2014-01-22

January Refashion Month with Tasha from I Seam Stressed

Today's guest, Tasha, runs one of my very favorite blogs, I Seam Stressed. Mom of two (a girl and a baby boy), and unstoppable. I met her about 7 months ago when she asked me if she could post as a sewalong guest for the July Refashion Month. She's a master at refashioning for her kids, and a great source of inspiration for me. Oh, and I just couldn't help but laugh out loud to myself when I read her introduction to this post, because apart from the machine (mine was a present many years ago), it could be me saying so. 

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I want to start this post with a confession. I am a cheap seamstress. It's really true. The machine I sew with most was literally rescued from a dumpster. The most I've ever paid for a yard of fabric is $8. I buy my thread, notions, and needles when they are on sale (unless I have a sewing emergency). I love to sew but I can't justify shelling out tons of cash to support my hobby, especially since our household runs on a single income.

Refashioning is a great way to get the gratification of sewing without spending much money at all. A lot of us like to refashion our own clothing into garments for our small children. However, if you're like me (Cheapy McCheaperson), you probably wear your own clothes for so long that by the time you're ready to let them go they're threadbare and hardly acceptable as refashioning material. You could go to a thrift store and find something less used than your old duds. But it's still not the same as sewing with new material, amiright? 

My solution is this: I shop at a discount store. My store of choice is called Half of Half (Name Brand Clothing). This particular retailer has locations in the Midwestern States, though I'm sure you could find something similar wherever you live. It's basically a huge warehouse full of overstock, returned, or damaged clothing--but new clothing. Items are grouped by type and then by a very loose sizing scale (S/M/L/XL). It's a bit overwhelming at first, but I actually do all my clothing shopping there (not just shopping for refashions), so I've gotten pretty good at finding what I'm looking for.

When I am looking for garments to use as fabric, I sift through the largest sized dresses first. More fabric equals more bang for your buck! I keep my eyes peeled for interesting prints (especially in knit) and on trend details and colors--I'm looking for anything that I couldn't find at my local family-owned fabric store, and anything made with quality fabric. Everything at my discount store is at least 75% off retail price. I decided to make a special trip for this post to show you what I found and the prices I paid. I lucked out and walked in to a huge sale; an extra 50% (or more) off most items!

I chose ten items that I thought had great refashioning potential. Starting at the top:
green knit pants // size 14 with three metal zippers with green tape // $1.50
funky woven dress // size 8 twill-like mini dress with interesting pattern // $1.50
polka-dotted knit dress // size 6p dress with full circle skirt // $2.50
wool coat // size 16p 100% wool pinkish-beige coat // $1.50
denim dress // size 18 button-front dress with floral/dot print // $1.50
fringed party dress // size 0 black strapless mini dress with fringed tulle texture // $1.50
velvet knit dress // size 1X black stretch velvet with minimal seams // $2.50
graphic print woven dress // size M black & green-floral-print striped dress // $2.50
two tone sweater // size XS navy sweater with green knit overlay // $1.00
red & black party dress // size 9 dress with tulle skirt, lace overlaid bodice, and beaded collar // 2.50
Total: $18.50 +tax

I am really excited about what I was able to find for less than $20.  I encourage you to try and find a special discount store near you; I've found that there's no better, easier (cheaper!) way to find on trend new materials for your refashioning projects.  And did you notice the title on my image above?  "A Refashioned Kids' Wardrobe From New Materials For Less Than $20."  This will be my pet project for the upcoming Kids Clothes Week! Check out my blog, I Seam Stressed, daily January 27 - February 2 to see how I refashion all ten of my finds into a new wardrobe for my daughter.

Thanks so much for having me, Magda!

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