As I said in my first post, I learn best from doing actual projects, rather than watching videos or doing little pieces of projects.

Learning to Sew
Sewing is not something I’ve always done in my life. It hasn’t been as omnipresent as knitting has been. When Kamran and I got married five (almost six!) years ago, for some reason it struck me that it would be nice to get a sewing machine as a wedding present. It seemed so domestic to have such a…

My first choice for projects on my own, was dresses for Saira, made from Kamran's old button-up shirts. (Kamran goes by "papa" at our house). Kamran had just gotten rid of several old shirts, so I squirreled them away and got to work.

A Rough Draft

The first was pretty rough. I actually think I will probably throw it away. Being a knitter, I am used to frogging projects. I used a tutorial from Tie Dye Diva.

Man’s Dress Shirt to Girl’s Peasant Dress Upcycle - Tie Dye Diva Patterns Blog
It’s so easy to upcycle a man’s dress shirt into a peasant dress! Here’s how. You’ll need: Man’s dress shirt. Peasant dress pattern like Easy Peasy Peasant Dress pattern Elastic The Easy Peasy Peasant Dress pattern is available on our website in size ranges 0-3 months through 18-24 months and 2/3 ye…

I feel like I kind of half-assed the project, which is why the result was less than ideal. I didn't measure with any kind of consistency (as in, I drew out both sides without actually making sure they looked the same). I didn't change my thread color when I should have (I used white thread?!) I also didn't have real sewing scissors yet. O0ps. BUT: I learned some important skills, like the need for more precision, how to do elastic in sleeves, and I started to learn about hemming and necklines. So even though the end result was not great, the process was helpful!

At least the model is exceptionally cute!
She makes everything look better!

Dress Take Two

My next refashion was also a redux of Kamran's work shirts. For this one, I was determined to make a product that actually looked nice and could be worn! I used a pattern from Made by Toya.

Simple tunic or dress pattern
Visit the post for more.

This pattern is really readable, helpful, and, easy! I felt a lot more comfortable trying it out, and learned how to do a liner for the bodice piece. Also, since these shirts already had buttons, I was able to avoid making my own buttonholes, a task that still seemed daunting at the time.

Looking rough, but fighting through it.

I measured everything out patiently this time, followed all the steps, and switched my threads when needed. I'm growing up!

Still need to clean it up a bit.

I actually made this one in the 2-year-old size, so I will wait to post a picture of Saira wearing it when she is a bit older (she's currently 10 months).

Using my husband's old shirts was actually really helpful for starting. I didn't feel bad when I made mistakes, because the shirts were garbage anyway. I wasn't really wasting anything because we already had the materials. It was also fascinating to turn something old into something new. I'm a very frugal person naturally, so recycling and reusing speaks to me. I have more refashion ideas coming soon, after I finish a couple of big projects, which I will reveal later.