#3: Two for One// Project ReStyle


My selection for Project ReStyle this week is what I like to call a happy little accident. Here at The Fainting Goat, I’ve been working hard to get my spring collection ready to debut in a few weeks. Yesterday I spent a little time digging through my selection of hideously beautiful 80’s prom dresses & church lady clothes looking for items that I could redesign and add to our spring line. For me, this means trying everything on with pin cushion in hand to see how I could make it fit better and look more up to date.

I had held on to this mint green number with the intentions of snatching that awesome flower detail from the front to make into a headband or hairpin, I hadn’t decided which. When I finally tried it on yesterday though, I immediately envisioned a new purpose for this little lady. (Yes, I personify clothes. Most dresses are women… but not all.) First, I realized the color looked awesome on me and went really well with my hair and eyes, so I knew I was making something for myself to wear. (This was further confirmed later when I accidentally cut a tiny hole in the dress. Like I said, a happy accident.) Second, once I had the dress on and realized how great the top fit me, I knew there was no way I could pick that flower from its home. I decided to keep the top as a top, and repurpose the bottom into something equally as awesome.

I don’t have pictures to accompany my how-to, mostly because it’s not very pretty. I really do not know how to sew, my first attempt was the scarf I made in week 1, so everything I do is pulling from the faint memories I have from 6 weeks of Home Ec in middle school and my keen MacGyvor-like crafting instincts. The finished products look great though, and that’s all that really matters, right?

For the Top

This one is pretty simple. I just cut the lining about an inch from the bottom of the top shell, removing the skirt from the top. I thought about removing the liner from the top altogether but held off on that for now. The back, which I realize that I didn’t take any pictures of, has this great button detailing that exposes the satin liner beneath. If I removed it, you would be able to see through to the skin beneath, which could be kinda cool, but since the top fabric is pretty sheer, I’d probably wear a cami under it anyways. I love how the bottom edge comes up just a little where the flower is; I think this detail makes the top! Even though the fabric has a bit of a sheen to it, I could totally see myself wearing this with black jeggings (like I am here) and strappy heels (like I am not wearing here) any old day of the week.

For the Skirt/Dress

This part was a little more tricky. Actually, a lot more tricky, but we’ll get to that later. After cutting the top off the dress, I was left with about 1 inch of flat satin fabric above the top of the skirt. My original plan was to hem this into a tube, run a piece of elastic through it and BAM, awesome dress. I didn’t realize until I got ready to sew however that the top edge of the skirt wasn’t a straight line. It mimicked the hem line of the top, meaning that in one point, the skirt line came up into a slight point. At this place, my 1 inch of flat fabric shrunk to about 1/3 of an inch. Bummer.

With my easy peasy idea no longer an option, I decided to sew the elastic straight to the fabric, then roll it over and attach again. The only place this became an issue again was at the uneven edge. My solution here was to sew across the crimped skirt part in a straight line (well, as straight as the rest of my lines are), and attach the elastic that way. Once I got this done all around the top of the dress, I went back and tacked down the extra fabric in my problem area so that it created a small fold at the front of the dress. I figured that most lady’s need a little something extra there to keep things flowing right anyway.


Once I had the top done, I went hunting through my ribbon and belt collections looking for the perfect thing to tie it back with. I decided on this thin hot pink plaid shirt tie. I tried wearing it a couple of different ways: empire waist style for a more formal look, and tied at my natural waist with a nice 1970’s bloused look on top. Either way, this light, sheer gal will be great come summer when it gets too hot to wear clothes here in Georgia!

#2: Sari Curtain// Project ReStyle

Week 2 of Project ReStyle!! For this week’s project, I restyled this gorgeous sari into a curtain for the picture window in my bathroom.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… what the heck is a white girl like me doing with a sari lying around? Honestly, I’ve wanted one for years but could never really justify the expense, for obvious reasons. Lucky for me, I happened upon this beautiful hot pink and gold number at a thrift store last fall, for $2.99!!! I had no clue what I’d do with it at the time, but for that price I couldn’t pass it up.

I would like to thank YouTube for teaching me how to actually wear this! I know its not perfect, but not bad for 30 minutes of practice!

Shortly after bringing this baby home, I realized where it would look perfect– in my bathroom! Straight out of 1989, my master bathroom boasts burgundy fiberglass, gray subway tiles, and lots of brass. The focus of the room is a huge, 2 person Jacuzzi tub, topped by a large picture window. Oh, and did I mention that the tub doesn’t even work?! I’ve managed to make the burgundy work by pairing it with more modern raspberry colored towels and accent rugs, but this tub has remained an eyesore in the room. The best part is that the bathroom opens right up to my bedroom, separated by a large doorless archway. For the past year and half, this is the view that I have woke up to everyday:

The ladder isn't always there, but the plants are... and the plastic bag of stuff and random empty bottles and jars.

One option would have been to cut the sari up and sew some proper curtains. However, that would take sewing skills beyond what I possess, plus who knows when I may have an occasion to wear a sari? It would be a shame to cut up the only one I had.  So this meant I needed to find a way to hang the sari without actually altering it permanently. My solution: curtain rings!

I bought these clips about 8 years ago when I needed to add an inch or two to a curtain I wanted to hang. I slipped the round end over the plain white rod that was already mounted over the window. Then I attached the sari by pinching the fabric about 4 inches from the edge and fastening the clip to the backside of the sari. This allowed the top band to stand up and cover the rod. On alternate clips, I also pinched the fabric about 9 inches below the top pinch and clipped that as well, to create the folds in the fabric.

Total cost of this restyle: $2.99!! I guess if you add the cost of the clips in too, it would add another few bucks. Now I have a much better view to wake up to each morning!

#1: Scarf (with Pockets!)// Project Restyle

Last week I announced that I was participating in Project Restyle, a fun little blogger challenge that has us remaking or repurposing an old, unused item into something new and fabulous each week in 2011. (Click the link to find out more and get all the rules.) Each week I will post before and after pictures and try to walk you through how I transformed the item. Let me warn you though, I’m not sure how great my how-to instructions will be. I come from the school of “wing it, it’ll be fine,” so recreating my steps may be a little difficult on some projects. Feel free to ask questions though! I do better remembering what I did when prompted.

Today I’m proud to tell you about my first item, this beautiful scarf made from an old vintage men’s button up shirt. Unfortunately, I don’t have a before picture this week. I started this project last year so I didn’t think to snap one before I started cutting it up, which I did on a whim one night while watching a Criminal Minds marathon. It was one of the few vintage men’s items that has come through The Fainting Goat and had such great colors, but had a small hole in the back making it unsuitable for sale. Perfect for restyling though!!

I got the idea for this project from an issue of ReadyMade magazine. They suggested picking one without pockets, but I actually like using the pockets! Imagine it’s Friday night and you’re meeting some friends at the local bar. You don’t want to carry a purse or wear a jacket, but you hate the way it looks when you stick you cell phone, chapstick, keys, and cards into the pockets of your fitted jeans. Here’s your solution! Once wrapped around your neck, the pockets are virtually hidden in the fabric, so no worries about bulges. Better yet, no worries about setting down you car key and losing it!

Here are the basic steps:

1. Cut four panels from shirt: two from front, two from back. For front panels, you’ll make three cuts: along side seam of shirt on each side, across shoulder hem (removing the collar), and down center part with buttons. Leave bottom hem in place (this will be the ends of the scarf). Now that you have two panels of relatively the same size and shape, square them up so that you have two rectangle pieces. If your shirt was longer had an uneven hem (shorter on the sides) like mine did, you can keep this! It adds to the final look nicely. Using these as templates, cut two more panels of the same size out of back of shirt. Don’t worry about keeping the bottom here on these, you won’t need it. The two need to be rectangles. If you can get a fifth panel, go for it, but most likely you’ll only get these four.

2. Take the two back panels and match the front sides. Sew together along one edge, about 3/4-1 inch from edge. Fold hem over and sew again. You can stop here if you’re lazy like me, or do one more fold and sew, tucking the raw edge under completely.

3. Repeat the above process to attach the two front panel, one on either end.

That’s it!! I left the edges raw for a fringed effect. I tried using a seam ripper but the fabric wasn’t cooperating. When the threads unravel on their own though, it creates just the effect I was looking for. After a few washes and wears, I’m sure it will be perfect.

For a heavier scarf, you could line the scarf in a solid lightweight flannel fabric. I like the light feel of this one though. Even though it’s really long unwound, the thin fabric allows me to wrap up a few times without feeling smothered.

I’m very proud of my first restyle creation! I test wore it to my best friend’s house this week. She immediately noticed it when I came it and tried it on herself as soon as I took it off. Her 2-year old daughter then promptly stole it from her about a second later and started modeling it around the kitchen. I think that means it was a success!