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!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

I Dream of “Genie” and How to Change a Crew Neck T-Shirt into a V-Neck

I saw it, but walked right past the unassuming plain sewing machine case, there on the floor of the thrift store.

Just keep walking, I thought, you don’t need another sewing machine.

But on my way out, I happen to look down again and caught a glimpse of the other side of the case.

My Barbara Eden wanna-be heart started to race when I saw this:


I felt compelled to reach down and felt a bit like Larry Hagman’s character, Captain Tony Nelson rubbing the bottle he found on the beach as I pressed the button on the top of that case. Never in 2,000 years did I expect to see what I saw next when the front of the case flipped down.


When these flowers emerged, I could actually hear the angels singing and see the beam of light come down from the heavens right over this machine.

I knew then, it HAD to be mine!

Isn’t  all of that cheesy 70’s orange floral awesome!



It even had the original manual,


all the accessories, and even the original sales receipt.


And to top it all off, I found out that the original owner, John (Jack) Grusczczynski, was a local man who, unfortunately, passed away last year. He loved to dance and sew costumes for local plays. I hope he’s happy that The Renegade Seamstress now has his Genie.

It fits in so well in my funky cheeseball studio.

 The Genie sews like a dream and she’s really been rolling my socks up and down.

So, when eHow asked me to write the article, How to Change a Crew Neck T-shirt into a V-neck, I knew it would be perfect for the Genie’s debut.


She sews and photographs beautifully.


Click here to head over to eHow to read the Genie’s maiden voyage project.

She would love to know what you think of her. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Costume Week: Gypsy Costume

Mrs. Battington, Mrs. Huntingstone, Pete the Cat, and Mrs. Wishy Washy. To name just a few of the Halloween costumes that Mrs. Huntington has worn over the years.

I instantly knew I’d be a gypsy when I saw this skirt at Savers the other day.

$4.99 is not a bad price considering it fit perfectly so no alterations were necessary.

All I had to do was dig around my closets for the rest of the costume. I found this belt from a previous thrift store shopping trip.

This scarf would work for my hair.

Some sterling silver bracelets I inherited from my grandmother would add to the charm.

Add to that a couple of my grandmother’s ivory bracelets. (I love the intricately carved birds and flowers.)

Some brown wooden bangles.

A Forever 21 necklace that I’ve not worn yet.

A long necklace that’s been in my jewelry box forever.

A necklace from my friend, Judy.

Put it all together with a black hand me down shirt from my daughter and I’ve got an inexpensive yet fun Gypsy Halloween costume.

Happy Halloween!!!


Thrift Store Gypsy Costume

gypsy soul

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Costume Week: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

It’s that time of year again! Time to pull out a few thrift store finds from the bottom of the pile and create a fun costume for Halloween. My motto is quick and easy these days so I kept it pretty simple.

I started with a homemade fake suede skirt and a Roper dress that was a little too much of a good thing, but perfect for a sheriff costume.

_MG_3105_edited-1 Sheriff Costume2

First, I simply cut off the bottom of the dress to make it into a shirt.

Notice the horseshoe fabric and the fake leather trim? Perfectly cheesy!

Sheriff Costume

Sheriff Costume1

I then used my rotary cutter to cut fringe around  the bottom of the skirt.

Sheriff Costume4

Add a belt, bandana, badge, some boots and wha-la….. a sheriff costume is born.

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

sheriff costume1

Sheriff Costume TutorialSheriff Costume TutorialSheriff Costume Tutorial

Of course a sheriff costume wouldn’t be complete without a corny tin foil badge. :)

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

Whadda ya think- will I be able to keep those kindergarteners in line at our Halloween party now?

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

Thanks to my Ruggedly Handsome Husband for takin’ some time out outta his busy day to snap a few photos for me today.

Yeehaw, lookin’ good, honey!

ruggedly handsome husband

PS. This is a rerun post, but I thought you might like to see it again for Costume Week.

Have a great day!



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

DIY Costume Week: Homemade Dorothy Inspired Costume

Welcome back to Costume Week at The Renegade Seamstress.

Today, you can Follow the Yellow Brick Road and click your heels three times to find out how to make the iconic Dorothy costume.


“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to find it on your own.”

-Glinda the Good Witch


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DIY Costume Week: Glinda the Good Witch

Welcome back to Costume Week!

If you tend to be more of a good witch than a bad witch, you can create this classic Glinda costume for Halloween from an outdated formal dress found at a thrift store. Just add a few handmade accessories to complete the look, and before you know it, you’ll be looking just like the most powerful sorceress in the land of Oz.



Your Glinda the Good Witch costume wouldn’t be complete without the quintessential tall crown. Find out how to make one here.




Click here to find out how to make a Glinda the Good Witch costume.

As usual, thank you for viewing my eHow articles, all of your nice comments and for clicking on the “Yes, I found this helpful” button over at eHow. It means more to me than you’ll ever know. :)


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

DIY Costume Week: Wicked Witch of the West

It’s costume week at The Renegade Seamstress!

Whether you’ve been invited to a costume party or you’re lucky enough to be able to dress up at work, it’s never too early to be thinking of this year’s Halloween costume. Here is a week’s worth of ideas to help get you in the mood and to hopefully inspire you to put together the best costume EVER.



To start out this week, if you’re feeling a bit more bad witch than good witch this Halloween season, you can put together a Wicked Witch of the West-inspired costume faster than you can call out your army of flying monkeys.


And nothing says bad witch quite like a green face. You can purchase pre-made face paint or click here to find out how to make your own.


To find out how to put together this iconic witch costume, grab your broom, click here and fly on over to eHow for a wickedly good time.

See you over there, my pretty………

And if you feel yourself compelled to click the “Yes, I found this article helpful” button and leave a comment when you’re over there, don’t worry…. I might have or I might not have cast a spell on you….. who knows….. :)

Thanks for all of your encouragement!!!!


For more costume inspiration:

Sheriff Costume Tutorial

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DIY: Cool No-Sew Friday Night Football Shirt!

There’s nothing like Friday night football in the fall!

It’s cool.

It’s loud.

And the energy is electric.

Next to waving pompoms and shouting through a megaphone, wearing a team shirt shows support for your favorite sports team. However, those T-shirts are often way too big and not very flattering. So, even if you don’t have the know-how to sew, you can cut and tie the sides of too-big shirts to fit and get game-day ready in no time at all.

I should warn you ahead of time.

Be prepared for some serious cuteness up ahead! :)







Get your game-day “swag” on and click here for the tutorial.

For more refashion inspiration:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Save Some $ and Make This Top Selling Anthropologie Swing Top Yourself

I used to throw catalogs away when they would fill my mailbox. To me, they were evil and filled with temptation. If I would succumb to the lure of the beautiful clothes inside and order something, the excitement would usually fade and reality would set in when the package would arrive filled with an ill-fitting, too expensive item. Buyer’s remorse would set in and back to the store it would almost always go.

But, not anymore.

Nope, not anymore!

Catalogs have quickly become my friend and a wonderful source of inspiration instead of a nuisance. Now when I get a catalog, I linger over each cute outfit and visions of making one for myself dance in my head. No more guilt and condemnation. Just inspiration and fun!

Take this top selling Anthropologie swing top that costs $98 for instance.

I knew I had a plain button-down gingham shirt and a roll of matching fabric in my thrift store stash that would be perfect to make this shirt at a fraction of the cost.

swing shirt

To see the entire how to, click here.

For more refashion inspiration:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

How to Sew With Lightweight and Sheer Fabrics

It’s been a week full of glue sticks, paints, safety scissors, crayons, stories and ABC songs. I’m happy to say that my sweet new class and I have made it through our first week of all-day kindergarten and we all still have smiles on our faces. My heart is full after a week of hugs, smiles and hanging out with 5 and 6 years olds again. Their excitement and wonder never ceases to amaze me and I think I’m gonna like this new all-day jig we got going this year. :)

But now that Saturday is here, it’s time to wash off the glue, fire up the sewing machines and teach something different.


I don’t know about you, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the sheer shirts that are out there right now. They’re so comfy and breezy and can transition from summer right into fall by pairing them with jeans and boots.


The beautiful drape of soft and flowy silk chiffon, light organza or georgette makes them ideal fabrics for sewing apparel. But many people shy away from sewing with these delicate fabrics because they think they are too fragile. Creating elegant garments with sheer fabrics isn’t difficult if you know the right techniques.

Click here for the step by step tutorial and be prepared to have some fun with fabric!


For more sewing and refashion tutorials:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments