Lace Applique Top

November has been a bit of a whirlwind. My grandmother passed away on the 1st. Her funeral was on the 5th. On the 6th, Muffin and I ventured to Florida for our annual Anniversary trip. Not only did we have the most wonderful time vacationing at the spot we were married, I also got to wear some new refashions πŸ™‚

I picked up this 80’s-tastic purple dress shortly before our trip.


It’s stretchy; It’s comfy; It fits… what’s wrong with it (besides that awkward length)??


So, call me crazy, but I actually like this… whatever it is. I decided to work around it.

Mark and cut at an angle.

I could’ve left it as-is, but I really wanted that Floral embellishment to be a focal point.

I decided to look through my scraps. Wouldn’t cha know, I found some lace πŸ™‚


Why yes, yes that is a pair of undies (tag still in tact). I’m sure this was a freebie with a purchase… One problem, which should’ve been obvious…

Not enough material...
Not enough material…

That’s okay… I have more lace where that came from πŸ˜‰

Black. What else?
Black. What else?

The lace is see-through so I was able to follow the existing purple satin stitching and applique the black to the garment.

Just a straight this for this type of applique.
Just a straight stitch for this type of applique. (NEVER sew over your pins!) πŸ™‚

I trimmed the excess fabric from the stitching and then I got kind of carried away, maybe. I decided to use the extra lace scraps as a bias tape around the neckline. I thought it would tie the lace together better, ya know? I thought it would look too random to just have this huge black lace flower on my shirt…

Unlike my pal Marisa over at The Refash Stash, I struggle with bias tape. I really suck at using it… and to do it with lace. What was I thinking?! I didn’t even take any during pics of that just in case I failed miserably at it.

Perfect! …no one is more shocked than I am.

And I think it does tie nicely with the appliqued flourish.


How about that gorgeous Florida view, eh?



I’m rather fond of it.

It’s just a T-shirt, really. But an oh-so-comfy and more sophisticated T.

It was perfect for an 85 degree day of vacation!


More Florida Refashions to come

Refashion Runway: Challenge 2

This week’s challenge in the Refashion Runway, my friends, was Gingham. Gingham is pretty hot right now. It’s trending all the fashion runways and is appearing in several a designer’s current line.

My biggest challenge was finding Gingham for .99 cents! I saw a plethora of gingham print I wanted to get my hands on at the .99 cent Goodwill sale last week… but none of it bore the .99 cent sales sticker… Yes, even when the entire refashioning blogosphere is onlooking, still, I will NOT back off from my .99 cent rule. I just won’t do it.

Luckily, I found this in the “Scrubs” section after an hour of looking.

It’ll have to do… time is of the essence.

I got to work by resizing it. I used a favorite dress (also a refashion, of course!) of mine for the job.


I cleaned up the side edges with a serger:

So much more polished than using a sewing machine.
So much more polished than using a sewing machine.

I wanted to break up the gingham a little bit, so I found a garment in my stash that I bought solely for the lace… (we all know how I’m just a little obsessed with lace) πŸ˜‰ and I made a sleeve.

I cut the “cap” free hand.

I sewed the unfolded long edge of the sleeves down (RST). Then, I sewed a basting stitch (which is just a super long straight stitch with tension set to 0) on the cap of the sleeve. This makes it easier to, uh, “ease” πŸ˜‰

Pull the thread to gather it, which in this context, is “Easing”

When I put this sleeve into the arm hole of my gingham shirt, this will ensure it fits in case the size of the holes (gingham & lace) are different.

RST, put lace sleeve through armhole.

Pin it:


Put it under the needle and straight stitch it down. This is when a “Free-Arm” comes in handy.

I did my sewing on the Janome Skyline

I stole the bias tape off of the original sleeve of the gingham scrub and harvested it to the bottom sleeve of the lace.

Sew it down

With the scraps of the side seams I cut off in the very beginning, I made an easy sash to tie around my waist.

Gotta make everything even before sewing it together πŸ™‚

I cut a few more inches off the bottom of the shirt and gave it a rolled hem using the Skyline.


C’est fini!





It was blazing hot outside for, like, the first time ALL year in Indiana. Go figure πŸ™‚ I had to make due with the inside photos

I, um, like, totally love this gingam top, you guys!
I, um, like, totally love this gingam top, you guys!
J’adore the lace sleeves…I’m not gonna lie.
Fun angles

2 challenges down… I hope I make it to the next round πŸ™‚ To vote for me in #RefashionRunway3 (<—let’s start a trend!), visit the Renegade Seamstress.


Frugal Day Off

When I picked this up for .99 cents Muffin looked at me with disgust… “Looks a little bit like a ‘Golden Girl’ shirt.”

Yes, yes it does.. which is why I like it πŸ™‚

I began by removing the unwanted elements…


And I seam ripped the pockets out…

I’m sure I can use you for something else down the road.

I took the sleeves off too… I envisioned a dolman shirt situation for this top. Unfortunately, it was too small for that (hence, the lack of closer in my before pic..). So, I had to add more material somehow. What else am I going to do but scrounge through my scrap bin?

Guess what I found? πŸ™‚


I know you guys think I’m stupid (or, maybe have a fetish–gross) but I’m TELLIN’ ya, Black Lace fixes everything! πŸ™‚

Even it out
Even it out

I’m going to add these into the side seams of the shirt (which I cut, obviously).


After I sewed that down with a straight stitch, I had to attach it to the other raw edge to the lace inset.


Do that on both side seams of your shirt and this is, hopefully, the outcome.


To make this a shirt, I had to sew the front part shut. Again, a simple straight stitch did the trick

The Janome 3160 is boss for such a task ;)
The Janome 3160 is boss for such a task πŸ˜‰

Lastly, I had to contend with the arms… I am seriously REALLY self-conscious about my flabby arms. Saggy, loose skin after a major weight loss is real, you guys. I can’t tell you the amount of “flack” I’ve gotten from people who think they know my body better than I do, “Oh, Laura you’re fine. You don’t need to have an arm lift!”; “You’re just too hard on yourself!”; “Just work out your triceps and you’ll get rid of that in no time.” *sigh. Skin is different than fat… you can’t “burn off” skin with tricep exercises. *Sigh again.

Anyhoo, I guess that’s all I’m gonna say about that (for now). And, all of that was to say…I had to work a sleeve into this new shirt somehow. The original shirt was too small for me, so the existing scraps wouldn’t have been big enough for a blouse-y dolman sleeve, so I went back to my stash of scraps…

Well, hi there!
Well, hi there!

This is a scrap from a too-long tank top that I shortened pre-blog #shortgirl. You’ll do nicely for a sleeve. And, bonus, it ties all the black lace together.

I cut this scrap into even pieces and pinned it into the “Golden Girl” print blouse (Right sides together, of course).

Uh oh!!!!!
Uh oh!!!!!

Well… it looks like EVERY THING is too small at the moment *Sad face. See how much more printed fabric there is in ratio to the black? Ugh!

Ugh, ugh, ugh!!!!

Whatever, I’m just gonna roll with it. The black fabric is stretchy, so I just stretched it, while guiding the printed fabric (trying desperately NOT to stretch it). This created a gather… oh well, I got it all to fit.


The sleeves might be a little wonky but, oh well. I actually really like this top.


My purse du jour is another Fossil I “borrowed” from my mom’s closet when she was out of the house πŸ˜€


I’m ready for a date night with my sick Hubby!

The lace panels are my favorite!
The lace panels are my favorite!

With a red cami underneath I don’t have to worry about being a ho either πŸ˜‰

Much food was consumed.
Much food was consumed.

We finally used our Gift Card to Texas Road House that my parents gave us for Christmas. I even had a coupon for a free onion blossom.

So, to recap: I’ve got a free purse, a .99 cent shirt, a sick but still freakin’ cute Hubby, and a FREE gynormous meal. A girl could do worse on her day off.


Major OOPS! shirt

I found this gloriously vintage dress for .99 cents. Words cannot describe how much I love it!


I’ve had this for nearly a year. I was going to wear it last Halloween but then Hubs and I decided on “The gatekeeper & Keymaster” instead πŸ™‚

…then I was going to wear it for Easter; just shorten it a bit and wear practically as-is to church. But, God help me, I loved it too much to change it. Isn’t that hilarious? I finally decided I needed to just do it. What good was it doing in my refash stash?

After some debate I decided to dye it. This is polyester at its finest so I knew the color wouldn’t “stick” very well. I gave it a LONG bath in some deep wine RIT dye and this is what happened:

IMG_2625The color wasn’t too bad… but it ended up revealing stains ALL over the place!! 😦 Eww. Hence, the big chop. This is, officially, a tunic now!

I am running dangerously low on “space” for my pictures, so I’m going to have to really modify this post, y’all. I’ve got to figure out how I can get more space for my pictures without paying for it πŸ™‚

I cut a few inches off the sleeves as well and gave it and the bottom a 1″ hem. Then I found a HORRIBLE stain on the back left shoulder. When I tried to get it out, it ended up bleeding the dye and making it worse

IMG_2630I did NOT want to give up on this refashion. I seriously love this dress so much it’s kinda pathetic! I went to my stash of scraps… maybe I could creatively cover it up.

I found, of all things, a pair of black lace undies that I hated (wearing). I’m not a cheeky kind of gal. Bikinis or thongs for me, not to be TMI. Β  I thought the black lace might come in handy. I mean, you can’t donate underwear. Gross. Why not save the material for a situation such as this?

Oh, yes I did.

Why yes, yes that is the former waistband of a pair of my undies! πŸ™‚ Why not?? You can’t see the stain (well, you probably can because you know it’s there and are therefore looking for it…).

For lack of a better word or skill, let’s just say it, I appliqued the lace with a simple straight stitch.

Not too shabbs

IMG_2644Sun’s in my eyes, but there’s a smile on my face because I fixed a MAJOR fail with this one, kids!

How could you not love the detail on this thing?


My orthopedic inserts make ballet shoes doable πŸ™‚ This shirt is too cute for sketchers.

If there’s one lesson I learned from this experience: don’t give up! Use your noggin’. You can finish a refashion gone wrong if you really want to. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this new favorite πŸ™‚


MMM14: Day 2

Today’s piece, brought to you by Me-Made-May’14,Β  is a Jr.’s prom dress from the late 90s, I’m sure πŸ™‚


It looked super small but I decided to go for broke and try it on…


Thank God for bad lighting… trust me, these poor seams are holding on for dear life!

What attracted me to the dress in the first place was the black lace. I wanted it bad. I rarely get items in too-small-for-me sizes. It’s so much easier to make something smaller than bigger. But, I had to have that lace πŸ™‚

So, first off I cut the red fabric from the black lace. I wanted to make a shirt and actually invested in a pattern.


Confession: I bought this a while ago and have used it several times, tweaking it as I want because who wants a million of the exact same shirt?

As a sewing instructor I thought it would behoove me to know how to use a pattern, despite the fact I despise them.

I got to work:

See where I’m going with this?

I decided I wanted the final product to be shorter in length so, of course, I made a modification πŸ™‚


I decided to make the sleeves out of the black lace

I mean, seriously, how cool is this gonna be? πŸ™‚

But then… I got really inspired and decided to do a little lace overlay on the top of the shirt itself.


After I constructed/sewed all the pieces together, I made some bias tape with the left over red satin.


Pin it to the raw edge of the entire neckline…


Sew it down… and finish up those hems on the sleeve and the bottom of the shirt, of course.

A rolled hem… what else? πŸ™‚

I dare say I’m done.


Would you believe it’s still freezing in Indiana this time of year? Well, it is. Hence, the sweater… And, I’m seriously SO over it.


‘Nother confession: I made this shirt, um, QUITE a while ago. I was hoping to wear it for Valentine’s Day or something but it was just WAY too cold.

The whole point of Me-Made-May’14 is to inspire refashionistas to WEAR their homemade garments in May. Yes, I made this a while ago… but I wore it in May πŸ™‚ …freezing May.

Have I mentioned I have sensitive eyes? lol

My final confession: I really, really like my new top. It only cost me .99 cents (and a stupid pattern, that I still didn’t follow…). I know I’ll be wearing this a lot as the weather (hopefully!!!) warms up.


2 down, 29 to go!