Altered Clothing – Where Have I Been?

My sewing endeavors have been (ahem) less-than-successful for months now. The grey Chetta B dress – much too wide in the shoulders. The green tiered skirt I was making for the Little Miss -too long. And then there was the McCall 3077 debacle… I shortened the sleeves and the hem, and altered the dress to fit DD’s more child-like proportion, the simple, empire waist dress turned into this…

This is what I get for trying to fit a junior size dress on a 6-year-old girl. It is a perfectly nice pattern, but no good for my daughter. I can either mail the to someone who wants it (hint hint) or ship it off to Pattern Rescue…

I’m beginning to lose my confidence and was about to hang up my sewing hat for good. But then I browsed through the magazine section at Borders and saw Altered Couture‘s latest issue. I was really taken with the upcycled girls’ dresses featured in the issue. And I thought this is something I can do – and not mess up too badly.

Especially since I’ve been thrifting/recycling clothing for years. You know, turning jeans into skirts, putting darts in store-bought dresses to make fit better, taking in side seams of sweaters, and the like. Even before last Sunday’s brush with Altered Couture, I turned one of the Little Miss’s dresses into a tunic.

As you can see, there was a ginormous hole in the side of the dress. But I was loath to toss the dress. So, I shortened the dress, added a slight ruffle at the bottom edge and instant tunic.

She’s already worn it 3 times since I’ve shortened it.

Wardrobe Refashion is great. People who accept the challenge can pledge to buy only “preloved” items or make their own clothing for a given period of time. They even have a Flickr group!

Which is how I found Brenda Abdullah’s work!

Her pieces are just beautiful. And it is so inspiring that she uses recycled materials in all of her work. I want to be like her when I grow up!

Finally, the twins and and I also went to a children’s arts festival street fair near a local university last weekend. We had so much fun and I kept looking at the artful clothing the adults and the children had on: I got to thinking that I have been chasing a standard that is not my own and need to pursue personal authenticity. Incorporating recycled/thrifted items into my sewing? We already go to the thrift stores so often I know when the discount days are…We’ll see how this works out.


One thought on “Altered Clothing – Where Have I Been?

  1. brenda abdullah

    Hi Ruth,Ii just wanted to thank you for your mention of my website, Brenda Abdullah Designs on your blog. Yes, Wardrobe Refashion is a great site and I get lots of inspiration from it. Brenda Abdullah


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s