When Plan A goes down the drain

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This is a dress I got in May 2018 at a Goodwill for $3.50. It’s a very soft cotton/viscose mix, and it could basically be a Halloween costume for a gardener (just add watering-can and yellow plastic hat). Or a kindergarten teacher. I love the print, but I do not love the neckline or the fit. Let’s see what we can do about that. Can I get a dress I like out of this?

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3D puzzle, 19 pieces


I found this at a clothing swap for no charge; it looks like a child’s dress, in jersey cotton. Guessing it’s from Europe, because the lower label with the washing instructions is in Dutch, French, and German. As it is, it’s moderately worn out. Someone has removed the top label with scissors, leaving a couple of holes. The front bottom hem has fallen down. And even after washing, there’s a stain on one of the sleeves, and the other one is a bit faded. Some kid liked this dress a lot. But the fabric hasn’t pilled more than slightly; it’s fine. Ideal!

I don’t often wear blue, but I love the mixed prints in the same colours here; I’m totally up for recombining them into something for myself. I want to make the most out of something that was probably bound for the trash.

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Concentric circles


I got this skirt for $3 at a thrift shop earlier this month; it appears to be handmade. The fabric is a slightly strange choice for clothing: it’s a light polyester of some kind, metallic reddish-purple, and the black pattern is a slightly raised velvet. The only item I own that this material reminds me of is my shower curtain. Heck, for all I know, this is a former shower curtain that someone refashioned. I keep wanting to stick it under a faucet and find out whether it repels water.

Regardless, it has an awesome pattern on it – as usual, I’m a sucker for playful geometry – and I love the flounce, so I’m determined to salvage this. It needs some work for sure. The lace at the bottom is a creative addition, but in my opinion it’s incongruous enough to be slightly unfortunate. There’s a bit of wear along the side seams, and the skirt is too big for me anyway, so I’ll need to take in the sides. But there’s potential here. What I envision doing is getting rid of the lace, putting in a black horizontal stripe above the flounce, and adjusting the entirety to fit me. Sounds like a plan!

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Primary colours gone tropical


I bought this little knit top in 2013 for $3.99 at the Bloor/Lansdowne Value Village in Toronto, spotting refashion potential. I’m not a big fan of the overall effect, for several reasons. More than anything else, this top in its original form looks like a surprised rabbit. Also, empire-waists are really not the best match for my figure. Ribbing isn’t my favourite thing in the world either. But I do really like the colour, and the lace section, not to mention the straps and buttons. Plus, the yarn is a nice soft combination of cotton and rayon. I figure I could probably separate the lower piece and make a skirt of some kind. Shall we? Continue reading “Primary colours gone tropical”

The no-longer-’80s sweater

I bought this sweater at a thrift warehouse in Michigan sometime in the spring of 2017 for $4. I liked the bold pastel green, and the cotton yarn was of good quality, so I figured I’d eventually unravel it and knit it into something else. What actually happened to it was less dramatic, but still worth noting.


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Halloween 2017: Feeling autumnal

For a while I’d been entertaining the idea of making some kind of ‘autumn’ costume. The only problem with this plan is that brown is the colour I wear the least often by far. So I needed some strategic wardrobe augmentation to make this work. Got this skirt for $6 at a Kind Exchange in Toronto in 2015 and went from there.


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Yellow organza dress-turned-skirt


I paid $12 for this elegant little pale-yellow sundress at a Kind Exchange in Toronto in June 2017; it has a layer of synthetic organza over a polyester lining. The organza has a floral pattern that catches the light readily, which I love. There are two reasons why I’m definitely not wearing it as is, though. One is that the straps are worn out; at the very least, they’d need to be replaced. But the other is that the bodice doesn’t fit me – not even close. The waist is fine, though. So. Skirt! Continue reading “Yellow organza dress-turned-skirt”

Café-curtain skirt


I bought this length of what looks like café-curtain fabric at a garage sale at the end of the summer of 2010 and it’s been hanging out among my craft supplies ever since. Not sure of the fibre content; at first I thought it was a thin cotton, but under the iron it kind of smells like polyester, so I’m guessing a blend. I haven’t measured it, but it’s about 9 or 10 metres long and the ends are unfinished. Both sides of the fabric have embroidered flowers with four heart-shaped petals each. I especially love the bottom, which features a diamond-y edging. I’ve been idly thinking for a while of making a skirt out of it, so that’s what I’m doing. Continue reading “Café-curtain skirt”