Dresses

Wednesday Addams’s Dress

It’s not often that I say, “now that is some nice velvet.” In fact I don’t think I had ever said those words until I found this dress.

wednesday addams before-100There isn’t a lot to say about this dress except that it obviously belonged to Wednesday from the Addams family.

I shortened the dress by about 6 inches and chopped off the sleeves then gave them a new hem. I took the sides in about an inch on each side. I also gave the dress new elastic. The old elastic was completely stretched out.

wednesday addams before-107Look! Even Thing helped out!

wednesday addams before-106I turned the dress around and cut a v-neck into the collar and finished off the seam. I was left with that line of six buttons now awkwardly on the back of my dress. I ripped them off and sewed up that seam. I replaced them on the shoulder because they seemed happy there. Now this dress is ready for something besides a 1960’s tv show.

edited blue and white afters-106edited blue and white afters-105edited blue and white afters-104Exciting news! My little sister (well, technically Brian’s little sister) is getting married soon! I decided that it would be the perfect “little black dress” to wear for her bachelorette party! We had a great time and this dress was so comfortable all night long!! Can you even believe how gorgeous the bride to be is?!?

11181795_10153538152719122_5080035170952664009_oThis blog post has been approved by Uncle Fester.

Dresses

Geometric Blue and White Dress

This dress is another Leslie Fay classic! Judging from the label I would date this dress around the late 80’s to very early 90’s.

edited blue and white geometric-101This big guy had a lot going for it! The shoulder pads were huge! The sleeves weren’t a flattering length. The dress was pretty long and had some extra space in the top. I started by ripping the sleeves off. The shoulders were actually pleated so I ripped out the pleats. There was enough extra fabric from the sleeve pleats to be the perfect length for cap sleeves so I left them and gave each side a hem. Then I cut the dress in half right at the waist. The waist dropped far to low for my liking so I brought it up a little.

This dress has pleats in the skirt. If I trimmed length off of the bottom I would have to make sure all of the pleats stayed nice and neat to re-hem it. I have made that mistake before! Instead of trimming length off the bottom I took it off at the waist. This way the original hem stayed intact! I redid the elastic in the waist and put the pieces back together.  I seriously considered replacing the buttons with something really bright but I decided just to pair the dress with obnoxious earrings and shoes instead. 😉

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Dresses

Tribal Print Dress

I fell in love with the print of this fabric from the moment that I saw it! I knew I had to have it! Just take a look at those sleeves. Have you ever seen anything like them?

tribal print before edited-102This dress was made by the Leslie Fay company and judging from the label, I’m guessing it was made in the mid to late 70’s. I come across Leslie Fay creations very frequently in my thrifting adventures! In fact I have about 10 of them in my “to do” pile right now. Because I see them so often, I did a little research about the company and it turns out they started in the 1940’s making women’s military uniforms. After the war they transitioned into more fashionable trends for woman that were sold in nicer boutiques. The company went under in the early 90’s but not before producing some awesome treasures for me to find!

With this dress I really just wanted to simplify it and un-70’s it.  I removed the sleeves and threw it on my dress form. The size was pretty close already. I drew a new neck like in the front and the back. I cut off the extra fabric and gave all of the edges a new seam. The armpits desperately needed bust darts! The bottom lost a few inches and I tried to give it a little something extra by cutting the seams at the bottom on a little angle.  I gave the bottom a new hem and paired the dress with a brown belt. Be on the look out for many more Leslie Fay treasures! There are lots more to come!

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Dresses, Skirts, Uncategorized

Princess Peach Dress

This might have been a bridesmaid dress in the 80’s… Maybe a homecoming dress in the 90’s… I have a different theory. Have you ever played Super Mario Brothers? If so, you should recognize this gorgeous dress. I’m 99% sure that this is the actual dress that Princess Peach was wearing when Bowser kidnapped her. I knew that if I didn’t snatch this dress up someone else certainly would. Seriously, this dress was begging to be worn in late October with the wearer’s significant other in overalls, red shirt, and a fake mustache. Actually, I regret not saving this dress to wear for Halloween but I was way too excited to cut it up that I couldn’t wait!

princess peach before-101

I have to admit I feel like I cheated a little with this dress. Normally, I try to keep as much of the dress original as possible. First, because it’s less work for me and second, because usually there is a detail that I want to keep original. Typically that is where most of the charm comes from. This dress didn’t have that. It was a just huge mass of shiny peach fabric. It didn’t have a lot going for it. I cut up this whole dress to reuse the fabric. There was more than enough in the bottom of the dress to make this skirt. I made a pattern from a skirt that I already had. First, I made a waist band then I made the bottom portion of the skirt. I decided to give it some pleats in the front. Once the skirt was finished I knew I had to incorporate at least one of those fantastic bows. I chose one of the smaller ones from the sleeves. There you have it. Princess Peach or 80’s bridesmaid dress, whatever you were in a past life, I’m happy you’re in my closet now!

princess peach afters-102princess peach afters-104princess peach afters-108princess peach afters-103These photos were taken out side of the gorgeous Bancroft in downtown Saginaw.

Blazers

Love Your City Blazer

This little rant is a side note, a bonus if you will;) It has nothing to do with refashioning but I wanted to share it anyway.

Over and over I have seen articles on Facebook about Saginaw being such dangerous place. It seems like every three months or so, someone publishes an article listing the most dangerous something. Every time, there are a few cities from Michigan on the list and it makes me so sad. The statistics all seem true and honestly they are scary. I can’t help but feel these articles don’t solve any problems. They seem to perpetuate the idea the area is dangerous, something we already know, but these articles certainly don’t encourage any change.

If you live in Saginaw or really if you live anywhere (which i suspect that you do live somewhere) I would like to take a second to encourage you to love your city. It’s the place where God put you. You have the option to make the best of it and help change the things you don’t like!

I didn’t grow up in Saginaw. I don’t have childhood memories that make me remember it in differently, or in a more positive light. My childhood was spent in Colon Mi, a tiny town 3 hours southwest of Saginaw. Colon is about the cutest little town that you can imagine. Seriously, one blinking light, Amish buggies everywhere, and truly wonderful people. I distinctly remember my parents, lifelong farmers, driving into the metropolis that Saginaw seemed to be, dropping me off at my dorm at SVSU and someone advising them “to not allow me to go past Tittabawassee Rd. because it starts to get a little dangerous.” And maybe they were right, maybe there are parts of Saginaw that are dangerous. Statistically speaking, it seems that there certainly are. But back in Colon, if you walk too close behind one of the Amish buggy’s horses at the Village Market…well that starts to get a little dangerous too.

My point is that even though Saginaw was just ranked as the number 1 most dangerous something… It still has some really incredible things to offer. My husband and I feel called to be in Saginaw, to serve at a church that reaches out to improve the community, to have our business based here, and hopefully someday raise our babies here! The more people that decide to stay,  love the city, and pray for it, the faster we will see the revival that we are believing in. The city of Saginaw itself isn’t what makes it dangerous. It’s not like we are close to a volcano that is endangering our lives, it’s the crime rate that makes it so scary. The crime rate comes from the people. The good news is, we can LOVE people and the love of The Lord changes people. It transforms them. To the people that are living next to a volcano, I don’t know if you can love a volcano into behaving itself… I have seen absolutely no scientific research done on this topic. That’s beside the point. I really want to encourage you all to help your community change in the direction you want it to!

So I realize that had NOTHING to to with this red blazer that I’m about to show you EXCEPT that I’m going to start with the after photos today. These photos were taken at the Saginaw Farmer’s Market. There is something about the farmer’s market that makes this city feel alive! The Saginaw Farmer’s Market has so much to offer!  The market has the best vegetables around, fresh cupcakes from Sweet Creations, locally grown fruit, they even have a taco stand….AND a hot dog stand with the sweetest man you’ll ever meet. He calls himself The Hot Dog Guy.  You name it, they have it, and it all tastes awesome!

So here you have it, a 90’s blazer that looks just like something Murphy Brown would wear transformed into a casual blazer perfect for some produce shopping in a city that I choose to love and believe in!

murphy brown blazer after-103murphy brown blazer after-101murphy brown blazer after-104(Special thanks to Paul’s Produce Farm, a locally owned family farm, for allowing us to take these photos. Also, Paul is doing something right, the green peppers and onions we bought were AMAZING!)

Here are the before photos. This piece really caught my eye. I thought it was pretty cute as is! It just needed a little love. I didn’t realize how incredibly tiny the skirt was. A very little business woman owned this tiny, sassy suit at one point. First I took out the shoulder pads. Then I took in the sleeves by about an inch for a better fit. I got rid of the huge button that made the jacket way too small for me. I decided that it need a little some thing extra. I sorted through my fabric scraps to put a fun lining in the sleeves. This fabric came from my grandma’s pile of quilting scraps. I’m about 99% sure that it was formerly my Grandpa Bill’s dress shirt. When Grandpa Bill passed away, grandma made a quilt for my brother and included pieces of my grandfather’s shirts. This one looks really familiar!

murphy brown blazer before-101murphy brown blazer after-106Did I mention that the Saginaw Farmer’s Market has snow cones? They do. They have the best snow cones I have ever had- -EVER! Seriously, the next time you have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday free, do yourself a huge favor and go get a strawberry snow cone!!

Dresses, Skirts

The Very Literal Floral Skirt

Have you ever wished that clothing could be more educational. I know I have! 😉 Well, you’re in luck. This dress not only looks atrocious but it also labels the types of flowers that are printed on the fabric. So you can learn the flower’s names while you’re wearing it! Botany enthusiasts everywhere are rejoicing!

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The print of this dress scared me away at first. I saw it at a local thrift shop where I get most of my treasures and I passed it up. I really couldn’t imagine how I could keep it a dress and tame the fabric down enough to work for me. I was very charmed by it though, the print is super unique and the fabric is really nice quality. I told myself if it was still there on my next thrifting outing that I would have to try it. Can you believe that nobody else claimed it? I had to bring her home with me.  After trying the dress on, it was clear to me that a skirt would be a nice option to tone down that fabric a little. The less of the fabric there was, the more charming it became! I ripped the seam out at the waist of the dress. I then cut off the bottom portion of the dress and gave it a new hem. The zipper in the back of the dress continued past the skirt ended at the waist so I trimmed off the extra and tacked in the ends so that I wouldn’t lose my zipper. That was it!

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My new mission is to find a piece with multiplication tables or U.S presidents!

Bow ties, Dresses

Easter Floral Dress

This dress has been one of my favorites to work on. I found it at a local thrift store for less than a dollar. I loved the neckline. From the moment I bought it, I knew it would be a fantastic Easter dress!

This dress was particularly unflattering. I love to wear my particularly unflattering dresses around for a little while before I start the refashion. I say it’s to get a feel for what I want to do with the dress. Really it’s to drive my husband crazy;) Something about trying to flirt with him while wearing these atrocities is really funny to me, and not to him. He really didn’t like this one!

easter dress before and with brian-101

The dress itself actually fit me really well! A nice little surprise! I knew that I wanted to shorten the dress so that’s where I started. I took about 5 inches off of the bottom and gave it a new hem. I wasn’t sure if I wanted the dress to have sleeves but I knew I didn’t want it to have THOSE sleeves. So I ripped them off. I liked it a lot without them so I took a little more off around the arms and gave that a small hem.

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This dress originally had buttons up the front on the top. Some dinkus removed them and ripped six holes in the fabric. Not only did they steal my precious buttons, I had to repair the holes in the fabric. I tried to patch the holes and that just didn’t work. Then I realized that I could rip the seam at the waist and and put the fabric with the holes behind the other side. It worked like charm!

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I searched through my antique button collection to find some replacements. I didn’t have 6 of anything that worked with the dress so I found these at Hobby Lobby. I don’t love them, but they help cover up the holes from the button-stealing bottom feeder that I previously mentioned.

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I loved the belt it came with but I felt it dated the dress and not in a good way so I paired it with a white belt from my closet.

easter dress after-100easter dress after-102easter dress after-103For Easter, Brian loves to wear a bow tie. There was enough fabric from the bottom of the dress to make him a pretty fancy one. I traced one that I made him for New Year’s Eve last year and made this floral masterpiece. I am already keeping my eye out for next year’s Easter Dress!

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Dresses

1980’s Pilgrim

When I came across this treasure at a local thrift store I couldn’t pass it up! The problem was I couldn’t decide if I should save it for a Pilgrim and Native American Thanksgiving reenactment or if I should cut it up. Serisouly, you put this dress with a pair of black boots and a hat with a gold buckle on it… Squanto is teaching you to plant corn in no time! So I chose the scissors. I almost always do!

80s pilgrim before-100

This was one of my projects that when I showed my husband, well, I think it scared him a little. I apologize for not have a before photo with me wearing it. Just trust me that it was pretty rough. I was a little nervous when I tried this piece on. Typically, the dresses that I buy are a few sizes larger than what I would wear and I just take them in a few sizes. This dress actually fit me pretty perfectly. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to change the actual shape very much and luckily I didn’t!

80s pilgrim before-104

80s pilgrim before-103

My seam ripper worked like a champ getting that collar out of here! Once the collar was gone I just pinned the top together and it laid really nicely. Then I needed to deal with the skirt length and the peplum length. The skirt came to my mid calf and the peplum was little above my knee. Not flattering. I took off quite a few inches and gave both of them a quick new hem. I finished up with shortening the sleeves by a few inches.

I think my Pilgrim dress was thankful for the little facelift that it received.

80s pilgrim after-10480s pilgrim after-10280s pilgrim before2-100

Dresses

Ms. Mabel Holtz

When I found this dress it reminded me of a story that my dad likes to tell. Growing up, he had 5 brothers that all went to “country school” which was located in a small schoolhouse about a half a mile down the road. My guess is that half of the students were from the Carr family. Anyway, they had this mean teacher, Ms. Mabel Hotz. Good ole Mabel gave the Carr boys some trouble every now and again. (Now, I sort of imagine the Carr boys may have brought some of this trouble on themselves.) But one particular incident ended up with Ms. Mabel Hotz chasing one of the older boys around and around the schoolhouse with a broom as he rode his bike heckling her. My dad can’t tell this story without cracking up.  I imagine that poor teacher to have been wearing a dress that looked about like this.

blue teacher dress before-101

So this refashion is dedicated to you Ms. Holtz, you mean old bat!

That neckline that just doesn’t quit, those spectacular buttons all of the way up the back, and those sleeves… just long enough to be hideous, the whole thing was sort of a mess. I first thought that I would keep this dress maxi length but it was just too short for that. I chopped off over a foot of length and gave it a new hem. I decided that I would rather have the buttons in the front of the dress so I flipped it around. I gave it a new v-neck line that I felt gave it some desperately needed pa-zazz. I ripped the sleeves off then I took a little extra off in the shoulders. Finally, I gave the arms a new hem. I thought I was finished until I tried it on. It was still really frumpy. I took the shoulders up an inch or so and gave it a couple of bust darts and we were in good shape! Here’s to you Mabel!blue teacher dress before-104

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Dresses

Mom’s 90’s Church Dress

I found this dress at a local thrift store for 69 cents. I loved the floral print fabric and it felt soooo soft! That was really all this frumpy mess had going for it. When I tried the dress on all I could see was my mom wearing it to church back in the 90’s, toting her Bible in a case that probably matched the dress. Great memories but not the look I’m going for.

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This dress was really stretched out in the top. I wanted to save the sleeves and just shorten them but they were pretty far-gone. I ripped them off and trimmed a little extra off the arms. Before giving them a new hem I had to take in the shoulders a couple of inches on each side because the dress was so big. The sides of the top also came in a few inches on each side. Of course the top needed a couple of bust darts as well. After the top was looking good, I trimmed a few inches off the bottom and gave it a new hem.

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90s church dress-101Now I just need to wear this dress to church!