Friday, December 8, 2017

Dresses For December Part 3, Two Shirts or Not Two Shirts

Hello Readers. This is my third dress in honor of Dressember. You can go to Dressember.org and learn more about their to stop human trafficking. It is an international issue, and we can all help. I hope I can help by raising some awareness of the issue.
 
My dress refashion today started as 2 shirts. I put them together and got a cute, casual, and comfy dress to wear.
 
 
Here are my two shirts. One shirt is olive green and the other is a mix of olive green and off white. They were both nice and stretchy but neither fit me very well. The heathered green shirt fit well in the sleeves but the body was huge. It hung on me in a very pregnant way. I am not pregnant so I didn't like how this shirt looked. The solid green shirt was too tight across the chest and I couldn't wear it at all.
 
 
Here is the olive shirt up close. It has some elastic in the front and the back. I thought the lower part of this shirt would be loose enough to make a skirt, so that is what I started to do. I cut off the sleeves and shoulders above the elastic. I wanted to save the elastic and use it in my new dress.
 
 
You can see in the photo below what I removed from the light colored shirt. I left the sleeves alone and made the body a little more narrow. I also cut off some length so it would bunch up under the skirt. The elastic that was already in the dark shirt acts as a kind of waistband. I stitched on top of it when I connected the 2 shirts. I used a zigzag stitch to keep some of that stretch in the waist.
 
 
I really liked how this dress turned out (It just needed a cami under that low scoop neck.) and I love a stretchy knit. Casual and comfortable is always the best feeling.
 
 
Thanks for reading, and happy sewing to you.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dresses For December Part 2, The Jacket Dress

Hello Readers. It is time for the second dress refashion of December. I am focusing on dresses in honor of Dressember. You can go to Dressember.org to find out more about how they are fighting human trafficking around the world. I will give you a hint, it involves wearing dresses. (Or bow-ties.)
 
 
Today's dress started as a jacket or tunic of some kind. It was dress shaped and it was long enough on me to be a dress but it was open in the front. That isn't going to work as a dress. I had to sew it closed and I did it by hand so I didn't damage the buttons with my sewing machine. I don't enjoy hand sewing but this was easy and quick. I will have to put it on by pulling it over my head now that I sewed it closed but that's OK.
 
 
Now the front is closed all the way down from the neckline to the hem. That was much better but the dress is still too big and too baggy.

 
Here you can see how I made the sleeves and the sides of the dress a little smaller. I kept the original shape of the dress. You can see the high-low hemline, I left that the way it was too.
 
  
The dress was more flattering but still had a great relaxed fit and feel. The dress has no stretch so I had to leave it roomy enough to be easy to wear. (And get over my head when I put it on and take it off since it is permanently sewed shut.)
 
 
I really liked the comfortable loose fit of this dress, with tights and a jacket I was very cozy. My little guy decided to get in my staged photo op here. He wanted to check out that snowman.

 
But wait, there's more!
*****************************************************
The Pumpkin Snowman
I decided to use my Fall pumpkins for a Winter decorating idea. They were still in good shape, it would be a shame to throw them out.

 
I painted them white with some white primer. It was a flat white that covered the colors of the pumpkins really well. I went outside on the grass in case I spilled the primer. I let the pumpkins dry overnight.

 
I moved the pumpkins to the front porch and stacked them up. My pumpkins balanced really well but some hot glue would help secure them together even more. I added a hat and a scarf to make the snowman look more complete. He just needed a face. I used squeeze paint and drew right on the top painted pumpkin.

 
Here is my finished snowman. I am calling him "Bob". He's always looks cheerful when I come home.

 
Thanks for reading this post, I appreciate it.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Dresses For December, Part 1

Hello Readers. It is the beginning of my "Dresses For December" series. I found out about another month long event happening in December, called "Dressember". Dressember was started by a woman named Blythe Hill. She wanted to raise awareness about human trafficking. It is a huge international problem, 30 million human beings in slavery world wide, according to the Dressember website. Most of them are women and children. You can see her TED talk about wanting to help and starting Dressember here. Her idea was to wear dresses the entire month of December (Dresses being symbolic of women.) and her idea grew into a larger charitable organization. Dressember.org is their website and they can tell you much more about what they and their partners are doing to help victims and how you can help wherever you are. 
 
I decided to wear dresses for the month of December and all my refashion projects this month will involve dresses. (I hope you like dresses.) My first dress is this purple sleeveless number right here.
 
This is the face I get when son was tells me a story about how he needed money.
  
This purple knit dress is in good shape but it is too big. I am also going to freeze with out any sleeves so I will need to wear something under it. Or over it. Or both. It had a zipper down the back so I was free to alter it on the sides without interfering with the ability to put it on and take it off. And knits are usually very easy to work with and comfortable to wear. I'm excited, let's get started.
 
 
This dress was from Talbots. It feels like very nice fabric. I measured and double checked where the sides needed to be taken in and I used my machine to make new side seams. Easy-peasy! I shortened it a little because the length was a little dowdy on me.
 
 
This dress is just a comfortable as I had hoped it would be. It looks dressy but feels like a nightgown. I added a jacket and boots for the chilly weather.
 
  
Thanks for reading this post. I hope you can join me for the rest of my December dresses.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

So Much Purple #3

Hello Readers. I am still in my purple refashion phase. Todays post started with a sparkly purple shirt. As you can see from the picture below I had 2 purple tops with sparkle on my refashion rack. Does anyone really need 2 purple sparkle shirts in their wardrobe? I don't think so.
 
 
I wanted to use the sleeves from this purple top and attach them to the floral button-down shirt you see below. I know what you're thinking. Why not just wear the purple top under the floral shirt? Why bother cutting and sewing. Just put the clothes on and go about your day, right?
 
 
I thought about doing that. I just didn't like the sparkles with the faded denim floral look. I didn't like how the sparkles showed from the armholes either.
 
 
So I simply cut off the sleeves and pinned them to the floral shirt. This will be the easiest refashion in the world. I will be done in 3 minutes. No big deal right?

 
Something went really wrong. I couldn't figure it out. It was super tight. Like difficult to put on tight. Like I couldn't button it properly tight.
After careful examination, I found that I had gotten some of the shirt caught in my sewing. I just had to pick out some stitches and stitch over that part of the sleeve. Well that's easy. No big deal right?

 
Something else went really wrong. I tore the shirt by accident while I was removing some stitches and now it had a hole in the back. A very noticeable hole. I wish I could say that I handled it like a mature adult. I wish I could say I was an example of grace under pressure. I was not either of those things. I got really mad. I said mean things to the shirt and I told the shirt I never wanted to see it again.
 
 
I still had the body of the sparkly purple shirt. I guess I could wear the sparkles with this purple plaid.
(Yes, I had even more purple clothes.)
So much purple, y'all.
 
 
Thanks for reading about my failed refashion. It doesn't always work. Things fall apart. Life is like that. Now, go try to make something fun for yourself.
 

Friday, November 24, 2017

So Much Purple #2

Hello Readers. I have been working through my purple refashions and todays post is about a shirt. A really weird shirt. It is a shirt but barely a shirt. I mean it is so sheer, is it really a shirt? Let's be honest here. I am never going to wear this. Even if it was over another shirt.
 
 
I really thought it was pretty and the beading was nice. I just didn't want to wear it. Where would I go wearing a see through shirt with all these beads? WalMart? The library? The pediatrician? I have never been anywhere that this seemed like an appropriate clothing choice. So, this shirt needs a new purpose.
 
 
This is a lamp in my house. It has been around for 22 years. Someone nice gave it to me as a wedding gift. (Thanks Laura!) I am not sure if that is the original lamp shade but it is a little old and a little yellowed with age. I have wanted to get a new lamp shade or spruce it up for quite a while.

 
So how did I figure out that this shirt fit over the lamp shade perfectly? Do I try all my clothes on lamps? Do I randomly put clothes on other objects? No, this is the only time I have done this.
But it did fit so, I just ran with it.

 
Here is a look from above the lamp. You can see the arm holes are hanging down in the lamp. This would be a serious fire hazard. I don't want to burn my house down so....

 
I cut off the excess and left about an inch to fold over the top inside the lamp shade.

 
I used a hot glue gun along the inside top edge. You can see the excess here after gluing. I love hot glue, it dries in just a few seconds. When I was done with the glue I trimmed off all the excess fabric so it would be nice and neat. (And safe!)

 
Here is my finished lamp. The beads added a little fun and sparkle to it. Who knew a lamp could wear a shirt.
 
 
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

So Much Purple #1

Hello Readers. I am always collecting hand-me-downs and clothes swap finds that I can refashion. I am always trying to show that you don't need to spend a lot of money to have a fun wardrobe that fits really well. In my collecting I have found and saved quite a few purple items. I don't know why I kept them waiting but I realized recently that I needed to start working on the purple clothes before they took over my sewing area.  
 
 
I started with this purple top that my mom gave me. (Thanks Mom!) I liked the shirt, it was a nice eggplant purple. It was a great match to a cardigan my daughter had given me. The only problem is that the purple top was bigger than the cardigan. I needed to re-size it and the gray jeans needed help too. They fit in the hips and the backside but the waist was too big.

 
Let's start with the shirt. It was a nice heavy weight knit. I really liked it, it had a little sparkle too. I used the existing seams as a guide in marking new seams. Can I just sew new side seams like that? Sure I can, it's my shirt. It took a couple tries to make it small enough. It needs to be really fitted to wear under the cardigan. I sewed and tried it on and sewed some more.

 
The gray denim was very simple and classic. I really wanted to wear them but the waist was too big. I couldn't just add a belt to draw the waist in, it was too bulky and uncomfortable. It really needed to be smaller. I tried them on and marked how much smaller I wanted them. I again used the existing side seams as a guide for where to sew my new side seams. Can I really just make new side seams in denim just like that? Would they hold when I wore them out in public? Yes, and yes.
I did stitch over the new seams twice to make them strong and give myself some extra security.
I made them shorter too, of course.

 
Here are the finished clothes, the shirt works great under the cardigan now that it is smaller and more fitted. The jeans fit at the waist and I was ready to go. Go where you ask?

 
I went to a casual party with my hubby, you can guess the theme right? 

 
That is all for today. Don't be afraid to grab some clothes and make something fun for yourself.
There is more purple to come next time.

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Flattering Hoodie

Hello Readers. I really believe that you can refashion anything. One of my best sources of clothes to refashion is to steal things from my man. If he doesn't wear it often, I will take it for myself. (I am not ashamed.) Today's post is a perfect example. I had this nice big hoodie to work with.
 
 
This hoodie is too big but it is in good shape. I really wanted to make it more fitted but keep the length to cover the caboose when I wear leggings to exercise. I thought it would be nice and warm in the colder weather too. It needed some big adjustments.

 
I used one of my favorite hoodies as a guide. I marked where I wanted to make my new seams on the inside of the blue jacket. I just used my sewing machine to make the new seams on the sleeves and sides of the jacket.

 
You can see in this picture what I removed. I made it more narrow and made the arms smaller and shorter. Sweatshirts are easy to work with because they don't fray. I cut off the extra fabric and didn't worry about it.

 
I added some elastic inside at the waist. I wanted to pull the waist in a little. I thought it would look more feminine. It is still casual but more flattering than the baggy fit it had in the beginning. The best part is that it is just as comfortable and cozy as before.
 
 
I liked the new fit. The longer hoodie is good with leggings. It covers up the backside so I can go out without feeling like a flasher. (My backside is my business.)

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