Monday, August 13, 2012

Refashioning: XS skirt to XL

There are 3 blogs that I follow that aim to take old, ripped, torn, stained, unfashionable and/or thrifted clothes and "refashion" them into new wardrobe pieces. I've been creating a number of headbands for myself (another post...I'll get to it...eventually...) but this skirt project was one of my first forays into refashioning an actual item of clothing.

Most of the headbands I've been creating are made from t-shirts. I stopped at a rummage sale a few months ago and the clothes were a buck a bag. (My favorite find was a vintage apron. I LOVE aprons, but I digress...) They didn't have a ton of fun t-shirts, but I found enough shirts to make a dollar bag of clothes totally worth it. A lot of the other items I picked were much too small for me. I picked up 2-3 shirts that I loved the fabric and figured if they didn't fit my colleague, I would make headbands out of them. (They fit Melissa, so she kept them-yay!) This skirt was originally an Extra Small. There's no way it was ever going to fit me, but it was a little long and I hoped that I would be able to chop off the top panel and make it fit. After some false starts, I'm happy to say I have successfully refashioned my first garment.

Enjoy the progression:

To see if this project might work and to gauge where to cut the small skirt, I used a skirt that currently fit and laid them together. After much fretting, I basically decided to just cut off the entire top panel.

The blue skirt is the one that fits.

You can see the size labels in this photo.
I'm not making this up! ;)
Checking the size/length

Removing the lining.
I had originally planned to try to replace
the lining, but it proved too difficult
for my amateur sewing skills.
Instead, I just wear bloomers with the skirt
as it is quite transparent.

Making the chop!

checking color of jersey material to mend lining
(didn't end up using) This T was too white!

Here, you can see the jersey that I ended up
using. It's a much nicer color match.
The piece that was cut from the top of the skirt
is shown here. That section was eventually made
into a headband. 

repairing the lining (where I had to cut around the zipper)

Too bad I didn't actually end up using the lining...

After I cut the top section off, I tried the skirt on
to check it would go around me and to check the length.

repairing a side rip. (The skirt
was fine, but I was a little rough
on it and accidentally ripped near the side seam.)

inside view of the repair
Here's where the process kinda jumps ahead. I'm not sure why I have a serious lack of photos here. It's probably because I took the project to work with me for a few days. I tried to do way too much at once and ended up badly mis-sewing it. I got LOTS of seam ripping practice on this project. I decided to add a panel of jersey and then used elastic from a pair of not-hubby's old boxers for the waist band. I have to say, up until the point of threading the elastic, I was really dubious about how this would turn out.
Once I threaded the elastic, this project really looked promising.  
Sewed up the elastic and then hand-sewed the casing.

Finally, here's a pic of me wearing the skirt and headband, from earlier today.

I can't believe I changed the size of a skirt from an XS to an XL!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New, fun #reuses

While researching the Junk Brothers post that I did a few days ago, I stumbled upon this fun gallery of 6 before/after projects. Enjoy!

Before: vintage TV. After: Aquarium

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A great blog for reusing furniture

I just spent several hours meandering through all the wonderful redone furniture that can be found at Melody's blog, "My Passion For Decor"

Check out many more wonderful
projects over at Melody's blog

I'm not sure if she uses all the pieces in her home or sells them or what, but if you need inspiration/tips for refinishing furniture, I would definitely direct you here. She has some truly gorgeous (and fun!) projects.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I miss the Junk Brothers

I think one of my first exposures to "creative reuse" was the short-lived* HGTV show The Junk Brothers. We were chatting about the show today and I was trying to convey the level of awesomeness that Steve and Jim were able to create with discarded items. I really wish there was an online gallery of before/after photos from the show. I've been searching for just that for awhile now. I'll link to a few things I've found.
Jim and Steve pose with their tricked out mega-BBQ

List of episodes with before photos (these aren't nearly as impressive without being able to see what they were transformed into

Interview with the brothers in Make: magazine (has some photos, but no captions...)

This guy made a kitchen island inspired by the Junk Brothers show. This is one of the only "after" photos I have and it wasn't even their project (Although, I remember this one and it's very similar.)

Anyone know if there's some place where you can view a gallery of all the before/after projects? I think I'll try to see if I can find this show on Netflix. It really was inspiring (although, the boys are much better carpenters/reusers than they are actors-sorry guys, but your banter was painful...)

*Apparently, it wasn't nearly as short-lived as I had originally thought. I think I only watched one season, possibly part of the second. Seems like there may have been as many as 4 seasons, though.

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