Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Easy Way to Un-BeDazzle

Hello Readers. It is actually, finally getting cooler outside. I am going to need a light jacket. I found this cropped denim jacket for 25 cents. I thought it was a great little jacket. It was soft and broken in. The only problem was the gold studs on the pockets. It reminded me of the "BeDazzler" from the 90's. Do you remember the BeDazzler? (Click here to see the commercial.) It was a device that attached rhinestones and studs to clothes. A LOT of rhinestones and studs! The commercial will take you back to the 90's with its hairstyles too.

 I didn't really like the studs. I don't like a lot of sparkle or extra bling on my clothes. I thought a plain and simple look would be better for this jacket. It doesn't need a lot of extra "stuff" on it. So how would I take them off?

I decided to remove the flaps on the front pockets. That's right,  I just cut them off. I could have forced the studs off. I didn't want to fight with the studs so... I didn't. I think it looks fine without the flaps and it was fast and easy. I cut as close to the edge as I could to keep it looking neat. 

BOOM!, I was done. Or was I??????

Check out the back of this jacket! More gold studs, woo-hoo.

Party's over studs! I wrestled them off with these large kitchen shears. It only took a few minutes. It was a great way to blow off steam.

The back looks cleaner, better, simpler without the studs on it. You can see the tiny holes across the back but they don't look bad to me. The blend in really well with the fade pattern of the denim. And I like distressed denim anyway. I love this jacket and I am probably wearing it today. 

***  BONUS TRACK  ***
I have been trying to make a couple thin belts to wear with jeans to smooth over the waistbands and front button. Sometimes the front button opening doesn't lay smooth. Could I make a belt? Well, I could try. I started with this piece of faux leather that I cut off the purse in the picture below.

I made the strip narrow enough to used the buckle I had in my collection of odd sewing stuff. 

I folded the edge over and stitched it down.

I also had a cotton belt that was bright orange. I got it at a clothes swap and it was in great shape but it was orange. I didn't really need an orange belt. I decided to dye it red. That would be easy, right?

Well, Here are both finished belts. The black belt doesn't look very impressive but it is nice and thin. It keeps the waistband of my jeans flat and smooth. The orange belt didn't become the scarlet red I thought it would. It is a very orangey red. Fabric dye is never an exact science. 
I still have some work to do to improve my belt making skills.

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pillows and Pajamas and Pictures, Oh My!

Hello Readers.  There are times when I have worked on small projects that don't seem worthy of an entire blog post of their own. I have a few of those to show you today. I am just going to put a few of them all together in this post.

*** PILLOWS ***
 The first project is a set of pillows my daughter made. Someone requested she turn two sweaters into pillows as mementos of her loved one. She cut two circles from the sweatshirt below and stitched them together to make a pillow with this cute tea applique on the front of the pillow. 

The sweatshirt was so soft that the edges looked a little lumpy after it was stuffed. She added this little green blanket stitch detail around the outer edge of the pillow. It was pretty and it made the edges look smoother. 

Here is the second pillow. It started as a pretty sweater. The center placket was very pretty and so it became a focal point of the pillow.

This one was a simple rectangle. The bottom edge of the sweater was a nice balance to the center design. These were a sweet way to honor and remember a special woman. It made me wish I had a sweater of my grandmom's to make into a pillow.

*** PAJAMAS ***
This quick project was just an emergency measure to prevent my son from taking his pajamas and diaper off when he went to bed. All of my kids eventually figured out how to take off their clothes and it is a serious problem. (A lot of mess can occur when toddlers take off their diaper. POOP!!!!!)
I took his footie pajamas and cut the feet off right below the elastic at the bottom of the legs. That way I could turn the pajama around and zip them up the back. He knows the zipper is back there but he can't reach it. They are just as comfortable as they were before and fit fine.

I am being honest when I say that I was serious about this. I did this to all the footie pajamas. If it is really hot I have cut the arms off the pajamas so they are short sleeved and cooler to wear. And if it is cold I would add socks and an undershirt. 
This solution has worked with all 3 of my kids. No more naked naps. No more terrible messes to clean up. 

*** PICTURES ***
This final project was large but not complicated. I have always spread my blog projects out on the floor for photos but it didn't always work well. I thought a white background would be better. I decided to make a white backdrop. It took a while to figure out how and where to do this. After a few failed ideas I used a king sized dust ruffle from my old bed and a white full sized sheet. I basically made a giant rectangle. 
I turned the top edge under and made a small pocket for a curtain rod. I hung my giant rectangle from a tension rod that I hung across a closet doorway. The closet light is a gentle back light. And the wide sides of the dust ruffle are spread out on each side to hide the walls. The fabric is long enough to come forward over the floor and cover the carpet. 
I can put my dress form or myself in front of the white background and hopefully the clothes will show more clearly in photos.

That is all for today. Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Tight Red Dress

Hello Readers. How are you today? It is October but it feels like August around the DC area. It is very hot and humid. A skirt or dress is nice on hot days like this. I had a great orange-red colored dress. The color is perfect for this time of year. It makes me think of the leaves changing colors, beautiful scenery, bonfires, and pumpkins.
This dress didn't fit me very well, The full skirt was too long but fit great around the waist. The top of the dress was too tight. I couldn't make it button and it was not working on me like this.

I started by cutting the top off the dress. I kept the waist intact and left a little extra above it so I could fold it in and under. I stitched it down so it had a nice, neat, narrow waistband. The buttons in the center open and close to put the skirt on. The skirt is simple and full and classic. I was going to shorten it a little so it fit me but ....

I had my tall (So nice and tall.) daughter try it on and it was such a great fit for her, I decided not to shorten it. We turned the skirt around though. The buttons look better in the back and the plain back of the skirt is now the front. It made the front cleaner and simpler. 

How did my short self get such a tall daughter? I don't know. We are about the same size and weight but she is about 8 inches taller. (She is smarter and sweeter too.) It worked out perfectly for this skirt.

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

Friday, October 6, 2017

Too Much Turquoise

Hello Readers. I am a big fan of freebies, hand-me-downs, bargains, and the like. I never saw a clothes swap I didn't want to take a look at. For some reason I tend to gravitate to certain colors at certain times. I seem to collect different items of one color all at once. That happened with these turquoise things si I decided to put them all together. 

I had a basic knit top with white and turquoise feathers or ferns on it. (What do you think, feathers or ferns?) It was slightly cropped, it ended at my waist. I didn't wear it because if I raised my arms I was afraid my stomach would show. I don't show my stomach to anyone. It has survived 3 children and has so many stretch marks that looks like ground beef. But paler.... Anyhoo.....

I also had this ruffled blue dress. It had a lot of ruffles going on. Three tiers of ruffles is a lot to me. I decided to remove one ruffle and use it as trim for the shirt. I decided the entire ruffle was too wide  so, I cut a long thin strip of fabric. It has a finished edge that will look nice and neat attached to the bottom of my shirt.

It looked like a party streamer. I pinned it in place and used my machine to attach it inside the hem of the shirt.

I also had a pair of bright turquoise jeans. (I wasn't kidding when I said I had too much turquoise.) The jeans were cute. I love the bright color, but they were too long. And maybe it's just me but the jeans seemed too baggy from the knee down. I didn't want them super tight but they were fitted in the hips and thighs and then super loose everywhere else. I always thought my legs were normal but these jeans made me question if I had strangely extra skinny calves and if so, what was I supposed to do about it.
 I shortened them and made the calves a little smaller and tighter. 

I was finished and ready to go out in public. My stomach was covered and the jeans fit so much better.

Thanks for reading this blog, I truly appreciate it. Now, go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Easy Peplum Top

Hello Readers. This little gem of a dress was at a clothes swap a while back. It looks a little like a school uniform to me. There is nothing wrong with school uniforms but at the ripe old age of 45, that is not a great look for me. (I love all kinds of crazy funky styles but even I have my limits.)

 I loved the plaid fabric and I knew I could do something with this dress. It was in great condition and it fit well. It wasn't very exciting or sophisticated the way it was as a dress. I decided to make a shirt with a peplum at the bottom. 

I have to be honest, it was super simple. I just cut off the lower part of the dress. I thought the peplum should be about 4 inches long. I was just sort of guessing. I made a new hem at the bottom of the shirt so it would be nice and neat. And I ironed it. I hate to iron but sometimes it is a must. 

I liked the end result a lot. It was still a simple button down shirt but the peplum makes it so much more feminine and fun.

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mommy's Not Really Getting Dressed Today

Hello Readers. I know I am not the only mom that has trouble keeping up with everything I am supposed to do. I do not have it all together. I wish I could say that I got up with the sun everyday so that I could be awake, dressed, organized, and cheerfully ready to face the day. That sounds like the ideal and mature way to live but, it is not how I live.
I heard a term to describe clothes, "athleisure". Exercise clothes that are worn whenever, not just for working out. These kind of clothes are comfortable so, I usually sleep in my athleisure clothes. That way when my 2 year old son (Cute stick of dynamite.) wakes up early in the morning I am already sort of dressed. I can start the day a little bit ready to go. I am dressed enough to exercise, go to the play-ground, or go to the store if I really need to.  No one really knows what I am doing, (Wearing my pj's.) I could be on my way to the gym. 

If I can, I get dressed in real clothes for the day, but if I can't, the neighbors won't see me outside looking crazy. A problem arises when I can't find clothes to fit my very short arms.

Mom's in leggings and hoodies, my solution to crazy mornings.

I could have just cut the sleeves to the right length. But I wanted real long sleeves for the cooler days ahead. I turned the cuff over to see how much I wanted to take off. That pin is marking where I want to make my new seam.

I took the shirt off and stitched a new seam all the way around the sleeve. Then I cut off the excess fabric. I removed about 2" from each sleeve.

Here is the finished sleeve. The length is right and the cuff still looks nice and neat.

I fixed the sleeves of the jacket the same way. The wrist cuffs of this jacket have little thumb holes to keep my hands warm when I am outside. I was able to keep them intact on the cuffs. I removed about 3" of fabric from the jacket sleeves. 

 I could wear it now and use my hands. I like the little thumb holes too.

The shirt and the jacket both fit now and I am feeling the bright pink. I am ready to jog, or watch TV, or go to bed. No one knows for sure, and I'm not telling.

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Too Low, Too Big

Hello Readers. It is almost October but it feels like August in the Washington D.C. area. I am not wearing any clothing for cool weather yet. Today's project is an outfit for the time in-between seasons. I liked this striped top. It was soft and had a nice loose fit with a flattering drape to it. The problem was that the open neckline was very revealing if I leaned down or if someone stood over me. (I am 5' tall, everyone stands over me. You can see my problem, right? hahaha)

You can see the open neckline in the photo below. I could have worn a shirt under it, but sometimes that is just annoying. When the weather is super hot, I don't want to wear 2 shirts. That is a lot for some mornings.I could be to tired to find 2 shirts.
 I used my sewing machine to stitch the neckline closed. It was super simple and fast. The new round neckline was more modest and easier to wear.

The skirt I wore with it was so difficult to photograph. These are over-exposed so you can see the skirt. It was a simple, classic, navy blue knit that was great with the shirt.  It was just too big and baggy.

I took a little off the sides and the problem was solved. The skirt is a knit so there were no fraying seams to worry about.

These clothes were perfect for the mom of an active toddler/tiny marathon runner. I wore this to the open gym at my local rec center. 

The staff sets up all this equipment and for $5, they let little kids go crazy. They are running, climbing and screaming. That is my husband watching out 2 year old run around

I chased my son all over the gym and didn't get very good pictures. He didn't stop moving for about 2 hours. We went home after this and we were all exhausted. Who needed a nap more that day?

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