Hot! Put a Bird on It!












The Facts

Fabric: Soft knit jersey
Pattern:  Vogue 8636 Designer Original March Tilton
Year: 2010
Notions: none
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: February 25, 2012
Wear again? Yes!
Total price: $3.00 for thrifted  maxi dress



This is one of my favorite challenges because I’m doing so many great things like saving money, refashioning, and being creative. I haven’t sewn very many garments using stretch fabrics, so I took this opportunity to use my new Vogue pattern by March Tilton and of course, my serger.  With refashioning in mind, I snatched up this crazy colorful maxi dress from the thrift. I took it apart and laid out the pattern. I had to make shorter sleeves because there wasn’t enough fabric for the 3/4 length. I lined up the bottom of the sleeves to the bottom of the dress, taking advantage of the double needle stretch hem. (I don’t know how to do that yet).

“Put a bird on it” comes from the quirking comedy, Portlandia. Watch a short segment: “Put a Bird on it” It’s hilarious!

This project didn’t take a lot of time, but don’t think that I was a slacker this week. My daughter and granddaughters came to visit over the weekend and we sewed and sewed. My daughter wanted help drafting a pattern for a little camisole top and my youngest granddaughter wanted to make a skirt. We managed to work until midnight on Saturday and then finished up Sunday. (Just before the models came for the finale fitting, hair and makeup and then the runway show!) You can see more about that here.

I think I'll wear this often!



Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. What a great, fun top!

  2. Ha! Love Portlandia. Great refashion!

  3. Love those colors! Right on trend for our neon spring of 2012! Great job!

  4. I love this project! It’s right up my alley. I’ve done tons of projects like this but not many for me. I’ll have to be on the lookout for a dress like this one.

  5. I love this print! In a perfect world there would have been enough fabric for you to send me some-then we could have buddied up and posted our creations as a team. I like your top and wish I had friends that came over and sewed with me until midnight.

  6. I love this print and your refashion is perfect!

  7. What a fun top! I also <3 that Portlandia segment.

  8. That is such cute fabric! I wouldn’t have been able to pass it by either.

  9. What amazing, crazy fabric! It’s so ridiculously OTT as a maxi dress, but works perfectly as your top!

  10. Barbara, I love the top and the sewing circle you got going with the family is precious.

  11. A great print and it looks a lot better as a top than en masse in the maxi dress.

  12. Thanks everyone, I wasn’t sure about the fabric at first, because I probably wouldn’t buy something that crazy retail. Now, however, I’m more willing to experiment and try new things thanks to all of your support.

  13. What a lovely print! And what a deal!

  14. Wow Mom! I really REALLY love this top. So adorable! Great fabric! Great style!

  15. This top looks like a party! Awesome thrifted fabric choice.

  16. I LOVE the print!!! The birds are just fantastic, and I love what you’ve made with the fabric! The top is fun and perfect for everyday wear :)

  17. The colours on this top are so fantastic. It’s like a psychedelic tribute to the Partridge Family. I love the neckline too.

  18. So freaking fun! And I love that sketch… it cracks me up to no end :)

  19. I’m totally in love with this bird fabric. It makes me want to rush out to my local thrift stores to try and find one just like it but since I never have good luck I’ll probably just stay home and drool over your find.

  20. Such a happy top! :)