90’s jumper gets a much needed up-cycle!

I know amazing people. Recently my friend, Robin gave me a bin of treasures. For FREE. Bits of lace, embroidered pillowcases and vintage linens  – all crying out to be made into new things! It was like Christmas for this scrap junkie. On the top of the pile was this not-quite-finished jumper.

YJ 05wmRobin had made this a long time ago using a canary yellow tablecloth, an embroidered table runner and some crocheted lace doilies. In it’s time, it was very stylish and trendy. In order to live in my closet, it needed a makeover. The hem was unfinished and very long. Plus, although I do like yellow, it was a little bold for me. Robin had given me permission to do what I wanted with it, so I grabbed the scissors, extra lace and some dye and got creative!

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The first thing I did was cut off the length to about mid-thigh. I wanted this to more of a long shirt than a dress, that would work over leggings. To tie in the lace from the bodice, I dug through the treasure bin and found some lace from a pillow case to edge the hem.

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After finishing the hemline, I had the straps to deal with. Although bibs usually have buttons, all the buttons I auditioned just wouldn’t make the cut. I wanted this to look classy, not so cutesy, so I ditched the buttons and sewed the straps down to the front. The sides also got snaps that didn’t show instead of visible buttons.

YJ 07wmWhen I tried on the new outfit (over my pajamas, no less), I liked the length and loved the lace, but I wanted to calm down all the colors. Nothing a little tan dye wouldn’t fix! I added a half bottle of tan Rit dye to my washer, following the directions on the bottle. Here’s the results:

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The tan dye did the trick. It calmed down the yellow to a nice mustard color. It also antiqued the embroidery and helped tie the ensemble together, making a new, stylish top.

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If you like my chicken wire dress form, check out how I made it here: DIY Dress Form from Chicken Wire.

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This outfit is now complete with a denim blue shirt, brown leggings and boots accented with a long, lacy scarf.

Now back to the treasure bin to find something else to create!

       Artfully sewing,



Repurposing Pants into Shorts

My daughter, N.J. is in a growth spurt. It seems that as soon as I buy her clothes she grows on the way home from the store and they’re too small. That’s what happened with these jeans.


N.J. only wore these a couple times before she outgrew them.

Of course we discovered this when we were in a desperate place, packing for vacation. N.J. needed pants and shorts for the trip. Although these fit in the waist, they were snug in the thighs and were already turning into high waters. I had bought them at Goodwill based on size only. Lesson learned. Between the two of us, we brainstormed and decided these jeans should be sacrificed and be transformed into shorts.

I started by cutting them off just above the knees. To give her more room in the thighs I took out the outside seam up to the bottom of the pocket. N.J. picked out a very cute piece of cotton fabric that I inserted into the side seam and I hemed them up. We both squealed with delight when I pulled them off the sewing machine.


Sew easy! I bet it took me 15 minutes. I repurposed a pair of jeans AND saved us money on new clothes PLUS saved time shopping.

Do you have any ideas for repurposing clothes? Please share them with me and keep sewing!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean