Friday, October 5, 2012

The Cowgirl Refashion!

Or: When pant legs turn into sleeves...

Do you think I post a lot of refashions lately because I believe they take less time than clothes made from scratch? - Yes, that't true.
Do refashions REALLY take less time? - Nope, that's not true :-)

...especially if you take a guys shirt and girls pants and realize too late that the closures don't match up. More about that later...

The colors of these two items were so similar, they just ASKED for me to marry them...
Uhm yes, I x-ed out my face. I thought it would be funny to make a really silly face, but it ended up so deliciously stupid that I would for sure have landed on some list of "worst pictures people post of themselves"...

So the pants, aside from being the worst possible length for someone with short legs, also had stains (I believe from some heavy duty cleaning stuff):

...and my husbands shirt was just old and worn, especially at the sleeve cuffs (a button was even broken!):

I took the sleeves off, cut the shirt apart at the height I wanted the waist band to be (below true waist), and cut the legs off the pants. You also see some pins where I marked the shoulder points, the width I wanted for the bodice, and the width at the pant legs, which would later become the sleeves.

I opened the seam at the top of the waist band of the pants, so I could sandwich the bottom of the shirt bodice with it - after adding pleats to get it to have the exact same width - and then sew it back together:

This is where I realized that the shirt opened the other way than the pants. So I had to take the buttons off, turn that side into the button-holes side and sew new buttons over the old button holes. It worked fine, and honestly, otherwise I might not have gone the extra mile of adding new buttons. And it looks so much better with the wood ones than it would have with the white original ones!

The sleeves were the trickiest part and the end result isn't perfect - maybe I should have gone the extra mile to actually draft them from scratch, but I just didn't have an extra three days to spare...:-) So I took a shirt with similar width, put it on the dress form underneath my cowgirl dress and traced the armhole:

...then I traced the sleeves and cut them out of the former pant legs:

Lastly I replaced all remaining buttons with the new wooden ones, and I was done...

Can you believe these were pant-legs (yes, there is one tiny spot left, the rest was cut off...)?

My dolls waist is higher than mine... I added a pleat in the center of the shirt bottom, but you can't see it in this picture...

It is a winner - I can always tell when I wear it right away after finishing it. So this is a dress that will help my intention to wear more dresses. It is comfortable, casual and yes, cool!

Here you see the pleats I added on the bodice - I placed/sewed them so I could still use the pocket... You can also see the changed button closure, but I think it isn't too objectionable that way :-)

Oh, I call it the cowgirl dress because I finished it right after getting these boots, which I am madly in love with. So I added the hat and decided it was a great styling for this dress.

By the way, I have been awarded two awards, thank you so much Amity Originals for the versatile blogger, and Project Minima for the Liebster Award! I had already gotten the latter at some point and didn't think I would play along again, but really, these awards are great for getting the word out about newer, smaller blogs. So I need your help! Suggest blogs to me, even if it's your own blog, and I will take a look and decide who I will nominate. To tell the truth, I haven't had the time to check out all my new readers, and this will be a great chance! Don't be shy!
Looking forward to "meeting you"!
In a week or so I will post the winners and answer the questions...

Best to all of you,


  1. You're right, refashioning can and does take longer than making things from scratch... I agree!
    Love this dress - your sleeves look great to me! Well done!

  2. Amazing! You are so talented. Love the sleeves.

  3. Brava! One of the best refashions I´ve ever seen!

  4. Agy of Green IssuesOctober 6, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    love, love, love! You've done such an amazing job :-)

  5. amazing! you did a ton of work, but it looks absolutely fabulous! the pant legs are perfect for sleeves! :) lisa

  6. Wow that looks great! I love all the pocket details. xx Danya

  7. I, too, love the sleeves! Nice work!

  8. wow! I can understand how this refashion would take as much time as sewing a regular garment but you did a great job. I can see that there were a lot of little touches were put into it.

  9. That's a really creative refashion! Wow!

  10. You transformed that into THAT?! My, oh my! Was it hard to redesign everything yourself, or did you use a pattern from another clothing of yours? Whichever your answer is, I think it looks ‘fantabulous!’ And the pair of boots is just plain lovely. You can do without the socks, though.

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