Monday, June 22, 2009

Wardrobe Refashion Update


It’s been almost two months since I signed a two-month contract at Wardrobe Refashion.  Since my contract is almost up, here’s an update. 

First I wanted a work space.  I have a small house, and I didn’t want to spend money, or very much time.  Here’s what I came up with using stuff I already had and a corner of another room. 



If I want to hide the nook, I can pull the screen.  Given my budget of $0.00, I’m pretty happy.  The window looks out on the back yard, and I’m close to the coffee pot. 

Now about my “refashions.”  My goal is to make my clothes more wearable.  Using what I’ve learned from people like Imogen at Inside Out Style, my approach has evolved around


…which make the most difference in whether I like my clothing.     

Here are some results.  I’ve forgotten some ‘before’ shots.  Sorry.



This is a favorite.  The “before” shot didn’t turn out.  Waah.   

This thrifted sweater was too big and had patch pockets at the hip.  Plus, it’s a brand that I normally don’t shop.  But the color flatters me, and it’s nicely made.  I took off the pockets and took in the whole thing, putting in a curve in for shape.  I also shortened the sleeves.  

Then, I replaced the plastic buttons with hand-made ceramic ones I bought when I was—get this—ten years old!  I had just enough, and they fit.  





With this one, I forgot to take a “before” shot.

I bought this thrifted blouse because it’s very well made and I love linen in the summer.  But it was a beige-y-taupe that’s unflattering on me. 

My plan was to remove the color and dye it blue.  But even after hours and hours of Rit color remover, the blouse ended up yellow. 

Because I couldn’t decide what to do with the yellow, I wore it this way and got lots of compliments.  I decided this is a good color for me.   

I shortened the blouse because it hit right at my widest point.  Here’s a close-up of the embroidery—which I didn’t originally like, but have now come to appreciate. 


Lesson:  refashioning forces me to think outside my preconceived notions of what works, and I get more variety in my closet!


And now, because it’s late, I’m going to show a two-in-one that I accomplished today. 


This top was kind of cheap to begin with, so I used it to experiment with dyes.  I was aiming for something like the color of the sweater above. 

In addition, it was too wide and long to flatter, so I took it in, and cut off the bottom. 




100_1540Here’s my current dye collection.  For this top, I used a watered down solution of Rit “Wine” and “Dark Brown.” 



100_1544Now, Before I show you the “after” of this top, here’s the second part of the two-in-one. 

I like the print of this blouse, but the blouse doesn’t fit.  I decided to make a summer scarf out of the ties. 





When I finished the scarf and top I wore them together.  Here’s a blurry photo.  You can see the print of the scarf, where it was sitting on my shoulder in front of the camera.   I don’t feel like putting up a non-blurry photo of myself today—but you get the idea.

I think the top color came out pretty well.  Five years ago I would never have worn this color, but today it makes me feel good. 


moral of the story:

I’ve had a great time with my wardrobe refashioning, and I’ll definitely do the contract again.  More later this week.

♥   ♥   ♥             

All rights reserved, The Blue Kimono.  All photos were taken by me and may not be used or reproduced without permission. 


Penney said...

You look just fabulous!! I wish I could sew.. What a super job and great, great vision you have .
Big hugs,

Eleonora Baldwin said...


Next time, if you feel like it, sharpen the focus, so we may get a glimpse of your smile.

Lola xx

Anonymous said...

Okay Ms Sallymandy! You are one clever girl! I had no idea what wardrobe refashioning was - in fact, it never occured to me that people do that. What a GREAT idea! I wish that I lived close to you so I could commission you to do some projects for me - the examples that you showed us are amazing! You are one smart cookie, my friend!

Frugal Scholar said...

Very impressive. I admire your restraint! I just (sort of ) cleaned out my closet and found some nice stuff I had forgotten about.

Pyzahn said...

Hmmm. Very creative. I did not know you could remove dye from fabric. I think the linen top turned out great. Hmmmm. I need to revisit my wardrobe. And the blouse dye color looks good. Thanks for the ideas.

The WalMart Vegan said...

You did a great job! Love the colors and the pieces you picked to work with.

WendyB said...

I love remaking things!

ceecee said...

I love looking at things in new ways but I can't sew worth a darn. Mostly because I just don't have the time to learn how. It is a skill that is always on the back burner. Bravo to you!

Diana said...

Looks like you had some successful projects! I love seeing people re-fashion their clothes into something new.

Anonymous said...

I loved this. I wish I knew more about sewing and altering because I always see garments that I love something about - colour or fabric etc. and would love if I could just shorten or narrow or change the arms or something similar. I don't have the skills though. Maybe I should get a sewing machine and practice because it's quite inspiring to see what can be done!

Rosaria Williams said...

Great job remaking, recovering and recycling.

Ingrid Mida said...

Well done! Have you considered extending this project? It seems like you really had fun with it!

Stephanie N. said...

I'm so excited to see what you've been refashioning! The top that you dyed came out a very pretty color. That sweater looks like it was quite a project, especially shortening the sleeves, because you had to detach and re-attach the cuffs, didn't you? That must have been a bear. And how neat that you got to use buttons you bought when you were 10! You know I love it when there's an interesting story behind a garment's evolution...

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

Great work! Many success stories for you.

Awesome Sara said...

i wish i knew how to alter things, i would have saved so much $$$. you look so cute!!!

sallymandy said...

Penney: You're too kind. I think the people who post regularly on WR really have the vision. I did enjoy my projects, though.

Lola: Thank you, kind pal. STill feel a little iffy about the photo thing.

Audrey: really, you're too kind. Some day I should post the mistakes. My skills are pretty minimal; still, I have fun. And I do appreciate the encouragement!

Thanks, FS. I'm driven by desperation borne of having very few clothes ready-made that fit me and I like. I guess I'm really picky.

Pyzahn: Well, this was my first attempt at removing the color, and as you can see, it did not remove all the color. Turned out okay though. :)

Thanks, MM. I like your projects, too.

Wendy: I do, too! Thanks for the visit.

TCH: I'm thankful I learned my rudimentary skills many years ago. I don't think I'd have the patience to do it now--especially since it involves a machine.

Diana: thanks! And I appreciate your visit.

Vegetable Assassin: Thanks! If you have any interest in sewing, you can do a little with not much experience. I actually find this refashioning less stressful than sewing something from scratch because the dollar investment in a thrifted item is so much smaller. If I mess up, I've not lost much, and I've learned a lot about how garments are put together.

Lakeviewer: Thanks, it feels good to recycle!

Ingrid: I have indeed. I'm going to extend my contract. There are many benefits.

Imogen: You've helped me immensely to define what works for me, and so I owe you!

Sara: Aw, shucks. It does take time, and that's time I could be earning money, so it's a tradeoff.

Mardel said...

Well done and so encouraging. You might even inspire me to stop kvetching and actually get around to my own refashioning.

Duchesse said...

I like how you used the buttons from your youth! For me, changing buttons is the best, easiest way to improve most anything that buttons.

"Oh, just dye it" is a slippery slope, as you have seen. Some dyes work, look rich and vibrant, other fabric on;t take dye or the results are disappointing ,which you don't know till you try.

Seeker said...

Such great work done, darling!!!!
Oh I love to see you in that colour!!!!!
Hmmmm.... rethinking colour makes me happy and with a smile ;)

Keep the good work gorgeous!