Tag Archives: Refashions

A Belated Me Made May Round Up

How did you find Me Made May this year, if you took part?

This was my second time taking part and I definitely felt the difference in the amount of garments I had to choose from! I didn’t even get a chance to wear everything I have made. I decided to wear me-mades on 5 days of each week, basically at work as I am still working towards having a good casual wardrobe for weekends and I am still yet to try sewing with jersey! Maybe I should sign up to Tilly’s new online class?

Sorry if you follow me on instagram – you’ll have seen these all before, but in case you haven’t…..(sorry for the crappy, blurry selfies – I hate taking selfies!)

Day 1: Tilly and the Buttons Mimi Blouse + Black By Hand London Victoria Blazer.

Day 4: Refashioned High-Necked top and Refashioned Coat to BHL Victoria Blazer

Day 5: Grainline Scout Tee with self-drafted collar.

Day 6: Blue and White Striped Colette Laurel Dress.

Day 7: Colette Violet Blouse.

Day 8: Pink Stripey Banksia + Blue Simplicity 2451 Skirt.

Day 11: Refashioned Shirt Dress.

Day 12: Refashioned Peter Pan Collar Dress.

Day 13: Refashioned High-Necked top + Black Simplicity 2451 Skirt.

Day 14: Refashioned Parrot Shirt.

Day 15: Flowery Grainline Scout Tee.                             MMM15-Day-15
Day 16: Refashioned Ugly Skirt into Grainline Scout Tee.

Day 19: GBSB Boyfriend Shirt.

Day 20: Tilly and the Buttons Francoise Dress.

Day 22: Pink Spotty Grainline Scout Tee + Black Victoria Blazer

Day 26: Emery Dress by Christine Haynes.

Day 27: Refashioned Mustard Corduroy Shorts.

Day 29: Refashioned Ugly Skirt into Grainline Scout Tee + Bright Yellow Butterick Skirt (worn to a ceilidh!)

I think I must have forgotten to take pictures on some days because I’m sure I wore my other Banksia top and there don’t seem to be enough pictures, but I definitely wore me-mades on 5 days of each week! I definitely forgot to take a picture on the last day, when I wore my Orla Kiely-esque Laurel and my black Victoria Blazer (again).

The things I learnt from Me Made May were:

1. I hate taking selfies – I took about 20 each time, just to get one I liked! Documenting the month is definitely the least fun part for me!

2. There are still some me-mades that I have never worn/ don’t like wearing, but wear because I made them (my 2 Elisalex Dresses [1 + 2], my Miette cardigan, Gertie Bow Tied Blouse and my first dress, New Look 6000). These tend to be the things I made earlier on in my sewing, so hopefully this means I’m getting more of a handle on my style and what I like wearing and not being seduced by patterns which look great on other people but aren’t really me.

3. I definitely need to make some skinny jeans/ trousers, probably from the Ginger Jeans pattern.

4. I definitely need to conquer knits, so I have more comfortable, casual clothes for weekends and days when I don’t fancy dressing up.

5. It felt like a lot of effort to wear a dress as I cycle to work now. But when I actually put on the dresses, it was fine, so I think I can afford to wear them more often, especially as the weather warms up!

I did enjoy taking part in Me Made May as it does force me to look at what I have in my wardrobe and to not just put on shop-bought skinny trousers and tee shirts. Did you enjoy taking part? What did you learn?

Refashioned Boy’s School Shirt

I’ve had a couple of old boy’s shirts on my refashion pile for aaages! And I don’t own any white shirts, so you’d think this would have been a hole I would have plugged sooner. I had 2 boy’s white shirts (I think in ‘age 14’ size) because I used to do Morris dancing and although Grandad shirts look nice, they tended to be a bit more expensive, so I went for the cheaper 2-pack school shirts option! If you don’t believe me about the Morris dancing, btw, I present you with photographic evidence!

First dance-out 1This is me (on the left) and my friend Chloe, who introduced me to the world of Morris and ceilidhs. She still dances, in a new side, but I stopped when I left Norwich 5 1/2 years ago. I do miss it, and I especially miss ceilidhs but I don’t know how I would find the time these days! I think I might even be wearing one of the shirts in this picture!

This is what the shirts looked like before (I say ‘shirts’ but I’ve actually only refashioned one so far). Wow, this ‘before’ picture is total crap – sorry! I took it ages ago (just look at the difference in my hair!), I know now a bit more about having some light when taking pictures!


It doesn’t look too bad from the front, but you can see how big it is from the back. Also the sleeves are a bit too long and the shoulder seams are half way down my arm!


I really am quite pleased with the ‘after’. Hence this supremely smug face!

White-Shirt-refashion-3Rather than just take the shirt in (which I’ll do with the second one), I found inspiration on Pinterest, my favourite way to find style inspiration and things I can copy. I took in the side seams and decided against darts as I didn’t want it to be too fitted. I don’t know why it’s all rucked up in the below picture – it doesn’t sit like that in real life! I also took about 8cm off the length.

White-Shirt-refashion-4The major change, obvs, was to sew some black bias binding to the button placket and to replace the buttons with black ones. This was fairly easy to do as luckily my binding (which I had in my stash, having bought it for some long forgotten project) was exactly the right length to fill the existing placket. I didn’t take any in progress shots as I was in a hurry the day I did this refashion, but I basically pinned the binding so all the raw edges were hidden and top stitched both sides. I then remade the button holes in black thread, using the original buttons holes which I could still see on the inside as a guide.


I had some binding left over so I decided to put some on the cuffs too. I didn’t redo the button holes on the cuffs as the binding was just narrow enough to leave the old on intact. I don’t know if it looks a bit stupid that half the cuff is black and half still white, but I don’t really care, I like it!


I also added little black tips to the collar. This could have been neater, but as long as no-one looks at the underneath, it looks fine! You can also see from this picture that for some reason on the button side I didn’t sew the binding all the way to the top, I stopped at the under collar thing (i’m sure there must be a proper name for this but I don’t know it – anyone?). I don’t think it looks too bad, though, and when the shirt is buttoned to the top, you can’t see it at all.


My only regret/ mistake was to take the sleeves in too much. I trimmed down the shoulders on the body of the shirt and then I trimmed the sleeve head to make the sleeves 3/4 length instead of just a little bit too short. But I took it all in too much and then the sleeves couldn’t meet the armhole properly without a huge hole in the armpit. So I added little armpit gussets. I don’t think they look too bad and when it’s on, you’d have to be really staring at my armpits to notice! I think the solution with the second shirt is to take in the sleeves and side seams in one go, then unpick just the shoulder part of the seam to adjust where the seam hits my arm. Unless I leave it as it is and claim it as a deliberate design feature?!


I was in a hurry to finish this shirt because I wore it that day to my friend’s 30th birthday drinks. I just finished it in time, but had to sacrifice painting my nails for having buttons sewn on! I wore it with these (very) skinny jeans and my obnoxious pink shoes which I bought for my birthday to go with my Georgia Dress. I also wore my Black Victoria Blazer. It ended up pissing it down with rain so I got soaked on the way home, but I felt cool, so that’s all that matters, right?


The Fara Workshop

When I decided to change my blog – well, start (yet another) new one – I had a few posts that I knew I wanted to write, when I was just going to focus on crafting and clothes. And one of those was about the Fara Workshop. The Fara Workshop is linked to the Fara Charity, which has lots of charity shops around London and works to transform the lives of some of Romania’s poorest and most vulnerable children and young people.

Their mission says: ” A contemporary hand crafted collection of entirely one off clothing and accessories will be designed and made in store at our onsite workshop. Our mission is to transform clothing and fabrics that have been generously donated to FARA charity shops, incorporating a variety of processes and techniques reworking them into a fabulous collection of wearable delights.” (from their facebook page)

Fara Workshop 9
I discovered them by accident, wandering around Islington when I was doing practice walks for a marathon walk I did back in September (yes, I walked 26 miles around London!). I immediately fell in love with their reworked fashions. As someone who enjoys a refashion or two, I found the way they reuse fabric and clothes donated to Fara to make new, modern, fashionable garments.

Fara Workshop 10(source)

Fara Workshop 5

Fara Workshop 14

The way they colour block and use the fabrics is amazing – I hope I can one day learn to use fabric in the same way!

One of my favourite things they have made is the Susan Coat – all the patterns were designed and made in the workshop.

Fara Workshop 6(source)


Fara Workshop 7(source)

Aren’t they amazing!? I definitely want to make a coat like this – especially the mustard one.

Every month on a Thursday evening, they run a sale night – I guess to clear out some of the stock they can’t transform.

Fara Workshop 8After months of trying to make it to one of their sale nights, I finally made it to one. I decided to only spend £10 on the smaller bag – I could easily have got the larger bag,  but I felt like I would have been taking things for the sake of filling the bag, and that’s not really the ethos of the workshop – it’s more about being mindful of our clothing consumption. I got 4 garments in my £10 bag, including a coat!

A blue and gold skirt, with a lining in electric blue. It’s a few sizes too big.

A wooly tartan skirt, mainly green. This has a broken zip and is several sizes too big.

I picked up this large…..interestingly shaped blue and white stripey dress mostly for the lolz. And to see if I can make it into something even vaguely wearable!

Fara-stripey-dress-1And I got this coat! It has ugly faux fur cuffs which are falling off and the lining is definitely past its best. I’m thinking of making this into a Susan-style coat, possibly with contrast sleeves. And a new lining.

Last week sadly The Fara Workshop announced that they are closing at the end of February. Their profits all go back to the Fara charity, but the workshop isn’t financially viable any more. They do say they will be producing a clothing line – so fingers crossed the clothes will still be available, just not from a concrete shop.

3 High-Necked Tops Refashioned

Since I looked through all the clothes I own, and after realised how many of them I never wear, I decided to see which ones I could make into garments I would wear.

A few years ago, I bought 3 tops – I think from New Look – in blue, green and cream and at the time I liked them, but I’d gone off them recently, mostly because they were too tight on my neck and felt a bit strangle-y! Here they are before:




They all look like this on the back. The blue and cream ones were a little big (the green one is a size smaller).


The first thing I did was to unpick the collar from them all:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(I won’t post 3 identical photos of the collars off!)

I decided to just hem the neckline of the cream one. But for the green and blue ones I decided to make little peter pan collars for them – the blue one from its own collar and the green one from the cream collar, for a contrast.


I used the collar from my refashioned dress as a pattern. I had to sew the collars down all the way around as they kept rolling up. The only other change I made was to take in the cream one by about an inch – the blue one turned out to not be as big in the end. I’m pretty pleased with all of the results as I now have 3 tops I can wear!


The back of the cream one – I sewed one of the buttons and button loops from the original collar back on as a fastening.


Close up of the neck hem – you can just about make out the interesting stitch I used on my sewing machine!



And a close-up of the collar:


I think the green one is my favourite:


The back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARefashioned High-Necked Tops

I thought I would share this goofy photo to finish…..