Friday, April 30, 2021

Lovely Lilac Layers

 Hello Readers. The sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom. (Pollen is everywhere, I feel stuffy and congested.) It is spring for real. Spring is a great time to wear lovely dresses and enjoy the outdoors. (If your sinuses can take it.) I found this lovely lilac dress at a swap. (Free!) I loved the pastel color and the floral design. 

This dress fit pretty well but it was too long and too low cut. That is the story of my entire life so I knew what I needed to do. I needed to fill in the plunging neckline and I needed to shorten the skirt.

It was difficult to show in a photograph but the skirt had a shorter under layer. It came to my knees.  The outer layer was much longer and sheer. I thought it would look better on me if I shortened the outer layer to match the length of the under layer. I didn't alter or hem the under skirt.

I hemmed the raw cut edge of my new dress with a simple turned under hem. 

I made sure that the under skirt was fully covered by the outer layer.  

 What about that big sheer piece I cut off the bottom of the dress? It was a big rectangular shape but the fabric was very thin and soft. I hemmed the raw cut edge and I was done.


That rectangular piece made a perfect shawl. And...

The shawl was also perfect to wear around the neck and tucked into the front of the dress to provide more coverage in the front. 

 Cutting the extra fabric from the skirt of the dress solved all my problems with this dress. 

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-I still like this but I never reached for it again so I donated this set.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Playing With Denim

 Hello Readers. I am so happy spring is here. It isn't hot yet it's just comfortable enough to enjoy the outdoors. (Unless you are a victim of seasonal allergies, it is pollen season!) 

I found this short sleeve denim jacket at a swap and liked the short sleeves. I had not seen a short sleeve denim jacket before. I didn't even know I would want one until I saw it. I wasn't 100% sure about the super faded color. I have a small stash of dye in my laundry room for situations like this.

I started what I thought would be a simple dye job. I used this cherry red dye. The denim jacket was  100% cotton so this should have been a fast and easy refashion.

I used my washer and put the dye in the water. I don't know why it turned out so pink. It was SO pink it was almost magenta. I used a short wash cycle and I think it was too short. When you dye clothes in a pan on the stove, you can check the color and keep the clothes in the dye longer if you want. When you use the washer, you can't extend the dye time because the dye has gone down the drain. I think I will use a big pot on the stove next time. 

So, I took a breath. I don't like to give up on a project. I was going to get this jacket the color I wanted. This bottle of scarlet dye looked like more of a true red. I should have chosen it in the beginning.  I think the name should be "Really Red".

I definitely should have used this color from the beginning. It was a true red. It was exactly what I wanted.

Did someone say, "Red Jacket?".

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-I love this red jacket just as much as I did when I dyed it. Red denim? Love it!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Wide-legged Jumpsuit

Hello Readers. I am loving the spring weather and the ability to wear less bulky clothing. My daughter gave me this jumpsuit while ago. She is about 8 inches taller than I am so it fit her very well. You can see it was much too long on me. 

I love me a jumpsuit y'all but this one was just way too long. Even high heels wouldn't fix this. I used to love high heels. My poor feet can't deal with them anymore. And honestly, I was still short even in heels. So, I need to fix this situation.

This jumpsuit spoke to me very clearly and I knew what to do. I cut the legs much shorter. I wanted a slightly cropped length. I used the gold design as my guide and just cut off the whole thing on both legs. Using the design as a cutting guide helped me make even length legs quickly and easily. I used my sewing machine to make a quick hem on the bottom of each leg.

When I ironed the jumpsuit I found the legs were more wide than I first thought. That was cool because wide leg pants are really having a moment right now. The whole jumpsuit is more simple without the design at the hem. I think sometimes simple is better. It was easy to layer for cool weather too. Why do I have the goofy look on my face? I have no idea.

 I was going to shorten this jumpsuit even more into a romper for summer but I really liked these wide loose pants. Here is a terrible but creative photo image to give you an idea of what it would look like if I did that. 

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-I loved this jumpsuit. It had a loose fit that still works for me.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Snake Skin Jacket?

 Hello Readers. Are you into snake skin? Like shoes or belts. I have never owned any snake skin until now, and this is not really snake skin. It's just denim with a subtle snake skin print on it. Did I NEED a snake skin printed denim jacket? Probably not, but now that it is here, I will enjoy it. 

Before and after.

I found this jacket at a thrift store bag sale back in December. It was about 50 cents. (Since I bought it last year I am not counting that as money spent in 2021. My goal of spending no money on refashions in 2021 is going well so far.) I liked the subtle snake skin look of this fabric. The jacket was a little roomy, but I liked that. The sleeves were entirely too long, my short arms have caused trouble again. That's OK, I can work with this. 
If the jacket wasn't in good light it just looked black. When the light was right, you could see a lot of color variation and pattern. The weather in my area has turned chilly again so a jacket sounds like a good idea.
I really needed shorter sleeves so I started by removing the cuffs.

Then I cut the sleeves off at elbow length. When I reattached the cuffs, the sleeves would be 3/4 length sleeves. The shorter length would make the jacket wearable for me and my short arms. That length sleeve would also be a fun look for this jacket.

I was ready to reattach the cuffs. The spot where I cut the sleeves was larger in circumference than the cuffs. I had extra fabric to work with. I could have narrowed the sleeves to fit in the size of the cuffs, but I didn't. I had another idea. The extra fabric allowed me to make a small box pleat in the sleeves. 

My new jacket was done. I liked the loose fit. It felt more modern and it was comfortable. Some of the buttons down the front of the jacket were missing so I just popped them all off. It looked better with all the buttons removed than it did with half missing. I could replace all the buttons later if I wanted to, but I probably won't. I didn't. I had another idea. The extra fabric allowed me to make a small box pleat in the sleeves.  Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 

***Chickie's Year End Review-I still like this jacket. The pattern is very subtle and it just goes with almost everything. It's a great layer to throw on.

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Gaping Waistband

 Hello Readers. I hate when jeans fit everywhere but the waistband. When the waistband gapes open in the back it feels like the pants will fall down or at least get saggy and need to be pulled up. I want my pants to stay up where they are supposed to be. 

These burgundy pants were a hand me down from my daughter. (She did a major closet clean out recently. I took all her unwanted clothes and put them in the refashion stash. This will help me reach my goal of spending no $ on refashions in 2021.) They fit well everywhere but the waist. The waist was too big and it just hung open in the back. I needed to fix this issue before I could wear these colored denim jeans. 

I came up with this way to alter pants at the waist when my kids were little. It is easy and fast and you don't need any extra supplies. I measured how much I needed to take the waist in. I made 2 tucks in the back of the pants. One tuck above each back pocket. I simply fold the pants and sew a triangle shape in the waistband.

I cut the extra fabric out of the way. You can leave it in place if it is comfortable for you to wear. It gets more comfortable after being washed and dried. When I used this technique on my kids pants I would leave the extra fabric in place so if my kids grew I could take out the stitches and enlarge the waistband again.

You can see the 2 small tucks here. I try to center the tucks above each back pocket. It makes any jeans or pants fit and feel better when the waist fits better. I don't think anyone has ever noticed the alteration when I am wearing the pants.

These pants were a great match for this striped shirt. It was white and burgundy striped but I dyed it pink a few years ago. 

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-These jeans did not last long with the Covid snacking. Oh, well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Stripes on Stripes

 Hello Readers. I love going to clothes swaps and thrift stores because you just never know what you will find. The last year has been rough in a lot of ways.  (Understatement of the year!) Clothes swaps have been few and far between. I was happily surprised that the last one I went to was great. I found a shirt and a sweater that had a lot in common. 

 They were both navy and coral in color. They were both striped. And they were sitting on the same table. I love these colors and I love stripes so I took them both home with me. The sweater fit well so it didn't need any work. The t-shirt was a little big but it was a nice heavy weight shirt. I already knew what I wanted to do with it.

I cut a skirt shape out of the shirt. The best way for me to do this is to use a skirt I already had and liked as a pattern. I left a bit on the edges as a seam allowance and I got sewing. I turned the 2 skirt pieces inside out and connected the 2 side seams first. 

Then I turned the skirt right side out to add some elastic as a waistband. I measured my waist and cut the elastic to my size. (I connected the ends.) An easy way to make a waistband is to use a zigzag stitch and attach the elastic to the waist of the skirt on the outside. (Pull the elastic gently while sewing and make sure it is evenly attached all around the waist of the skirt.)

The next step is to flip the elastic up and into the skirt. The stitching is not visible anymore. If this elastic was matching or cute I might just leave it like this. (I didn't have any navy blue elastic.) This white elastic is not cute at all so I am not done.

I flipped the elastic up and into the skirt one more time. It will stay put like this when worn. No one but you knows it's there. (I learned this from a sewer named Saga.)

Here is a quick video of the waistband. 

I liked how the outfit turned out. The stripes on stripes was fun. The heavy weight of the t-shirt made a great spring skirt.

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-Navy blue stripes? Yes! 100% yes.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Dress to Top

 Hello Readers. Spring has sprung. I am so happy to be able to wear lighter weight clothes and not need a coat anymore. Yay to warmer weather! Warm weather means pretty fun shirts and tops. I was thinking of pretty tops when I saw this hand-me-down dress. It got me thinking. I could use the boxy shape to make a cool top with a loose fit.

This dress was light weight and I loved the design along the hemline. I loved the blue color too. The dress was a little boxy and shapeless. It wasn't a terrible dress but gave me the same shape as this lamp shade here. Someone had also given me a dress just like it in off-white. It felt safe to do a refashion on this one since I had the other one intact. Let's get sewing.

I got to work cutting this pretty blue dress. The best part was the design at the hem so that is what I wanted to save. I cut it off and cut out the middle of the dress. I would not need the middle of the dress for this new top. 

I tried to figure out how long I needed my pieces to be before I cut them all up. I wanted a shorter length top to wear with jeans that had a high waist. (I didn't want a cropped length that would show my stomach. I am 48 and I have had 3 kids. My extremely pale stretch-marked tummy is my business.) When I say "cropped" I just mean shorter than a regular t-shirt. If you wanted to make a shorter or longer length just adjust your measurements to get the length you want. 

I used my sewing machine to connect the 2 pieces. It was a fast easy project. 


I do not have a serger. When I am sewing fabric that frays, like this blue dress, I usually use a straight stitch and then a zigzag stitch on the edge. The straight stitch makes a nice tight seam and a quick zigzag on the edge keeps the seams neat on the inside of the garment.

I was happy with how this new top turned out. This was a quick and easy project. I also had too much time on my hands and played around with the photo editing and collage making as you have seen in this post. 

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

***Chickie's Year End Review-This dress to shirt refashion was a winner for me. I liked the loose fit a lot.