A Few Refashioning and Upcycling Projects

First post. Let’s get started!

I suppose it’s normal to post a big long diatribe explaning in excruciating detail my unending love for taking old junky stuff and making it purty and sparkly again, but I’ll spare you and instead share photos of a few projects I’ve done over the last few years which I love.

Belly Bands


I made these 2 belly bands while I was pregnant with P, so in late 2014. I took 4 regular jersey tops from Marks and Spencer that I got sick of, cut the tops off from around the rib area, then sewed them with elastic at the top as you see here. This also made them reversible which was a big win for my maternity wardrobe.

These were also one of my earliest forays into sewing clothes for myself (as you can see from the rudimentary way the elastic was placed) but I’m so glad I made them. They were so useful and I ended up donating them to a clothing charity since I figure no one would want them. I kind of regret that now because I have some pregnant friends who would’ve loved to use these!


Upcycling Nightstands

I got these nightstands from a charity shop and thought they were hideous, but argued the price down a bit and looked up how to paint over top of cheap fake wood. Oil-based primer is the key! And I picked a nice matte paint, as well as finding new handles at the same hardware store. I also made this whilst pregnant with P, right after we moved to Andorra. I dried them outside on our bedroom balcony (which was super tiny), thank the gods for the dry mountain air! I was really pleased with the result – we still use them today 3ish years later!


Refashioning a Zara top


This was a pretty simple concept, but I was a little nervous at first to do it. I didn’t do any clean-lines finishing on the inside but I’m proud of my first refashion! It was a simple Zara top that, as per usual for me, was too small in the bust. It had a gathered bust and is a typical design for Zara: unless it’s super stretchy, their tops never fit me. I took the gathers out, added the contrasting panel you see now and reattached the neckline. The shirt itself was in pretty poor condition after a few wears (I assume the original owner wore/washed it a lot) so I ended up donating it to a textile recycling initiative.

I actually really like this photo because that’s a genuine, albeit goofy, smile and I was proud of my handiwork. I’m pretty sure I was suffering from some type of postpartum mental health issues. I was in a constant fog, exhausted and my poor husband couldn’t help me. I only vaguely remember P’s baby time, which bums me out a lot since she was a relatively easy baby AND SO CUTE! Anyway, at the time it was nice to do something for myself and feel that kind of satisfaction one feels upon finishing a project.

Also: I flipping love leopard print. My husband hates it, therefore I must make ALL THE LEOPARD PRINT CLOTHES.


IKEA duvet into a toddler dress


Simplicity New Look 6441 View A. This is one of my crowning glories so far as a sewist! I love this dress, and I love how it turned out. I feel I got lucky but at the same time I know I did everything right in the pattern, went slow, followed instructions, blah blah. We’ll get a few more months of wear out of this dress with P and soon she’ll be too big for it. I still have plenty of fabric left from that duvet cover so I could easily make her another one in a bigger size. Maybe a mother-daughter matchy matchy could be in the works? Hmm…

What’s your favorite refashion or upcycle project you’ve done?

Feel free to follow me on instagram. I post frequently and you can see pictures of my goofy cats, too!