Sewing, then Remixing “Old” Clothing


I made a shirt a couple weeks ago. I haven’t showcased it here because it’s borderline “old”. The idea for a box pleat at the neckline seemed cool in my head, but as soon as I tried on the finished piece, I felt like it came straight off the racks at Coldwater Creek.

It’s comfortable and I love, love the fabric! The style and the fit together are, in the words of Michael Korrs, dowdy. It’s not the kind of tee I can throw on and feel put together. It requires a little bit of styling to get past go. Not the worst thing in the world, but I thought I would share  two tips for taking something “old” and making it contemporary.


Certainly I’m no fashion expert. After seeing bits and pieces of NYFW, I’m second guessing all of my style notions. But no matter. I’m on the slopes of Utah, where Guy Fieri hair is considered a thing among some. So here we go:

Front Tuck (see above image), where the front is tucked in and the back is loose and untucked. Chris doesn’t get it but fashion bloggers do it all the time. So it makes perfect style sense, right?

80s Knot (see below image), where I grab all excess material at the waist and twist it into a little knot, 80s style. It gives me a waist and the shirt some purpose.


Next time I’d like to try a trendier print. And maybe do this in dress form. Belting an untucked shirt isn’t cool anymore, but I could belt a dress and be on my way.

Or I could go sans belt if I had a cool leather jacket, blazer or slouchy cardigan. I can’t get Sophie’s blazer out of my mind. I might need one with leather piecing on the sleeves.


I do wear this tee without styling it. Usually it’s without make-up, bra or heels. It’s incredibly comfortable, but I’m not leaving the house like that.


Again, I’m certainly no fashion expert, but I feel more put together when I wear something with structure and a pair of heels. How about you?

Outfit Details:

  • earrings: thrifted
  • necklace: thrifted
  • top: handmade (fabric here)
  • skirt: handmade (tutorial here)
  • bracelet: DownEast Basics
  • shoes: ALDO


On a sewing-related note, I did my first blind hem by serger. This is a great option for hemming clothes to allow for lots of stretch, without a coverstitch machine. I’ve knotted the heck out of this shirt and no hem threads have busted yet. Major win!

I’m going to be showcasing a LOT more sewing projects on the blog from now until the end of September. I’m prepping for Sewing Summit, so I’ll be spending any spare time on calligraphy, sewing and my photography presentation for the conference.

Fabric provided by Michael Levine Fabrics.


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    1. Kristin H says:

      My sis and I are always “misplacing” our mom’s crapwater creek items. So dowdy!

      I love that fabric, especially with the eggplant skirt. I wonder if you cold chop the bottom half off, take in the sides, the reattach the bottom hem in a pseudo peplum? Or give it a mullet hem. That may remedy the frump feeling, cause I do like the idea of a box pleat neckline.

    2. justine says:

      One of the moms at school.shops at Coldwater Creek and she’s in her early like nooooI’m in my early forties and don’t even go near the place. Its not time to throw in the towel! I actually think.that t you made shirt is pretty cute!

    3. katie says:

      Oooh serger blind hem, I haven’t tried that yet! Looks very smart.

    4. Kristie says:

      I like the shirt. It doesn’t look old to me, but then I like the way you styled it. Comfort is key in my world.
      And I have never heard of Coldwater Creek. Guess I should not go search it out. Maybe not the best for me. :)

      • Melissa says:

        Comfort is the only way I dress these days, too. Coldwater Creek isn’t bad, it’s just geared towards 50+ year old women. Some of their stuff isn’t bad, but their sizing and fit isn’t geared towards younger people.

    5. ira lee says:

      hey- i think it looks great w that purple skirt. and your hair looks awesome!!!

    6. Leslie says:

      I am in love with those shoes… do you know the style name? I can’t seem to find them on the internet. They are exactly what I have been looking for…

      I love the blouse and think it looks great as-is, definitely not too dowdy. If it was Coldwater Creek, it would be a couple of sizes larger (all of their stuff runs huge), and it would be paired with a much dowdier midi-length skirt. I think the edginess of the shoes and skirt balance out the blouse.

      • Melissa says:

        I’m not seeing the name on the shoe anywhere. I bought them a few years ago, so I’m not sure they’d be easy to find. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

    7. b says:

      love! love! love! ur hair!

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