Sewing Rewind: Recon Edition! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Sewing Rewind: Recon Edition!

So what does this recon edition mean?  Reconstructing a garment typically means that you get something tired and dated out of your closet, and create something new and exciting!  These are all pieces that needed a bit of TLC or refitting and now they don't just take up space in the closet anymore, they're totally wearable!


Laker's Shirt Recon
If you're a regular reader, you know that I have a Lakers loving family.  A few years back, the family went to a game on Christmas day, and they gave each of us T-shirts.  Yep, XL T-shirts that are basically dresses on 5'0" girls like me...

So wait a minute, why not make it a dress then?

I had JUST started my sewing class, and even though I was weeks away from working on actual garments, I figured that I would give my first tailoring job a shot.  I wasn't even sure how to take in a garment, so I Googled it.  Yep, I've coming a LONG way!  And here is the final product!

Why hello there!  A sassy little dress to wear to the game (but with tights because it's a touch too short for cheering with my arms up)!  And even though I could have removed the sleeves and brought the shoulder up, I actually like the 3/4 sleeve length.  Most people don't notice the original shoulder anyways!

Also, there's a major change to the neckline, which I accomplished by following With Wendy's tutorial.

Not too shabby!

Red Polka Dot Top
In this case, I lost a bit of weight, so I had a bunch of clothing that didn't fit anymore!  I donated a lot of items, but I held on to a few things...  Luckily, I learned how to sew and therefore take in my clothes.  Yay!

Before: Too wide (excuse the undergarments)
Before: Too low-cut

Somehow, I guess losing weight not only affects the horizontal fit, but the vertical!

Here's the after!

I took in the side seams.

I also brought up the neckline from the shoulder, but left the ruffle intact.  It was really simple!

My Guy's Favorite PJ Shirt
We were in Target looking for PJs, when my guy found a shirt on sale for $3.  Great!  It was XXL.  Not great!

This was the most difficult of my "tailoring" jobs because I had to make someone else happy!  Also, it was sooo low cut in the front, that I had to take up in the front.  Here's what he ended up with!

And how did I accomplish this?  By taking up the straps and overlapping them like this:

Also, it involved a ton of fabric taken in on the sides.  I made a matching headband and wrist cuffs for him, if he ever wants to rock the 1980s dodgeball look.  :)

I'm just happy that he loves his PJ shirt, and it's his favorite one to wear for hot summer nights.  :)

MJ Cardigan
Next up is a super soft cardigan that I picked up at a swap meet for $1 because it was missing all of its buttons.  This isn't really a recon, but I love that a bit of needle and thread helped make this wearable.

All that I had to do was sew on a couple of buttons to make it my own!  At the time, I didn't have too many gold buttons, so this is what I chose.

I'm definitely a button hoarder now, so maybe I'll rummage around my stash and find some better ones. Here's the final result!

And the best part?  It's a real Marc Jacobs cardigan with all the lovely cashmere softness that goes along with it.  At the time, I found out that it was selling for about $150.  Wow!

All in all, I'm glad that I've gotten the chance to recon a few items here and there.  I definitely have a ton more items to really reconstruct, and more than just taking them in.

Have you reconstructed any garments lately?  How did it turn out?


  1. I love that you made these into something you can wear - and they look great too! I have a pile of clothes that I need to refashion, or at least take in, but I never seem to get around to it. Maybe I'll be inspired this weekend...

    1. Thanks! I have sooo many items that I need to recon. Dresses with weird shapes, boring sweaters, more swap meet finds. I won't get to them until after my trip, but maybe I'll get even more inspiration from my travels!


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