Thursday, December 8, 2016

Needed Neutrals

Hello Readers. I am always attracted to bright, fun colors and patterns when I do refashions. The problem is that those colors and patterns don't always go together. Everyone needs some simple neutrals that go with anything and everything. Keep reading to see this latest project.

My hubby had his studio set up in the basement so I got some professional looking pictures.

Well, this is a really unflattering picture. Nothing here is doing me any good. This sweater poncho was soft and cozy but it hung down over my hands when I was working and it is clearly boxy and shapeless. The corduroy pants fit at the waist but the loose boot cut isn't doing me any favors either. I am looking even shorter than normal.

Nice towel wrap huh?

If you look closely you can see two buttons that were attached to this poncho. I used them as my guide and cut a new shape. I left the arms big and square for a fun, loose shape. I cut out my new sweater and then got to sewing.

I used my machine and stitched the two sides together. I went over the edges with a zigzag stitch to cover the raw edges that were fraying a little. I basically sewed it all twice, once to connect the sides and once to stop the fraying. It took a few more minutes but it is really strong.

I made the legs of these pants more narrow. I didn't shorten them but they seem shorter now. Whenever I narrow something it makes them a different (shorter) length so, I always try to work on the length last. It was a quick and easy outfit makeover.

This is the same outfit with a new shape. I like the big arms of the new sweater.  Everything is so much more flattering now. It was not a drastic refashion, it was simple and quick....

It had to be quick because this little guy can get into trouble in just a few seconds. As you can see here, he is curious, and loves to climb. I can only sew at nap time because this guy doesn't stay still. He was so excited to get into this cabinet, I had to let him explore for a few minutes.

Everything we won't let him play with was hidden in this cabinet.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Bag From A Skirt

Hello Readers. My project today was a big, beautiful bag. I got this suede skirt at a clothes swap last year. I liked it but it was just a little too big. It would need to be altered and that would disturb the stitched design all over the skirt. It seemed like it would be very difficult to keep the design symmetrical if I tried to take the skirt in. So, I kept it in my stash of refashions and thought for a long time what to do with it.

Here is the skirt. It has a beautiful design made of suede squares and embroidery thread.  It looks a little beat up in the picture on the left. It isn't. The sun was very bright, it didn't photograph well. The picture on the right shows the details better.

I just needed to get a couple things to help me make this skirt into a briefcase style tote bag. I ordered handles from and only one came in the mail. I checked my order and realized I only ordered one handle. Oops! I ordered another and waited for it to come in the mail.

This skirt has a lining and I attached the handles with ribbon. I stitched the ribbon to the lining in between the lining and the outer layer of the skirt. They will be hidden and this way the bag will look nicely finished inside. The lining of the skirt will make a nice lining for my new bag.

I attached the lining to the outer layer if the skirt. I zigzag stitched the lining to the black trim at the bottom of the skirt. You can see it below. My zigzag stitch got a little uneven when I went around the handle, but it came out fine, I just had my hands full with the material, the handle and the fast moving needle. You can see on the right where the ribbon from the handle is attached to the lining. I stitched it heavily to hopefully make it strong and durable.

It doesn't show from the outside. The stitches blend into the trim so well you can't see them at all. I didn't sew through the suede, I thought that would look messy. 

I cut off the excess from the skirt. The waistband is the part I cut off. The bag is made from the widest part of the skirt. When I connected the bottom of the bag I stitched it tightly twice to make a strong bag.

Side by side comparison to show where the bag came from.

It is a nice big tote bag. The hem of the skirt is made of embroidery thread and it makes a nice opening around the handles. I think if I loaded it with books it would struggle to hold the weight. It would be great for clothes, and everyday items. 

I think it will be a stylish diaper/day bag for myself. This is what I am usually carrying, toys and supplies for the little guy when we go out.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The 3-D Flower T-shirt

Hello Readers. How are you today? It is cold and rainy here. I made this colorful cheerful top to brighten up the day. I saw a top on Pinterest that I loved so I made something similar. Here is a link to my inspiration. (click)

I decided to used this mock turtleneck as my base. I needed a simple top to build on. I cut the neckband off to make it more comfortable. I hate turtlenecks, I know they are warm but they just seem to choke me. Does anyone else feel like that? Maybe I have a large neck, but I think they are trying to strangle me.

My inspiration top used red tulle to make the flowers, I used an old red T-shirt to make my flowers. (It was in my stash and therefore free.) I cut it into circles of all different sizes. I stacked them up to make flowers.

I used a needle and thread to attach the flowers to the white shirt. I used a shiny black button as the center of each flower. It was simple and quick work.

The next step involves some paint. I put some cardboard inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through to the back of the shirt. I can be sloppy, so it pays to be careful.

I used this black fabric paint. It said it would be washable and it was in my craft cabinet already. (And therefore free again.)

I used the tip of the paint bottle and sort of sketched with the paint. It was difficult to make very neat lines. I decided to make it look more like charcoal sketched lines instead of perfect lines.
I got a little black paint on one of the flower petals, I chose not to worry about it.

This top is fun and cheerful, those are always good things. And I love red. 

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun and cheerful for yourself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sometimes You Just Need Alterations

Hello Readers. Sometimes I like to do change garments dramatically and sometimes I like them as is. I was given this fabulous sweater/blazer last winter. I never got around to altering it. The black velvet pants I found at a clothes swap. Every woman needs a pair of velvet pants right? They just needed to be shortened.

This blazer is made of a heavy knit material almost like a sweater. It is more comfortable than a blazer because it is soft and flexible like a sweater. It was too large on me. It made me look big and round through the body and super scrawny in the legs. 

Kind of like a chicken.

I used the side seams and the arm seams as a guide to make the jacket smaller. It was easy but the material frayed a little when cut. I did a simple zigzag stitch on all the raw edges to stop it from fraying. It was almost like sewing it twice but it looks nice and neat inside.

Here is what I took off the inside of the jacket. I took a little extra off the waist to make it give it a more flattering fit. It is still loose enough to wear over another top. It's cold out there, I need layers.

Here is my finished jacket with a new fit and my velvet pants just needed a quick hem. It is hard to photograph velvet. It just absorbs all the light and the photos don't show up well. You know what a new hem on a pair of pants entails, so no pics of that.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Tale Of Two Sweaters

Hello Readers. My project today involved 2 sweaters. They were both too small but I wanted to save one of them. I know what you 're thinking. (We're friends now, I know you well.) You are thinking why bother with these sweaters?

Because cashmere baby! I am a sucker for cashmere sweaters. They are so soft. It's like they were knit by little angels or something. This is a simple white sweater with black trim.

I decided to make it bigger. I cut the sides and arms and removed the seam. This is what it looked like spread out on the floor.

I had this pink sweater with black trim. It wasn't made of cashmere and it was really pink. I am not a huge fan of pink but it would be useful in this project.

It came with a big black flower pin. Under that black flower is another flower. It is stitched on and I liked it better than the pin.

I cut out the flower and saved it for later.

I cut out two stripes from under the arms all the way down the sides. The pieces were about 3 inches wide. I didn't get a picture of them, sorry. This is what the pink sweater looked like after I cut off all the pieces I needed to enlarge the white sweater.

Here are the pink pieces after I sewed them into the white sweater. They run from the waist to the wrist. It added enough to make the size comfortable for me. 

This is my "Mom's lost it!" pose.

You can see the pink piece on the side of the sweater here. I used the same technique in my last post to make a T-shirt bigger. I like this method because it leaves the neck, shoulders and outer arms intact. You can see I attached the flower applique to the sweater too. I hand stitched over the black stitches that were already there. It made the simple sweater not so plain.

It is Thanksgiving tomorrow in the U.S.
I am thankful for a lot of things in this life, thanks to you for reading this post.

Monday, November 21, 2016

More Pattern Mixing

Hello Readers. My last post was a mix of stripes and plaid. I have 2 more patterns to mix today. Today's project started with two shirts. I found them at different clothes swaps and noticed they were the same exact colors. You may say it is just a coincidence but I don't believe in coincidences. I say it is a refashion match made in heaven. Refashion fate!

This is shirt #1. It had a nice pattern and was a bit too big on me, but that's good. It will make a great dress, or part of a dress.

I cut the body out of the shirt. That will be the skirt of my new dress. The bottom hem of the shirt will be the bottom hem of the dress. It will look good with the finished hem. And it will be fast because it's already done.

The arms of the shirt I used to cut 2 long narrow pieces from the top of the sleeves. I needed those pieces for the next step. Read on.

Here is shirt #2. It had some cool stripes and it was too small on me. That's OK, I have a plan.

I cut the striped shirt open on the sides. I cut close to the side seams. I could have picked the stitches out but it would have taken a long time. I just cut the seams out of the shirt. It was a lot easier and faster.

Here is where those pieces from shirt #1 come in. I made sure those strips of fabric were evenly cut and I sewed them into the striped shirt. I matched the ends of the patterned pieces with the ends of the sleeves of the striped shirt.

The underside of the sleeves look as nice and neat as the more visible parts of the sleeves. The sleeves have a well finished look with no raw edges.

You can see here how I put the extra pieces of fabric into the striped shirt. It made the striped shirt big enough to fit comfortably. 

Here is my finished dress. I love the two patterns together. This dress was a little shapeless and boxy so it really needed a belt.

I could pose normally, but that is no fun.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.