Monday, June 2, 2008

Another show finished!

A quick backstage photo of all my awesome models from the Teen Fest Fashion Show.
Yesterday, I participated in another fashion show for the local Teen fest.
All I know is that my daughter (who modeled) and myself both overslept our alarm clocks this morning. I guess it wass alot more work than we thought at the time.
As for other news,
I've been tagged by Christi Michelle which means (I think) that I have to answer some questions about myself and then tag some other bloggers. I guess it's the new chain letter.
I'll play:
What was I doing 10 years ago 1998?
I was working for Jcrew in Asheville NC, making websites and learning VRML (an old 3d vector graphics mark-up language) that has since become something else and I don't remember any of it. My daughter was two.

5 things on my to do list for today:
Go to bank
go to other bank
buy Saxophone for Grampy
ship saxophone to Grampy
Go to Costco

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:Move to the Netherlands & build a solar Green House for the family
Pay back my in laws for all their generous help over the years plus plus!
Put my daughter in private school.
sew and play music a lot!
Take my family on a world tour for a whole summer.
Be a philanthropist.

Places I have lived:
California, Portland Oregon, Arizona, Galveston/Houston Texas, Asheville North Carolina, New York, Groningen Holland, New Orleans, Colorado & Vermont

Snacks I like:
Hummus, olives, nachos, dropjes, beer

six people I want to know more about:
Barak Obama (the next Prez) I don't know if he has a blog, but my guess is that he's a little busy these days to play. Since that was my first thought, that's what I posted.
Allison the Heinous Shrew
Summer of PDX Street Fashion
Style Scout
Nikki Shell of Wardrobe refashion

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Isn't upcycling just the coolest? Take this little number for instance. A book bag made from ... isn't that a target bag? Why yes, I believe it is. How cool is that.? You can grab this bag, fashioned by none other than Stacy Leelyn over at her etsy shop
If you can't use a book bag, then grab a shopper crocheted from old plastic grocery bags. Oh, just visit her shop. You'll see all kinds of wonderful upcycles crafted by this talented green girl.
Cheers Stacy on the fabulous work!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Did someone say shirtdress?

Just another variation of the shirt dress from yesterday.
This one is made of three "uniform" shirts. This time the collar was left in place, and I used external darts to shape the top. I inverted the sleeves as well so they can be big pockets.
Just having some fun. I came across a whole pile of these shirts and I grabbed them because I've always had a thing for gingham.
Cheers and happy sewing,

Friday, May 9, 2008

Failure to conform

Hey ladies, here's a great way to piss off your boss if you're required to wear a uniform at work. Made from 4 uniform shirts.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Art Walk at Nectar's

Some time ago, I scored a quantity of the finest silk ever in a range of rich dark colors. You may remember the charcoal dress I fashioned for the one fashion event, that was from this lot. Anyway, here is the next all silk dress. I've just finished it along with a gajillion other things that I've been working on lately. Sorry no posting, just sewing. I used live mannequins for the Art Walk. This was Nectar's first Art Walk event.
The little suspender shorts are made from somer seriously ugly 80's peg pants. I had to add a gusset to create the cuff, because the legs got narrower down the leg. The original waistband was much narrower too and it had elastic eewww.
We had a bunch of fun and everyone loved the live mannequins.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

what's more fun than a barrel of t shirts?

I've been trying to purge my sewing space of the pile of t shirts that has overtaken my room.
Now mind you, that none of these t dresses or tops looks as bad as they appear on my dress form. I made no adjustment for size. I just threw them on to photograph.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

vintage redo

I have been sewing like mad lately but, not posting to my blog. Sorry my bad.
I took the plunge and reworked this crazy vintage jumpsuit for Easter. It had uber wide legs, so wide I could have made an A-line skirt from each of them! And, it It was oh so outrageously cool as it was but, I doubt that anyone would have worn it for anything other than a costume.
I usually don't mess with pristine vintage as a rule, but I just couldn't let this fab piece sit around wasted.
The fabric is a Japanese hand painted polyester and it looks quite a bit like a colored Easter egg. Anyway, here's the final look. By the way, it looks so wicked cool worn with light brown cowboy boots!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Viva La Spring!

Spring arrives in just over a week and I've been haunted by some sweet little floral fabrics that have been screaming for a destiny. Maybe they're vintage, maybe not. I scored them at estate sale I hit a couple years ago. Anyway, the other day inspiration decided to play hookie. So I went digging around in my pattern box to see if I could find something to get myself going. I came across a McCall's pattern for some cute little tops (M5388). Just what I needed to get things rolling.
First, I cut the pattern length for a dress instead of a top. When the dress was finished, I thought it looked like an oldy nightgown so I went back to work. I added a ruffle, made a belt and finished it off with a big button. This was the final look:

But wait there's more, lots more floral fabrics, haunting and haunting me, so now what? I didn't want two of the same dress. So I decided to further modify the pattern. I made only the pattern front part twice (once inverted) and started off on another dress. I also eliminated the sleeves this time around. Instead of a ruffle, I added some recycled curtain sheer fabric at the bottom and a little ribbon trim. I made my own bias tape from the fabric to finish the armholes (which had to be enlarged by the way).
The resulting dress was cute hanging naturally, but still a bit frumpy for my taste so I made a little apron instead of a belt this time and this is the resulting dress:

After I had finished, I was walking past a bag of clothing destined for the Goodwill when I spotted a little sweater poking out that was the same color as the trim of my new dress.
It was my daughters from some years ago a girls small sz 7-8. I wear a misses medium myself. But, being that it was a lightweight ribbed sweater, it was quite stretchy. I started chop, chop, chopping to see if I could make it work as a shrug.
Yes! I removed the collar, cut the sweater shorter, cut the sleeves short and split them on the underside. I trimmed the corners of the sleeves to a rounder shape and took the whole thing to the serger. It worked great!

So now when the weather warms up, I'll be ready to roll.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Projects and Questions

This is a simple sundress I made yesterday from a variety of materials. The top was previously a 70's mens shirt. The old shirt had a few rust spots from hanging on a hanger but I liked the fabric so I've been holding onto it until I could put it to use. The waistband and ruffle were once a 70's lounge dress. Again a really nice fabric, but the former utilization was well, fugly. The skirt portion is just some pretty cotton fabric I had laying around.
On another note, my partner and I have been thinking of expanding and maybe even changing our operations at the Green Closet.
Recycling textiles and clothing is very important but it is only one part of the bigger reuse picture. With that in mind, we've been thinking of making the GC more of a community sustainability center that includes recycled art in the mix. Mostly, but not limited to functional recycled art like furniture, lighting etc. Is it possible?
We were thinking of creating a coop of recycled artists and having regular gallery events. I've seen some pretty amazing works around and I think that there should be a place where these artist can be seen.
There are many places that are recycling clothing but few (if any) that are showcasing the many re-uses of trash as art in form and function.
Is it possible to merge the two? I wonder. Must we sacrifice one to support the other? Any thoughts? We welcome and encourage your comments and suggestions.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The price of oil

Today the price of oil continues it's climb crossing over $107 a barrel. It ain't a pretty picture, what's on the horizon for our economy I fear. Maybe the bright side to all the mayhem is that more folks will take to the reduce, reuse and recycle lifestyle.
I made a little sun dress today but blogger's not uploading photos at the moment so I'll have to post that later.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Please, please, please take a few minutes from your busy day to watch this incredible 20 minute film. Then, link it on your own blog or pass it around to everyone you know. The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard is a short documentary on about the production, consumption and disposal of all that stuff we use everyday. It is very educational but done in a fun and easy to understand way.

Honestly I could never better describe why I do what I do. In my mind it even helps to explain why we've set up the Green Closet like a boutique instead of a typical resale shop. We wanted to take the second-best mindset out of the resale shopping experience. Recycled is the good way, the best way and reconstructed fashions are the bestest way of all!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blue Dress Redo

Here is the finished product from the blue vintage poly dress I started with yesterday.
My dress form has a shorter torso than I do. Which makes it appear as though the blue band sits at the waist. In actuality, it sits just below the breast in an empress style and the hemline is just above the knee.
I'm off to start another project.
Cheers and happy sewing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Process

It's late in Vermont and I've been working on another dress similar in original style to yesterdays project. (A simple shift)
It begins with a vintage boxy long sleeve poly dress. (I've already removed the collar and sleeves)

Next I've cut the sleeves short and gathered them at the top. I'll add elastic inside the bottom of the shortened sleeve for a puffy finish. Next, I gather the dress under each breast. I cut a few inches from the bottom of the dress to both shorten the length and give me the fabric for the empress waist detail. I will place that just over the breast gathers. The finished dress will look something like this:

I would have just posted when the dress was completed, but I realized all my navy thread is at the shop with my other machine. ( don't you just hate when that happens?) So I thought I'd just post the process for the time being.
Of course I'll post the finished project when I'm done. I still have a few more of these boxy poly dresses in waiting so there will be more style ideas to come. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A simple shift

This was a very simple refashion. The original dress was one of those frumpy vintage long sleeve & shapeless polyester frocks. The dress was too long falling well below the knee. So I removed the lavender strip from the bottom and moved it to the waistline. This gave the dress some shape and set the length just above the knee. I removed the long sleeves and cut the armholes to a more shoulder flattering shape. Viola' a comfy little shift with a vintage flare.
I just acquired a few more of these vintage doldrums, so let's see what becomes of them in the coming days.

Monday, March 3, 2008

denim & chiffon project

One pair old blue jeans
Some old yard sale chiffon
light jersey (thrifted)

Originally I envisioned something with a lot more and much chunkier denim on the top (kinda rope like), offset with the airy flow of chiffon below. But my mind was kinda cloudy about what I really wanted to do with the denim. So I ended up with some simple denim accents instead. The denim swirl accents are just strips of denim twisted and coiled.

I realized that the chiffon would be too sheer even with two layers. So, I decided I'd make a flapper-like ruffle dress and since chiffon isn't the hardiest of fabrics I used a light jersey for the core.

I made a simple slip pattern from and old slip to make the foundation. Jersey has a nice drape to it so I thought it would work well.
Then I just cut several strips from the chiffon and put a rolled hem on the edges of each strip.
I used the seams from the jeans as an embellishment over the top ruffle and as the straps. and viola' the resulting dress.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Scrappy dress

I made this scrappy dress to wear to the last fashion show. It's just a bunch of scraps and a couple of t shirts. Kinda funky, but it was fun. I wore a corset type waistbelt with it. (see photo) The corset thingy was made from the bodice (inversed) of a 1940's silk satin ball gown that I chopped up to to make the bows on this pewter silk piece in the show. There is a another huge bow in the back too sorry no photos of the back:

Anyway, I thought I better get the scrappy dress posted to the blog before I forget to log it in. I've been thinking about changing it too.

Take the Pledge, I did!

The Pledge

I, Xmas pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!

Signed Xmas.

Why should you take the pledge? Click here to find out.

Take the Pledge

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Tie Dress

Finally, here are photos of the completed Tie Dress that I made for the One fashion Event (train repaired).
The top is a stole crafted from 15 silk ties with a silk lining. I scavenged the skirt from a recycled full length formal gown and modified it by making it short in front, reduced its original fullness and then attached it to the new silk corset waist. I think the overall resulting piece is quite dramatic. Since I only made it as a show piece, it's not particularly practical. Practical is boring.
The tie stole was inspired by my favorite Trashionista's blog Oustapop.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekends are for Projects

I finally got some housework done on Saturday. I decided to reorganize my closet to see why I never have anything to wear. I discovered that more than half my wardrobe is vintage. Much of it collectible pieces dating back to the 20's and beyond. Some pieces are seasonal or occasional dresses and most is just stuff I really don't like to give a lot of wear and tear to because I want to preserve it as long as humanly possible. So I spent part of the day making minor repairs to a few pieces and I came upon a dress my friend had made from a circa 40's pattern. I love the dress but I thought it was a bit long so I cut it shorter leaving me with about 8 inches of the groovy scull and crossbones fabric from the dress. So I gathered up some other remnant pieces and made this cute little ruffle skirt. I'm really in a girlish, ruffly mood these days.

Today, I was enjoying my newly cleaned sewing room and rummaging through my fabric piles when I came upon this really sweet piece of vintage Mexican theme heavy cotton. Although the fabric is most likely circa 50's. It made me think of those 40's pin-up girls. I was immediately inspired and began working on this dress:

The skirt isn't quite as full as I would like but it was a pretty small piece a fabric so this will just have to do.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dress of the Day

I was planning to go to the Drag Ball tomorrow night, since I have this totally rad vintage jumper that just screams for an occasion, but I kinda got involved in making this dress today and missed my opportunity to buy a ticket in advance. The price doubles day of the show and my current budget didn't really allow for an advance ticket as it was.
Fortunately for me, I got some sewing therapy in by creating this little piece. It was an old 50's day dress this morning, pretty frumpy and well worn. Its been sitting among a pile of vintage fabrics awaiting their new destiny for quite some time. I guess I'm getting tired of the snow and need to feel some Spring energy. Of course it could be the result of that nagging internal voice reminding me (like I need a reminder) that I really, really need to clean my house.
Anyway, a chop chop here, ruffle there and several stitches later, this is the end result. I decided to make an apron as the embellishment, in honor of the original time period. (or I still really, really do need to clean my house). Damn I wish that little voice would shut the hell up and just clean the house while I sew!!!!
One can dream can we not?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


This week I was assigned a homework project for my business class. Bring something to class that symbolizes your vision of success. So here is my symbol, a dress, reconstructed from a bunch of otherwise worthless t shirts. To see the population wearing clothing that utilizes recycled materials and is made here in our own country for a change, that would be success!
So now I'm off to working on more projects. Cheers,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New for Spring

This just in! New for Spring from Post Decadent Reconstructed, sweet lil' Betty dresses. Each is made from vintage and recycled materials. A little flirty, a little sexy and totally cute IMHO.
Now available at the Green Closet.

Heinous Shrew at the ONE

Here is an awesome photo of Allison's sweet lil dress from the fashion show. Photo by Sam Simon. Bonnica (in the photo) sent it to me. At least someone got a good photo! Yeah Allison. Bonnica also sent these sweet photos from backstage that night: