Thursday, June 29, 2017

Here Comes the Bride???

Hello Readers. I am not getting married in this long white lace dress, but it looks a bit like a wedding dress doesn't it? I got married to my high school sweetheart a long time ago, so I don't need a long white dress. So, let's make this dress into something else.

This dress seemed vintage, but I was not sure exactly how old it was. It was in great condition but it didn't quite fit. I could zip the zipper in the skirt but there was no way I could button those buttons.

When I examined the tag I saw it was a cotton-polyester blend. Polyester does not dye well, unless you use dye made for synthetic fabrics. 

Rit Dye isn't paying me for this, I just like the dye.

The dye really brought out the details of the lace in a beautiful way. It also showed me some damage to the bottom edge/hem of the dress. I wasn't able to use the lower edge of the dress. It had to be removed. Sometimes vintage clothing has damage. I usually just try to work around it.

That is OK. There is always another way to work things out. I didn't need to alter the top of the dress at all. I just cut the top and skirt apart and finished the cut edges with the smallest seams I could. I made that cut above the waist seam so that one of those buttons was still attached to the skirt. I used that button to fasten the skirt right above the zipper.

I reversed the top of the dress and used it as a jacket. Can I button it? No, but it looks cute worn open. The skirt fits well by itself and I think both pieces can be worn alone as well.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blinded By The (Neon) Light

Hello Readers. I know what you're thinking? Why is she covered from head to toe in bright neon? She looks like a yellow highlighter marker. Well, my friend, you are right. It's too much. You might also be thinking that "Blinded by the Light" sounds like the title to an old song. Yes, it is. I looked it up on Youtube.

I found these neon corduroy pants at a clothes swap and they caught my eye. Neon is usually a summertime color and corduroy is usually a wintertime fabric, but someone put them together. I also found this neon shirt. It was just way too much neon. I decided to make shorts.

The legs fit well but the waist needed to more fitted. I marked the sides where I took the waist in. I also made two tucks in the back. I make these kind of tucks in a lot of pants because I hate it when the waist gapes open in the back. I can wear a belt but I don't always want to bother. I would rather the waist just fit well.

Here are the tucks from the outside of the pants. The end down in the pockets. It looks neater that way.

I decided to wear a different shirt too. (To be totally honest, I lost the neon shirt. I have no idea where it went.) Unfortunately, this gray shirt is too long on me and it is really low cut too. I fixed that by first  cutting off the arms and the neckband. That made a tank top shape. I also cut across the top of each shoulder strap.

That way I could tie a knot on each shoulder. I adjusted the knots until the shirt fit me and wasn't too low cut anymore.

I was ready to go play outside with the 2 year old. His favorite things to play with are dirt and rocks, so it's good that this outfit is machine washable. 

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Long and Short of It

Hello Readers. Today's post is about two long dresses and one short woman. I'm not sure if the dresses were really that long, they just seemed really long on me. Most long dresses are much too long on me. I didn't own a maxi dress until I was given this white dress. It fit my daughter perfectly, but she is 8 inches taller than me. I guess that is how much I would need to grow to fit standard off the rack clothes. I am 45 so I am not going to get any taller. I foresee a lifetime of alterations.

This dress is way too long as you can see from the puddle on the floor around me. Because you can't see my feet I look even shorter than normal. I am holding the straps in this weird way because the straps are too long. This happens to me a lot too. The neckline is too low and the shoulders need to be altered. Knit tanks are so easy to fix. Read on and I will show you my quick cheat method.

First, I decided how much shorter the dress needed to be. I turned the dress inside-out and stitched the front and back of the strap together. This made the strap shorter and I just cut off the excess. The fabric is a stretch knit so it won't fray at all. It only takes a few minutes and no one ever sees the raw edges inside. ("Nobody sees, nobody knows". -Hoodwincked)

You can see how much excess I removed in the picture below. This works great for summer tank tops. Now that the top of the dress is pulled up from the top it is a bit shorter. I can shorten the bottom of the dress. If I had shortened the bottom of the dress first, it would have been gotten shorter when I fixed the straps. 

The next thing I did was shorten the length from the bottom hem.Here is a look at how much I cut off the bottom of the dress. The clingy material was difficult to spread out on the floor. It looks like I cut it on a diagonal. It is straight, I promise. 

Here is the second piece of today's post. This long denim dress is a little dated and a little boring. It is also too long on me. I could shorten it, but I had another idea. 

I decided to cut off the top of the dress and wear it like a vest. I cut just below the horizontal seam and ran it through the wash so it would have a little bit of a frayed edge along the bottom. (I love cut-off denim.)

Well, here we are. I am never going to be tall but I don't look as short as I did when you couldn't see my feet at all and I was in a puddle of fabric. I kept the white dress at ankle length. This is a great dress for hot weather.

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Twirly Skirt

Hello Readers. How are you? Things here are sunny and HOT! It's perfect skirt weather. I just happen to have a skirt to show you. It started as a dress. The same dress I used in my last post.

I used the top of this dark pink dress as a top in my last post. This dress is long and sort of shapeless on me. It is just unbroken dark pink everywhere. It's a lot of one color at once. The best part of this dark pink dress is the full twirly skirt. It just seems fun and makes me want to dance.

I found some matching elastic on and I was ready to make a fun skirt. The elastic will define the waist and be more flattering than the shapeless dress was. It will also make a comfortable waistband that will allow me to eat lunch and still breathe. (I like to eat lunch.)

It only took a few minutes to attach the elastic. I love the pink color in a smaller dose. Sometimes a bold color can be overwhelming but in smaller amounts it's fabulous.

It has to be the fullest skirt I have ever had. And look at that twirl! 

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Pink Martini Pants

Hello Readers. Have you ever had a pink martini? Me neither, I am not much of a drinker.  But I have the perfect linen pants for it. I found these pants at Goodwill for a dollar. They looked so cheerful and unique. What is the occasion to wear these pants? What is the setting or event? It's not clear to me yet. They don't seem appropriate for back-to-school night. Weddings and funerals are out too. They don't seem right for church or a job interview either.

These pants caught my eye and I bought them. Sometimes I go thrifting with my 2 year old and I just grab what I can in a rush. I need to get in and out before he has a toddler meltdown. (That is like a nuclear meltdown, but the government doesn't help you clean it up.)
They were a little big but I knew I could size them down.

My morning cup of strong Irish tea.

They were in brand-new condition, and they were nicely lined. I removed the lining because linen breathes and the acetate lining would just make them hot and uncomfortable in the summer heat.
I narrowed the legs a bit, that's about it. I knew linen would fray so I went over the new seam twice. I used a zigzag stitch on the edge to hold it together. A serger would be even better.

*Author's note added later- I just found out that the lining helps prevent wrinkles in the linen.

I also had this dark pink dress. I loved the full skirt but it was too long on me but the color was a perfect match for the pants.

Look at that skirt twirl!

The dress is from J. Peterman. Is this the same J. Peterman that Elaine from Seinfeld worked at? I don't know for sure but I like to think so.

I cut a shirt off the top of that dress. I thought it would be a great little outfit. I didn't measure and discovered that it was a little too short. It was just long enough to reach the top of the pants, I require more tummy coverage than that. 

I am saving the skirt for next time.

I decided to add a band of black to the bottom edge of the pink shirt. I took this old black shirt and cut a little off the bottom.

I stitched them together. Easy as pie.

Here is the final shirt. The extra 2 inches made a big difference to me.

Here is the new finished outfit. Maybe it's a brunch outfit? Maybe it's for birthday parties? Maybe I will just wear it for fun.

Next time I will show you what I did with the bottom of that dark pink dress. Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Long Beach Bag

Hello Readers. It is summer and time for swimming and relaxing days at the beach. HA HA! I am a mom so that means I am in charge of snacks and on life guard duty. I am not sitting in the sun soaking up the rays. I am putting sunscreen on kids and trying to keep them from drowning. I need a GIANT bag for towels, goggles, sunblock, snacks, drinks squirt toys and tons of other stuff too.

I had a giant bag that held all my stuff but check out the long handles in the picture below. The bag is down to my knees and the straps are so long I can't carry it in my hand like a suitcase, it would drag on the ground. I don't want to make the bag smaller but I could make the straps into shorter handles.

They are simple woven handles. I cut them off the bag and made them about half as long. The ends were frayed originally, so I kept that look in my new shorter handles. 

I can put it over my shoulder but I can also carry it like a suitcase while I chase overexcited little guy around the parking lot, pool deck, beach ... you get the idea.

***** BONUS TRACK *****

This is a quick fix. I needed exercise clothes. I know they sell them at the store but I can never bring myself to spend money on clothes to sweat all over. I can sweat all over free clothes just as well. 
I had theses cropped sweat pants that looked fine but it is really hot here. Shorts would be better for the summer. I cut the legs off and as usual this knit material doesn't fray.

There is a lot of visible feet in the post, sorry.

I am ready to run like the wind. HAHA, just kidding, I don't run.
 I just walk quickly and hope for muscle growth.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.