You can get creative with sewing! I do. Drapery fabric can be garment fabric. Nightgown and lingerie patterns can be made into dresses. Exercise gear can be swimwear. You can make yoga pants so well that they look like casual dress slacks. When you are the maker you get to make all the rules. While not everything works out I bet you have a fun time and you may even learn new skills!

With sewing being my job I am always on the look out for a really quick and easy personal sewing projects. I’m usually looking for a two hour project at the most.


I find vintage Stretch and Sew patterns are great for fast projects. Popular during the 1970s and 1980s Stretch and Sew patterns are all made for knit fabrics. One big reason is because knit doesn’t have to pressed or finished on the inside. The less pieces a pattern has the less work you have to do. I also love how Stretch and Sew patterns are typically just Small-XL! All of this saves sewing time.

One thing I found interesting that I have never seen on any pattern is the use of scotch tape. The entire dress it made with zig zag stitching and lace on the edges. At the shoulders it wants you to tape the front to the back and then lay the lace over. I tried it without the tape and it didn’t work. I learned something new!


I get so many compliments on how awesome this dress is and I don’t even say anything about creating it from a nightgown pattern.

BTW~ I used Dear Stella fabric from Sew to Speak in Columbus, Ohio.


PAST PROJECTS. Here is another nightgown from the 1900s in cute cotton with handmade lace I got from my mother.

Ties can be made for police officers out of their old pants so they match.

In 2008-2009 I did an entire series of sheet/table cloth dresses to prove you can make beautiful things that cost less than $5. Vintage sheets make great and easy maxi skirts too.

Adult t shirts can be made into baby shirts so the entire family can match.














Table cloths can be turned into whatever you want! Photo of Ruby Randall was taken by Red Generation Photography.

A child’s favorite night gown can be replicated into formal wear with a little imagination.


Is there something you want to transform?

Behind the scenes~

My first fall class starts next week.

Come hang out with us! The Dayton Garment Designer Meet Up event is open to anyone that sews. September 21st in the large meeting room at Wright Memorial Library.

Halloween is just around the corner. Here is the Zelda costume I was asked to design for Leaf Photography photos by Juan Anzuldua.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it, Sew it!