Thursday, April 27, 2017

Salvaging A 70's Outfit Part 2

Hello Readers. Are you ready for a flash from the past? Actually two flashes from the past. The shirt I made here began long ago with a vintage outfit someone made back in the 70's. That is my guess from the design of the floral fabric. I made a skirt about a year ago from the same material, you can see it here

It seemed the vintage outfit was made for a woman about 6 feet tall and 86 pounds in weight. It was SO narrow. This little floral wrap top is so cute but it is very tight on my dress form and on me it would like a busted can of refrigerator biscuits. The chest would come out the top and the mom gut would come out of the bottom. It is too awful to think about it. The red shirt was a loose T-shirt of heavy cotton. It just happened to match the red in the floral fabric. I figured it was meant to go together.

I could fit my arms in the sleeves of this wrap top so I removed them. I couldn't fit in the rest of the shirt but I could use the arms in another top. A top that would fit my 45 year old mom body. (I love my kids, I don't love my stretch marks.)

This was the red shirt with the sleeves cut off. I cut just inside the seam around the arm holes. It looks like a simple sleeveless T-shirt. You can guess what I am going to do next right?

I turned everything inside out and pinned the new sleeves in place as securely as I could. Pins never seem to stay in place for me so I doubled up to make sure it wouldn't move around while I was sewing. Both of these fabrics were similar weight knits and easy to work with.

After I attached the sleeves (3/4 length) I wanted some more of that fabulous floral fabric. I removed the waist tie and considered using it around the neck of the shirt. It looked annoying so I decided against that idea.  


I took the end of the waist tie and made a tiny pocket. That seemed cute so I went with it. 

I like the new T-shirt. It is so cheerful. And it was a way to use the floral fabric that I liked but was too small. That floral was a little overwhelming as a whole shirt. (Imagine an entire outfit!)

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Spring Skirt and Sweater

Hello Readers. What are you sewing/crafting/working on today? I am usually working on a few things at once. I am so good at starting projects, it is the finishing of the projects that is more difficult. I get some ideas and decide to do everything at once, but it isn't always easy to complete all the projects at once. I need to work on that.

I started today's project with this pretty pinkish shirt that I got from who knows where. It is a light gauzy cotton. The arm holes were a little too big so I never wore it. I decided to make it into a skirt. It is a bit longer in back, but that will give me enough length to cover my back end. I am fairly short so skirts are usually not too short on me but I want the caboose fully covered. (It's not super gigantic but I still want to keep it to myself, y'know?)

I cut across the shirt and removed the shoulder straps and all the armhole edges. There was no turning back now. You can see how the fabric is still gathered together where I cut it. I tried to keep that gathered look when I attached the elastic. 

Here was my plan. I was going to add elastic as the waistband. I didn't love the look of black elastic but I didn't have enough fabric to cover the elastic with a casing. It would have made the skirt too short. (I am trying to cover the caboose, remember?)
 I decided to try the striped elastic. It is a little cuter. (My only other option was plain white but that just looks like cheap men's underwear.)

I also had this light weight sweater. (Thanks SJ!) I liked the color and originally thought it would make a great looking dress with the skirt under it. I chickened out about attaching the skirt to the sweater because the fabrics were both so thin. I was afraid it would pucker and get all wonky. Better safe than sorry.

So a skirt and separate sweater it is. I can always wear them with different things if I want. The sweater was really nice on this chilly Spring morning. 

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Shirt Skirt

Hello Readers. I love the change of seasons, Spring is here. That means warmer weather and warmer weather means it's time for a skirt refashion. I love skirts but I don't like to be cold so in the winter I don't wear them as much. Today's skirt project actually began as a shirt.

It was a cute shirt and it was in great shape but it was too baggy. That loose baggy fit is a big plus for this project. I can use that extra room to make a skirt that fits well, even around the hips.
 (And the caboose!)

Look at this! I love this design. It is a quaint little town. There are stylish little people at outdoor cafe tables. There is some French writing at the top so maybe it is a town in France or Quebec... I don't know. All I know is that it's super cute.

All I did for this super simple skirt was cut off the sleeves and shoulders. The body of the shirt is the skirt. It is almost done already so it only took a little while to finish.

I added some wide elastic as a waistband. It is casual but also seems like a belt and looks very neat and finished. And it only takes a few minutes. I cut a piece of elastic the size of my waist and made sure the skirt fabric is evenly distributed around the elastic. 

I wore this to run errands and my little gut saw this picture on the door of the dry cleaners. He ran up to it yelling "Mommy, Mommy!" This must be what I look like when I am sewing. 

Here is the finished skirt. It is super comfortable and I still love the design. The colors are perfect for Spring.

My shirt looked funny so I am just showing you the skirt.

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Boring Brown Dress

Hello Readers. What do you do when you are faced with a super boring dress? Well, if you are me you leave it in a basket for months until you can figure out what to do with this thing. This dress is so bland in color and it is completely shapeless. I might be able to deal with one of those facts but not both. This dress is depressing.

My daughter tried to refashion this dress last year. She decided to add some subtle details to the bottom hem with her sewing machine. It does some embroidery stitches. She used a matching thread color and went all the way around the bottom of the dress. It was nice but it didn't change the shapelessness or the overall color. She wasn't sure what to do so she gave up and put in in my sewing stash. It sat there for months.

Then I found this cute little top at a thrift store. It was such a pretty lace. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but I thought I could do something. I waited for an idea to work itself out in my head. Sometimes that can take quite a while.

Look at these beautiful lace sleeves. It has a nice elastic waistband. My first thought was to just wear it over the brown dress. That would be simple right?

That looks like a lot of sleeve doesn't it?

I couldn't do that because there was a red ink stain on the back of the dress. It is hard to see in the picture but it was very visible in real life. It was just below the waistband of the shirt. I didn't want a weird spot on my dress.

I discussed my ideas with the dog here and we cut the dress in half. We tossed the top half with the stain away and used the bottom half as the bottom of our dress. 

I used a basic zigzag stitch to attach the skirt to the elastic waistband of the top. (Wow, is that a picture of actual sewing? Yes, it is!)

I love how this dress turned out. The buttons play off the brown so nicely. The simple brown skirt is a neutral classic color. It works really well with the top because the top has so much detail with all that lace and the loose flowing sleeves. The top and the skirt just play so well together now. It has a nicely defined waist  too.

When I was finished putting this dress together I gave it back to my daughter, it was a great fit for her. She wasn't sure how she felt about the big sleeves so I may alter them later.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. Or your daughter.

***   UPDATE   ***

My daughter asked for more narrow sleeves, so here they are.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In The Pink

Hello Readers. How are you? The phrase "in the pink" means in good health and spirits. I hope that is you today. I was feeling "Springy" and cheerful when I decided to use some pink dye to freshen up this shirt. 

I used this pretty "Petal Pink" shade. Even the name sounds like flowers and Springtime doesn't it? I picked this Rit Dye up at my local Walmart. It was inexpensive and easy to use. (No, they didn't pay me to say that.) There are even more colors available at the fabric store. This stuff can work wonders. Let's try it.

So, back to the shirt. This shirt looked almost like new except that the burgundy stripes had bled a little in the wash and they looked a little muddy now. It just didn't look very good. It was a little too big too but there was no point in altering the shirt if the colors were looking so sloppy. The shirt went in a bucket of hot water, salt and pink dye.

Once it was freshly dyed, rinsed, and washed I adjusted the size. I used a shirt I really liked as a guide. I marked the pink shirt and got to sewing and cutting.

You can see here what I removed from the length, sides and arms. The change in size helped change the look of the shirt but the dye is the real magic here.

The top fits better and is much more flattering and the pink makes it much more fun.

I wore this shirt to the dentist. My son was due for a check-up and cleaning but after waiting 2 HOURS they said we had to make another appointment for the actual cleaning.
 The chances of me going back there are even smaller than my chances of me playing professional baseball.

No, I didn't spill this hot tea while I was driving.

***     BONUS TRACK     ***

Is there anything in your closet that makes you question your decision making? These shoes were a bad decision. I liked the neutral color and they made me taller by a couple inches. But the metal studs look like they belong in a music video. Am I a secret pop singer? Am I a part-time rock star? No. No, I am not. These shoes do not fit my happy but ho-hum lifestyle. 

Why is there a buckle on top of the laces? How secure do my feet need to be?

I started cutting of everything "extra". I was going to cut and cut and just see what happened.

You can see the pieces of shoe I cut off. It was easy to cut through the shoe, I thought it would be more difficult. 

Here is the more simple shoe. You can see the spot where I cut the buckle off. They are not perfect but I think I might actually wear them now.

Here is a look at the shoes in use. I know, the lack of action and excitement in this photo is mind blowing. I said before it is a happy but ho-hum life I lead. These shoes were perfect for sitting on the front porch.

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