Thursday, August 31, 2017

Maxed Out Two

Hello Readers. It is time for the second in the maxi-dress/skirt series. I came across a cute knit dress at a clothes swap. You don't try things on at clothes swaps, you just look at the clothes and if you like it, you take it. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. This dress was so soft and stretchy, I didn't realize it was going to be SO tight. And it was tight y'all. It was so tight that I just couldn't post the full image for the whole internet. 
(I have kids, what if they run for president, and someone finds this picture of their mom is some crazy, tight,  jail-striped dress that showed all my personal lumps and bumps? I couldn't live with that.)  

This dress was so tight that even my dog was disturbed by it, and he refused to look at me.

I decided I really liked the material of this dress. It was soft, casual and very comfortable. I cut off the top part of the dress. That left the bottom of the dress which was bigger and fuller

I folded in the cut edge and made a casing for elastic.

I love this skirt, it is the softest fabric and I love the stripes. It was great for lounging on the hammock. (Y'know, how moms lounge. That is a joke. I was on this hammock for about 30 seconds.)

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Maxed Out One

Hello Readers. I have had a few maxi-dresses and maxi-skirts on my refashion rack for quite a while. I decided to refashion them all and call it, the "Maxed Out" Series. People usually use the phrase "maxed out" to describe overwhelming credit card debt. I am using it to describe this overwhelming maxi-skirt. You can see how the skirt puddled on the floor around my feet. It is really too long. The shirt needed some help too.

The only way to make it fit in length I would have to pull it up under my arms. It could have been a dress like this, but I really liked it as a skirt with this bright coral color top.

That's my kids head.

I cut the bottom of the skirt off and made a new hem. It was pretty simple and straight forward. I can't think of any other exciting way to say I made a new hem. I made a new hem!!! How's that?
I used the cut off scrap later.

This nice coral colored top was too tight. I wasn't comfortable posting a picture of it because it was so tight. But you get the idea, right?

It looks like my legs were partially cut off. #shortgirlproblems

I cut two long narrow pieces from the cut off hem. I was going to use them to make the shirt a little bigger. They wanted to curl up a lot which made it more difficult to sew, but it wasn't horrible.

Here is the bigger shirt. I cut the sides of the shirt open and stitched in the strips of skirt fabric in the sides. It made the shirt a little bigger and it fit more comfortably. The whole outfit is a little matchy-matchy but I could break up the outfit and wear the pieces separately.
It was really difficult to pose so the side of the shirt would really show. I call the photo below, "Serious Face".

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. 
The next post will be Maxed Out Two.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Total Eclipse Shirt

Hello Readers. If you are in North America you have heard all about the eclipse. Almost everyone is suddenly eclipse-obsessed. It was perfect timing for me because I was under the weather and was home with most of my family to see the whole thing.
 (One of my big kids drove 7 hours to see the total darkness. So, yea, we got into it.)
I was challenged by someone to make an eclipse outfit and made a quick T-shirt for the occasion. I forgot a before picture of the big red shirt and used this old picture of me making the worst nasty face ever. Yikes! I look like I am asking to see your manager please.

This cranky face will NOT win friends or influence people.

Let's move on to the project. I spread the big men's shirt out so I could see the side. The front of the shirt is on the right in the picture below. I cut straight across the front and ended the cut high in the middle of the back. I wanted a loose fit for this shirt but the length needed to be shorter.

Here is the back of the shirt, I cut straight up the middle to open the entire back.

It was at this point I saw the cut I made in the sheets of my bed where I had been working. Oops!

I overlapped the two sides in the back. This made the shirt smaller and covered all the skin in the back. You can adjust the fit anyway you like. I pulled mine closed and pinned it in a good place for me. I stitched it down inside so it looks like a wrap top but can't blow open. I also stitched over the seams around the neck to connect the pieces together smoothly.
The shirt is open at the bottom around the hips so it glides over the body and doesn't bunch up.

I started making little yellow suns with acrylic paint around the neck with a round sponge brush. The center is missing because the sun is going to be covered by the moon. I tried to paint heavy because it will fade in the wash a bit.

 I used the round brush and black paint to suggest the moon. I also used a tiny brush to paint the corona around the moon in the center.
These are a little vague and just suggest the sun and moon. I wasn't trying to be perfect or scientifically accurate. This is just a fun addition to the project, I am not turning this into NASA or anything. 

When I was done I got this loose fit shirt. Even with my arms up my tummy is covered, I like it that way. The fit and size are all adjustable based on how much you cut off and how you stitch it back together. I like knowing the yellow spots are suns, but they are not overwhelming.

If you were able to view the eclipse, I hope it was amazing. I really enjoyed it. 

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Refashion Methods

Hello Readers. I love refashioning clothes. When I am deciding if I want to refashion something, I look at the garment. I start by looking at the fabric it is made of. Is it nice material? If it is really of low quality, there is no reason to spend time on it. Is it in good condition? Some damage just can't be repaired. And mysterious stains are just gross. No thanks! Is the material going to be easy to work with? Some material is just so difficult, I don't even try it. (Chiffon, I am talking about you.)

This black floral dress was pretty and it was made of very nice material. I really liked it, but it was too big and a little too long.  It looked shapeless and it gaped under the arms.

This dress had a zipper in the back so I could work on the sides without messing up the dress. I took both sides of the dress in a little bit. This made it fit much better. It closed the armholes so they fit too. 

I saw a post online recently about using a stapler to fit the sides of piece of clothing while you are wearing it. The idea was to be able to staple the sides of the clothes and then take the clothes off and do your sewing. The staples would stay in place and they wouldn't scratch you when you took the clothes off. 
Maybe I had a weak stapler. Maybe I have weak hands. It didn't work when I tried it. It was very hard to get the staples through the fabric. Maybe this was super strong fabric.

I use chalk often to mark where I want to make a new seam. Chalk doesn't move or stab you while you have the garment on or take it off. It also doesn't hold the garment in place when you work though. Sometimes you want the garment to stay in the new position/shape as you work on fitting it correctly.

That brings us to pins. When I was fitting this dress on myself I used a lot of pins to make the dress fit the way I wanted. I put the dress on inside out and looked in a mirror as I pinned and re-pinned. I was able to make the dress fit in a new way and I could stop to look at it and adjust it again and again.
The pins scratched me when I took the dress off and I don't know how to prevent that. I always stab myself with pins and get scratches when I work with them. That's just the way it is.

Here is the new fit of this dress. It wasn't a difficult to alter the sides. When I altered the fit and made the dress a bit smaller it also made the hemline rise just a bit. The shorter length was right at the knee. That was exactly what I wanted so I was done working on this dress. 

This seemed like a perfect dress to go out to dinner, but I wasn't able to go out to dinner this night. I ate a super healthy salad. Then I got lazy with a cup of tea and this whole box of cookies. I meant to eat a few with my tea and I ate them all. Oops! Cookies are my weakness.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

In The Navy

Hello Readers. I know when you read that title you started humming the song by the Village People from 1979. Why do these random songs from the past pop up in my head? Be careful what you listen to when you are young, it will be stuck in your brain forever.
But let's talk about clothes, right? I had these two navy pieces on my rack of stuff to refashion for quite a while. They didn't officially belong together but I liked how they looked together. They both had a fine pinstripe that I liked. 
You can see from the picture below, they were a little too big.

The shirt was too large but I liked the loose, blousy look of it. The skirt was to big around the waist too.  But in my mind I could see it with a fitted waist and a full 50's style skirt.

I decided to remove the sleeves completely. They were too long and it is August. Sleeveless sounded more comfortable than short sleeves. It is a woven, so its going to fray, I will have to fix that.

I cut the sleeves off an left about 1/2 an inch to fold under and stitch down. I used the sleeve hole as a guide. I didn't want to make it complicated, I just folded the cut edge under and stitched it down. Twice, because I missed a couple spots the first time. (It's OK, no one and nothing is perfect.)

The skirt was easy. I just took a little off each side. There were box pleats in the front and back. I didn't want to change them. I just did my work along the side seams where it would blend in. This is a poly-blend knit. It wont fray.

I love the finished look. It had a vintage vibe that I liked. I had a BIG cup of tea and went to church. When I got home the shirt was great with shorts too. 

Giant mug of caffeine.                 Casual afternoon doing nothing.

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Around the house

Hello Readers. Sometimes (Very often!) I have to stop sewing and take care of things around the house or the mess and clutter get out of control. I have been reorganizing my bedroom and bathroom recently because my toddler is able to reach higher, grab things and run away faster. It is causing more and more chaos. One thing he liked to try and get into was jewelry on my dresser. I understand it. It is shiny and sparkly. I had to find a way to put it away but still be able to see it all and get to it. 

I like to get eggs fresh from the farm, but that is not always possible. I was shopping at the grocery store. I also happened to buy these eggs around the same time. (I don't know Pete and Gerry, but they make a pretty decent egg.) 

I opened the clear carton and found this 3 sided design made to protect my eggs. The paper label came right off. Look at all those little compartments. 

The egg cartons reminded me of the organizers I had seen at Target the week before. I liked the clear plastic and shallow spaces to organize earrings and bracelets. Or whatever you want to organize.

Y'all know by now I am too cheap to buy these plastic boxes.

I ate all the eggs (Not all at once!) and washed the cartons well. I didn't want Salmonella poisoning.   

And here is a peek into the top drawer of my dresser. It isn't super valuable jewelry. (I am not the Queen of England.) But all my earrings and bracelets are easy to pick out of I want to wear them.

Black fabric underneath makes things stand out.

The egg cartons are nice because you can use them in so many ways. Organize all your desk drawers. And you are probably going to buy eggs again soon anyway, right?


I needed some extra storage in the bathroom for all this mess. 

I bought a few cute storage boxes. 

They had a flip top that looked a bit like an envelope. I used hot glue to secure that little angled front edge down. And I put thick felt pads on the front. 

I then set the box up on its front. I glued one box on top of the first.

The lids are on the front and swing up to open and reveal the shelf inside.

I glued a third box on top of the second and left the opening on the top so I could open the lid up. It looks sort of like a mini dresser. I can fit make-up, lotions, creams, potions...... They are stacked to save room on the bathroom counter.

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