White linen dress before refashioning.
Finished front and back (inset) of dress with ribbon embellishments.
Projects from Customizing Cool Clothes. Clockwise from top left: Flower Tank, Beaded Flower Blouse, Pink Jewel Sweater, Glamorous Party Skirt.
month, I took a week off and had a relaxing "staycation" at home to
spend some quality time sewing. During that week, I also decided to do a
major spring cleaning of my clothes closet. Anything I hadn't worn in a
year I packed up to give to charity. But a handful of items, while
outdated or impractical in some way, still had promise. These were put
in the "sewing hospital" marked for refashioning.
A simple (yet boring) white linen maxi-dress was an early target for a makeover.
bought this dress on a trip to Key West several years ago as the
perfect beach cover-up that could easily be worn to go dining out at a
patio café. Marking it for refashioning was a no-brainer-it's a blank
canvas ready for some creative inspiration. I thought of so many
possibilities, from simple dyeing to color-blocking with another linen
or cotton fabric, but in the end, I decided that the white linen was
just so fresh and summery that all it needed was some fun embellishment
to make it interesting.
began by changing the silhouette to make it more modern. I cut off the
bottom of the dress so it fell just above the knee, then cut out the
neckline to make it a lower scoop. Looks better already!
I took the plain weave fabric that I cut off the bottom of the dress
and used it to make my own bias tape to finish off the new neckline. I
then reattached the textured linen border fabric to the hemline.
for the fun part! I pulled out some fabulous ribbons made from the
selvedges of silk handwoven textiles by Wallace + Sewell, a wonderful
handweaving design group. I love the random patterning and frayed edges!
I knew the ribbons would be the subtle yet arty embellishment the dress
topstitched the ribbons down the front of the dress, leaving those
lovely frayed edges. Then I stitched one ribbon to the inside of the
neckline for a little extra design interest. I had one ribbon left over,
so I stitched it down the center back seam-now my dress looks fun
coming and going!
love my new one-of-a-kind refashioned dress, and it was an easy sewing
project! Refashioning projects are a great way to use up bits and pieces
in your stash, try a new embellishment technique, and upcycle a garment
that just needs a few tweaks to be fresh and modern. And the best part
is, when you refashion something you make it totally unique to you!
If you want more great refashioning and embellishment techniques check out Customizing Cool Clothes by
Kate Haxell. You'll find great ideas for adding beads, trim, ribbons,
sequins, appliqué, and hand sewing techniques to dress up something from
Refashioning clothes makes for great beginner sewing projects. Show us your latest creation in our gallery. Discover some creative ideas in our sale items and whip up something fun this weekend!