Gifts from the County #1 (Camo dress)

My brother Cassady is a sommelier and had been working at the Norman Hardie Vineyard in Prince Edward County, Ontario this past summer and fall. He came home after the harvest and gifted me a whole slew of random pieces of clothing. Most of which are XL camo and were clearly picked and purchased with his sister in mind. Duh! How did he know that come fall I secretly double as a large burly hunter? I considered it a challenge and happily accepted the gifts. i chose to tackle this lovely Ducks Unlimited Canada two piece XL polyester number first. It has a cozy soft interior and the exterior is a special leaves/branches camo motif. I removed the sleeves as it was just too much camo for this girl to handle. I created new fitted sleeves with a 4-way stretch dark brown knit and took in a few inches from the bodice. I wanted to make a mini-dress/tunic, easy to pair with skinny jeans or leggings, so I added a few inches of black & red soft fleece to the bottom- and voilà, a cozy-fleecy-weekend-at-the-cottage outfit!

I’m still reconsidering the collar- too keep or not to keep? I’m considering cutting the top, armpits upward, and replacing it with some more dark brown knit. I feel that widening the collar into a boat-neck would soften the outfit a little, but can one really soften up this camouflage? Up next on the chopping block, the pants!

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Spiderboy Shorts

Two weeks ago, my brothers gifted me a brand new Singer and in return I made them Thank You Superhero shorts with a Spiderman sheet I found at the Salvation Army. Another adorable redhead was a fan of the shorts and he, being a true Spiderboy, needed a pair of his own!

It was only after promising Spidey’s mom Julia that I’d make him a pair that I realized and freaked that I didn’t have enough remaining fabric. I, unlike Spiderboy Felix, don’t have any super power moves so I had to dig through my fabric stash and get a little more creative. I used some of Etienne’s baseball print fabric for the backs as I only had enough Spidey for the front. I feel like it fit the colour scheme and American theme of Spiderman quite nicely. Since I was working with this little piece of valuable Spiderman fabric, I decided to test out Dana Willard’s pattern first with some other fabric. I chose some soft red & black fleece for the back and pigs for the front- and voilà, a perfect fit for a boy with an enlightened globe-trotting mom and bearded-chef dad!

Gold Strapless Minidress

Last weekend, I deconstructed and refashioned an old thrift store gold knit sweater into a sexy little mini skirt. I was so pleased with the results that I’m currently taking apart a few of my older brother’s cast off sweaters. No large sweater is safe now!

I love idea of up-cycling and giving old clothes new life, not to mention how economical and eco-friendly the whole process is. I must use all the pieces of these items but what does one do with just the sleeves? I had a few people put forth some great suggestions- leg warmers were something I considered and then there’s always the easy go-to of piecing together a little clutch. I couldn’t decide so I opened the sleeves up, cutting out the seams, to have a better look at how much fabric I had to work with. I was in need of a dress for my staff holiday party tonight so I manipulated the remaining fabric and made it fit, more or less, to my Tashenka dress pattern. I inserted an elastic to the top hem of the gold knit portion for it to hold well. Before sewing the top to the bottom of black stretch knit fabric, I inserted a 0.5″ elastic to the bottom hem of the gold knit top to bring in the waistline for a sexy silhouette. And voilà, I present you my chic lil’ work Christmas party dress!

Gold Braided Miniskirt

I bought this gold braided cable knit sweater the same day I picked up the sequined sweater. Price tag said $7, reduced to $4 as the cashier & I noticed a little hole on the side. This was no inconvenience to me as I had already  planned on taking her apart. Actually having the hole near a side seam as oppose to center was no trouble at all.

Before and After.
Before and After.

I removed the sleeves and the front bodice from the back. I used the bottom section of my Tashenka pattern for the shape, paying close attention to placement in order to utilize the original bottom hem. The fabric began to fray a little so I used an over-edge stitch around the top hem, mimicking an overlock, before folding and sewing the hem in and finally inserting an elastic waistband. And voilà, a gold knit mini ready for the parties over the holidays!

Stay tuned to see what becomes of those sleeves…

I have received a few messages regarding tutorials and step-by-step instructions on the refashioning projects. Thank you for your interest and these tutorials will be coming soon!

Superhero Shorts for Super Brothers.

My first project on my new sewing machine were Thank You shorts for the three gift-givers!

I’m a truly lucky girl. My three wonderful brothers gifted me a belated birthday present- a new Singer sewing machine! My beautiful Singer CG-590 is an amazing machine producing quality stitches at an incredible speed. I wiped up these three pairs of shorts, from a Spiderman sheet I found for $1, in absolutely no time. She has a commercial grade motor, allowing me to sew up to 1,100 stitches per minute- terrific as I’m short on time but not on projects! She’s so strong my table vibrates if I’m heavy footed on the pedal. My neighbours might start enforcing a curfew on my sewing. I’m really happy with my new machine especially with the overedge stitch which allows me to mimic a Serger for the time being. By the way boys, your sister needs a solid table to go with this beast!

Gold Button Down Indigo Sweaterdress

I found this rich indigo size 14 sweater dress at Renaissance a month ago. It had no label, only a small tag saying Made in Canada, 100% acrylic. There was a slight tear in the bottom which reduced the already low price tag to 3$! A steal for an up-cycling sewist!

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I dismantled her like the other sweaters (plus interfacing to the bottom hem), only here I had to be extra careful as the front pieces had to line up perfectly to facilitate button placement and the side pockets, which I had to cut in half, had to be symmetrical. I can wear this dress with nylons, leggings and even jeans. I wore her last Thursday to work and then dinner. She’s super comfortable, flattering and soft, my only comment is that she gapes a little when I sit. To rectify this issue, I will pick up some more matching thread, remove the buttons and sew her up the front.

My question for you all, shall I keep these gold buttons or do I opt for something a little less flashy? My mom had suggested a matching indigo satin button? I like the idea of a understated button. Your thoughts?