Halloween is just around the corner which can be a scary, scary time of year if you don’t sew. But have no fear, The Renegade Seamstress is here!!🙂
If you need a costume or two, and sewing isn’t your forte, just head to your local thrift store with an open mind and you’ll be amazed at what you can find. With a couple of snips of the scissors and a little glue, you can transform some previously loved clothes into the best costume EVAH!
Here are a few tutorials to get your inspiration on:
I don’t know, call me weird, but Jeff Bridges cracks me up as “The Dude” in the Coen Brothers cult classic movie, “The Big Lebowski”. He’s just a laid back, pot smoking bowler, who gets caught up with some mobsters, when all he wants is a replacement rug for the one they ruined. He’s thrown into impossible situations and isn’t equipped to deal with any of it. He just keeps insisting that “the rug just really tied the room together” in his not-so-tidy living room, but no one seems to care.
Well, this rug is for you, Jeff.
I’ve been wanting to make one of these rugs FOREVER! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and fun it was to make.
If you’d like to make a rug to “tie your room together”, click here for the full tutorial.
Maybe I’ll even bring this rug to the next “Lebowski Fest”. Ha! Some people have way to much fun…
For more sewing and refashioning inspiration, click here.
There are some weekends that you need to stop working and just hook onto the boat and head to the river with your ruggedly handsome husband. Well, that just what we did last Saturday and we had a blast!
Needless to say, the winner of the Insulated Lunch Bag and the Reusable Snack Bag didn’t get announced on Saturday like I’d hoped, due to my irresponsible, spontaneous weekend adventure.🙂
Thanks ever so much to everyone who pinned this fun project and the winner is…..
SallyAnn from Sew Re-Purposed. Send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send the lunch bag and the snack bag out to you ASAP.🙂
Have a wonderful week!
PS. For more sewing and refashioning inspiration click here.
And to thank you for over 8 million views to the Renegade Seamstress, I’d like to give the lunch bag and the snack bag away to one of you. All you have to do is pin this article to one of your Pinterest boards and leave a comment. The winner will be announced next Saturday.
Thanks so much for subscribing to The Renegade Seamstress and being so much fun!
“A white T-shirt with lace front ind size XL. It dyed just as I had hoped.
I put it around my lower body and measured, and pinned, and stitched, and pinned,
and stitched, untill it was just the way I wanted it to be.
A white top, I never used,
also got the blue treatment. It turned out fine, except that the lace became an
odd pale red. Off it went. l I replaced it with the upper part (neck,
shoulders and sleeves) of a striped dress I once refashioned. I love the
“I had another whirlwind week. Fabric Mart selected me to compete in their
Fashion Challenge that they run on their blog this year, and I’m also
working right now sewing new garments from recycled materials for a local
boutique here in Denver. The challenges start on Wednesday for me, so I’ve
been sewing like mad to get all of my collection put together before I put
it up for sale. As luck would have it, 2 of the t-shirts I made fit the
challenges! I didn’t get before pictures because things went straight from
the thrift store to the cut table my time is so crunched right now!
The first one is my un-tunic tunic. As I mentioned, the denim trench coat
that I was working on last week took away my time to make a tunic, so I was
glad to have found a little this week to throw it in. The purple and navy
tee was made from a plus sized purple tunic with the really cool beading
and pretty classic tunic slit neckline. Tunics are often proportionally a
difficult length for my short frame–too long to be a top, too short to be
a dress, I usually end up looking pregnant or just really as short as I
am. I knew pretty quickly that I would cut it down to a better length for
me (approximately at my high hip). When I went to cut it, I realized that
I could cut everything while keeping the neckline entirely intact. It sure
saved me some time to not have to finish the neckline or shoulders. The
sleeves came from a long sleeve navy tee, and I trimmed the sleeves with a
strip of striped jersey from another tee. To top it off, I added some hand
embroidery with a vivid mossy embroidery floss around the beading.
I loved the Riverside challenge. I happened upon a long sleeve tee that
was pretty close to Riverside. I cut it up into 2 t-shirts. In addition
to the Riverside sleeves, the first has a brown ponte yoke, a navy stripe
cut from a maxi dress, and a big floral applique cut from my vast
collection of vintage napkins. The 2nd tee has a yoke cut from the same
navy striped maxi dress, the body of the tee is the Riverside tee, and the
sleeves are from another navy tee. I added strips of a fun orange and grey
home dec fabric that I used for a project for my best friend some time ago.
Thanks again for organizing this challenge. It’s been so fun to work
through the challenges these last few weeks and see my brain taking things
apart and putting them back together in ways I wouldn’t have thought to do
“Hi there. Last one this year ! It has been a blast and I can’t believe I kept up
with all of the themes ! I love to push myself with hard challenges, which this one
was for me… I don’t particularly wear blue so I was taken aback with this week
theme… Riverside blue ? I found an old pair of pants that my mom has given me
YEARS ago, which were SO ugly but the right shade. Once I cut the legs, open them
and put them on myself, horizontally, I knew what to make. I did not have enough
fabric for sleeves so, tank top it is ! Of course, WAY too simple and easy for
me… So I grabbed a couple of more-or-less-matching ties from my stash and
proceeded to decorate my new asymetrical tank top. It really turned out as a tunic
! This fabric is SOOO confortable, perfect for the last days of summer ! Peace.
“In capturing the Riverside Blue, I have refashioned a few different items
(including some faded denim).
I cut up the silky top and made a scarf, using the cuffs of the blouse as
the ends of the scarf. I layered the lace top over the blue tank, changing
the buttons on the lace top with some darling Riverside Blue buttons. I
fit the jeans with a couple of darts in the back, and “distressed” them
with my cheese grater and some 40 Grade Sandpaper. (That was messy, but
For the XL Men’s shirt, I removed the sleeves, took in the sides and also
the sleeves, then re-attached the sleeves. I removed the button down
collar to create just a stand up collar.
I turned the jean skirt into a denim purse by sewing the bottom closed and
giving it width. I went into my stash of fabrics and made a lining and some
pockets. I used a denim belt (from another item in my stash) to make the
In one of the photos, I removed the scarf and tied it through the belt
loops of the purse.”
Thanks to everyone who sewed along with this season’s challenges.
Up next, the winner of the Refashion Runway Pantone Blue Challenge.
“I had quite a difficult time finding something in the right blue hue to fit
this challenge, but eventually stumbled on this 1980s beauty. It didn’t
look too terrible to begin with, but who thought a wrap dress that buttons
in the back would be a good idea? I had to get my husband’s help just to
try it on for the before photo! The cool cotton fabric screamed swingy
shift dress to me, but I knew the skirt wouldn’t quite be long enough to
make a knee-length dress. So to supplement the printed fabric, I pulled a
“silky” tank top out of my refashion stash. Using a self-drafted pattern, I
was able to cut all the pieces for the main part of the dress from that
fully pleated skirt, including facings for the neck line too. Then I cut
the tank top into strips to add a bottom border for modesty’s sake. I also
added some narrower strips of solid blue to the sleeves’ cuffs for a
Since I still had the entire bodice of the original dress left over, plus a
couple small pieces of the tank top, I whipped up a quick little bag to
coordinate with my new dress. I added fusible interfacing to both the outer
and lining layers for stability, popped in a zipper salvaged from a
previous refashion, and made a wristlet strap for easy carrying. I’m
looking forward to using this bag as a bright pop of color with a more
neutral outfit too.
And finally, a girl’s gotta have some accessories! I grabbed a seldom-worn
necklace – already refashioned once from an 80s necklace of my mom’s – and
took it apart to make a new necklace, bracelet, and earrings using some
jewelry findings from my stash.
This season of Refashion Runway has been such a blast and a real challenge
at the same time. Some seriously steep competition! Thank you, Beth, for
organizing this once again! And thanks to everyone else – for reading, for
voting, and for sewing along!”
For the last time then… here’s my refashioned outfit. These past few
weeks have been so much fun; I’ve loved pushing myself – and seeing all the
different interpretations from everyone else, for each week’s challenge!
This week? Pantone Colour of the Season, Riverside Blue…
The challenge for me? Finding anything in a charity shop in that colour…
The solution? Look at it in the same way as the ‘Buttons’ challenge!
No-one wanted to wear one big button (!) – that week was all about
accentuating an outfit using buttons. And that’s what I used as the driver
for my piece this week – using accents of colour, specifically Riverside
Blue, to highlight the refashioned outfit.
I found a VERY long white skirt, lined (which is just as well, as it was
quite sheer cotton) – the perfect blank canvas!
My plan was to buy paint in the right colour blue, and flick it at the
skirt at regular intervals! I saw it done in a catwalk show once… I will
try to remember the name of the famous designer who did it, to add to my
post, but it was such an avant-garde way of changing the garment, it really
captured my imagination. Thing is – I wasn’t sure of how the fabric would
react – to paint, or to washing (after the fact) – and surely the point is
to make something I’ll wear again? My mind was made up when I found out how
long it would take for the paint to arrive in the post (nowhere nearby
stocked the right shade)… SO. Back to the drawing board. Meanwhile,
struck by the thought of China cups…
…I found a men’s Hawaiian shirt, with the perfect blue running through
the design – result!
By taking the shirt in, with darts and through the side seams, and adding
bias binding to the new armholes, I created a blouse that goes well with
jeans. And Rod.
But it also works without Rod…🙂
As for the skirt, I painted buttons with nail polish I found in the right
hue, before sewing them onto the skirt in such a way that tailored it to
fit better. I also took it up to a more reasonable length, hemmed it, and
used one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to add a final
detail to the hemline.
I think it will be a very wearable outfit… when we get some sunshine. And
yes, I am still hopeful – even though Autumn seemed to arrive on Thursday!!
As I think I’ll get wear out of the blouse over jeans, I didn’t want to hem
it any shorter – so I tied the front, just to style it in a way that would
work with the skirt…
I’ve had such a great time, with all these talented ladies, I feel so
grateful to have been a part of the Refashion Runway All Stars Edition!
“Having grown up around water all my life I have always been attracted to the color
blue. When I looked up what shade Pantone’s Riverside Blue was, I was in love! How
lucky am I to get to work with such a beautiful shade of blue!
While scouting around for the perfect Riverside blue shade I found this perfect
button down shirt! I also I found this beautiful 2-tone dress (I just love the
First, I separated the bottom from the top of the dress.
Removed the sleeves from the button down shirt.
Cut the back of the shirt off to make it into a halter.
Swapped out the white buttons for tan buttons.
I cut the collar down it’s middle, cut off 1 inch and then sewed it back together.
Took in the back seam by 1 inch at the top and down to 1/2 inch in the middle.
To finish things off I added tan bias tape along the arm holes and the back of my
I sewed a casing for elastic on the bottom half of the dress. Fed through elastic
that was measured to my waist. (Trust me, with the pleats it was NOT an easy task,
actually quite annoying)!
Lastly, I sewed my blue halter top to my pleated dress bottom to make a whole new
For the last month I have been saying to myself that I am going to sew a tote to
cart my stuff off of our boat and to the pool area. When we are at our boat I always
have my hands full of chapstick, sunscreen, sunglasses, magazines so I really needed
a small tote with organized slots for all of my stuff. I just haven’t found the
time, until now! I took a reusable wine tote from the grocery store and hand sewed
it into a small purse (luckily for me it was blue!) I used fabric paint to paint a
damask print in blue. I also wrapped the handles with brown and blue ribbon!
Remember these wedge heels from my Tunic Challenge? Whelp, I snipped off the button
I sewed on and began again. I drew a tie dye design with a blue sharpie, squirted
rubbing alcohol onto my design to make it all blend together and let it dry in the
“Of all the challenges, I feel that the ones that have to do with a certain color
seem to be the most challenging. As soon as you walk into a thrift store, a very
large percentage of the clothing is eliminated from consideration due to the fact
that its the wrong color. Fortunately, though, Riverside lends itself well to faded
denim and that’s a little easier to come by.
My refashion actually started this week when I found a whole tub of leather items in
storage that I had kind of forgotten about. I like to buy up leather items when I
can find them on $2.00 Thursdays. I pulled from the tub a very soft black leather
coat that was rather large on me, but had possibilities. I immediately envisioned
adding some faded denim panels to the coat, so off I went to the thrift store.
While I was there, I also found a blue chiffon dress. The roses were the right
shade of Riverside, and the background color reminded me of another color in the
Pantone fall pallette, Airy Blue. On a different trip, I found a darker blue lace
top, and a small leather purse. I was now ready to get sewing!
I detached the lining from the coat and carefully cut away the leather front and
side/back panels from the coat. I used the cut pieces as a pattern for the denim
inserts, cutting extra around the edges for seam allowance.
Before I cut the denim, though, I consulted the RIT Dye color chart and found that
by mixing 1 tsp. of Evening Blue, and 1 tsp. of Denim blue in a quart of water, I
could get Riverside blue. And, lucky me, I just happened to have both colors in my
cupboard! So I dipped my denim jumper in a dye bath, then rinsed and dried it
before cutting my pieces. It didn’t change the color drastically, but it did deepen
the shade a bit and I liked that.
Before adding the denim panels to the coat, I added new pockets with welts.
I took in the sides, reshaped the shoulders, added belt loops, and made a belt from
the leftover denim and leather.
For the dress, I needed something to put under the lace since I didn’t want it to be
see-thru. I found a simple t-shirt and began with that. I cut away part of the
bodice, including the sleeves. I then deconstructed them, covered them with the
lace, and put them back together.
I cut a round collar from the leather. I used the portion of t-shirt that was left
after cutting away the bodice/sleeve pieces and used it as a pattern for the bodice
of the chiffon dress, adding extra for seam allowance. I retained the original hem
of the dress. After a lot of pinning and fitting to my dress form, I was finally
able to sew it all together. I added some leather trim around the bodice/sleeve
I attached a loop and button at the back of the neckline.
The design detail on the purse was something I had originally wanted to do either on
the back, or around the bottom of the coat. After careful consideration, though, I
didn’t want to limit what I could wear the coat with, so I decided to put the design
element on a purse instead.
Since I didn’t have enough leather to make a purse, I decided to refashion one. I
layered a piece of leather over the right side of some of the denim. After cutting
my design from paper, I traced around it onto the leather with a chalk paint pen. I
stitched the design, wiped away the chalk pen markings, then carefully cut away the
leather, exposing the denim beneath. I then lined the purse flap, turned it right
side out and secured it to the purse. In doing so, the layers of leather and denim
were too much for my machine, so I punched holes across the top edge of the purse,
and the top edge of my new flap and “stitched” them together with a running stitch
using thin strips of leftover leather.
If you would like to see more details of the process, you can visit my blog, Second
Chances by Susan, where I will be posting the tutorial soon. Thanks!
This has been a fun challenge and a fun competition! I can’t believe we are at the
end! Thanks again to everyone who has had a hand in this…Beth, the sponsors, the
ladies in the competition, and the ladies sewing along. And, thanks to everyone who
has voted and left sweet comments of encouragement…it means a lot! Good luck to
each of the contestants, they are all so very talented!”
“I can’t believe we’ve made it to the fifth and final week of the Refashion
Runway Challenge. This season has been so much fun and also incredibly
I was lucky enough to find a king-sized sheet set at a dollar-a-pound
Goodwill in the very color I needed! While at the Goodwill, I had googled
an image of the Pantone Blue: Riverside shade and was able to make sure the
colors matched up.
I decided to turn my sheet into a maxi dress. After figuring out my
measurements, I cut out two triangle-like shapes.
I got these shapes by adding 2 inches to my waist measurement and then
dividing that in half to find out the width. I then measured from my waist
to the floor to figure out the length. Then I added 6 inches on either side
of the bottom of my rectangle and angled up to make my front and back skirt
shapes. After I figured out all of my measurements, I cut out my pieces,
and sewed them together on the sides, and then hemmed the bottom.
I decided I wanted to add pockets, so I traced my hand, drafted a pocket
pattern and then cut out 4 pocket shapes.
I then figured out where the placement of my pockets should go and pinned
them in place and then seam-ripped the side seams where my pockets would be
attached, and then sewed them on.
Next I needed to create the top for my dress.
I found this XL floral shirt at my local Goodwill and it perfectly matched
the blue in my sheet.
I chopped the shirt in half, and then removed the sleeves and collar, and
took off the excess material at the sides.
I then sewed the sides closed and hemmed the neckline and reattached the
After sewing the top to the skirt, I decided I wanted a bow belt, so I cut
off the top of the sheet, folded it in half width-wise, and sewed it