DIY: You CAN Rock That Too-Small Leather Skirt After All!

I’ve always thought that there is something so extravagant, so luxurious, and so gorgeous about a leather skirt. Leather skirts seemed a bit self-indulgent to me, but you know what?Why not be a bit self-indulgent during the holiday season? We’re so totally worth it! New Year’s Eve party, here we come, showing off a bit of leg and rockin’ our leather skirts!!!!

But of course, this skirt didn’t start out this way.

No. It. Didn’t.


It started as a super small thrift store skirt that I bought, at the time, just for the leather. You know… to make a bag or something. I NEVER intended to wear it as a skirt.


But, by adding some width and softening up the look a bit by with a beautiful panel of a discontinued upholstery fabric sample, this skirt became perfectly wearable just in time for the holidays.


Click here to find out how to create your own cool leather skirt to rock this holiday season.


And for more sewing and refashion inspiration, click here.

Happy Sewing!


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An Easy DIY Fringe Cardigan

Getting dressed in the morning will be so much more fun when you have a couple of these ridiculously easy-to-make fringe cardigans hanging around in your closet.


All you need is 1 1/2 yards of knit sweater fabric and about 30 minutes to make one for yourself.


And I’m not gonna lie: For some reason, I LOVE making fringe!!!!


To learn how to make this cute fringe cardigan, click here and as usual, I’d love to know your thoughts. :) A big thanks to all of you who share and “like” my tutorials over at eHow, it is because of your kind actions that I get to keep bringing you these tutorials. HUGS!

For example:

Thanks to you, my article: Sewing 101: 14 Basic Clothing Alterations You Can Do Yourself has been in eHow’s top 100 articles for over a month now.


And the other day I heard from the editors at They let me know that, thanks to you, my Renegade Tote Bag Pattern is one of their top 50 projects, too.

A Totebag Tutorial

Thank you for being the most encouraging and supportive subscribers a blogger could ever hope for!!!

For more refashion and sewing inspiration click here.

Happy Sewing!


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How to Hem Knits Without a Serger

I’m here to tell you that you can sew most anything on a basic sewing machine.

Nothing too fancy here for The Renegade Seamstress.

However, one of these days, I just know someone important in the sewing world is going to notice that I don’t have a serger and they are going feel compelled to give one to me.

Until then, I’ll just have to make due with my beautiful Genie from the 70’s, who, BTW, really rolls my socks up and down and if you missed how we met, you can read all about it here.


One of my favorite fabrics to sew with is knits. So forgiving, so stretchy and no special finishing needed on the seams.

Even though knits don’t fray and hemming isn’t always necessary, it’s a good idea to hem them anyway to give your special projects that professional, well-made look.

My favorite tool of the trade when sewing with knits…..

drumroll please…….

the double needle!


A double needle, sometimes called a twin needle is super easy to use and creates a beautiful, professional looking hem every time.


But even if you don’t have access to a double needle, there are several other ways to create a beautiful hem on your knit garment using a single needle and a regular sewing machine.


Check out my latest eHow article to learn three ways to hem knits using a regular sewing machine with and without a double needle.

The winner of The Refashion Handbook from last week’s article, How to Add Sleeves to a Sleeveless Dress, is Lynness Hawkes. Thank you for leaving such a nice comment over at eHow. Send your address to me at and I’ll send it out to you ASAP.

 For more sewing and refashion inspiration, click here.

Happy Sewing!


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A Truly Inspiring Refashion Story: Angel Gowns

I have two new heroes….

John and Diane Wright.

They are my refashion heroes!!!

To see what refashioning looks like in it’s finest form, check out what this couple is doing with yard sale wedding dresses.

I’d love to be involved in something like this.

Be sure to bring a tissue with you!


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FUN! Another Television Appearance Yesterday

The fun and creative Happi House crew invited me to come to Minneapolis again and film a few more episodes for their lifestyle show.

My “No Sew” episode aired yesterday on the CW channel in the Midwest.


If you missed yesterday’s episode, and you’d like a couple of ideas for easy to make gifts (the holidays will be here before we know it), you can watch it here:

Happy Sewing (or maybe I should say, Happy No Sewing :) )


PS: Remember to check out yesterday’s  How to Add Sleeves to a Sleeveless Dress article over at eHow. All you have to do is leave a comment, pin and share for your chance to win a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook. Thanks for playing! :)

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How to Add Sleeves to a Sleeveless Dress

I do it all the time.

I buy those sleeveless thrift store dresses with a little fantasy playing in my head about how great I’m gonna look when I wear it. When I get home, I try it on, only to (once again) realize that sleeveless just isn’t my thing anymore. When am I ever going to learn?

I mean just look at this dress.

Add sleeves to a-dress-before

How cute is that! So adorable on the hanger. But clearly not so adorable on me. :(

But you know what, we can fix it!

If sleeveless isn’t your thing anymore either, go ahead and buy that cute dress anyway, because you can easily make any sleeveless garment more work-friendly, comfortable and cool weather appropriate.

All you need is a coordinating long sleeve t-shirt, sharp scissors, pins and some chalk.

Add sleeves to-a-dress-materials-needed

And Ta-Da!

Mucho bettero!


To find out how to add sleeves to any sleeveless garment, and for your chance to win a copy of The Refashion Handbook, click here, leave a comment, save and pin. The winner will be announced next week.

The Refashion Handbook


And for more refashion inspiration, click here.

Happy Sewing!



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How to Make a Pattern From Your Favorite Clothes

 We’ve all had one — that comfortable dress we want to wear every day and wish we had in every color. Well, wish no more. Learn how to create a pattern from that favorite dress, so you can make a version of it to wear winter, spring, summer and fall.


To find out how to make your own pattern from your favorite clothes, click here:


Thanks to everyone who took the time to pin, share and comment on last week’s eHow article, 19 Clever Ways To Refashion Your Clothes.

The winner of The Refashion Handbook is……

Shannon Chiappelone!

Send your address to me at and I’ll send it out to you ASAP.

Happy sewing, everyone!


For more refashion inspiration:


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Winner of The Refashion Handbook and More Fun Ways to Refashion Your Clothes

I’m a Kindergarten teacher. I’ve been a teacher for 26 years and have enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. When I grow up, I want to work in publishing. Magazines have always been my guilty pleasure and I’ve secretly wanted to set up photo shoots or be a graphic designer for one, but since I’ve lived in remote areas my whole adult life, I never thought it would be possible……..


Thanks to eHow and their Senior Content and Editorial Director, Jerri Farris, I actually get to live my dream and still live in one of the most beautiful rural places in the world. :)

Being able to create and publish content for one of the US’s top 20 websites is such an honor and thanks to all of you who take the time to click over to eHow, read my articles, comment on them and pin them, I get to continue to do what I love.

Creating, sewing, photographing, editing, writing and publishing- it’s everything I imagined and so much more!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so nice and encouraging me throughout my sewing adventures.

I also want to thank everyone who has purchased my book, The Refashion Handbook! I had such fun working with C&T Publishing and their imprint Stash Books.

Congratulations to this week’s winner of  The Refashion Handbook,

Abbey Dabbles!

Send your address to and I’ll get your book out to you ASAP.

Check out my latest eHow article, 19 Clever Ways to Refashion Your Clothes, by clicking on the picture below. Comment, pin and share the article for your chance to win a copy of The Refashion Handbook.


Happy Sewing!


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Sewing 101: 14 Basic Sewing Alterations You Can Do Yourself

 You could hire an expensive tailor, you could ask your friend or you could even send them off to your mother, but why do those things when you could actually do it yourself.

Altering your own clothes can be fun.

Really! I promise!

Plus, no matter what your body size or shape, when your clothes fit just right, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Click here for 14 easy ways to alter your clothes.


And since I haven’t had a giveaway in awhile, I’d like to give away another Refashion Handbook to someone who takes the time to check out this article, make a comment and pin it to one of their Pinterest boards. I’ll announce the winner next week.

The Refashion Handbook

Happy alterations!


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Fear Not the Zipper


Sometimes, your first instinct is to run and hide when you see one.

But I’m here to tell you that armed with these simple zipper tricks, you can put away your fear and show those zippers who’s boss! As a matter of fact, when you learn how, you’ll want to put zippers in everything from dresses and skirts to bags and pillows.

It’s so much fun!!! Really!

So click here to find out everything you need to know about sewing in a zipper.


Have a great day!


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