Reduce, Reuse, Recycle … Refashion? (and my #mmmay15)

In preparing for Me-Made-May’15, I discovered a few things when cleaning up my closet a few weeks ago.  Such as:

  • I still have the shoes that I wore to my wedding almost 27 years ago in a box in my closet.  I find that amazing for some reason.  I put them back safely.
  • I have clothes hanging in my closet that I don’t wear, good clothes – slightly used, but good.  Those have already been taken to my local charity/second-hand shop.
  • I also have a few dresses hanging in my closest that I don’t wear, but can’t part with, not many, just a few.  I have to do something with them.
  • And lastly, I have a few skirts that I cannot wear because I don’t have tops to match. After some thought, I decided that all it would take is sewing up a few simple tops in solid colours – a black, a red, and maybe a blue too.

I have decided to remedy the last two by altering the dresses into tops that I would wear and digging in my fabric stash and sewing up some tops to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe.

This is one of the dresses I made but didn’t really care for.  I always loved the cotton flowery print, but the fabric was light weight – good for a top, bad for a dress.


So I chopped and sewed and moved the lace up to the neckline and now I have a top that I will wear.


This is one of the other dresses.  This print I love even more, but again the cotton was too light weight for a dress – better suited for a top.imageMore chopping and sewing and moving of lace – this time to the sleeves – and again I have a top that I will wear.

imageI am thinking about changing another dress into a top, but that is still in the thinking stages and I might not have the right fabric in my stash to do so anyway.  We shall see…

I did manage to find the right colours I needed – black, red and blue – in my stash.  They are leftover from other projects (I can’t even remember which ones).

I also found the right patterns to use.  McCalls M6563 view A, for my black knit top.  It only needs a small amount of fabric and I only have a small amount of fabric.  I also don’t have a top with a cowl neck yet!


For my red top, I am going to use McCalls M7093, view A.  It’s another top that needs little fabric and it helps that it is made up of small pieces, easier to squeeze them on here and there on my leftover red knit fabric.  I didn’t actually buy the pattern to make view A, but rather one of the other views with the lovely colour blocking – maybe next time.  I figure I might be able to go wild with the topstitching on this view though! 🙂  I just saw on Elle Gee Makes‘ blog she has just sewed up view B and it’s lovely!


The blue fabric I haven’t decided on yet, but I’ll let you know how my tops turn out when done.

Just to finish off, here is a Gallery of my first week or so of Me-Made-May’15.  I like putting them on Pinterest, but I will pop them in here too.  I’m not kidding when I say I wear nothing but yoga pants & tops and jeans when I’m not at work – I wore them 3 days in a row last week!  #mmmay15

So when you sew up something you don’t care for – do you take the time to “redo” it?  or is it just off to the charity/second-hand shop for someone else to enjoy?

Happy Sewing!

43 thoughts on “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle … Refashion? (and my #mmmay15)

  1. Great idea to turn your dresses into tops. I love to refashion and unloved clothes need to be very unloved to go to the charity shop. I can’t bear to give something I’ve made away, it feels like a massive waste of time! But then if the alternative is leaving it hanging in your wardrobe, that doesn’t make a lot of sense… Whoops.

    1. It is a dilemma, isn’t it. If I did pottery, either they wouldn’t work out and never be finished, or they would be sitting on my shelf on display. It’s a little difficult to display clothes you can’t wear! 😄

  2. Nice refashioning. The tops are really nice and definitely better to have something that you wear. I wish that I was that organised. My things to redo just sit in a pile in the studio gathering dust. Thanks for sharing the two patterns above. I have been looking for something like M6563 for ages.

    1. Thanks and thank you for stopping by! I am just about to start it, so it shouldn’t take long to sew up, considering it says “Easy” on the envelope!

  3. Great saves! I think MMMay this year is making a lot of us have a good, old clear out. Highly satisfying! Your two new tops look like they’ll get lots of wear now 🙂

  4. Lovely work ~ well done you!
    I’ve been doing the same thing with my closet. Although it doesn’t run to 27-year old shoes, there’s probably fabric in the stash that’s almost that. 😄
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Now a 27 year old fabric stash just might be as interesting as a 27 year old pattern stash! Thank you and Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers out there!

      1. Might have energy to do a bit of excavating this year! 🔦🔨🔦🔨

  5. I love those remakes! Very pretty blouses!

  6. Congratulations on getting sorted out! I did mine last year and it sort of cleared my mind. I passed lots of clothes on to the charity shop, including my frock at the start of my blog. I really regret parting with it, and was tempted to go buy it back!!

    1. Oh good for you! I know it is difficult. I must admit I still have a faux suede skirt and jacket that I made long ago. It doesn’t fit me anymore. But it’s just that I can’t believe I did it!

  7. Well done sorting your wardrobe out. I did mine ages ago and it is probably time to do it again. Your refashions have worked very well. I hope you enjoy wearing them.

    1. Thank you! It was a first for me and long over due!

  8. Great job on the refashioned blouses. I love the lace touches you added. Good amount of lovely tops you made they will look great with your new jeans 🙂

  9. The tops look great, well done. Also really like the 2nd pattern, I bought 2 very similar t-shirts on sale this weekend.

    1. Thanks! Nice to see the that sewing patters are keeping up to date with current fashions.

  10. You always amaze me. I never had the patience to take something apart and refashion it, it was hard enough to pick apart a seam that just didn’t hang right. Just a heads up, I am looking at patterns to find “the” dress for my son’s wedding and getting quite excited about going fabric shopping with you and your amazing eye.

    1. Ohh ohh ohh! FABRIC SHOPPING !!! Oh, thanks for the compliments! 😄

  11. I love re-fashioning, so satisfying. Your dress to tops are a great idea. And me made may has already shown up the need for some solid colours for me too, such a useful excersise.

    1. Thank you. I am looking at Me Made May differently this year and it seems to be working out even better!

  12. They look great as tops. I don’t think I have made quite enough to enter Me Made May, but I definitely will have for next year!

    1. It certainly can lead you to be organized in your sewing projects!

  13. Oh I love the May 1st blue top!! The blue pops and the print is so pretty.

  14. Thank you! The pattern has such potential!

  15. What a timely post as I just spent the day tearing apart a couple of dresses I made last year and haven’t worn. I’m chopping them up to remake into tops as you’ve done so beautifully with yours. You and are on the same wavelength :). I hope my remake efforts turn out as lovely as yours! Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks! Same wavelenth? It all started with your last post about McCalls M7093. I’m sewing that one up next!

  16. You’re re-inventing your wardrobe. Too cool! Plus, you love doing it. It’s a win-win. Happy Mother’s Day.

    1. Thank you! Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

  17. What a good idea! I’ve been working on a skirt matching project and I have 3 unmatchable skirts hanging in the sewingroom to shame me.

    1. Now that’s incentive! I guess we all do it though. I just see a fabric or pattern I love and go for it. Then when done I realize I have nothing to wear with it. The tops are actually easy to make!

      1. I sew the same way! I am whimmy in the extreme! I was thinking of taking some of those blouse patterns and turning them into dresses

        1. Sure, that would work. I would have to make sure I left lots of room in the bottom for me though!

          1. Me too, Sweetie!

            1. Oops! Gotta go, got a bus to catch!

  18. I too still have my wedding shoes in a box at the bottom of my wardrobe. Its been 12 years last Monday. Keep saying i’m going to gem them up but haven’t as yet. Want to dye them 1st.
    Love your tops. Great refashioning.x

    1. Thank you! It’s so hard to part with some things!

  19. Great job with the refashioning. I cleaned out a lot of clothes this spring, but still have a lot of dresses which may not get much wear. You’ve inspired me to relook at them as potential tops.

    1. The things we make are special to us sometimes it is difficult to let them go!

  20. Great refashions! Love the “new” tops, and can’t wait to see how you make up the two patterns listed. I’ve made few enough things that I don’t have a lot to pour over for do-overs, but I do have a nearly-finished dress (that was too ambitious for my skill level and for which I selected a very unsuitable fabric) from 2 years ago that I’d like to go back to and salvage for a skirt or top…eventually!

    And hey, I still have my wedding shoes, too!! Crazier still: I wear them from time to time. Granted, they’re bright blue plaid flats with a pointed toe, but I can brag about still getting mileage out of my wedding shoes without being a liar! 😉

    1. I never thought of that – I can still fit into my 27 year old shoes!! Good one!

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