Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Organized Storage on a Budget

Hello Readers. I am like most moms, I like to be neat and organized. But it is difficult to stay neat and organized, isn't it? I am always trying, but not always succeeding. I decided to make some matching jars to hold odds and ends. I can't seem to bring myself to buy new containers that all match. I am pretty cheap/frugal. 

 I got this idea because I love this Del Monte Grapefruit. I was buying it almost every week so I had access to many of these jars. You could use another container or jar for this idea. 

Wow, the produce section!

I started by washing out the jar and peeling off the labels. These labels came off easily with a little soap and warm water. Not all labels are easily removed. If they don't come off, you can cover them with some decoration or find a different container.

Here is the fun part. Adding a little decoration makes them more fun. Use your imagination, anything goes. I used this blue and white tape to start with but you could use ribbon, fabric, Duck tape,....

This "tape" was new to me. It has no sticky side.I just wrapped the tape around the jars and used a glue gun to secure it to the jar. I use my glue gun for everything and anything. It dries/cools in seconds. If you use traditional glue, just clamp it while it dries.

I also wrapped some simple twine around the top to hide/decorate the tops of the jars. A little dab of hot glue holds the twine in place. They match but I can still see inside.

Something about matching containers makes things seem more organized and neat. It looks like I have things under control at my house. 

I do not have things under control at my house. He said he was going to wash his play dishes and 5 seconds later he was on the counter trying to get to the coffee. Do 2 year old boys need coffee? No.
Do moms of 2 year old boys need coffee? YES!!! 

Does his head look huge in this picture on the left?? It's normal size, I promise. 

Thanks for reading, not go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dressing Up The Front Porch

Hello Readers. I hope you are doing well where ever you are. I love to sew, as you know from reading my blog. I also enjoy flowers and plants. I do not have a real talent for gardening, I just like flowers. I decided to display some flowers and plants on my front porch. I started with this wooden ladder.
 It was a little wobbly and my husband insisted on using it. I took it away to keep him safe really. 

You can see I painted the ladder. I also painted the little wooden kid sized chair to match. I do not have a picture of the old paint cans I used to paint them. Imagine old crusty cans of paint. I used a some white and a small dash of green, basically the slime at the bottom of the cans. I mixed the paints together and painted in a sloppy, haphazard manner. I didn't think it had to be perfect, it was going to be outside and covered with plants anyway.

I used this planter my mother-in-law gave me. It has a couple hosta plants in it. I didn't get then planted in the ground anywhere so they are going to be on the front porch too.

A month or so has past since the picture above. Look at how much that hosta grew!

Oops! This pot full of iris took a tumble and broke. It seemed balanced and secure on the ladder.

I suspect this little guy tried to climb the ladder. He loves to climb, I should have thought of that before I put a ladder right by the front door. 

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Dress of Many Colors

Hello Readers. I had high hopes for this very colorful dress when I found it at a clothes swap. It was brand new with tags attached and look at all those fabulous colors. The colors really caught my eye. It was so bright and cheery. I thought I would love it without any refashioning at all.

I was terribly wrong about this dress, at so many levels. It didn't fit at all. It was much too tight around the top. That's why I don't have a before picture. I couldn't get it zipped. 
The dress seemed so pretty and I loved the black waistband, what I could I do to save it?

I spent some time thinking about the dress. I decided to remove the top and keep the skirt with the waistband attached. I was really excited, I got right to work. This skirt idea was going to look great, or so I thought.

I cut off the top and finished the edge so the waistband of the skirt would look finished and neat. The dress would have made a cute crop top outfit if I was willing and able to show anyone my stomach.
 (I am not willing to show my stomach. It's pale, it's squishy, it's not going to happen.)

I really didn't like the finished skirt when I was done. I originally thought it would match every top in my closet because it had so many colors in it. In reality it didn't seem to match anything. Nothing looked right with it. I wore a black shirt with it so you could see the finished skirt, but I don't think I am going to wear this again. I just don't like it at all.
And what are the dog and I looking at? I can't remember, but the dog and I look equally interested.

Well, not all refashions can be winners. Thanks for reading, now go try to make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Tablecloth Curtains

Hello Readers. Sometimes you find a fabric that you just love. That is what happened to my friend K.F. She had curtains from a fabric that was no longer being made. But she really wanted to use them.  

After looking and looking she found a tablecloth on EBay. She asked me to rework the curtains and tablecloth to fit her windows. I did some measuring to be sure of my plan. And then, I measured again.

I took 2 valance curtains like the one below and cut them into 4 pieces. I was so careful about my measuring to make sure the 4 pieces would be equally distributed when they were hung on the windows. That required some division and even some algebra. My high school math teacher was right! I did use it again! 

When I cut the curtains I opened the seams and then made new side hems. I kept the rod pockets in the same place.

Here are the "new" curtains on the windows. The curtains block the morning sun from hitting them in the eyes while they eat their breakfast. 

Check out that gorgeous teapot collection!

For the second window I used the tablecloth. It was a basic rectangular tablecloth. It had a nice scalloped lace edge all around it. I decided to use and show that trim as much as possible.

I folded the curtain in half so it would be 2 layers thick. The first set of curtains were 2 layers thick and it gave them a nice weight. It also keeps the front from fading in the sunlight coming through the windows. I made them the 20" length K.F. requested and that left just enough for a top edge piece to show off a little more of that trim. 

Here is the curtain over the sink. There was a serious problem neither of us had thought of. The fabric hung right against the light. The light is actually resting on the fabric. Can you say fire hazard?!?

I made a house call to fix it. I don't often sew for other people, but when I do I try not to start a fire. 

A little pinning and tucking pulled the fabric up in the middle just enough to prevent any fire danger but block as much of the bright morning sun as possible. 

*****     BONUS TRACK     *****

My vintage dress form was getting a little beat up from all my sewing. I had put a tank top on it for some protection but it didn't cover the lower half. Some of the form was getting damaged. I found this stretchy nylon dress at a clothes swap. It was exactly the thing I needed. It was way to tight for me to wear but it was perfectly tight on my dress form. The tight fit doesn't add any bulk under clothes and the nylon dress lets clothes slide on and off easily. 

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Flash Dance Shirt

Hello Readers. Do you remember the 80's? I sure do. If you were alive then you remember "Flash Dance". It was a hit movie and it made off the shoulder sweatshirts a big fashion trend. This shirt reminded me of those shirts. This pink shirt has huge wings as well. 

You can see how ridiculous it looked on me. I didn't think I could wear these wings. I decided to remove them. This basic knit T-shirt material. It will be easy to work with.

I started by laying the shirt flat and cutting off some of the side wings. I had the beginning of some normal sleeves. I could see the body of the shirt was just too big. 

I needed to make the body a little smaller. There was a seam that ran straight down the back of the shirt. I used it as a guide and removed about 4 inches from the back of the shirt. 

I slimmed the sides down a little too. It made the body more narrow and the sleeves longer. It is still a full cut loose shirt. And the neckline is still wide, but not quite as wide as before. 

I had to make the blue tank top less low cut as well. I took about 2 inches from the straps. Easy-peasy.

I wore this on an afternoon underground at the Crystal Grottoes Caverns. 

It was very cool (Literally, 54 degrees) to walk through the caves and see all the formations.

Cave bacon!                             Don't touch anything!

I recommend the tour highly. We has a lot of fun. If you are near Boonsboro, MD go check it out. (They didn't pay me to say that. I just liked the caves.)

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Why Knot? (A No-Sew Refashion)

Hello Readers. I did a fun refashion recently that didn't require any sewing at all. It was so easy, even a kid could do this one. It all started with a big knit shirt, but any old T-shirt would do. 

This shirt was great. I liked the stripes and it said "Medium" on the tag. I liked it so much I bought it off the clearance rack without trying it on. That is always a bad idea. I came home and when I tried on the shirt I found it was ENORMOUS! It wasn't maternity but two pregnant ladies could fit in here. And if the wind picked up the shirt could go flying over my head. 

I used a fan to show how big this shirt really was. It billowed like the sail of a pirate ship. 

I decided to make the shirt smaller by first cutting the sides into horizontal strips. The length of the strips would depend on how much smaller you want to make the shirt. 

I cut off the ends and then tied the narrow strips into knots. I tried to make sure to tie them securely. I didn't want them to open up when I was out and about. I cut off the excess from the knots.
 (You can wear a tank or cami underneath if the knots become too revealing.)

Here is a side and front view of the shirt when I was done. It is still a nice loose fit but it isn't a gigantic circus tent anymore.

I didn't buy just one giant shirt that day at the store. Oh, no. I bought two. This pink floral short was the same shape and size as the black striped shirt above. (Medium was a lot bigger than I expected.) This shirt has a nylon front. I didn't want to try and alter the nylon. It frays like crazy and it a pain to work with. 
I decided to focus on the back of the shirt which was a knit T-shirt material.

I spread the shirt out on the floor so I could find the center of the back panel. I cut straight up the back and then cut the thin strips. 

I tied the knots and then cut off the excess. You can see the finished knots in the photo below. By removing some fabric from the back, it pulled the shirt tighter in the front and made it smaller.

The shirt is still loose but not so huge. This project was so quick and easy, I had time to go to a movie. 

Thanks for reading, now go make something for yourself.