One of the things I love about fashion is things always come back in style. They may have minor tweaks and updates, but most things come back around. I love shopping at thrift and vintage stores because you can find so many great things. Often, they just need minor updates. For those of you that think, “I can’t sew!”, try rethinking. I actually began sewing women’s clothes by just updating things and my passion grew. Some updates are really not challenging. While this project is more involved, many just require quick fixes.
I began with this sad dress. But I saw something in it- something sassy and fresh. I knew this was the dress to be transformed into my romper.
(If you’re new to sewing, I recommend using a cotton or cotton blend. This was 100% silk and it’s not easy to sew with. So keep that in mind when you’re finding your garment to refashion.)
The first thing you need to do is put the dress on and measure to your natural waist line. Then add about 3 more inches and cut it there.
You will have the reamining skirt piece which we will make our shorts out of. Cut them off leaving them extra long. You won’t know how short you want this piece until the whole romper is done. I also saved the bottom piece of the skirt for a dress. So don’t throw away your scraps!
Ok. Now for the shorts part. If you’ve never done this before, you can do a little more research on it, look at a pattern or take a pair of shorts you already have. Lay them on top of the piece you have. We want this to be flowy and non-fitted, so keep that in mind. Make them larger than a fitted pair of shorts. Fold your skirt piece in half and lay out a pair of shorts and cut accordingly.
Here’s what you’ll have. Two pieces that look like this:
Sew each piece at the innerleg part.
Then sew up the middle seams together making it you shorts!
Now attach it to your top.
Here’s what we have at this point. It’s still pretty frumpy dumpy at this point, right?
It needs definition. Here’s your waist line where you attached the shorts and top.
Make a stitch all the way around the waist band, about 1/4 inch above the waistline.
This top had lining so I just made a little hole in that pocket and ran some elastic through. If yours doesn’t have lining, you can always just shirr it at the waist. (Look here on how to do that.)
How much better is this looking already?
Ok, now try the romper on. Figure out what length you want your shorts and hem them accordingly. The reason why we wait to hem them until this point is because the elastic in the center makes the romper a different length then before.
Now for just a couple more updates to keep it current. First, I cut off the collar. It was too business-y. If you do it carefully you can cut it right at the collarline and it won’t fray.
I thought these sleeves were boring and lacked interest.
I took these little ties that were on the dress and made little pickups for the sleeves.
Finally, I took my leftover skirt piece and made a tie for the waist.
And you are finally finished!
Today is a packing/cleaning day. So there will be no head shots of me
I love it with a black blazer!
Check this tutorial and other great posts over at MODE Bay Area.
Posted in Original Designs, refashions, women's clothing | 20 Comments »
I was on the hunt for a great little denim skirt that I could show you how to make easily. I’ve been loving the denim trends this year.
I found this skirt on Polyvore and really like the effortless, style.
Here’s how to do your own. Get a large men’s denim shirt. I got mine at the thrift store for $1. Mens’ shirts are AWESOME to work with because the prints aren’t too loud and you can get a big one and have lots of material to work with.
So you can measure properly, cut the bottom off of the shirt. They tend to have that curved cut and we want our straight so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a mean’s shirt.
Next from that bottom, measure the height that you want the skirt.
Cut it that height and make the width about 1.5 times your waist size. Take in to account that there will be a waistband, as well.
Next, sew the button strip down the center so it will stay closed.
If there is a pocket in the way, remove it with a seam ripper. You can also leave it or relocate it depending on what look you’re going for.
Pin your two pieces together on the sides and sew together.
Create a waistband by using the extra material from the sleeves. Fold it over and press.
Pin it to your skirt leaving an opening for the elastic.
Before I add the elastic, I like to do the hem so it remains straight without the pulling of the elastic. Fold under and press.
One of the things I think makes this look nicer is doing a thicker hem. It will look less like a shirt that way.
Now you can run your elastic through and close the waistband.
An extra detail I did was did a top stitch at the top of them waistband. I wanted the top to have a slight paper bag waist.
Here’s what that stitch will do.
And here’s your $1 denim skirt!
I love it with a lovely blouse for Spring (this top is one of my new designs, coming soon!)
I hope you like this one! It’s a perfect style for Spring!!
Tags: denim, refashion, skirt, spring 2011, tutorial
Posted in refashions, women's clothing | 25 Comments »
There are so many cute lace gloves popping up.
Chanel always has their great versions.
Here’s an easy way to do your own.
You need stretch lace to get the best fit. You could definitely go get stretch lace at a fabric store, but it’s not easy to find. My trick:
That’s right. Lace socks or tights or something stretchy. These are really inexpensive, too and there are so many varieties! You can also use any other stretchy lace item you have around. For this tutorial I used a lace top that I had gotten but never used.
I cut off the sleeve at the length I wanted the glove.
Then you can try on the glove to see where your thumb hits. Put the seam of the sleeve or the tights on the inner part of the arm so it won’t show on the outside.
(note: if you are using the tights cut off the end of the toe so you can get your hand through)
Then make a small cut for your thumb. Make sure to keep it small because it will stretch.
The lace, most likely, won’t fray. But just to be safe, add some fray check (or clear nail polish) to the ends where it was cut and the place you cut your thumb hole.
At this point- you’ve got your lace gloves! If you want to do something a little more, here’s an option: get a piece of leahter and cut it to your desired shape.
Cut your leather glove open at the seam and pin the leather down, stitching it into place after.
Fold the glove over, inside out, and stitch along the seam to close.
Here’s the finished look-
And here’s the one without the leather-
I love the way it looks peeking out from a jacket or shirt, but the ways to style them are endless!
I’m working on an EASY tutorial for this style skirt!
Don’t forget to ‘Like” Lex Designs on Facebook!
Tags: accessories, chanel, DIY, lace gloves, Mode Bay Area, tutorial
Posted in other, refashions, Uncategorized, women's clothing | 3 Comments »
I love soft infinity scarves. I wanted to try to make one with things I already had around so I came up with this one from unwanted T’s. It’s so easy!
Grab some T’s that you don’t use anymore. You can vary the color and patterns for the more daring. But I like, personally, like to stick to the same color tones.
Cut them up into pieces. They can be different lengths but make sure they are the same width.
Sew them together into an infinity scarf.
Then to make it a little more special I hand embroider a contrasting stitch at the seams. Find your seams and fold them over so the part you sewed is concealed.
Then just do a stitch along the seam. I know nothing about embroidery so I don’t even know what kind of stitch this is called
I did them at all the seams and here’s how it looks.
Here’s another version I did in all pink with a cream colored stitch.
I looooovve this scarf!
And Bel likes hers, too.
From the beginning I’ve been a fan of tone on tone clothing. And my color preference is white. Here’s a little tutorial using some scrap fabrics in different tones or textures. You could do this with any shade of shirt and coordinating strips.
First figure out what fabrics you want to use and cut them into carying length strips. Sew them all together so they are in one long piece.
Get your long strip and ruffle it.
Here’s how mine looked at this point.
Press the ruffle strip so it’s nice and flat.
Now pin the ruffle strip in a swirl pattern onto your shirt.
Then just sew it into place around all the edges.
Here’s the finished product.
I love this kind of shirt under a black blazer.
Have a lovely day!
Tags: ruffle, shirt, top, tutorial, women's tutorial
Posted in refashions, women's clothing | 13 Comments »