Wow! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing this blogging thing together for 6 years now. From my very first tutorial to 5 fun seasons of Refashion Runway to publishing The Refashion Handbook to creating videos that have received millions of views. It’s been quite the adventure and I want to thank you for being by my side for it all.
I’m soon going to have more time to improve The Renegade Seamstress and since you are the reason I do what I do, I naturally want to know what you think would make this a better site.
If you take the survey before Saturday, August 25, your name will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook.
Be sure to click the VOTE button after each question so your response will be recorded.
What topics related to sewing do you feel are most needed in the marketplace right now? Is there anything you don’t see covered enough? Anything missing altogether? Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve my site? By answering these questions in the form below, your name will automatically be entered in the drawing for a free copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help me create a better website by answering these questions.
The new, plastic, flip-top gum holders help to keep gum from breaking into little tiny pieces and ending up at the bottom of your purse, full of dirt or stuck to all of your loose change. Ewwww, what a mess it used to be! Not anymore, though. But what to do with these great little containers when all the gum is gone? Instead of throwing your handy dandy little boxes out, cover them with some pretty fabric and fill them with travel items to keep yourself organized and prepared no matter where you plan on going.
Click here for the full step-by-step photo instructions.
Scroll down for the one minute how-to videos.
See the Facebook video here:
Or you can watch the Youtube version here:
For more crafting, sewing or refashioning inspiration, click here.
Blue jeans aren’t just for cowboys anymore. Move on over you rugged men, we’ve got some fashion statements to make. We’re distressing them, cropping them, acid washing them and fraying them–anything to make our jeans cool and different. Now you can give your plain jeans some personality by using a stencil and bleach to add some modern tattoo-like designs. Cover them with patterns or just put a few strategically placed pictures to alter your jeans and make them your own. Once you give this DIY a try, none of your denim will be safe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Scroll down to watch the videos.
Or click here to read the step-by-step photo instructions.
A fun summer makeover for you from a few years ago:
Seriously, who cares if I get freckles on my legs.
Sometimes you just need to go outside, relax and accept what the sun has to offer.
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s true. How lucky am I?
I love waking up to this each day. A small Eastern Oregon town where I’m graced with panoramic beauty, where deer hang out in my yard, and where summer has finally arrived. It usually takes me a few weeks to realize it. The first stretch of vacation is always filled with organization, cleaning, appointments, and getting caught up with life. And then it happens…..
that one extraordinary day when I wake up and realize the next twenty four hours are totally up to me. I can enjoy whatever comes my way. I can finally breathe and notice my life.
That day was today.
My eyes close, as my favorite stairwell rendition of Halleluia, by Skeye, cascades gently from my laptop. The wannabe musician inside me desperately wants to sing along. But all I can do is catch my breath, and let her beautiful voice go deep to lift me where freckles really don’t matter.
The horse slowly saunters over and stares at me. Maybe it’s Skeye’s hypnotic voice that lured him over or maybe it’s the bright colors of the adirondack chair that Penny made for me. Or maybe, like my friend Karin says, he was connecting with the joy I happen to be feeling at this moment. I look up from the computer and my heart swells yet again. I’m so fortunate to have a job that gives me time to heal in the sunshine each summer, to rejuvenate, and to take time just to notice my life.
Today, while “noticing my life”, I got inspired to make a summer dress to go with my newly acquired leg freckles. I head into my thrift stash which, thanks to my early summer bursts of energy, now sits neatly stacked and folded with a color coordinated organizational system. I stop, sigh, and gaze for awhile, just to admire the orderly beauty of it all. When I finally snap out of it, my eyes land on this pure silk Hawaiian dress that I scored last fall at the Goodwill for a whopping $2.99.
It’s made for a woman who is my complete opposite- a big busted, small hipped kind of gal. But you know, that blue and green silk was irresistible and ya gotta love those yellow parrots!
Somehow, I need to make the bottom of this dress larger and the top smaller. I’ve done this before with other dresses but this one was different. It had lining and a long zipper down the back. Hmmmm…..can’t just cut out the middle, gather the skirt and sew it back on this time. This dress presented a bit more of a challenge.
By the time it was all said and done, I actually refashioned this dress two ways.
This was the first rendition. My friend Kris said it was very Betty Draper.
I liked the first dress but when Kris said it needed to be more Joan Holloway than Betty Draper, I got right to work and this was the result.
What do you think?
If you like the Betty Draper dress, this is the tutorial for you:
I started by taking out the zipper with my seam ripper. I actually left the top of the zipper installed because you will reinstall the zipper later.
I then put it on, looked in the mirror, and using safety pins, marked where I’d like the new waistline to be. I also pulled it up and marked the new length with another pin.
Using a washable fabric marker and adding a half inch for a seam, mark the new waistline.
Using your rotary cutter, cut the new waistline.
Then cut the skirt (off the top) to desired length, leaving the hem intact.
Using the longest stitch on your machine, baste around the top of the skirt.
Right sides together match and pin the side seams and middle of the front and back. Pull gently on the basting stitches to ease in the rest of the skirt to fit the bodice. Pin and sew.
Leave the back seam open so you can reinstall the zipper.
Open up the back skirt seam to fit the zipper. Using the zipper foot, reinstall the zipper.
Now for the neckline. Cut a slit down the middle of the neckline to the depth you like. Fold over and press. Then cut on the pressed lines.
But, if you’re more of a Joan Holloway type of girl, then here’s the tutorial for you:
Do every step the same as the Betty Draper version above, but instead of basting around the top of the skirt, cut out your custom pencil skirt using your custom skirt pattern from here and attach to the bodice and reinsert the zipper. The neckline was also cut deeper so I could drop the neckline over the shoulders a bit.
Hope this will be helpful to you during your summer refashion adventures!!!
Ah, summertime, and the livin’ is easy–running through the sprinklers, splashing in the pool or jumping in the waves. There’s nothing like staying wet to beat the heat. But when it’s time to dry off, don’t just use any old towel–wrap your kids up in a fun towel they can wear. These cute hooded towels are not only great for the beach, but they can double as a year round bath towel. When you discover how easy they are to make, you’ll want to make a hooded towel for all the little ones in your life.
Scroll down for the how-to video.
Click here for the full step-by-step photo instructions.
See the Facebook video here:
Or watch the Youtube version here:
For more sewing and refashioning inspiration click here.
Get your beach vibe on with your very own customized beach towel. No need for a bland one when the weather gets warm. Instead, get the towel of your summer dreams by creating your own design with bleach. You can personalize it with a phrase, a name, or even initials. Whatever you decide to do, it’s a quick, simple and affordable way to make a fun fashion statement this summer.
Scroll to the bottom to watch the how-to videos and click here to read the step-by-step article.
For those of you on Facebook:
Or, if you’re not on Facebook, here’s the Youtube version:
Make a big dramatic statement with little paper boxes. They’re perfect for those times when you need to add a little flair to a small gift for a friend or loved one. They even make great little wedding favor boxes. Make one out of wrapping paper, an old magazine, scrapbook paper, sheet music or a even a discarded picture book from the library. Any kind of paper will work. Pop in a little handmade treat to make your friends feel extra special because not only did you make the gift, but you even made the box it came in. No one needs to know how easy these little boxes are to make. Your secret is safe with me.
Scroll to the bottom to watch my latest ehow video. I still have to pinch myself every time I make one. I love making them for you!!! (Be sure to turn up the music because I worked super hard to get everything to match the beat. 🙂 And Cooper told me that he thought the finger snap was pretty cool. 🙂 )
Eddie, Eddie, Eddie! What were you thinking? No wonder someone dropped it off at the thrift store. They probably laid it on the doorstep, rang the doorbell and ran. Really Eddie, you need to get out more!
Should I go for the J Lo look?
So I channeled my inner Edward Scissorhands and got right to work.
First determine where you’d like your new waistline.
Cut your new bodice length leaving enough for a seam.
Cut off the sleeves then pin and sew new side seams to fit.
Cut extra fabric from the top of the skirt leaving enough for a seam at the top.
Pin and sew new side seams.
Sew skirt to bodice, adding pleats or darts in the front and easing the back to fit.
To make the flounce ruffle, first measure from the shoulder seam, across the neckline and down to the new waistline. Mine measured sixteen inches. This will become the circumference of the inner circle. The width of the pattern will be how wide you’d like your ruffle. I made mine three inches which allowed for a small rolled hem. (If I had a serger, I would’ve serged the edge instead of hemming.)
I used the fabric that I cut off from the middle of the dress to make the flounce ruffle.
After cutting out your circle piece of fabric, cut a straight line from the outer to the inner circle to open it up.
Place the inner circle along your neckline, fold it under, pin and topstitch. I ended up tacking my ruffle in a few places but I think if the edge was serged tacking might not be necessary.
Next put the sleeves back in place and hem the bottom of each sleeve.
I thought it would be fun to add a decorative gather at the bottom of each sleeve so I cut two small pieces of quarter inch elastic.
Place the elastic on the inside of your sleeve and stretch slightly while sewing.
This added a nice detail to each sleeve.
And here’s your new denim dress:
Ok, so I don’t look EXACTLY like J Lo. But it was fun to think about!
Click here for more refashion and sewing inspiration.
Just spent two weeks in Minnesota so I thought this would be the perfect post to bring back to life:
Time froze for me the other day while at my beautiful niece Melanie’s house in St. Paul. The kids playing hockey in the driveway, listening to the Belmont Stakes on the tv in the garage, cold Leinenkugel in my hand and it suddenly occurs to me…
I LOVE MINNESOTA!
I know! I know! You’ve always heard trash talk coming out of my mouth about the debilitating humidity, the frigid cold, the scary tornados, and the nasty mosquitos.
But in spite of all it’s shortcomings, and even though I lived out west most of my adult life, I will always call Minnesota my home.
It’s where my people are.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lots of people in Oregon. My children and their families, close friends I consider family, and the hundreds of students that I loved throughout the years.
But I really am a “Minnesotian” at heart.
I love all the “ya shore, ya betchas”, the “I saw dat der too and I said, hmmmms” and the of course it wouldn’t be complete without “daboatayas”.
My sister has a place “up nort” and after spraying at least two cans of Deep Woods Off (that we practically had to buy on the black market due to the “skito” epidemic this year) all over my entire body, it was the perfect spot for a photo shoot of my latest refashion for eHow.
Oh ya, I started with this jacket…
and in a few quick and easy steps, turned it into this:
Click here for the tutorial. (And be sure to say that with a Minnesota accent) 🙂
Happy Saturday and try to stay away from dat Lutefisk if ya know whats good for ya!
For more sewing and refashioning tutorials and inspiration, click here.
Another good tutorial worth unearthing from the archives:
I’ve never been a good clothes shopper.
Just ask my sister, Jan, who would painstakingly shop for the perfect outfits while I was off swimming, riding my bike, and hanging out with my friends. But when I needed something to wear, I’d go directly to her closet to find it. Needless to say, it would drive her crazy.
Last year, before my refashioning obsession and since I live 1800 miles away from my sister now, I shopped for months to find the perfect dress for my daughter’s Rustic Chic Wedding. I finally took the easy route and settled on a simple black dress.
Today I accidentally made my dream Mother of the Bride dress, almost one year later. The colors and style would’ve been just right!
I started with this thrift store dress. Not really that bad in the fit department, but I think with a few minor adjustments I can make it a little more exciting.
And here’s the new dress.
Wouldn’t this have been a perfect Mother of the Bride Dress for a Rustic Chic Wedding in a barn. If you check out the wedding post, be sure to turn up your volume and click the triangular music button before you start to scroll down. The music makes it all the more magical.