Refashion Runway: The Winner of the Tote Bag, Purse or Clutch Challenge


Talk about some serious “PURSE”-onality!

This week has been full of great bag refashions from all the contestants and everyone who sewed along. Thanks to all of you for being a part of this great challenge. It’s been so much fun!

Now on to the winner of this week’s challenge.

Drumroll please………….

The winner is…..

Gema from Sequins and Slippers!

She wowed us this week by totally revamping a hat to create this fun bag! Such a unique idea, Gema.

Congratulations, you are the winner this week!


But now comes the hard part again,

we have to tearfully say “see you later” to one of the most enthusiastic Refashion Runway contestants EVER!

I’m so sad to see Sylvia from Her Kitschy Majesty have to go. I’ve really enjoyed her energy and style.


But she won’t leave us without a great prize from Lekala Sewing Patterns. They will be giving Sylvia 10 free custom sewing patterns. You send in your measurements and they will send you your custom patterns. How cool!


I will also be sending her a copy of my latest book, The Refashion Handbook.

The Refashion Handbook

Let’s take a look at Sylvia’s unique Maxi Dress Refashion from this week:

“Finding a good maxi anything was always a very personal mission on
my end. Try finding a maxi dress that would look good on that 6ft+ slender
to skinny frame of mine. I double dare ya.
Having said that, I never found the perfect maxi to buy. This left me with
the only option to create some myself!
I had these two gorgeous curtains that were laying around waiting for their
turn. The first one is a two-piece set of curtains with hems and all – but
they were quite see through, so I needed to cover it up a little. I used
the second white curtain to create an undergarment to the maxi I had at
I had a couple of different scenarios and designs in my head but having
recently spied a massive trend of Grecian style maxis, I decided of going
with it – not only would it provide me with a versatile and comfortable
summer garment, but it was piece-of-cake job to do.


First, I sew the two orangey-yellow curtains to each other, and the seams
where I sew them together, would become the front and back of the dress. I
left some slits on the upper sides to create the new neckline and backline,
and on the lower sides, as well – to ease movement with the dress – they
would go again as front and back slits at knee height. Next, I laid the new
structure on the white curtain to measure and cut a kind of undergarment. I
cut a large rectangular (consisting of two layers – for front and back of
the undergarment), folded it and just cut it some armholes and a neckline.
Then I sew the undergarment’s front and back together and attached it to
the outer part and I was done.


I imagined the dress with a cinched waist to give it some structure but as
it turned out, it worked even better when not belted. I wore it to my best
childhood friend’s birthday party, and I was sure – I totally made the most
comfortable party maxi in Grecian dresses history!”



I’m going to miss your dramatic flair Sylvia! I hope you’ll continue to sew along with us for the rest of the season! And please keep in touch.


Next up: Maxi Skirt or Dress Challenge

Stay tuned…

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One More Bag Sew Along

Tory Sonstroem sewed along with us again this week and created this beautiful bag from some discontinued upholstery fabric samples, hair elastics, and a reclaimed bamboo handle. Great job, Tory!




Now it’s your turn.

Today is your last chance to vote for your favorite bag refashion.

*Click here to vote*

The winner of this week’s challenge and next week’s challenge will be announced tomorrow.

Have fun!


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Tote Bag, Purse or Clutch Refashion Sew Alongs

I have to say this first project is one of my mostest-favoritest sew alongs EVER!

Not only because it’s a cute bag, but those little hands belong to someone very special. Those little hands love to create. Those little hands spent an afternoon creating with me in my studio the other day. And those little hands made the cutest bag EVER!


And those little hands belong to my fun Granddaughter, Brooke!



Thanks for sewing along with us this week, Brookie!


Carissa from Carissa Knits gathered up her courage to try sewing with leather again and bravely created this great bag from a free, outdated leather jacket.




Brandy Whitfield used some unexpected items to create this amazing clutch. I love the drawer pull idea for the handle! Not to mention her fun color combo.

bag challenge


Vicky Myers from Vicky Myers Creations joined us for the sew along this week and created a lovely bag from some old trousers, a tweed skirt and a duvet.

Upcycled Large Tote by VickyMyersCreations

Trousers and tweed skirt for upcycling into a bag

Hand embroidery detail of large upcycled tote bag Vickymyerscreations


A Frugal Spinster sewed along with us and transformed some old jeans into a handy and durable shopping tote.

50 cent jeansIMG_7873



Joy Candrian from XOXO Grandma combined a pair a pants and a tablecloth to make an innovative bag.

Purse Before & After_xoxo Grandma


Cassie Woolard loves to make bags from all kinds of repurposed materials.





Esther Chandler from Make My Day Creative sewed along with us this week and cleverly used an old leather jacket to make this cute leather and doily clutch.

Esther Chandler handbag sew along

Esther Chandler handbag sew along 2

Esther Chandler handbag sew along 3

Thanks for sharing this with us this week, Esther!


If you are following along with the Refashion Runway fun and you decide to sew along with us for any of the challenges, photograph your project and send it to me at and I’ll post it for you. It’s fun for us to see your creative projects, too.

Tomorrow is the last day to vote for your favorite bag refashion.

*Click here to vote*

The winner of this week’s challenge will be announced on Saturday morning.

See you then,


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Speaking of Handbag Refashions…

Since we’re on the subject of handbag refashions during Refashion Runway this week, I thought it might be fun to revisit a couple of my own bag refashions from the last year…

If you’d like to see the entire tutorial for any of these bags, just click on the image and it will take you there.

How about this bag made from an old sweater…

Renegade Seamstress Winter Tote from a sweater

or this pencil case made from a reclaimed zipper and a discontinued fabric sample.

Pencil Pouch

If you haven’t had a chance to vote for your favorite Refashion Runway bag refashion this week,

*click here to vote*.

The voting ends at midnight on Friday, August 14.

Have fun,


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Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Week Three: Clutch, Tote Bag, or Purse

Fabulous Handbag

Let’s face it. We’d be lost without our handbags.

So we might as well have cute ones.

Have fun checking out the fabulous handbags these talented ladies have created this week. When you get to the bottom of this post, be sure to vote for your favorite by clicking on their picture and then clicking the vote button.

You’re in for a real treat!


Kara from While Camden Sleeps

“This week’s challenge was something I’ve never even thought about doing
before, but I loved that it gave me a chance to try something new! I got
these pants at a thrift store for $10 (pricey if you ask me). They are
100% polyurethane, but look like leather. I tried using a leather needle
on them, but quickly learned that my ball point needle worked much better,
as there is some stretch.

handbag collage

I think a big part of refashioning is using the original construction of a
piece to your advantage. I loved the edgy zippered pockets, so I made sure
to keep them on. They add functional pockets to the front of the purse,
which are great for my phone and wallet.



To construct the purse, I cut off the pant legs, and sewed a straight seam
over the curved seam that once formed the backside of the pants. Then, I
stitched straight across the bottom to form a bag. To give the handbag a
better shape, I pushed in the corners, and sewed horizontally across them.
To make the purse more versatile, I added a liner that not only looks cute
on the inside, but makes the purse reversible as well. Lastly, I added some
simple handles. I love how it turned out!”





Sarah from Life is Beautiful

“Hello everyone! I found this week’s challenge to be the most
difficult and challenging for me. I’ve
never made a handbag/purse/clutch of any kind before and had no idea what I
was going to make. I thought oh, I have almost a week to decide and make
it, then the day before our family’s trip, I realized I didn’t have all
week to turn it in, I needed to turn it in before I leave on our trip! So I
had one day to figure it out and make it and submit this post, but I made
it guys, WHEW! And I am very happy with how it turned out!


Sarah 1


I got this big leather jacket from the thrift store. I picked out the
longest and the biggest size I could find because I knew the bigger it was,
the more I would have to work with. It’s 100% genuine leather and I knew
from the beginning that I wanted to make a genuine leather handbag.

Sarah3 Sarah4


I was on a time crunch so I didn’t have the chance to take more pictures
during the process and write a tutorial. I knew I wanted my handbag to be
very simple, without any metals or hardware so the bags are made of leather
and thread, and that’s it! After making my 3-tier fringe leather tote bag,
I realized I still had a ton of left over leather from the jacket so I made
one for my little girl. And she absolutely loves it! It’s a hit and miss
whether my girls will like what I make for them or not, so I was so glad
she loved it.

















*What you’ll need*:
-A leather jacket(bigger the better so you have more to work with)
-leather thread
-leather sewing needle
*Estimated time*: 1 1/2 hours per purse your first try, 30-45 mins. after
your first.
*Budget*: $15
*Skill level*: A confident beginner to an intermediate

I am so happy to be in this wonderful competition that’s been stretching my
creativity and comfort zone. Thank you for your votes that are letting me
stay in this competition, it means so much to me. I hope to be here again
for the Week 4: Maxi Skirt or Dress, vintage dresses are by far my favorite
clothing item to refashion!”



Sylvia from Her Kitschy Majesty

“I’ve never refashioned anything before to even remotely match a handbag or
tote or anything of the sort. They say it’s relatively easy but for a first
time it was all scary.
The only thing I visioned to be remotely close to the assignment was one
skater skirt that was thrifted and too tight at the waist, even for my tiny
statuesque waistie. (I like to think it was children’s skirt.) And so it
was under my refashioning wheels.
I cut off the belt loops and the zipper and sew it all together. Next I sew
the bottom shut in the pictured way – I just turned it inside out, folded
the lower seam three times at the edges, pinned it and sew through it. Then
I also sew the lining shut, sew a bias tape of a polka dot pattern at the
opening to decorate it a bit, hand-sew faux leather straps and added those
handles rusting in my stash for years – they were reclaimed from an old bag
that went gutless but the handles definitely rose to a new life.
Since the polka dot bias tape was taken from the remains of an old dress
turned into a strapless top, I decided to pay it homage by wearing it and
pairing it with my brand new duffle/handbag eclectic creation. That polka
dot pattern with the Converse I’m wearing definitely brings me to a modern
rockabilly vibe, and it’s very contageous!”


week3-beforeweek3-during1 week3-during2




Laura from Accidental Seamstress

“For this week’s challenge, I took one of my dad’s old Suit Jackets and turned it in
to a tote. He actually donated it to my husband, but when it didn’t fit him right I
decided to take matters into my own hands :) No piece of clothing goes to waste when
you’re married to a refashionista… I had to be strategic with my cutting because I
wanted plenty of pockets for my phone, lipstick, gum, etc. So I cut around the
existing pockets of the suit jacket.The small houndstooth print didn’t translate
very well in some of the pics, but there’s definitely a “fall” theme in the
coloring. To keep with the fall look, I found some maroon handles that I stole off a
previous purse that I wore out (I seriously never throw any usable clothing away).
To give it a little pizzazz (I found some coordinating scrap fabric in my stash), I
cut out a letter “L” & appliqued it on the front panel. I’m really quite fond of
applique. I use it a LOT. I used other scraps in the same fabric to attach all my
handles; a zipper foot made that job easier.
I sewed it all together and voila: I have a new Fall purse (Fall will be here before
we know it..).
This tote cost me nothing to make :)”













Gema from Sequins and Slippers

“Again – on the EDGE OF MY SEAT waiting to see what everyone else made this
week! I started with a hat I’ve had for a while, that I just don’t wear any
more… I deconstructed the hat, until it was almost all strips of
wicker… I pinched the base to make it flat, glued it…
And then sewed it back on itself, in a different shape – to make the basic
bucket bag shape.

Deconstruct Hat

I then thought about the lining, and made the inside from an old shirt,
adding a yacht-print pocket, and trimming with bias binding…

Lining the bag1

Before attaching the lining I made rope handles, from a t-shirt I turned
into yarn, before crocheting…

Rope Handle frmo Tshirt

And after sewing the handles on, and adding the lining, I also added
magnetic clasps – and small details to the outside, like an anchor motif,
and bag charm…
I also made a tiny coin purse to match from the yacht print fabric, and
lined it with the same stripy fabric as the bag itself…


SO! What do you think..? I took it to the park, and felt very happy to have
a bag that goes over the shoulder, but also is comfortable to carry by my
side (and doesn’t skim the floor).


From hat to bag…

Loving all your work, ladies!”




Marisa from The Refash Stash

“I started with a tote! It’s pink! My favorite color :)

image1 (2)

I sewed a new lining for my tote and kept the original inside pocket.

image2 (2)

I replaced the existing straps with these ties!

image3 (1)

I picked out a design, made a stencil and painted it on my tote.

image4 (2)

I even had enough fabric to make a matching bookmark and sleeve for my glasses! Yay!”

image5 (1)

image6 (1)








OK, now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite handbag refashion.

(Be sure to click on your favorite then scroll to the bottom and click the vote button)

The winner will be announced next Saturday.

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Refashion Runway: And the Winner of the Gingham Challenge is…

It’s so much fun for me to watch behind the scenes as thousands of people vote for their favorite refashions during Refashion Runway. This week has been, by far, the most interesting week in Refashion Runway’s voting history. At least six of our contestants were in first place at one time or another during the week. And believe it not, at one point, the top six places were only one vote away from each other. And then to make matters even more interesting, the judges’ scores were super close, too. We ended up with the first three-way tie for first place in Refashion Runway history.

So congratulations to the top three winners this week!

They are (in no particular order):

Gema from Sequins and Slippers


Sarah from Life is Beautiful

Sarah 2

And Marisa from The Refash Stash


Congratulations everyone!


But now comes the hard part.

Unfortunately, I’m so sad to say that we are going to have to say “see you later” to Kathy from Household How To. It’s been fun having you this season, your energy and enthusiasm is quite contagious.

Thank you so much for sewing with us this season, Kathy, I hope you had fun!


Before she goes, let’s take a look at the cute clutch she made from a t-shirt for this week’s challenge.


She started with this t-shirt…


and created this…


So cute, Kathy!

She was ahead of the game and had already sent in her maxi dress/skirt refashion so let’s take a look at that too.

ikea hack

veil close

We’ll miss you and we’d like to send you off with a couple of nice prizes for all of your hard work.

Audrey from Skirt Fixation would like you to have her book, Not a Skirt.

Not a Skirt- e book

And I’d like to send you a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook.

The Refashion Handbook

Thanks again, Kathy! Hugs!


Next up, your chance to vote for your favorite Refashion Runway: Week Three Challenge-

Tote Bag, Purse or Clutch

Stay tuned…

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Refashion Runway: Last Day to Vote For Your Favorite Gingham Refashion



I’ve never seen such a close race in Refashion Runway history.

Today is the last day to vote for your favorite gingham refashion. If you haven’t had a chance to check out all of the wonderful gingham transformations, and cheer on your favorite contestant by voting, today is the day.

*Click here to vote*

The winner will be announced tomorrow morning and you can see what our creative seamstresses have been working on for the next challenge.

See you tomorrow,


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A Few More Gingham Sew Alongs

We have another celebrity sewing along with us this week!

Susan, from Second Chances by Susan, was the winner of Season Two of Refashion Runway and I am seriously in love with Susan’s gingham dress refashion!

So simple, yet so dramatic!

looking back

before (1)


Thanks for sharing with us, Susan!


Tory Sonstroem sewed along with us again this week. She has inspired me to make some gingham bias tape. (You can find out how to make your own bias tape here.)

So cute, Tory! Thanks for sharing with us!



Brandy Whitfield sewed along with us this week, too. She told me this was a difficult challenge for her, but she stepped out of her box and completed it anyway.

gingham challenge

Thanks, Brandy!


If you are sewing along with the Refashion Runway challenges but aren’t competing as a contestant, you can still send your pictures to me at and I’ll post them. We love seeing what you are creating, too. At the end of the competition, I’ll send a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook to one lucky person who sewed along with us this season.

The Gingham Challenge voting ends tomorrow night at midnight. If you haven’t had a chance to vote for your favorite yet, click HERE.

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Meet the Judges for Refashion Runway: Season Three


Nothing too big, though.

A few of the contestants felt uncomfortable scoring each other so we decided to relieve them of that responsibility and get some former Refashion Runway Stars to be the judges instead. The scoring stays the same. Half of the score is from your on-line votes and the other half is from the judges scores.

Meet the new highly-qualified judges:

From Refashion Runway: Season One, it’s Mary Peterson from Mary’s Thrifty Chic


From Refashion Runway: Season One, it’s Barbara Carlon from Zibergirl Sews


From Refashion Runway: Season One, it’s Miche Harrison from Buttons and Birdcages


From Refashion Runway: Season Two, it’s Carissa Browning from Carissa Knits


From Refashion Runway: Season One, it’s Jennifer Yaple from Diary of a MadMama


From Refashion Runway: Season Two, it’s Susan Luke from Second Chances by Susan


Welcome back to Refashion Runway: Season Three! Thank you so much for agreeing to be judges this season.

For everyone else, go here to vote for your favorite gingham refashion if you haven’t had a chance to vote yet.


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Gingham Sew Alongs

Here I am getting off the plane last weekend in my gingham sew-along.



Isn’t she gorgeous in her gingham dress?!

So classy. Right up there with Brigitte Bardo, Jackie O. and Audrey Hepburn rockin’ their gingham.

Bridgette Bardo in gingham jackie


And so is my friend, Linda “gettin’ her gingham on” in these refashioned shorts. (Be sure to notice the shoes, too. Aren’t they great!)


Linda found a pair of too-small, but very well made gingham shorts. She solved the size issue by taking off the waistband, adding an embroidered-floral insert at the sides and a wide black elastic at the top.  She even added the waistband to a cute top she had. She didn’t waste a thing.

I love this!


Carissa from Carissa Knits sewed along with us this week and knocked it out of the park again with her amazing dress refashion.


I love how she saved the Ralph Lauren tag. And that bias trim! Oh La La!


Delain Miller refashioned this gingham shirt into a cute apron this week.

apron 1

apron 3 apron 5

Vicky Meyers sent in a cute floral and stripe refashion sew along. You can see more on her blog, Vicky Meyers Creations.

T Shirt to Dress Refashion

T shirt and dress mashup

flotral and stripes refashion

If you sewed along with us this week feel free to send in your sew-along to

Be sure to go here to vote for your favorite Refashion Runway: Gingham Refashion.



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