Okay, so it’s not really a refashion, but it’s green, and it’s so cute I couldn’t not share.

I didn’t have a single thing in the refashion pile that would qualify as Emerald Green. Not even a sachet of dye! But last weekend I was in an op shop (of course) and I found this adorable piece of fabric.

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It looks a bit sea-green in this pic but it’s actually a really bright green. With cacti. When I first spotted this I thought they were pinapples, but then I realised I was seeing cactus. I’m guessing it’s previous life was as a sarong, as it was just a large rectangle with narrow hems.

I decided to use Butterick 5339 cos it looked easy, and I’ve got a thing for simple shift dresses at the moment.

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Of course, things were made a little difficult by the fact that I would have to line the dress – the sarong fabric was a lightweight batiste or lawn, and even though it was a strong colour it was still a bit transparent. The Stash reluctantly gave up some cream rayon, so I made up the liner dress first as a muslin.

There was a few hairy moments trying to get the pattern pieces to fit so all the cacti were the right way up! Luckily I am vertically challenged and usually have to shorten patterns, so that and a really narrow hem gave me juuuust enough. I had to cut the neckline pieces perpendicular to the dress grainline. I’m sure that’s classed as a sin in some sewing books. It seemed to work out okay for me though.

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The pattern did not include instructions for lining, and it’s something I’m not very good at, which meant I had to make it up as I went along (so there was language almost as colorful as the fabric during that process). But it worked out, mostly, with a bit of extra handsewing for the tricky spots. Above, none of the finishing has been done – no hems etc, you can see the lining peeking out at the bottom.

This dress was actually completed in a hotel room in a small rural town (I’m on a road trip and short holiday at the moment.) But, I got to literally ‘road-test’ my new (secondhand!) Elna Mini. Check it out!

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See the hair straightener there on the left? Well, thanks  to the hot tip from The Refashionista, ironing a hem on the road has never been easier!

My Elna Mini came in it’s original box, with all the accessories, but amongst my hoard of vintage suitcases was this sweet old bowling ball case I got at a garage sale earlier this year. The bowling ball holders were only secured at each end,and were semi-flexible, so I pushed the ones on the left back into the corner; you can see the ones on the right are still there, creating not only a neat space for the sewing machine, but a couple of little dividers to hold various sewing bits. I might make a liner for the case at some point, but just now I really dig it the way it is.

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Considering this baby was built to carry four (or more) bowling balls, it’s perfectly robust enough for an very lightweight mini sewing machine.  I could rave about how cute it is for ages. I’ll stop now.

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