Friday, February 26, 2016

Fur Sure; The Red Sweater With the Faux Fur Collar

Hello Readers. My project today is more mending than refashion. I loved this red sweater when I first saw it but it was damaged. I was determined to save it because I love red and I love the faux fur collar too. It was a little too big in the arms and body too.

It was attached to the neckline of the sweater with little buttons. A few of the buttons must have come loose and fallen off because the collar just hangs half off the sweater. It looks very sad and sloppy. It could be adorable if it was all in working order.

I took the sweater in on the sides and shortened the arms. I cut off the extra from the sides and the arms. It wasn't fraying exactly but it looked very ragged. I turned the raw edge under and stitched it up. It made the sleeves look more finished. I used a zigzag stitch so it would have some stretch to it.

Here is a good shot of all the parts I cut away. I made the sweater a little smaller but I didn't want it too tight. I wanted it to be a little roomy.

I dug around in my button drawer and found some buttons to hold the collar in place. The sweater can be worn without the collar. I could probably use buttons and wear the fur with another piece of clothing.

Here is a picture of the new side seam. I wanted to show how smooth it stitched together. It looks just like it did before I started working on it. It doesn't look sloppy or rough. 

Here it is modeled by my dress form/mannequin. I call her Rhonda. I also wore it out to a coffee shop to meet some friends. It has a nice comfortable fit.

As always, I really appreciate you reading this post. Now go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Denim Dress from a Men's Shirt

Hello Readers. I got a quick burst of nice weather and wanted to make a dress. I started with this very large men's shirt. It said size 3X. It was in great shape and it was long enough for a cute dress. Really, I am half done already because the hem is finished.

Here is the shirt before I did any cutting. You can't tell how long it is from the picture. It is long enough to make a tunic type of short dress.

I used a dress I liked the fit of as a pattern of sorts. It gave me a basic idea of how big I wanted this dress to be. This button down shirt doesn't have any stretch. I added some extra to the measurements to make sure it would fit comfortably.

Here is the dress after cutting some off the sides and a lot off the arms. I made them 3/4 length sleeves and stitched the raw edge under. It looks longer in the back, but it just needs to be ironed.

There is still one problem. This patch and logo above the pocket. It was too well sewn on to remove without a lot of damage. I had to cover it up. (I don't know where Clover Power Station is but I thank them for the new dress.) I had an idea about covering the logo patch.

I added something to cover it. It is the wide end of my husband's tie. It had an ink stain on it so he never wore it. I attached it with a few hand stitches so it wouldn't shift around. You could just pin it as well. A big broach or pin would work too. I have a baby so pins don't work for me right now. He would lay his head on my shoulder and scratch his face or he would try to eat it.

I also closed up the space between two of the front buttons. I just sewed on top of the seam that was already there. No one can tell I did anything to it but that way it won't gape open when I move around. I never used to wear button down shirts because of  the way the two sides can pull open when I am wearing the shirt. (YIKES!) Now, I just add a few stitches in between those buttons and I don't have to worry about how my shirt looks. It is permanently closed and now I have to pull the shirt on over my head. That's OK with me. 

I was really happy with the way it turned out. It is great over leggings. 

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My New Tuxedo; Making My Jeans Bigger.

Hello Readers. This recent project began as a pair of white jeans. I saw a great outfit on a friend (Hello Erin!) using white jeans for winter. I wanted to try that for myself. I found these at a clothes swap and discovered when I got home that they were way TOO tight. They were so tight I couldn't  get then on without hurting myself. I needed to expand the jeans to fit me.

I really liked the colored stitching on these jeans. I wanted to work with that and saw some jeans with tuxedo stripes down the sides. I thought that would be a great way to add fabric and make these jeans bigger.

My original plan was to use these strips of gray corduroy from yesterday's project. But look at the rivets and the metal logo piece attached to these pieces of fabric. This isn't going to work at all. 

It's time for plan B. I dug around my refashion stash and found this taupe shirt. 

It is an even better match for the stitching! Sometimes you have to give up your original plan.

I had to cut carefully to get pieces straight and long enough to fit in the sides of these jeans. I needed long thin strips of cloth.

I cut straight down the sides of the jeans along the seam that was already there. I attached the long pieces of taupe fabric and sewed them in. The knit fabric made these jeans much more comfortable. The knit fabric has some give to it and makes these jeans feel like leggings.

My jeans were finished in time for...more snow??? It's been a really snowy winter here. I am loving it. I ran outside to take these pictures before the baby woke up. I was in little ballet flats and got all snowy. Brr! Next time I will plan ahead.

The colored stripe looks really wide in this shot. I don't know why, below is another look.

The colored stripes are not obvious from the front. I like how subtle they are. I think wide ribbon would also be a great choice for this project, but it wouldn't have the stretch knit fabric does. I think I am going to keep working on this idea. I found a pair of black jeans just like this at the clothes swap too.

Thank you for reading this, now go make something fun for yourself.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Gray Corduroy I Have Been Waiting For

Hello Readers. Today's project is a pair of gray corduroy pants. I have wanted skinny gray pants for quite a while. I tried to make a pair last October. It was a huge fail. I found these gray cords at a clothes swap and took them because I liked the color so much. If you notice in the picture, they match my boots exactly. I thought this would make me look taller. I'm not sure it worked. 

They were in such great shape, I knew I could make something of them. But they were so big and long on me.

Really big. Really long.

I took off some extra from the sides and the length. I just stitched a new seam .on the outer edge of each leg, right along the seam that was already there. I used it as a guide while I sewed and I made each leg more narrow as I sewed down to the ankle.

I was happy with the fit and the color. They have a lot of stretch  and they have a high waist which I love. My baby is almost a year old and unlike some Hollywood actresses, I have not shrunk down to a size 1 yet. (How do they even do that? It's like a super power. Superman can fly, they can lose all their baby weight in 2 weeks. Ugh!) Anyway....

I was so excited about the long strips of fabric I had left over. I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do with them. Check back tomorrow to see how that turned out.

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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Damage Control; A Mending Project

Hello Readers. Today I had a mending project to do for a friend. I'll call her J. I know what you're thinking. Mending? Ugh, no one likes mending. It's not fun. It is boring and everyone avoids it. But there is no way to avoid buying new, spending and shopping without some time spent mending. I love to save money. Most clothes will develop problems eventually, even our favorite items. But they can usually be fixed or altered and made wearable again. J loved this shirt and since I love my friend,  I tried to fix this awful rip.

It had a nice gray collar for contrast and a nice button front. I could see why she loved it so much. It was the softest chambray I have ever felt. It felt like heavy silk.

But it had a serious problem. It is literally coming apart at the seams. Under one arm it has this terrible rip happening. The fabric was so silky it was ripping more and more. Soon it would just come apart. It was a difficult place to mend with all the parts of the shirt connecting there under the arm.

I pulled the tears together and stitched it of them up the best I could and it seemed to be holding well. Now another problem emerged. By pulling the fabric together, it lifted one side of the shirt. It was uneven across the back.

I made a small tuck on the other side under the other arm. It helped balance it out, but it wasn't perfect. So, do any of you have any ideas for this. I couldn't think of anything else to do. Any tips? 

I always try to fix and mend items when I can. I don't like to waste anything. I would love to hear your comments.

Thanks for reading, now go make (or mend) something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nancy Drew Part 2; It's Time for a Skirt

Hello Readers. Today is the second part of my Nancy Drew tribute.  It started with the copy of Nancy's first adventure, "The Secret of the Old Clock". Along with the book, my neighbor Jackie also passed along some fabric. When I saw the clocks with a blue background, I was inspired to make a very simple skirt to match my clutch from yesterday.

I started by putting together the fabric into a rectangle and seeing if it was enough to make a skirt for myself. I basted it together with big loose stitches just to make it easier to handle and work with.

I ended up making a casing and using yarn to gather the fabric up and hold it together while I attached it to the elastic waist I had measured out. Once it was attached to the elastic I removed the yarn and stitched it up the back. It will slip on and off easily.

Here is the finished product. I don't usually sew an entire piece of clothing from start to finish. This was a fun change for me. I like how the clocks look from a distance. It looks sort of like an animal print or just a colorful design but up close you can see the different clocks. I know where I can wear this great outfit. A mystery book convention maybe? Or maybe just out to dinner.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nancy Drew Part 1; A Clutch Purse

Hello Readers. Do you remember Nancy Drew? She was a mature, polished teen that solved mysteries for her dad. She was no-nonsense, had a cool convertible car, and always dressed well. Even when she was out-smarting the bad guys. I recently was given a copy of the first book in the series, along with some other books from a neighbor. (Thanks Jackie!)

My daughter has a copy of this book and so does my local library. (I've seen it.)
And there was a small problem with this specific book, the pages were coming apart from the cover. The whole back of the spine was split. For all these reasons, I decided to make this book into something else entirely. 

A little clutch purse.
I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to try it. The tutorial is here. It seemed simple enough but the hot glue was a little messy and difficult. As you will see, read on.

I removed the pages with a razor blade.

I traced the book and cut the lining the right size. I used a scrap of blue velvet because I had it on hand and I thought the thickness of the fabric would hide the glue under it. It worked well for that.

I glued the lining down and then glued in the zipper. The tutorial recommended gluing one side and then the other. That worked well too.

Here is my finished clutch. It is really small and will only hold the basics. A thicker book would hold more, but I really like it. It goes perfectly with tomorrow's project. Check back to see what else I made in honor of the most fabulous teen detective.

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