Monday, April 25, 2011

Season 2: Week 4 - Clothing Repurpose

Eek!! it's the finals!  Here are the projects from our final 3 contestants:

Pleated Dress
Re-purposing things makes me happy. For one, it's a super cheap way to go.
And second, it's just satisfying to turn a yucky old something into a useful
new something. Happy. I've been needing/wanting a new dress so when I
found this ginormous button-up shirt my project was born....(so to speak)
I wanted it to be somewhat billowy
so that I could cinch it with a belt so I cut above the bust line and added some
pleats. Then to add just a hair more length I added a bit of vintage blue and
white floral cotton. I was amazed that it matched so perfectly........
I've had the fabric for years!

ps. Thank you lovely model. I will make you a bag for your efforts....or some cookies!

Purse and Clutch
First, I'm so excited to be in the last round! It's been so fun to see what all these talented ladies have come up with for the theme each week and thanks to everyone who has been voting. This week's "refashion" theme was a lot of fun. I decided I wanted to take an item of clothing and turn it into something completely new and different. I've always been impressed by the little details put into clothing so I created a purse and clutch using as many of those details as I could.

First I purchased this men's XL shirt at a thrift store because I liked the pearl buttons and the front pockets. Then I designed a pattern that would complement the shirt design and the amount of fabric I had to work with. In the photos below you can see where I cut apart the sleeves and the front and back of the shirt. I also used a contrasting fabric for lining the strap and interior, and cut some fusible fleece to give the bag some extra stability. Then I sewed all my pieces together!

Below shows the bag all put together. I tried to use as much of the shirt as possible so here's a list of where the pieces came from: 1. The two shirt cuffs sewn together. 2. The top back of the shirt. 3. The pockets from the front of the shirt. 4. An interior buttoned pocket made from the placket of buttons on the front of the shirt. 5. Strap is made from both sleeves with the button from near the cuff. 6. The lower back of the shirt. And the best part? The entire project cost less than $5!

Jewelry Organizer
I had all sorts of wacky ideas for this week's challenge. Unfortunately all of my ideas were outside the scope of my particular skill set.
I learned a lesson about myself this week: If I try to do something based on how I think someone else would do it... it doesn't work. I learned that my real creativity doesn't really kick in until I am trying to solve a problem.

And I created lots of problems....
#1) I took a perfectly good dress, hacked off the bottom third, then cut it up the middle, thinking I would make it into a short sleeve cardigan or add cute embellishments or something. FAIL.
#2 and #3) I took a perfectly good pair of shoes, drew cheetah patterns on them with Sharpies and planned to glue tiny beads all over them. EPIC FAIL.
#4) I took an innocent wooden chicken and had plans to glue an argyle sweater all over him. (Fortunately my husband came home and saved the chicken. And the sweater.)#5) I found a broken hair clip I had been meaning to try to fix.
#6) I found a tiny frame that had been floating around in my craft supplies.
(Not shown: The necklace I ruined while trying to cannibalize it in order to make a new necklace.)

I surveyed the damage and realized all I had to show for my time was a pile of dress fabric, a ruined pair of shoes, a tangle of jewelry ...and a traumatized chicken.

Then it hit me: a way to use the dress and the broken hair clip, and to organize the jewelry.**
I made a jewelry organizer/wall art.
I took the little frame and painted it black, then put a silver wash over it. Then I tucked some of the black dress fabric into it. I did the same thing for tall frame that had held a photo collage. I took the cardboard from the back and wrapped it in the rest of the dress fabric.
I hot glued the flower from the broken hair clip into the little frame, then secured the little frame inside the big frame with floral pins. I used the floral pins to hang some of my favorite turquoise silver costume jewelry pieces. Because it's color coordinated, it doesn't look chaotic to my eye.

This contest has been a fun experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity!
(**the shoes are headed for the trash, and the chicken is currently in therapy.)


  1. ..." The chicken is in therapy"...bwhahahahaaa


  2. Thanks for the fun and challenging competition!

  3. Poor chicken. Boy,have I been there. There are two shell-shocked koala bear bookends on my bookshelf right now. They have the look in their eye that says they know they were a millisecond away from an epic craft fail.

  4. Bahahahaa! That chicken will never be the same.
    Great projects!

  5. Great job everyone on this round and throughout the contest! It's been fun to participate and see all the great ideas! And thanks to everyone who's been voting!!

  6. Let me just say that I think Vivienne and Mary rock! You both are my heroes!! Good job girls.

  7. Such talent. Makes me want to disappear.

  8. I have a bag of Men's shirts and I'm trying to re-purpose them for Christmas. Is there a pattern for the bag and clutch?

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  12. Is the purse pattern or a tutorial available somewhere? Recently lost my dad and would love to use a shirt of his for this!

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