Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Project Restyle: Floral Shorts

After months of wanting to learn how to sew, I finally had my first sewing lesson the other day. My grandmother's friend is brilliant at sewing. She actually made all of her own clothes during high school. She offered to teach me awhile ago, but due to busy schedules, we never got around to it. However, on Friday we were both free, so I brought over some dresses to her house so she could teach me how to alter them. We spent the afternoon chatting and sewing, and when it was time to go home I didn't want to leave. I was inspired to keep on sewing, but since I'm still a newbie I wanted some cheap clothes to practice on. Saturday morning, I woke my grandma up for a trip to Savers, one of the thrift stores near my house. I always see clothing at thrift stores that I think would be cute if only they were shorter, smaller, and often less grandma-y. Somehow the long mumu baggy dresses always seem to have the best patterns. Finally, I was able to buy those potentially cute clothes because I now know the basics of altering. I walked out of the store with three bags full of clothes to work on. My first challenge: these floral shorts.
What the shorts looked like before. I loved the pattern and color, but I didn't enjoy the baggy, to the knee length.
After cutting off 6 inches, I began to sew the hem. I ended up sticking myself with the pins a few times and I almost sewed my finger, but there were no major disasters. 
shorts: thrifted. shirt: urban outfitters. boots: urban outfitters. sunnies: anthropologie. 
Voila! I can now wear them in public. I love the finished product, and my successful first sewing attempt has made me want to sew every day. So I have decided to start a new project/blog series in order to inspire me to work on my skills. What do you think? Each week, I will write a Project Restyle post about a thrift or vintage find that I have altered. They may not be the most elaborate projects, but I feel accomplished when I am able to wear the finished piece. Also, if any of you restyle your thrift and vintage finds, I would love to have you as a guest blogger for the series. Some weeks I may not be able to finish a piece, so I would love to have some other bloggers as part of the project. If you are interested in guest posting, email me at graceandviola@gmail.com for more details. 
Until next time, Mandy


  1. Those shorts or too cute! I'd love to start altering clothing more, but lack of a sewing machine makes it tough! Can't wait to see more of your altered pieces!
    xo Heather

  2. i totally agree that all the best shit is always huge in second-hand shops! however i am dreadful at sewing so usually just buy it and embrace the bag lady look, haha. but the shorts are looking SHARP, amazing job gurl xx

  3. ah those shorts are so cute now! well done! xx

  4. I love this idea! I've also been wanting to learn to sew for quite some time.
    Also, I LOVE the shorts! The floral print is perfect! They turned out wonderfully.

  5. Wow that's a pretty amazing first sewing project! I can't wait to see what you come up with in the future. Looks promising

  6. that looks effing awesome!!! I have a handmedown sewing machine and don't know how to freakin' use it. i need help

  7. These are SO cute! I love what you did to them.

    I haven't sewn in years, but I used to like making things for my dolls (not very good, but I enjoyed it).


  8. you did such a great job with those shorts!

  9. Mandy, I absolutely love this. I really want to start sewing again. I think you may have just inspired me. By the way, those shorts look so cute!

  10. Cuuuute! The shorts turned out great and I love the way you styled it. I am going to have to figure out how to work this sewing machine one of these days!

    xx Adrian

  11. oooh I'm so excited for you. Let me tell you, sewing is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world, and how wonderful to be taught by such a radical lady.

    You did a great job altering these shorts and I virtually high five you, cause they are super cute!

    xoxo your newest follower, Mama Wolf

  12. I look forward to your project restyle and love the idea. Its always nice to see DIY's that inspire us even if small because the finish product can be amazing, like in this case! Love the shorts.


  13. That sounds like a great idea! I look forward to it!


  14. You did a fantastic job on these shorts! They look so super cute! I love the print on them and the fit is great.

  15. I love these shorts! They are so lovely! I want a pair just like them! <3