Refashion Runway Season Five: Meet the Contestants Video

One of my goals for Season Five of Refashion Runway is to include more videos.

Well, here’s the first video for this season.

I’m totally open to your feedback because I know there’s always room for improvement.

Let me know what you think…

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Refashion Runway Season Five: Contestants and Challenges Announced Today

Finally! It’s the big announcement!

And let me tell you, this has not been easy. So many wonderful people applied for Season Five of Refashion Runway and I just couldn’t narrow it down to less than 15 contestants. I know that after you read about them or see their pictures, you’ll agree with me.

If you’d like to sew along with us, the challenges will be listed at the bottom of this post.

Let me now introduce our competitors for Season Five.

Meet Peggy Latta:

I participated in a sew along for the Boho Chic segment in 2015 and have been looking forward to perhaps having the chance to compete and…the time is now right! For 30 years, I have been a working textile artist enchanting brides with intricately detailed 11-inch tall replica miniature gowns. In the spring of 2020, I plan on expanding Heirloom Textile Art to include creative, one-of-a-kind and limited-edition wearable art. “textile hARvesT” designs will be curated from restyled thrifted garments and harvested details turning “second hand into new fashion”. In a world with too much textile waste, I plan to tackle the problem one beautiful piece at a time. I believe no effort to save the planet is too small. Throughout my sewing years, I have learned to “macgyver” and get creative in order to replicate the tiniest of details. Additionally, working with client’s cherished heirloom garments to design christening gowns and home décor has given me the courage to become fearless with scissors! These out-of-the-box challenges…and so many more… have prepared me to face the Refashion Runway as an artistic seamstress! If you want to see my up-to-the-minute works of art, please follow me at Heirloom Textile Art on Instagram.

Meet KT

I am a home sewist who loves to make clothes for myself and my friends and family, whether its is from scratch or from altering an existing garment. I like the idea of completing a sewing project within a specified timeline because so much more can be accomplished when there is a deadline. The competition would also be a great way to connect with fellow sewists and learn from them.

Meet Sandy Yates

Sandy has a wonderful sense of style and design and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

Meet Deana Budgell

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile now. I fell in love with sewing watching my mom sew when I was a little girl and that love has just grown through the years. When I see fabric, I see the finished product already. I love what fabric can turn into and how it can make you feel when it’s complete.

You can see more of Deana’s work on her Instagram page, djewelss

Meet Summer Ashley

I have been refashioning for quite a while now and enjoy the the challenge and creativity that comes with each new project. I have kept up with Refashion Runway in the past and thought it looked like a lot of fun

You can find more of Summer’s work on her Instagram page, Refashion Diaries

Meet Amy Minster

I love refashioning, and I used to do it all the time. I was a frequent poster on Refashion Co-op. I loved seeing what the other posters came up with, and I especially loved the creative problem-solving involved in transforming a piece of clothing into something brand new. Then I got too busy with life to have much time for sewing. I’ve been meaning to get back into it, and joining this competition would definitely kickstart my creativity again.

Meet Rose Henegar

I was brought up sewing, (hand-stitching long before it was trending!) and as one of five kids, was quite used to makin’ it work. Hand-me-down Rose… It was the 60’s in rural northern Michigan, with our fabric selection coming straight out of the Ben Franklin Store. We made doll clothes, stuffed toys, and progressed to sewing on a machine in record time. Patching and letting down hems was less of a fashion decision, and more likely a necessity. We embroidered, trimmed, altered, and transformed our clothing as expressions of our budding personalities, but more likely to extend the life of the garment. Skipping ahead a few decades, and we still make it work on a tight budget. I’ve learned a bit along the way. I’ve taught nearly every art and craft skill (including martial arts!) and still enjoy the creating. I teach jewelry making, painting, and art journaling, but I’m still loving to upcycle. I can justify my second hand shop finds, when it breaks down to yardage, hardware, and a challenge to my creative brain. Every day it’s fiber therapy in some form. I knit, crochet, needle and wet felt, weave, and spin. And most days I attempt to produce a stitch meditation. It’s not about the result, but the process. I’m certainly up for the challenge, and will enjoy the influence of other crafty souls along the way.

Meet Diane Scarponi

I have enjoyed refashioning quite a few things – using both garments that were made from one thing into another, and home dec materials that were made into clothing. Sustainability drives a lot of my life. I live in an old house in Connecticut (recycled house – ha ha), grow lots of fruits and veggies in my garden, use public transportation or a bicycle most of the time, and buy lots of things second-hand – including a “new to me” Pfaff sewing machine. In 2019, I took the “RTW Fast” pledge to not buy any ready-to-wear clothing (except for things I can’t really make, such as socks and tights), and I almost made it! I needed to buy a few things on vacation because of unexpected weather problems. Otherwise, I am proud that all my new garments, bags and home dec items in 2019 were made by me! And I used lots of scraps and leftovers for charity projects. I am emailing to you pictures of a few recent refashions – a winter coat out of an old blanket from my college dorm days (30 years ago!) and a dress I made out of a tablecloth. It was nice enough to wear to a friend’s wedding, believe it or not! Who am I kidding? Of course you believe it – but no one else would! I’ll love being a part of “Refashion Runway Season 5”.

Meet Beki Biesterfelt

I’m a seamstress by trade, with a passion for upcycling and repurposing. My creative process incorporates pre and post consumer fabric and fiber waste into wearable art, accessories, and items for the home.

You can see more of Beki’s work on her Facebook page or at Beki’s Custom Sewing

Meet J.P. Choquette

Though I’m a writer by day (website ), I love to upcycle and refashion clothing by night. Two of my refashions were featured in “Altered Couture” magazine. And as a contestant in the 2016 STRUT! Fashion Show in Burlington, VT, I learned a lot about refashioning a cohesive collection. It received a great response!

Meet Sonya Blackstone

I am creative and I adore upcycling, plus I’m always up for a challenge! This competition just speaks to me! She’s So Creative doesn’t show as much of my sewing work as I would like because it’s still a baby site and I have been more centered on my crocheting site since I started that years ago. Even though I haven’t been able to showcase all of my sewing projects, I am a confident sewist; I learned to sew several years ago and have made hundreds of sewing projects (including garments). My crochet site is

Meet Diane Sladowski

 I make wearable and artistic garments from post consumer jeans to sell in my Etsy shop, I occasionally blog ( and will for this!) and I have a love for upcycling/recycling clothing. I always want to do more types of garments and fabrics, so this contest will give me a direction and inspire me in new ways.

You can see more of Diane’s work at Thoughts From a Seamstress

Meet Marisa Glied

Yes, Marisa and her beautiful smile and style is returning to us from Refashion Runway Season 3 and from Refashion Runway All-Stars. Her blog is called The Refash Stash 

I am a dental hygienist by trade but that leaves me longing to wear something with more personality than scrubs! I hope my little blog inspires you to change the way you look at outdated clothes by making you think outside the stitch!

What is refashioning, you may ask? To me refashioning is taking an article of clothing and making it into something completely new! This could be as simple as changing buttons on a shirt or making a suit jacket into a fabulous new purse! Refashioning is all about being creative! The best part is: There are no rules! Just go for it!

Meet Michelle Paganini

I live and breathe Upcycling/refashioning! I love the challenge of transforming old fashion into new. As some of you may know, I have built a business,, around selling upcycle sewing instructions to home sewists. I consider myself an expert Upcycler with a distinct point of view.

Meet Julie Kong

I stumbled upon the Renegade Seamstress four years ago. I was fascinated, excited and amazed at what she had created. All the endless possibilities started swirling through my head. Upcycling kept me occupied at a time when my children were leaving the nest, and money was tight. So I dove in and here I am today still Upcycling!

Let me introduce myself, I’m a school librarian who designs and upcycles on the side. I’d love to say Upcycling is my full time job, maybe one day I will. I’d love to have a local shop where all upcyclers can bring their creations to sell. And a meet up group would be a fantastic way to share ideas and inspire others.

I have four grown kids. I live in California. I love the outdoors. I love animals and most of all I love to create!

Now, I have to tell you, sewing makes me a little crazy. I’m not the best seamstress out there. I think I spend more time ripping out what I’ve sewn then actually sewing!!!  In the end, I work out all the bugs that could potentially happen when taking on an Upcycling project.

Oh, and by the way, the kids at my school love seeing what I’ve made. I’m always talking about Upcycling with them, even the Kindergarten kids. One day, a little 2nd grade boy was falling me around in the school library. I was wearing a wild tie dyed skirt with lace. He said he couldn’t believe that I made my skirt and that it was soooooo beautiful. He then proceeded to tell all the other little boys that I’d made my skirt and they were all in awe! Such a cute moment with those precious little ones. Surprisingly enough, I’ve actually inspired some junior high girls to try Upcycling. You know how they are about their clothes at that age. It sure made my heart happy!

I feel my designs are different and exciting. I like to create clothing that is more wearable art. Clothing that makes others stop and ask where you purchased your outfit. Not because it’s a designer brand but because it’s fun and different. My creations have no patterns. They are just creative ideas coming together to inspire others to reuse, recycling, and create something exciting. I really look forward to sharing my ideas with you. If you do take a peek at my website, that’s my daughter in all the pictures, not me. The clothes just look better on her!

You can see more of Julie’s work at Sugar Cane Sweet Designs

See what I mean, how could I say no to any of these wonderful seamstresses!!

So here’s a list of all the challenges:

Week One: Statement Sleeves

Week Two: 1970s

Week Three: Faux Fur

Week Four: Small to Large

Week Five: Southwest

Week Six: Kentucky Derby Hat

You are welcome to sew along with us and we’d love to see what you come up with for these challenges. Post your work to #refashionrunway if you have Instagram. Or send them to me at

The first challenge pictures will be posted on Saturday, January 25 and you’ll have a chance to vote for your favorite.

Until then,

Happy Refashioning!


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What is Refashion Runway Anyway? A Look Back Through the Seasons

Well, it’s happening this Saturday, January 11, the contestants and challenges for Season Five of Refashion Runway will be announced.

Sheesh Ka Bob!  All of the entries are so impressive, I just don’t know how I’m going to choose only 8 contestants.

Looking at the fun before and after pictures of each applicant reminded me of how excited I would get when opening emails to see how each contestant interprets the challenge. I have actually been known to squeal in delight a time or two (or three or four) 🙂

Michelle Paganini, from Paganoonoo, suggested I do a retrospective post that links all of the previous seasons. so just in case you haven’t been in on this before you can get an idea of what this is all about. Great idea Michelle!

As a refresher, Refashion Runway is a friendly sewing competition.

Here’s how it works:

Much like Project Runway and The Great British Sewing Bee, we’ll choose eight refashion seamstresses (or seamsters) to compete in weekly challenges. The contestants will send in before and after videos or photos. I will post all of the before and after photos and/or videos so you can vote for your favorite. The refashions will then be scored by judges and open to a popular vote. The scores will be combined to find a weekly winner and one competitor will be out (not without a prize for participating though). At the end of the series, whoever is left will not only receive a nice prize but will be crowned the winner of Refashion Runway Season Five!!

It’s such a great way to meet new people who love to do the same thing we do.

Here’s a recap with links to each post so you can see everyone’s work (I just included the winners in this post):


Season One June and July 2013:

The Challenges:

Week One: Stripes

Week Two: Denim

Week Three: Copy Cat from a magazine, catalog or celebrity

Week Four: Summer Dress

The Winners:

Winner of the Stripes Challenge

Sally from Charity Shop Chic



Winner of the Denim Challenge

Sally from Charity Shop Chic



Winner of the Copycat Challenge

Mary from Thrifty Chic



Winner of the Summer Dress Challenge:

Miche from Buttons and Birdcages




Season Two: September October 2013

The challenges:

Week One: Plaid
Week Two: Pantone 2013 Color Emerald Green
Week Three: Peplum
Week Four: Leather
Week Five: Halloween
Week Six: Winter White

The winners:

Winner of the Plaid Challenge:

Trish from Feeling Kinda Thrifty

Winner of the Emerald Green Challenge:

There was a tie between Carissa from Carissa Knits



and Trish from Feeling Kinda Thrifty



Winner of the Peplum Challenge

Carissa from Carissa Knits



The winner of the Leather Challenge

Carissa from Carissa Knits



The Winner of the Halloween Challenge:

Susan from Second Chances By Susan



The winner of the Winter White Challenge:




Season Three: July and August 2015

The Challenges:

Week 1: Combine Floral and Geometric or Stripes
Week 2: Gingham
Week 3: Handbag, Tote bag or Clutch
Week 4: Maxi Skirt or Dress
Week 5: Boho Chic
Week 6: Asymmetrical

The Winners

The winner of the Combine Floral and Geometric or Stripes Challenge

Kara from While Camden Sleeps



Winner of the Gingham Challenge:

A three way tie between:

Sarah from Life is Beautiful



and Marissa from The Refash Stash

and Gema from Sequins and Slippers

Winner of the Handbag, Tote or Clutch Challenge:

Gema from Sequins and Slippers

Winner of the Maxi Skirt or Dress Challenge

Sarah from Life is Beautiful

Winner of the Boho Chic Challenge

Sarah from Life is Beautiful

Winner of the Asymmetrical Challenge:

Sarah from Life is Beautiful

Season Four: All Stars Version July and August 2016

The Challenges:

Week One: Velvet

Week Two: Metallic

Week Three: Buttons

Week Four: Tunic

Week Five: Pantone Color of the Season: Riverside

The Winners:

Winner of the Velvet Challenge

Susan from Second Chances by Susan

Winners of the Metallic Challenge

Carissa from Carisa Knits



Susan from Second Chances by Susan:

and Jen from Diary of a Mad Mama



Winners of the Button Challenge

Carissa from Carissa Knits




Susan from Second Chances by Susan


Winner of the Tunic Challenge:

Carissa from Carissa Knits



A reversible Tunic:

Winner of the Pantone Color Riverside Challenge

Susan from Second Chances by Susan

There you have it, Refashion Runway in a nutshell. Remember to click on the links for the different challenges if you’d like to see all of the entries for each challenge.

Stay Tuned:

The Season Five competitors and challenges will be announced on Saturday, January 11, 2020!!

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You Voted and the Winner is…… The Sweater Dress Refashion

Ta Da! According to your votes, this sweater refashion was by far the favorite. (I gotta admit, it’s my all-time favorite, too)

But, I heard the link was broken, so here’s the tutorial just in case you want to try this out for yourself.

Create a cute sweater dress from two old sweaters

Cut off the bottom of the shirt at the waistline. Add a half an inch for a seam allowance. Cut the bottom of the sweater off to your desired skirt length. Leave a half an inch for a seam allowance.

If you have to cut above the sleeve line, straighten out the side by marking and sewing a new side seam.

Trim the new seam.


Use the longest stitch to baste around the top of the sweater you’re using for the skirt of the dress.

Place the shirt part inside the skirt so the right sides are together and the raw edges are lined up. Pin the sides and center front and back together.

Pull on the basting stitch to ease the skirt to fit the shirt. Pin in place and sew.

Cut a piece of elastic to fit around your waist. Mark the center and the quarters of the elastic.

Place the center of the elastic on the front center of the seam and pin. Line up the quarter marks of the elastic on the side seams and pin. Sew into the seam allowance. stretching the elastic to fit as you sew.

That’s all there is to it!

For a no waste project, click here to make some Smittens from the sleeves and extra sweater parts.

Add a scarf and a cardigan, some boots and tights, and you’re good to go.

Create a cute sweater dress from two old sweaters

Happy Winter Sewing!


PS. Stay tuned for the announcement of the Season Five Refashion Runway contestants…

Coming this Saturday.

For more refashion or sewing tutorials and inspiration click here.

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Coolest thing EVAH! Project Runway Contestants Hit the Goodwill

The timing couldn’t be any better!

Last night’s episode of Project Runway is an upcycling challenge!!!!

The contestants had to design a look for Karlie Kloss to wear to a Paris fashion event made entirely from Goodwill finds.

How cool is THAT!


If you want to be in good company and you’ve been thinking about applying for your chance to be  a contestant on Season Five of Refashion Runway, hosted by moi, The Renegade Seamstress, today is the day! The open casting call closes tomorrow and the contestants will be announced next week.

Click here for the details and the application form.

Season Five of Refashion Runway hosted by The Renegade Seamtress

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Wrap Up 2019 With Some Refashioned Sweaters and Vote For Your Favorite

So many sweaters! So little time!

I’m still doing it. Just ask Katie. It’s the first place I head when thrift shopping-


There’s just something fun about giving old unloved sweaters a new lease on life.

Here’s a look back on a few sweater projects from throughout the years and I’d love to know which is your favorite. After checking out the projects, scroll to the poll at the bottom of this post to cast your vote.

Refashioned Sweater Projects

Little Girl’s Sweater Skirt

Sweater Quilt

Coffee Cozy



Cardigan Video

Sweater Dress

Sweater Trees

Sweater Stocking

Little Girl’s Sweater

Sweater Slippers

Pom Pom Sweater Hats

Boot Sweaters

Sweater Tote

Cut and Paste Biker Jacket

Sweater Cowl And Boot Socks

Sweater Scarf

Valentine’s Day Sweater

Boot Socks

Upcycle a thrift store sweater to cozy warm boot socks with this new sew tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Sweater Tote

Little Girl’s Sweater Dress

Sweater from a Turtle Neck

Happy Sewing!

And Happy New Year!









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Call For Season Five Refashion Runway Sponsors and There’s Still Time to Apply For Your Chance to Compete

This season is shaping up to become one of the best ever but we still need a few prize sponsors so, if you’d like to support the creative efforts of our contestants by donating a prize or gift certificate, just email me at


If you’ve been thinking about applying to be a contestant on Refashion Runway,  now is the time. Click here for details.


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DIY: How to Make a Pom Pom Wreath

Greet your guests with wooly wonderfulness all winter with this warm wreath made from pom poms.

(Alliteration intended 🙂 )

Pom poms are super fun to make and can be made in any color and texture. You don’t even need an expensive tool.

Isn’t this wooden deer made by my friend, Tom fun, too!!!?!!

Click here for the step-by-step pom pom wreath instructions.


If you’ve been thinking about applying for a chance to compete in Season Five of Refashion Runway, today’s the day

I’d love to hear from you!

Click here for details and the application form.

Happy Sewing and Happy Holidays!




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Do You Have Some Challenge Ideas for Refashion Runway Season Five? And a Giveaway!

One of my favorite things about Refashion Runway is connecting with people all over the world who love to transform old, unwanted clothes into new and wearable fashion. You are all so creative and talented and I’d love to get your ideas for the challenges for Season Five!

If you’d like to add your clever suggestion to the mix, just put it into the form below and if your idea is chosen, I’ll send you one of my books, The Refashion Handbook.

And if you’d like to apply to be a contestant, be sure click here for some details and to apply for the show.

Can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Happy Holidays!


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Make Stockings From Old Sweaters: New One Minute Video

The sparkly lights are up, the fragrant tree is decorated, and the fancy cookies are baked —now it’s time to adorn your mantel.

Why not dazzle Santa this year and hang up a delightful stocking you made yourself? Who knows, he might be so impressed that he drops in a few extra treats.

Don’t know how to knit? No worries — just use a thrifted sweater or old sweater that has gotten a bit snug or gone out of style, and give it a cozy new life as a Christmas stocking.


Check out the video:

Click here for the step-by-step photo instructions.



For more Christmas Sewing ideas and inspiration click here.

If you, or someone you know, would like to be a part of Refashion Runway Season Five, click here for the details. We’d love to have you join us. Whether you’re a contestant, a sponsor, a judge, or voting for your favorite each week, it’s so much fun!

Refashion Runway1

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