Memory · Style · Thrifts · white

No Ruffled Feathers Skirt

So, I was thinking about what I should do for the rest of September – because you know 31 Days is coming in October! I could keep going with the How to Update Vintage series, but really, there are so many of those that it will probably just be ongoing for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Then I thought of my white dress. What better way to celebrate September than a complete disregard of Labor Day fashion rules and dedicate the rest of September’s projects to WHITE!

Today’s project would have been a great one during my two weeks without a sewing machine, but I forgot about it. You know how people talk about “pregnancy brain” (no, I’m not expecting) and “nursing brain”? I think it’s just Mama brain. I am so forgetful these days. I was at a meeting last night, dividing up jobs, and I had to stop, not once, but twice, for my friend to repeat herself because I completely missed it the first time.


So, I got this skirt, knowing I was going to change it. I was looking for a straight white skirt, something simple and basic to wear with everything. I was hoping to find a white denim skirt, but in the realm of thrift shopping, you can’t always get THAT specific.


It’s pretty cute, but I’m not much of a ruffle kind of gal. I knew when I bought it, the pleated/ruffled bottom of the skirt would have to go. I saved it for a time when my seam ripper and I could become best buds, thinking I would take apart the hem, remove the pleats, and rehem.


But then when I looked at it, I decided, What the hay! Let’s just cut it off very carefully and see what happens. Only one tool needed for this – the fabulous F scissors. F for “fabric” of course. Need some super sharp ones if you’re going to cut that close to a hem.




Perfect! Just what I wanted.

Speaking of things you lose when you become a Mama, would you believe I used to have curly hair?


I know – the epitome of maturity – the only photo I can find right now. I’m not even sure how old this photo is (celebrating Magazine Mom’s birthday) but I was still wearing a watch, so before I had an iPhone, obviously. Anyway, lots of waves and curls. After I had BG, my hair went straight. Like, stick straight at the ends.

DSC_0071I decided to try my best to have curly hair today – I used product AND a diffuser, and this is the best I could get. Seems that BG took all my curls with her, because she has the most beautiful golden ringlets. I kinda miss those curls.


Anyway, thrilled with how this turned out. That’s the secret to thrift shopping – make it work.


And here’s how I’ll wear it with boots this fall.

Rules, schmools, I say.


Sewing · Style · Thrifts · white

Post-Labor Day White


FINALLY got to use my sewing machine this weekend, and let me tell you, she feels like she’s brand new – quieter motor, smoother stitching, and not a speck of lint anywhere.

(Didn’t realize until I got home that the man at the repair shop removed my skull-and-crossbones sticker – am guessing this means the buttonhole setting works now too?! One can only dream….)

So, I’ve had “Two Men’s Shirts” on my thrift list for a while.

shirt dress

I was inspired by this outfit, which is just a men’s shirt, but I’m too tall to make that work, so I thought I could find two and piece them together.

Um, do you know how hard it is to find two matching shirts at a thrift store? Yeah. It’s been almost a year with that on my list.


But then, randomly, a few weeks ago, when I wasn’t even looking for them, I found two Geoffrey Beene shirts in the same style and size.

I wasn’t sure if it would have the same effect in white, but I’ve been on a white dress kick lately. And then I saw this from Atlantic-Pacific….

ap shirt dress

Sold. But then my machine broke. Seemed like all my “end of summer’ projects were white. But I’m not one to really pay much attention to the “No White After Labor Day” rule – especially in California, when it stays warm well into October. A white dress with serve me well for a few more months.


I looked at the two shirts to see which one had a better looking collar. I used that one for the top of the dress and cut the other shirt off just below the underarm seams for the bottom.


Paying attention to button placement, I measured where the seam should go and marked the pieces with chalk.


I lined up the chalk lines (right sides facing) and pinned. I sewed along the chalk lines, pressed open the seam, and folded the seam allowance over and sewed it down.


This added a little detail to the waistline.


DSC_0153-001It’s great just like this, but I decided to use the leftover top half of one shirt to make a belt.


I turned it inside out and sewed two lines, one across the top and one across the bottom, removing the collar and closing up the bottom, making a tube. I have no photos or instructions on how to make this because it was completely trial and error – mostly error.




I like it with the belt just as much as I like it without.



After I finished, I showed it to Husband.

Me: Look! I finally sewed something!

Husband: Yeah! It’s a…..

Me: Dress.

Husband: Yes, it’s a dress! It’s a Frankendress!

Totally. I think that’s the perfect way to describe what I do. I’m so happy to have my machine working so I can get back to the labratory… er, dining room table.

dress from two men's shirts

 Thanks for reading!