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The Refashioners 2017: Blogger line up revealed…!!!

Announcing The Refashioners 2017!!!

So this is it! The countdown has begun once again people!!! For the entire MONTH of September (launches Fri 1st Sept) this blog will again play host to an awesome line up of makers ready to take on The Refashioners challenge!! What’s more, you can take part too and be in with a chance of winning a FANTASTIC prize. Your part of this challenge runs from the start of September right through until the end of October! More deets on that and how to enter in a future post coming soon. So stay tuned for that!)

For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge, (this is the 5th series) participants are challenged to refashion a garment for your delight and inspiration,  basically to highlight how cool, creative and ecologically and ethically sound refashioning old garments actually is. The kicker is, they don’t get to decide what that garment is. (insert evil laugh here) This year we’re tackling old suits. Yep, The Refashioners is all about all those unloved and out of style suits (think 80’s double breasted and you’re there)  languishing in wardrobes and charity shops everywhere, and showcasing some inspirational ways to reuse, rework, and reimagine the classic 2 piece suit. You can take a little peak at what we hope to achieve this year over on our dedicated pinterest board.

So without further ado and with mucho excitement, I am chuffed to pieces to  announce this years STELLAR line up!!!!


Beth Wood: Knitter. Dressmaker. Pattern designer. Art Director & Graphic Designer.  Blogger. I was fortunate to have the opportunity of hanging out with Beth when she was over in the UK last summer. A nicer lady you could not meet. You can find Beth on Instagram or via her site

Liz Bryson: Prolific and long time refashioner, stitcher and blogger. Liz’s blog is one of the very first I discovered back in the day and her refashions are always inspiring and always stylish. I think she must’ve finally forgiven me for the pair of leather trousers I made her refashion for our 2013 series (!) and she’s back again this year! Whoop! You can find Liz on Instagram and via her site

Joost de Cock: If you followed last year’s series then you were likely as blown away by Joost’s contribution as the rest of us. This guy is a bona fide genius. Stitcher. Shoemaker. Designer & coding genius behind makemypattern.com (soon to be freesewing.org). Fierce admiration for this guy. You can find Joost on Instagram or via his site.


Gabby Young: Stitcher. Knitter. Vlogger and Singer. My goodness what a voice too. (Seriously). On top of that the most infectiously upbeat and uplifting person you are likely to meet. Fact. You can find Gabby on Instagram or via her channel or music site

Elena Rosa Brown: Stalked this lady quietly for a while on IG, exchanging likes and the odd comment on each other’s posts. I love Elena’s pared back, laid back style and mindful approach to making. You can find Elena on Instagram or via her blog.

Sasha Werner: Knitter. Dressmaker. Pattern designer. Weaver. Photographer. Blogger. Basically, endlessly creative and talented. And did I mention stylish?? Like….ridiculously stylish.  Like….even in pyjamas. You can find Sasha on Instagram or via her site.


Heather Lou: Prolific designer, maker, educator and founder of Closet Case Patterns. Probably single handedly responsible for making us all realise we CAN actually sew our own jeans. Dog Lover. Currently washing her dishes in her bathtub while she renovates her kitchen. And learns French. And runs her business.   You can find Heather Lou on Instagram or via her site

Emily Tan: Dressmaker. Pattern hacker. Blogger. Dentist. (yep, dentist). Pink hair dabbler and winner of Simplicity’s Sewing Challenge Best Blogger 2016  You can find Emily on Instagram or via her site.

Laura Huhta: One half of the Uber stylish Finnish clothing and pattern line, along with her sister Saara. Named clothing have been  long time supporters of The Refashioners behind the scenes.  This year Laura (on the right)  is taking up the challenge herself! So excited! You can find Laura (& Saara) on Instagram or via their site


Claire Louise Hardie: Costume designer, teacher, sewing producer on The Great British Sewing Bee and author of The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric. And as well as running her busy North London studio, currently undertaking her Masters Degree at The London College of Fashion. Phew!   You can find Claire-Louise on Instagram or via her site

Allie Olsen: Pattern designer and founder of indie pattern marketplace Indiesew. (Love the concept and community element behind Indiesew) Dog lover. Edible gardener. DIY enthusiast.  You can find Allie on Instagram or via her site

Rachel Pinheiro: What can I say about this lady. Tall. Brazillian. Gorgeous. Prolific (and highly skilled)  sewer. Bundle of joyful enthusiasm and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  You can find Rachel on Instagram or via her blog


Jasika Nicole: Actor, artist, maker. Peanut butter obsessive (oh I hear ya!) Honestly, stitching aside (also awesome), you HAVE to check out this artwork. LOVE.  You can find Jasika on Instagram or via her blog.

Rachel Walker: One half of sewing community hub The Fold Line.  Along with partner in crime Kate, they bring you news and views on all things sewing from all across the online sewing community. If it’s happening, they know about it. You can find Rachel (and Kate) on instagram or via their site.

Selmin Ermis-Krohs: Runner up in last year’s community challenge. I’m still a little (a lot) in love with that denim sweatshirt!  You can find Selmin on Instagram or via her blog


Wendy Ward: Prolific author, teacher and pattern designer. Dog lover. Trumpet player. I often call Wendy “the angel on my shoulder” when it comes to doing things properly! You can find Wendy on Instagram or via her website

Estelle Alty:   Who can forget last year’s winner Estelle?! Yep, that’s the dress there that won it. Blown. Away. Can’t wait to see her flex that awesome creativity on this year’s challenge! You can find Estelle on Instagram or over on her blog

Andre Myles: Hairdresser, tap dancing teacher and self taught stitcher. He may have only started sewing in 2014, but here’s a natural talent if ever I saw one! You can find Andrew on Instagram or via his blog


Elisalex de Castro Peake: Designer and Co-founder of the By Hand London pattern line and all round gorgeous and talented individual. You can find Elisalex: via you tube, Instagram or via http://byhandlondon.com/pages/about-us

Ute Strampfer: Lover of all things linen. Knitter. Stitcher. All round creative. Berlin dweller. Daily walk enthusiast. Soon to be Etsy seller I hear? Keep an eye on Ute on Instagram and Kollabora.

Me:   Hiya! This is me! Stitcher. Blogger. Coffee drinker. Creator of this here little series. You can find me on Instagram or here on my blog.

So what say you? September & October are gonna be pretty awesome right??!!! Get rummaging through your wardrobes and local charity shops.  Have your old suits at the ready. This is gonna  be SERIOUSLY good!

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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 😉

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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!

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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????!!!!

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