Mini Refashion Round Up!

Back from my hols, and determined to get back to writing and sewing, I realised there were a few things I had to bring you up to speed with...before moving onto new things!

At the end of September I went away with Mum for our annual getaway, which coincides with her birthday at the start of October, this year to Tenerife. We had a fine old time, being spoilt rotten; we spent the majority of our time reading, swimming, buying knick-knacks and talking about where to eat next - if that isn't a good holiday, I don't know what is! An obvious choice for today's blogpost soundtrack... 

This year I realised most of what I had packed I'd either made, or altered... it was a completely different story only a couple of years ago, oh how my wardrobe has changed... the main consequence is that it now fits much better, both to my body and to my personality.

I thought I'd share a couple of garments that very likely won't see the light of day again until next Spring, taking their place in the loft suitcase until winter is over... speaking of which, am I the only one who doesn't know what to keep out, and what to stash away? This UK weather is SO unpredictable at the moment, it's driving me mad!
Moving on! I started with an oversized sequin-logo t-shirt, found in my nearest Fara, that looked a bit...wrong. For some reason the designer thought that adding a stretchy close-fitting sweat-shirt-inspired neckband would 'finish' the t-shirt off nicely, but I just found it restricted my breathing... so 'Oh!'!

It was very easy to change, as t-shirt material like this doesn't fray (as I discovered with a dress refashion a couple of years ago, and also with the handbag handle that I braided from a t-shirt). So, whilst wearing the top, I just placed two pins by my collar bone...

and cut straight across the top of the top, thereby cutting off the bound neckline (and, in the same process, the annoying itchy tag)...

As a no-sew project, it was almost too easy to be called a refashioning, but it is; so here's the after!

More of an 'Ooh Matron! Oh!', see?! And, as I made it specifically with my hols in mind, here it is 'in situ', in Tenerife last week;

I'm wearing it in this pic over a bikini with cut-off pants, but I also wore it on an evening out with a black skirt; tying the t-shirt in a knot at the waist. You'll have to take my word for it, as we didn't manage to take a photo (too busy eating, haha!).

I also found a striped maternity dress, in a similar material, that was a VERY easy fix - I just pinned down the side, allowing for negative ease, and sewed new seams (a zigzag stitch, with a ball point needle, to account for the stretch fabric), before cutting away the excess fabric...

No 'Before' photo with this one, and a rather disappointing 'After', but all the same, I think you get the idea...

It's SUCH a comfortable dress, I love it! Also, in the very first pic in this post, you can see I also made use of the off-cuts from the dress, for an easy headband (need something to keep my unruly fuzz off my face!). Another mini tutorial to follow on that...

Please forgive me for a) the lack of detail in these projects and b) the lack-lustre photos of the finished pieces... All I can say is, I was 'in the moment', and too busy having a good time with Mum to think about how it would all translate on the blog...

Having said that, it was a pretty full-on run up to the holiday, what with fitting in the Simplicity Blog Meet Up, my Swishing event at the Hospital Club, and Kirsty Allsopp's Handmade Fair - all happening in the space of a week! All those reviews will have to wait for another blog post, as I'm now preparing for my next Swish presentation; come along, it'll be fun! :)

And - before I go - I've got to tell you, I came back from my hols to a lovely surprise in the post; I'd forgotten that taking part in the Refashion Runway meant I also got a copy of Beth's book, the Refashion Handbook. I LOVE IT. I don't think I need to tell you that refashioning is something I already enjoy doing (!) - but Beth's book is jam-packed with inspiration, not only for the complete beginner, but also for the more seasoned seamstress (I think I fall somewhere in between!).

Honestly, if you've searched for somewhere to start, are looking for ways to up your game, or you're thinking of introducing someone else to refashioning, wanting to learn how to 'refit, redesign, and remake', I really recommend this book. In fact, I'll definitely be using Beth's techniques in the near future (notably there's an easy-peasy tutorial on how to make cap sleeves, and another on how to turn a woollen jumper into a cardigan, can't wait to try those!). 
Don't forget to let me know if you get yourself a copy, and what comes of your efforts - I can share your makes with everyone! (*and Beth, I know she'll love that too)

Speak soon, with slightly more seasonally-friendly makes and remakes...

Gema x


  1. LOVE the new neck-line of the sequined Tshirt. A small change can make a big difference! The dress and headband are totes adorbs as well :) If it makes you feel any better, the weather across the pond (in the Midwest, specifically) is just as bipolar. Every time I try to put away my summer clothes, we get frost and vice versa... what can ya do?

    Beth's book is amazeballs. I'm getting ready to copy her "Vine and Dine" dress for my vacation coming up in November.

    Looks like you and your Mum had a great holiday! <3

    1. I wonder if we are living in twin-towns..? I mean, weather wise..? I was hoping, at least over there, you'd be having more luck!! :)

      Yes - the Vine 'n' Dine dress is lovely too... can't wait to see yours!

      And we did, but almost feels like the holiday never happened now - funny how quickly these things seem to pass... At least you've got something coming up, hope you're going somewhere beautiful Laura, and HOT! x

  2. Oh boo! The weather here has been a real nightmare during the last two weeks. I would've totally joined you on that vacation. I know I'm not supposed to whine about the continental weather because compared to the island one, it's at least slightly predictable.

    I'm tip-toeing these days, having recently lost my sew-jo due to sheer fatigue. I'm hoping that your new projects will inspire me enough to get going again.

    1. Well let's BOTH wish for better weather, for both of us :)
      And as for your sewjo, sometimes mine goes walkabout...but it always comes back eventually... I'm presently working on refashioning a coat for my sister, making me enthusiastic on someone else's behalf, it works! ;)


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