Thursday, October 29, 2015

Re-sizing A Man's T-shirt And A Skirt To Go With It

Hello Readers. This project is actually two projects that I did together to make a complete outfit. A fitted gray T-shirt and a pinstripe skirt.

I began with this a baggy T-shirt like this one. I forgot to get a picture of it. Trust me it looked just like this but a bit lighter in color. (Go raid your man's closet. Go ahead, I'll wait here until you get back.) I actually have four of them in different colors. You will see some more refashions with them soon.

I used a shirt I already had as a pattern of sorts. I marked it with a dotted line so you can see where I plan to cut and sew a new seam. The sleeves will be much longer on the new shirt, about elbow length. 

All done. It is really long. You can cut off some length or leave it as is. I left it long so it would stay tucked it. We're half done. Part two of today's project is this skirt. It is a slate blue pinstripe that I love. This skirt as close to a corporate or conservative banker career as I am going to get. I want to make it more fun.

This was quick. I made it a bit tighter and shorter.  I am not a fan of elastic waistbands. They always look bunchy on me. It is better after being taken in, but still not great.

Problem solved. This black sweater covers the waistband nicely. It is getting a chilly outside anyway, I need to wear a sweater.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Glitter Top

Hello Readers. I hope you are having a good day. Today's project is a black tee shirt with some subtle glitter on it. (Thanks Mom!) I like it but it is a bit shapeless and boxy. We can fix that in a jiffy.

Here is the shirt. It is a heavier weight cotton blend. Are those Fall leaves in the design? I can't tell. Either way, I narrowed the lower six inches or so. I wanted a waistband of sorts. The upper portion of the shirt, I left alone. This was such a simple change but it made a HUGE difference.

This guy suggested going to get pizza because our big kids were out for the night. That sounded great to me.

Pizza was ordered.

Pizza was eaten.

Thank you for reading, now go make something fabulous for yourself. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Black Cords That Were Made Of Steel

Hello Readers. I have a great pair of thick black corduroy pants here. (Thanks again, Becky!) I love them. They are warm and cozy in the winter. They could be perfect, but are too long and need to be taken in. 

These pants started as a boot cut style and I want a straight narrow leg when I am finished.

I made new seams down each side. I had no idea it would be so hard to sew through all this fabric. It was so thick and heavy. The waist was the worst and most difficult to sew. I have sewn through denim with no problems before. This was crazy. Are these pants steel re-enforced?

I broke a universal needle and then I bent a denim needle. I switched to a leather needle. I had to operate the machine with my hand, using the knob on the right side. I went very slowly and my needle survived the waistband. I finished the rest of the project using the foot pedal.

I liked the new fit but the length was still a problem. (My toes look weird here. I swear they are normal healthy toes.) I shortened them a few inches.

Here are my finished corduroy pants. I was happy with them once I got through the tough fabric. It was a fun challenge.

As always, thanks for reading. Go make something fabulous for yourself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Too Cropped For Comfort

Hello Readers. As I write this it is very cold and windy and I need a cozy sweatshirt to keep me warm. That's today's project. I love this pale shade of pink in this sweatshirt..

I actually bought this from the store. That is rare for me. I choose it from the clearance rack at Kohl's right before I had my baby 7 months ago. I thought (or hoped) after the little guy was born it would fit. The problem? It is a cropped style shirt and I will never wear it as is. When I raise my arms all kinds of tummy comes out of hiding. That is not good folks!


     I used an old black shirt with a similar weight fabric to add some length to the pink sweatshirt. I             will add the pink waistband back on the bottom of the lengthened shirt at the very end. I saw                                              something like this on the Refashion Co-op blog.

I cut the bottom off both shirts. I folded the shirt over on itself as I cut so it would stay even.

I decided to get crafty and use some of the extra black fabric to make a flower. I hand stitched it to the front of the pink shirt. 

Here is a close up of the flower. It is over exposed so you can see the detail. The top flower is smaller than the one on the bottom. The pom-pom in the middle was in my drawer of sewing stuff, so why not use it. This is almost too cute for me. If it wasn't black, I couldn't handle it.

I went shopping with my daughter later this day. It was very windy, as you can see. That blur across my face is my hair.

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Mint Maternity Shirt

Hello Readers. Today's project is a maternity shirt refashion. It will be very quick because I am a busy mom today. I have school drop off, a gift to pick-up for MIL, to give the baby a nap, to let my dog out, school pick up and a vet appointment. I am typing this as the little guy naps. I'm sure this sounds familiar to a lot of moms out there.

This mint colored shirt is super soft and stretchy. It makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Yum! It was nice when I was pregnant and after, when I was still big and round. Now, it is too baggy. I have tried tucking it in, but there is too much fabric to look neat. I plan to drastically alter the shape. The bottom of this shirt is much wider than the shoulders. I am going to make the shape much more fitted. 

When I begin a new seam I start in the machine finished seam that is already there. I sew at an angle from there. It seems to blend in better that way. This material was easy to sew through. 

It is so easy to alter T-shirts. Try it for yourself. I didn't change the sleeves or shoulders, but they look funny in this picture.

Real life baby and dog care.

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cargo Pants With A Touch Of Satin

Hello Readers. I love the changing seasons. Whatever season is coming next is my current favorite. The cooler weather means I need some pants that fit or I will be freezing on cold  Fall and Winter days.

I was given these light khaki pants and they still had the tags on them! Brand new pants for me. (Thanks Becky!) As you can see they were miles too long. They are very soft and I liked the fit everywhere else. Clearly, I need about 10 more inches of leg to make them work as is.

These are casual but have touches of satin trim. I am easily distracted by shiny things so, of course, I love them. There was a tie/belt, a loop (for my hammer?) and some trim on the side pockets.

My first step was to take a pair of similar pants and use them as a guide. I put the legs together and marked where I needed to hem. I left extra so I could turn them under twice and sew them up. Don't use the waistband as your guide. Use just the leg for measurement, starting at the crotch seam. Every pair of pants will have a slightly different rise, using the waistband as your starting point could really mess this up.

I narrowed the legs a bit. These were a really wide leg and it was too much for my short legs to deal with. I narrowed them and shortened them fairly quickly.

When I was done, I went for a walk with this little guy. He is super cute and very sweet but I don't think he cared one bit about my new pants. Oh, well.

After wearing them for a little while I got annoyed with the belt. It just hung there and seemed weird. I used it at the bottom of each leg. It tied in with the satin trim already on the pockets and loop. It was so pretty, I couldn't bear to waste it.  

Thank you for reading, now go make something fabulous for yourself.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dangerous Curves Ahead: Making New Arm Holes

Hello Readers. How are you enjoying your Fall? My Fall is warm in the afternoons and that is perfect weather for today's project. Wear a sweater over it in the morning and then in the afternoon, BOOM! Show everyone your muscles. Or in my case, show your scrawny, yet somehow, still flabby arms.

I started with this Jones of New York blouse. It looks like a pajama top on me. And notice the arms? Those arms need to go and I have a plan to make the shoulders more narrow. That means I need to sew new arm holes. Curves are not easy for me. This could get dangerous.

Ok, not that dangerous. Read on.

First, I cut off the arms. I cut along the shoulder seam and pinned the arm holes the way I wanted.

 This fabric frayed a lot and was very silky and difficult to sew. I had trouble keeping the arm holes smooth when I sewed them up. I wanted to make the shoulder more narrow when I saw the finished product but I am not going to mess with this top again.

Here is an after picture and you can see all the fabric I cut away. I took a little off the sides too.

Ta da! This is my best Broadway pose.

What? Another shirt? This is too much! Yes, it's true. I made one for my daughter. Hers was easier and I liked it better so that is why you are seeing it here. It was a basic button down shirt from L.L.Bean. These polka dots are super cute. I cut the sleeves off before I took this picture.

Here is a good picture of the cut along the shoulder seam. I made her shoulders even more narrow. They looked great when they were done. This fabric was a bit thicker and much easier to work with.

The new arm hole was pinned in place. I used the iron before I stitched it on the machine and hoped for the best with the arm holes. It was easier this time. I think the practice I had and the heavier weight fabric helped a lot.

Here is the finished top. She really liked it and the arm holes came out nicely. She wanted me to protect her identity in these pictures.

I survived the dangerous curves of this project and you can too. Thanks for reading, now go make something fabulous for yourself.