I posted this upcycle a few week ago on Instagram but wanted to share the behind the scenes details here on the blog!
It had been well over a year since I had been “in person” thrifting, so when 2nd Ave Thrift Store reached out about collaborating on a project, I was all for it! This was my first time shopping in a 2nd Ave Store, but certainly won’t be my last. I was really impressed with the selection, and was so amazed by the size of the store!
The first section I looked through was the dresses. There were some really great pieces – quite a few options still new with tags but I like to refashion pieces that are a bit more worn and well- loved. I turned around and was facing the pajama section when this adorable nightgown caught my eye. The dress was made from this comfy, cozy, cotton fabric that’s been washed quite a bit, and has such a pretty print.
There was a project I had planned in my head months prior but wasn’t able to find the right piece, but thought this nightgown would be a great option for my idea. I wanted to make a lounge set of matching top and shorts. I did have a moment before cutting where I thought about making a complete romper, but really wanted two seperate pieces that would be able to look like a romper when put together.
My plan was to cut out the shorts first, then that would determine the length of the top. The first step was to un-do the hem of the nightgown, which I was going to use for length on the shorts. When I undid the hem, the fabric was not very forgiving, and instead, I cut off the hem underneath the stitching holes to use that material for the drawstring waist.
There are a few ways to make the bottoms. You can use a pattern or trace a pair of shorts you already own (like I did with this refashion). I used the free Peppermint Spring Shorts pattern, but I squared off the bottom hem and made the rise higher because I wanted higher waisted shorts. The sides of the pattern lined up perfectly with the sides of my nightgown, which made this project easier.
After cutting the shorts, I was left with an angled top. I wanted to utilize as much of the fabric as I could so I cut the hem of the shirt into a curve.
I was originally going to fold the top of the shorts down a few inches and insert elastic, but I didn’t want to lose the height. I used the leftover fabric from the center of the nightgown to add an additional 2 1/2″ band to the waist. I did wind up cutting (and then immediately restitching) the original waistband height on the shorts. Doing this gave me the seam detail I wanted, and it made it easier to stitch in the ditch when closing the waistband.
My waistband has a piece of 2″ wide elastic, and two extra stitching lines to secure the elastic and for design. There’s an excellent tutorial on Melly Sews if you are looking to get a similar result.
It’s a bit hard to see in the before photo, but the sleeves were wider than I wanted, and the neckline was a bit low. I wanted to fix these fit issues for a more comfortable feel. To do this, I removed the sleeves, stitched the shoulder seams a few inches down, and the underarm seam to match. I brought in about 1/2″ from the shirt side seam for a cleaner fit as well, before re-attaching the sleeve.
After this alteration, I hemmed the shirt and the shorts to finish. I love this set! I love the fabric, and the print, and absolutely love that I can mix and match the pieces with different tops and bottoms in my wardrobe. And together they create an amazing faux romper!
It was wonderful to be out thrifting again! I missed the adventure of picking out pieces in person, and one of my favorite discoveries is that 2nd Ave also has a great linen section! There are about four rows of tablecloths, fabrics, sheets and bedding. Most thrift stores I’ve been to don’t have a large linen section, usually some bed sheets and maybe a few pillows, but I don’t often find a large selection of textiles in stores. This was an awesome find and I can’t wait to go back and look through those racks again! There are several 2nd Ave Stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia – check out all the locations here!
I also found an amazing piece to wear as is! It’s a vintage petite Liz Sport romper that came with a matching belt! I have to hem the shorts a little bit but I love this piece!