I recently found a couple good deals at the thrift store and used them in a couple of quick and easy projects. I wanted to share what I did with you. Hopefully, it will inspire you to find some thrifty sewing projects of your own.
From sundress to skirt
My first project started life as a sun dress. I loved the colors and the buttons and it was lined, so it held it’s shape nicely. It was only $1, so how could I resist? But it was a little small for me and in any case, I don’t look good in sleeveless.
So, instead I made it into a skirt. I measured the length I wanted starting at the waist. The length I wanted ended right at a button hole, so I added another 1 1/4″ so that the button hole would be 3/4″ below the waistband.
After cutting the skirt and waistband to length, it was a simple matter to sew the waistband onto the skirt. I treated the lining and outer fabric as one fabric, sewing them together to the waistband. Then I sewed two more parallel seams in the back half of the waistband to create casing for three rows of 3/8″ elastic. Total time: about 1 1/2 hours.
In the end I ended up with a nice lined skirt and five extra buttons to use on another project. All for just $1.
From bed sheet to nightgown
Then I saw this darling bed sheet. I actually found two sheets that I liked, one for $1 and this one for $3. But I went with the $3 one because it had a cute border that I thought would make a nice edge to a nightgown for my granddaughter.
For the nightgown, I chose a raglan sleeve pattern. It’s an easy-to-assemble pattern and is very forgiving if it isn’t sized just perfectly. The pattern was free, but I did modify it a bit. (Here’s a similar pattern in size 3 and size 5.)
The last time I used this pattern, I felt that the ease between the armhole and the neck was a little snug. Not a bad fit, but not a lot of give, which is OK for a dress. But I think it’s important to have more give for a nightgown to be comfortable. So even though the instructions say to add 1″ for casing at the neck, I added 2″ to the top.
I also pulled the pattern 1″ from the fold to give more ease across the chest. I wanted more give because it’s a nightgown and also to allow for growth. So if you use this pattern for a blouse or dress, it’s perfect just the way it is. But if you use it for a nightgown, you may want to add 1/2″-1″ for more ease.
Use the hemmed borders to save on sewing
The border has a nice 1 1/4″ hem so that, as my granddaughter grows (and she’s growing so fast!), I’ll be able to let the hem out. With the extra ease in the chest and length in the ruffle, she should be able to wear this for a couple years.
I laid the pattern pieces to take advantage of the already hemmed sheet, so no hemming. In fact, if I hadn’t put the ruffle on the bottom, this would have been a 1-hour project, with just four seams, plus casing and inserting the elastic. The ruffle added an extra 1/2 hour to the project, but I think it’s worth it!
I used less than half of the fabric, so I have enough for a second nightgown. That’s two nightgowns for $3 and a couple hour’s work.