Winner of the Floral and Geometric/Stripes Challenge Announced Today

So how fun was that!!!???

So many great transformations to choose from. And I totally agree with so many of you when you say it was a tough choice!

It was such a close race this week.

I’m excited to announce that Kara from While Camden Sleeps is the winner of the Floral and Geometric/Stripe Challenge. Kara has posted the details of how she created this beautiful dress over at her site. I hope you get a chance to head over there and check it out. Plus, she has loads of other beautiful transformations to inspire you. You will love her site.



Thanks, Kara, for inspiring us this week!


Now, excuse me while I get my box of tissues, because I love every part of this competition except this part.

Seriously, I have no idea how Heidi Klum does it each week without a bunch of blubbering. I’d be a mess.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really HATE good-byes. I never say “good-bye” it’s always, “See you later”. Good-bye just seems so final to me.

But today, we have to say “see you later” to one of our talented seamstresses.

I’m sorry to say that Irene from Give the Cat a Name is leaving us this week, but it’s definitely not good-bye. It’s just “see you later”. I hope you’ll all subscribe to her site and keep up on all of her wonderful posts in the sewing/refashion world.


Before we send her off, let’s take a look at her beautiful gingham refashion for this week.

She started off with this ill-fitting slightly dowdy dress.


And turned it into this sophisticated, curve-hugging beauty.


Thank you SO much for sharing your creative energy with us, Irene. It’s been fun getting to know you!

But we don’t want you to go home empty handed. No. We. Don’t.

We want to send you off with one of Anny’s beautiful bags from It’s Sew Anny.


And a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook.

The Refashion Handbook

Send me your address and we’ll get these out to you ASAP.

I hope you had fun, I know we enjoyed having you!


Next up:

Week Two Challenge: Gingham….

Stay tuned to see some more amazing transformations and for your chance to vote for your favorite!

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This Week’s Sew Along: Floral and Geometric/Stripes

If you aren’t actually competing in Refashion Runway but you would still like to sew along with each challenge, we’d love to see your creations, too. Send your photos to me at and I’ll post them so we can all see what you’ve made. At the end of the season, one lucky sew along seamstress will win a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook.

Hey, and look who sewed along with us this week!

It’s Carissa from Carissa Knits.

Carissa wowed us in Season Two with her amazing refashions and she’s back sewing along with us today. I love her colorful take on the floral and geometric/stripes challenge. Thanks for taking the time to sew along with us , Carissa! Check out her post here.

Floral and Stripes - CarissaKnits

Next is Tory Sonstroem who sewed along with us this week, too. She
borrowed design concepts from Michelle Paganini’s current work with thrift
store button down shirts. And she’s looking forward to the gingham challenge next!

She started with these button down shirts.


And created this:


Great job Tory! Thanks for sewing along this week!


Brandy Whitfield sent us her sew along this week. Her tunic is made from the bottom of a t-shirt and the bottom of a dress. She’s only been refashioning for about a year.

Cute! Thanks for sewing along!


Delain Miller combined a shirt and a sweater for a whole new look.

Thanks Delain!

stripes and floral flora and stripes

runway 1

Here is the challenge schedule for those of you who would like to sew along:

Week One: Combine Floral and Geometric or Stripes

Week Two: Gingham

Week Three: Handbag, Tote bag or Clutch

Week Four: Maxi Skirt or Dress

Week Five: Boho Chic

Week Six: Asymmetrical

And today is your last chance to vote for your favorite Floral and Geometric/Stripe refashion contestant. Click here to vote. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to the voting box, click on your favorite then scroll down and click the vote button. Once you click the vote button, your vote will be counted.

Thanks for voting!!!

Stay tuned for tomorrow when the winner of the first challenge will be announced.

Happy Friday,


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And a Big Thank You to Our Prize Sponsors!

A big thank you to everyone who stepped up to be a Refashion Runway: Season Three Prize Sponsor! They have been so kind to donate so we can all enjoy this friendly sewing competition. I hope you have time to visit their sites and give them some of your business.


It’s not too late to be a sponsor so if you’d like to support the creative efforts of our contestants by donating a prize or gift certificate, just email me at

Jennifer over at Wawak Sewing has graciously donated a $50.00 gift certificate for one of our lucky competitors.


Audrey over at Skirt Fixation has donated one of her fun books, Not a Skirt: 25 Ideas to Refashion a Skirt into Something Else!.

Not a Skirt- e book

Wild Ginger Software offers a variety of software products for fashion design, home sewing and crafts, and educators and students in fashion design and theatrical costuming. Lisa has been so kind to donate a Pattern Master of choice to one of the creative contestants.


The Fat Quarter Shop has beautiful fabrics and they were so kind to donate a $50.00 gift certificate for one of our lucky competitors.


Barbara at Lekala Sewing Patterns has donated 10 free patterns. Only 4 are measurements needed to get a perfect fit. And the
downloadable patterns are emailed to you within minutes


Mary at Younique has graciously donated a prize package of 3D mascara, lip gloss, and eyeliner, plus a cosmetic bag. A $60 value!!!


        I’ve also got a pile of Joann gift cards to hand out to these hardworking and creative women.


As well as copies of my book, The Refashion Handbook.

The Refashion Handbook

Also, Anny from It’s Sew Anny contacted me today and would like to give one of her beautiful bags to a lucky winner, too.


There are several more prize sponsors in the works and I’ll post their links as soon as I get them.

Thanks again everyone for sponsoring this friendly sewing competition, we couldn’t do it without you!

If you haven’t had a chance to vote for your favorite refashion this week, be sure to head over here and vote. The voting ends on Friday night at midnight. When you vote, be sure to click on your favorite, then scroll down to the bottom of the box and click on the vote button. Otherwise your vote won’t be counted. Thanks so much for being so supportive of this friendly sewing competition. :)


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Time to Vote! Refashion Runway Week One: Floral and Geometric or Stripes

Flowers and Geometry?

What do they have to do with each other? One seems so random and colorful and the other so linear and black and white. What was she thinking when she made this one of the challenges?!

But flowers are examples of sacred geometry in it’s finest form.

Sunflower and geometry


Can you see it?

My good friend Linda, an avid gardener and lover of all things botanical would start spouting off the names of each of these beautiful flowers. She’d lovingly tell you where they grow and where to plant them in your garden.

My good friend Judy, an engineer and lover of all things math, would look at these flowers and actually get excited about the angles and start using words like geometry, mathematical ratios, proportions, and harmonics.

This challenge is dedicated to my two good friends, Judy and Linda. Both girls so different, they live thousands of miles away from each other and they’ve never even met. But I know when I do get these two girls together, something wonderful will happen.

Just like what happened when these eight creative women combined florals with geometric or stripes this week. I love how they all interpreted this challenge and I know you will, too.

Be sure to vote for your favorite at the bottom of this post. The voting will be open until Friday, July 31 at midnight.


Let’s start with Sarah from Life is Beautiful:

“Hello readers of The Renegade Seamstress! My name is Sarah Tyau and I am so
honored to be in this challenge this week along with the other talented
seamstresses! I don’t consider myself an advanced seamstress but a between
a beginner to an intermediate level so I was a little intimidated but I
took on this challenge so that I can motivate myself to sew a project every
week and to hopefully stretch my skills a little further. Let’s get right
to the project!

A XXL women’s shirt into a little girls dress w/ tulip pockets

beforeafter Sarah


before1png sarah

my son refused to move away so a picture with him it is! I’ve learned to
choose my battles and also think to myself, “Will this matter in the end on
my deathbed?” That is how I survive motherhood. :)

Right when I saw this XXL women’s shirt at a thrift store for $5(it still
had the tags on, don’t you love when that happens?), I had an image pop
automatically in my head and and started on the project hoping it would
execute just the way I imagined.


after2png sarah

after1png sarah

Since the theme is stripes & floral, I thought it’d be cute to add tulip
design pockets for the floral. And guess who decided to join in on the
photo shoot again?

after4png sarah

Go to my blog post for a full tutorial on how to turn a XXL shirt into a
little girls dress ,
Thank you for having me for the week 1 challenge and I hope to see you
again for next week’s challenge!”


Next up, Marisa from The Refash Stash:

“I took a cute dress and removed the original white top and switched it with a
striped t-shirt.


I also added 3 pink floral buttons for extra detail.


Lastly I added
black bias tape at the bottom to tie in the top to the bottom of my new dress.”




Now Kara from While Camden Sleeps:

“This dress is actually a nightgown. Since I’m always trying to get away
with wearing pajamas in public anyway, I knew it was a match made in


I wanted to accentuate the embroidery since part of the challenge
is incorporating floral. I originally planned to go over it by hand with
black thread, but then lazy/efficient Kara had an epiphany–Sharpie. Yep,
I basically colored over the original thread with permanent marker and it
made it look just like it had been done in black. Awesome. I also removed
the netting pieces, and the center of the original collar.


The dress needed a more flattering shape, and I needed more length after an
over-ambitious chop. The solution? The thick waistband in the center. It
gathers the fabric at the waist, visually narrowing my frame, while also
adding about an inch and a half of length. Please note that the waistband
is sewn to the bodice and the skirt separately, as I had previously cut
them apart.


Finally, to add the geometric/stripe aspect of the challenge, I used some
old bias tape to create eye-catching stripes at the bottom in a
coordinating black color that tied the ensemble together.
And just like that, I was done.”





Next, Gema from Sequins and Slippers:

“I was so stunned to find out I was in this series, completely floored!
And given the talent that is here this year, I’m both grateful – and
inspired… Stripes and florals had me scratching my head (don’t even get
me started on geometrics!) – but whatever happens, I’m pleased I’ve ended
up with something I’ll actually wear. Excited to see everyone else’s!!

One stripy dress, plus one floral dress, both from my stash, made from
stretchy lycra mix fabric, looked like the could fit the bill for this



I used the bottom half of the stripy dress for the top, using
the black side panels to make trim to edge the top, and create a bow (which
can also be tied behind the neck). The floral dress converted into a skirt
with a little shaping, and an added elasticated waist. Now all I need is
the right weather to wear it!! The Great British Summer, as unpredictable
as ever!”

1970-02-03 22.39.30

Before & After1


Here’s what Sylvia from Her Kitschy Majesty created:

“I have a rule about mixing patterns: if one of the patterns is busy and
bright, keep the other simple and subtle. The t-shirt which I had for years
and never really liked has a busy striped pattern so it found a great
companionship with a thrifted cotton skirt donning a subtle floral pattern
and loose waistband whose elastic has gone rogue.
The end result is a comfortable and dignified summer dress that has 90s
vibe written all over it, so dress the part I did. I’m really loving how
cute this turned out!”







Now, Laura from Accidental Seamstress:

“I started off with an oversized floral
shirt that I got for .99 cents. I cut off the sleeves, collar, and band and used the
rest of the material to make 4″ long strips. I used purple floral scraps from an
unfinished refashion and also cut those into 4″ strips. I basically quilted the
white and purple floral strips together into one big piece of fabric. I cut THAT
fabric into various different angles and sewed them together in different directions
to create a geometric pattern. With the help of my homemade dressform I sewed it all
together to create a completely asymmetric tunic.”








Next, Kathy from Household How To:

“Never, never, never in a million years would I have combined stripes and flowers.
It’s just not who I imagine myself to be! But alas, I’m in this challenge and I
want to win and so I gave it a shot!

I was torn between this prairie dress and a basic black and white flower skirt. I
figure “in you’re going to challenge yourself really do it!” So I chose the dress
that I liked the least and decided to turn it into something I could love and wear.
I’m thrilled with how she turned out! Dusty Rose (my name for her) has truly




And last, but certainly not least, Irene from Give the Cat a Name:





Wow, so now is your chance to vote for your favorite. The winner of the Floral and Geometric or Stripes challenge will be announced next Saturday.

Use the poll below to vote for your favorite Floral and Geometric or Stripes Refashion:


A big thank you to all of these creative women and to all of you who have volunteered to be prize sponsors. If you’d still like to sponsor a prize for this season, email me at We’d love to have you!

If you are new to The Renegade Seamstress, here is a link to my refashion tutorials:

Refashion Tutorials

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Kimono Vest Goes West: How to Make a Kimono Cardigan From a Dress

I LOVE the idea of a kimono vest. Long enough to cover up those BBQ potato chips that decided to hang out with me for awhile, yet open and airy enough to see my cute new skinny jeans underneath.

AND I just happened to have this dress hanging around the studio in all it’s 90’s floral and broomstick  glory, sooooooo…..


With a few snips of the scissors and a couple of straight seams…


I took my new Kimono Vest and Went West.





Click here for the full tutorial.

I wish I could bring you all to the incredible Que Linda Ranch where my friend, Linda took these pictures just moments before the sun went down behind the Eastern Oregon Elkhorn Mountains. The beauty of this place inspires me at any time of day or any time of year.

Well, tomorrow is the big day.  Stay tuned to vote for your favorite in the first challenge of Refashion Runway: Season Three. I can’t wait for you to see the way these creative women interpreted the Floral and Geometric or Stripes Challenge.

See you tomorrow.


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Introducing the Beautiful, Talented and Amazing Women of Refashion Runway: Season Three

It’s finally here!

Refashion Runway: Season Three



You didn’t take it easy on me when it came to choosing the participants this season.

No. You. Didn’t.

Once again, it was so difficult to choose from all of the talented seamstresses who tried out. Thank you to everyone who auditioned and I hope if you aren’t a part of this season, you’ll sew along with us and possibly join us for Season Four.

And now without further adieu, I’d like to introduce the next group of talented and creative women who are getting ready to wow you with their amazing refashions for Season Three.


Meet Kara Muehlmann from While Camden Sleeps. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time and when she agreed to be a part of Refashion Runway, I was thrilled! Her blog is filled with beautiful sewing projects, amazing photos and lots of heartfelt narratives.

Kara pink dress refashion



Next, meet the cute and talented Marisa Glied (pronounced Marie-sa) from The Refash Stash. She instantly made me smile the moment I opened her email and saw her refashions and I just knew she had to join us.  She hangs up her Dental Hygenist scrubs each night to create some really amazing refashions.


image (1)


Now meet the inspiring Laura Hargrove from The Accidental Seamstress. And I say inspiring for two reasons. One, she creates beautiful refashions and two, after following her own dieting mantra of making smart choices and keeping her own weekly goals, an energetic and happy Laura dropped 100 pounds. WOW!




Next up is the quirky and fun Kathy Woods from Household How To. Kathy has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Nate Berkus Show, A Baby’s Story,  The View and The Chew. Kathy has also appeared with Dr. Oz, written for Ricki Lake Magazine and The Huffington Post. Oh my gosh, need I say more?

Kathy Woods 1Kathy Woods 2

Kathy Woods dress refashion


Meet Sylvia Levkova who comes to us all the way from Bulgaria. I love how she calls herself Queen Sylvia! Now that’s confidence. :) She learned to sew on her Great Grandmother’s 1935 Singer and has been thrifting and refashioning since she was a kid. I’m so excited to see what she creates. Check out her blog, Her Kitschy Majesty.





Now meet the awesome Sarah Tyau from Life is Beautiful. I have to admit, I feel a bit star struck because if you’re anything like me, you most likely have her beautiful dress refashion pinned onto one of your Pinterest boards. This dress of hers won the Shabby Apple contest and they manufactured and sold her designs. SUPER COOL!

Sarah's white dress refashion

Sarah's white dress refashion before



Meet the clever and prolific Irene Lowe from Give the Cat a Name. Her blog is filled with refashions of all kinds. She definitely doesn’t shy away from a challenge and has breathed life back into many an outdated frock.

Denim dress (1)

grandma dress (1)


And last but certainly not least, Gema Ensenat from Sequins and Slippers. This sassy and beautiful refashionista comes to us all the way from England. I love how she includes a soundtrack to each of her posts and I seriously want this pink shirt she made.

A - From Tesco to Retro2




So there you have it.

I just know this beautiful and talented group of women will create some inspirational refashions. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!

So we can all get started on our “sew alongs” here is the list of the weekly challenges:

Week 1: Combine Floral and Geometric or Stripes
Week 2: Gingham
Week 3: Handbag, Tote bag or Clutch
Week 4: Maxi Skirt or Dress
Week 5: Boho Chic
Week 6: Asymmetrical

As you can see, I’ve left the challenges fairly open ended. Just remember, each garment must be original (in other words not posted on your blog already) and have a before and after picture. Also, please remember, this is a “refashion” competition so your garment must be constructed from a previous item of some kind. I’ll be sending a schedule via email to all the contestants.

Week 1 creations will be posted next Saturday, July 25 and you can begin voting for your favorites.

If you are “sewing along” with us, send your before and after pictures to We want to see your creations, too!

One last item, if you are competing or sewing along, and you have a blog, so we can get the word out, please place a link to The Renegade Seamstress in your sidebar with this image:


Thank you to everyone who has agreed to be a prize sponsor. We’ve got some amazing prizes so far. If you would also like to donate a prize, please email me at

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How to Alter a Too Big Skirt With a Waistband

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE summer?

Not just because of the warm weather and swimming.  But the “I actually have time make dinner for my friends who need help” kind of summer. The “get up and go walking every morning” kind of summer. The “I actually have time to clean off my counter” kind of summer. The “read a book” kind of summer. The “I actually have time to sew” kind of summer.

Or, to be more specific, the “I actually have time to alter a skirt” kind of summer.

Perhaps you’ve lost some weight recently and your favorite skirt is now too big. Or maybe you found the perfect skirt and the only one left was a size too large. Paying for the needed alterations to save these skirts can get expensive, but with just a little sewing experience, you CAN alter the skirt yourself and save lots of cash.

No need to be intimidated by a waistband either. It’s really not as hard to alter it as you might think. Here, grab my hand and I’ll show you how.




Click on one of the pictures or here for the full tutorial on how to alter a skirt.

A big thanks to those of you who click on the “I found this tutorial helpful” button over at eHow. A big thank you to those of you who leave comments. And a big thank you to those of you who share it on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. When you do those things it helps me continue to bring you refashion/sewing tutorials and other fun things like Refashion Runway!!!

Speaking of Refashion Runway, I’m so excited for tomorrow. I’m going to introduce you to the eight amazing people who will be participating this season. WOW! You guys didn’t make it easy for me to choose. There were so many great entries, I might have to host another season, just so everyone who applied can participate.

See you tomorrow!


For more refashion inspiration:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

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Surprise Yourself and Learn How to Make a Crinoline or a Petticoat

I totally missed the fifties and the petticoat era.

And to be honest, I never thought I missed anything.

Nope, didn’t miss a thing.



and wore it under this circle skirt, and I was thinkin’ to myself,

“Hmmmm…you are lookin’ pretty good in that skirt!”


And off we went to take some photos.


Then you know what?

As my sweet ruggedly handsome husband was taking pictures, he says,

“You should wear that kind of skirt more, it looks great on you!”

Yes! He really did!

Hmmmmm…I feel more circle skirts and crinolines comin’ on in my very near future. Both more flattering than I ever imagined.


To see how you, too, can make a crinoline using an old slip and some netting, go here and make one of your own…

you never know, you just might surprise yourself!

For more refashion and sewing inspiration:

Refashion Tutorials

And go here if you’re interested in trying out for Refashion Runway: Season Three.

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YAY! It’s Back! Open Casting Call for Refashion Runway: Season Three


I’m happy to announce, it’s finally back!

Refashion Runway: Season Three!

All of the creativity and talent brought by all of the contestants of the first two seasons was so impressive. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Refashion Runway: Season 3 will bring.


Here’s how it’ll work:

Much like Project Runway and The Great British Sewing Bee, we’ll choose eight refashion seamstresses (or seamsters) to compete in weekly challenges. The refashions will then be scored by their fellow competitors and open to a popular vote. The scores will be combined to find a weekly winner and one competitor will be out (not without a prize for participating though). At the end of the series, whoever is left will not only receive a nice prize but will be crowned the winner of Refashion Runway: Season Three!!

It’s such a great way to meet new people who love to do the same thing we do.

If you’re interested in participating as a competitor, please fill out this form explaining why you think you’d be perfect for this competition and email before and after photographs of two of your favorite refashions to me at:

Tryouts will be open until July 17, 2015. We will announce the contestants and challenges on July 18, 2015. The first challenge will begin on July 24, 2015.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a prize, please contact me at:

Prize sponsors will be given a link in each sidebar of The Renegade Seamstress throughout the competition.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Season Three will bring and I can’t wait to get started!


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eHow #ProjectThrowdown: Denim-Do-Over and Time to Vote

OK, all my friends out there. eHow #ProjectThrowdown is now live!

So, here I am, as promised, giving you my cute look and asking you to vote for my #ProjectThrowdown Denim-Do-Over project over at eHow.

There are two ways to vote:

1. Go here and repin my project pin to one of your Pinterest boards.

2. Or go here and pin my project picture to one of your Pinterest boards.

I would be double excited if you left a comment on Pinterest or on the eHow article, too.


Thanks so much for always being so supportive of my sewing adventures!


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