Monday Outfit on Tuesday: Refashioning


Today, I have for you a refashion instead of an outfit sewn from scratch. Perhaps you’ve been noticing a prominent downtick in my production of K-sized clothing? There’s a war raging. Well, not really, but sometimes it feels like a fierce battle to get her dressed in the mornings.


My daughter is like me and loves clothes. Loooooooooooves. And like me, she’s very particular about the types of clothing she’ll allow on her body. Trouble is, her style and my style are usually vastly divergent and lately she’ll only willingly wear about four out of the hundreds of items I’ve sewn up (yes! hundreds! I can’t believe it either). Indeed, she’ll dig deep and long to find clothes I didn’t actually make. As you can imagine, this is difficult and requires a level of tenacity that gives me hope she’ll succeed at whatever she decides to do in life.


Fortunately, we both love stripes. This is a knit top I bought for myself years ago that I’ve never worn, a “before” shot, if you will. It was one of those i-can’t-believe-how-cheap-this-is purchases, and when I examined it with level-headed spectacles and not my bargain-frenzied goggles, I had to admit that the top was too clingy and unflattering. So by snipping a seam here and there and reassembling the pieces, I miniaturized it and it looks exactly the same, except about five sizes smaller.


It looks fantastic on K. This is really a top that should be worn by the flat-chested.


And she wholly approves of the top, an approval which is getting harder and harder to come by these days. I also made her beloved After School Pants into shorts because they were headed there anyway. The denim is way stretchy and she’s just getting taller and leaner, so I’m glad we’ll get more wear out of them.

The day turned from rainy to blindingly sunny yesterday and K wanted the photoshoot to be outside. I love the calm, clean shots I get inside, but it’s fun to change things up from time to time.


For me, all sewing is rewarding, but this kind is particularly rewarding: I upcycled an unloved top into something wearable for K, extended the life of a pair of pants, the outfit appeals to both of us aesthetically, and it took twenty minutes. Win, win, win!


15 thoughts on “Monday Outfit on Tuesday: Refashioning

  1. Oooh, nice to know others have this problem too! My almost 5-year old daughter has suddenly decided she has very strong opinions about her clothes, and mostly only wears a purchased pink-and-white striped shirt with extremely blingy silver sequined heart on it. Today, she is wearing that with purple sweats and flourescent yellow socks. In making her clothes, it is hard to guess what she will find acceptable or not anymore. So I am trying to balance making the cute, slightly more tasteful things I want to make her and things she will actually wear…. Not sure if I will succeed. I have learned never to buy her anything I am not willing to see her wear twice a week at least. Am starting to pretend it is still in the wash, just so she’ll put on something else….

    1. Ha, the good old laundry trick…of course in my case it’s actually true (everything is always in the laundry it seems). I love your daughter’s color combo, Nicole! So festive!! 🙂 I hear you on trying to balance out the blindingly bright with more muted tones…

  2. Gosh K is certainly growing. The top looks lovely to on her. I always say reuse reduce recycle. It’s a win win, especially when the little one approves.

    1. Isn’t she though? She’s calling me “mom” (in front of friends, but still) and her face is maturing so much! And yes, reuse reduce recycle forever!!

  3. K might rebel now, but at some point in the future she’ll be grateful you made her beautiful, unique clothes and demonstrated to her the joy of turning a length of fabric into something to use/wear! Hopefully she too will be a sewist 🙂
    My dressmaker mum and tailor dad instilled in me and my sisters a love for beautifully designed and beautifully made clothes that fit well. I too wanted shop-bought clothes when I was a child, but I’d much rather wear home-made handmade clothes now!

    1. I sure hope she looks back fondly on all her handmade clothes, Rhoda. I’ve found my sewing mojo declining because she likes so few of the clothes I make for her lately. I do get the occasional squeal and excited “I LOVE THIS” but far less frequently than I’d like ;-). If only I could make myself sew with neon and bright character-based fabrics…don’t think that’s going to happen…

  4. I do a lot of that…. upcycling and shortening pants… right now I’m small-izing (I know that’s not a word) shirts for my kids for a 5K walk for charity we’re doing this Saturday. the smallest size was adult small, so I’m fixing them up so my kids get awesome t-shirts they’ll really wear too. 🙂

    1. It’s so gratifying to alter clothes just a little and get a whole lotta wear out of them, isn’t it? I love it! Have fun at the 5K, Kristi!

  5. Sigh. The battle of the wardrobe. I too encounter the same with both my girls, my youngest being particularly definite about what she will and will NOT wear. We’ve come to an uneasy truce with being able to choose every other day. And yet, when it’s my turn to pick, somehow she kicks up a fuss anyway. I keep telling myself I should care less!
    Love K”s upcycled outfit! That stripey top seems to really suit her, and goes so well with her shortened pants (nicely done!). Feels good to make something new from an item previously unloved:) It’s hard to go wrong with stripes!

    1. I know! It’s the part where I can’t seem to let go that ends up bothering me the most. I know I shouldn’t impose my taste on her and she just wants to express her own likes and dislikes, but oh….so hard. Stripes are definitely the unifying element for us both 🙂 Thanks, Lucinda!

  6. I have four children- I feel your pain! So you don’t keep feeling disappointed, you could stop making clothes for her for a while, and just occasionally ask her if she’s seen anything she really loves and then make it for her (even if the print and style are horrendous!) That way you won’t feel so rejected and you only occasionally have to sew yucky things. You could also strategically leave patterns casually lying around the house that you hope she might jump on and love! And the bonus is- you can spend all your sewing time making things for yourself! And when she returns to wanting beautiful, original garments that none of the other girls have-and she will- you will be deliriously happy! Hang on in there! X

    1. It’s true, I’m having a grand old time sewing for myself, especially now that I feel like I’m starting to make things that I actually want to wear. I have noticed that K wants some of the same clothes I sew for myself, so maybe that’s the ticket…Thanks, Linda!

  7. I love both of these! How satisfying to be able to repurpose and alter things to keep them going. I just bought this pants pattern in the bigger sizes to try for E next fall. She just recently got interested in paper dolls and so I showed her the “play” section on the O+S website. She was so excited and is now asking for patterns by name.

    1. Fun! These are great pants. Not the quickest project, but the end result is so professional and K loves wearing them. So worth it! Thanks, Elizabeth!

  8. Bravo! Looks adorable on her. Clover and I disagree on most aspects of fashion already when she’s 5. Let’s hope it doesn’t get even worse as she gets older!

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