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.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Stripes and Denim

Hello Readers. Today's project is actually 2 projects. They go together and are very similar. I made them at the same time so I decided to show them to you at the same time.

*** PART 1 ***
It all began with these skinny jeans. They were soft and broken in. They fit pretty well but they were not quite right. They were faded at the knees. Well, they were supposed to be faded at the knees. Can you see how the faded spots are below my knees. This is a common problem for short girls. My legs are not nearly as long as these jeans think they should be. Even when I cuffed them to the right length, I couldn't move the faded spots up on my real knees.

I decided to make shorts and cut off the faded spots altogether. Skinny jeans are sometimes too tapered and tight around the thighs to make comfortable shorts. I have a solution for that. The solution is this black skirt. This black skirt is too tight on me. It fit when I bought it but now it is too tight. I might as well use it to make something else.

I cut the panels from the skirt. I cut 2 narrow pieces and 2 wide pieces. I used the smaller pieces for the shorts. (The larger pieces are for later.) All the pieces are slightly wider at the bottom than they are at the top. That helped the shorts fit comfortably around my thighs.

I cut the side seams of the jeans open and inserted the black pieces. It made the legs of the shorts wide enough to make comfortable shorts. I hemmed them the length I wanted. It makes a contrasting black stripe down the side.

If you look closely, you can see where my little guy splattered yogurt at me. #momlife 

*** PART 2 ***
I also had a denim skirt exactly like the black one. I bought it when I bought the black skirt. I remember thinking I liked how they fit when I bought them but I never wore them because they were too tight. Did they shrink??? Did I grow??? (Maybe. Probably. Definitely.)

I cut the side seams open on the skirt and added the 2 wider black pieces from the black skirt. The denim skirt needed to be wider to fit around my hips so I added as much black fabric as I needed to make the skirt fit well. 

I liked the new look of the skirt. The black stripes down the sides made the plain denim a little more interesting but the colors are still neutral and subdued. It was easy to wear. I wore it to a local paint night. It was fun but painting is difficult. Very, very difficult. 

This picture is really dark.                             This one is better.

These were fun to put together. I had 3 items that didn't fit well and now I have 2 that fit great.

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kid's Stuff

Hello Readers. I am not always sewing. Sometimes I am busy with my kids. If you have kids, or been around some kids, or if you were ever a kid yourself, you know they are always learning. It is fun to have new activities and things for them to play with. It can also cost an arm and a leg to keep buying new toys, games, books, etc... Here are a couple of things I have done recently around my house in at attempt to be fun and educational. 

It started with this table. This is my actual kitchen table. We use it for everything. Eating, coloring, projects ...... It has gotten really beat-up and chipped. It belonged to my grandparents. I would never buy a new table, but I want to cover it until I can refinish it.

***PLAN A***
My first idea was to use a plastic shower curtain as a tablecloth of sorts. I thought I could wipe it off and it would be bright and colorful and my kids could be reminded of some basic geography. I ordered this from Amazon and it wasn't plastic. It was nylon. It doesn't wipe clean very well.
 It went in the kids shower.

***PLAN B***

I put a blue tablecloth on the table. I like it but fabric will get dirty very quickly with my toddler. I just wanted it to be the background for this new idea. 

I got a couple maps. One is of the whole world and one is of the United States. They are designed for kids and made to be colored in. We had fun doing that.

Here are the colored maps. They don't cover the entire table. The blue cloth under the maps covers the rest. Those paper maps won't last very long right? 

Here is my solution for that. It is a "Super Clear" plastic table cloth. I can wash and scrub it as needed but you can see the maps under it. It was only $6 or $7 from

 I can imagine displaying a bunch of kids art projects under the clear tablecloth too. Kids would love that, and you can only fit so many kid drawings on the refrigerator before you run out of room. Then you have to try and get rid of some, and your child is devastated and scarred for life.  


I also made a super cheap sorting game/toy for my toddler from the caps of his baby food pouches. He loves playing with this. He likes to throw them up in the air like confetti, then he sorts them by color. They can be used as beads, for stringing on yarn. (I read somewhere that was good for their coordination.)  They can also be used for early math, like addition and subtraction.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. Or your kids.