Monday, October 30, 2017

Yee Haw! I'm a Cowboy

Hello Readers. You may already know this but tomorrow is October 31st. In most of the US kids will be going door-to-door to ask for candy. They say Trick-or-Treat to the person who answers the door and they are given candy. It is a great day to be a kid.. You get a lot of free candy. A lot of free candy. The only thing the kids have to do is wear a costume. What a great deal!
Some adults like to dress up for fun too. If you need to put together a last minute costume, here is one idea, become a cowboy. 
I found this leather jacket at a clothes swap a while ago. I have been saving it because I thought I could use the leather to make something. I never got around to that so, I had a western style jacket with giant shoulder pads waiting to be worn. It was in great shape but the shoulder pads and all the fringe just weren't my everyday style.
I knew the leather wouldn't fray so I started to cut it up. I basically removed everything I didn't like. The arms, the shoulder pads, the front collar, and the lining too. Once I started cutting it, the lining was fraying so I just took it all out.
I kept trimming until it was fitting well and the edges were all flat and smooth. The accessories are all gathered from around the house. I had the boots, the belt and the bandana. The hat is from the kids dress-up clothes.
Whatever you are doing tonight, I hope you have fun.
And thanks for reading.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Black Sparkly Mini Dress

Hello Readers. Something rare happened recently, I found a fabulous dress that was too short. This is not something that happens often when you are 5' tall. Everything is usually too long, finding something that is too short made me feel a little tall. The fit of this short dress was great so I decided to shorten it even more and make a top. 

I don't go anywhere that I need a sparkly black mini dress. I am a small town SAHM. If I show up at the playground in this, I will look very over dressed and a little crazy. I need to calm this dress down.

There is a generous amount of bling on this knit dress, but it was really comfortable so I decided to embrace it. I didn't want to change it drastically,  I just wanted to shorten it. I measured and marked where I wanted to shorten the dress to make it the right length for me. I cut it all the way around.

I turned it under and gave it a new hem so it would look nice and neat. It was easy as pie. 

I like this shirt a lot. It is basically a soft tank top but the sparkle makes it so much more interesting and fun. (Bling, bling.) Wearing it with jeans helped to make this top more casual.

These jeans were in my refashion stash, I don't know where they came from. I liked the fit of these jeans but of course they were too long. I usually expect to shorten pants, no big deal. 

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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Cozy Sweatshirt Dress

Hello Readers. The leaves are falling off the trees and the days are getting shorter and cooler. There is nothing more cozy on a cool Autumn day than a big sweatshirt right? I have a great one right here.

My sister-in-law gave me this big gray sweatshirt/tunic/dress. (Thanks J.) It was a little bit too big and shapeless and of course the sleeves were too long. It wasn't very flattering on me. It looked a little like a baggy nightshirt. Some part of the dress needs to fit so it doesn't look so big.

I put it on my dress form and pinned a more flattering fit. It is easier to plan and pin a new shape on the dress form. (The dress form doesn't get upset when I stick it with pins.) It was going to be loose and comfortable but not quite as baggy when I was finished. At least I hoped so, it didn't have any stretch so it couldn't be too fitted.

I did some stitching where I had my pins and created new side seams that were more figure flattering. I wanted it to be smaller in the arms and chest. I made a A-line shape. I thought it would be a simple classic dress.

You can see the arms are shorter and tighter. The shoulders and chest are a little smaller too. I was sad to lose the pockets in my re-sizing work but they weren't really very large or useful anyway. Why don't women get large functional pockets in their clothes? Real pockets would be very helpful in my real life. I have stuff, I need to carry it.... I know, use a purse. I do, but pockets would be nice too.

I dressed it up here with a belt and some dressy boots but I can also imagine this with some leggings and a cozy scarf on a cold day. Now with 3/4 arms and more fitted shoulders, and chest fit, it looks much better. I didn't resize the bottom of the dress, I thought it was great the way it was.
(I think this will be perfect for lounging, watching Netflix, and snacking too. With no belt, this would be a great Thanksgiving dress.)

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

Friday, October 20, 2017

Refashioning a Refashion

Hello Readers. How are you today? Have you been refashioning lately? I like the constant change and creative fun of sewing. It doesn't always make sense but some of the things I make get worn over and over and sometimes, an item just doesn't get worn at all. I usually try and correct that by refashioning the piece again.

I made this gray top out of a big men's T-shirt. You can see how I made it here. I liked it when I made it but I didn't wear it often. I don't know why I didn't wear it, it just seemed to hang in the closet. It wasn't fair, it deserved to get out a little and have some fun.

Why didn't I wear this? I don't know. It was cute. I'm crazy.

I have had this skirt for a few years. I have always liked it. It is a heavy weight knit and it fits fine. It was very simple and classic. I like the heathered fabric. I decided to jazz it up a little by combining the shirt and skirt. 

I cut the ruffle off the bottom of the shirt. Snip, snip. It was done. I didn't have to worry about fraying because knits don't usually fray at all. 

I used my machine to stitch the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt. I can tuck the shirt in the skirt now with the ruffle removed. The ruffle at the bottom of the skirt is just fun. I am crazy about it. If at first you don't succeed (with the refashion) try, try again. Happy sewing to you, wherever you are today.

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Easy Way to Un-BeDazzle

Hello Readers. It is actually, finally getting cooler outside. I am going to need a light jacket. I found this cropped denim jacket for 25 cents. I thought it was a great little jacket. It was soft and broken in. The only problem was the gold studs on the pockets. It reminded me of the "BeDazzler" from the 90's. Do you remember the BeDazzler? (Click here to see the commercial.) It was a device that attached rhinestones and studs to clothes. A LOT of rhinestones and studs! The commercial will take you back to the 90's with its hairstyles too.

 I didn't really like the studs. I don't like a lot of sparkle or extra bling on my clothes. I thought a plain and simple look would be better for this jacket. It doesn't need a lot of extra "stuff" on it. So how would I take them off?

I decided to remove the flaps on the front pockets. That's right,  I just cut them off. I could have forced the studs off. I didn't want to fight with the studs so... I didn't. I think it looks fine without the flaps and it was fast and easy. I cut as close to the edge as I could to keep it looking neat. 

BOOM!, I was done. Or was I??????

Check out the back of this jacket! More gold studs, woo-hoo.

Party's over studs! I wrestled them off with these large kitchen shears. It only took a few minutes. It was a great way to blow off steam.

The back looks cleaner, better, simpler without the studs on it. You can see the tiny holes across the back but they don't look bad to me. The blend in really well with the fade pattern of the denim. And I like distressed denim anyway. I love this jacket and I am probably wearing it today. 

***  BONUS TRACK  ***
I have been trying to make a couple thin belts to wear with jeans to smooth over the waistbands and front button. Sometimes the front button opening doesn't lay smooth. Could I make a belt? Well, I could try. I started with this piece of faux leather that I cut off the purse in the picture below.

I made the strip narrow enough to used the buckle I had in my collection of odd sewing stuff. 

I folded the edge over and stitched it down.

I also had a cotton belt that was bright orange. I got it at a clothes swap and it was in great shape but it was orange. I didn't really need an orange belt. I decided to dye it red. That would be easy, right?

Well, Here are both finished belts. The black belt doesn't look very impressive but it is nice and thin. It keeps the waistband of my jeans flat and smooth. The orange belt didn't become the scarlet red I thought it would. It is a very orangey red. Fabric dye is never an exact science. 
I still have some work to do to improve my belt making skills.

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pillows and Pajamas and Pictures, Oh My!

Hello Readers.  There are times when I have worked on small projects that don't seem worthy of an entire blog post of their own. I have a few of those to show you today. I am just going to put a few of them all together in this post.

*** PILLOWS ***
 The first project is a set of pillows my daughter made. Someone requested she turn two sweaters into pillows as mementos of her loved one. She cut two circles from the sweatshirt below and stitched them together to make a pillow with this cute tea applique on the front of the pillow. 

The sweatshirt was so soft that the edges looked a little lumpy after it was stuffed. She added this little green blanket stitch detail around the outer edge of the pillow. It was pretty and it made the edges look smoother. 

Here is the second pillow. It started as a pretty sweater. The center placket was very pretty and so it became a focal point of the pillow.

This one was a simple rectangle. The bottom edge of the sweater was a nice balance to the center design. These were a sweet way to honor and remember a special woman. It made me wish I had a sweater of my grandmom's to make into a pillow.

*** PAJAMAS ***
This quick project was just an emergency measure to prevent my son from taking his pajamas and diaper off when he went to bed. All of my kids eventually figured out how to take off their clothes and it is a serious problem. (A lot of mess can occur when toddlers take off their diaper. POOP!!!!!)
I took his footie pajamas and cut the feet off right below the elastic at the bottom of the legs. That way I could turn the pajama around and zip them up the back. He knows the zipper is back there but he can't reach it. They are just as comfortable as they were before and fit fine.

I am being honest when I say that I was serious about this. I did this to all the footie pajamas. If it is really hot I have cut the arms off the pajamas so they are short sleeved and cooler to wear. And if it is cold I would add socks and an undershirt. 
This solution has worked with all 3 of my kids. No more naked naps. No more terrible messes to clean up. 

*** PICTURES ***
This final project was large but not complicated. I have always spread my blog projects out on the floor for photos but it didn't always work well. I thought a white background would be better. I decided to make a white backdrop. It took a while to figure out how and where to do this. After a few failed ideas I used a king sized dust ruffle from my old bed and a white full sized sheet. I basically made a giant rectangle. 
I turned the top edge under and made a small pocket for a curtain rod. I hung my giant rectangle from a tension rod that I hung across a closet doorway. The closet light is a gentle back light. And the wide sides of the dust ruffle are spread out on each side to hide the walls. The fabric is long enough to come forward over the floor and cover the carpet. 
I can put my dress form or myself in front of the white background and hopefully the clothes will show more clearly in photos.

That is all for today. Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.