making clothes and time for dates

So I am having a blast making clothes from clothes. It’s a little challenge I gave myself this spring when I looked in my closet. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding since 2007. That sentence is INSANE.


Anyway, styles change in a few years. More importantly, bodies change in a few years. I find myself wearing shirts I once wore as dresses. And I find myself using rags I once wore as shirts.

I want new clothes. For free. So, basically, that leaves me one option. Well, a few, but I’m holding off on picking up post garage sale boxes left in alleys. I guess free isn’t exactly honest as I have stacks of new fabric in my basement. And, the clothing I am altering I purchased at one point. But breathing new life into a maternity dress feels like I am winning the lottery so we’ll settle at free.

I made this little darker blue sundress for Margot this afternoon from an old maternity dress of mine. 
maternity dress made into a sundress for me (FLOP) and then into a sundress for Margot…she’s still napping and I can’t wait to try it on her!

I am doing the same for Margot. Ruby is set in that way that all second-daughters-to-older-sisters-who-are-born-at-the-same-time-of-year are set. But bug needs clothes and I have this pile of previously loved shirts and sweaters just waiting for a new spin…

I think Andy would give me a hairy eyeball if I tried to make him knickers from an old sweatshirt otherwise I’d be recreating his wardrobe too. Although, he would look cute in knickers…

I’ve made a few skirts, shirts and such and I have a stack of ideas waiting. I will be posting before and after shots and details here. Last week I made a dress, fashioned out of an embroidered silk blouse I scored at a naked lady clothes swap party, for Margot that I am quite fond of.


I made it up as I went and if one happened a gander at the interior of the frock, one would know I made it up as I went.

Anyway, it turned out cute and, most importantly, Margot loves it.

PhotobucketShe can wear it with the buttons in front or back 

She wore it our our date last Friday, with her cowgirl boots of course.


I wrote about our adventure, one of the best dates of my life, in my column this week, mama digs: the perfect date


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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from

24 Responses to making clothes and time for dates

  1. Adriana Iris says:

    brilliant… love the dresses. really is genius. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Melina says:

    Hey Nici. I love this idea of ‘up-cycling.’ I wish I could sew…how I wish I could sew! And those cowgirl boots? Girl’s got some style!

    You should write a book about how being eco-friendly is more fun than buying new. I’ll buy it in harcover.


  3. Marjorie says:

    i love, love the dress you made from the blouse!

  4. ooooh I love up-cycled clothes. I have several old cashmere sweaters waiting to be turned into skirts and pants for my little bean. Just need that first trimester vomiting to end long enough to sit at my sewing machine!

  5. love all the dark and light, and margot, of course, in the last pic.

    Thanks for encouragement to sit down at my sewing machine again, I’ve been in a slump. My oldest daughter is in need of some summer dresses and I just can’t bring myself to spend so much on all that flimsy cotton when I too, have stacks of fabric sitting in my basement.

  6. Peggy says:

    Perhaps just some house knickers? 😉

  7. Kelle says:

    I am in love with the embroidered dress. And the date. I love my firstborn dates, and they are more meaningful the older she gets. And I so appreciated the dandelion post too. Uuughh…you’re totally teasing me with a Montana spring.
    Lame commenting lately because I’ve been so busy, but I wanted to let you know I am reading and I’ll be a badass commenter soon. xoxo

  8. omg–that pic of your bug by Mt. Jumbo is *pristine*. I’m freaking out over these springy ding days of beautiful light!!!!

    I’m so stoked I get to watch what you see this summer!!

  9. I LOVE that you are fashioning new clothes from previously worn ones. Upcycling….I love that term! I so clearly remember my mom making me a new dress out of a white one with red polka dots that was my sisters. I am daughter number four so had was lucky enough to have many of those. I adore that my mom sewed for us and don’t think I had a purchased dress/top until high school. Fun to see what you are coming up with. The embroidered one is precious. Margaret

  10. Sarah says:

    So cute (the clothes and the girlie :)). Can’t wait to see what else you make!

  11. jen says:

    love that you are repurposing and giving new life to clothing that most would toss. sad, huh?
    also. pregnant and/or breastfeeding since fall of 2003. (with a 3 month break in there in 2006 and a 1 month break in 2009) unless my math is totally wrong in my head. seriously. crazy.

  12. Tara Jeles says:

    Fabulous new ideas for clothes! Her little dress is adorable. I remember my grandma said she bought a XL man’s coat at the sally ann and made 3 little coats for her little girls(my mom included). She had 6 kids to clothe and did just as you did. Inspiring. please post more.

  13. TRB Holt says:

    MY first smile today!

    I don’t know how it happens but Margot gets cuter in every photo!


  14. MeganMR says:

    Do you have a freecycle group in your area? I get a lot of clothes and other items for FREE in my local group. It’s awesome that we can keep these items out of our landfills. Something that someone else may no longer need is sometimes the exact thing I am looking for!

  15. NatureGirl says:

    Super cute! I have a pile of old things to try to repurpose…frankly I am just not that creative! I think you will dig this chick’s tutorials…

  16. .:Heather:. says:

    that last picture….breathtaking!

  17. Mt. Sentinel? it’s been eons since I lived in Missoula. last time I was around, it was on fire.

    regardless, SUPER CUTE.

  18. Love that you had a date night with your bug. Love her expressions. Is it just me or is all of a sudden she’s looking a bit more mature? The “ooo” face and the last shot are beautiful representations of her.

    Love upcycling. I can totally see you writing a book on eco-friendly family living.


    Jennifer from Annapolis

  19. rebecca says:

    ,,,margot bea + upcycled dress + cowboy boots = ADORABLE (all caps!),,,

  20. Amy says:

    LOL “That sentence is INSANE” I have been pregnant or breastfeeding (am still breastfeeding) since this time in 2008. I am having some of the same issues with my clothes, and these are great ideas!

  21. CMB says:

    That dress is SO ADORABLE!!! I want one for my 2 1/2 year old!!!!!

  22. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I liked this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!