Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Lobster Skirt

Hello Readers. Did you read that title and wonder what in the world is a lobster skirt? I don't know how someone came up with the idea of putting little lobsters all over a skirt, but somebody did it. I am really glad because it is just silly enough to make me want to wear it.

 I wasn't kidding. These are pretty detailed lobsters. There is no mistaking them. From a distance you might think polka-dots. But no! When you get up close there are lobsters everywhere. There are claws, tails, legs, antennae... these are full complete lobsters.

And check this out. It wasn't just a skirt. It was a skort! That's right. It was a skirt with shorts underneath. I don't like skorts very much because they seem so bulky. It's like wearing double the clothes. I cut the shorts out where they were attached inside.

I decided to make the skort the same shape as this denim skirt I already had. The length was the same. It just needed to be taken in at the waist a little. The size at the hem was just right.

Here is my new lobster skirt. I don't like to eat lobster that much but I liked this skirt a lot.

I needed a top to go with it. This white tunic has been waiting all summer for me to get to it. You can see why I don't like tunics. They are so long on me. The designers ask, "How tall are grown women? They must be over 5 feet tall, right? And they have normal length arms, right?" (Not always designers. Not always. Some off us are out here making it through life on less.)
*It doesn't look like it but I was wearing shorts in this photo. 

 I decided to shorten the tunic and the sleeves. The fit through the body was great, it was just too long everywhere.

 I thought the navy blue trim would look nice with the navy blue of the skirt. The white was a calm and peaceful balance to the crazy lobsters. But who wants to be calm and peaceful? Not me.

When I wore this skirt a second time, I wore red to highlight my little lobster friends. I wore it to work but I don't think anyone noticed the lobsters. They made me happy though and I liked these two patterns together.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something this fun for yourself!
***Year End update-  This is definitely a favorite. I love the lobsters. And I love red, so the top is a winner too.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Just a skirt

Hello Readers. My daughter gave me this dress because it was too small for her. I thought it would fit me because I am smaller and shorter than her but it was so tight I thought I might get hurt. It was squeezing my arms and it was tight across the back and chest. I thought I might burst through the seams any second. It was awful.

The dress itself was nice and I do love blue. I didn't think the fabric was soft enough to try and expand the top in any way. It was a little scratchy and even if I made it larger, I still wouldn't like to wear it that much. What could I do to make myself like this dress?

I decided to just cut off the part that really bothered me. The tight itchy top was the problem. I felt better already! Now it was just a skirt. I just needed to stitch down the waistband. There was a sewing machine was in the shop for repairs.

I got out a needle and some matching blue thread and got to work. I folded the cut edge in and stitched it to the seam at the waist. It was easy as pie.
(My sewing machine is back home now. I missed it.)

I left enough fabric to make a nice waistband. And I got a surprise. Because the top was removed the skirt was able to sit at my natural waist. It was actually a little bigger in the waist now. I was going to take the waistband in a little but...

Remember that dear daughter that gave me this dress in the beginning? I told her that the waist seemed more roomy now that the top had been taken away. It would probably fit her better and she could have it back if she wanted it. So..... it is in her closet now. I don't mind giving it back though. Do any of you let your kids borrow your clothes? Or take them for keeps? Is it just me?

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update-This was a really perfect skirt that I never wore again. I am not sure why.....

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

To Maxi or Not

Hello Readers. My daughter gave me this maxi-dress. She is a lot taller than I am. It fit her perfectly but it was way too long on me. I really liked the fit through the body, what did I want to do with it? I an usually very decisive, but not today.

It was a great dress. It was a tank top bodice with a super long skirt attached. That super long skirt was a little over whelming. It had to be shorter, that much I was sure of.

At first I thought I would just shorten it and make it a maxi-dress for me. A petite maxi-dress. It wasn't bad like this I just wasn't sure if I really wanted a maxi-dress. It can be difficult to deal with such a long skirt at times.

I thought maybe a midi length would be better. This length would still be conservative but easier to walk in than a maxi-dress. (I can be very clumsy. This length was safer.)

So, I kept going. Would I like it just above the knee? Yes, I really would. It seemed great for summer and the crazy heatwave we have had lately. I stopped cutting the dress for a little while and thought about what clothes I really needed. I love dresses but...

I could really use a tank top to survive the hot summer we are having. Sometimes shorts and a shirt are just easier to throw on when you have to wrestle children and animals all day. (One 4 year old boy and one dog.) And it seemed to fit well as a shirt. The skirt was not puffy and I didn't feel like I looked pregnant. Empire waists usually make me look 4 months along with twins. A shirt it was!

As I experimented and tried each different length I got to try them on and be really sure of what I was going to get and if I really liked it. I liked them all but it seemed like a cute top would be the best use for me. Do you agree with my decision? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update-  This was a great dress and a great tank. I liked it in summer and under a cardigan in early fall when it turns hot in the afternoon.

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Brown T-Shirt and More

Hello Readers. I made a shirt recently and I forgot the before picture. Try to imagine a men's t-shirt, a basic brown men's size XL t-shirt. It looked a lot like the drawing below.
It was a great match for this Nancy Drew clock skirt I made a few years ago.

This was how it looked when I cut it up. The blue line is supposed to represent what the shirt looked like before I started cutting. (I know, my drawing skills are unreal!) I used the middle section of the body and the sleeves to make a new, more feminine top.

I reattached the puffy sleeves and made a square neckline. The waistband is now at the neckline with some thin elastic inside it. The elastic gathers the fabric and keeps the shirt in place.The sleeves are also upside-down. I put narrow elastic in the ends of the sleeves and used them to keep the sleeves up on my shoulders. The elastic made the sleeves gather into nice ruffles.

 The sleeves are attached to the shirt in the underarm area with a 3 inch long seam. They are longer on the outside and shorter under the arm so they can cover the shoulder and hang down like a sleeve should. This top could be worn off the shoulders too.

*** PART 2 ***
I also made a couple sleep bras or lounge bras recently. I used a couple old stretch style cami tops. I cut the bust off, they didn't fit comfortably anyway.  I also cut the waistband off and used the middle portion of each tank.

I used some stretch lace I had at the bottom to tighten it and act as a shelf bra. I reattached the straps the tank had originally. These are great for lounging. The stretch fabric made these bras work and fit well.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
 ***Year End update- I really like the brown shirt. I thought the square neckline was fun. I wear the bras pretty often too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Giraffe Scarf

Hello Readers. I made a giraffe scarf recently. That might seem unusual. Why make a giraffe scarf you might ask. Well, it wasn't for me. It was for my mom. It was her birthday, and she loves giraffes. I mean LOVES giraffes.

I was given this giraffe fabric along with some other fabric quite a while ago. (I love when sewers share!) I soon realized it wasn't one piece but actually 4 smaller identical square pieces. I had thought about making a couple of pillows. I wasn't sure, so I kept thinking. I knew I had to make something for my mom out of this fabric. It was meant for her.

Look at that great giraffe pattern. My mom would love it!

I decided to make an infinity scarf. I could connect all the squares and it would suit the amount of material I had perfectly. I made a long tube and then connected the ends.

It looked like this when I was done. 

 It is long enough to loop around the neck easily. It's machine washable and the colors are neutral and easy to wear too. Happy Birthday Mom!

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. Or your mom!
***Year End update-  I never wore this. I gave it to my mom. I still think it's cute.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Skirt to Over-Alls

Hello Readers. I almost gave this plain black skirt away because it was too long and too boring! It was a nice weight knit fabric so I kept it in hopes I would think of something more fun to do with it. And I just got an idea!

There wasn't anything wrong with the skirt. It just wasn't very exciting. And it was clearly too long for me.

I decided to make a straight skirt from the top of this black skirt.  That way I could keep the waistband. That would save me loads of time. I took a little off each side and gave it a new hem. The original skirt flared out at the bottom. I determined the length of my new skirt by cutting it off above that.
I used that fabric at the bottom though. I cut 2 squares from the center of that extra fabric.

I used the squares to make the front and back "bibs". I used some more of the extra fabric to make the shoulder straps I needed. 

I had the buttons in the button stash. I chose black to keep it simple. I didn't want to worry if the buttons clashed with my shirt. With these plain buttons I can wear any shirt.

Even a wild purple floral shirt.

The back looks a lot like the front. The bib is just a little smaller.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End update-  I love black skirts. Can you have too many? I will never believe that's true.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Blue and White Dress

Hello Readers. I am a sucker for a blue and white pattern. A lot of my house is blue and white and when I see clothes with blue and white I am bound to like them. That is what happened when I saw this little dress.

This dress was great but the top of it was too tight. A gallon of Crisco and a crow-bar wouldn't get me in there. I really loved that skirt though, and it fit great. I decided to remove the part that didn't fit. I had this light blue shirt to wear with the skirt. I just needed to remove the teeny-tiny lace top. I think if something doesn't fit, you can cut it off and work with what you have left.

First, I cut the top off. Next, I turned the lace edge under and stitched it down. Guess what I had....a lumpy mess of a waistband. It was not pretty. I think if its ugly, cover it up, no one needs to know it's there.

Here is my cover up idea. This ribbon was a great match for the skirt and it was in the load of sewing stuff my mother-in-law gave me recently. (Big thanks to her!) I stitched the ribbon over the lace edge at the waistband. It covered the lumpy lace waistband and gave the skirt a nice pop of color that accented the flowers in the skirt.

The dress had a zipper that I cut in half when I cut the top off the dress. I zipped it down, and then cut it. I tucked the cut ends under and stitched them down when I stitched the lace waistband down. The ribbon covers it all.

That's all folks. I was done in no time.

I didn't want to waste the pretty lace top. But what could I do with it?
I decided to use the shoulder piece as straps to make a bralette. You know those cute bras that women wear under clothes when they know their bra straps might peak out. I used a zig-zag stitch to connect the straps to a very simple strapless bra.

The criss-cross straps in the back are cool nice too.

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
 ***Year End update- I loved this skirt and shirt together. The top is perfect under low-cut things. All of these are winners to me.