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January Refashion Month with Al from Shaffer Sisters

Today's Al's turn to post in the series. She is the youngest of the three Shaffer Sisters. As much as I love all the sister's, I have to admit that Al was the first I felt more connected with only because I was able to work closer with her, by the time she tested the Dreaming of Spring blazer for me. And that's the only advantage she has on her sisters. And just check how much refashioned inspiration she's sharing with us today!!!


I love Magda. She has become a very true friend even though geographically we are very far away from each other. I'm always so excited when I get the opportunity to work with her and I'm especially excited to be here today.

It seems that refashioning has become the necessity and preference when sewing for the kids and sometimes myself (unfortunately I don't do enough sewing for myself yet). Currently my husband is in school and I am a stay at home mom. Sewing is my sanity and the form of keeping my children clothed.

My Family (50% of what is worn in this picture is refashioned; my dress was made from a sheet, Ty's shirt was from a women's shirt, Ty's pants got flowers added to the bottom, and Ty's shoes were dirty white thrift store shoes that we cleaned and painted a nice mustard yellow)
So many times I've heard the excuse that sewing is expensive and not worth the effort. They tell me that fabric costs more than if you just went to buy the exact same item in the store. This could be true if you think that fabric only comes from a fabric store. Today I wanted to give you a few pointers on getting fabric cheap.

Clean Out Your Closet

Madame Principal Dress - Color Blocked Skirt - Katharine Hepburn Style
I've seen my sister Jo take her husband's old work shirts and make something for her kids or herself at least half a dozen times. Looking at the unwanted or unused items sitting in the closet are a great place to start (especially when sewing for kids because it doesn't more than an unwanted adult shirt to make them something great).

I had a cute navy polka dot dress that I had from high school that would never fit my post baby body, but I couldn't let go of. I used it for a stripes and polka dot challenge on PR&P to make Ty her Madame Principal Dress. She loved it more than any other clothing item she's ever had and wore it constantly until it got too small.

Go to a Thrift Store
Underwater Land Tee - Tangerine Poppy Dress - Perpetually Prepared Suit - Thank Goodness For Little Girls Dress
I find the fabric available at a fabric store unexciting and low on quality (especially when you consider the price). When you pick up something that is used, it's obvious how it washes (whether it will ball up or wrinkle) and you can get some pretty unique prints. The 'Thank Goodness for Little Girls Dress' was made from a vintage pillowcase we picked up at a fabric store.

Ty's 'Perpetually Prepared' suit (blazer and pencil skirt) was made from a women's T-length skirt. The blazer was made using an awesome free pattern from Magda called Dreaming of Spring. I've  been dying to make another one, but have been swept up in the craziness of life lately.

Check out the $1 Rack
(go to clothing stores as they're switching out old stuff for new seasons)

Surely Stylish Scarlet Top - Black Staple Dress
This is a pretty cheap and easy way to get knit fabric. I usually look for prints that I like or solids that would be versatile. The bigger the clothing article, the better (it means more fabric you can use).

Use a Sheet or something similar (you can get tons of fabric for cheap)
Surely Stylish Scarlet - Bold on a Budget Overalls - Cracker Jack Sailor Suits & Nautical Skirts - Singing in the Rain Skirt
This might be one of my favorite ways to get fabric. You can get so much fabric for so little money (especially when the sheets are on sale or you use a coupon). With one flat sheet (I'm pretty sure it was twin size) we were able to make 2 little boy Cracker Jack Sailor Suits and 2 little girl Nautical Skirts.

Make It Interesting
Bold on a Budget Overalls - Surely Stylish Scarlet - Underwater Land Tee
Once you have your desired fabric you will have to use the judgement call on whether you think your fabric and sewing design is enough to stand on it's own. Sometimes it's fun to freshen your look by using a contrasting thread or maybe some fabric paint. The possibilities are seriously endless.

With the Bold on a Budget Overalls, Jo used contrasting piping, contrasting thread, and contrasting fabric paint to give a really fun look. The Surely Stylish Scarlet outfit was made from a white sheet. To give it dimension, we used a rolled hem with red thread on the bottom of the ruffles. The Surely Stylish Scarlet top was made with color blocking fabric and then using the opposite colored fabric paint to put on the design.

Whatever your source of fabric, never let a small buget stand in your way of creating something beautiful.

With Love,


  1. This really covers some of the best places to get fabric and some of the fun ways to spruce it up. Great post Al!



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