Announcing The Refashioners 2017!!!

Announcing The Refashioners 2017!!!

I know some of you have been wondering where the dickens this years series of The Refashioners has got to, right? I mean, right about now we’re usually just days away from launching into  a month of inspiration from some amazing sewing bloggers before the community challenge gets underway after that.

Well, this year we’re doing things a little differently. And while there are quite a few exciting bits of info I need to share with you, I’ve had to break it up into little chunks so I can handle it all with out blowing a circuit in my brain. (There’s ALOT going on this year). So for now, let’s start with the dates and the theme:

  • The theme this year is …….(mimes drumroll)….

The Refashioners 2017 - Pinterest Board

Yep! SUITS! Think fugly out of style suits from the 80s that you wouldn’t be seen dead in….and you’re there! It’s our most challenging one yet! But before you pass out from fear (or is that just me?) take a look at the dedicated pinterest board I’ve set up to help you get your creative brains whirring with ideas! (Full rules etc to follow. Just start wrapping your head around the basic idea for now!)

But wait….before that…you’re gonna have the blogger element of the series providing you with loads of inspiration, tutorials  and tips to get you going! So mark these dates in your diary (and make sure you’re following me either here or on IG to stay updated):

  • Blogger Element: Running from 1st Sept to 30th Sept this year. Why? Firstly, summer is a crazy time and we all get less time to sew because of all the lovely stuff going on. Secondly, this theme….suits…just felt more Autumnal to me. Simple as!
  • Community Challenge: This will run right from 1st Sept to 31st October. There will be the usual phenomenal prize package for our winner(s) at the end.
  • Hasthtags: Do love a good punny hashtag to go with this series. So this year we have #suitsyou and #therefashioners2017 (not so punny….but very necessary if you want me to find your entry on social media once we get to that stage!)

So yeah, I’m just gonna drop this little tantalising morsel of info on you, buggar off to Greece for a few days, and I’ll be back next week to reveal the “Oh my freakin’ goodness” blogger line up we have for you this year 😉

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

Refashion: Vintage Jersey Dress to Tunic Shirt

Finding time to blog my makes (or indeed sew much for myself) has been a struggle for the latter part of 2016. Since The Refashioners in fact. Many things last year took their toll on my sewjo ( What a bloody awful year it was!) and as a result I’ve neglected this blog for the last few months.  I think I’ve been having some kind of  existential blogging crisis. For a while I questioned whether I was just falling out of love with blogging and had my head turned by Social Media. Recently I’ve been more inclined to share on IG. It’s quick. And writing a blog post is not. But I don’t think it’s that….VINTAGE JERSEY DRESS REFASHION (5)

It’s more to do with my sewing and me personally. Creatively I’ve been in a bit of a rut. Emotionally I’ve felt the need to go into my shell and hibernate for a while. I’m doing a gazillion things….but none of them “properly”.  (Which I hate). I have a gazillion ideas.  But precious little time or energy. And when presented with a time window I can use, I’m paralyzed by indecision and procrastination; or worse still, rushing and bodging! So none of them are reaching fruition. I think I just need to regroup.  Take a long deep breath.  How do you clear a creative log jam? Sometimes absorbing myself in simple, mindless tasks is enough for me. Things that occupy me just enough, but not too much. And as evidence of that, right after this little simple refashion, I sewed up something else, that I am really proud of and will share  with you, I promise. But in the meantime….here’s my little icebreaker…


Unmistakable vintage M&S label. Back when it was called St Michael! Oh yeah, and pre vanity sizing! This dress dates from the late 70’s I’d say. LOVE the geometric print and thick jersey fabric.  Love the button placket and mandarin collar. Not so keen on the frumpy bottom half. A younger sewist with better legs than I, may choose to modernise this little beauty by going down the mini dress route. On the right person that would look ace. I am not that person 😉


So I altered the bottom section to reflect one of my favourite details. A shirt tail hem. Very simple alteration. Lay the garment flat with side seams (in the centre of this pic) pinned on top of eachother.  (Doing this ensures any alteration cuts you make will be even & centred) Draw out your curves in chalk making sure the lines are at 90 degree angles at the folded edges that are the CF and CB (this prevents a peak or wedge in the centre of your curved line when you open the garment out after cutting). The curves meet at the side seam.


I pinned along my chalk lines to stop anything shifting as I cut. Cut just underneath the line of pins. I eyeballed an approximate hem allowance. I wasn’t feeling the need to be precise, but you could always mark one in. To finish the hem I simply serged the raw edge, turned under and stitched in place. (Where the curves meet at the side seams, it helps to unpick a little of the side seams to give you room to manoeuvre and turn under neatly).


This pic better shows the effect before and after cutting. Apologies for the poor quality. A) It’s winter. B) I totally neglected to take a proper before photo.


A simple alteration which makes this garment much more wearable for me. It’s super warm and cosy too! It’s bugging me a little that I didn’t swap to black thread to sew this hem. It didn’t seem as obvious in the gloomy light I was sewing in at the time.  I may go back and change that I think. I have a “sewlution” this year. I don’t normally do resolutions. But if I have one sewing related one this year it’s this: ” Sew less, just sew it better”.  If I’m going to fully break out of my rut, niggles like that are not going to help. Best I go back and sort that hem out then!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

50 + Seriously good denim refashions


Very shortly I shall be taking back control of my blog (after a few days in Italy sans kiddo that is!). But before that, I really really really wanted to collate some of our makes for this years series of The Refashioners in one place, for posterity. A one stop shop for jeans refashioning inspiration if you like.  I seriously can’t include everyone’s (there were over 700 posts on Instagram alone!!) So I’ve included a large selection (60) of them here for posterity. Including some that haven’t been shared on here before. (All the rest can be found on the various Pinterest, IG and FB pages). I have a question for you at the bottom of the page too….

Just click on the image to go to the source….

Elisalex - By Hand London Erin - Calivintage Gabby Young - Gabberdashery Heather - Closet Case Files Marila Walker Portia Lawrie - Makery Megan Nielsen Zoe - So Zo... Joost de Cock - Make my Pattern Kate - The Fold Line Rosie Martin - DIY Couture Wendy Ward - MIY Collection Sasha Werner - Secondo Piano Jenna Bennet - Just Sew Jenna Colette Patterns Ingrid - We the Sewing Mirjam Liechti Rachel - House of Pinheiro Beth - Sew DIY Deborah Makes Felix Quentin Carly in Stitches Deepti Sews for Sanity The Secret Costumier Salty Mom Stitchless TV My Petite Sophie Mindy Brown Emma Bajema The Petite Cat Stitch & Cappucino Men Sew Rosa Lemos Rosa Lemos Thumblenina Helen's Closet Selmin - Tweed & Greet Stitch Remedy Morris Sews Messy Essy Makes Trish Stitched Lady Sewalot Falafel & Bee Susan Young Sewing Sewing with Kate Sara Keel Vision of Ashlar Handmade by Carolyn Natasha Sniatowsky The Silk Hills Think Tran Vera Luna Vera Luna Martiarti Linzi Taylor Denim Biker Jacket Vicki Halliday Denim Sandals Fadanista Saskia van Dantzig

So, that was jeans. We did shirts last year. So my question to you is…..what in the hell do we do next year?? Any ideas?? I want your input for The Refashioners 2017. Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see us tackle next. And who knows, that may just be the theme next year!

Back in a few days after some pasta and vino in beautiful Italy!

Big hugs!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

The Refashioners 2016: And the winners are….

This is a really exciting decision to reveal! But HARD. Man this was hard! This years challenge, I think it’s fair to say, has captivated people’s imagination, creativity and ingenuity more than any series before it. Maybe it’s because we ALL have old pairs of jeans that we keep meaning to “do something with” and this challenge has given us the impetus to actually get on and do it.  Maybe it’s because denim is such an awesome, versatile and timeless fabric. Maybe it’s because jeans themselves throw up so many challenges that the only option is to take the ingenuity up a gear in order to overcome them. Maybe the inspiring makes that have been appearing all over this blog & the various social media channels has opened our eyes to the potential in old pairs of jeans. That jeans refashioning is NOT inevitably going to end up looking all “Becky home Ecky” (unless you want it to which is equally fine of course!). Maybe, just maybe, it’s a combination of all of those things. This years challenge has achieved everything I wanted it to….and then some!! I have been FLOORED by the amount of time, thought and creative energy that has gone into everyone’s makes.  Which of course has made it all the harder to arrive at this decision. But arrive at a decision we must. So without further ado…



This dress by Messy Essy had me (well, all of us) floored from the moment we saw it. The sheer AMOUNT of work that went into this is almost enough on it’s own. That intricate central panel of  quilt pieced cubes itself took days of painstaking work. When I first saw that on it’s own (before it became a dress!) it occurred to me that you could frame it and put it on a wall as a piece of art in it’s own right. Add to that the careful thought and placement of the various hues of blue to achieve not only a 3d cube effect, but an ombre 3d cube effect!!! Hello!! Then, add to that the way it sits perfectly as part of the overall design of the dress, brilliantly executed and perfectly suited to the wearer. The simple elegance of this dress when worn, belies the intricacy and skill needed to make it. All of this making “the cuboid dress” a worthy winner of the first prize.The Refashioners 2016 - Your Makes - Vol I

You can read more about Essy’s process and thoughts on the challenge here.



Our special recognition prize goes to Selmin for this awesome denim sweatshirt. The general consensus is that it was just so well executed, so wearable. Edgy, bang up to date, makes clever use of the original seams. The colour blocking is so well considered and the subtle sashiko detailing acts to tie all of those blue hues together even further. I’ve heard it said that many people prefer their refashions not to look like they were made from jeans. I don’t think this does, but it does subtly nod to the garment’s original incarnation, and denim’s workwear history; and plays a little homage to the way clothes used to be repaired rather than thrown away. Yet it does all this whilst looking modern and, more importantly, really reflecting the wearers individual style. And I just love it for all of those reasons. (And actually would like to steal it for myself!!)The Refashioners 2016 - Your Makes - Vol 2

You can read more about Selmin’s process and thoughts on the challenge here.


It has honestly been astounding, and at times quite emotional (I know I’m a sop) each time a new entry popped up.  And to read all of your blog posts and hear what you have gained from this challenge. That it was hard, but you were glad you did it. That it made you realise that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you realise how much more you are capable of. In many instances that this refashioned garment is your proudest make to date. That you will never look at a pair of old jeans in the same way again. That you’ve caught the refashioning bug despite having never really considered it before. Seeing all of those makes and hearing all of your thoughts on this challenge, has made me so proud. Proud that I set the ball rolling on this challenge. But the truth is, I am not responsible for all of this. You all are.  I just set the scene and lit the touch paper. And just LOOK where our sewing community took it. THAT I am proud to be a part of.

Thank you to everyone who lent their energy to this years challenge. And while you may not have won “the big prize”, you have inspired me. And you have inspired your fellow sewers. And you have proven yet again how amazing our sewing community is. Hopefully you will have taken new things from this challenge that you never knew about yourself and about refashioning. And those are all wins. Bigger ones in my book. So thank you.

Question is……what the hell do I come up with to top this next year????!!!!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 34 |