artsy fartsy,  Bug,  Funny Fashion,  how-to's,  sewing catastrophes,  shopping

Girly Day

girly day

Bug and I had such a fun day yesterday. I don’t know what hit us but we decided to wake up and have a “girl’s day out.” We got dressed up—which means me throwing on a vintage sweater over my normal mom uniform of jeans and a t-shirt and her wearing every single pink thing she could find in her closet. At the same time. Then she wanted a pink bow in the middle of her head so we stole one out of my wrapping paper box and called it an outfit.


Going to the mall is not really an acceptable activity for us right now, as we are still recovering from the whole Christmas-Birthday extravaganza but we did have a few gift cards to use up so off we went anyway. I keep telling myself that it is possible for one to go walk around the mall without actually buying anything but I have yet to come home completely empty-handed or without my head filled with covetous thoughts so maybe that theory needs to be tested out a bit more.

We did use up the gift cards on a few cute things but I don’t think they were that important to our day. They definitely were fun but we had a grand old time not shopping too. We tested out some purple nail polish at Sephora, rode the carousel, walked along the fountains, had some free coffee (and parfait for her) care of the very nice people who fill up my starbucks card… and pretty much just had a really sweet day.

I can’t believe I actually have a daughter who likes to hang out with me and do girly things. And boy is she girly! You should have seen her eyes pop out of her head as she walked along the rows and rows of lipsticks in every color at the make-up counter. She wanted to try all of them. I tried to explain that little girls don’t need make-up but I don’t think she was buying it. It was like trying to tell her that little girls don’t need candy because they are already sweet. I did end up smearing a tiny bit of silver eye-shadow on her eyelids and we painted her nails purple. That made her day.

On a whim I decided to spring for a tube of bright red lipstick for myself. I’ve always admired the pop that classic red lips can add to an otherwise boring outfit. I don’t normally wear lipstick and I definitely can’t be bothered with all the mess and fuss of a daily make-up routine but I thought it might be fun to have just to wear now and then. So maybe you’ll see me sporting some MadMen lips. Hopefully I don’t ruin too many white shirts in the process.

When we got home, all spifified with my red lips and her purple nails, I wasn’t quite done being girly. Maybe it was the triple shot espresso in my latte, I don’t know… I was suddenly hit with the need to alter some of Toby’s old t-shirts that he didn’t want anymore. I’m not claiming to be a fashion designer or anything and my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired but I thought I’d share here.


Since they were guy shirts and I am NOT shaped like a guy at all (ie: narrow shoulders, short waist and giant pear hips) they fit horribly before I altered them. Ugly neckline, baggy in the shoulders, snug at the hips…just not flattering. But the fabric is soooo soft I just love wearing them. So this is what I did: I cut the neck hole bigger, chopped off the sleeves and created a tie at the bottom by cutting off two strips and sewing them together end to end and reattaching.

too sexy for my stupid photo shoot bow

I think it turned out cute. It’s not quite my vision (see below) but they are wearable.

shirt design

I kind of wish I was more clever at sewing and could have created some kind of yoke around the collar. Maybe I’ll tackle that next time.

flower detail dorktatude

I added some flowers along the neckline by using the discarded sleeve material and gathering it up into a circle. I’m not sure I like them or not. I thought they were clever at the time but then Toby came home and was not impressed so the jury is still out. It was definitely fun though. If any more old t-shirts somehow find their way into my hands, I will not be shy about cutting them up.


  • Maggie2

    Ooh, I can’t wait until my girl is old enough for a “girly day”. She’s getting there (almost 3 now!) but still more into toys than hanging out with Mom. About the t-shirt, I love it — much more womanly and I for one like the simple flowers on the shoulder. I’ve thought about cutting one of my DH’s colourful old shirts into a simply summer jumper/dress for my girl, but haven’t been brave enough. Maybe you should pave the way, and I’ll just copy you!

  • Jen O.

    I LOVE it! Like LOVE, love. I just got a sewing machine for my birthday and have yet to use it, but this will definitely be one of my first projects to try (as long as you don’t mind me stealing your idea).

    Good job! Oh, and the flowers are too cute. Definitely keep them.

  • the chatty housewife

    Oh my goodness, I just googled “t-shirt reconstruction” and now I might just have to go find some old t-shirts to make into scarves and hats and animals and shirts… the list goes on and on. You’ve started something dangerous for me!

  • Glenda

    Adorable t-shirt and I LOVE the flowers! Kait and I do these reconstruct projects on everything – some can be so hilarious!! Last night she walked down in her latest re-create and the guys were totally rolling on the floor – she goes “I guess I won’t be wearing this one out” Ü too much fun!!

  • jaynette

    I love the flowers. If they weren’t there it would just be an old tshirt.

    btth!!!That’s a raspberry to Toby for not being impressed with your shirt. I could go on and on, but that wouldn’t be productive.

  • Jummy

    I’m very impressed with your new and improved tshirt! I think it looks really great! I think the flowers are cute too.

    And the lipstick looks fabulous on you..I betcha some readers will want to know what shade it is!

    SAJ says: It’s Christian Dior Red Premiere. Fancy Schmancy? I don’t know. I just asked for classic red lipstick that would wear well and not dry out my lips and that’s what they gave me. So far I really like it. I’m sure I could have found something cheaper but I’m hoping I get what I paid for.

  • Madge

    I must do this. MUST. I don’t give my girls enough girly and I think they crave it more than I feed it. I LOOOOVE what you did with the t-shirt. Plain t-shirts on me are so boxy and icky.

  • Rebekah

    I love the flowers! Please keep them! I also love you site, Brenda. I’ve been reading it for a couple of years, but I don’t think I’ve ever commented. But your little flowers told me they needed to stay, so I thought I’d tell you, too. :) Anyway, I found this site , and I thought you might like to check it out for the how to on finishing the neck. Such a cute shirt! I’m going to have to go thrift store shopping for ugly old t-shirts, so I can make them cute!

  • Kimberly

    Please keep the flowers, and you’ve inspired me to chop up one of my guy’s old tees! And is that a vampire bite necklace? :)

    SAJ says: thank you (to everyone above too!). It’s not a vampire necklace. Just a beady one that was twisted around the wrong way. oops!

  • lynne

    Wowsers you look like a sultry model from Free People in that photo modeling your fab new stylish tee shirt. Once again you have inspired me. Shame that my husbands t-shirts either have a silly slogan on the front or some tech company. American t shirts are wonderful quality. Old Navy Boxers last forever too but that’s another story ;) ( My husband buys all his clothes in the US while on business trips as the UK is so expensive in comparison). Oh yeah one more story about utilsing found garments. When I was a teenager I found these wonderful longish (just above the knee) white shorts in a cupboard at home. No one laid claim to them so I used to wear them to beach over my swim suit. Took me a while to figure out I was wearing my great uncles old underwear to the beach. Hmmm.

  • Melissa

    I think the flowers add just the right touch of girly detail! I vote Keep ’em! I love how you always find the way to make something old new again :)

  • Ninabi

    I think you look wonderful- what a clever idea in remaking the shirt into something different and stylish. Keep the flowers! I think they work because of the dark color.

    Both you and Bug look wonderful.

  • Brooke

    Love the flowers. My husband never likes that sort of thing either. But every once in a while I use them anyway : ) Don’t forget that you can sew up the shirt, stuff it, and have a handy dandy cozy reading pillow for Bug.

  • Beth

    Keep the flowers! They are beautiful, and so are you! Husbands don’t always have the best fashion sense… :) I wish mine had some old t-shirts that I could tear apart!

  • Kimberly

    I bought a sewing machine so that I could hem my own jeans. Unfortunately, the first time I tried using it, there was some sort of dramatic jamming, and the needle broke and flew out into several pieces. One of which is still embedded in my leg.
    Until I can get up the courage to learn how to use my sewing machine, I’ll just have to live vicariously through your awesome project.

  • Laura

    Ok, seriously, is there anything you can’t do? And good for Bug- my eyes bug out as much as hers when I go to Sephora too. :)

  • Chrisy in Chicago

    I think the pic of you and Bug is A-DOR-A-BLE! Also, the repurposed tshirt is great – cute and an awesome way to save money. You are such a creative thinker! I love how it applies to all parts of your life. You rock SAJ :)

  • Sonja von Franck

    Love the flowers!! Love the lipstick!! You wouldn’t dress like Toby and vice versa.
    And to the commenter that bought a sewing machine to hem jeans. Same thing happened to me. You have to buy a special needle to sew denim.