January 6, 2011


For clothes transformations, I was inspired by New Dress A Day – many thanks to Marisa!  

Shaun and the girls got me a new sewing machine for my birthday this year!!  The time is ripe for me to tie together my new machine, mad (i.e. basic) sewing skills, and Marisa inspirations.

Singer Curvy = Sweet Clothes!!

I headed over to the Salvation Army to find some old dresses.  I got there on their 50% off clothes day.  (THRIFTY TIP:  According to Thrifty Nana, thrift and second-hand stores have daily rotating 50% off discounts to move merchandise off their shelves quickly.)

This dress was a buck, and from the looks of it, that's all that should've been paid.  The dress fit me terribly and had a horrible neck gathered wrap thing-y that made me feel like I was wearing a cumberbund around my neck.

Before: Shiny and shapeless!

First things first, I cut out the weird sleeve-pouf-reinforcers.  They were not quite shoulder pads, but the result was equally '80’s-ish. 

'80's begone!

I had a shirt in mind for this dress’s second life.  I thought that the shiny fabric would actually look nice once the cut of the piece was brought into this decade.  I hacked off most of the skirt, and cut the sleeves halfway off to make short sleeves.  I folded up the raw edges to be about a one-inch cuff and straight-stitched.

See-ya sleeves!

The biggest problem was what to do with the baggyness.  Adding MORE gathers was clearly out of the question.  I had to mess around awhile until I figured out how to bring it in - a wrap shirt!   

I cut the front of the dress up to the point where the neck-wrap-thingy came together on the bodice, sewed a small seam on the raw edges, and used a couple of feet of the skirt leftovers to make ties.  

Tie strips!
I sewed one long tie strip to each of the open ends of bodice.  The bodice pieces will criss-cross on top of each other.  The inner layer's tie slips through a slit I made on the side seam, wraps around my back, and then ties to the outer layer's tie in front.

I added some belt-loops to the back to make sure the wrap stays in place, and done!

Back belt-loop installation!

Lori gave her stamp of approval in person!

After - Hot Thrifty Mamas!

Seriously friends, you can do this.  I spent less than $3 (I bought matching thread, which wasn't strictly necessary), and have a really cute shirt that I can wear to work.  A little imagination and basic sewing skills are all you need.  You can wear something cute and call yourself a clothing designer, all for one dollar.  Genius!  More of these to come.~Ethne


WOM-MOMS said...


Hannah said...

I am also a Marissa fan!!! she inspired me to make a blog about my upcycles as well!!! Great job on your new shirt!!! looks nice!!!



Anonymous said...

I think this turned out great! I am a Mariss fan but have been scared to try it myself. I would have never looked at that dress and thought wrap shirt, but it worked. Great job!