The Refashioners 2015 – Jenny

Jenny of Cashmerette and The Curvy Sewing Collective

Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

I’ll confess: as a sewist I mostly stay in my comfort zone. Wrap dresses, tanks, jeans and the occasional coat, and I do just fine with my TNTs! But when Portia invited me to participate in the Refashioners 2015 challenge I took a deep breath and decided to try something new for the first time. Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Unlike lots of people who learned to sew as teenagers, I never went through the “oooh I’ll hack up this old top” stage – no, I just jumped straight into the magical world of fabric shopping! But I’ve always been amazed by people like Portia and Charity Shop Chic, not to mention those refashioning challenges on the GBSB, so I thought I’d give it a go.Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Off to the charity shop I went (Goodwill, in America) and I immediately looked for the biggest men’s shirts I could find – my bust rivals the chest measurement of a large chap, and I wanted as much to go around! I did make a rookie mistake – I bought an LLBean shirt because it looked in great condition.

Turns out, that’s because it’s been treated with something to make it stain resistant and crease resistant – which also means it doesn’t really press… at all! So, please excuse upcoming not-entirely-pressed-looking darts.Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

For my inspiration, this shirt from Pinterest popped up and it immediately stole my heart. So chic! I love the use of the floral on the collar, button placket and sporty stripes up the sides. I had remants of a blue floral rayon that sadly didn’t weather well in the wash, but was fine for details, so I dug that out to accompany my shirt.

Here’s how I went about my refashioning:

Cut it apart – I removed the collar and stand, button placket and sleeves, and unpicked the breast pocket Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Placed an existing shirt pattern over the pieces, and cut around them – perhaps not entirely in the spirit of refashioning but it worked pretty well! I didn’t have enough width in the front once I put the darts in, but  that was OK because I still needed to add the floral stripes. So, I marked where the existing shirt piece came to on my pattern, folded to remove the dart, and cut a princess seamed side piece.  Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015I sewed the shirt back together at the shoulders and side seams. For the armholes, I made bias tape from the floral and attached it the usual way. Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

For the button placket, I cut a piece of the floral 3 inches wide by the length of the front, and interfaced it.Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

I attached it to the front by pressing over 5/8 to the wrong side, sewing the other raw side to the shirt front, pressing it in half, then topstitching it down.Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

I constructed the collar by sewing the interfaced collar stand to the shirt, making the collar, basting it to the stand, then placing the remaining stand piece on top and sewing around. Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Finally I made the buttonholes in the placket and used my Japanese buttons to finish it off! Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

I really like my final shirt! It’s a little boxy for me, and those darned darts won’t lie flat, but it was so fun transforming something mundane into a much more fun garment. Cashmerette - The Refashioners 2015

Next time, I’ll pay more attention to fiber content, and might even try draping instead of using a pattern (which I suspect is “cheat” refashioning!). I’m also excited to find interesting fabrics and use them… I’m a sucker for a big print. All in all, a successful comfort zone challenge!

Thanks Jenny!! LOVE this too! And no…using patterns in refashioning IS NOT cheating, lol!! Nor is the addition of fabric which as you can see here, elevates a plain white shirt from bland to edgy. I think that’s the big take away from this. That beautiful contrast between the floral and white and the substitution of the original collar and placket is something I think I might have to copy! As a side note, (excuse the pun!) the addition of gussets (love that word) in the side seams is a great way to add fullness and/or detail.  I have myself fallen prey to the unpressable fabric of some men’s shirts in the past!! I think they DO actually treat fabric with Teflon right?

You can find Jenny here and here. her Curvy Sketchbook is just one of the amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. So grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Stay tuned for more inspiration throughout August!


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The Refashioners 2015 – Ute

How refashioning a shirt can make you feel awesome

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

Seriously. I don’t even like wearing shirts. Or skirts. Or having my picture taken. But in this outfit I feel awesome and even cool and fashionable. That does not happen very often. Be prepared to see a lot of pics in this post.

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

To make it a little less boring we took the photos in different locations in the parliamentary district of Berlin, so you are also getting a little tour of one of my favorite spots in the city.

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

The Refashioners 2015 - UteWhen the lovely Portia invited me to be part of The Refashioners 2015 with a guest post on her blog, I said yes without hesitation. And then I found out who else is part of it this year and nearly fainted. I frantically browsed my “sewing inspiration” pinterest board and surprisingly almost immediately found something I really liked.

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

source; source
One phone call to my dad later and I even had a white shirt. That actually fit me without any changes and pretty much looked like the perfect white shirt to me. I was very reluctant to cut into it.

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

As you can see, my modifications were very moderate and at first I was skeptical if it would even classify as a “refashion”.

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

I simply chopped off the sleeves and free handedly drew a new high low hem line. The new hem was bound with wide satin bias binding which gives it a bit more structure and stability similar to the inspiration shirt. I tried to recreate the collar of the shirt on the right, but in the end liked the original collar better.

The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

Like I mentioned above, I don’t really like wearing skirts. But I had started to secretly covet a midi skirt for a while now.
To recreate the look I used the fabulous Brumby Skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen (which is part of the awesome prize package you can win for sewing along!) in the softest viscose ever (from Anna Ka Bazaar)

The Refashioners 2015 - UteThe Refashioners 2015 - Ute

I could be Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, right? (image source)

And that´s it! Now go find a shirt and get shirty with us! I already know what my next refashion will be.The Refashioners 2015 - Ute

ute 2Thank you so much Portia, for asking me to be part of The Refashioners! And since I already feel like I have just received an Oscar – a big thank you to my colleague Michael for taking these pictures and thanks for the shirt, Dad!

Ute, thank you so much! I LOVE this! Just goes to show how a few simple changes can turn a shirt into something that is uniquely you, right?! You can find Ute here and here. As she says, the Brumby Skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen is just one of the amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. So grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Stay tuned for more inspiration throughout August!

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A Potted History of The Refashioners!

With the launch of The Refashioners 2015 hurtling ever closer (2 weeks to go peops! Eeeep!) I thought it might be quite fun to take a look at how the series has evolved since it’s launch in 2011.  I’m aware that some of you who may have discovered this blog recently, may not be aware of the first 2 series and for those of you that have followed along before, it’s fun to see a visual representation of how much it has grown and also to remember some of the amazing refashions that have resulted!

Series 1 – 2011

The first series launched in 2011 with Casey, Dixie, Tilly, Karen, Zoe, et Moi! 6 participants in total and running over a week only. Participants were sent a variety of secret garments by me; with the challenge to turn them from “Meh” to amazing and share the results and the “how to” in the hope that it would inspire others to get refashioning…A potted history of The Refashioners at

I had only been sewing and blogging for about 18 months at this stage and The Refashioners was the seed of an idea. My blog had nowhere near the following that it does now. I was a blogging newbie and I was very much in awe of these ladies. So it took a bit of courage to ask them and it felt like I was punching well and truly above my weight in doing so! But I took a deep breath, asked, and they were all lovely and they all said yes; and The Refashioners was born! Casey and Zoe have both become Mum’s since these pictures were taken and Tilly has gone on to pretty colossal success following her appearance on GBSB. (I totally think she should release the pattern she used in this refashion!) And me, well  my sewing and style have evolved dramatically since then! (HOW much hair?!)

Series 2 – 2013

Fast forward to 2013 and the series has doubled in size and runs over a fornight as opposed to a week. Eleven participants this year: Liz, Tasha, Karen, Zoe, Lauren, Dixie, Sally, Marie, Elisalex, Me, and Joanne. Again, I sourced all garments and the participants had NO idea on what they were getting and this is what they came up with! Awesome right?!A potted history of The Refashioners at

This series was much more formed than the first. I had more of an idea of what I wanted and didn’t want for the series; and how to go about doing it.  I learnt from little hiccups from the previous series (never again would I buy a kilt. However purple velvet shirts are another story ;). I started sourcing garments way ahead of time.  Approaching participants with a little more notice too. Something that I had not considered as a novice blogger back in 2011, which seemed like a no brainer 2 years on. Bloggers tend to fill their schedules weeks, sometimes months ahead. If you want people to take part you kinda gotta give them time to fit it in, lol! Plus I knew more people in the sewing and blogging community because I’d been a part of it for longer. The 2013 series was awesome. The response was huge compared to the first series. To give you an idea, the surge in traffic and interest saw my little blog (temporarily!) jump to #1 in Bloglovin’s DIY/Craft blog category. I was seriously flying high after this one. All these ladies. Awesome. (Oh yeah…and yet another hairstyle for me,lol!). Both these series ran under my original blogging moniker of Miss P. Shortly after Series 2 I started working full time and all but dropped out of the blogosphere for 18 months.

Series 3 – 2015

In the spring of this year, circumstances meant that I could leave my full time job and start sewing and blogging regularly again, which made me very happy indeed! I rebranded from Miss P to Makery (I feel like I’m a little old to be clinging to the “Miss” moniker! Time to grow up. Sorta!)and migrated my blog over to a self hosted WordPress site with a new look and better functionality. One of the first things I then started doing was planning a new series of The Refashioners! TWENTY ONE participants this year including me (not pictured because there wasn’t space in the collage, lol!) Heather Lou, Ooonaballona, Zoe, Marie, Sunni, Wendy, Lisa Comfort/Sew Over It, Ingrid, Elisalex, Erin, Tasha, Marilla, Dixie, Jenny, Jenna, Sasha, Ute, Sarah, Andrea, Sally…and Me…A potted history of The Refashioners at

The first emails went out in March of this year (once again punching above my weight in terms of who I asked!) and this years series has required more planning and co-ordination on my part than ever before. Not only are there more bloggers than ever before but this year we are throwing the doors open to all and, for the first time ever, running a community challenge alongside the blogger challenge. (Huge prize package for that to be announced shortly!! Watch this space!) and there’ll be some media coverage too. The aim is to make this series bigger and more far reaching than ever before. To get as much of the sewing community refashioning in August (and beyond!) as we can. We want you all to #getshirty with us this August.  Be inspired by what these ladies are about to share with you right here on this blog in 2 weeks time. Grab a shirt and turn it into something amazing!

It remains to be seen what The Refashioners 2015 will hold. Although I’ve seen some of the completed refashions already and OH.MY.WORD!!  This year could be stratospheric! If the reaction when the line up was announced is anything to go by, (100s of new blog and social media followers and a surge of traffic crashing my blog!) the appetite for this series is definitely there!

We can’t wait!! Are you in??

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The Refashioners 2015 – We Want YOU too!!

This August, in a little over a fortnight, will see an awesome line up of 20 bloggers take The Refashioners challenge right here on this blog. For your delight and inspiration. But this year is going to be a little different….this year we’re throwing the doors wide open and inviting you to take the challenge too!!!

The Refashioners 2015 - we want you too

We want YOU to play along with us! That’s right!  We want YOU to be a Refashioner and take part in this years challenge alongside the bloggers you’ll see here. This years theme is “Get Shirty” and we want you to share your awesome shirt refashions with us too. What’s more, there’ll be an AWESOME prize package for the best of the best at the end of the challenge!! (Watch this space for further deets on that!) Here’s how it works:

  • The community challenge will run from today and alongside the blogger challenge for the whole of August. You can start sharing now to enter!! Entry deadline for the prize package is 31st Aug 2015. Now extended to 27th September! Midnight GMT.
  • You can share your shirt refashions via Instagram using the hashtag #therefashioners2015 OR on our dedicated Pinterest board (you’ll need to follow the board and then request an invite from me to join in order to pin to it. You can email me at kitschycoo(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk with your email address or leave it in the comments below and I’ll add you to the board). UPDATE: It may be easier if you just let me know your pinterest username!! You do not need a blog to take part.
  • Throughout September we will select and share your best and most awesome shirt refashions right here and ask readers to give their views.
  • A winner will be selected by a panel of Refashioners (past & present) at the end of September
  • Refashions must predominantly involve a button down man’s shirt. What you do with it from there is entirely down to you!!
  • You can enter as many different refashions as you like

So what do you say? Fancy joining us and be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize at the end of it?? Well get refashioning, pinning and sharing; and watch this space for an announcement regarding the AWESOME prize package we’re lining up for you!!!

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