Friday, September 29, 2017

Mommy's Not Really Getting Dressed Today

Hello Readers. I know I am not the only mom that has trouble keeping up with everything I am supposed to do. I do not have it all together. I wish I could say that I got up with the sun everyday so that I could be awake, dressed, organized, and cheerfully ready to face the day. That sounds like the ideal and mature way to live but, it is not how I live.
I heard a term to describe clothes, "athleisure". Exercise clothes that are worn whenever, not just for working out. These kind of clothes are comfortable so, I usually sleep in my athleisure clothes. That way when my 2 year old son (Cute stick of dynamite.) wakes up early in the morning I am already sort of dressed. I can start the day a little bit ready to go. I am dressed enough to exercise, go to the play-ground, or go to the store if I really need to.  No one really knows what I am doing, (Wearing my pj's.) I could be on my way to the gym. 

If I can, I get dressed in real clothes for the day, but if I can't, the neighbors won't see me outside looking crazy. A problem arises when I can't find clothes to fit my very short arms.

Mom's in leggings and hoodies, my solution to crazy mornings.

I could have just cut the sleeves to the right length. But I wanted real long sleeves for the cooler days ahead. I turned the cuff over to see how much I wanted to take off. That pin is marking where I want to make my new seam.

I took the shirt off and stitched a new seam all the way around the sleeve. Then I cut off the excess fabric. I removed about 2" from each sleeve.

Here is the finished sleeve. The length is right and the cuff still looks nice and neat.

I fixed the sleeves of the jacket the same way. The wrist cuffs of this jacket have little thumb holes to keep my hands warm when I am outside. I was able to keep them intact on the cuffs. I removed about 3" of fabric from the jacket sleeves. 

 I could wear it now and use my hands. I like the little thumb holes too.

The shirt and the jacket both fit now and I am feeling the bright pink. I am ready to jog, or watch TV, or go to bed. No one knows for sure, and I'm not telling.

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Too Low, Too Big

Hello Readers. It is almost October but it feels like August in the Washington D.C. area. I am not wearing any clothing for cool weather yet. Today's project is an outfit for the time in-between seasons. I liked this striped top. It was soft and had a nice loose fit with a flattering drape to it. The problem was that the open neckline was very revealing if I leaned down or if someone stood over me. (I am 5' tall, everyone stands over me. You can see my problem, right? hahaha)

You can see the open neckline in the photo below. I could have worn a shirt under it, but sometimes that is just annoying. When the weather is super hot, I don't want to wear 2 shirts. That is a lot for some mornings.I could be to tired to find 2 shirts.
 I used my sewing machine to stitch the neckline closed. It was super simple and fast. The new round neckline was more modest and easier to wear.

The skirt I wore with it was so difficult to photograph. These are over-exposed so you can see the skirt. It was a simple, classic, navy blue knit that was great with the shirt.  It was just too big and baggy.

I took a little off the sides and the problem was solved. The skirt is a knit so there were no fraying seams to worry about.

These clothes were perfect for the mom of an active toddler/tiny marathon runner. I wore this to the open gym at my local rec center. 

The staff sets up all this equipment and for $5, they let little kids go crazy. They are running, climbing and screaming. That is my husband watching out 2 year old run around

I chased my son all over the gym and didn't get very good pictures. He didn't stop moving for about 2 hours. We went home after this and we were all exhausted. Who needed a nap more that day?

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Shirt Skirt

Hello Readers. I have been sewing and refashioning when I can, as usual. It was and is with some success and some failure. Today's post is 50% success and 50% failure. 

I started with these two shirts. They were both in great shape but they were a little big. The gray T-shirt was too low in the front and the colorful top was a little too big all over.

I started with the colorful top. It had cute ruffles at the bottom. (Is it leopard print? I think it is, but I am not 100% sure.) I cut the arms and shoulders off. The body of the shirt will make a great skirt.

I used this wide black elastic as the waistband. I used a zigzag stitch to attach it to the shirt. It only took a few minutes.

The finished skirt looked like this. It was simple but it worked. That was good enough for me.

This is pretty good. I'll take it.

The gray shirt was too low and I wanted to raise the neck line. I thought if I gathered and overlapped the neckline it would cinch together. I figured this would raise the neckline up and it would fit better. I sewed it in place but when I was done, I didn't think the neckline was laying very flat.

I tried to attach these little snaps to distract from the wonky neckline of this shirt. They had little prongs on the back. I hit them with a hammer and the prongs attached and dug into the fabric. They seemed to help a little.

Well, the neckline did end up higher than it was before. The failure was that I didn't foresee that the gathering would just make the shirt cling to my chest in an obscene and tight manner. It was really not a good style for me. I was really uncomfortable with how much of my chest was being emphasized.

This is not very good. This is not very good at all.

So, the gray shirt was not working for me, but I really liked the skirt. I think when I wear it I will pick out a different top, like this simple black sweater. I found this cashmere sweater at a clothes swap and it was missing a button. I was going to replace all the buttons but when I looked inside there was a spare button. It was such a simple fix, and now I had a great cashmere sweater.

This works for me. 

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.
And don't worry about occasional failures, they happen to everyone.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To Sleeve Or, Not To Sleeve

Hello Readers. Sometimes I get an idea for a refashion and that's it. I just stick with the idea. And then sometimes the plan evolves and changes as I work. Today's project is one of those. I had new ideas as I worked and just went with it.

I started with these 2 shirts. I liked them but they were both a little big, not a lot, just a little. A few small tweaks would have fixed them. But the color schemes were so similar that I wanted to put them together somehow. I decided to make a dress. The sleeveless top fit well through the body, it just needed to have shorter shoulder straps. I fixed that with out taking pictures. It would have made a tight skirt so it was an easy decision to use the paisley top as the skirt.

This patterned top was looser so I thought it would make the best/loosest skirt. I didn't want a tight skirt. I cut the body of the shirt off right under the arms. 

I took some thin elastic and threaded it through the bottom, factory-made hem of the shirt. 

It looked like this with the elastic inserted. I will flip it over and that elastic is now the waistband. It was easy. It just needed a hem along the raw cut edge.

It looked like this. It was perfect for the warm weather we had that day. I really liked the pattern mixing and it was super comfortable. I started thinking that without sleeves, it wouldn't really work in cooler weather. 

And since I still had those sleeves......

I decided to attach the sleeves to the sleeveless shirt and see how it looked. I just stitched over the armhole seam of the striped top.

 I think I could wear it into the cooler days ahead now. What do you think? Should I have added the sleeves or not?

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Cactus Pillow That Scared My Kids

Hello Readers. I really wanted to make a cute pillow for my daughter, she likes anything with cacti on it. I had this colorful, wool, zip-front sweater with a lot of green in it that I thought would make a cute cactus shaped pillow.
 I was wrong dear readers. So wrong.

I washed the sweater in hot water and dried it in the dryer on high. That caused the sweater to shrink a little and tightened the weave of the sweater. It is easy to cut and create new things with wool sweaters like this.
I cut out a cactus shape. The zipper is still down the front.

Here is my cactus shape. I eventually made the limbs a little shorter and stitched all the way around the edges. The raw edges were a little rough so that it would look like the needles of a cactus.
It was at this point my older son said it looked like a scarecrow reaching out to grab someone. 

I stuffed it with all of the cut off scarps and put it on my daughters bed along and I couldn't get the scary scarecrow idea out of my head. I asked my daughter what she thought. She said she hoped she didn't wake up in the night to see it leaning over her in a threatening manner. She also saw the limbs reaching out to get her. 

This was a fail with everyone but the dog, he seems unafraid of the scary pillow. The projects I make can't all be winners. And this pillow proves it. Oh, well.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Army Vest

Hello Readers. 
I have been liking and wanting a military style sleeveless jacket/vest since last year. I couldn't find one that fit me very well. They were too long on me and I didn't want to buy something at retail prices. It didn't occur to me to make my own until my daughter decided she didn't want these army green pants anymore. 
These pants were just the right color and they had great pockets too. I started looking all over Pinterest to find ideas for turning pants into a vest. There were a lot of ideas. I was inspired by this picture. It looked easy to adjust to the pants I had to work with.

Here are the green pants. They had a basic zipper and button closure at the waist. There was also an internal drawstring at the waist that I used later. The drawstrings at the bottom of the legs guided this entire project. Keep reading to see how.

I started by cutting the legs off and cutting them open along the sides. I just followed the side seam. There was an opening for the drawstrings on the sides, so they were not damaged by cutting the legs open.

I then put the two legs together so I had one big piece of fabric. It doesn't look like a vest yet.

I flipped it upside down. Now the drawstring is at the top. It will make a great collar/neckline. But it still doesn't look like a vest.

Here is a close up of the side. I didn't make a round armhole. I opened the seam and then stitched the raw edges back down. It will make a nice armhole. This wouldn't work on formal tailored clothing but on a casual jacket with a looser fit it will work well.

The next step was to add some pockets. I cut them off the back of the pants and left about 1/4 inch around them. 

I used an iron to press the raw cut edges under the pocket. 

I used my machine to stitch over the seams already around the pocket. I was just sewing over the seam that was there. It was an easy way to attach the pockets and avoid taking them apart. 

Here is the finished vest. It is a nice layering piece for cooler days. 
The drawstring is pulled together the back to make the shoulders fit well. The front of the drawstring is looser, forming a collar of sorts.
The narrow tie at the waist is actually the drawstring from inside the waistband. It is stitched down on the sides. It was a quick and easy matching belt to close the vest.

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