This challenge was inspired during walks to local coffee shops and thrift stores with my friend Samantha, owner of Riley Street Photography! I hope you will join us!

The ReFabrication Challenge

To help spark creativity and fun you are invited to join in on our monthly ReFabrication Challenge. The idea is to use listed items to make or design anything you want. It can be arts, crafts, clothing, weaving, stuffed animals, dolls, really… the sky is the limit here.

Thrift store price tags.

Starts – Feb 1st. Ends – Feb 28th.

This months five thrifted, salvaged or used items:

  • Any men’s garment
  • Any women’s garment
  • Any item from linens
  • Any item from accessories
  • Something arts and crafts/random bag of crap (they sell these at most thrift shops)

Added – if someone is unable to leave their home due to the pandemic they can source those five items from their home.

The only rules:

  1. Must take and share a photo of the items before transformation. Then take and share a photo of completed project by end of month.
  2.  We want to see what you make. Tag Tracy’s Sewing Studio and Riley Street Photography in photos on your social media platforms. 
  3.  Other than that, no other rules apply. This not a contest – no prizes, no judging and all skill levels are welcome. This is to connect, share, spark creativity, build each other up and most of all have fun.
  4. This will be a monthly challenge although you can participate as you wish. We get busy too!

We did a couple of practice rounds first and for mine I used a thrifted sheet, scarf, a pair of men’s suit pants, a dress and I pulled two ornaments out of the bag of crap. Each items cost was around a dollar.

I hacked Australian pattern company, Style Arc’s, Ethel designer Top.

I simplified the original pattern by taking out the facings and lengthening the pattern.

After ensuring I had enough fabric I cut everything out on the floor to make sure it would work. 

For the bag of crap I took apart the two little ornaments and made rosettes out of them. This was the hardest part, trying to figure out what to do with these. For the accessory (my scarf), I made a simple beret and added the rosettes and ribbons to it to use all five things.

The end product, the dress!

What I Learned

The sheet was thinner than the men’s gaberdine pant and silk organza from the dress causing it to hang differently. I feel I should’ve done the front in the burgundy organza like the back. Maybe then I could have used the sheet, cut on the bias, for bindings and just a pop of white.

I also learned not to throw my scraps out. I had to dig in the trash twice for more fabric. That should have been a no brainer.

Last, the bottom trim should have been sewn on the front and back before assembling the sides in case I want to take it in for someone else.

Behind the scenes~

Make sure you check out Sam’s finished challenge piece.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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