The Refashioners 2018

Friends, I'm humbled to be part of The Refashioners 2018 epic line-up. This year, Portia has opened the challenge right up - absolutely any garment goes, as long as you start with an image that inspires you!

With that in mind, you're probably wondering why the heck I've played it so safe!?! Well, aside from not being a particularly gifted refashioner, my initial plan kinda went to pot. 

I was hoping to make a patchwork Megan Nielsen Karri Dress, using the many unloved pairs of jeans I've been holding onto for years. I was really excited about this idea, until I realised that none of the jeans I owned were wide enough for the skirt pieces. 

A trek to my local charity shops revealed that I would need to buy quite a few jeans/denim items to be able to carry this off, which really got me thinking about waste. It seemed like I would be buying items just for the sake of it, when I already have plenty of me-mades in need of some TLC. So, I decided to hold onto my jeans until the right project comes along and hatched another plan.


I turned my attention to the By Hand London Kim Dress I made four years ago, using the loveliest Liberty London cotton lawn. Even though it was pretty, I'd never worn it because it was a little too revealing in the bust area, plus I'm not a fan of light-coloured dresses on me. 

Wasting such beautiful fabric made me uneasy though, so this was the push I needed to do something about it. I googled 'Liberty fabric blouses' which led me to this divine image from Pompom magazine and the Stevie Tunic pattern by Tilly and the Buttons immediately sprung to mind! 

Having already made two Stevie tops that I love, this was the perfect pattern to ensure that my Liberty lawn got the second chance it deserved. I chopped the skirt off my Kim Dress and...the rest is history. For this version I opted for the ties at the back and added cuffs too. The purple contrasting fabric was in my destash pile, so I'm glad I found a use for it. 

Was the original dress cuter? Possibly. Will I get lots of wear out of this? Definitely!

If you've got this far, thanks for sticking with me! Once again, Portia's challenge is super inspiring, so make sure you stay updated with the latest here

It's also proven again that when it comes to refashioning, I'm definitely a harverster instead of a reworker. This means that I'm not great at reimagining garments and pretty much only see them as fabric I can use for something else. Elisalex of By Hand London has written an interesting article about these two different approaches in this month's Love Sewing magazine!

Are there any more harvesters out there?


  1. I love your new top! Looks fab with the purple back. I have been following Portia's Refashioners 2018, and just want to say thanks for doing a 'safe' refashion! Much as I love looking at the wonderful imaginative creations from some of the others, this is something I can see myself doing, especially as it was a Me-Made item you refashioned.

  2. This is a bit spooky for me because I've just cut a very similar kimono sleeved top from a summer dress I made a couple of months ago. I made it in a beautiful cotton lawn but it's mainly yellow and it just isn't me as a dress. If never normally wear a pale coloured summer dress. I think I got carried away by the heatwave! I'm hoping I'll wear it next spring once I've transformed it into a top. I love your top by the way!

  3. That is my kind of top and now you are making me think of a a liberty dress I made for my girls which I am hanging on to because I don't want to pass it on. Off to do some measuring! great so see your project. Jo x