Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Practicing Stitches and Going to Sleep

Hello Readers. I wanted to learn and practice some embroidery stitches and this big silk shirt seemed like a good thing to practice on.

This started as a silk men's dress shirt. It was very large on me but I had to save it. It has been around for quite a while but the silk was too soft to let it go. I cant wear it with my arms all tangled up in these sleeves. The biggest problem with this big shirt was the huge sleeves. They are going to need drastic alterations.

Or maybe I could just cut them off. HA HA! Sometimes it is easier to remove a problem completely rather than fix it. (Hidden life advice!) I also cut the collar off too. I had a nice simple sleeveless nightshirt now.

I could just use my sewing machine to finish these cut edges but I also wanted to add some decorative stitches to the neck and arm holes to make it a little prettier and more finished. I have never done embroidery before so I watched a video about different embroidery stitches. I used the blanket stitch.
I don't really know why I chose that, this is not a blanket, but I did.

I was ready to go to sleep in a nightshirt theat is softer than a cloud made from angel hair and pure joy. This is the softest sleepwear I have ever had. I am so glad I made this into a nightshirt! It is really lightweight and breathable, so it will be great for summertime.

Yes, I always wear this mask over my eyes at night. It really helps me sleep.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. Sweet dreams!

*Year end update- I wore this nightshirt so many times in the summer, it was perfect for warm nights. It isn't great in winter so it is put away.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Making Pillows

Hello Readers. Today's project started as a spectacular shirt covered with dogs.

***   PILLOW 1   ***
Seriously, check out this material. I assume the dog is out enjoying the great outdoors and hunting the ducks? This just isn't my style. What should I do with this shirt? I have been thinking about this for quite a while. Even if this shirt fit well, I wouldn't really want to wear it.

I realized there was someone that would like this shirt a lot. I needed to alter it for them. I started by removing the collar. I had come up with an idea for that collar. I also removed one cuff. I was going to need that too.

I made the cuff a little more narrow and used it as a connector to connect the collar together in the front. I needed the collar to fit a really big neck.

 Here is the guy who is going to wear his collar. I turned the shirt inside out and sewed it into a square shape. The buttons let me open it and stuff a pillow inside. Every dog needs a pillow right? He has never caught a duck but he would if he could. He can't, he's slow and lazy.

 Here you can see how much he loves his new dress-up collar and his new pillow. He always looks a little depressed but he really liked it when I put the pillow down and let him rest his big head on it.
 I like how the pillow stays on but can be removed and washed.

You can see the collar here. He looks like a sharp dressed dog. The cuff had a button and button hole already sp it is a perfect way to make the collar big enough for K.C. the Wonder Dog.

***   PILLOW 2   ***

This second pillow started as a small curtain. I hung it up so you could see it. I liked this fabric a lot but I didn't need a curtain. I thought I could turn this into a pillow instead.

I folded the curtain over and onto itself so that I was making a tube. I then closed up one open end.

Here is my pillow form. It will go inside of the curtain pillow.

Here is my pillow after I stitched the final edge closed. I stitched around the edge twice to make it strong and to make it look nicely finished.

The blue, white and yellow fabric matched my family room. This new pillow fit right in. It is comfortable for lounging, and we all need to lounge right?

Now my dog and I both have a pillow. Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. Or your dog.

*Year end update- These pillows are still being used. My dog loves his pillow. Actually he loves any pillow. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A No-Sew T-shirt Refashion

Hello Readers. Today we are going to a quick t-shirt project that doesn't require any sewing at all. You just need a t-shirt and some scissors.

I started with a big green t-shirt that I got for Christmas. It was too big, so I had some extra fabric to play with. I started before I even took a good picture. (Sorry!) I cut the neckband, the finished edges of the arms and the bottom off the shirt. I saved them for later.
This shirt is green like the Boston Red Sox scoreboard, the Green Monster. The triangle is part of a city landmark Citgo sign.

 I cut small slits in the shirt around the neckline and sleeves, about 1/2 inch from the edge. Now it was time for the cut off edges of the shirt. They are now long thin pieces of matching material, like string.  I laced the "string" in and out of the holes. I pulled them a little tighter to gather up and pull in the neckline a little bit.

You can see the gathered neckline below. I did the same thing on the sleeves with the edges I had cut off in the beginning. Gathering the neckline and the sleeves helped make the shirt less baggy looking but it still had a nice loose fit through the body of the shirt.

I made one in white too. I made the holes were a little closer on the white shirt just to see how it would look. (Honestly, it looks a lot like the green shirt.)

 I had a little bit of leftover cut off hem material so I used it to tie a knot at one side of the shirt.

 I am ready for the next baseball game.

I like how this shirt turned out. It is a little sporty and a little feminine, but this idea would work on any t-shirt.
 Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- I am still a fan of the Red Sox and this shirt. It gets a lot of wear on warm days.

Friday, May 18, 2018

More Florals For Spring

Hello Readers. I decided to throw some more florals at you today.

This dress had such pretty material. I loved the fresh spring colors. But it was a little overwhelming because of the big bell sleeves and the huge ruffle at the collar. I thought the fabric could stand by itself. It didn't really need all the extras. (I mean calm down dress, we see you!)

I decided to remove the top of the dress. I cut the top off and left the elastic waist attached to the skirt. The material would make a nice feminine skirt. It was easy to turn under and zigzag stitch it down.

The skirt was a little big, I also took some of the excess out of the back. There was already a seam there, so I used it as a guide for my new seam.

I love how it turned out. It is simple and it lets the floral pattern stand out. I usually find simple is the best way to refashion clothes. Maybe that is just what appeals to me.

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

*Year end update- I really liked this outfit. I still have the shirt. The skirt was chewed up by my washing machine. The fabric was delicate and it couldn't be repaired. I was really disappointed. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Florals For Spring?... Groundbreaking.

Hello Readers. Flowers are blooming and it is time for some spring florals. This long, long dress is a perfect project.

When I decided to work on a floral dress in spring, I couldn't help but think about the great movie The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep had this great line. 

 This dress was so long on me it was almost ridiculous. I put this dress on my dress form and started pinning the sides to get a better fit. There was a zipper up the back of the dress so I could get it on and off. 

You can't see the pins, but they are in there.

I took the sides in a little and made the dress much shorter. The original floor length did not suit me at all. Floor length flowers is a lot of flowers, I think shorter will be better. I also took the sides in a little to improve the fit. This was a simple project but it made this dress a lot more wearable.

I pressed all the new seams. I tried not to burn the fabric, I can be reckless with the iron, and this was an acrylic blend. My caution paid off because the dress turned out well.

I liked the bright coral color flowers when I first saw this dress and I like them even more in a shorter dress. I also liked that I could dress it up or wear it more casual. I am a more casual person usually. 
I wore this dress on a Target run, you can't get much more casual than that.

Basic suburban mom going to Target.

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

*Year end update- This dress is perfect for anything. I still like it a lot.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A 70's Jumpsuit to Fun 50's Outfit

Hello Readers. It's time for the second part of my groovy jumpsuit refashion

 I started with this amazing homemade vintage jumpsuit. It was one of the most fabulous things I have ever found at a clothes swap. Actually there were 2 of them. The other one was lime green.
 This jumpsuit didn't suit me at all.

I made a romper last time. It was much cuter than the jumpsuit but it still didn't fit or flatter me a whole lot. I didn't alter the neckline last time at because the embroidery was so pretty. I didn't want to lose any of it. But that high neck wasn't very comfortable. 
I started round 2 of this project by cutting off the legs of the shorts I made. I hemmed the bottom edge to make a shirt and then I started on the neck.

I unzipped the front a little to make a v-neck. I pinned the sides down to make sure they matched and stayed where I wanted while I stitched them down. I did lose some of the pretty embroidery but at least it would fit more comfortably.

I wound up sewing the shirt closed all the way down the front and removing most of the zipper. It just goes on like a t-shirt I thought that the green leaves from the floral neckline matched this green skirt well. This skirt has been on my refashion rack for a long time. This is the third refashion for this green skirt. I just never found a great home for it until now. You can see where the green skirt appeared on this blog first here and then here.

I was really happy with how this outfit came together, it has a 50's vibe that I love. The top is still fitted just like it was as a jumpsuit, but it works well with the full skirt.
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- I love this outfit so much! It is heavy polyester so I never wear it on a hot day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Disco Jumpsuit to A Modern Romper

Hello Readers. I found a vintage 70's knit jumpsuit at a clothes swap. Check it out.

I can't lie, I was feeling groovy. Someone made this themselves. I could tell from the inside seams. I love finding homemade clothes. They are so special. In a world of fast throw-away fashion, someone spent a lot of time putting this together. It was so drastically out of style and unflattering on me. It had the standard zipper up the front that all jumpsuits seem to have and wide leg trousers. It was in great shape, this poly-knit material really held up well through the years.
It had a belt too, I was not able to find it until later.

 The jumpsuit is able to show every bump and roll perfectly.

I thought maybe I could make a romper out of it. I thought that would update it and make it more wearable and modern. I wasn't sure, but I thought it might work. I used a pair of shorts as a guide for how much of the pants to cut off.

I hemmed the shorts and I found the little matching belt. (It was in a pile of fabric scraps.) I decided to remove the sleeves. I thought that it would be more comfortable for warm weather if it was sleeveless. This fabric doesn't breathe very much. Why was it so popular again?

I cut off the sleeves and left 1/4 inch of the sleeve as a seam allowance. I tucked the extra sleeve fabric under and into the armhole and stitched it down.  It was very easy to manipulate and sew through this material. Is that why it was so popular?

Here is my more modern romper. This was a big improvement but I think it fit my dress form a lot better than it did me. So, while I liked the romper idea, I kept working on this. Check back next time to see what this romper turned into.

Here is a look at my sewing closet. This is a before and after cleaning. You can see why I lost the belt for a while.

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

*Year end update- I think this jumpsuit is my favorite vintage find. I altered it again in the next post.
My closet didn't stay clean for long.