Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Dyed Velvet Skirt

Hello Readers. This post is about a great skirt. It didn't start out great but it became great. It doesn't even look like the same skirt in the pictures below, but I promise it really is. Read on and see for yourself.

I can't remember how this tan Eddie Bauer velvet-like skirt even came to be in my stash but I have had it for a while. It was in great shape but it was too big and too long. The color isn't very exciting but tan is a great classic color. I already have a tan skirt and I don't need or want a second one.

My first step was to cut off the bottom of this skirt. I knew I wanted to shorten it so I cut off quite a bit to get the extra fabric out of my way. 

Can you spot the dog paw?

My second step in this refashion was to cook up a dye bath. I love Rit dye. You can use it in the washing machine if you have a top loading machine. I have a front loader, so my skirt needs to sit in a bucket of hot water and dye. I chose dark brown because it will cover this tan color and I don't have a brown skirt.
 I followed the directions on the bottle as closely as I follow any directions. (I don't like being told what to do. "Your not the boss of me!")

I had to stir the skirt around continuously for 10-15 minutes. I got a little too forceful with my stirring and this little mess happened. Oops! I was terrified that I got it in my hair but I was OK. 
Stir gently but continuously. 

Here is my skirt after two washes to get rid of the excess dye. I lightened the picture up a little so you can see the stitching didn't take the dye and it is a nice contrast to the dark brown color.

I took a little off each side and gave it a new hem. It didn't fray at all, I think I could have left the hem as a raw cut but I wanted it to look more finished.

I love this skirt,  it is stretchy and soft and it reminds me of chocolate.

It is perfect for one of my favorite hobbies. Eating chocolate cake! Mmm...

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Witch Dress

Hello Readers. I hope you are well. I am enjoying a few days of Spring-like weather in my area. Daffodils are blooming and the window in my sewing area is letting in some fresh air. 

I have been working on two pieces for today's post. The first is a black dress. It fit well but it makes me think of a witch. The second item is a pair of stretchy trousers with a broken zipper.

Here is the dress. It fits but it is very dark and severe looking. The sleeves are slit and open from the elbow to the wrist. It makes the dress more interesting but the color and the sleeves remind me of a witch. The sleeves flap around dramatically and I thought I should leave them the way they were just for something different.

I cut the dress in a high-low style just for fun. I cut the bottom of the dress off. It is a heavy knit and it didn't fray at all. I thought I was done. I put the shirt on and wore it for about two hours. 

But then...I sensed that my little guy had a dirty diaper and of course as his mommy I cleaned him up. I can't tell you how annoying it is to wrestle with a toddler who doesn't like diaper changes with these long sleeve flaps dangling in the way. I immediately made the decision to close the sleeves and make them more wearable. I don't have time for this kind of drama in my life.

Here is the closed sleeve and the new hemline on the shirt. I saw that the heavy knit didn't fray at all. I left the raw cut edge at the hem. It was lighter and had more movement that it would have if I folded it over and made a thicker hem.

The second piece I altered for myself was a pair of charcoal gray dress pants/trousers with an elastic waistband. They were baggy, stretchy, soft and the zipper was broken. The high waist came up to my chest almost. I like high waists but this was too much. They were so stretchy I wasn't sure why there was a zipper at all. If they are stretchy and the waist is elastic I could just pull them on, right?

That was my plan, make them fit and hope that the elastic would stretch over my backside so I could pull them on. I took quite a bit out of the inner legs a crotch to bring the waist down to my true waist. I also took some excess off the sides along with that broken zipper. I shortened them a little too.

I went over the new seams twice for safety.

I wore everything to the allergists office. With  Spring comes pollen unfortunately and I will be a sneezing mess. (WOW! That is not exciting at all is it?)

These pants are like control top pants with all this elastic. BONUS!!

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Darth Vader Sweatshirt

Hello Readers. I loved this Darth Vader shirt. He is supposed to be so evil but really he just wants to share freshly baked cookies with everyone. How bad could he be if he has cookies for everyone? I am going to have to rethink my opinion of him. 

This shirt got hit with some bleach and it is looking a little worse for wear. Darth Vader is fine but he needs a new home.

I had this nice gray sweatshirt with black trim just hanging on my refashion rack. I could put these two shirts together couldn't I?

I cut the cute picture off the bleach stained T-shirt. After looking at it I decided to round the corners of the picture and make it smaller.

I wanted to stitch the picture onto the sweatshirt. I didn't want the fabric to move or pucker. To prevent that I pinned the picture onto the sweatshirt and then I basted the picture with a needle and thread to keep it even more secure. 

I used my machine to attach the picture to the sweatshirt and tried to sew slowly so I didn't mess the whole project up. (Darth is counting on me.)

I am happy to say that the fabric and my sewing machine got along well and it turned out well. It isn't dressy or super sophisticated but sometimes a mom needs a sweatshirt. I wore it on a Target run. I even stopped at Starbucks for a latte. (Stereotypical suburban mom.)

The cashier liked this kinder gentler version of  Darth Vader too.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dressing Up A Sweatshirt

Hello Readers. I hope you are warm and cozy on this cold winter day. I can't seem to resist playing around with simple plain clothes like this gray sweatshirt. It was as basic as could be. It was a little boring to be honest. I mean no one ever says, "I can't wait to wear that plain gray sweatshirt!" I also had a cute little floral top. It was very cute and very small.

I started by cutting off the bottom of this sweatshirt off. I made sure to make the cut a little below the waist. I didn't want a high or empire waist. I made the cut there so that this wouldn't look like a maternity top. (I am hoping it won't anyway.)

Here is the super cute floral top. I love the yellow and gray together, It has a gathered elasticized area across the chest. That isn't a good look for me but it is too pretty for me to leave on a shelf. I decided to use it to dress up the gray sweatshirt.  I cut some off the bottom and used my machine to attach it to the sweatshirt. That was pretty easy.

That didn't seem like enough added excitement so, I used my seam ripper to remove the cuffs from the sleeves of the top. I could use them for added decoration.

I cut the sleeves of the gray sweatshirt to 3/4 length and attached the cuffs to the ends of the sleeves. I didn't get a good picture of that process but you can see in the picture below what the sleeves look like. I am glad I added the cuffs, a little extra made the shirt a little more fun.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Seeing Spots Dress

Hello Readers. I hope you are well. I found this spotted dress at a clothes swap. It caught my eye because of the muted colors and the cute dots. I thought it was so pretty when I saw it folded and sitting on a table. 
When I put it on, I changed my mind. SO many spots! It's like I got hit on the head.

It is really nicely made. It is fully lined, even in the sleeves. I love the color scheme.

Look at that built in cami. Someone did a great job with this dress, but those dots are making me dizzy.

Is that one big orange dot in a weird place or is it just me?

I removed the entire skirt. You can see the built in lining that was underneath. The entire dress is super soft and stretchy. These spots are just so overwhelming.

I trimmed the skirt edges so it was even. It basically made a big circle.

Snip, snip, snip.

So, I had a cute colorful polka dot scarf. I still love the colors and the design is so much nicer in a smaller dose. 

Short or long, you decide.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Making Knits Fit and Fitted

Hello Readers. Today's project is a fun outfit that I put together from a clearance rack bargain and a clothes swap find.  The skirt was so soft and stretchy, I loved it. I thought it would be comfortable and easy to dress up or down. It was a little big but that was no big deal.

The long sleeve T-shirt was just a couple bucks on the clearance rack. I don't have any animal print shirts so I bought it even though it didn't fit me. I like black and gray. I figured I would find a way to make it work.

I took some excess fabric off the sides and arms so it would be nice and fitted. It was a little long but I thought if it was fitted I could just fold it under to make it any length I wanted. It took a few times to get the size and fit I wanted but T-shirts are easy to work with so it was fun work. 

The skirt just needed to be a little smaller and it would make a great pencil skirt. This was easy to finish. It only took a few minutes. It is a straight tube, just like it was before. It is so stretchy, it doesn't need a slit on the side to walk easily.

Here is what I ended up with. It is great because both pieces are SO comfortable and the skirt is a nice below the knee length. It feels like a long T-shirt.

And here is the best part! I can pull it up high on my rib cage and it becomes an above the knee pencil skirt.

Stay classy! hahaha

As soon as this picture was taken the sky unleashed a massive gust of wind. It was sudden and didn't let up for quite a while. 

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Sweater That Went Wrong

Hello Readers. I made a sweater recently. I had the blue silk blouse and the gray sweater and they each had a problem. I decided to put them together and see if they could help each other out. It didn't work out as I thought it would.

The blue silk blouse was delightful with this fluffy collar. It looks like flower petals to me. If you look closely it has a couple small stains right in the front below the fabulous collar. They stains won't come out and it doesn't look nice.

I also had this basic gray sweater. It fit well and it was comfortable but the neck is a bit too low to wear alone. It needs a shirt under it. The waist band always flips up for some reason. I don't know why but it is always like this. It makes it a little shorter and I don't like that either. (I am a little picky.)

Here is what they look like together. I love it. The blouse fills in the neck line and the length of the blue blouse that hangs out from the bottom makes it longer. Perfect right? Well, no. The blue blouse rides up when I wear it and I always have to tug it down. I thought I could easily fix that.
 I was wrong. 

I started by basting the collar onto the sweater. (That was the only smart thing I did.) I went over it with my machine to make it really secure.

A brief  moment of vanity, my ring finger looks really fat there. 

I used pins to hold the blouse in place. I thought I could just stitch it in place with my machine. I thought the pins would keep the sweater from stretching out.
(I was wrong.)

What I ended up with was some kind of tutu looking attachment at the bottom of my sweater. It looked absolutely ridiculous. It puffed out more in real life when my backside was under it. My backside doesn't need a huge ruffle over it making it bigger.
 I tried to make some tucks to make it lay smoothly. I didn't think it would work but I had to try before I gave up on this sweater.  They didn't work, the sweater was to misshapen. 

Well, I gave up and cut the whole thing off. If I unpicked all the stitches I might have damaged the sweater anyway. And I was mad, it felt good to just cut it off and throw it away. I was really bummed. I loved that blue fabric. I couldn't dwell on it for too long, I had to move on with my life. (That is a good life lesson.)

The sweater sat for a while and I sat and thought about what to do. I decided to use this blue trim. I had always liked it and now it would cover the rough cut job at the bottom of the sweater. The sweater didn't fray at all so I didn't need to worry about it. 

The trim is not machine washable, but neither was the silk blouse.

Here is my finished sweater, It wasn't what I had planned but sometimes things don't go according to plan, you have to improvise and make the best of it. (That is a good life lesson too.)
The blue trim doesn't lay perfectly flat but it is much better that the tutu I had before. 

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


I think I should have left the shirt in one piece and just tacked it down on each side at the seam. That might have kept it from riding up and it would have kept the sweater in it's original shape.
 Live and learn. (Last life lesson of the day.)