Friday, July 31, 2020

Romper Re-Do

Hello Readers. How are you doing? It feels like a busy time but maybe it is just a trick of the mind because so much is going on in the world. Are you reading this to get a little distraction? OK, let's talk sewing.

Can we talk about statement sleeves?  I usually don't like them very much to be honest. Well, I don't like them on me. They look great on other people. People with full grown adult length arms. These sleeves are always too long on me and I feel ridiculous.  Do I need all this sleeve? Am I casting a spell? How can I function in this romper without this fabric getting in the way? If I cook at the stove I am definitely setting myself on fire. I know it.

The solution was obvious! You can probably guess what I did. I cut those sleeves right off. It is hotter than a ball of fire out there, why would I want long sleeves? I stitched the raw edge under and I was good to go.

This romper was done. The short sleeves were much better for summer and I could use my arms again. That is a win-win.

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Paper-Bag Skirt

Hello Readers. How in the world are you? Sometimes I am fine and sometimes I am pretty sure I am on the Titanic and I just saw some water in the ship.
I sew because I like it and it keeps me from overthinking.
This outfit came together because I have been wanting something with a paper-bag waist for ages now. Have I bought anything with a paper-bag waist? No. I don't normally buy clothes. I waited until I could figure out how to make something. Here it is!

This top was lightweight and I loved the design. It was perfect for the fire hot days of summer. It was just too low on me. There was a tie at the neckline that made a little keyhole opening. It was not in a good place on me.
The skirt was a little roomy but not huge. The waist was loose enough to make the paper-bag waist I wanted.

Tank top style shirts are so easy to alter at the shoulder. I usually just remove a little from each shoulder and I get a much better fit.
it is an easy way to raise the neckline. I used a tight zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. This only takes about 5 minutes.

The skirt was next. I cut off the bottom of the skirt, just above the hem. This was going to be my belt. A zigzag stitch or so Stitch Fix will keep it from fraying.

I gave the skirt a new hem. I didn't want the skirt TOO short so I  used a zigzag stitch on the edge. I  turned it under once and used a straight stitch all around the skirt.

Now, what about that belt? I stitched it down in the back so it would stay at the height I wanted it. I made sure I stitched next to and not on top of the zipper. 

The belt cinches in the waist and makes that gathered paper-bag look I wanted.

 I liked how this outfit turned out. The skirt is a new favorite. The belt is just a tie, I can make it whatever size I need. (Corona snacking is still a thing right?)

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

Friday, July 24, 2020

Summer Colors

Hello Readers. How are you? How are things in your town or city? How are you dealing with the constant negative news coming at us everyday? I am walking a fine line trying to stay informed but not overwhelmed. And I am sewing.
I loved the colors of this shirt. It looked so summery to me. And white linen pants? Yes, please.

There was a problem with this outfit. The white pants were not bad through the hips but the waist and legs were not working. The fabulous shirt was a bit too long, a bit too loose in the sleeves and a bit too much. I was not worried. I knew I could fix this outfit.

I shortened these white pants and made a pair of cropped wide leg pants. I also made a couple tucks in the waistband. The tucks kept the waist more fitted and would keep the pants in place. Once th waist fit well it gave the outfit a little shape.
Shorten and hem. That's what I do.
I loved the shirt but the sleeves felt a little too big on me. I wanted them loose but not this loose.

It only took a little sewing to change this outfit into something I loved.

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Simplified Shirt

Hello Readers. I hope you are well and safe. It is boiling hot where I am so if you are out in that heat for any reason, be careful. Today's post is about a shirt. It was a pretty shirt but it did not work for me.

This ruffled shirt was soft and feminine. But that off-the-shoulder chest ruffle! Ugh! It made me look like a Dolly Parton impersonator. (Don't get me wrong. I love Dolly Parton. She is one of the most prolific song writers, one of the most generous philanthropists and one of the strongest feminists of the modern age. You don't have to take my word for it, check out this cool podcast.)
But what could I do with this shirt?

I started by cutting off that ruffle. This is a knit fabric so it won't fray. I just cut it off and pretended it never existed.

Here is a view of that original ruffle after the removal. The shirt has a great classic shape now. I took the shirt in on the sides a bit to get the fit I wanted.

I really liked this shirt. It was very simple and modern. The neckline was high enough that I didn't have to worry about any cleavage flashing. It was also perfect for the heat wave we are in.

This shirt was also the answer to what I could wear under this peach lace shirt. This second shirt was so pretty but the lace made it very sheer in some places and it was really low cut. (Why designers? Why?)
I loved the color and I think these 2 shirts are going to work well together.

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

Friday, July 17, 2020

Polo Shirt Scraps

Hello Readers. How are things in your neck of the woods? Where I live it is a little chaotic. Will schools open? When? How? How often? It's a bit of a mess.

My last post was about a pair of shorts made from my husbands old polo shirt. I had the shoulders and sleeves left over so I decided to make a shirt for myself.
(Use those scraps! My depression era grandparents would be so proud of me for this.)

I needed something to make the body of the shirt and I had this fabric sample from my mother-in-law. It was cotton and I liked the design. I am also really trying to use my fabric stash.
(Why store fabric if I am not going to use it?)

I added the patterned fabric to the top half of this blue shirt.

The shirt was still too big so I cut it down a little.
(I didn't notice until later how badly I spread this out for the photo. Yikes!)

I also used a decorative stitch to finish the hem. I used the edge of the fabric that was already factory finished as the hem of my shirt but it was a little scratchy.

I turned the scratchy edge under and covered it with this stitch.
(I also just wanted to see what this built-in stitch looked like and this seemed like a good time.)

My new shirt was done. I could wear it to work or I could pair it with the blue shorts I made last time. (Again, so badly spread out om my bed. I blame my 5 year old who was playing Legos around me.)

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Work From Home Wear

Hello Readers. Are you working from home? Are you going crazy trying to work from home? I think a lot of people are, don't feel alone! I decided to make a outfit for working from home and possibly doing video conferencing. Some of my work is online in a video call setting so I am getting really used to wearing casual office on the top and casual couch potato on the bottom.

This blue Polo shirt belonged to my husband. He has had it or a while and it got put in the give away pile. (That means I can take it.) I wanted to make that shirt into something else.
The floral shirt is from Talbot's and I think I got it at the last clothes swap I went to back in the winter. I loved the colorful floral design. It is comfortable and proper enough for work.

I decided to make a pair of shorts from the blue shirt. They would be soft and comfortable from home. If I have a video call, no one needs to know that I am basically wearing pajama shorts. Shh, don't tell.
That hem is uneven. I will fix that when I am sewing.

I made a simple elastic waistband. I am at home working (And snacking!) a stretchy waistband is ideal.

My shorts were finished just in time for work. I just needed a shirt.

This shirt was a great match. It looked nice and was super soft. I could wear it to work and to lounge.  Even if I am lounging I need to walk the dog and in this outfit my neighbors wouldn't be worried about crazy pajama lady out walking her dog. Again.

This is a dramatized photo. Working, kids under foot, not enough caffeine and pajama shorts on the video call. It's called working from home and it can be rough. Hang in there.

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

Friday, July 10, 2020

A Criss-Cross Workout Top & More

Hello Readers. Are you using this quarantine time to work-out more? Are you glued to the sofa and taking as many naps as possible? I am swinging back and forth between those 2 extreme choices.

I had a big men's shirt that I liked a lot. Why? That cool flamingo of course! There is a small flamingo on the front of this shirt, the big flamingo was on the back. It doesn't have to stay on the back. Let's flip this shirt around an ddo something about those long sleeves.

I cut the sleeves and neckband off the shirt and cut the shoulders into points.

I used scissors and cut the front (With the small flamingo.) of the shirt down the middle. I crossed the front halves over each other and tied the points in knots. It is harder to describe than it is to actually do.

It is easier to see what I did on this dress form. I tied these knots and made the back straps a little more narrow. T-shirts don't fray so I cut it to fit the way I thought I would like. It is pretty long so there is plenty of butt coverage in the back. I tied the ends into a knot to gather the fabric together. You could also just let it hang loose. You do you!

And now the big beautiful flamingo is in the front. There is no cleavage to worry about because the neck is really high. This shirt is perfect for napping or exercise, whichever you prefer.

What did I do with the sleeves? I added them to this sleeveless shirt.

I cut the binding off the armholes and added the sleeves to make a raglan shirt.

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