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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Super Easy Cardigan (No-Sew)

Hello Readers. I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather Autumn has brought. I have been trying to work on clothes for the cooler weather. This big cozy sweater is a perfect example.
 It was brand new with tags when I found it at a clothes swap. The neutral color was great, it would go with everything. It was a fine knit, almost more like a knit shirt instead of a sweater.
I didn't like the high neck. I hate close fitting turtlenecks, even a 1/2 turtlenecks like this one. It always makes me feel like I am going to be strangled at any moment.
I decided to see if I could treat this sweater like a knit shirt by cutting it down the middle and seeing if it frayed. It didn't. If it had frayed I would have had more work to do.
I cut a little bit off the neck and made it curved instead of a sharp corner at the neck.
And that was it. This is a refashion anyone can do. All you need is a pair of scissors.
And a sweater.
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Strapless Problem (Gravity)

Hello Readers. Let me ask you a question. Do you hate strapless clothes? Do you just hate them? OK, hate is a strong word. Don't get me wrong, they can look great. At first they seem like they are going to be your friend and then what happens? GRAVITY HAPPENS! At least it happens to me. Every time. Even when I think they are going to fit and stay up, they start to slide down and I have to spend all day tugging them up. It is really annoying.
I found this green and black dress and loved the green layered skirt but hated the strapless top.

 OK, here is your up close look at the front and the back. It was simple and classic in design but I still didn't like it. The back was very open and I knew that would be too much skin exposure for me. (I do want to give credit to whoever came up with the design that allows for a regular strapless bra. At least they made an effort to allow a normal female to wear this. Not everyone wants to go braless or buy a $200 weird bra contraption.)

This black top is made of knit fabric. That meant I could cut the black fabric off with no fraying to worry about. Bye strapless top!

The skirt had elastic built in already. I just folded the black edge in and stitched it down so it wouldn't show. I stretched the skirt as I sewed so I wouldn't lose any of the stretch of the waistband.

Now I have a flowy feminine green skirt. I liked it with black so I wore a black sweater and I was done. I can imagine wearing this skirt in the spring too. You can see the multiple layers of fabric well in this picture.
Thanks for reading this post, now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Dress For Autumn

Hello Readers. Sometimes I just sort through my stash of refashion clothes and hope for an idea to pop in my head. When I looked through these knit shirts I noticed that the colors were all coordinating and matching nicely. I thought they should be put together somehow. I love to make (And wear.) dresses. And I like to use things I have on hand. I try not to buy anything but thread, if I can. If only I could score some free thread!
 So, you can guess what happened next. (Hint: I made a dress.)
I had this pretty knit peasant style top in a nice burgundy color. It fit pretty well. I planned to use it as the top of my dress.

I also had this multi-colored knit top that was a just little big. A slightly larger fit was perfect because I thought that it would make a great skirt. The extra room would create a good fit around my backside. I wanted a comfortable loose skirt not a fitted style. I cut off the sleeves and planned on using that elastic waistband as the waistband of the skirt. That's right, I just flipped it upside down.

When I tried it on I found that the floral skirt was a little too loose to stay up securely as a skirt. If my toddler pulled on it, it would be on the floor. That didn't work for me. I used my machine to connect the burgundy top and the floral skirt to make a dress. I thought I would feel more secure this way. The skirt was a little short and it was curling up too. The curling made it even shorter.

I had a way to fix that. I grabbed this blue shirt. It was too small but I had saved it because it had this great lace trim on the sides. I figured I could use that blue lace someday and this was the day! I cut it off as close to the shirt as possible.

I was able to attach the lace right over the raw cut edge of the skirt. It added about and inch and a half in length and solved the curling problem. It also added some weight to the skirt and it was a great way to highlight the blue in the skirt.

Here is the finished dress. It is super comfortable and easy to wear. I liked the colors too. It is like a cloudy sky and Autumn leaves mixed together.
This was an easy refashion because all three of these shirts were knits and they didn't fray when I cut they. I live knits because they are so easy to work with and so comfortable to wear.

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Tough Guy Leather Jacket

Hello Readers. Have you been outside today? Outside of my front door is some chilly, cold weather. I had a great faux leather jacket that someone gave to my daughter and when it didn't fit, it came to me. (Thanks Carmen!) I liked the length and the color. (And it looks like I could jump on my motorcycle and ride off because I am such a tough guy. Like I could start a bar fight and win in this jacket.) It fit really well until you look at the arms. The arms don't look so good. Tough guys don't have jackets that hang over their hands like this.
My hands are in there somewhere. There is too much sleeve to roll up here, so I can't just roll the cuffs up and wear this jacket. It was nice and soft, surely I could just shorten the sleeves right? I have sewn through real leather before. It would be easy to sew through this faux leather, right?
Spoiler Alert: No, it wouldn't be easy at all.
It was easy to cut through the sleeves. They were so long that I just cut off the snaps and zippers that were at the cuffs. I turned the sleeves under and started sewing on my machine. That is when I realized it wasn't going to work as easily as I thought. The faux leather kept jamming up the presser foot of my sewing machine. It was so soft that it was almost sticky, and my machine couldn't handle it. It refused to sew smoothly. I finally got each sleeve finished and had two puckered wrinkled sleeves. I didn't want to try again because it would just jam up my machine again.
I was really bummed that I had ruined the jacket.
 I decided to try and cover the edges with trim. It would hide the problem and hopefully the trim would be smoother and wouldn't get stuck in my machine.
It worked!
I wore this jacket to a fabulous place in Frederick, Maryland. It was a bakery called Cakes To Die For. It was amazing. They do a lot of vegan baking as well as avoiding allergens like gluten and nuts. I can't eat wheat or gluten so I was SUPER excited to find treats at a bakery I could eat.
I wasn't exaggerating when I said I was SUPER excited. (Look at my face. Lottery winners are less excited than I am in this picture.) I had a chocolate cupcake, a chocolate macaroon, a piece of chocolate fudge cake, and a peanut butter cookie. It was a huge sugar rush and I loved every bite.

Thanks you for reading my blog and letting me share my refashion obsession with you. Now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I'm Going to a Wedding

Hello Readers. I don't get really dressed up often but I was invited to a wedding recently. I needed to dress up and I wanted to wear this dress. It was so pretty, but it didn't fit. Do any of you have clothes that have become too small as you got older? (Life, age, children, cookies have all played a factor in this. At least for me.) I really wanted to make this dress fit.
You can see from this picture of my dress form what the problem is. The zipper just could not zip up to the top. I was just too big. The waist fit well and it was such pretty material, I thought I could save the skirt. 

Here is a view of the other side of the dress. You can see a waistband that is a separate piece of fabric. I decided to remove the bodice of the dress with my seam ripper and keep the waistband attached to the skirt. It was really pretty easy to do.

This dress also had a lovely collar/neck piece with some big fake jewel stones attached. I really liked it so I removed it from the bodice too. I really wanted to incorporate it in the new top.

To make a top to wear with the skirt and collar, I used this plain black T-shirt. I cut the sleeves off at an angle towards the neck. My plan was to make a top in the shape of a triangle, with the collar at the top. It was sort of a halter style top.
My T-shirt top is the same shape as the original dress but the new version has more coverage. I can wear a regular bra with it and it is also very comfortable. The knit T-shirt material has more give than the original top of the dress.
Regular men's T-shirt.                   Inside-out view.
Here is what it looked like as I worked on the fit and the collar attachment. I gathered the top a little in the front so the fit was not too tight across the chest. The skirt and top are two separate pieces and can be worn together or separately.
To keep the zipper intact I folded in and stitched it down on each side. I cut off some of the excess and it works great. I have done this a few times on different skirts and they always stay up. A hook and eye closure would add more security if it was needed but I have never needed it.
I wore it to a lovely wedding. I added a sweater because it was a little cold that morning. The wedding was lovely. The bride and groom have known each other since they were babies. It was adorable.
Thanks for reading this post now, go make something fun for yourself.