To be honest, this week’s challenge was totally self indulgent for me.
You see, I LOVE the color green.
It’s the color of balance, harmony and growth.
Emerald green, forest green, asparagus green, spring green, kelly green, moss green, really, any kind of green rolls my socks up and down. Most likely, my love affair started as a young teenager while hanging out with my friends on my yellow vinyl beanbag chair perched on top the lime green shag carpet in my bedroom. I really did think I had the coolest bedroom in the neighborhood.
I know not everyone has the same love affair with this clear, deep color as I do, so I appreciate how all the designers stepped up to the plate and truly hit home runs this week.
First, let’s check in on Susan from Second Chances by Susan who has been literally drenched in Western Oregon this week.
“I have to say I love the emerald green color this week…but, it presented a new
challenge for me. A few months back I decided I had enough refashion projects to do
so I made the decision to not buy anything from the thrift stores for awhile. Well
that’s all fine and dandy, unless you didn’t happen to buy much in the way of
emerald green (who knew I would need it, right?) Well, I had two options, the first
one involved using some dye. After picking, cutting, and sewing before the pieces
could go into the dye bath, I’m sorry to say that the dye experiment wasn’t too
successful. So on to option #2. Months ago I had picked up this 100% silk dress
for 50 cents. I loved the colors…blue, aqua, black, and emerald green! It was
also a size 20 so there was a lot of fabric. Although there was zero shape to it,
there was a little attempt at design—buttons down the front, a gathered yoke, fake
pocket flaps, and shoulder pads that Linda Evans would be proud of! I also found in
my stash a scrap of black lycra knit, 4” of ribbing, a silver ring previously cut
from an old purse, and a baggie full of silver and emerald beads from a broken
I removed the buttons, flaps, and giant shoulder pads (seriously, those things
practically stand up and salute!) I replaced the buttons and buttonholes with a new
seam down the front. The shoulders were too wide and really drooped on me. Instead
of taking off the sleeves and recutting them smaller, I ran a gathering stitch along
both sides of the shoulder seams and along the front yoke seam. Once I cinched them
up, they fit my shoulders much better, plus it adds a little feminine touch to the
I cut the sleeves shorter and added a casing with elastic. I stitched some tucks
around the front and back waist so that when I applied the belt detail, the dress
would always be gathered evenly (they’re hidden under the belt detail.) I used the
scrap lycra and ribbing to create a faux belt and stitched it into the side seams.
I added an invisible zipper to one side seam.
I paired it with my thrifted $2 black leather coat and $4 black boots. Considering
the scraps were leftovers from other projects, and the broken necklace was free, the
total cost of the whole outfit was $6.50. Not too bad!
If you would like to see more close-ups and details of how it was accomplished,
please visit my blog, secondchancesbysusan.blogspot.com. Thanks!”-Susan
Now let’s see what Carissa from Carissa Knits has been sewing for us.
“At $12.49, this skirt cost more than I would normally pay at a thrift
store. But I loved the colors, the paisley brocade pattern, the fact that
it was *brand new with the tags still on it! *I have a wedding to go to
next weekend, and this skirt was the perfect jumping-off point for a cute
After literally hours of bead removal and careful deconstruction, I cut the
skirt in half and used the top portion to create a new bodice. I pinned, I
darted, I pressed, I top-stitched. I used the original lining from the
skirt to line my new bodice, and added some hook-n-eyes as a closure in the
back (since the original zipper wouldn’t be long enough to go all the way
up my back). I was inspired by another recent trend to create a little
cutout at the lower back to add some interest. And part of the original
waistband was recycled as a halter-style strap.
Once the bodice was complete, I turned my attention to the skirt. I added
loose pleats at the waist for fullness. The back slit was sewn up and the
salvaged zipper and button were re-installed. I even used some scraps of
both the main fabric and the lining to create pockets. I love a dress with
I am *so* ready to do some bunny hopping at the shindig next Saturday!
More details and photos will be posted at CarissaKnits.com, so come check
’em out!”- Carissa
Desarae from Gladness of Heart has been busy.
“Have you ever Googled a color?
Only twice in my life, have I ever.
Once for a bride’s maid dress, and the second to find out what in the world ‘Pantone
2013 Emerald Green’ was!
Green and I don’t get along well together, so I was very relieved to see that this
particular green was more of a teal-green, as compared to the St. Patrick’s Day
green I had in mind.
And to my further surprise, it wasn’t as hard to come by as I thought it might be.
Still, it amazed me how challenging this project was…probably on the count that
green doesn’t naturally conjure up my inspiration.
None the less, after lots…and lots…and lots of brainstorming and reworking, I
came up with a lacy maxi skirt, made from a dress, shirt and an old curtain!
Using a too-small dress, I detached the bottom from the bodice, and used it as the
top of my maxi skirt. Cutting a small strip from the remaining bodice, I made a
waist band which I attached to my skirt. Next, I chopped up the other shirt to
create another skirt tier. Before attaching that to the upper skirt portion however,
I cut a length of lace from an old curtain and basted it on, adding gathers at both
side seams. Then I sewed the two tiers together. To add a little interest, I sewed
on a few strips of lace and added three perfectly matching buttons I happened to
have in my stash! I even made a matching flower pin with some of the scraps!”
Let’s see what Lauren from Adventures of Lauren designed for us this week.
“Finding an emerald green item to refashion was quite the challenge. Finding anything
green period was near impossible. And finding something emerald! I found that people
have very different perceptions of what the color emerald is- it was interesting. I
did settle on this green dress straight from the 90s show Designing Women. Just call
me Suzanne Sugarbaker. Let’s bring back the Southern Accent! I took on the challenge
of turning this blazer-like dress, which had no zipper and just held on with
buttons!!! And wow the little hanky just came right on out!
I cut the dress in half and removed the buttons, sleeves, and that collar/lapel. I
created my own neckline as the old one was attempting to choke me. I had to even out
the skirt since it was lopsided because it was a wrap dress. I added a zipper to
only the skirt. I created a open back dress.I angled the open part of the dress in
the back in order to stop the fabric from gaping from my back. I still wanted the
option to wear a bra with this dress so I added a wide rectangle to the back of the
dress right where my strap would be. I added a little elastic to keep the dress
against my back while I moved and also let me put the dress on easily. To make it a
little more emerald I ombre dyed the skirt with RIT dye-dark green. What came out
was something I felt comfortable saying now has emerald green in the dress even if
subtle. The fabric was a challenge as I could at most rip out a seam twice otherwise
the loose weave would just unwind.
Overall I am really happy I turned this dress from 90s to modern, simple silhouette.
Paired with a cardigan or a jacket I can totally wear this to work.
Yay!! :)”- Lauren
Let’s head out across the Pacific to see what our winner from last week, Trish from Feeling Kinda Thrifty, has been busy doing:
“Aloha from Hawaii! I thought that perhaps as we head into the Fall season,
a beachy ensemble might be an appropriate goodbye to summer. I found this
very emerald muumuu at a church thrift shop, and right away I knew that I
wanted to remake it into something with a retro flair. I also wanted to
challenge myself to get away from my usual dress or skirt refashion and
make a pair of shorts.
I began by taking the whole thing apart. Muumuus are generally great
refashioning items because they are made with so much fabric, but as I
deconstructed this emerald beauty, I realized that it was mainly made from
bits and pieces. It was quite a challenge to figure out. For the shorts,
I used an old pair of jean shorts as a pattern and cut them out of the
bottom ruffle of the dress. The sleeves of the dress became the cuffs and
band. Because they were fitted, I added a zipper down the side of the
For the top, I used the middle section. I added a princess line
in the front. In the back, I added darts and a zipper. To give it some
pizzazz, I stitched on the applique (remember the bottom ruffle), gathered
the middle, and added neck straps. I think this retro refashion turned out
swell. For more details, check out my blog, Feeling Kinda
Thrifty” – Trish
Now let’s go the other direction and head out across the Atlantic to see what Joelle from The Eco Wardrobe Warrior has been redesigning for us.
“This was more of a challenge as I had nothing emerald to work with, until
Monday, the day I started University. This is quite a simple refashion,
inspired again by Moschino, who showed a navy coat with yellow buttons and
yellow pocket flaps. I had this long navy polyester jacket from Sticky
Fingers, London, in my stash, I love the drape of the fabric, but it was
looking dated and boring with the pearly buttons.
The emerald satin shirt had long sleeves with cuffs.
I removed the cuffs and used them to make the
mock pocket flaps and to cover 4 buttons. I removed the emerald buttons
from the shirt and used them on the sleeves of the jacket.
Then the shirt, I simply shortened the sleeves and replaced the buttons with
some navy ones. Do go over to my blog for more detail.
Blog link www.joelleharris.wordpress.com” – Joelle
Let’s continue our journey across the Atlantic to Portugal and see what Magda from House of Estrela has for us:
“For this week’s challenge I was a bit lost. I love emerald, but I had refashioned my
emerald pieces already. I made a pair of pants for my kid out of a women’s pants
first, and then I turned a very old and dated dress/skirt/whatever that was, into a
lovely mini dress I’m terrible in love with. So, I turned into my own wardrobe,
hoping to find something. I found 3 pieces, but two were out (check details on my
blog to know why). I was left with the knit tank top. I felt dissapointed that it
was my only option for the emerald challenge… UNTIL it came to my mind that I
still had a box somewhere which held a few more treasures meant for refashioning.
YAY! And guess what? I found a emerald and white striped button up shirt! How
lucky?! It was a women uniform’s shirt. Apparently, I had done a few cuts to it
already. It was missing a sleeve, all buttons and a scrap was cut on the back.
Pffff… what on earth will I be able to do with this?!
I’ve put the
shirt around (back to front and front to back), used the collar as a turtle neck and
pinned the front, side and back darts. Since my dress form is a bit bigger than I
am, I had to do it again with the shirt on me. I even played around with the tank
top, I envisioned a dress, using it as the skirt. Then I realised the BIG stain on
it and rested the top… not for too long though. I used the striped shirt for most
of the piece but I also used a band from the bottom of the tank top to create a band
on the waist, that is slightly tighter than the top. I love this effect. Then I cut
two smaller stripes and used them as bias tape to finish my arm seams. I added green
flower buttons to this that were already in my stash too. I thought about adding a
4th button down the back, but I actually liked the open effect it created without
it. I love the flower on the front. This, people, was a happy disaster, again, read
about it over House of Estrela.”- Magda
Ok, now it’s your turn.
Use the poll below to vote for your favorite Emerald refashion and be sure to tune in next Saturday to find out who won.
Next week’s challenge: Peplum
For more refashion inspiration: