Tag Archives: wedding series

Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Boy

I know, I know, my brother’s wedding was months ago, and you’ve probably forgotten that I even posted about my dress and my daughter’s outfit.  But we’re gearing up for another wedding this weekend, so I figured I had better get to posting about my son’s outfit before that wedding passes us by!

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

My brother’s wedding was this past summer and I knew for several months that I wanted to sew all the outfits for my family for the event. And, why not upcycle and use free patterns for everything too, right? Well, I was able to accomplish most of that. The pattern for my dress was free, the fabric for River’s dress and headband were free. Plus I found a dress that worked perfectly for Lioness, so I didn’t have to sew anything for her. But today, I’m focusing on Carpenter. We don’t get dressed up much at all, so this wedding was the perfect excuse for me to go crazy sewing something fancy for him. My son’s outfit turned out to be the best use of free patterns and upcycled materials.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew ThriftyThe original shirt was my husband’s favorite shirt, but the collar was coming apart and just wasn’t ok for him to wear to work anymore. He hated to give it up, so I snuck it away years ago in hopes of using it for a refashion one day. And today is the day! For the vest, I thrifted a pair of dress pants. The original intent was to find a jacket, but the pattern I used didn’t fit the jackets I found, so I decided on pants. And, I found these for 50% off – only $2! I tried to keep the original welted pockets, but they were slightly too big, so I had to sew my own. You can see here how the cuffs from the original shirt were used for my son’s shirt. I loved that I didn’t have to sew all that. And the buttons were reused as well! I did have to improvise on the collar, since I couldn’t re-use that section and I was running out of fabric. Luckily I had some spare white cotton that I used to line the inside of the collar, since that section wouldn’t really get seen anyway and the outside of the collar came from the back of the original shirt.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

The vest came together nicely, even though I wasn’t able to use any of the original pockets from the pants. I lined it with a khaki cotton someone had given me from their stash. Then I accented it with orange buttons. Yes, I went with orange.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

The tie was made from a free pattern as well, along with scraps of fabric that was given to me. And his pants and shoes were given to me by a friend. His whole outfit came to a whopping $7, since I include the price of thread, buttons, and the clasp for the tie. Not too bad for a fancy wedding outfit. I might be able to afford to dress him up more often.Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty{so, how do you get a girl to like you?}

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

{ok, Mama, enough with all this wedding stuff, where’s the cake?!}

Here’s the breakdown:

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

Dress Shirt:
Pattern: Fishsticks Designs’ Everyday Camp Shirt (with length added)
Fabric: Upcycled men’s dress shirt + scrap of white cotton

Pattern: MellySews’ free Holiday Vest (FREE)
Fabric: Upcycled pants and gifted khaki cotton for lining

Pattern: Delia Creates’ Lil Mister Bow Tie (FREE)
Fabric: Blue and Green cotton from JoAnns (name unknown)
Light green cotton gifted from a friend

The other wedding looks:

Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Mama
Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Girl

Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Girl

As I settle back into blogging after the month of sewing and saving, I’m still trying to figure out what I want for Sew Thrifty. At my core, I’m a business woman, but right now my heart is for my kiddos and homeschooling, and having this little blog on the side. Everything in me wants to care about growing this blog (stats, newsletter, great graphics and tons of pinned images), but I know that’s not for me right now. The other extreme is having an ultra-creative blog, but I’m really not that creative. I’m a stats nerd.

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to be me and have some creative and fun posts and then have some other posts more business-like (bullet points and graphs and all that fun stuff).  And I’m going to try and not care about what people think. But we all know that’s nearly impossible. Just sayin’.

Today I finally get to share with you the crazy story of River’s flower girl dress!! [It’s long, I don’t blame you for skimming or just looking at the amazing photos my husband snapped.]

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Let me start by saying I really had no clue what I was going to make for her. I wanted to go along with the colors of the wedding, but not be overkill. I wanted it to be fancier (i.e. not knit) since I tend to always sew basic items. But nothing was inspiring me.

Until 10 days before we left for the wedding. That was when my brother called to ask if River would be the flower girl! I was so excited (then a bit stressed and freaking out) that I would get to make her a flower girl dress that inspiration was everywhere. And to top it off the colors of the wedding changed to neutral tones – browns, creams, khakis – with a rustic elegant theme. My initial desire to put some cowgirl boots on her was a bit too rustic for their taste, but I was able to settle on a look that I loved. Here was my inspiration dress.

Artsy Handmade Cute Flower Girl Dresses
Photo credit: Petit de Lin on Etsy (item no longer available)

Honestly, I look at this and think, wow, that’s a bit too Southern for me. But I actually like it. Plus, my friend has a paper pattern that is very similar to this, so I figured I could borrow it.

[Now, insert craziness]

My friend with the FREE pattern lives about 40 minutes away and we rarely see each other. This dress had to be completed in less than 10 days. We were leaving in 10 days, and I am not a fan of sewing late into the night the day before I leave on a big trip. So really it had to be made in about 3 days. Getting the free pattern from her just wasn’t going to work. But, she mentioned that they were on sale at my local Hancock Fabrics for $2. Sweet. I can handle $2 and a short trip to the store. Made it to the store, picked up the pattern, and headed home (without kids!). Later that night when I opened the pattern, I realize I had bought the child’s version instead of the toddler version!! Really?! They do that? I’m so spoiled with indie patterns that I just assume all patterns go from 2T-10 years. It’s late, the store is closed, there’s no going back to see if they even had the toddler version (and I’m pretty sure I bought the last one anyway). That’s when I realized the pattern is a bunch of rectangles with a bodice. I had already printed out the bodice to the (free!) Madeline Dress and it was very similar. Then I realized I could calculate my way through the pattern. [Squeal!] One of the biggest reasons I love sewing – all the math! After I accomplished all that I was so proud of myself and I could return the $2 pattern too. Boom.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Now for better part of the story – the fabric. A friend had gifted me boxes and boxes of her old fabric. Most was stuff I would never buy like linen, wovens, and (gasp) lace! After rummaging through it all, I found the exact fabrics I needed. The khaki cotton that I used for most of the dress was heavy enough for my girl not to damage it. The silky white fabric for the straps gave just enough elegance. And the lace….I could not have asked for a more perfect piece of fabric. The width of the lace was the exact amount to offer a slight gather. I did run out of the skinnier piece of lace, so I just attached it to the front instead of making a sash like the inspiration dress. And done, with 7 more days left to pack and finish Carpenter’s vest and dress shirt.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Then, once we got to the mountains River plainly decided she didn’t want to be the flower girl. Um…thanks. In the end, we were able to convince her to play a part in the ceremony, but once she did, she was outta there. [Thanks Aunt Jackie for watching her for the rest of the ceremony!]

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

After the ceremony, she was all about the flowers.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, laceAnd just today she mentioned wanting to be a flower girl. Seriously, girl? Gotta love ’em.

I don’t have a fancy little graphic for the time and cost. It took a while to gather all the materials, create my own pattern, get the fit right, and play around with the look at each stage, so it wasn’t a fast sew. However, the price was right – just about FREE. Thread probably cost 50 cents or so. All the fabric was handed down to me and the pattern was free too. And her headband (which she thankfully wore through the ceremony) was free too. I hot glued flowers from the same fabric as her dress and some other mint green that was gifted to me to some lace my mother-in-law gave me ages ago.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Thrifty Handmade Wedding {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Thrifty Handmade Wedding {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}If you’re looking for my dress, that’s here. Baby girl only got a headband, and I’ll have Carpenter’s outfit up soon!




Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Mama {Plus BundleUp for Women}

This summer is my brother’s wedding! He’s been dating longer than I’ve been married, so to say I’ve been waiting for this moment is an understatement. But, since he waited 7+ years I’ve learned how to sew, and I now get to sew all our clothes for his big day. First up…ME!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links noted by an *, I will receive some compensation if you purchase something.

The dress I’ll be wearing to my brother’s wedding:


My brother and fiance described their wedding as simple, unique, and classy. It’s going to be an evening event outside in the mountains of Aspen, Colorado. You’re jealous, I know. 😉

Right away I knew I wanted to make myself a navy blue maxi dress. At first I was going to make the bodice some funky print with the skirt a solid navy, but the more I played around with fabrics the more I liked the simple (hey, just like the wedding!) look of all navy. Then, I can accessorize with different prints and colors when I want.

BluezetteDress-3Navy fabric is from Girl Charlee here.

BluezetteDress-2My bracelet and necklace here are made with selvages (free!) of knit spandex fabric from Girl Charlee.* Plus, the necklace doubles as a headband when I want a more casual look.

BluezetteDress-1Ooh, look, another colorful accessory! She’s kinda expensive though. Priceless in fact. 🙂

I was fortunate enough to be given this pattern from the Women’s BundleUp. That being said, I was able to choose my pattern, and this was the exact type of dress I wanted to make for myself for the wedding. This pattern is Love Notions Bluezette dress. There are so many options with it. Seriously, there are 30 different ways to sew it up and that’s without adding your own twists or hacks. There are two bodice styles, three different places you can wear the waist, and three sleeve lengths. And then there are five skirt styles too. Add all those plus the endless options of fabrics, and you’ve got yourself an entire wardrobe of lovely dresses!

Here’s the breakdown:


I love that I’m getting to wear a dress that cost less than $15, was handmade by me, and finished in less than 2 hours!

The time includes cutting the fabric, sewing, trying it on at several stages, adjusting, and finishing. I sewed the non-lined version, leaving out the waist elastic and left the skirt unhemmed. For the maxi skirt, I made it thinner than the pattern because I ran out of fabric, but it turned out great, and I only had to use 1 yard for the skirt part!
Go check out all the patterns in the BundleUp for Women sale. They are only available in this bundle price until May 8, so be sure to get what you want before then. Depending on how many patterns you buy, each pattern costs from $4-4.50 (50% or more off)!


And see what all the other ladies have done with the other patterns in the BundleUp package – there are 11 patterns and so many options!

Be sure to come back for the rest of my handmade wedding series, where I’ll use free patterns to create some fun and fancy looks (and as always, thrifty!):

Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Boy
Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Girl
Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Baby