Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2 Sweatshirts Into 1

Hello Readers. It is that weird time of year when it is warm one day and cold the next. I decided to make one sweatshirt from two that had serious problems. OK, maybe they weren't "serious" problems. I mean life is full of serious problems. Really, these two sweatshirts just had some minor issues that I wanted to fix.

 Here are the two sweatshirts. The blue sweatshirt was too big and too plain. The brown sweatshirt was really nice but it was too small. I thought they would be a good combination so I got to work putting them together..

Here is the blue sweatshirt. It was a great navy blue color but it was very plain and simple. As you can see it is too big too.

I made the navy blue sweatshirt a little smaller. I tried it on and I made it a little bit smaller again. I curved the sides in and flared the hips out just a little. I also cut off the waistband and wrist cuffs. 

The brown sweatshirt was really nice quality and well made by J. Crew. It said it was a small but I think they were lying. I'm not sure how small the people at J.Crew think woman are, but it must be REALLY small. Because this was a very small shirt. Maybe it shrunk?

I decided to take all the good bits and pieces from the brown shirt and use them to jazz up the blue shirt. I cut off the wrist cuffs, the waistband, front pocket and the collar. I couldn't find a use for the tiny body of the shirt.

 If you look at this picture of the collar you can see I cut it off along the seam but I left about 1/4 of extra fabric around it. I used the extra fabric to pin the collar to the navy blue sweatshirt. After I stitched along the seam, I cut off the excess brown fabric from the edge. I attached all the brown parts to the blue sweatshirt.

You can see the raw cut edge along the collar, the wrists, the pocket, and the waistband. I wanted a casual look and raw edge lets the tiniest amount of white show. It gives the shirt some extra interest and texture. And it is soft, warm, and cozy to wear.

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

*Year end update- I just wore this a couple days ago. Love it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Peasant Skirt Shirt

 Hello Readers. I decided to make a new shirt. Dresses are fun but shirts and jeans are kind of my daily mom uniform. You know how it is. You usually throw your clothes on and you need to be prepared for whatever trouble your kids get you into that day. Cartoons, mud-puddles, errands, who knows!

I started with this cropped sweater that I didn't really need or wear. It was short and I couldn't wear it by itself. It always needed to be paired with something else. I was going to add it to something permanently so it was a complete shirt.

I also had this peasant skirt that I never wore. I really liked the fabric and the pattern so I have been saving it for a project such as this.

I cut off the lowest tier of the skirt. Once I cut it off I had a lot of fabric to work with. The fabric really spread out bigger than I expected.

The skirt had 3 tiers and the tier I cut off had a finished edge at the top and the bottom. It would be easy to add to the sweater without a lot of fraying or hemming.

I guessed how much of the skirt fabric I would need.

I used my sewing machine to attach the skirt fabric to the bottom of the sweater. The skirt fabric was already slightly gathered so I just stitched over the top seam that was already there.

I liked how it looked so far but it was still really low cut. That was an issue, but I can fix that.

I took a second piece of the skirt fabric and made a small triangular shape to fill in the front of the sweater. I pinned it in place.

I sewed the small piece into the sweater and I was done. My new shirt is ready to go.

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

*Year end update- I liked this but ended up giving it to a pregnant friend because it fit her and her belly so well.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Buttoned Up

Hello Readers. I saw this dress at a clothes swap and I was crazy about it at first sight.

At first glance this dress looks like it has polka dots but in reality it had these super fun buttons all over it. I don't know how they made such a fun fabric into such a dowdy dress. When I saw the buttons I really wanted to see if I could make this dowdy dress a little more fun. 
I also wanted to try to close up the deep V-neck.

This dress is really soft stretchy fabric. I would never need to iron this dress. That was a big plus for me. I don't like to iron very much. (Does anyone?)

I didn't change the dress very much in style. I made the sleeves more narrow so they could stay up on my arms at a 3/4 length. I also made it about 5 inches shorter. Those long pieces of fabric on each side of the dress are the ends of the waist sash/belt. It was really long and the fabric was very heavy.

I connected the ends in the back so it still pulled the dress in but there isn't yards of fabric hanging down.

I connected the V-neck so it wasn't so loose and open. It really helped make the top fit better. The rest of the dress fits better too. And I still love the buttons so much!

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

*Year end update- I still love this dress so much!

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Ribbon Tie Sweater

Hello Readers. How do you feel about boring clothes? I tend to like to add something to plain clothes. I like to add something fun when I see my clothes are just too bland. The blue sweater I had needed some excitement. I get many ideas from Pinterest and this is one of them.

Check out my sweater in it's original condition. It is a pretty color but otherwise it is really bland. It is shapeless and boring. I want to be warm but I also want to wear fun clothes that don't put me to sleep. Surely I could do something fun with this sweater.

I used some gray satin ribbon. It was 2-3 inches wide.
I started by using my sewing machine to attach some ribbon to the bottom of the sweater. I pleated the ribbon as I was sewing so it would be gathered and ruffled. I didn't make it exact, I just pinched the ribbon as the machine did it's thing. The little ruffle at the bottom of the sweater made it more interesting, but it's still boxy and a little bulky looking.

I used some more gray ribbon to improve the shape of the sweater. It was quick and easy to attach the ribbon to the back of the sweater. I wanted it permanently attached so I used my sewing machine. I sewed on each side of the ribbon so it would be even.

I can tie the ribbon in a bow and pull the sweater in a little bit. I didn't need to alter the sweater, I just used this ribbon to cinch the waist. It was really easy way to change the look and shape of the sweater.

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

*Year end update- This is still a favorite sweater.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

Hello Readers. Today is Valentine's Day. I wanted to do something special for the holiday but I didn't want something so over-the-top that I couldn't wear at other times of year too. Here is my solution, a jacket with heart shaped elbow patches. Get it, I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve. Well, 2 hearts on my sleeves. I also altered these red velvet jeans because who doesn't need some red velvet.

So, let's start with the jacket. This is a wool jacket but it felt more like a heavy sweater. It was cozy and really warm. My sister-in-law gave it to me. I think she put it in the wash by mistake. When you wash wool it shrinks of course but it also becomes thick and the material doesn't fray when you cut it. It is really fun to work with. Some people cut up washed wool sweaters to make bags, slippers, and other things. The first thing I did was iron this jacket the best that I could. It was very thick but it looked a lot better when it was pressed.

My next step was to cut out 2 red hearts from some scrap fabric and I stitched them on by hand. I had already tried the jacket on and figured out wear my elbows would be. It didn't take long to do the hand sewing.

You can see the elbow patch here. It brightens up the jacket nicely but is not overwhelmingly with red hearts and valentines.

I resized the jacket a little so it would be more fitted. I thought it would be more flattering if it had a more fitted style.

These red velvet pants are cut like jeans. They have back pockets and a zipper fly just like a pair of denim jeans. They also have so much stretch that they feel like sweat pants. This is a win-win if you ask me. They were a couple sizes to big and also too long on me. I made new side seams and gave them a new shorter hem. I kept the bootleg fit, I just made it smaller.

Here is my complete Valentine's Day outfit. It is perfect for the day but I can wear these pieces separately too.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Valentine's Day to you!

*Year end update- I wear these red jeans a lot. They are great for almost anything. The jacket is very warm so it only comes out on very cold days.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Horizontal Stripes and Dye

Hello Readers. I have heard many times that horizontal stripes are not flattering but I had a men's shirt with gray and wine colored stripes. It was soft cotton and my husband put it in the give-away pile. That means it is mine to use.

I found a pair of wine colored jeans at a clothes swap. I had been wanting some denim in this color so I was pleased. But these pants need help. The fit is awful. It doesn't show in the pictures as much as real life but they are a little faded too. That's OK I can work with this.

The first thing I did was refresh the jeans with wine colored dye. It is very easy to use the dye in the washer.

After using the dye and freshening the color I made the jeans smaller and more fitted. I sewed along the side seams and I also shortened the legs too. It took a few tries to get the size right. These jeans didn't have any stretch so I had to be careful not to make them too tight. Tight jeans with no stretch mean you can't eat and keep breathing.

When I was done with the jeans I got to work on the shirt. It was too big and the horizontal stripes made it look even bigger. And it made me look bigger. I decided to make it shorter, smaller and I thought 3/4 length sleeves would be more flattering.

I thought I was done. I put these clothes on and took a picture. When I looked at the picture I decided that I wasn't done at all. The shirt just looked too big. I thought the extra fabric in the shirt and the stripes made me look bigger in the upper body. I may be a little crazy but I just wasn't happy with it. The jeans were also a little baggy in the calves. Back to work!

I made the shirt a little smaller and shortened the sleeves. If there were less of the stripes that would look better right? I just wanted lees of this fabric.
I was honestly getting tired of these clothes. They were just taking a lot of time for some simple alterations.

I was done! I liked the short sleeves and the overall fit of everything. Finally!

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

*Year end update- I still think these colored jeans a fabulous. I honestly don't remember what happened to the probably got eaten by the bad washer. We replaced that washer eventually because it was so destructive.