Posts Tagged ‘hand-me-down’

Sewing: Sporty Maxi Dress with Leather Details


I didn’t initially plan on making this dress. It happened as I went along. I was hoping to use a knee-length version of this pattern for my ikat fabric.


Before cutting up the precious yardage, I wanted to test out my vision. I’m glad I did! I love how this dress turned out with the fabric I used, but I don’t think it would’ve made a good fit for my Mood yardage. I’m still trying to figure out my plans for that fabric.


I used a basic t-shirt block, and cut just above the bust line for an overlapped v-neck with leather piping at the seam. It turned out to be a really nice subtle detail, but if I were to do it again (and I just might), I think I’d create a slight curve to the line so it hits at a more natural spot at my under-arms.


The fabric itself is a soft knit with silver bumpy dots on it. The texture is really neat, actually. The thin knit is quite stable and opaque as well. I’ve mentioned my need for long sleeves this winter, but I decided that I’d much rather layer sweaters with this dress than tights. I love how it looks with this chunky knit sweater.


It’s been a really warm fall this year, so it’s been fun to be able to wear long skirts and dresses while out and about.


Outfit details:

  • earrings: etsy
  • necklace: H&M, Cambria Cove
  • dress: handmade
  • scarf: hand-me-down
  • sweater: c/o SheInside (here)
  • shoes: Forever 21

Check out above for similar grey maxi dresses.

Sewing: Stripe Maxi Dress


I loved the way the Renfrew worked with my circle dress, I had to make a maxi dress to add to my wardrobe too! I used the modified top and sketched out the remaining pattern based on my hip and leg span measurements. And it worked out perfectly. My biggest mistake was not pre-washing the fabric.

I swear on my own grave I pre-washed, but it shrank. Not that much, though. It could’ve been the difference between our old washer and dryer set and the new one. Th new washer and dryer gives me sparkling clean, toasty clothes now.


I didn’t want to stress the bottom hem of the dress a whole lot with my movement, so I made sure the bottom was extra roomy. I believe the final sewn circumference of the bottom is somewhere around 60″.


I  made this right before a wedding reception two weeks ago. When I say right before, Chris found me in my underwear putting the finishing touches on the dress when he came into the sewing room to tell me we needed to go. I worked like a maniac getting this done in under 2 hours.

It’s just like sewing a tee; but a really, really long one. The hem of the dress took me the longest amount of time, and I’ll still have to fix it as it rolls up even after I press it.


I thought I’d try to be cool and tie a knot at the bottom of my skirt for some pictures. I like the picture it took, but it does not translate well to moving around. It feels like I have a massive dangling growth hitting my knee all the time. I wonder if fashion bloggers actually have their skirts like this all day or if it’s just a styling thing for pictures. I’m inclined to think the latter.


I forgot to take any pictures of the side seams! I matched up the pattern perfectly on both sides. You get a subtle v where all of the black stripes match up. Probably my proudest moment.


The neckline bunches here because of my forward sloping shoulders in the picture. Normally it all lays flat.

  • Outfit details:
  • necklace: handmade
  • belt: thrifted
  • dress: handmade
  • shoes: hand-me-down from Sarah

This dress is already a summer staple in my wardrobe. What’s your summer staple?


High Low Circle Hem Tutorial


Brewing in the back of my mind has been this pink and orange circle dress. I’ve had the fabric for months, it’s just been such a busy couple of months I was almost too scared to start on it.


I certainly shouldn’t have been scared. This thing took 2 hours to make from start to finish. Clean studio to clean studio, I might add. I didn’t test anything out before I started sewing, and I ended up paying for it a little bit with the waistline, but overall everything worked like a dream.

I included a high-low circle hemline here because I had enough requests for a tutorial, I thought I would do it again so I could better explain it. It’s really easy. So easy that I’ve made a printable pattern. Not printable from home, (it takes forever to format to print on 8.5×11 paper) but you can easily take the file to your local copy shop and they can print it out on their gigantic plotter for something like 15¢-50¢ per square foot. Or you can draft your own using the instructions after the jump.


The two colors are very similar in content and weight, the orange being a bit heavier. I wanted to have the pink on the bottom when I first conceptualized this dress, but I didn’t have enough fabric for it. You’ll need at least a yard and a half if you want it to come close to hitting at the knee. I’m a knee length gal, so more yardage was required.


I drafted my own skirt and used the Renfrew tee as a base for the bodice. I took in the Renfrew tee about 3/8 inch at the fold line, none at the shoulders or arm pits then just about 3/8 inch at the waist line. I wanted the top to be form-fitted so I can wear the dress sans belt.


I made the mistake of cutting the bodice too short, so I ended up adding a waistband for the needed length. It worked out just fine, and looks like it’s supposed to be there in a way. Next time my dress won’t have one. And I will be making another one of these. I sort of wish I had made this skirt last year or the year before in the height of the orange/pink craze, but I still love it regardless of what’s trending.


The jersey is crazy comfortable, it feels like I’m wearing lounge clothes. I can’t wait to make another one. Next one will be out of a print, I think. Now I need to find the right print.

Outfit details:

  • earrings: Brazil
  • necklace: Annily Green
  • skirt: handmade
  • belt: hand-me-down from grandma
  • leather bracelets: handmade
  • bangle: c/o Apricot Lane
  • shoes: thrifted

Click to read more for the full how to make this skirt!


Refashioned: Geometric Sweatshirt


Last night was the storm of the year. We woke up to about 3 inches of pure ice. So today I decided to refashion something that I was thinking about saving until next fall/winter. With all this cold, wet weather I know this will get a lot of use.


Some great friends of ours gave this sweatshirt to Chris. It’s AMAZING. I love the geometric shape. Chris got some use out of it, then he started working out and gained a bunch of weight. The man is a beast, so I stole this from him.

It’s pretty big on me. Mostly the pits and upper arms are the biggest. It’s also too long in the sleeves.


So, I grabbed my favorite sweater and used it as a template for taking in the sides and shortening the sleeves. Once I pinned and marked the sides, it was a 20 minute fix. It made all the difference in the world.


I’m pretty stoked about this new sweater, the geometric lines are amazing.


Outfit details:

  • sweater: hand-me-down, thrifted
  • pants: Anthropologie, refashioned
  • shoes: Eddie Bauer, hand-me-down



Refashioned: Bright Green Outerwear

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I’ve had this jacket for ages. It’s part of a skirt suit hand-me-down from my mom. Totally 80s, right? It’s amazing, but it was (until now) much too big. Well, sort of. I’m about the same size my mom was when I was her age, minus the chest and hips. And considering that the style of jacket in the 80s was boxy around the shoulders and roomy around the arms, this did not flatter my frame as much as it did my mom’s. I remember seeing my mom wear this on Sundays and thinking, I have the prettiest mom in the chapel. Every child is biased, but I was still right.


I actually used to wear this jacket out in high school and college on a semi-regular basis and always on St. Patty’s day. Little known fact – I really wish I had had a fashion blog through my college days, particularly my freshman year. My goal was to never go a day wearing just a tee-shirt and jeans. And I never did. I often work skirts and suits to school and work, and rarely did I ever not wear heels. I was always dressed to the nines with layers and accessories. Often times I wish I could remember all those crazy outfits. So despite me wearing this on a regular basis, I have no photos of me wearing this before my alteration. And I have no idea what happened to the before pictures that I took, either. It’s a real shame.


Taking in this jacket was about as complicated as taking in this rain coat. When I took in that coat, I just removed the lining and never reattached. This time I wanted to keep the lining intact and proper. I separated the lining where it counted, turned it inside out (it looked like an undescipherable mess) and zipped up the sides. It was easy enough, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t take in any at the armpit because it would either look wonky or I would have to completely deconstruct the coat to take anything in at that point. So I tapered off at the pits. It’s a good thing, too, because it seems to fit perfectly that way anyway.


You can see my small frame much better with this jacket now than before. Oh did I mention I took out the 3 inch thick shoulder pads? Those pads were beastly! Thank you, 80s.


It’s a little more kelly green than the pantone of the year, but I’d say it still counts as being on trend for 2013. I’m very happy with my “new” jacket. I’ll be getting even more use out of it now.

Have you ever altered anything with a lining? What kinds of tips can you offer if you have?

Outfit details:

  • scarf: Soel Boutique
  • earrings: H&M
  • top: Kohl’s
  • jacket: hand-me-down
  • jeans: PacSun, refashioned
  • shoes: thrifted
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