|day 24| Refashion Month Guest: Mikelina from Mikelina Makes

Mikelina from Mikelina Makes, is our guest today. Another lady I met through Refashion Co-op not long ago. The reason why I wanted her to guest post in this series is simple: I love her retro style and her quite simple refashions that make all the little difference. I knew she would add something different and special, unique like herself. And look at what she brought us; don't you just feel like getting all retro too? 

You know I'm still kind of reeling from being a part of this list of so many talented, incredible ladies! I feel like rookie of the year.
For those of you (most of you) who have no idea who I am my name is Mikelina and I like to make things but if you read the title of this post you probably guessed that. See, my creativity is already shining through.
Since my son was born I have been looking everywhere for a cute bathing suit, or tankini that will discretely hide the new-mommy belly I still have and support the new-mommy boobs that don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
There are tons of retro suits that match this description...however none of them met my new-mommy budget. Since I'm generally not inclined to theft I did what I almost always do in these situation. I turned to my beautiful, very old, but still running.... I just realized my sewing machine doesn't have a name. I am not usually prone to oversights like that. Shall we make a commitment? By the end of this guest post my sewing machine will have a name!
I made a swimsuit top. A retro swimsuit top with a big bow. And, not only did I make a swimsuit top I made a swimsuit top out of an old maternity dress and an old, ill-fitting bra! Are you still with me? Okay!

Step One:
Gather your materials.

I started out with a bra that fit nicely before my son was born, and a dress that was a purchase of convenience on an incredibly hot and pregnant summer day last year.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the dress, it's just not me. If you've ever visited my blog you may be aware that "me" leans in the general direction of flourescent animal prints and graphic Ts and away from conservative blue stripes. So, what's a girl to do?
Luckily I have a (as of yet unnamed) sewing machine!
Note: Make sure the material of your to-refashion garment is not cotton jersey, as it is easily waterlogged and can become heavy and shapeless. Ideally bathing suits would be made out of lycra but this polyeter/viscose combination has worked well for me.

Step Two:
Cut the bottom of the swimsuit off so that it measures from your hips (as high or low as you want it) to just below your bust. I also took it in so it fight tighter. Loose fabric in water is not so good unless your filming an overly-romantic scene in movie. In which case maybe just wrap a flowy white sheet around yourself?

Step Three:
Using the top of the dress you'll want to cut out four pieces for the bust. Since I had stripes to work with I cut them on the bias and got a cool chevron look. You'll also need a waist band to creat a more finished look and to support the girls.

Step Four:

Bra destruction! I cut the straps and waist band from my old bra so that it was ready for it's big transformation!

Step Five:
I sewed the two halves of the cups down the middle with zig zag stitch then pinned them around the ouside of the bra cup and folded the hem in so that it looked clean from both sides. I ended up sewing this piece by hand. The thought of trying to manipulate a bra in that tiny space under the presser foot was daunting. Plus I can hand sew an invisible stitch pretty well, little pat on my back (my hand sewing used to be atrocious).


Step Six:
Next I sewed the waist band from the outside of one cup to the outside of the other so that it had it's own support seperate from the body of the bathingsuit.

Step Seven:
Sew the former-bra-now-bathingsuit-bust to the body of the suit with zig zag stitch.
And for that final touch I sewed a tightly stretched piece of elastic up on side and sewed two long ties just underneath so that it looked like it was gathered but without the danger of unpleasant ungathering.
Oh, and we'll need some straps.
Ta da! Done right? Oh, wait...wait a minute what is that?

Ah! Proof that my refashion is a refashion. The bane of my refashioning existence. You can tell that this bathingsuit top used to be a bra because of that tiny little rose. Damn you little fabric rose. I will defeat you! With uh...

Scraps apparently. Not particularly menacing? Fortunately I have some wonder friends here to help me out!

Allow me to introduce Benny the Pincushion Beaver and The Fabric Shears of Doom!

Sewing powers unite! Form off...

Wait for it...

(Name? Name? Name?)

Step Eight:
Big retro girly bow! And now for a much more appropriate...

TA DA!!!

I want to thank Magda once again for inviting me to be a part of this group of extremely talented women. I'm pretty sure I'm stilll blushing.

Mercedes! Her name is Mercedes. And Perhaps my serger will be Edmond. How romantic!


  1. Wow!!! This was so much fun to read! I was engaged everystep of the way and love the new sewing machine name. Also this refashion is super clever. I love these retro suits too but yes, they can be pricey. This is a great nice new alternative. You go girl! You look fabulous by the way. Going over to your blog now.

  2. A VERY clever refashion!!! You've done a great job!!!


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