Thursday, March 31, 2016

Salvaging a 70's Outfit

My project today is a two piece masterpiece from the 70's. I was born in the 70's so I recognize the look of the decade. This design was so busy. I wanted to make it more wearable and less crazy.

 The wrap top is so small that I couldn't wear it. But check out that great pattern! Yowza! I can't imagine what I would look like in the top and a long skirt all in this fabric. The colorful flowers would overwhelm the eyes of anyone who saw me.

Since the top didn't fit, I had this bottom half to work with. It was a wrap skirt. It was made for a VERY slender person. A VERY tall person too. I am neither, so I need to get to work. 

When I spread it out I could see it had a lining that was still in good shape. That was great because the fabric would be too sheer without it. I cut the top part of the skirt off. It was just to small to fit around any part of my body. The lining was so slippery and it was sliding all over the place. I had cut off the waistband where it was attached. It was only sewn in on the sides of the piece I was trying to work with. It drove me crazy!

Cut, cut, cut.                                                             Look at that nice lining!

I wanted to make a casing and hid the elastic inside it. I did that but it was uneven. I had to rip it out and I could see I tore it slightly. The fabric was not strong enough to survive this battle. I quit fighting and just attached some coordinating blue elastic at the waistband. It was easier and faster. This is a basic "junior high home economics project" type of skirt. That's OK with me. This look is more fun than formal.

I still have the matching top. I am not sure what I can do with it. This pattern is enough cute and quirky as one piece by itself. A whole matchy-matchy outfit is TOO much of a good thing. But if anyone wants it, let me know in the comment section. It can be yours!

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It IS Easy Being Green; A T Shirt

Hello Readers. I hope you are well. It is warmer and warmer where I live. I am working on spring clothes. Why do I make/refashion so many clothes for myself? Well, this time last year I was about to deliver 9 lbs 11 oz of bouncing baby boy. I don't know the metric conversion for that weight. Huge is the only word that comes to mind. He was huge, I was huge. The spring before that I was much smaller than I am now so basically nothing fits as it should. That means sewing, mending and refashioning while the baby is sleeping. I like it, it keeps me busy. And I can make things fit me.
 OK, so, on to today's post. It started with this green shirt. 

It came from a clothes swap (of course). I went with a few friends and we all found some great stuff. The things we didn't like we gave to each other. This shirt was one of those items. None of us liked this top. I don't know what the designers thought was. It had this extra "strap" that goes across the chest and neck. It felt weird and it looked a bit weird too. Maybe it was to hide how extremely low cut this shirt was. Like crazy low. No one wears shirts this low.

This was a simple fix. I cut it off at the back. I was careful and cut as close to the finished edge as I could. I left it cut and it isn't visible. The entire neckline looks natural.

I couldn't just cut the front of the tie off because the knot you see in the picture was not attractive inside. It was rough edges and had threads sticking out in all directions. I tucked the end of the strap inside the shirt and put a couple stitches in by hand to keep it in place.

Here I am finished with this green shirt. I like it simple without the extra strap in the front. It is just a case of less is more.

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Baby Food Jars, Magnets and Organization

Hello Readers. I am blessed to have a daughter and double blessed because she likes to organize. If the closet or pantry gets out of hand I will find her cleaning it out because she doesn't like the disorganized shelves. (It's awesome!)
I am also blessed with two boys. One of them is a little guy and so I have lots of baby food jars. I have found lots of uses for them. Usually I drop most of them off at my local food pantry. (They use them on a daily basis.) I keep some around the house. When I set up my new sewing area, she suggested organizing all my buttons, notions and trims. 

I filled one drawer of a plastic organizing "thing" with all my buttons and fasteners organized by color and type. It is nice to see what I have on hand and I can find things faster. 

I use them in my bathroom cabinet to hold cosmetics too. They are a nice fit for the little shelves. The jars make it easy to use all the space in my cabinet.

My daughter has her cosmetics in the same kind of cabinet but she uses magnets to keep them neat and in view. (She put this together recently and I was impressed.)

She attached a strip of self-adhesive magnet to the door. And put a small piece on the back of each item. It is a great space saver in a shared bathroom.

That's it for today. As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Update a Velour Track Suit

Hello Readers. I am still working on a spring exercise wardrobe. I was given this velour track suit. It was light weight, soft, and cozy but the jacket was a little too big. That is an easy fix.

I trimmed the jacket down a bit and it fits great. It just needed a little off the arms and sides. Once the arms were more narrow they didn't hang over my hands anymore.

These velour pants are another story. They were much too baggy. I had big plans for them. Or smaller plans for them.

I cut the top of the pants off. They immediately curled up and became even shorter. They wouldn't be very useful like this.

I took them in on the sides so they would fit better.

I added some soft cotton bias tape on the lower hem to stop the curling and make them look more finished. This added a little length too. (It took a lot of pins to control the curling.)

Here is the finished jacket and shorts ready to jog or nap.

So pale y'all, so very pale.

And what about those pant legs? I have big plans for them. How does a little black dress sound? It should be finished as soon as some trim arrives from and I will post it as soon as I can. 
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Time to Go Outside; Exercise Pants

Hello Readers. It is getting closer and closer to Spring. It has been in the 60's and 70's the past week. (But they are calling for snow.) That means it is warm enough to go for walks and enjoy some fresh air. It will be nice to get moving again. It also means I need some more exercise clothes. These great Nike pants were handed down to me and they fit pretty well at the waist but they were miles to long and very wide at the bottom of each leg.

I marked and stitched new side seams. The fabric feels like very heavy swimsuit material. This was very stretchy knit but heavy and easy to work with.

Here is a picture of ALL the fabric I cut away. You can see it was a lot of fabric. I was ready to hem them when I realized they didn't fray at all and I lost the motivation to keep working. Does this happen to you when you are sewing?

This is the original side seam.

Here is my new side seam. It looks different but it works for me.

I can now walk without trips and falls in these pants. The pant leg fits but is still roomy enough to stretch comfortably. I love these because I could be going running a marathon or I could be going to my couch for a Netflix marathon. You can't tell and I am not saying either way.
They look fine with raw edges at the bottom. I trimmed them to the length I wanted and put them on. I love them so much, I may never wear anything else.

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

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Valance Curtain From a Dust Ruffle

Hello Readers. This was a quick bedroom refreshing project. I was given a cute crib set when I had my baby. The colors were great for the nursery. It was already painted light blue. (Good thing I had a boy!) It had a quilt, a sheet, bumper pads and a dust ruffle. I loved all of it. (Thanks Patty!)

I had a white dust ruffle so I decided to make this colorful one into a curtain. I cut the colored panels of the white center. I attached the short panels onto the long panels. This gave me two long identical stripes of fabric. 

I then attached one under the other to make a two layered valance curtain. I attached a small tube of fabric on the back of the curtain at the top to put the curtain rod through.

It was an easy curtain. It only took about half an hour.
Thanks for reading, Now go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Second New Tuxedo; Making Jeans Bigger... Again

Hello Readers. Today's post is almost a re-run of a recent post. I had a second pair of skinny jeans from a recent clothes swap that needed to be enlarged just a bit. 

I cut down the side seam.

All the way down to the ankle. I planned to use the sash from a polyester dress. It was black and stretchy, but strong too. 

I inserted the black stripe and dyed it all to make the jeans look fresh and dark again.

Here is a view of the side stripe. I like how the black blends in and it is subtle.

Thanks for reading! Now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Well Dressed Flower Pots

Hello Readers. My 5 minute project today is all about plants. I was given these two beautiful plants. A friend was cleaning out because she was moving. (Thanks Sharon!) They were nicely put in pots and had pretty moss on top. I love them. The pots are in great shape but they don't really "match" anywhere in my house. Do they have to match? No. But since they are small baby plants, a lot of the pot is showing. And the only well lit spot is right in view.

I have a lot of fabric scraps and leftover pieces from past projects. I went digging in the craft closet to see what I could find. I found some nice light blue denim. It had a cool reverse pattern too. I liked both sides. I could have hot glued the fabric but...

I used this easy fix. That's right, it's a safety pin.

Here is my first arrangement. I tried to flip the fabric to show both sides. I wasn't impressed. 

I decided to used the darker side, it seemed to look better against the white table. I love how they look. They are in a very prominent place so they can get the light they need. They were always beautiful plants. Now they are well dressed too.

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

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Mom, I Need Some Headbands!"

Hello Readers. I usually save my fabric and trim scraps for later. I don't always have a purpose in mind but this time I did. my daughter recently came to me to tell me she needed some headbands for work but didn't want to spend her hard-earned money. She was finding them for $5 - $10. I waited until I had a good selection and started putting together different scraps and trims to see what I could make. 

Here are some finished headbands. I used narrow  black elastic in the back to make them stretchy. I copied the length of the elastic and the trim pieces from a headband she already had and liked. 

Here are a couple finished and ready to try on. 

Here are a couple more. The one on the left is a piece of my husbands tie. The one on the right is made of lace from a dress I refashioned recently.

Here is a close up view of how the headband is attached to the elastic in the back. It is folded under and stitched tightly together,

This one is different. the whole headband is stretchy with some trim attached in the middle. It is just one big circle, with the raw ends on the inside.

One last shot of a narrow headband made of elastic and narrow trim.

The possibilities are endless, and it's a great way to use small scrap pieces. 

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