Me Made May 2021: Closet Refashions

Now that we’re more than halfway through June, I figured I would still give a little bit of an update on my Me Made May Closet Re-Evaluation. I learned quite a lot about my closet just by organizing it by color. I also had a few people comment on my Instagram post about taking dresses they made that they didn’t wear very much and turning those dresses into tops.

This made me think. Because I really went all out making dresses and skirts when I first started sewing, because I was finally able to make dresses that I always dreamed of being able to wear! (I’m taller than average, so nothing fit right and dresses were always a bit too short on me.) Now that I’ve scratched that itch enough, I’ve started to move onto other things…So then I needed to look at all of those dresses and skirts critically. When I started thinking about which dresses I would make into tops and shirts, I immediately thought of my Reeta Dress and Envelope Dress.

Reeta Dress –> Shirt

I made my Reeta Dress (up to 55″ hip) with 100% cotton shirting, and it felt a little bit restrictive around the legs when I would wear it, so I just quit wearing it. (Thinking about it now, the pattern would be much better sewn with fabrics that are more drapey and flowy .) Other than that, I loved this fabric, and I loved how much effort I put into getting those front pockets just perfect!

So, here is rundown of the things I did to make this dress a shirt: I cut the bottom of the dress off, removed the casing and drawstring at the waist, handstitched the holes from the drawstring shut, cut the sides to be at a little less of an angle, resewed the sides, and hemmed the bottom with smaller side vents. I’ve already worn it multiple times now, and I love it! I can tell it’s going to get much more wear as a shirt.

Here’s the comparison of it as a dress compared to now:

Envelope Dress –> Top

I wrote about my Envelope Top (all sizes accessible) in my last blog post, so if you’re interested in how I altered that, you can read all about it here! But here are a couple pictures of what it looks like now.

Here is what it looked like before compared to now:

Button Front Cleo Skirt –> Kalle Shirt

I was looking at my closet again and realized that I don’t wear any skirts that have an elastic, because they end up hugging me right at my natural waist (which goes along with how I don’t like high waisted pants). So, I took a few skirts out and I immediately thought about how much I loved my “magic forest tulips” fabric and wanted to be able to wear it as a top instead. I did some checking and realized that I could get a Kalle Shirt (up to 63″ hip) out of it with a little improvisation. I’m extremely glad I did this because it turned out so good, and I am definitely going to get more wear out of it now!

Here’s another quick rundown of how I fixed this skirt and made it into a shirt: Since I already had the button plackets finished, I folded the pattern over on the front center seam to account for the placket. I cut the front piece while the skirt was buttoned and laying flat. Then I cut the rest of the pieces, but left the cuffs and yoke last just in case I didn’t have enough fabric. The only thing I couldn’t fit was the yoke pieces, so I found a large piece of black tencel twill in my scraps and used that for the yoke pieces. Then I sewed the shirt together and just had to add two more buttons+holes to the bottom. It worked out perfect and I’m so excited about my new Kalle Shirt!

One thing I want to add is that this was my first time using tricot interfacing in a shirt, and I loved it! I’ve heard other sewists using this interfacing, and I was always a little curious. So, I bought some, and I was surprised to find out that it’s pretty similar inn price to the Pellon interfacing that I usually just get at Joann. The tricot interfacing feels so much nicer though, and fuses so much better. I will definitely be using it from now on.

Here is what it looked like as a skirt, compared to now:

In the 6 years that I’ve been sewing/blogging, I never really took the time to take a look at my closet, my patterns, and be more intentional about what I would actually wear. I still felt like I was building my wardrobe, and I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So, I really enjoyed getting suggestions from others, especially about trying to see my makes in a new way. I hope to keep this process going, even as I keep adding other things to my wardrobe, but it feels good to know which types of garments or fabric+pattern combos that I should avoid (not because they aren’t good, but because I won’t wear them). And I also think I might try sharing some of the different ways I can combine and style my makes to get me out of my same old combinations.

Do you have anything in your closet that you would wear more if you made a change to it? Let me know in the comments!

Happy refashioning!

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