Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Coat Skirt

Hello Readers. It might be cold outside but Spring is going to arrive eventually. I'm pretty sure anyway. Cold weather means you need a coat right? What if you have a coat that can't do it's job?

  I found this coat at a clothes swap but it wasn't very warm. I loved the look of the material but it wasn't really able to keep me warm. Probably because it was machine washable cotton, not wool.
The sleeves were too long too. Of course.

I decided to make this into a skirt. First, I cut the top of the coat off. 

I folded the fabric in and stitched it down. I made sure the lining of the coat was tucked in too so all the raw cut edges would  hidden.
Look at those cute dots!

I stitched the front of the coat/skirt closed but left the waistband open. I used one of the sew-on snaps that were on the coat originally at the waist.

 I tapered the waist a little and left the front pockets alone. They are real and it's always nice to have actual pockets that I can use.

Here you can see the lining. It's like a built in slip, which is nice in the winter when I wear tights a lot.

I liked how it turned out.

I tried to make a red shirt to go with it and it was a terrible failure with giant shoulders. 

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
  *Year end update-This skirt is an all time favorite!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Vintage Pink Polyester

Hello Readers. I love finding vintage clothing at clothes swaps. I also love finding handmade items. This pink polyester dress was both. I was thrilled at first.

This was the original thick, heavy, scratchy kind of polyester from the 70's. It wasn't very comfortable at all. The dress was a little big but that was a problem I knew how to fix. How could I make scratchy polyester less scratchy?

 The dress also had an interesting key-hole type opening. It didn't really look right to me, or on me. 
When I find hand-made clothes I try to respect the design, style, and the work of the person that made it. But my #1 goal is always to make the dress wear-able and keep it out of the trash.

I decided to disconnect the two sides and fold them inside the dress. It would be easy to make a V-neck. It would open up the neckline of the dress and be more comfortable for me to wear. 

I stitched down the neckline and cut off the excess material. This polyester was very easy to work with. I could see why people liked it so much.

I thought maybe 3/4 length sleeves would be more comfortable. I made the dress a little shorter and a little smaller as well. 
To be honest I still wasn't in love with it. There was just so much pink everywhere. The bodice was lined with soft fabric,  but the sleeves were not. They were still scratchy.

So... I decided to remove the sleeves completely. I think I like the sleeve-less version because the color is less overwhelming and because the lining makes the rest of this polyester dress more comfortable to wear without the sleeves. 

 The denim jacket helps with the pink over-load too.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
  *Year end update- I refashioned this with hope the polyester would not bother me. It is like a blanket in summer. It is only wear-able in cool weather.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

When In Doubt...Pillows

Hello Readers. Every once in a while I find something so wonderful and unusual at a clothes swap that, I don't even know what to do with it. This fuzzy sweater was just such a find.

 It was such a soft fuzzy chenille I just wanted to hug it. I did actually hold it for quite a while. I brought it home, washed it, and did some thinking. I knew it was too big. The knit was so loose, I was afraid to cut it in any way. If I couldn't cut it, it would be difficult to refashion.
It was so soft, fuzzy, and squishy, my daughter said it looked like a Muppet costume.
(The Muppet Show defined my childhood more than anything else.) 

I decided that it would make a fabulous pillow. I turned it inside-out and stitched a rectangle shape. I left an opening to stuff it and turned it right-side out. I didn't cut the excess fabric or the sleeves off. I left them attached and inside the sweater/pillow. I was afraid of cutting the material. I thought it would really unravel so fast I wouldn't have time to bind it back together. The sleeves and extra sweater material helped fill up the pillow like stuffing, so it was a win-win. This sweater was so stretchy that I could tell it would take a ton off stuffing to fill it. I only had 2 bags of stuffing in my sewing stash, I was going to run out quickly.

I decided to put a button in the middle of each side of the pillow and connect them together by hand. I picked the biggest matching buttons I had. The buttons pulled the pillow in at the center and made it a little thinner. All the stuffing I had filled up the rest of the pillow nicely.

Here is the finished pillow. It is soft and floppy. The chair is at my sewing table so this is where I sit when I am sewing. It makes the chair a little more comfortable.

I also made another pillow to go with it. This shirt came all the way from Italy. My mother-in-law gave it to my daughter but it shrunk a little in the wash and it was too tight. She really loved the design and didn't know what to do with it. It seemed perfect for a sewing room.

I left the shirt right-side-out and stitched a rectangle around the design on the shirt. I left a couple inches of fabric around the edges. And an opening to add stuffing, of course.

I cut the excess fabric around the edges into thin fringe with my sewing scissors.

The fringe was a quick, easy, and cheap way to dress up the little pillow. My chair is a little more fun and a lot more cushy now.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
  *Year end update-The furry pillow turned into a lint making monster and I had to get rid of it. I was covered in white fuzz every time I sewed. The yellow pillow is still perfect for my sewing chair.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Peasant Blouse to Kimono

Hello Readers. I love the color red. It is so cheerful. I saw this red top at a clothes swap and just fell in love with the fabric. I took it home and realized it didn't fit. That's OK, there is always a way to make things work.

The fabric was very lightweight and in great shape. The size was a little off but the plunging neckline was really what made this top look so big on me. There was a little string tie closure at the neckline that did nothing to really close the low cut top.

I mean it was so low cut. That string tie wasn't going to help me make this top wearable. It was open to my belly button. Even with a shirt under it, it didn't look right.

I cut the ties off right away. They seemed useless and had heavy metal rings on the end. They pulled the lightweight top down even more.

The next thing I did was cut the top completely open in the front. It was already too open to be a regular shirt, could it be a sort of kimono style jacket? Sure it could!

I put it on my dress form and cut more fabric off the front opening until each side hung flat and even. I turned the edges under and stitched them down.

I was happy I found a way to wear this top, I liked the material so much. It is a nice layering piece. It is so light it doesn't feel bulky or heavy like a sweater.

It gives some coverage in the back too. That is nice if you don't want to show off your back end in your jeggings.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
  *Year end update-I think I chose to refashion this in February because it was red but it isn't really warm enough for winter. It is fabulous in nicer weather.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine's Day T-shirts

Hello Readers. Valentine's Day is tomorrow, at least when I am writing this. You might want to put together a quick shirt for the holiday for yourself or your kids. I have a couple ideas for that. To start you will need a t-shirt. Any old t-shirt will do.

This is definitely an old t-shirt. It has some paint spots on it and it has a logo. That is OK, it won't hurt our end result.

My shirt was black so I used a permanent black marker to color on the logo and make it less visible. It won't hide the logo completely but it will help hide it a little.

The next step involves acrylic paint and a paper doily. I put some thick paper inside the shirt so the paint won't bleed through to the back of the shirt. I put the doily on the front center of the shirt. I used a sponge to dab paint on top, all over, and a little outside of the doily.

Here is my paint. I wasn't completely happy with it at first. The paint in the left picture, looked like a monster face to me. I saw eyes and a mouth, maybe I am crazy...
I used a tiny brush to fill in some of the empty spots so I didn't see eyes anymore. 
Let the shirt dry for a few hours. I added a coat of pink on top of the red to help disguise the decal with a second coat and color of paint.

Here is my finished shirt. The decal doesn't show and the little spots of paint are blend in all the painting I did. It all works together.

I am not dressing up for Valentine's Day. My youngest is sick this week so I am going to look like this.

***The Candy Heart T-shirt
Now something for the kids. If you want to put together a fun shirt for a kid in time to wear tomorrow, here is an idea.
Grab a shirt. (This is for my son and the only plain shirt I could find was black.) I used a chalk pencil to sketch out a heart on the pocket. I want to paint a heart to look like one of those candies with a message on it.

I used some simple red acrylic paint and filled in the heart. I let it dry and added a second coat of paint. When the heart was totally dry I used some puffy paint in a squeeze tube to "write" on the heart. The heart was really small so the message was short. QT, like cutie, but shorter. If you want to write more make paint a bigger heart.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
  *Year end update-I really liked this shirt It is a little abstract. My son out-grew his shirt.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Love Shirt

Hello Readers. Valentine's Day is coming. Are you ready? Do you even get into this holiday? Not everyone does. I wanted to make something in the theme of the day, so I made a shirt. A love shirt.

 You got to meet this flannel shirt from a clothes swap in my last post. (Flannel Baby!) I used almost all of it in that post. So why are you seeing it again?

I removed this one pocket and saved it for this refashion. Just one pocket? That's right. I only needed a small piece of fabric for this project. I also needed a simple gray shirt and I have one on hand. (Thanks Jessica P.)

 The red and black flannel was perfect to make a heart to dress up this gray shirt.  I cut the heart out of the pocket and used iron on tape to hold it in place. Next. I used a zigzag stitch to secure it to the gray shirt. Then I did my painting.

I used some cheap cardboard stencils from my craft stash and some old red acrylic paint.

I held the stencils very still and used a sponge to dab the paint on the shirt. It was messy and when I was done my hands looked like I had committed a murder. The letters turned out great though. I tried to paint heavily because I knew it would fade a bit in the wash. 
(*I put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to keep the paint from soaking through to the back of the shirt.)

I wanted to add a little something to the heart and some black embroidery thread was just the thing. It would look cute on top of the machine stitching. It adds a little home-spun touch.

Yes, that's me. Yes, I have a Valentine's Day wreath on my door. Yes, I do get into the holiday a little bit. Yes, I expect some kind of Valentine from my Valentine.
 And yes, I am hoping for some chocolate.

 I am still wearing the hat you saw last week. It's cold y'all. And I didn't do my hair. Like at all.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
  *Year end update-I still wear this shirt even when it isn't Valentine's Day.