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Tag Archives: Goodwill

Flying by the Seat of Someone Else’s Pants

I was excited to join in with Portia’s therefashioners2017 this year. The hashtag was “suitsyou” – we had to take a suit and refashion into another garment or accessory (by October 31st).

Men's suit jacket

I was SO organized – bought a dark pinstripe suit from Goodwill weeks ago. Suddenly mid-October was here, so I got around to cutting into it.
After much stitching/swearing/trying on/unpicking/stitching/swearing/cutting …… get the picture……….I gave myself permission to surrender, and not feel bad about ditching the challenge this year.

Three days later –
I fought, and lost, the urge to just take a peek in the men’s section of Goodwill. Of course, I found a really nice checked suit, just waiting to come home with me.

Bonus: Using my amazing powers of deduction……..well, Google, and the name label conveniently sewn inside, I concluded the suit had been made for a local sportsman…surprising what you can pick up at Goodwill!


OK, time to get creating – need something to listen to – plumped for¬†Jason Isbell. I decided to make a skirt, but it needed to be fast. Of course, Fit Athletic Man is in much better shape than me, so I couldn’t do a quick trousers to skirt conversion. I needed to add some panels in somehow to size up for Not-So-Fit Middle-Aged Woman.

I started with the trousers, retaining the “sides”, keeping the hip pockets, and back welt pockets, planning to just add front and back centre panels, like I did in the Getting Legless project. Realizing the silhouette could use a little more width at the hem, I inserted part of the sleeves into the side seams, leaving the cuff buttons in place as embellishment.

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Oh no…..evening of October 29th, was going to spend hours sewing today, but spent a lot of the day taking my rescue dog to a fundraiser event at his foster home. Running out of time (but at least it was for a good reason)….I think I’m going to give up again.

October 30th – at work all day, at peace with my decision – pressure off, I’ll be more organized for next year’s challenge!

October 31st….OK, I have till 5pm pacific time (midnight UK time). Stitched in panel at centre back. What the hell am I going to do for an interesting front panel? I looked at all the pieces I had available…ooh, I like the jacket front with the two pockets!!

OK, chop and sew (and drink coffee). Right, it’s done. It sure isn’t perfectly sewn!

Oh, damn, need photos;

  • hmm, there’s only the dog and I home
  • I don’t own a selfie stick
  • Sheila, my dressform doesn’t wear my clothes very well – everything’s too big because she keeps losing weight (at least that’s what I like to believe is happening)

Bingo, just noticed my laptop takes photos on timer. I didn’t quite get them in focus, but they’ll have to do.

Next year, I’ll have it done by mid October (I’ll also be 20lbs lighter….yeah, yeah!!)


Oh, yeah, I bought that!

WP_20140118_003So, I was aimlessly moving fabric around¬†ruthlessly decluttering the area behind the sewing machine, and I pulled out a skirt I’d forgotten about. Oh….. now I remember – one weekend, I was desperate to do some embroidery on a suiting type plaid, so I’d rushed to Goodwill and picked up this skirt.


WP_20140118_005I’d added some trim on the hem, embroidered a flower, tried it on and didn’t like myself in it.

It must have got discarded next to the machine, then gradually pushed behind over a period of a few months.

Hmmm, I’ve dropped a couple of pounds, maybe it was worth trying it on again?? OK, got it on easily, no problem, but I still didn’t like it. So, out with the SHEARS – either I’ll cut into it, and be inspired to transform it….or, I’ll just cut into it, and then shove the pieces in the trash, and go make coffee!

It had a side zipper, but I decided to get rid of that. I pinned it tighter for a better fit, taking in about 1″ both sides. Of course, I kept the discarded zipper, adding it to my drawer of more zippers than a woman could ever realistically use!


I cut down the center front to do a button through fastening. I trimmed some off the edges, so I could add wide bands. Pulled some plain brown fabric out of the stash (why doesn’t the stash ever get smaller?), ironed on some interfacing, and stitched the bands down the front.

I had planned to do a “double breasted” front (not an anatomically correct description, but you know what I mean), but had a change of heart and went asymmetric.


I tried it on, and was beginning to like it – just one more thing, a little patch pocket.

Wore it the next day with eggplant colored shirt and brown boots.

Yay……….I guess all that tidying up really paid off………… Oh, hold on, I never actually got that job done!