The Refashioners 2016: Megan

The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

Hey there Refashioners!! Refashioning is how I got my start in sewing, at the age of 10, ripping up my own clothing (and sometimes my mum’s… sorry mum!) and making it into something new, and to this day I still have a massive soft spot for ripping up something old and reimagining it.

Needless to say, I was a tad over excited when Portia asked me to get involved in the Refashioners challenge this year, and told me this year was all about denim. I thought YES I’ve got this! All those early teen years I spent ripping up my jeans and turning them into tragic pleated mini skirts and gigantic bell bottoms were worth it, for this very moment. I am SO prepared!

You know that whenever you feel that way, all your creativity is going to up and leave the building right? Of course. Enter giant blank brain period in which I couldn’t figure out what to do.  Cue a lot of panic and stress eating.

But thankfully after a lot of procrastinating, Pinterest and peanut M&M’s, I decided to go with something I’ve never done with jeans before (and something I will actually wear) – a dress!

I wanted to keep the silhouette very simple so I could play around with style lines. My pattern modifications were really simple. I started with my Eucalypt woven tank pattern, and drew lines all over it (like a madman!) where I wanted new style lines.The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

I then cut these out, and added seam allowance. I decided to go with ¼” seams for this as I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of fabric to work with.The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

 

The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen I also straightened out the hemline, as you couldn’t pay me to try and sew a neat curved hem on hefty denim. No thanks.

Then I found my husbands most hideous and ill fitting jeans (insert evil laugh) and cut them up! HA HA HA!

The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

I used two pairs of his jeans, a grey pair (that had somehow both shrunk in length and stretched in the waist, how?) and a light blue faded pair (of which the pockets had ripped and been repaired more times than I could count, until they finally ceased to exist). I quickly realized that the widest pattern panels weren’t going to fit, so I also used some dark denim offcuts from a skirt I had made.

The dress actually was pretty quick to sew – the hardest bit was matching up the centre front, as it was just so thick. A lot of pressing, and a lot of grading back the seams and I must admit I am still not 100% thrilled on how that section sits, but I give in! You win denim.The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

I bound the neckline and arms with grey chambray bias tape (left over from another sample I had made, I love using up all the leftovers).  For the hem, I decided to embrace the current fray trend – and sewed a row of topstitching about ½” from the hemline to prevent the fraying going too high in the future, then I roughed up the raw edges with sandpaper, then washed and tumble dried the dress a few times.The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

So that’s it my dears! A denim dress created completely from my husbands tears! Seriously though, I really love how this dress turned out, and even more shockingly, it’s now my husbands favourite dress. Winning. Which just goes to show, crime and refashioning do indeed pay 😉The Refashioners 2016 - Megan Nielsen

Happy refashioning to all of you, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else has created!

Meg xoxo

Back in 2009 I started sewing, and had never read a blog. Meg’s was one of the very first blogs I ever read. In fact, one of the very reasons I started a blog in the first place. Not even kidding! So if you think Meg was excited to be asked, imagine how excited I was when she said yes??!!  Perfect example and explanation of slashing pattern pieces to allow you to piece from smaller scraps of fabric. Just gives you so much more flexibility with pattern placement, not just in refashioning but when flat fabric is scant too. Great for stash/scrap busting. Such a striking starburst effect too. Killer job Meg! You can find  Meg here or here. And if you’re inspired to get your refashion on and enter the Community Challenge and be in with a chance of winning some epic prizes…DO IT! Deadline for entries is 30th Sept. Midnight GMT.

The Refashioners 2016 - Huge Prize Package

….I think you’ve got the idea now right? Essentially we want you to refashion some jeans! (You can find the full details/small print of the brief here). BUT, if you want to be in with a chance of winning one of these amazing prize packages you need to SHARE that refashion with us in one of the following ways:

  • On Instagram: Share a pic using the hashtags #therefashioners2016  and #jeanius
  • On Pinterest: There is a community board here where you can pin your makes. (You will need to request an invite to join)
  • On Facebook: There is a community board here where you can post your makes (You will need to request an invite to join)

Only entries shared via the above 3 methods will be entered into the competition. Closing date for entries is 30th September 2016 Midnight GMT. Good luck!!

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18 Comments

  1. Helen S August 5, 2016

    This dress looks good from all angles, I was trying to make out if you still had some of the original seams left in. Particularly satisfying that you made it from stuff you already had in, albeit from the other side of the wardrobe.

    Reply
    • Megan Nielsen August 6, 2016

      Thanks so much Helen! Yes i did try and leave some of the original seams in – i loved the worn in look so i tried to incorporate them in a few places 🙂 I must admit i was really surprised by how accomodating my husband was, he was shockingly ok with me ripping up his denims hehe. Hugs! Meg xoxo

      Reply
  2. Sewing princess August 5, 2016

    I really like this idea! Have loads of man’s shirts and I could never come up with a clever idea to elegantly get rid of the pocket area! Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Sarah August 5, 2016

    So great! That central starburst looks pretty good from here!

    Reply
    • Megan Nielsen August 6, 2016

      Thanks Sarah! I have to admit matching up the seams was definitely tricky with the bulk of the denim, but i am so happy with how it turned out 🙂 Meg xo

      Reply
  4. Deb August 5, 2016

    I’m loving this series!!!!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 5, 2016

      Yay! So glad!!😀

      Reply
  5. Audrey August 5, 2016

    Yea! Love Megan and everything she does! Should have known she’d rock this challenge.

    Reply
    • Megan Nielsen August 6, 2016

      Audrey i am blushing why are you so lovely?! Thanks so much for the kind words – i’m so glad you liked what i came up with 🙂 xo

      Reply
  6. Abbey August 5, 2016

    OMGoodness! Meg!!!! This is too cute!! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Portia, this year’s theme is brilliant. So many amazing creations and so many talented sewists out there.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 5, 2016

      So glad you’re enjoying it Abbey!

      Reply
    • Megan Nielsen August 6, 2016

      YAY! Thanks Abbey! So glad you like it 🙂 I feel pretty happy with how it turned out phew! xo

      Reply
  7. Tegan August 5, 2016

    So since I live to be behind the times, all the refashioning of THIS year, reminded me of the refashioning from LAST year, and I turned a huge but fabulous men’s shirt in a cute-as-hell pencil skirt. (The brand was called DUCK HEAD. I love it.)

    So, I felt I had to tell you. 🙂

    But I LOVE this denim dress! I hope it’s comfortable to wear? But it looks so perfect for fall! I could see it going for hot days with sandals and a hair scarf, and cold days with a turtleneck underneath and tights and boots! Love love!

    Tegan

    Reply
    • Megan Nielsen August 6, 2016

      Thanks so much Tegan! It’s definitely super comfy to wear – i was worried that the seam bulk would be uncomfortable, but so far so good! And I am so on board with your fall styling – it’s actually winter in Perth right now where i live, and i’ve been wearing it with a turtleneck underneath allll the time 🙂 I’m just hoping it won’t be too hot in summer! hugs xo

      Reply
  8. Helen August 5, 2016

    Great idea and the resulting dress is so cool!

    Reply
    • Megan Nielsen August 6, 2016

      Thanks so much Helen! I’m just really glad the idea worked out hehehe. hugs xo

      Reply
  9. Sasha August 7, 2016

    Great idea and I love that you left the hem raw … the result is so fresh!

    Reply
  10. Kelly August 11, 2016

    Yay! Great tutorial on slashing pattern for piecing.

    Reply

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