Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Dog Needs A Safety Vest

Hello Readers. If you read the title you are probably wondering why my dog needs a safety vest. What is he up to that is putting him in danger? Well, I like to walk everyday and he needs a daily walk but he can't take the heat. It is really hot this time of year and so we walk him at night. It is dark and his fur is black so he is hard to see. There aren't a lot of street lights where I live. I thought if he wore this reflective vest he would be more visible.

The vest is man-shaped and I need it to be dog-shaped. You can see here it is too big on K.C. He is a big dog but this vest isn't going to work like this. It also needs to be out of the way in the belly so he can do his business.

I opened up the lower front of the vest. I just folded the lower front corners in and sewed them inside. 
I also took out about 6 inches from the back. I just sewed a new seam down the middle of the back of the vest and cut away the excess. It is sort of plastic-like, so it wont fray.
 I also made some darts in the back, shoulder blade area (Do dogs have shoulder blades?) because the arm holes were too big and loose.

Here is K.C. in the finished jacket. It is still loose enough so he in comfortable. It took a lot of treats to get this picture because I woke him up and he was enjoying his nap.

Here is the vest in the dark. It is not a great picture but you can see it is very reflective and that's what I wanted. The vest is so much easier to see than his black fur.

That's it for now. Now go make something fun for you or your dog.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

More in Fake Layering

Hello Readers. This is a bit of the same as the last post. It was getting too long to fit all in one post, so I guess this is the conclusion. I liked this black knit dress. Black is always great in my opinion. It's dressy, it's casual, it always seems to work.

This dress was too low in front and a little too tight through the chest in general. I really liked the shape and fabric, so I didn't want to give up on it.

I cut straight down the middle of the back. I cut all the way down to the waist band seam. That was a natural place to stop. The fabric is like a T shirt so it won"t fray. That will make this easy to work with. I folded the sides into the dress and pinned new seams. After sewing this new V shape in the back, I cut off the excess fabric. There will be no fraying because it is a knit. 

I used a gray tank top with this dress. I cut the front and back of the tank apart and attached it to this black dress just like I did in my last post. This dress needed some coverage in that low cut back I made. The gray tank keeps the dress together so the shoulder straps don't slip off my shoulders. That would drive me crazy.

This dress is super comfortable, just like a T shirt. It was nice to wear on a hot day of running errands. I stopped at a roadside stand for some BBQ when I got hungry. It was in Northern Virginia. 

It was called S&D BBQ, it was yummy. They had so many things to choose from, I didn't even know where to start. Mmmm...... (They didn't pay me to say that, I actually paid them for my to-go dinner.)

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.
And if you're hungry, get some BBQ.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dresses With Fake Layering

Hello Readers. It is hot, hot, super hot outside. At least where I live it is. I think dresses can be more comfortable in the heat of summer. I had a couple dresses I wanted to wear but they were a bit too low cut in the front. I didn't want to wear a shirt under them because it just looked too bulky. And the arm holes didn't seem to line up correctly, the tank underneath would come out and look really sloppy. I decided what I needed was a "fake" layer under each dress.

I had a green tank that coordinated great with this black and white dress. I love the color green so I got to work. I want to cover the center and I have tried this before and had trouble getting the fit right. I had a different plan this time.

I cut the front of the tank top off and attached it to the dress at the shoulders.

I also attached it at the sides. In the middle and at the bottom, you can see the pins. I stitched the tank down just where you see the pins. I didn't sew the entire edge to the dress. I thought this would allow the layers to give and move more freely. I also tacked it down in the center front of the waistband. I used my machine, but it would be easy to do by hand.

Here is the finished dress. I like the added green and the armhole is still smooth and lays flat. The fabric isn't bulging out or making the bodice bulky or lumpy. Does anyone want to be lumpy? I don't think so.

This purple dress needed the same fake front layer. It fit but the V neck showed way to much cleavage for me. I don't like to show too much. 

This dress got the front of a long sleeve white T shirt. I attached it to the front of the dress with just a few stitches. It was basically just like the green top from above.

It is also attached on the sides just like the previous dress. (I took the armholes in on this dress too. a bit too.)

It didn't change the look of the dress a lot. It just made me more comfortable when I wore this dress out in public. 
I wore it to look at some newly constructed apartments for my mother. They had hard hats available for my safety. At least the hat matched the dress.

Next time I will show you a dress that was similar but got more complicated as I worked with it.
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Mellow Yellow Dress

Hello Readers. I love dresses, how about you? I also love to refashion big button down shirts too. Today we have both, in a nice sunny shade of yellow. I used this yellow tank as the top and a plaid men's shirt as the skirt.

I began by removing the sleeves and shoulders of the shirt. I made my cut right through the front pocket. It doesn't look big enough to make a skirt here but it is a men's XXL. There is plenty of fabric here to make a nice skirt..

Look at that cute plaid pattern, it's adorable. I removed the rest of the pocket by unpicking the threads.

I attached the two shirts at the waist and stitched the new seam twice to help control any fraying. It will be inside so it won't show but I don't want it to be too ragged. It was a simple straight dress. I added a belt to break up all the yellow. It helps cinch in the waist. If the fit isn't perfect, a belt can really help. I put the shirt buttons in the back of the skirt, just for fun.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Shorter and Shorter Pink Floral Dress

Hello Readers. How are you today? My project today is a pretty pink floral dress I found at a clothes swap a while ago. I am not a huge fan of pink but I do like to try and make things work and work with what I have. It was in great shape and it fit pretty well. What could I do to make this pink dress more to my liking?

My first thought was to make it shorter. It was too long for me. I removed about 6 inches and made a new hem. I liked the dress better this way, it was super cute. But could I do more? Sure I could.

I made it even shorter and made another new hem. I now had a cute new top. I like the top because I think I will get more wear out of it. I don't have too many tops and the ones I do have tend to get dirty. I have a baby that can get baby food all over me at almost every meal. I wind up changing clothes often.

This top was perfect when I went out to a casual dinner with friends.

Here is a picture of the cuts I made in the dress. Which did you like more, the long dress, the short dress, or the top? Comment and let me know, I am curious what you think.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Suede Jacket Is Now A Purse

Hello Readers. I hope you are happy and well. I am still enjoying my refashion projects. I love to change something old into something new. This suede jacket for instance. I've had this jacket for a long time. I have been thinking about what to create from it.

It wasn't an awful jacket. I just didn't really want a suede jacket, but a new purse would be nice. This is a nice, neutral tan color. It will be great as a purse. And those pockets will come in handy.

I cut the lining and shoulder padding out of the jacket. I used a seam ripper to remove all the fabric scraps left on the edges in the jacket.

It was easy to cut through the suede. I thought it might be too tough or too thick but I easily removed the sleeves and shoulders. The body of the jacket will be my new bag. 

Inside the jacket the seams look like this. It is in good condition and the raw edges obviously won't fray. It will be inside the bag so no one will see these seams. But it's nice to know they are smooth, neat, and sturdy.

I was going to attach straps and I used this buttonhole knife set to cut round holes through the suede. I measured carefully so I would have even balanced straps. It was like cutting through butter. I need to work with suede more often. It is soft and doesn't fray.

I bought some braided cord online. (Note- I used 5 mm size cord.) I couldn't find any at the fabric store but Amazon had about a dozen colors to choose from. I threaded it through the holes and tied big knots at the ends. You can see the stitching along the top of the bag. I folded the raw edge in and it was very easy to sew through. I used a universal needle, I didn't need a leather needle or special thread.

Here is the finished bag. It is very simple and the suede is super soft. I like the knots showing.  One side of the bag still has a pocket which is nice for my keys. The other jacket pocket is inside the purse.

I cleaned out my old purse and put all my things into this new bag. I found all these coins at the bottom of my bag. No wonder my purse was so heavy. Goodness, no one needs all these. I should clean things out more often.

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

***Hello again. I am adding some pictures in response to some questions I got about this bag. Queen Of Rods, this is for you. I hope this helps. Thanks again for reading.

Here is a picture of the bag inside out. It is the lower part of the jacket, folded in thirds. So there are three layers of suede here.

At the bottom you can see the three layers of jacket and original hem from the jacket is still in place. It seems that some glue was used on the seams and I didn't want to rip or damage the suede by forcing the whole thing apart. I just sewed down one side, across the bottom and up the other side of my bag. 

The inner layer I made shorter and it divides the bad in half. I thought it would help me stay organized. One front pocket is there inside and the other front pocket is on the outside of the bag.

 You can also see a white patch inside the bag. It is where the pocket it sewn to the suede. I assume it is for strength, so I left it alone. 

I didn't line the bag because I like the leather inside and I don't want to add bulk or weight. It isn't that big to begin with, I don't want to sacrifice space to a lining. It would make it look more finished though, so maybe next time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Striped Dress

Hello Readers. This was a quick project. It was more alteration than refashion.This dress caught my eye at a clothes swap and I loved the stripes and yellow band at the bottom. It was in great shape and the length and elastic waist were all great for me. It was too large through the top though. I couldn't wear it like this.

I put the dress on my dress form inside out. I pinned the sides to get the upper portion to fit better. It needs to be tighter but not too tight. This whole dress has a loose fit that I love. I used my sewing machine and made new side seams. I sewed through the lining and outer fabric as well. I moved the new seam in about an inch and a half. I angled my new seam out at the waist and ended it in the elastic at the waist. The gathered waist will hid any imperfections where my new side seams meet the elastic.

Once I made the upper half fit better it raised the waist to match my real waist. The top has a comfortably roomy fit but the arm holes are not too big or too low now. I left the skirt full. Who doesn't love a full twirly skirt? I added a belt for fun. It was great for wearing to church.


I found this nightgown long ago and the eyelet lace was pretty. I just don't like big night gowns like this. If felt a little bit too Victorian to me. (Extreme, head-to-toe coverage.) It was almost a costume.

If you could handle all that fabric smothering you as you sleep, there's more! I mean how do you sleep with this huge collar in your face? It is almost like angel wings. No, I can't sleep in all this.

You might see a simple nightgown, but I see this.

I marked where I needed my new seams. I used the skirt and part of the bodice to make a pillowcase. I removed the skirt and smoothed it out because it was gathered at the waist. 

 I re-attached the skirt to the bodice to make it long enough for a king size pillow. I love the eyelet lace as trim on bedding.

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