Refash., Uncategorized

The Refashioners 2016

Another year, another project done for The Refashioners challenge at Portia Lawrie’s website, the Makery. Last year I turned a shirt into a summer dress, this time around the item to be given a new life was a pair of jeans.




I got mine from my favourite virtual charity shop: eBay. It was a large men’s, non-stretch, unbranded pair of blue jeans, and I think I paid about £5 for it (including delivery). I had no idea what to turn it into, all I knew was that making trousers would have been too easy and that I didn’t need another denim jacket, since I love the one I already own. So I decided to turn it into a dress that isn’t too tacky – not too sure if I managed to achieve this… 😀

I started looking for something structured and minimalistic, so I searched for dresses made of leather, but couldn’t really find anything interesting. While I was researching ideas for the tablecloth dress, I stumbled upon a beautiful Delpozo number and I knew straight away that I found what I was after.


With my new found courage for pattern drafting, I made one for it in no time. After adding a bit of boning, I managed to resolve the issue with the gaping of the under-bust area, that must have been avoided by using pre-shaped foams in the original dress. I am pretty sure that I was supposed to add boning to the side seams, but to be super honest I was too lazy to go back and do it (again).


The bodice was relatively easy to put together after having a go at it while making up the toille, but I did not have any plans for the skirt. I just attached it with some pleats in place to match the waistline, and then worked it out from there. Unfortunately I did not have enough fabric for the style I would normally wear (A-line or a circle skirt), so I went with a pencil skirt – that not only makes cycling fairly difficult, it also makes the dress look more formal than intended.


I did not realize that I created a horrible little pouch on the front of the skirt by turning the pleats into impromptu (and way too long) darts in the last-minute, so please excuse that mess.


I am pretty happy with the fit on the back though. The pockets have been slightly moved, darts hidden behind them, and an invisible zipper inserted. I was going to use a golden exposed zip all the way down the back, but I had to admit to myself that the invisible zipper looked a tad bit more classy than the shiny one. In order to try out the two different looks, I inserted both zips twice, then when I decided to stay with the invisible one, it broke while trying it on. Realizing that I can’t fix it, and therefore I will have to buy and insert a new one was one of the less relaxing moments of sewing, to put it mildly… 🙂


Do you know that feeling when you are cooking a very fancy, very complicated dinner, and when you sit down to eat after hours of sweating over it, you just don’t feel hungry anymore. No? Well, that’s how I feel about this dress anyway. 🙂

While I am quite happy about how that sad pair of jeans got transformed, and about the relative success of my pattern cutting, I doubt that I will wear this dress a lot next summer. I will either change the skirt totally, turn it into something else, or give it away…

Do check out the other entries too, they are pretty mind-blowing! And again, thanks for the photos Robbie!




8 thoughts on “The Refashioners 2016

  1. I think you’re really, really good at these! What an amazing transformation. From the front I love the novelty of it but the back is not an afterthought either.

    I’m surprised the jeans are not branded: the stitching and colour look very nice.

  2. i love your remakes (or refashions) because you always come up with something unexpected! and i do love this result so much, you did such a great job, as always! 🙂 maybe you can try pairing it up with a buttoned up shirt underneath, like worn on the original picture? or the oh-so-trendy ribbed jersey shirts? that way maybe you can wear it more often?
    but anyway, if you do decide to give it away one day, please remember me! 😀 (and i hope we have similar size!)

    • Thank you! 🙂 I did try wearing it with a buttoned up shirt, we even took photos, but it just didn’t really work for some reason, but the ribbed jersey is a good idea, or a white T-shirt… I think we do wear similar sizes, so if it doesn’t work out it will be on it’s way to Finland. 😉

  3. De Kleermaker says:

    I understand that feeling wearing tight clothing and cycling. Maybe you could make two separate pieces if you add another type of fabric.
    PD. I like the garment 😉 You’ve done a great job

    • Thank you! Every time I make a skirt like this I think about inserting an invisible zip into a side seam and insert some fabric behind it so that I can undo the zip and make it looser for cycling, but I’m just way too lazy to do anything once it’s officially finished… 🙂

  4. Elle says:

    A creative re-make! It looks good, especially the fit in the back. I think if you re-work the front darts, you might really like it.

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