Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Floral Skirt That Took All Summer

Hello Readers. This project was a joint effort. My daughter found this dress at a thrift store last spring and really liked the floral print. There was a lot of that pink floral print. This dress was straight from the 80's. 

Look at this dress. It had so much going on. BIG shoulder pads, a dramatic dropped waist, and a pleated skirt. I didn't see the appeal of this dress but my daughter really liked the floral design.

And look at the built in scarf!

Her idea was to remove the top of the dress and just keep the pleated skirt. It was a great idea. She started to add an elastic waist. She got busy with work and school and never finished it. It sat all summer. I found it when I cleaned up the sewing area and I decided to finish it for her. 

This is the finished skirt. It came out really cute. The elastic is covered with some lace to make it look nicer.

She used the same elastic I used in this skirt. To be honest, it is really ugly elastic. If you can't see the elastic, you would never know how unattractive it is.


 I wanted to make it a little prettier. I decided to try to cover the elastic using this cotton lace. I bought it from for a great price but I had to buy 15 yards. I had plenty to use for both these skirts.

I stretched the elastic waistband of the skirt and attached the lace using my sewing machine. It made the lace a bit gathered so it can stretch when it's pulled on and off. It looks so much cuter than the white elastic.

The floral skirt is really light and thin but it will be ready for next spring and summer.


This little project my daughter made for someone. They brought her an apron that their grandmother used and wore. She wanted to save it and make it a pillow. She attached fabric to the back and stuffed it. The tie around the waist is tied in the back. It was a nice way to preserve a family memento. 

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Making A Cardigan Sweater

Hello Readers. I liked the colors of this shirt and sweater together but the sweater covered all the pretty flowers on the shirt. 

I decided to make this sweater into a cardigan. I cut straight up the middle. I used the weave of the sweater as a guide for my cutting. The edges were a little rough and I was afraid they would fray.

I decided to used ribbon to finish the raw edges. I used my sewing machine to attach it to the front of the raw edge and then turned it under and stitched it down again. It covered the fraying edge nicely.

I like this sweater as an open cardigan but look at the wonky new seams I made. The ribbon was too heavy and it doesn't lay nicely at all. This is looking pretty bad. It's time for Plan B.

**PLAN B**

I cut off those new seams. It looks off-center, but trust me it is even. I used the weave of the sweater as a guide for my cutting again.

I decided to simply fold the edge under. I was going to do something I hate to do, sew by hand with  a needle and thread. I try to avoid hand sewing but it only took about 5 minutes to do both sides. I don't know why I hate hand sewing but I really do.

I was finally ready to wear this combo out in public. The open sweater is more comfortable ans less restrictive than a pullover style sweater. After this picture I headed to class.

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Hot Fall Weather Dress

Hello Readers. How are you enjoying cool Fall weather? We had a few days of cool weather and then it was straight back to hot summer days. So what do you wear when it's late October but still 85 degrees? A dress of course. A light weight dress with some fall colors would be perfect.

I decided to make this skirt into a dress. It has a pretty pattern and the fabric is nice and soft. I took a picture and went inside to get to work.

This skirt is a little big and slightly stretched out but that's OK. It will work really well for this project. It has a wide waistband that is made of a knit material like a T-shirt. That will be easy to work with.

I made two small cuts in the waistband. I made the cuts just above the seam that attached the knit waistband to the skirt. The knit material won't fray so, I made the cuts and it was ready to go.

Here is a close up of the cuts and you can see the waistband seam is still intact. The two simple cuts made the armholes for my dress.

All this dress needed was a belt. It was great for a very hot Fall day. You can see the cuts became round armholes when I put it on. The waistband is now the shoulder straps and neckline of the dress.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Jail Stripes Shirt

Hello Readers. I was given this cool shirt from my cool sister-in-law. (Thanks J.) I really liked it but it needed some help with the fit. I had my teen son take the before picture and he said something about me making a prison break. (Thanks son.) That comment inspired the dye job you see in the picture below.

The shirt is long and the sleeves are REALLY long on me. I found these skinny jeans on clearance for $3. Seriously $3! My daughter got a pair too. The jeans were too long so I had to work on them too. I liked how they looked with the shirt so I put them together in this post.

I wanted a blue-green color so I used a bottle of each when I dyed the shirt. I used really hot water and both bottles of dye. 


It made a very strong dye bath and I stirred the shirt in the dye for 10 minutes. After the dye bath, I washed the shirt twice to remove the excess dye.

I made the shirt short sleeves and I used some elastic to make a waistband. I just folded the shirt in and stitched all the way around to make a casing for the elastic. I used narrow elastic and it made a soft comfortable waist.

I quickly cut the legs off and rolled the ends up. I wanted little cuffs on the jeans. I put a few stitches in the cuffs to keep them in place.

I was ready to go out to dinner with some friends and my husband.

We went for Mexican food, took selfies, and ate a lot of tortilla chips and...

Look at this yummy creation. Mmmm!

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Falling For Florals

Hello Reader. It finally happened, cooler weather arrived. Well, slightly cooler anyway. I had this cute dress that didn't fit well. The top was too small but the skirt part fit great. I decided to get rid of what didn't work for me and save what I could. (Good advice for peaceful living?) 

This floral dress had a lot of brown in it so I decided to make it work for early Fall wearing. The bodice looked easy to remove and I could just save the skirt. Easy peasy!

Oops! I made it a lot harder by taking the dress apart at the wrong seam. I removed the waistband from the skirt by accident. I went ahead and removed the top as I had planned.

And I put the waistband back on the skirt. 

It had a zipper that went up the back. I unpicked the stitches attaching it to the dress and cut it off with about an inch of extra length left at the top. I folded each side of the zipper under and to the side and stitched it down. I kept the zipper pull down while I worked with it so I didn't cut it off.

I can zip it up to the top of the skirt and then it has a nice tie in the back that will hold it up and keep the zipper zipped. It it didn't have the tie it would need a button or hook of some kind. The waistband/tie is attached to the skirt all the way around because the skirt had a raw edge when I removed the top of the dress. This was an easy way to finish it.

When it is tied in the back it looks nice and neat. I like the tie because I can make it a bit bigger or smaller depending on what size waist I have that day. A big lunch can change things a lot.

This skirt needed a top and I happen to have a brown shirt ready to work on. I used it in a recent project. The neckband was cut off and used to make a pumpkin stem on a pillow.

I used a shirt I liked as a size guide. I want this brown top to be fitted to balance the full skirt.

Here are all the little parts that got removed. It was thick knit material and easy to sew new seams.

I have a simple top with 3/4 length sleeves.

Here is the finished outfit. My husband took this picture while I was waiting for my older son to come out of the house and get in the car. You can just barely see the little guy behind me. He didn't want to get in the car either.

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