Refashion: That Amazing Salmon T-shirt

Please allow me a theoretical digression before I show off my latest refashioning project:

Remember how I told you that I have been suffering under the fog of my hormones lately? Remember how I was complaining, à la Justin McElroy, that my womb was wandering and I was feeling a little bit hysterical?

Remember how last year, I discovered the philosophical concept of sublimation, which, contrary to how it sounds, does not mean to make something more beautiful, but rather, is a redirection of our societally inappropriate impulses and turning them to something useful?

Well, this week is where the rubber met the road.

The fog of my hormones was causing me to be angry. I knew that anger wouldn’t help. I put into place some guardrails to help with the physical reasons for the fog: sleep hygiene, hydration, eating better, walking more. But I was still angry.

With my friend Deana, who lives in Montana, and my friend Rosanna, who lives in Brisbane (yes, Australia), we undertook to do a little bit of refashioning in the month of March.

I bit off more than I could chew, whereas they were amazing and did exactly what they set out to do. (I’ll share photos of their work. They are fabulous.)

But here I was, the hormones were all over the place, the brain was not functioning. Words were escaping me, which for someone who writes for a living and hosts a podcast is not a pleasant place to find oneself.

Blank Slate

Instead of being angry, which I knew wasn’t going to help, I turned to a clean slate that would not require words: I turned to one of the refashioning projects I hadn’t yet gotten around to working on. The blank slate looked like this:

Ah yes, I know. I look fabulous. But let’s admit that the color is pretty.

I wanted this to be as no-sew a refashion as possible, with as little waste as possible. I had literally no idea what I wanted it to look like, but it was going to be fabulous.

I played around with it for a long time. I tried sticking my head through an armhole to put it on sideways. I tried cutting off the ribbing at the neckline and messing around with it that way (hello, sure fire way to get the t-shirt to not stay on your shoulder.) I ended up splitting the sleeves at their seam, to see if I could make something pretty that way.

It was starting to look like something, but what I wasn’t quite sure. A greek goddess? Maybe. I love me an asymmetrical neckline. Maybe this was a little too much, though.

So then I start safety pinning. I safety pinned the neckline to where I wouldn’t fall off my shoulder all the time, and I played around with one sleeve until I got it to be pretty nifty looking:

There was a tiny bit of hand sewing going on here, but nothing difficult. I used the finished edge of the sleeve as the binding on the little keyhole, which was made from opening up the sleeve seam and gathering the sleeve up to the neckline with a tiny piece of the ribbing from the neck (which had been unceremoniously dispatched with earlier.)

And, obviously, I couldn’t for the life of me get the second sleeve to cooperate.

Keep in mind, I had no idea what I was doing. This was purely therapeutic and my hormones were doing all the work. I was just along for the ride.

So, at this point, my hormones decided to get out the scissors and I knew I was about to witness something masterful.

Yes, my hormones were not interested in sewing anymore. They wanted to make bows. So that’s exactly what they did.

From there, it was frenetic. a little trimming of excess material here, a little trimming there, a little, “Oops, that was maybe a touch too much trimming of excess material” there…

And voilà.

I, of course, had to try it out with a cute refashioned skirt I made from an ill-fitting lace dress, and ended up with this, to which I cannot say, “no…”

So I will say yes!


Sing With Your Feet, the podcast, hosted by Lily Fields, is now available on all podcast platforms and on YouTube. In the podcast, Lily, your fairy godmother, helps you dig up and dust off all the treasure you buried in your backyard, re-discovering all the ways you make this world a better place, and encouraging you to sparkle again.

Episode 32: Environment and Ecology Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: “Not on my Green Parenting Bingo Card,” LiElla is back!; Geeking out and going out green. Episode 32 is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories, this week's theme being "Environment and Ecology." The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up! Links: Learn more about LiElla Kelly, Death Doula, on her website and blog, Leaving Well…The Blog. or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leaving.well.death.doula/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=leaving%20well%20end-of-life%20planning You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com, or find her other work here: https://linktr.ee/lilyfieldschallenge
  1. Episode 32: Environment and Ecology
  2. Episode 31: Mental Health
  3. Episode 30: Contentment
  4. Episode 29: Commitments
  5. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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