“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
A big thank you to everyone who has been sewing along with Refashion Runway this week!!
Molly from Molly Made It has three fantastic sew alongs to share with us today.
“When I saw this dress, I knew it would be the basis for my tunic.
I needed extra fabric for sleeves, so I found a 3XL scrub top which matched the royal blue in the dress.
I took the neckline and cut some sleeves from the scrub top, made the body of the tunic from the dress, and trimmed the sleeves with dress fabric as well. Mid-stage, here is what it looked like …. sleeves too big and body too wide and too long to be flattering!!!
After taking in the sleeves, taking in the body, and bringing up the horizontal piece at the hem, I think it fits me much better, and is more flattering on my figure.
Looking forward to seeing more tunics !!!
And now on to Molly’s button sew alongs:
“First is a t-shirt. I added a seam down the center front, where I placed the buttons. I also took the sides in just a bit under the armpits. I even made some button earrings to match.
The second repurpose was a skirt made from a dress, then buttons added to accent the metallic circles.
Kristin K made a super comfortable looking tunic sew along.
“I love wearing tunics to travel in- they are so comfortable and keep you
nice and covered up too. I had this kid’s XL t-shirt and this light pink
cotton shirt that unfortunately had a large stain on the back.
I harvested the sleeves and the middle of the shirt to create a color
blocking effect, and then took the bottom hem to act as the new neck band
for extra contrast. I scalloped the bottom edges of the tunic and left them
open at the sides for ease of movement.”
Claudia from Sew Lil Time made a fun piecework tunic, something I’ve been wanting to try.
“This week, I am SOOOO Excited ! I LOVE tunics ! They are the most comfortable,
flattering and easy-to-wear pieces of clothing for women in my opinion. And they can
be as funky or as straight-laced as desired. I also have been sewing tunics for the
Fashion show I am entering. More details on my blog. So on to the tunic.
The original materials were some funky (and not always pretty…) crepe-chiffon
skirts and a blouse (80’s to 90’s styles…). I have been collecting them forever
because I like the flow of the fabric. So after having sewed one type of tunic with
a pattern, I was left with a lot of scraps, that I decided to piece. And to make
things easier and change the look, I used exposed serging. So I hope you like the
Charlotte from New Zealand is going to stay toasty warm in her refashioned tunic.
“As it’s still winter here and I wanted something warm and bright. I like
the warmth of a poncho but you don’t have freedom to move your arms , so
now I have something warm, bright and pretty for the coming spring .”
Stine has joined us again from Denmark and has been busy sewing two sew alongs.
“I bought this red and black plaid shirt tunic recently, when I was on holiday. It fit
fine in my upper body, but was too narrow in the hips. No problem, that could easily be fixed. I cut the serged sideseams off up to the waist and added to triangles made from
black jersey. And now it fits great. A black and white checked viscose (rayon) tunic. Most tunics don’t look good on me. Therefore my usual tactics, when I get my hands on
tunics, is too lengthen them into dresses. Thus also this one. I had a strip of black sateen in my stash from a previous refashion. Because the sateen strip came from a skirt, it already had the arc to match the bottom of the tunic. So all I had to do, was to stitch the sateen strip to the bottom of the tunic. Which I did. And zigzagged the edge. And
cut threads. And then I really can’t find any more to say. This is one
of the fastest and simplest refashions, I have ever done. And it makes
this garment completely different from the starting point.
“I just love it when I find a maxi dress that I would never wear as it is, but with a gorgeous print. Being the border print junkie that I am, I like to let the print do the talking and not get too fussy with the details. I simply put my sleeveless tunic pattern to work and cut down that size 4 maxi into a wearable tunic.
Here is the finished product. Simply done, but so effortlessly elegant too! I get so many compliments every time I wear it.”
Thanks so much for sewing along with us this week everyone.
Stay tuned for the winner of last week’s Tunic Challenge and for your chance to vote on this week’s Pantone: Riverside Blue Challenge.
This year, instead of throwing away mountains of baggies each day, try out these easy-to-make reusable snack bags. You don’t even have to buy special oilcloth. You can make them from any fun fabric you’d like.
Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr have just released their new book, The Tunic Bible, and guess what?! I had the honor of being featured in the book as part of their gallery of inspirational tunic tops. So cool!
They will be graciously giving away a copy of The Tunic Bible to the winner of the Tunic challenge this week.
So without further adieu, here are our All Stars version of the Refashioned Tunic.
Be sure to vote for your favorite at the bottom of this post.
“Honestly the only thing that comes to mind when I think tunic is Robin Hood and
Peter Pan. Something long, with a sash, something worn in the renaissance period.
When my husband heard about the Tunic challenge he basically said the same thing and
proceeded to ask for me to make him a Robin Hood outfit. Unfortunately I denied him
his medieval outfit, for now at least.
I needed to take my Renaissance idea and give it a feminine and updated look.
I began with these gauzy white pants and breezy button down. I just love the color
of this button down! It actually had beautiful grey metallic beading at the collar
For the pants:
I began by cutting off the existing elastic waistband and pinning a new casting for
new stretchy elastic.
I threaded through my new stretchy elastic.
I used a pair of my favorite skinny jeans as a template to transform my gauzy pants
into gauzy skinny pants! I pinned and stitched up the pant legs.
For the top:
I cut slits in each sleeve.
I evened out the front of my top by sewing a straight line across. This made the
front shorter than the back (common for a tunic).
I cut out the buttons and button holes and sew the 2 pieces together.
I cut out a square neckline. I also cut 2 slits in the sides.
I outline the square neckline, arm slits and sleeve cuffs.
I made tassels out of grey embroidery floss and stitched them to the collar of my top.
I took about 4 inches from this beautiful tasseled scarf and turned it into a sash
to complete my tunic!
I snagged these Ann Taylor wedges for 50% off! I sewed on a decorative gray metallic
button! (You know I love buttons!)
“Taking inspiration from the traditional tunics commonly worn in southern
Asia, I knew I wanted to create an easy-to-wear, loose-fitting shirt from
this coral and cream patterned skirt and top set, but the linen fabric was
just a little too transparent for my taste. So I began thinking about how
to line it for modesty when it occurred to me that I could actually make it
reversible! Two shirts in one! Enter this lovely grey cotton muumuu with a
cool geometric pattern and nursing zippers hidden under its ruffles.
I removed the waistband and box pleats from the skirt and chopped off the
muumuu’s yoke, salvaging zippers and buttons along the way. I drafted a
pattern based on my own measurements, complete with bust darts and a slight
flare to accommodate my hips, and used it to cut a front and back panel
from each of the two fabrics. The muumuu’s sleeves were trimmed down
slightly to conform to my self-drafted pattern; the coral sleeves were cut
from the center panel of the old top once I had removed its pleats as well.
After assembling the pieces of each tunic separately, I stuck one inside
the other, with right sides facing, and stitched around the neck edge to
join the layers. Once it was flipped right-side-out again, I folded in the
edges of the sleeves and bottom hem and top-stitched all around, using grey
top thread to match the grey fabric and white thread on my bobbin to suit
the coral print.
I ended up with a super comfy, versatile top that can be bright and bold or
subtle and neutral, depending on my mood. And the linen and cotton are
perfect for Texas weather!”
Yes – the hardest part of it this week, for me personally, was tuning in to
what a tunic actually is. I was thinking ‘How would I describe it to a
foreigner?!’ – (that normally solidifies my thoughts…) but no, I couldn’t
come up with anything ‘firm’.
– Does it normally have sleeves? It can do…
– Is it long or short..? Well… past the waist, but no longer than the
knee… although there is such a thing as a tunic maxi dress…
– Does is always sit away from the body, with no ‘waistline’ to speak
of? There are tunics with a princess seam that create more of an hourglass
I had enough of trying to find a solid description – and started a
Pinterest board instead; if it was accepted there ‘visually’ as a tunic,
I’d accept it as a tunic. And that was that! Onwards and upwards…
As usual I had a false start with something I changed my mind about. In the
end I turned to a dress I’ve had in my wardrobe for a few years, that
carried lovely memories for me. I wore it to my Aunty Betty’s 90th birthday
party in Mallorca a few years ago, and it was such a special day with
everyone there, including my Nan, that I think of it with great fondness.
In fact, we even went in search of some of my family history while we were
there (on the Spanish side), and found a road sign with my father’s name on
it… Obviously I wasn’t trying to steal it or anything…
Anyway – I haven’t worn the dress since. It’s funny, I associate good
memories with it – but on a sunny day I always pick something else to wear.
Having said that, it feels wrong to throw it out… so here we are, at the
fork in the road, when it’s time to change it into something else – the
After removing waist ties, reversing the ‘front’ of the dress, adding a
halter style, and creating a high-lo hem accentuated with pompom trim… I
found I was left with something I’ll actually wear again in future!
I’m as excited as ever to see everyone’s makes this week… what a fab
season this has been!!
“For this week’s theme, I wanted to make a boho-gypsy style tunic. This is
a refashion that’s been brewing in my brain for a while and knowing how
time-consuming it would be, I’d been putting it off. Thanks to this
competition, I had the perfect excuse to finally get it done!
I started with this men’s vintage plaid shirt (snaps and all) and several
other shirts and scraps from my refash stash.
I cut off the bottom of the shirt at the waistline, and then removed the
sleeves and took in the sides of the shirt.
Then I spent the next few hours disassembling the shirts from my stash and
cutting and draping the pieces onto the waist of my shirt, using my dress
form. Once I was happy with the drape of each piece I sewed everything
together. Unfortunately I decided I didn’t like the way the back pieces
looked, so I started over and spent the next day redoing the back, using
the same technique but different clothing pieces. Once I was happy with the
back, I decided I didn’t like the way the front center of the tunic draped,
so I seam-ripped the front open, added a few more layers and was happy with
how it all looked. Now I was finally able to move onto the next step.
I needed to redo the sleeves, so I took them in, and shortened them to my
elbow. I then drafted a bell sleeve pattern. Using some plaid shirt scraps,
and my new pattern, I cut out the bell sleeves, and sewed them all together.
To finish my tunic, I handstitched some navy-blue trim onto the waistline,
around my sleeves and onto the collar.
I’m very happy with my new tunic and I can’t wait to see what my
incredibly talented competitors came up with this week!
If you want to see the full tutorial check it out on my blog, Diary of a
“One thing about the weekly challenges I enjoy is that it gives me new fashion
avenues to explore. For instance, before this week, the only tunics I had made were
for my youngest son, as he has always enjoyed dressing up as Link from the Legend of
Zelda. Thanks to this challenge, though, I am excited about the many possibilities
of the versatile tunic!
I began with a men’s XL shirt. When I first found it on the rack, I really liked
the pattern, just not the price of $8.99. I put it back and walked away. After
unsuccessfully finding something I liked better, I went back to the store about a
week later to see if it was still there. Lucky me, it was! And, it was half price!
I began by removing the sleeves, collar, and button band, allowing a seam allowance
for the new center front seam. I cut the shirt down to size and added bust darts.
I cut a new neckline and added a lace insert. The neck was bound with self-made
bias tape from the sleeve scraps.
Whenever I refashion something, I really like to use as much of the original details
as possible in the new garment. In this case, there was a running stitch adorning
various parts of the shirt, including the back yoke.
I retained the back yoke and carried that theme into the new tunic by adding a
running stitch to the sleeve bands and the new hem.
The tunic is great with skinny jeans for a casual look.
I really liked the colors of the tunic and thought it would be great dressed up with
more of the contrasting white.
I made a pencil skirt from a men’s polo shirt. Since fabric had a lot of stretch
already, I kept the skirt simple with a yoga waistband.
I found a cotton knit skirt that I used to make a long, flowy vest. It has a rolled
…and a yoke with pleats in the back.
The whole outfit is 100% cotton and so comfortable to wear!
Sometimes refashioning can be labor intensive and hard to replicate. I figured I
would add one more look that took about only about an hour to complete. I started
with a men’s long sleeved t-shirt. I cut the sleeves off about 1 3/4” from the
seam. I removed the neck ribbing. I took in the sides to fit, continuing the side
seams all the way through the armscyes, making the armscyes smaller and creating a
dropped shoulder effect. After turning the neckline to the inside and topstitching,
and turning the sleeves to the inside and stitching, I cut off some of the length
and added wide lace that once adorned a pillowcase. That was it! Simple.
Thank you to everyone who has been following along, sewing along, leaving comments,
and voting! And, thanks to Beth for once again leading us on a new fashion
If you would like to see more details of the steps involved in creating these looks,
you can check out my blog, Second Chances by Susan. Thank you, and happy sewing!”
Well the ladies have done it again!! We have a another tie for first place in the button challenge. You all loved Carissa’s handmade buttons from tree branches and her amazing dress transformation.
And you all loved Susan’s nautical look and the crazy cool bag she made.
But, on to the hardest part (sniff, sniff), I’m so sad to say we have to say good-bye to Miche this week. I always love her fun, youthful vibe and her creative take on all the challenges.
But, we aren’t going to send her home without some nice prizes though. Nosirreebob.
She’ll get 15 free sewing patterns from Lekala…
…and a free class of her choice from Annie’s Online Classes.
Let’s see what treat Miche had in store for us with the tunic challenge this week:
“I found this dress a few weeks ago at Goodwill, and fell in love with the
pattern. I normally don’t pick busy patterns, but something about this
dress stood out to me. For the challenge this week I took it in a little on
the sides and in the back to create a more flattering fit. I also chopped
it to tunic length and after removing the elastic from the arms, used the
extra fabric from to create bell sleeves.
I’ve been obsessed with flared sleeves for..let’s just say awhile. If I
come across something with belled sleeves in a store it’s pretty difficult
for me to pass on so I thought it’d be a fun challenge for me this week –
and man, a challenge it was.
I’m not sure if it was the fabric, or just my lack of experience or
knowledge in how to craft those beautifully shaped sleeves but I struggled
a bit to get the right shape. I had to take them off and put them back on a
few times,so I guess it’s good thing I recently replaced my seam ripper. :)”
A big thank you to everyone who sewed along with us this week on the Button Challenge!
Vicky Myers from Vicky Myers Creations
I have been lucky to inherit my Gran’s and mother-in-law’s button boxes. I
have designed a bag which shows off many odd buttons. The bag is perfectly
sized for a purse, mobile phone and keys. Each side has different buttons.
Idea: Make something larger and something smaller with the aid of buttons.
a homemade dress, that had become too small around the chest. I added a
button placket, that contributed a few much needed centimeters (or
And a too large skirt. I took it in with a pleat off center,
that I embellished with ribbon and buttons. I also shortened the dress
and altered its shape.
(I swear, it really is a complete coincidence that both garment are houndstooth
This week, I put together a button yoyo wristlet from a jar of yoyos in my
sewing room, a whole lot of decorative stitching on buttons that I added to
the bag. The yoyos are backed with some turquoise faille I cut from a
skirt that I made and never wore. I’ve wanted to make this kind of little
purse forever, and I’m glad to have had the inspiration of this week’s
challenge! All the details of the bag are at Elizabeth Made This http://elizabethmadethis.com/button-yoyo-wristlet/
This week for Buttons, I thought I would do something different. I did not want to
make another dress and I have tons of jeans at home. So I thought I would make a
cropped jacket. It became a cropped vest (read my blog post to know why…) and I
trimmed it with a tie. The button part is a cat silhouette, because I LOVE CATS !!!
“After last week’s metallic round, I was feeling a little anxious about what buttons could offer me, in the way of inspiration. As the first thing that popped into my head was ‘Pearly Kings and Queens’, I did a bit of research on the London tradition…
I was a LONG time pondering whether or not it would be a good idea to replicate something so iconic; and in the end I made my mind up, purely if only for the sake of wearability… At the start of this Runway I promised myself I would only make things I’d wear, and I couldn’t honestly say I’d be wearing a ‘Pearly Queen’ outfit more than once in my life! So here we are, with a toned-down ‘pearly-inspired’ dress, made from a handmade dress I found in a local charity shop…
The main danger with this dress is that I have to avoid standing too close to a naked flame… it’s made from a man-made fibre, and rather shiny in certain light… but hey, it doesn’t fray – and it sews like a dream, so it became my canvas.
I started by removing the sleeves, taking the dress in, a little at a time, applying darts through the front and back, and also taking in the side seams. But I didn’t want to lose any of the length, so I took down the hem, added a scalloped edge, and then sewed buttons strategically all over the dress…
I think what I like most about this dress is the fact it was handmade originally, and now it’s gone through further handmade ‘treatments’ to make it wearable once again, for little old me.🙂
I’m pleased with how the buttons create weight, and add movement, to the scalloped hem of the dress – and also how they create an accent of ‘light’ when the sun hits them…
As ever, I can’t wait for this to be posted, so I can admire all the other ladies’ outfits… whatever happens, whoever makes it through, I know I’ll continue to be inspired by what is created – by both contestants, and people sewing along – right through to the climax of this season’s Refashion Runway!!
“When I heard that the 3rd challenge was buttons I thought to myself BUTTONS!!?!? I
LOVE buttons! I have always admired my mom’s extensive button collection! So, when I
took an interest in sewing I was ecstatic to start collecting my own buttons! So
there I was at every fabric store sale and thrift store buying buttons….
I found this dress with buttons down the back which inspired me for this challenge.
I made the neckline in the back into a v-neck. I hemmed bottom by 4 inches.
I made a sash out of the scrap I cut from the bottom of my dress.
My idea for buttons was to sew buttons into a nice floral pattern. I printed out an
ivy pattern and traced it on my dress.
Next Up: Accessories!
I started with a white t-shirt to make a bag. I cut off the sleeves and neckline. I
sewed the t-shirt at the bottom and cut the access into fringe.
To top off my new bag I sewed on the biggest buttons I had. Then I sewed stings of
buttons amongst the fringe.
To top my outfit off I hot glued buttons onto earring posts! I also made my very own
button bracelet! I have always admired a button bracelet that my mom bought at a
garage sale, so I made my own!
“For this week’s button-themed challenge, I knew I wanted to make an entire ensemble
out of several components.
I started out with a plain black t-shirt and a plethora of buttons. After printing
out an Eiffel Tower-shaped image I found online, I traced the image onto a piece of
iron-on adhesive and ironed it to the front of my shirt. With that as a guide, I
spent the next several hours sewing buttons onto the shirt to match the shape of the
Eiffel Tower image.
I then wanted to make a fluffy tulle skirt to wear with the t-shirt, so I found an
old slip I never wear, and a curtain to use as the lining, and about 10 yards of
tulle. Using a circle skirt tutorial I found online (I’d never made a circle skirt
before), I cut out 6 layers of tulle and then used the same method to cut out the
curtain-lining. Once all my pieces were laid out, I measured a piece of elastic to
fit my waist, sewed it together and attached the slip, curtain and tulle pieces to
the waistband to create my new skirt.
I wasn’t liking the way the white waistband looked, so I decided to make a belt to
wear over it. I had some leftover leather from a previous refashion, so I cut a
piece from that out , attached fasteners and spent the next several hours sewing
black buttons all over it.
Of course I needed a purse to go with my new outfit, so I grabbed a burlap table
runner my friend gave me and cut the ruffled ends off and sewed the pieces together
to create a purse. I then added some handles.
I wanted to add a bunch of flowers to my purse, so I grabbed some black and white
cashmere sweater pieces (from previous refashions) and cut a bunch of strips out of
them. I sewed basting stitches along the sides of each strip and gathered them up to
form flowers and then attached them to the purse with ivory and black buttons.
Now I just needed a pair of shoes to complete my look! I recently found these
open-toed shoes at my local Goodwill for $2.25 but they needed a little jazzing up,
so into the button stash I went, and several hours and lots of hand sewing later,
they were all done.
“When Beth sent us the list of challenges, I looked at buttons and thought, huh?
What would I do with buttons? To be honest, I have quite a button stash, including
some fun vintage buttons. You would think I would try to use some of those fun
buttons, but in the end I used plain white buttons! But, used in the right way,
plain white buttons can have just the right impact.
I started with a men’s polo shirt, and a large pair of elastic waist polyester
pants. The pants had a nice pocket detail that was going to be perfect for what I
wanted to do.
I also wanted to make a tote bag, so I gathered together a heavyweight pillowcase, a
striped belt, some jute rope, large eyelets, leftover scraps from last weeks studded
blouse, and some thrifted fabric I had in my stash.
I used the pants to make a nautical style skirt. The pockets were fashioned into a
functioning button closure so no zipper was necessary. I also placed a kick pleat
in the back hem of the skirt for ease of movement.
I removed the elastic and replaced it with a regular waistband.
The men’s polo shirt was cut down to size using a well-fitting t-shirt as a guide.
I used the ribbing trim that was originally on the sleeves to make my new v-shaped
I added a piece of the striped belt and few white buttons to trim it out. You can’t
see in the photos, but I also added faux button holes across from the buttons.
I drafted my own pattern to make the tote. It has pockets inside and out. I
trimmed the outside pockets with the striped belt and fabric scraps from the last
I added large eyelets so I could attach my jute rope handles. Who would have
thought that I would use square knots in back to back outfits during this
I lined the tote with some thrifted polka dot fabric.
My photo shoot at the marina was not without its share of mishaps. First, the dock
was locked! But that was resolved by some nice people with a key. Second, I forgot
the memory card for the camera. That was resolved the only way possible, and that
was to take pictures with the ipad. Do you know how hard it is to take pictures
with an ipad on a floating dock? And lastly, my heels kept getting stuck in the
grates. Fun times!
I think I am most excited about this outfit so far since I have always liked a
nautical look. Now if I just knew someone that owned a yacht!
For a details on how I created this look, you can visit my blog, Second Chances by
Good luck to all the ladies and happy sewing!”
“This weeks challenge was surprisingly (and frustratingly) hard for me.
Maybe it’s that the thought of hand sewing a bunch of buttons to something
terrifies me, or maybe it;s all the extra pressure I put on myself because
buttons are literally in my blog name..
Anyway, after many a headache and thought of dropping out of the contest I
came up with this outfit, which I actually completely adore.I have a ton of
buttons that people have given me over the years, I use them for projects
here and there but honestly I’m usually making jewelry or glueing them to
I jumped around with a ton of ideas, but landed on that the buttons should
add a little flair to my outfit and not be an intense part of my outfit
just because of the challenge. Keeping with my festival style, I cut the
dress into a fringe vest and used excess fabric to add a little flare to
the leg warmers. I’m so in love with the button head wrap and belt that I
literally can’t wait to wear them out <3″
“My first thought when I heard the theme for this week was a basic button-up
shirt dress. I just love their casual simplicity – so comfortable and easy
to wear, yet so versatile in styling possibilities. To create my version, I
started with this way-too-large faux wrap dress I thrifted for $2. I first
removed the ties and zipper and then separated the skirt, bodice, and
sleeves from one another so I could re-fit each individually. I took in the
bodice along each of the four princess seams, as well as the sides. Next, I
took in all the skirt seams in the same manner as for the bodice, cut it
open up the front center panel, and brought the hem up by about 6 inches.
Once the skirt and bodice were re-attached, I trimmed the points of the
criss-cross bodice panels to align with the front edges of the skirt. I
used the old ties to create button bands along each front edge and then
made *all the buttonholes ever *along one side. I re-worked the original
doubled-up cuffs so as to lengthen the sleeves a bit. The remnants of the
original ties became little button straps to hold the cuffs up. Finally, I
reattached the sleeves to the dress, taking them in at the same time.
Of course, no button-up dress is complete without buttons though! The
inspiration for these actually came while the dog and I were out walking
one morning. A neighbor had trimmed some dead branches from their tree and
left them at the curb for pick-up. So I picked them up! I dragged them
home, sawed off little slices, and drilled two tiny holes in each disc. A
light sanding and lemon oil to bring out the wood grain, and they were
ready to be stitched onto my dress.
Since I had used something unconventional to make my buttons, I thought I’d
use some actual buttons to make something unconventional. Along with an old
belt, part of a necklace, and a broken zipper, I turned several gold
buttons into two new pieces of arm candy!”
I had NO idea when I came up with this “brilliant” idea of having an All-Stars season on Refashion Runway how hard it was going to be to have a winner each week and how hard it was going to be to “send someone home”. These women are ALL winners in my book, but here’s how the votes and judges scores shook out.
We actually have three winners this week.
Carissa’s pleated skirt from a curtain and necklace definitely wowed everyone.
Jen’s lace dress with the penny embellishments was a big hit with you all this week, too.
And Susan’s versatile jacket, skirt and necklace amazed everyone, too.
Great job everyone!!!!
But, now the hard part. We have to say good-bye to one of our All-Stars.
It’s with a very heavy heart that we have to say good-bye to Mary from Thrifty Chic.
But we’re not going to let her go with out a nice prize.
But before we say good bye, let’s see what she had in store for us with the Button Challenge:
I had such fun with the project this week. When I considered the challenge of buttons, I wanted to totally transform the look of an ordinary garment with the use of buttons. I am not into a military or costume vibe, so what could I do that would relate to my life?
Enter a shirt my husband was going to throw away. It was a great denim shirt that had been well worn and loved with a wonderful vintage color and texture. I said NOOOOOO! I have an idea for that!
The refashion started with the fit. First, I cut down the shirt to fit using one of my old shirts as a pattern guide.
Then I added these beautiful pearl and copper buttons from my stash to the collar and sleeve placket to mimic studs. It took me two or three tries to achieve a good look!
The final step was to add a decorative ribbon to the placket and put coordinating copper buttons on the rest of the shirt
This past Saturday was a great day with my husband at the Getty Museum. I finally had a chance to take some pictures away from my humble abode! I love how this piece fits into my wardrobe and it has a totally different look thanks to buttons!!!!”
Thanks so much for joining us this season, Mary and I hope you have a wonderful school year!!!
Coming up next:
Refashion Runway: Time to Vote on the Button Challenge
A big thank you to everyone who has been sewing along during Metallic week. If you haven’t had a chance to vote for your favorite metallic refashion from last Saturday, be sure to click here to get your vote in before midnight tonight.
Let’s take a look at what some of our readers have been busy creating.
“From the dress, I used the metallic bottom half to
make a skirt which fit me. I added silver beads to the trim near the hem
for some added shine. The top has a really cool metallic zipper treatment
at the neckline! I fit the top for a more flattering look.
You can see my blog post at Molly Made It for
complete descriptions of what I did.
Can’t wait to see what the contestants have come up with …. SO much falls
under the term “metallic.”
“I made this top out of a white sweater with silver
threads running through it, a blue featherweight sweater, strips of gold
metallic linen leftover from another project. For lining, I used an old
camisole and some gold polka dot ponte salvaged from a pair of culottes I
made that just didn’t fit as I wanted them to. The project details are on
my blog here: http://elizabethmadethis.com/metallic-bandage-sweater/”
I did manage to find something metallic in my stash here, so I was excited
to sew behind the scenes this week.
My before items were a top that the gathering didn’t quite fit correctly
under my bust but I wore during pregnancy because it had room on the
bottom, and the blue shirt was another pregnancy top.
Both are a little see through, so together it’s perfect for a skirt and a
lining, and it gives a little peek of color from under the metallic top
part. So I cut the bottom part off the metallic top and right under the
sleeves on the blue top, added some side darts for shaping, and sewed in
It’s nice and light for these horribly humid and hot spell we are having
Stine from Denmark had fun adding metallic patches this week.
Laura from Accidental Seamstress was inspired by this challenge and came up with a 4 way tunic this week:
“This two piece Prom Dress (or costume, perhaps?) had a lovely purple metallic
detailing over all the fabric. On camera it translates more “eggplant” but it’s
actually a very bright jewel toned purple. Also, it looks likes glitter from afar
but it is, in fact, metallic floss thread that gives it its appearance🙂 Underneath
the metallic the fabric is all black. I used only the fabric from the skirt and
removed the lining from it completely. I played with the shape on my dress form and
came up with a one-shoulder tunic. The metallic is a little too “zsa zsa zsu” for my
personal taste… so I played around with the material a little bit more and made
some modifications to the seams to make it reversible so I could just wear the black
side if I didn’t want to show off the metallic. Then, I played around with it some
more and discovered that I could wear it as a halter! So, an “accidental” (har har)
reversible 4-way tunic was born.”
“Ever since I found out all of the themes for this season, I’ve been looking
most forward to this week because of the metallic theme.
I started out with two curtains that were given to me and used them to make
a shift dress from an old pattern I’ve had for ages.
After sewing the dress pieces together, I got busy adding the metallic
aspect. I gathered a bunch of pennies, soaked them in a vinegar salt
mixture to clean them up and pounded holes in them using a punch and die
set I ordered online. Once I had all the pennies punched, I sewed them onto
the collar and bottom hem. I decided to use some of the leftover curtain
material to make a belt and embellished it with pennies as well. I even
made two penny buttons to use to fasten the back of the dress.
I absolutely love this dress. I feel kinda like a gypsy when I wear it and I love the jingly sound it makes when I move. What can I say? I love the sound of money!😉
It’s been so much fun to participate in this season of Refashion Runway. I
love being challenged and I don’t know if I would’ve thought up the idea to
put money on my clothing if it wasn’t for this competition.
“I love to learn new crafting techniques, and this week’s metallic challenge
gave me a great excuse to try something new. I had read about creating
permanent pleats by steaming with a vinegar-water mixture. I found a pair
of ultra-high-sheen, gold satin (well, polyester) curtains at the thrift
shop. I first cut off the little valance thing and used it to experiment
with the pleating process. Once my sample had gone through the washer and
dryer and come out with its pleats still intact, I was able to use the rest
of that curtain panel to create my new skirt. I cut it in thirds and joined
them together to form a rectangle nearly 12 feet long. Then I spent hours
and hours measuring, marking, folding, pinning, and basting before it was
finally time to do my vinegar steaming. Once all the pleating was complete,
I installed an invisible zipper inside one of the pleats, making it even
more invisible. I used the rod pocket from the top of the curtain, along
with some interfacing, to create a waistband which also got the vinegar
treatment. Lastly, I hand-stitched a hook-and-eye just above the zipper.
Then into the wash it went, and it didn’t touch an iron again between the
dryer and the camera! Hooray, science!
To go with my gold skirt, I pulled out an unflattering silver lace bubble
skirt from a clothes swap years ago. Once I removed the bottom hem and
waistband so I could flatten out the bubble, I used a well-fitting top to
trace out my pattern from both the lining and the lace. Next, I attached
the front lining and front lace to each other along the bottom, armholes,
and neckline, and then the back lining and back lace were sewn in the same
places. Then the front and back panels were joined at the shoulders and
side seams. Finally, a couple of bust darts were added for a more fitted
And I couldn’t let that tassel from the original curtain valance go to
waste. I pulled out an old gold necklace of my grandmother’s, a big glass
bead, and some gold jump rings, and I made a trendy tassel necklace. Paired
with a gunmetal clutch and my nude heels, I’m ready for a night on the
town. Or I can dress it down with a chambray shirt and Converse sneaks.”
“Last week I mentioned that I’ve been into festival fashion lately. To get a
little more specific, I’ve been really fascinated by Burning Man, which
basically just means be weird and a totally unconventional.
This weird and unconventional pull has me feeling increasingly challenged
in this contest because I know many people want to see outfits they would
actually wear, but whenever I sit at my sewing machine, I feel pulled in a
different direction. So this week I decided to honor that pull and see what
I came up with..
Shopping for metallic to refashion was pretty challenging because most
things that are metallic are already pretty hip (it’s a pretty hip
material). I went to 3 thrift stores before finding these possibilities and
while I wanted whatever I found to be gold, I was beyond thrilled to find
this amazing silver dress!
Once I found it, I had a pretty clear vision in my head. When I got home, I
almost immediately chopped the top part of the dress off and added button
closure, turning it into a maxi skirt. I removed the bottom and sleeves off
of the black dress, turning it into a sleeveless top. I used the extra
material from the black dress and purple metallic skirt to create a
reversible hood that can be worn with the metallic out, or the black side
Extra fabric was used to add little flourishes like the lace up part of the
top. I’m not going to Burning Man this year, but I am going to YOUtopia (a
smaller burn), and will be sure to wear this while I”m there :)”
“Metallic…my first thoughts leaned towards evening wear. I found several metallic
offerings amongst the discarded prom and bridesmaid dresses. But, since I had just
made a party dress, I couldn’t see a need for another one. In reality, my holiday
parties consist of banging pots and pans at midnight on New Year’s Eve with the
grandkids which, by the way, is the best! So, this week I opted for a more casual
metallic look. I also didn’t want to go over board with it so I kept the metallics
to mostly accents.
I started with a sequined t-shirt. I really liked the metallic hue of these sequins
and thought the t-shirt would make a fun and simple skirt. And simple it was! It
was just a matter of cutting it out, stitching up the sides, and adding an elastic
I already had a bag of shower curtain hooks that I had picked up a while ago. I
added some leather cording, brass beads, and a gold chain. Several square knots
later and I had a chunky metallic necklace.
I could have stopped there, but I really thought a jacket would be a nice addition.
This, however, was not as simple as the skirt! After cutting away the bulky fleece
trim, shortening the length, adding darts, and taking in the side seams, it was
shaping up to be a fun little jacket. But, the edges needed finishing and the
jacket needed some metallic accents.
I found a blouse that was not only the right color, but it was adorned with metal
snaps and studs…perfect! I cut away the collar, pocket flaps, cuffs, and front
band and added it all to the jacket.
I can dress up with the skirt and jacket, or dress down with the jacket and jeans!
If you would like to see the process, you can visit my blog, Second Chances by
Susan, where I will be posting it soon.
Thanks to everyone who was been following along, commenting, and voting! And,
thanks to Beth for another fun challenge! Good luck to all of the ladies and happy
“This is what I love about this competition is that it forces me to get out of my
comfort zone and think way outside of the box! Metallic was something I wouldn’t
really pick on my own but now I don’t think I’ll shy away from it!
I was so lucky I scored this beautiful metallic formal dress! First, I made a
waistband out of 3 inch black elastic. (See where I’m going with this…skirt!) The
dress had a black lining under the metallic fabric so I used that to make a skirt.
Then I cut 4 strips of metallic fabric to make a layered skirt. Instead of hemming
each layer of metallic fabric I used black bias tape! I think it really defines the
Next: The Top!
I had a solid black t-shirt, in stock! I removed the top decorative layer of the
original dress. I cut the t-shirt at an angle to make a one-shouldered top and then
sewed on the decorative piece from the metallic dress.
Lastly: An accessory!
I had left over fabric from the top of the original metallic dress…but what to do
I made a wristlet! I sewed the scrap into a square, added a button loop and wrist
loop made of black bias tape scraps and sewed it together with silver metallic
thread! Then added a hot pink button as an accent!
“Metallic? Thinking about this, I needed to find something to incorporate this into my wardrobe without looking like a cheesy episode of “Lost in Space” (Dating myself here)or someone who had never left disco behind??? It had to be simple, classic, and fit into my life. This sweater was a $3.00 Goodwill find and made of lurex yarn. It is a classic shape with a perfect fit, but VERY see through. I had to jazz it up! When I saw it, I knew the plan immediately!
The plan was to use some off white cotton yarn and weave in stripes with a tapestry needle.
It created a great chevron pattern!
The under bodice was created from an old wrestling costume I made for one of the boys years ago for Halloween!
Such memories this one gave me. ☺”
I had something COMPLETELY different in mind when I started my Metallic
project; in fact, it was only in the final moments I changed my mind, and
went with an alternative plan! I was wanting to avoid looking ‘cheap’
(which I think is a danger when working with metallic/shiny fabrics) – and
found lots of ‘disco’ inspiration to fire me up… you might be able to
tell in the results, haha!
Starting with a peplum top I’ve had for AGES in my wardrobe… it has a
small amount of sparkle on the shoulders, and seemed to work well with the
second part in the outfit…
I went for ‘subtle’ for half of the look, as the bottom half was going to
be DISCO-TASTIC! So, here’s the ‘gun metal silver’ sequined top I found in
a charity shop…
And, after a fair bit of styling, sewing, cropping, and fixing… whilst
breaking six needles in the process… (*argh!)
I ended up with an outfit I’m excited to wear, and will continue to be,
come rain or shine, winter or summer, indoors or outdoors… let’s face it,
no-one can lose me, wearing this…!
Honestly, it even glows when I’m in the shade… I also like the thought of
pairing the skirt with a pair of Converse, and a sloppy jumper (I’ve seen
that look so many times, and wanted to copy it!).
Y’know, sometimes having a rather large behind isn’t such a bad
I can’t WAIT to see what all these talented ladies have produced this