-side-out, put the drapes inside it, evened thoe tops up so that the state fabric was just below the hemmed edge of the drapes and tacked it down with the machine. The state fabric was slightly larger (fractions of an inch) so I made a tiny fold in the center of both the front and backs of the bag. I cut my trim, lined it up on the top of the bag so that when I sewed it on I could stay in the white line (so you wouldn't see the stitches) and attached it all the way around. I then went around a second time on the lower white line so the trim wouldn't fold up over time. I took the rest of the trim I had cut folded the ends under and attached it to the sides of the bag by sewing a square over it, then I repeated the same on the other side. I finished it up by attaching a big red button on the top-center inside the bag and a folded and sewn strip of the state fabric made into a loop opposite it to work as a closure. I know it's about in the middle of a term so I'm both too late and too early for elections, but I thought it was cute and I would use it anytime!

I'm sorry to post so much in such quick succession, but I have a lot of things stored up like I said. As I am posting things on my own blog I'm posting them over here. Maybe I can make up for 2 months of not posting anything. lol

Jenny at Kerrfect!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yellow Rose Childs' dress

Here is another new dress I just put the finishing touches on this afternoon. This one too is made out of a vintage twin bed sheet I found in Memphis; it was $1.98. The vintage lace trim is also from a Memphis thrift store and cost about 30 cents. The buttons, chiffon for the sash, elastic, biastape and tulle for the petticoat are all new, but were things I already had (except for the tulle, it was on sale 50% off at Jo Ann's. The total cost of the dress & petticoat is about $4. I used a vintage 1959 Simplicity pattern (3413) in a little girl's size 8. I've found a pretty good way to make the petticoats I think, This one is slightly different than the one on the blue dress I posted earlier, but was much more simply made and seems to give me more poof. I've really lucked out with having just the right amount of trim for the dresses I've made so far! LOL. Hope to have some more stuff to post tomorrow as well.

Jenny at Kerrfect!

Lavender & Roses Dress

This is my latest completed project. The muslin I used for the body of the dress was a vintage twin sheet that I bought at a thrift store in Memphis for $2.50. The lavender lace trim on the neckline, hem and covering the belt buckle was also bought at a Memphis thrift store and cost me about 10 cents. The zipper and belt buckle are vintage, salvaged from old items. The only things that are new are the grommets and interfacing I used on the belt and the netting on the petticoat. I used about 2 yards which I just got on sale 50% off at Jo Ann Fabrics. The elastic and the ribbon I used for the petticoat were things I've had for a while, lol but they were used when I got them too. I'd estimate the total cost of making the dress to be about $5. To cover the buckle I simply wrapped the lace trim around it until it was completely covered and then I secured it with a few stitches. The dress is a child's size 8 and made with vintage McCall's pattern 5428 from 1960. The petticoat is of my own devising!

I am sorry I haven't been posting very much. I've been neglecting my own blog as well. I am trying to get into the local monthly downtown market as a vendor and I've been trying to build up and put the finishing touches on some of my items so that I can (hopefully) sell some of them and get more people interested in Upcycling items!

Jenny at Kerrfect!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A successful failure?

This is my first posting after reading this blog for quite a while. Finally, I've appeared in a picture, wearing a piece of clothing that I have made!

I found a really super comfy dress at our local thrift store, and I had to have it, since it had these really great blue and green hues. It is so comfy, and fits well, so I thought I'd try to copy it. Here it is:

My local fabric store had this great purple linen blend on sale for $3.50/metre, so I thought, hey, I'm not losing much if it doesn't work out! So, off I went, tracing sections of the dress in my haphazard sort of way. The waist is empire-style, with an elastic waistband. The waistband looked pretty blah, so I thought it needed a nice sash to cover it, and to give the dress a little pop of colour. The front and back, where they meet at the shoulder, didn't really.... meet.all.that.well. So, I wrapped the shoulders in turqouise grosgrain ribbon, and sewed on a turquoise button, just for the fun of it. (I even put the buttons on with my sewing machine! Yay for figuring that out!)
So, here's the failure side of it all: I think it's a bit short, the front gapes in the chest area (good thing I had good coverage with the camisole underneath!), and overall, it makes me look pregnant!!! Whenever I tryo something on in front of a mirror, I tend to stand tall, suck in and smile. Stuff always looks good when you do that! But 10 minutes later, out in public, my gut relaxes and the posture slips, and the empire waisted dress turns into a quasi maternity dress.

.....but it's oh so comfy. What's the verdict, continue wearing it, or file it under "fail"?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finished skirt!

About a week ago, I finished the skirt I mentioned in my introduction. I'm very happy with the way it turned out!

The process of making it wasn't without snags. I made the size that corresponded to my measurements, but I ended up having to take it in about 4 inches so it would fit my waist! Unfortunately, that was after the side zipper was in and the yoke was attached - serves me right for not trying it on sooner! It also looks more poofy that in does in the pattern picture, but I think it still works. I don't think the pictures below really do the skirt or the fabric justice, but I hope you get the idea. :-)

Close up of the fabric. There are some really pretty gold flecks throughout that don't show up at all in the picture.

Next up, re-doing another skirt that didn't fit right (I love skirts!) and then I'm going to go crazy making tops. I desperately need more tops!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Hello, everyone!
It's been some time since my last post and I'm glad to see the list of TTGR contributors growing!
I've been sewing, a lot. But not quite refashioning, though. I have a ton of muslins to put together as refashions. Hopefully they will be wearable.
A little thing to show you would be this summer hat I finished yesterday (started last year, heh..).

I used linen and taffeta scraps to make it. The pattern is from Burda.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Hello my peeps!! its been long.........too long since i posted. Only have a coupla minutes to post before my husband catches me on this damm computer again (bit of housework avoidance!!).
Got a coupla piccys to show you. next week is my kids school fete and a friend of mine Kate ( and I ( are doing a combined stall. Kate makes amazing clothing from retro fabrics, lots of patchwork and groovey stuff. I.... well i do a bit of everything, For the stall i am making large "cheap and cheerful market bags" made from recycled curtain fabrics. so far i have made 28 of them. im hoping they will sell!!!! otherwise i will have them in my etsy shop afterwards.

Anyway!!.......our stall comes under the "umbrella name" of "Retro Groovers" which kinda sums us up really. a little retro, a little bit groovey! i made this amazing bannner to go on the marquee last night, im right chuffed about it and have been dancing about thinking im "all that"!!
i think i have had a little too much coffee and not enough sleep!!!. the bright orange and pink fabric is like a velour like you get on towels except its not towellin on the back. weird stuff but beautiful and lovely and slippy to work with. got a roll at an op shop for $8 it has printed on the edge, 1967. TRUE retro!
also got a couple of links for you that id like to share, just some groovers doing cool things out there. www.craftzine.comblog:newdressaday and

and finally......... this ones for you Penny L Richards!! found these shoes at op shop for $4!!!! arent they totally da bomb!! could just see them stukkied or "Pennyed" as i call it. Im thinking how cool a green tree would look on them. totally obsessed with trees me. To bloody lazy to fancy them up myself but one day you may find a pair of shoes in the post!xx (with return address of course!!) xx

Will post more pics after the fete is over, its seriously taken over my life the last few months and will be glad when its over!
Well my friends, thanks for listening. Feel like ive just sat down with friends and a cuppa except without the cuppa and...........well.... no ahhs and mmmss and ooohhs! comming from my virtual friends. xx kel

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Doona to a dirndl and thrifty red skirt

Hi and thank you so much for allowing me to join this community. 

I'm so glad to meet you all and look forward to this being the 'sew retro' of the refashioning world !

My name is Lore and i blog over at sew red hot.   I sew clothes / aprons / quilts / potholders / bags.   You name it.   I'm obsessed!

I have two things to share today.  My refashioning of a doona cover found in a charity shop.  
Into a cute summer dirndl:

Total cost $3.75.

Blogged here 

I have a whole side of the mauve/lilac fabric from the doona cover left over.  If you live in Sydney visit me and it'll be yours.   If you live in the United States -  hey there's a big drive on to come to Australia for a holiday - pop into Sydney and I'll take you and show you the sights and you can take home half a doona in your luggage!   If I get no takers, I suppose it will be good material for a toile/muslin for a tricky pattern.

And my op shop fabric find for $2.50 some great red cotton and lilac lining.

This is blogged here.

So that's my introduction.   Again, nice to meet you and hope to be seeing a lot of you and your creations.

And a big thanks and congratulations to Ninjaeema on this Garde Robe baby and also the upcoming baby!


anime cosplay costume from the Stash Closet of Doom

Ok, this is my first posting here. I hope everything goes correctly.

Back in February, my daughter and her BFF decided what they wanted to be when they grew up, er I mean attend Project A-kon, one of the largest anime conventions in the continental United States. I said, "Sure, sweetheart, I can make that!" They wanted to be Rin and Len Kagamine, some Vocaloid something or another. I don't know, I just sew.
So I did. The tall girl in the blond boy wig is my daughter.
The shirt was made from a vintage 1960s pattern, modified to fit both girls. My daughter's shorts were recycled from my old black jeans. The other girl's shorts are also recycled from old jeans.
The earphones were made from old black earphones, white electrical tape, and a whole lotta love on the husband's part.
All other costume pieces were from fabric residing in my Stash Closet of Doom. The only thing I had to buy for this outfit were belt buckles and fittings for the yellow/orange belt pieces. The girls learned how to measure and mark fabric, and then paint the fabric, also using paint that resided in my Stash Closet of Doom.
Oh yeah, the blue rectangular shaped piece on the armbands? From my mom's Stash Room of Doom, bits and bobs left over from my prom dress made ahem years ago.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How do sheep protect you from the sun?

Hey all. Man it's been a long time since I posted. Sorry about that. I've not been up to much. Not for any lack of ideas, mostly just apathy. I'm in the middle of knitting a zebra for Spadgersdottier's birthday so most of my energy has gone there. I do have a dress underway for a friend and as soon as I get my dress form finished I should be back up and running for myself. There are a few other things but I'll wait until I have pics for those.

Today I do have for you a hat. I made it using a pattern by Vegbee (find it here) which I scaled up to a bigger size. It's for a shepherd at the farm I go to hence the sheep :o)

The sheep fabric was a gift from the girl I'm making the dress for, the lining and interfacing were from the stash.

Favorite Jeans Reborn

Old jeans ripped at the knee:

A little refashioning imagination:

New skirt:

The tutorial can be found here on my blog. Come join in the fun; another blogger and I are having a denim skirt challenge - show us your creative side!