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


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Refashion Runway Season Three: The Winner of the Asymmetrical Challenge and the Overall Winner Announced Today!

Wow! It’s hard for me to believe that Season Three of Refashion Runway is already coming to a close.

It’s been a fun season of transformations and I’m going to miss opening the emails of all of these talented women to see what they’ve created each week.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated this season, from the competitors to the sponsors to all of you who voted and commented. We’ve had close to 10,000 votes this season and thanks to you, I’ve enjoyed every minute.

There is something super fun in the works for Season Four of Refashion Runway, so stay tuned… :)


So now, let’s get to the part you’ve all been waiting for.

The winner of the Asymmetrical challenge is…

Sarah from Life is Beautiful.

She wowed us with this pink, ruffled number. She definitely has a gift of seeing the potential in a garment.

Great work, Sarah!

beforeafter1 (1)


Now, let’s get onto the overall winners of Refashion Runway: Season Three. I’m so glad you guys are in charge of determining the winners. I would have such a hard time deciding because I love them all.

As I went back through the total votes and the judges scores and combined them to determine the second and third place winners, I found that Gema from Sequins and Slippers and Kara from While Camden Sleeps were too close to call.

So, for another Refashion Runway first, we have a tie for second place!

Let’s start with Gema from Sequins and Slippers and take a look back at her beautiful creations this season:

Floral and Geometric or Stripes Challenge

Before & After1

Gingham Challenge


Handbag, Tote or Clutch Challenge


Maxi Skirt or Dress Challenge


Boho Chic Challenge



Asymmetrical Challenge


Gema will be taking home a Pattern Master of her choice from Lisa Shanley at Wild Ginger Software. 


And a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook

The Refashion Handbook


Now, let’s take a look back at all the beautiful creations by Kara from While Camden Sleeps:

Floral and Geometric or Stripes Challenge


Gingham Challenge

gingham before1

gingham insta

Handbag, Tote or Clutch Challenge

handbag collage

Maxi Dress or Skirt Challenge

maxi Collage

Boho Chic Challenge

boho c5

boho c1

boho vest Collage

Asymmetrical Challenge

asymmetrical qual

Kara will be taking home a $100.00 gift card from Jo-Ann Fabrics.


And a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook

The Refashion Handbook


And now for the winner of Refashion Runway: Season Three…

Sarah from Life is Beautiful !

She wowed us throughout the season with her classy and fun transformations.

Floral and Geometric or Stripe Challenge

beforeafter Sarah

Gingham Challenge

Sarah 2

Handbag, Tote or Clutch

Sarah 1


Maxi Skirt or Dress Challenge


Boho Chic Challenge


Asymmetrical Challenge

beforeafter1 (1)

Sarah will be taking home a $50.00 gift certificate from Wawak Sewing Supplies


A $100.00 gift card from JoAnn Fabrics


And a copy of my book, The Refashion Handbook

The Refashion Handbook

Thanks Gema, Kara and Sarah for making Season Three of Refashion Runway, such a great season! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know all of you and I’m really looking forward to all of your fun inspiration that you have in store for all of us!


For more refashion inspiration:


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Asymmetrical Sew Along

It’s hard to believe but this is the last sew along of Season Three of Refashion Runway.

Thanks so much to everyone who has sewed along with us this season. We’ve loved seeing all of your creations!


The always classy and beautiful Susan from Second Chances by Susan created a lovely asymmetrical dress for us this week and this is what she had to say:

“Originally I wasn’t going to sew along since I couldn’t really think
of anything to do. But, I had this stretchy cotton dress hanging in my refashion
closet for the longest time with different plans for it, until this challenge. It
may look like two pieces, and it easily could have been, but its actually one piece.”

in front of car

in front of pond

button detail 2

before_after (1)


And the always talented and creative Carissa from Carissa Knits sewed along with us again this week and showed us how refashions don’t always have to be a major overhaul. Sometimes just an embellishment can make a world of difference.




Brandy Whitfield used a tablecloth, placemat and table runner to create her boho chic look from last week.

boho challenge


Susan from Second Chances by Susan also sewed along with us during the boho chic challenge and is totally rockin’ her new look. Unfortunately, the before pictures got lost somehow so we don’t get to see how this started but, knowing Susan, I’m sure this was an amazing transformation as usual.

sitting w_ pink shirt

vest looking down

cream standing

looking back w_ jacket

looking back w- purse

close up lace

standing with purse

Thanks everyone for sewing along!


If you haven’t had a chance to vote for your favorite asymmetrical refashion,


You have until midnight tonight to vote.

The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned………

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Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Asymmetrical Challenge

informal balance

Asymmetrical balance: To me, one of the most interesting principles of design. My eye loves asymmetry.

I couldn’t wait so see the asymmetrical masterpieces that these talented women were going to create and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite asymmetrical design. Be sure to vote at the bottom of the post. After you click on your favorite, click on the vote button so your vote will be counted.

Have fun!!!!


Let’s check in and see what Gema from Sequins and Slippers has created for us this week:

“*So*… I really can’t believe I got through to the final four. I am amazed
to be at this stage, with these three incredibly creative women. I have to
say that this has been a fabulous personal challenge for me, and to get
better acquainted with all the other seamstresses has been a real treat.
I’ll miss opening that Saturday e-mail… but before saying our goodbyes, I’m
excited to see the last in the projects, and all the work that went into

I approached this asymmetrical challenge in a slightly different way than
the others I’d done before. I wanted to incorporate more of an haute
couture feel to the work, and create something special – to celebrate this
unique event in my sewing journey. Although the machine was still a part of
bringing it all together, there was a lot of hand sewing in the details…
and being that I started with a shower curtain… I figured it would probably
need a lot of work to look ‘special’!


I chopped the flamingos from the blue part, and set about experimenting
with the two halves…


That was fine, and I was happy with both looks – but the problem was going
to be getting in and out of the dress! I couldn’t just wrap myself up in
material, and cut myself out of it later! (much as I would have liked!) So
I found a great dress in my refashioning pile, and set about using that
like a ‘corset’, to strengthen all the shower curtain work that would go
over it… I couldn’t wear it anyway, as my lower half is FAR too big for it!!

dress before

I started by cutting the bodice off the blue dress, and pinning the shower
curtain to it, creating darts as I went, sewing onto the dark blue dress


I then used the remaining light blue shower curtain fabric to create a
ruffle. I did this by folding at regular intervals, and cutting in half
lengthways, before attaching to the neckline, again understitching by hand…


I then played about with the skirt, and decided the maxi skirt was a bit
too… serious… for the top half, so set about making a bubble hem. As the
fabric was so lightweight, but fairly strong (100% polyester), I sewed it
up at regular intervals – creating a very long hem inside, that naturally
made the skirt sit away from the body.


I then sewed the skirt onto the bodice, again understitching by hand so it
would be invisible, and created one small final ‘closure’ with Velcro. If I
hadn’t done that, I would have had to sew myself in! So by leaving a small
gap, and only sewing around to the zip, the skirt was both secure and kept
my leg hidden. Apart from in the wind, of –course, and there’s plenty of
that here!!


I took these photos near Richmond hill, it’s somewhere I like to cycle to,
with a perfect view of the Thames, and wild deer roaming around the park… I
hope we get at least another day of sunshine here so I can do just that.
Although having said that, my dress is shower proof… ;)

AFTER Collage

I have loved every moment of this challenge, loved creating pieces I
wouldn’t have ordinarily made, and loved meeting other like-minded women.
Just. Fabulous.

Thank-you for having me!

Gema x

p.s. In the interests of brevity, I’ve left a fair bit out – you can read
the ‘unabridged version’ on my blog!”



Now, let’s see what Sarah from Life is Beautiful has been creating this week:

“As we come to a close of this wonderful competition of Refashion Runway, I’d like to thank Beth for hosting and answering my endless emails. I was probably the most high-maintenance contestant with my incessant emails! But she was always so quick to respond and patient in answering each of my questions. I think she’s going to really miss my emails after this is over, right Beth? ;)

I’d also like to share a few things with you that I’ve learned throughout this competition. Refashion Runway has brought out some of the worst in me, of me feeling insecure, jealous, envious, and comparing my talents and skills with the other talented contestants. I’ve never been in a competition before and I didn’t realize how passionate and competitive I could be! I am usually good at not comparing myself to others since if I see someone on Pinterest doing the most adorable crafts with their kids, I think to myself, I never do crafts with my kids… but I do cook dinner every night! I know their strengths are my weaknesses and their weaknesses are my strengths. So it isn’t fair to compare my weakness to someone else’s strengths. But each week with this competition, I measured my project with the others and I was always putting mine down, such as I wish I had changed this to this instead, I wish I had more time to sew(each project except this last one-because I finally learned my lesson after 5 challenges, I literally didn’t start sewing until 4-5 pm. on the day it was due until 8 pm., and then frantically took pictures before it got dark, and submitted it that night), I wish I was a better seamstress, I wish I could put sewing as my highest priority right now(I’ve been dealing with some family matters lately, and I have 3 little kids, need I say more?), I wish I was more creative, why do I always just use the original piece and that piece only to get the final result instead of adding other items like the other contestants? etc.

But I’ve realized the biggest competitor in this challenge is not the other women, it is myself. I also decided to shift my attitude to feeling gratitude, respect & happiness towards my contestants’ talents & awards instead of comparing myself and feeling jealous, because they’re doing me a favor, they’re helping me to push myself and be better than where I am at now, instead of me feeling unmotivated and comfortable where I am at. So instead of viewing the other talented ladies as contestants, I now view them as friends, friends who have helped me to push myself and become a better seamstress.

So if I finish this competition more skilled and refined as a seamstress than I was before, I will have beat myself, my biggest competitor. And that makes me and all my friends a winner in my book.

Okay, now let’s look at my last challenge, the Asymmetrical Challenge, shall we?




 This dress used to be a faded light pink. I wanted to make it blush pink so not thinking too much of it, I grabbed the Petal Pink Rit Dye and poured half of the bottle(per instruction) and soaked the dress.

dye (2)

But it turned into like a Barbie pink! So I went to the store again to buy the color remover and after researching how to make blush pink(you need petal pink + lemon yellow), I put it through the wash cycle. Well, it didn’t remove or lighten the color one bit! So freaking out a little bit, I poured a ton of bleach in water(1:1 ratio) and thankfully the color started to come off.

dye (3)

I was able to dye it into a blush pink finally. I poured 1 T. petal pink + 1/3 T. lemon yellow in a big bowl.

dye (4)

Then I went to the store the 3rd time to get a zipper. So while I started working on this dress this past Tuesday, I didn’t actually start sewing(since the dyeing process took a lot longer) until 4 pm. on Friday, the day it’s due. The story of my life!

I took apart this dress and reconstructed the whole thing. I cut out the zippers, cut the dress in half diagonally, added darts on the bodice and the skirt. took several inches off the sides of the bodice and the skirt,




bef7 (1)


dye (1)

I used the suit and the extra fabric from the skirt to make the ruffle floral design. My dress is linen which frays a lot so I used fray check to put it around the edges of each ruffle and after it dried, I cut the fray off with the scissors, to get the smooth, fray-free ruffles.




after3 (1)


after10 (1)




beforeafter1 (1)

Craftsmanship wise, this dress is the best out of all of my projects for Refashion Runway. The fit is perfect since I deconstructed every part and made my own pattern that fit my body perfectly. I am a perfectionist when it comes to sewing and am very hard on myself but I can proudly say this dress is well made! And the true color is shown in the last 4 pictures, it’s a very pretty blush pink. It took me 4 tries and re-dyes to get to this perfect shade of pink I was looking for.

So there it is. My last project for this competition. It’s a sweet-bitter feeling! Thank you so much for letting me stick around this far and thank you for going along this journey with me. I’d love to have you visit my blog Life is Beautiful to see more of my upcoming DIY projects. Tootles! Can you tell my 2 year old is watching Mickey Mouse right now? Okay, I am just lingering now because I don’t want to say goodbye… Okay, I will do it for real, goodbye. :)”


And finally, let’s see what Kara from While Camden Sleeps has been busy creating for us this week:

asym collage

“So I have a confession to make, for every challenge I go a little on the
crazy side and research everything. I think it’s the teacher in me. I
look up definitions, histories, and scour Pinterest like there’s no
tomorrow. For some reason, everything I loved during my asymmetrical
research, was a formal dress. So I might have gone a little more crazy and
made one for myself. I’ve always wanted to, but never had a reason or the
motivation until this competition. And don’t you dare think I won’t find a
reason to wear it, I’ve already thought of a few:

–An Oscar Party at my house (good excuse to throw a party)
–On formal night on cruise (also a good reason to go on a cruise, so
–As a formal dance dress for my younger sisters
–Halloween as a costume
–Around the house, you know, to feel extra special
–If I ever get invited to the White House
–If I want to get super fancy at a ballet or symphony

So basically, this dress is going to help me throw a party, go on a cruise,
celebrate Halloween, clean my house, meet the president, and attend a
cultural event. Thank you, dress!

asymmetrical qual

Kara Daybreak 2015 Trail 12

Kara Daybreak 2015 Trail 11

Kara Daybreak 2015 Trail 5

This refashion began with a tiny slip dress from the 1990s. And I mean
really tiny. The tag says it’s a size 1. Is that even a size? I thought
all sizes were even. Needless to say, the dress did not fit me. I
couldn’t zip 3/4s of the zipper. You’ll see that I’m holding it, not
wearing it in the before picture. I got this for free at the same swap
meet I got the robe from last week’s Boho Chic Refashion.

asy before

According to the definition given by Google, asymmetrical means, “having
parts that fail to correspond to one another in shape, size, or
arrangement; lacking symmetry.” I just assumed that it meant if you drew a
line through the middle, the sides would not match. To add more of an
asymmetrical element, I decided to use another item for the bottom half of
the dress. That way the material wouldn’t correspond. I found a petticoat
at Savers and knew it would be perfect. The only problem was that it was
very white, and my dress was cream. Because most of it was polyester, I
knew from experience that dye wouldn’t work on it. So I added one layer of
gold tulle I had in my stash (this is okay to do according to Refashion
Runway rules–I checked.)

The hardest part was sizing up the dress. It took hours to retrofit the top so that I could actually zip it. I ended up replacing the zipper with a longer one, adding a higher back, and cap sleeves. I also cut the bottom of the dress in a diagonal to add to the asymmetry, and took it in for less of an a-line and more of a mermaid fit. Here’s some of the alterations
diagrammed below:

asymmetrical alterations

I also know from past experience that spray paint is actually very usable
on clothing, it’s permanent, and you can even wash the item. I got a
gorgeous black lace dress from Savers that was too big, it was priced very
well because there was also a lot of damage to the lace. I realized the
lace would need to be stroner in order to last on the dress, I also didn’t
want to have the stark contrast between white and black. That’s why I
decided to spray paint it gold. That gave it the reinforcement while also
lending it a beautiful antique gold color. I plan on using the rest of the
gorgeous lace in another refashion later! It will not be wasted!

asym lace

Kara Daybreak 2015 Trail 3

Lastly, I cut two of the flowers from the lace and placed some earrings
through them to make matching earrings. Then added an asymmetrical
hairstyle. I considered doing two different eyeshadow colors, but that
would just get weird.

Kara Daybreak 2015 Trail 13

Special thanks to my sister, DeAnna, from DeAnna Adele Photography for
taking my “after” pictures. I’ve taken all of my own pictures for this
competition and last week it took me 3 hours! It was so nice to not have
to use the tripod and remote, plus, she’s amazing.

asym collage


Ok, so now it’s your turn.

Vote for your favorite Asymmetrical Refashion in the poll below. Make sure you click both your favorite and the vote button so your vote will be counted.

The winner will be announced next Saturday.

See you then!


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Refashion Runway: The Winner of the Boho Chic Challenge

Like I said yesterday, the Boho Chic challenge has received the most votes, inspired the most sew-alongs and created the most controversy. It’s always my intent to leave the challenges open ended to inspire as much creativity as possible. It’s up to each seamstress to interpret the challenge to their style and preferences which is what, I believe, makes Refashion Runway so interesting and fun.

what ever is good for your soul

So now, I’d like to congratulate the winner of the Boho Chic challenge:

Sarah from Life is Beautiful!

Her stunning wedding dress transformation inspired the most votes and got a thumbs up from the judges this week. Well done, Sarah!



But now, get your tissues because we have to say “see you later” to one of our favorite competitors.

Laura from Accidental Seamstress has been a such a joy throughout the competition and her innovative refashions always inspire me. I believe Laura lives her life like L.M. Montgomery’s quote, “…she had a way of embroidering her life with stars.”


Thank you so much, Laura, for “embroidering our lives with stars” and for your positive attitude, friendly comments, and incredible work on this season of Refashion Runway. We have all enjoyed seeing the awesome clothes you create each week. And we are all looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us.

We’d like to thank you with a $50.00 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop.


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

The Refashion Handbook

But before we go, let’s take a look at what Laura created for Refashion Runway’s last challenge of the season:




Check out Laura’s blog, Accidental Seamstress to see how she made this.

And stay tuned for your chance to vote on the last challenge of the season…


Thanks Jakki for the quote idea this week! I love it!

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Boho Chic Sew Along


So far, this has been a big week in the Boho Chic department at The Renegade Seamstress.

Who knew that this challenge would generate more votes than any other challenge, inspire a myriad of sew alongs, and create so much controversy.

I just love how everyone interprets the challenges differently, which is why I leave them very open ended. I always marvel at everyone’s creativity!

If you haven’t had a chance to vote for your favorite Boho Chic refashion, click here. The voting is open until Friday at midnight and the winner will be announced on Saturday morning.

Now, let’s take a look at the Boho Chic sew alongs for the week.


I’m so happy that Sylvia from Her Kitschy Majesty in Bulgaria, is continuing to sew along with us! You’re going to be so impressed with the meaning and history behind her interpretation of the Boho Chic challenge:



“There is such a big history in this. See the embroidered skirt panel I’m
holding in the ‘before’ photo? It used to belong to my Great Grandmother
and she actually used to wear it sewn to the underskirt of her traditional
folklore ensemble (check the traditional Bulgarian dress over here: ).


This is a hand-woven, hand-sewn and hand-embroidered piece – just bear in
mind it was probably created in the early 20th century. I love the
connection it represents, and I love our traditional folklore clothes and
decorations so I knew I had to make something of it.

To me, bohemian has a strong foreign folklore influence, so I decided to
roam all around that part. So I divided the panel to two equal pieces, sew
them together at the side where there was no embroidery and created a
beautiful panel for my future refashion. I worked around that panel with
the leftover from the white curtain that took part as an undergarment in my
maxi dress refashion. I sew them together, created a draping, spray-dyed
the curtain fabric and added some brocade-tape decorated neckline and
straps. I also added elastic on the armholes and on both sides of the
bottom hem to give it a more structured look while still keeping it flowy.



And oh, please do bare in mind that I love putting stuff on my head. That
includes feathers and no boho outfit is finished without some feathers. So
I played big and wore them on my head. (Really, I wear them a lot. I
should’ve warned you that my bohemian game is very strong.)


This turned out to be, in my humble opinion, the best refashion I made for
the challenge because it really meant all that to me to refashion and wear
something that’s a traditional heritage for my family. My Gran handed me
this last year, she has been holding on to it for a while after my Great
Grandmother passed, and she gave it to me to, quote, put it in good use.

I think I did.”



So beautiful, Sylvia!


Now, meet Peggy from Heirloom Textile Art. Peggy designs heirloom keepsakes which honor the memories of special gowns. I hope you’ll check out her site and see these beautiful works of art. I am so impressed!

Peggy sewed along with us this week and this is what she had to say,

“Your theme for the week captured my attention and I just had to join in the fun!
Bohemian + my work in bridal = Boho Chic Wedding Separates!!
My versatile (wedding) separates feature an on-trend midriff top, a tiered peplum
maxi skirt and a detachable casual train. I used four lace tops, one crochet
sweater, the skirt and lining of one lace dress and trim from one tank top…all
from my local Goodwill at a total purchase price under $35.00. My daughter Amber
graciously modeled for me.”







Wow! Gorgeous, Peggy! Thanks for sewing along with us!


I always get excited when I open up an email with one of Carissa’s creations! Carissa from Carissa Knits sewed along with us and updated an old dress and made a really cool kimono from a scarf. Pretty sure I’m going to have to make one of these!

BohoChic_CarissaKnits_2 (1)



Eira Donovan from Hoffi Coffi also sewed along with us this week and created a fun and flowy shirt from a table cloth:


A few of last week’s sew alongs didn’t get posted last week (oops, my bad) so here is Eira’s maxi dress sew along. Much better!


Vicky Meyers from Vicky Meyers Creations also sewed along with us for the maxi skirt or dress challenge. I know she’ll get much more use out of her cute new skirt than the dress.

Maxi Skirt Refashion

DIY Maxi Skirt

Brandy Whitfield used her daughter’s old pageant dress and made it into something cute for herself.

Maxi Challenge

Mandy sewed along for the bag challenge and created a tote bag from some old jeans.

jeans bag3

jeans bag2

jeans bag1

Thanks everyone for sewing along with us!!!


Remember to vote for your favorite Boho Chic refashion before midnight tonight.

The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.

And last but not least, here’s The Renegade Seamstress version of a Boho Chic Cowgirl: You can click on any of the pictures to see how it was made.


boho chic cowgirl 3

boho chic cowgirl 2

boho chic cowgirl 3

See you tomorrow!


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Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Boho Chic Challenge

Boho Chic Quote

To me, nothing says carefree, summer and relaxed better than a little fringe, lace and leather. I love the Boho Chic look and these talented Refashion Runway women took this look to a whole new level this week.

Enjoy! And be sure to vote for your favorite at the bottom of this post.


Let’s take a look at what Gema from Sequins and Slippers has been up to this week:

“Hi Everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week! I’ve been on tenterhooks, waiting
to see everyone’s Boho Chic creations… can’t wait!

So… here’s mine… Bearing in mind I started with the idea of a fringed
waistcoat, everything else had to fit around that. SO! As there are three
pieces to this, I’ll make it a short explanation (with an indepth rundown
on my own blog) – otherwise you’ll fall asleep by the end of it!

To start? A leather coat, a white cotton dress, and a pair of seventies
paisley print trousers!


I started with the leather coat, removing the button placket, collar, and
sleeves – before realising it was actually a (usable) beautifully soft
suede on the inside. SO! I made fringing from the arms, fitted the body to
fit me, and ended up with the waistcoat. (as I said before, you’re getting
the abridged version! Haha!)


With the white dress I created a panelled white off-the-shoulder top (like
a corset, but no boning) – and added a neckband to strengthen the top (so
it wouldn’t slip off!).


Finally, I cut the paisley pants round the inside leg, and pinned them to
my body to create a maxi skirt. I fully sewed up the back seam, and left
the front seam open half-way to create a front slit.


I then went down to the river with Roddie to take some photos, but with all
the drizzle it was pretty dark – hope you can see!



Here’s one of the front of the skirt!


And here’s a close-up on Dolly, for a better look at the waistcoat!



Have a wonderful week…

Until then, Happy Refashioning!

Gema x”


Now, let’s check in on Kara from While Camden Sleeps:

“Every item of clothing has a story to tell. This is especially true for
thrifted finds. As I approached the theme for this week, I wanted to do
something different and find a way to add symbolism to my refashion. So I
set off to find the pieces to refashion and I ended up at a swap meet
where I found, oddly enough, a bathrobe.

boho robe before

I know that a used bathrobe isn’t something most people are looking for,
and I ask you to wait before you write this off. You see, the fabric of
the robe has a beautiful texture. It wasn’t towel-like or absorbent, just
a normal woven cotton with an exceptional pattern. (Because of the
intimate nature of robes, I did wash it carefully before wearing it. I
also realized I’d have to work around a few stains.)

The second thing I noticed after the texture was the logo that read, ” Crozer Cancer Center.” That’s when I realized that this robe had a story to tell too. A story of hardship and illness. And that’s when I got my idea: I wanted to give this robe a second chance. Instead of representing a devastating illness, it would represent a second chance.

I knew that the robe would need something to embellish it in order to truly
be Boho Chic. That’s why I decided the beautiful dress below would make a
great donor.

boho red before1

I LOVED this dress. However, when I tried it on, it got stuck. Real
stuck. Like, should-I-ask-a-stranger-for-help stuck. It was way too small
and I heard seams ripping as I finally managed to dance it’s way over my
head. The damage was done and the dress needed some serious TLC. Luckily,
so did the robe. So it was a match made in heaven.

**I spent a while researching Indian clothing to be sure I wasn’t altering
something sacred or deeply symbolic. I learned that this dress is actually
a tunic called a “kurti” and they can be worn for casual and formal
occasions. Anyone can buy them on Amazon.
And the wiki page even told me they were worn regularly in the 60s and 70s
as an “element of hippie fashion.” Score!**

The final piece I worked with was this vest. I was over ambitious and
wanted to find a leather jacket to refashion into a vest. However, all the
leather jackets at the thrift store were at least $20, and I found the one
below for $3! Plus it’s leather and by the looks of it, authentically
vintage. I decided to add one the the embellishments from the kurti to
make it feel more Bohemian.

boho vest Collage

Finally, I added a gold waistband to the bottom of the original kurti, and
used the fabric leftover from the top to make a headband.

boho red down

And then, I was done! I’m so happy with it! I loved that I was able to
take the robe from representing one of life’s challenges, to symbolizing a
new and beautiful beginning. I also adore that it gives me two new outfits.”

boho outift robe diagram

boho white 3

boho c1

boho c5


Laura from Accidental Seamstress has been busy stitching up a storm for us:


“To turn this sheer night gown into a fun Boho Chic tunic, I utilized some super fun
decorative stitches. My full time job is at a specialty sewing shop. I teach sewing
lessons on the machines we sell and I, obviously, sell them too. As such, I have
access to our entire inventory of machines. I do ALL my sewing at work
(#BestBossEver), using different floor models for different types of sewing. To help
me with my boho top, I used our Janome 15000 because it’s got 525 decorative sewing
stitches on it and I intended to use a LOT for this top :)

I started by covering up some existing embroidery that was on the back yoke of the
nightgown. After hours (no joke!) of seam ripping, I figured covering it would be
easier! So, I found some blue scrap crochet material and sewed it over the back yoke. It was pure luck that the crochet matched one of the embroidery colors!


thought the green, yellow, and turquoise were pretty together so that was my inspiration for the colors of my decorative stitching. Starting with turquoise thread, I began by sewing around the neckline and arm holes. I chose a different stitch and sewed a line next to it with yellow thread, and then green.


I kept repeating this until the entire front yoke was stitched. At the bottom hem of the shirt, I stuck with with blue thread only as I thought it would translate better in photos. Then, I decided to go for broke, and sew some of the decorative stitching down the front of my shirt. I measured and marked and went for it… and I loved it!


To give the shirt a little more whimsy, I stole the bottom ruffle from the nightgown
and sewed it into the armholes for a breezy short sleeve. I added decorative
stitching to the sleeve as well.


This refashion took me quite a while to finish and I went through at least 6
bobbins… but I really like how it turned out. It was fun to try out all those
decorative stitches. I was able to change the entire look of this shirt by having
fun with thread colors!”






And now let’s see what Sarah from Life is Beautiful has in store for us:

“I found this gorgeous wedding dress at a thrift store. Sure, it’s outdated and not within the time of what’s in style right now, but I can see why a certain lovely bride fell in love with this dress and wore it to her wedding! I am sure she looked absolutely stunning in this dress and I felt a little bad(?) as I cut into this dress and made it into something different.





As I was cutting the endless about of tulle, shoulder pads, giant bow, lace trimmings, lace, and more tulle, I thought of the lady that wore this dress to her wedding. I wish I could meet her so I could see pictures of her in this dress on her wedding day! This is the kind of dress I would have fell in love with back in the day, it’s so fancy and elegant and princess-y. What girl doesn’t want to feel like a true Princess on her wedding day? I wondered why she didn’t keep this dress and what made her donate it, maybe she has passed on to the next life and her children donated it, or she was just de-cluttering. Either way, I hope she would be happy with what I did with the dress and wouldn’t be too sad. I honestly felt like I should have a moment of silence to pay respect to the dress and the lady that wore it, So I did. For real. I am such a dork.


The lining underneath the lace bodice is cream while the lace is white so I dyed the whole dress to a cream color to match the bodice.



Then while the lace dyed to a beautiful cream color, the tulle got more yellow than I had wanted so I just ended up cutting off the tulle.

*Dyeing tips: Some of you readers have asked for tips on dyeing evenly. I get hot water in a bowl and pour the dye in and mix it well. Then I submerge the clothing item and constantly stir it around for about 20 mins. Like literally constantly without stopping. I like using the pink rubber gloves I get from an Asian market. Then I let it sit for 10 more minutes, constantly checking every couple of minutes to stir it around. Put it in a washer in cold water with a tiny bit of detergent, then dry on delicate. Hope that helps! :)


I don”t like any fabric go to waste, especially lace! I knew I wanted to do something with the leftover lace I cut off and after looking at the lace designs, these two designs caught my attention and I instantly thought of a headband to make.











It’s hard to catch the true color of light colored lace, but the lace color turned out to be a gorgeous cream, ivory color. I did A LOT to this dress, I dyed it to cream so the whole dress would be the same color, I raised the waist line so it wouldn’t be like a v-shape waist-line, cut off all the tulle, cut the length of the dress to right below the knee-length, took off the lace collar, lace-bib, cut off the lace cuffs and cut off the sleeves and made it smaller and shorter length, took in an inch from each side of the dress, cut off the train and the giant bow in the back and gathered the extra lace from the sides to add to the back.

I hope you liked my boho-chic refashion and I will hopefully see you next week, the very last challenge!”


Ok, now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite Boho Chic Refashion.

After you click on your favorite, be sure to go to the bottom of the poll and click vote, so your vote will be counted. Have fun!

The winner will be announced next Saturday morning.

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Refashion Runway: The Winner of the Maxi Skirt or Dress Challenge


What a great week full of amazing dresses!

Congratulations to the winner of this week’s dress challenge …

Sarah from Life is Beautiful.

And YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL in this AMAZING dress refashion!



Now on to the hard part again.

I just don’t even want to type these words, but we have to say “see you later” to the beautiful and talented Marisa from The Refash Stash today. :(

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Marisa has been so much fun to work with and to think she’s only been blogging for three months! I hope you will all go over and subscribe to her site so you can keep up with all of her amazing sewing projects. After all, she does “think outside the stitch”. (I love her tagline!)

And I also LOVE her Boho Chic Refashion and I know you will, too!

Let’s take a look:

“I started with two plain pieces of clothing. Really not bad as is, but come on this
is a Refashion competition!

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First off, what is a Boho chic outfit without a. vest!? I’m going to have to say
I dismantled my faux suede blazer…

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I added some character to my soon to be vest by cutting fringe and making triangle

image3 (3)

I used the material from the sleeves and made a purse!

image5 (4)

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Then I dyed my dress and added some embellishments!”

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image2 (5)

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Thank you so much, Marisa for being a part of Refashion Runway this season! We have loved all of your creations!

We’d like to thank you by sending you a Younique prize package of 3D mascara, lip gloss, and eyeliner, plus a cosmetic bag.


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

The Refashion Handbook

Please be sure to keep in touch and we’d love it if you’d sew along with us, too!


Next up, Refashion Runway: The Boho Chic Challenge.

Stay tuned…

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Summertime DIY: Make Too Small Pants into Shorts

We interrupt Refashion Runway to bring you this special announcement full of cuteness!

If your child’s growth spurt has resulted in some “high-waters” that are now too short or you have a bunch of pants with holes in the knees, turn them into some cute shorts. You could just cut them off and hem the bottom, or even leave the raw edge and let them fray, but a pop of color with a fabric cuff gives them a whole new look.


Nothing better than throwing on a cute pair of shorts and a t-shirt and heading out with the whole day ahead of you just see what the day will bring.







Even better when you’re wearing a pair of shorts made from a too small pair of pants.







To see the entire tutorial on how to make these cute DIY shorts,


Tutorial brought to you by:

The Renegade Seamstress.

Cuteness brought to you by:



Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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Maxi Skirt or Dress Sew Alongs


One of my favorite quotes!

Speaking of favorites, a few of my favorite former Refashion Runway Stars sewed along with us this week:

Susan from Second Chances by Susan took some time out of her busy schedule (she just finished a family wedding) and created a fun maxi for us.

looking right


Click here to see how Susan made her maxi dress.


And another favorite former Refashion Runway Star, Carissa from Carissa Knits, embraced the ombre trend and literally sewed it into her maxi skirt!

MaxiSkirt _CarissaKnits_Before_After

Click here to see how Carissa made her dress.


Tory Sonstroem, who has been sewing along with us this whole season so far, spruced up this plain maxi by adding some unique details.





Thanks for sewing along with us again this week, Tory!


Click here to vote for your favorite Maxi Skirt or Dress. The voting ends tonight at midnight.

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

Stay tuned…..

For more refashion inspiration:

Refashion Tutorials

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