Friday, October 30, 2020

A Candy Corn Fail?

 Hello Readers. Do you like candy corn? Honestly, I hate it. It is so over sweet it is too much for me. I love the color combination. That yellow and orange color combination always always appeals to me.  So what did I do to recreate that color combo? First I found a white shirt. Actually, I found 2. 

 These white t-shirts are from my husband. Yes, I have used a lot of his clothes. He agreed to it, I swear. I wanted to dip the shirts in yellow dye but leave the shoulders white. Then I would dye the bottom of the shirts orange. I thought it would be festive but not creepy for fall and Halloween.

I wanted to dye these 2 shirts to get the yellow and orange of these beautiful candies that I hate the taste of but love the look of. 

 I also wanted to try and use a cheaper method of dying the shirts. Would acrylic paint act like dye if I watered it down? I wanted to find out. (Short answer: Not really.) Acrylic paint is water based so I mixed in a lot of water and got very watery paint. I dipped the shirts in yellow water+paint and let it sit overnight. I let the shirts dry out and then did the same thing with orange water+paint. My 5 year old really liked mixing the paint and water and dipping the shirts into the dye bath. I let the shirts air dry completely before the next step.

I used a shirt that fit well to get the size and fit I wanted in the new shirt. 

 What would I wear with this candy corn shirt? Well, leggings seemed like a comfortable option. I found these black leggings at an outdoor clothes swap recently. It was great to have the swap outside where it was safer.

 They looked brand new but the elastic waistband was loose. It had broken or had been cut. I just reconnected it and stitched the waistband closed.

 I was happy enough with this craft. My son and I could could be candy corn twins. The idea of paint as a dye did not turn out as well as I had hoped. The colors were not bright and clear. The orange didn't show much at all. But it was a fun little project to do with my little guy so, that made it worth trying.He liked mixing the paint and dipping the shirts. (Full Disclosure: I gave him a donut to get these pictures.)

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. And Happy Halloween if you are celebrating this holiday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Using Small Pieces of Fabric

 Hello Readers. If you sew at all you know fabric scraps tend to multiply quickly. Before you know it you have lots and lots of fabric scraps. (They are like rabbits!) What can you do with them? You can make so many beautiful things by piecing them together in a patchwork style. If they are a bit larger you can make throw pillows. I made Christmas stockings for my family out of sample pieces from the fabric store. Samples are usually 2' by 2'. At least all the ones I have are that size. I decided to use a couple pieces to change up 2 chairs at my house.

  These chairs have been around for a while. They were both items I have scavenged from a yard sale and the side of the street. I wanted to put the floral chair in my school room but it doesn't match. The room is blue and the chair is yellow floral print. 

The little stool was blue and white but it has been used so much it looks a little dingy. I want it in my room at my little desk. The stool is small and the desk is small, they will be perfect. My bedroom is yellow and red so it would be nice if I could find a piece of fabric to match. 

I went digging around my fabric closet.......

Most of this fabric came from my mother-in-law. She doesn't sew as much as she used to and after working at a fabric store for 20 years, she had stashed away a lot of fabric. She (And her coworkers.) always took the fabric samples that were going to the trash when the fabric was discontinued. Some of the fabric was extremely expensive and way out of my budget. I love working with the pieces.

I unscrewed the chair seat and used a staple gun to attach the "new" fabric on top of the old fabric. I like these kind of chairs because it is easy to recover them yourself at home. Goodbye floral print! Hello muted blues and greens.
The final result looks great and only took about 15 minutes per chair. (Not counting the amount of time it took me to reload the staple gun when it ran out of staples. It took much longer than it should have. I have been using the same staple gun for 20 years and I can never load it correctly the first time.)

 I love this rosy shade of red. And darker colors seem to hold up to kids and real life better than white ever does.

 The stool is perfect in my sewing room/office that is also my bedroom. It is a small corner office area and the stool doesn't take up too much room. This little desk is actually a sewing table that belonged to my Grandmom. There is a removable piece in the top and you can set a sewing machine in perfectly. I keep the piece in so I can use it as a desk. This is where I write these blog posts.
And one more idea for using small fabric pieces. Frame them. I loved this garden scene but only had a tiny scrap of this fabric. It is now at my desk.
Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.



Friday, October 23, 2020

A Classic White Shirt

 Hello Readers. I think Fall is here. There are leaves all over the ground and it is cooler and nicer outside. I love the change of seasons. I also love classic simple clothing that is easy to wear. A white button-down shirt is always fresh and stylish. But I didn't have one. (First world problem, I know.)

What I did have was this white shirt that my husband didn't want anymore. (He doesn't need to wear a shirt and tie to work anymore so he cleaned out his closet.) I really liked this simple white shirt.

This shirt was too big. The sleeves were too long. The whole shirt was too long to tuck in and is close to being a mini-dress. I can't wear a short dress to work so let's make this into a shirt that fits.

I did some re-fitting. I made the whole shirt shorter and made the body more narrow.

 I also made shorter more narrow sleeves. I wanted them 3/4 length. I removed the cuffs, shortened the sleeves and reattached the cuffs. The sleeves were roomy enough to make little box pleats on each sleeve.

The over all fit is so much better. The shorter sleeves make the shirt look a lot better. It looks like mine and not my husbands.

I can tuck the shirt in because it isn't so long anymore.

The jeans I wore with the white shirt are a refashion favorite.

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

And if you are in the US, please go vote!




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Flowy Jacket

 Hello Readers. I love layering pieces but sometimes they don't always love me.

 This jacket was just one of those pieces. I loved the colors and the design of the material. It looks a bit like a bathrobe. The material is in great shape but the fun fringe is worn out.

I cut the fringe off. It was a little faded and tangled. It was best to just remove it. Some things can't be fixed. It's OK to let them go.

 I really wanted to make those sleeves more narrow and make the body of the jacket more fitted. I hemmed the bottom after I had the side seams done.


What would I wear with the jacket? Well the color of these stretchy pants was wonderful. The thick stretchy fabric was really soft and nice but they made me look frumpy and I didn't like the look of them when I actually put them on. I thought they would make a great skirt.

I cut the inside seams open and folded the pants so the sides were laid flat. You can see the crotch of the pants flairs out. I pinned them to make straight seams so I would have a pencil skirt.

I did some sewing and cut off the excess. I checked the length and made a hem at the bottom.

This skirt was nice with the new jacket.

I was pretty happy with how these pieces turned out. I wore it to the doctor for a boring check-up. My son is very healthy but I found out that his Epi Pen expired 6 months ago. I am expecting my "mom of the Year" award any day now.

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

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Belt Bag

 Hello Readers. I hope you are doing well. I am aware that a lot of people are not doing well right now. There are unemployment and housing issues in addition to all our Corona, hurricane/wildfire and social/political issues. It is really a lot to try and wrap my head around all at the same time. I wish I had some words of wisdom that would help solve any/all/even one of these issues. I really don't, but I am pretty sure arguing on Facebook isn't going to solve anything.

I'm just going to sew for now. I have had this suede vest for ages. It just makes me feel like a cowboy and like I should have a horse, a lasso and be yelling, "Yee-haw!". (No offense to anyone currently in a vest, on a horse, yelling, "Yee-haw!".) It just doesn't feel like me.

Check out this vest from a clothes swap ages ago. It has a western kind of vibe to it. Amazingly, it matched this suede belt from another clothes swap.

I started cutting the vest into pieces. Suede doesn't fray at all so it is easy to work with. I wanted a small bag shape.

I know what you are thinking. How hard is it to sew through suede? Check it out in this short video clip. (Hint: It was super easy.)

 I used the belt to make this small bag into a belt-bag. Waist-bag. Fanny-pack. Butt-bag. Whatever you want to call it, I made one. I remember when these were popular in the 90's and I swore I would never wear one again. But here I am, years later, eating those words.

The belt fits through slits in the back of the bag. I can slide the bag off the belt to wear the belt alone if I want.

I was surprised I liked this bag as much as I did. It would be great for when I want to be hands free. 

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












Wednesday, October 14, 2020

When You Can't Button Your Over-Alls

 Hello Readers. How are you? I hope you are well and not lost in an argument with someone online. It won't change anyone's opinion. It will just make you angry. My neighborhood HOA Facebook page is a breeding ground for arguments like this. It is surprising to me how fast an argument can break out. Let's not argue today, let's just sew in peace. 

These wonderful gray linen wide-leg overalls were a hand-me-down from my daughter. I liked them a lot.

I thought they would fit perfectly but as you can see, I could not button them up. I was not very happy. I noticed that the waist seemed to fit very well. That gave me an idea...

I quickly cut the top off. It was too small and made me feel fat. It had to go. 

 I used a zigzag stitch on that cut edge. This linen fabric would fray like crazy so I wanted to prevent that. I went over the edge twice to make sure it was secure. I turned the edge under and made a wide waistband. There were already buttons in the front that would act as a button-fly.

I used my dress form to tweak the waist and make sure they would fit.

These pants are so comfortable and fun to wear. I like how they turned out. They were cropped on my tall daughter but on short me they don't seem cropped at all. I am still thinking about the length I want. Any thoughts dear reader? Should I hem them a bit shorter? I think I like them as is but I am not sure. am not sure.  Let me know in the comments.

 I am trying to show the legs and the waistband without showing my actual pale stretch-marked stomach. 

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