Friday, June 28, 2019

Making Necklaces

Hello Readers. I made a couple necklaces recently and it all started at an antiques fair. My sister-in-law gave me a VIP pass to get in free, so you can bet I went to look at some antiques.
 The only other time I was ever a "VIP" was when I got bumped into first class on an airline flight. Yes, first class was amazing. Yes, I boarded early like I was special. Yes, I ate my free cookie and champagne while I waited for the commoners to get on the plane. I guess it went to my head. It's probably for the best that it never happened again. Anyway.......

While I was walking around the fair like a VIP, I saw this table with a box full of old skeleton keys. They looked really cool. What could you do with an old key? At first I wasn't sure but the lady gave me a nice shiny one for a buck.

What if I put my shiny old key on a leather cord and wore it as a necklace? I had some pieces of cord in a craft drawer so I didn't need to buy anything else.

The key was large so I thought it would look nice as a long necklace. I liked the because it was casual and fun. And who knows what that key opened in its old life. A door, a safe, a trunk, a secret tunnel....

I also made a second necklace. I was on a roll! My daughter cleaned her room and found this old necklace. It was made of silver that had worn off. It didn't look very nice. It had some nice faux turquoise though. Could I remove the turquoise from the necklace? Yes, I could if I used some strong kitchen shears and cut through the chain.

I put the big turquoise piece on a blue string that my daughter had left over from her beading phase. I used 2 sliding knots so that the necklace could be adjustable. These knots are a great way to finish a necklace without buying any hardware. I didn't know how to make these knots. I looked up how to make the knots on a YouTube video. You can watch that video if you want to learn how it's done. It was fast and easy. The necklace can be short or long, whatever I want.

It was amazing that my daughter had the blue string in such a complementary color. I put it on and went to work. Sometimes things come together really well.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update-  I like jewelry and I wear these a lot.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Hot Leather Pants

Hello Readers. If there is one thing I didn't need it was leather pants. They were made of really soft beautiful leather and I thought I could make something else from the them.

Here are the black leather pants. They didn't look good on me and they were SO hot. I could have hiked to the North Pole in these pants. I don't know how anyone could wear these pants and not have heat stroke. I was starting to sweat and the pants were going to stick to my legs. 

I cut the bottom of the legs off and saved the top of the pants for later. I wanted to make something from the legs of the pants.

I made the ends off the pants into 2 different sized pockets by stitching the cut edge shut. Trust me, I had a reason. I also hemmed the cut off pants into shorts but I don't know when or where I will ever wear them.
 Do you have any fashion advice for leather shorts? Leave it in the comments.

I connected the two pockets I made of the pant legs. The hem of the pants made the top openings of my new purse. I added some fabric inside each pant leg/pocket.

I added some old black leather cord I had as a strap. And I found this flower pin stashed away in a drawer.

It was a pin, so I just pinned it on the purse. No sewing required.

It wasn't real leather but it looked good with the leather from the pants. It also helped weigh down the taller back pocket when I folded it down over the shorter front pocket to close the whole purse.

It is a great little purse. It is just big enough for my summertime essentials.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
 ***Year End update-This is a great little bag when I only want to carry a few things. I still don't know what to think about the shorts.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Green Dress

Hello Readers. I had a dress in a wonderful shade of green. It was too small on top. I thought of making a skirt from it but decided to make a pair of shorts. Was this a good idea? Read on and you will see.

Here is the knit dress. It was really pretty but it was too tight and too low on top for  to wear in public. I decided to make something from the skirt part of the dress. It was very full so I was sure there would be enough fabric for a pair of shorts. 
This black and white striped shirt was a little big too. I would work on that later too.

"MacGyver-ed" this pattern the best I could and cut out the shorts. (Remember MacGyver? He could fix and make anything from say.....a matchstick and piece of gum. My older brother and I loved that show!)

Here are the shorts. They had a nice high waist. That is what I wanted, but I wasn't totally happy. I was still thinking about making a skirt.

I liked this shirt as it was but the V-neck was too low. I took some fabric out of the shoulders and sleeves to raise the whole shirt up a little. I cut the bottom off and made a tie so I could pull in the waist. Easy-peasy!

The shorts tuned out fine but the fabric is scratchy. I didn't notice when it was a loose skirt. As shorts they are not really comfortable. I really wish I had just cut off the top of the dress and kept it as a skirt. Oh, well.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
But make sure it isn't scratchy!

***Author's Note-I realized after some caffeine that I already had a solution to these itchy shorts. And it would not cost me anything or require any sewing. High-waist boy shorts style underwear would take care of everything. And I already had some.
***Year End update-I learned a lot by making these so they were worth it. What I learned here helped me make a fabulous jumpsuit later.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Lilly and the Pink Dress

Hello Readers. This post is all thanks to Lilly Pulitzer. That is the maker of these wild colorful pants I got at a clothes swap. I thought they were amazing.

 I had to fix the size of these pants a bit and I really needed a top to go with them. I didn't have anything in that lime green. (I don't know if I want a shirt in that color.) That coral pink was a great shade though, and I already had something I could use. This pink J.Crew dress has been sitting on the refashion rack for a couple years waiting for me to do something with it.

I tried to refashion this "Pink Ink Dress" back in 2017 but it didn't work out as I had planned. It had a spot on the front that was bleached and then "covered" with pink ink marks. It looked awful but now I was going to make it into a shirt.

I cut the skirt off the dress. I made a narrow casing and put elastic through it. I had some kind of strapless shirt. I thought I could make some kind of sleeves or straps from the top of the dress. I would work around the damaged spot and make a new shirt.

I cut the top into pieces and tried a couple of ideas that didn't work at all. I found that the elastic waistband was getting brittle and the neck was really warped. They were useless. I was thinking I would just wear a white t-shirt with these crazy pants and give up on this pink idea. Maybe this dress was cursed because nothing worked when I tried to refashion it 2 years ago either! 
After an emotional melt-down, I had the 2 pieces you see outlined in gray.

I finished the edges and I had 2 long narrow pieces of fabric. They were angled because they were from the shoulders of the dress. I didn't have anymore fabric so these had to work or I would have to give up.

I connected the ends to make 2 circles and added elastic that I cut off a fitted sheet. Yes, a sheet from a bed.

I connected these 2 little circles of fabric to the shirt to make some off-the-shoulder sleeves. You can see the pile of pink scraps left from the dress.

The Lilly Pulitzer pants were an easy fix after fighting with that pink dress. I made new side seams on each side of the pants. I made them more fitted and they were the right length already. The only downside to these pants is that they have no stretch. I like a little stretch for comfort but I made them roomy enough to make sure I could sit and eat lunch and still breathe.

 I like wild colorful clothes so these really appealed to me. They seemed bright and cheerful. And I was happy I made something wearable from that cursed pink dress.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update-  These crazy wild pants are so much fun to me. They can be dressed down and worn anywhere. The top was more of a special occasion top, not really a run to Walmart top. I have not won it as much.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Boxy and Blue

Hello Readers. Sometimes life gets busy but I always try to find time to do a little sewing. Today's refashion is a fast one but I really liked how it turned out. It started with this boxy blue dress from Land's End.

The dress was thick cotton pique. It was soft on the surface but it felt very stiff when I put it on. I didn't think I would want to wear a whole dress of this fabric. I also didn't like the shapeless style or placement of the waistband. It looked a little low on me. I really liked those shades of blue though.

 I decided a shirt would be better. I cut of the turquoise skirt off the dress but left a couple inches of the turquoise. I wanted to make band of trim at the waist that matched the neckline.

I turned the cut edge under and stitched it down. It was quick and easy to sew through this fabric. 

I like this shirt because its simple but the turquoise trim adds a little punch to it. It is still boxy but as a shirt, I liked it. 

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update- I wore this a lot this summer and fall. It was perfect as a top.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Little Black Dress with Puffed Sleeves

Hello Readers. I think a little black dress is always in style and appropriate for almost any occasion. A little black dress is simple and classic but this little black dress was not a winner. It was a boring, blah dress.

Here is the dress. It was too low in the front. That scoop neck was way too scooped. That's why I am wearing a shirt under it. It also just kind of hung on me. It had no fun or interesting details. It was putting me to sleep. This dress was as boring to me as "Moby Dick" was in school. (It was my least favorite book ever. Either catch the whale or don't. Just stop talking about it already.)
 The hem is coming out too!

I also had this shirt. It had cute details but it was too sheer. It needed a shirt under it or all of my chest would be on view. That isn't what I expected from a shirt. I like shirts that cover my body. Call me crazy, but that is what I want from a shirt. I don't want to be out flashing the goodies at everyone.

 I decided the best part of the shirt was the sheer polka-dot sleeves. The sheer shirt body was plain and seemed pretty useless. 

I cut the sleeves off and tried to make them a 3/4 length. I didn't measure, I just eyeballed it. I cut them at an angle so they would fit in the armholes of the dress.

I attached the sleeves to the sleeveless dress. The dress was stretchy so it helped to make the sleeves fit into the armholes. I like working with knits, they are just more cooperative than any other fabrics. 

The sleeves added some interest to this sleeveless dress. That was good because this dress was pretty boring. Look at those polka dots, they're so cute.

Here is what I did about the low neckline and the shapeless fit. I took some fabric out of the shoulders before I added the sleeves. It was an easy way to raise the neckline. I also took some fabric out of the sides and made new side seams. That means I lost the pockets.

This dress is still super stretchy and easy to wear but it isn't low and revealing in front and the sleeves fit right in with the dress like they have always been there. I think this dress would be a cute shirt too.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update-This is a classic to me.  I will keep this forever.