Sep 3, 2016

Refashion Runway: The Riverside Blue Challenge

Well, here we are on the last week of Refashion Runway!  It's been a lot of fun this season.  The ladies who have participated are all so talented and friendly!  Beth, The Renegade Seamstress, has been the perfect hostess, as always!

This last challenge consisted of refashioning something in Pantone's color of the fall season, Riverside Blue.  I always find the color challenges a bit harder since you are limited as to what you can find in the thrift shops.  But, sometimes those limits help to push the creativity.

My challenge began with a black leather coat that I had in my stash.  I picked it up for $2.00, stored it away and forgot about it.  When I came across it again, I thought it might work well for this challenge.  All I needed was some denim in the right color.

Even though the denim jumper was close in color, I gave it a RIT dye bath.  I used 1 tsp. evening blue, 1 tsp. denim blue, and 1 quart of water.  (I actually tripled the recipe to give the fabric plenty of room to move around in the dye bath.)  You can consult the RIT dye studio to find how to mix the dye to get the colors you want.

I removed some of the leather panels and replaced them with the denim.

I made new welted pockets, added belt loops, and a tie belt.

I also found a sleeveless chiffon dress and lace top that I used to make a dress.  The bonus was that the background color of the dress was Airy Blue, one of the other colors for the fall season.

I trimmed out the dress with some of the leather cut from the coat.

I refashioned a small purse to complete the outfit.

The purse features a cutwork design from the leather with the denim showing through.

Here's how it was done...


The bottom edge of this panel, including the bottom of pocket welt is actually attached to the lower panel of leather on the coat.

I began by using muslin to make my collar pattern.  I then cut them from leather, adding for seam allowance around the neck.

I picked up a t-shirt in the right shade of blue to give me a base for the lace-covered sleeve/bodice pieces.

I then unpicked all the seams on my new sleeve/bodice pieces and laid them flat on the lace.  I cut around them and then basted the lace to the knit fabric.

I then reassembled the sleeves and bodice.  I used the remainder of the t-shirt as a pattern for the bodice of the chiffon dress (after cutting away the ribbing around the neck.)

I forgot to take more process pictures...what can I say, it was late!  I positioned the leather collar in place and top stitched it on.  I added a loop and button to the back.


Begin by measuring the purse and determining how big you will make the flap.  Be sure to allow for seam allowance.  Cut a flap from the leather and from the denim.  Layer the leather on top of the right side of the denim.  Baste around the edges.

I hope you have enjoyed this season of Refashion Runway, I know I did!

Thanks to everyone who helped to make this season a success!

I like to link to these great parties!


  1. I'm extremely impressed with this upcycled project. It's very classy and pulled together.

    1. Thank you Laura! I don't think I would have worn the leather jacket in the before stage...too much black. But with the addition of the denim, I think it softens the overall look.

    2. Love love love this 3 piece project!!!

  2. really unusual and great fabric combinations. The colors do pull it together very well though. I like it and makes me want to try some new combinations of my own. Thanks for posting this-

    1. Thank you! I thought that chiffon, lace, and leather were all quite different, but was hoping that they would come together in a unique way. You just never know until you try! Good luck with your combinations!

  3. I've had the odd nightmare using dye baths... as in, they've come out COMPLETELY different from the colour I was going for! So i'm in complete awe of you managing to get that spot on :D
    As for the bag... don't suppose you'd sell it to me..? #cheeky :)
    In all seriousness, the next time I find a soft leather jacket, at a knocked-down price, I'll be following your step-by-step, and giving you all the credit for it. Love. It.

    1. Thanks Gema! As for the dye, I dyed the fabric first before cutting out my pieces. Some of the fabric took the dye differently, so I was able to cut around the sections that I didn't want. The bag really wasn't that hard...I'm sure you could make one! And, if you look for a leather jacket, find one that has panels that could easily be cut out. It would have been harder had the front and back pieces been solid pieces of leather. Does that make sense? Good luck!

  4. Love the reverse appliquéd bag, Susan. Such a clever way to combine denim and leather. The whole outfit looks great.

  5. Spoiler alert--Congratulations!! I always love seeing what you do--very inspirational!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan