Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Making A (Avacado) Rash Guard

 Hello Readers. It is avocado week here at I Can Work With That. That's right a week of avocados. There will not be any avocado toast, just clothes. It all started when my daughter gave me some swimsuit fabric she did not want. I loved it and started planing what to do with it.

A new avocado rash guard to keep me from burning in the sun. I was inspired to make a rash guard. I am super pale and the sun hates me. Or my skin hates the sun. Either way, I try to cover up if I can when I go in the sun.

My daughter ordered a mystery fabric box from Mood Fabrics. She did not want this avocado swim fabric! Is she crazy? This was amazing fabric. I took it happily and started planning my new avocado swimsuit wardrobe.

I used the free "Chelsea" Pattern from Fabric It is a long sleeve shirt with raglan sleeves. I cut the pattern down to make it more fitted like a rash guard should be. A loose shirt will get looser in the water. I did not want that.

I made the body of the shirt and tried it on to make sure it fit well. This was a good idea because it did need some adjustment.

I cut my sleeves out and made sure they fit well too. Now I just needed to put it all together. I used my serger for this so that the seams would have some give and stretch with the fabric.

I needed to finish all the edges. I couldn't leave the shirt looking messy. I decided to use this folded elastic. It is sort of like bias tape but it stretches. That will cover all those raw cut edges and I liked the blue color. 

Here is a quick video of the elastic going on the shirt. I used navy thread and a zigzag stitch to attach this blue elastic to my rash guard. The zigzag stitch will have some stretch and give to it too.

I tried the shirt on again and there was a serious problem at the neckline. Look at that gaping. That is no good. 

I made some quick adjustments to fix the neck. I basically made 4 tucks along the neck. I made a small tuck at each of the sleeve seams so it would blend in. It looked and fit much better after doing this. 

My youngest and I got in the pool. He wears a rash guard too. He has even lighter skin than I do. We have to use so much sunscreen y'all. It's not even funny. The sun is going always trying to get us. The rash guards are nice because they cut down on the amount of sunscreen we need to apply and how long it takes to get ready. Some fabric has an SPF rating and some doesn't. Check the labels and descriptions if you buy some swim fabric to be sure what you are getting.

Be careful when you look at the glare from my legs. You might want to wear some kind of eye protection. We stayed safe in the sun and had fun too. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- This was a great project. I wore this and didn't get burned. That is a win when you are the same color as sour cream. And the avocados are just so fun. I have some fabric left so I might make matching bottoms this summer.

Friday, August 26, 2022

A Questionable Corset Top

 Hello Readers. I sometimes try a project that doesn't really work out well. That's OK. Failure is how we learn. I really wanted to make something spectacular with this floral silk fabric. And I really tried. Read on to learn my mistakes and how I fixed them.

I made a corset top.

I wanted to make a top to go with the skirt I told you about last time. I had enough of the floral decorator weight fabric to cut out small pieces for a corset top. I was very limited with the floral fabric and the corset top was not going to need much fabric. I was going to use the solid yellow silk as a lining. Can you make a corset from decorator fabric that your mother-in-law gave you?? I had high hopes.

I used this pattern by Mood fabrics. They make really nice patterns and give clear directions with pictures to help the sewist along.

I cut out all my pattern pieces. This was easy and I was really doing well. 

I cut out all the same pieces again to make the lining from the solid yellow fabric. 

I put all the pieces together like a puzzle. It all seemed to be working.

I put the lining together with the outer layer. It looked great so far.

I had to attach the grommets to the back so I could lace the top closed. I just beat those things with a hammer and it was loads of fun.

I used a hammer. It was easy!

I tried out different size lacing materials and found a nice small one. The yellow bias tape did not work here.

This is the moment that it all started to fall apart for me. There was a lot of gaping at the top. I was very worried but I thought if I just laced it very tight it would not gape like that when I put it on my body. 

I had my husband lace it as tight as he could. It was very uncomfortable. There was less gaping but it did not feel good. And I didn't know what else to do. Was I wearing it wrong?

I put something over it for coverage. It still showed more cleavage than I was comfortable with. Like a lot more. I had to set the top aside because it was time to go to a concert. I wore a different shirt that night. But I wasn't going to give up.

I decided to add some straps. That would hopefully do 2 things. If it had straps I wouldn't need to pull the tie in the back so tight to keep it on. It would be a lot more comfortable if it was not so tight. And secondly the straps would hold the top against my chest so there would be less cleavage. I used this bias tape because it was all I had on hand that matched. I think it worked. But the concert is over and I am home watching Hulu so...this is going in the closet for now.
Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
*Year End Note From Chickie- I love this fabric and I am glad I made the top. Everything is a learning opportunity. It stays on much better with the shoulder straps. Maybe I am just not the right body type for going strapless. It is sort of like a built in bra and I never like how bras fit either. It is probably just me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Yellow Silk

 Hello Readers. If you have been reading along this month you may have noticed all the yellow. Yellow seems like a happy color and I really wanted to try and be cheerful. I don't know if all the yellow is cheering anyone up, but it can't hurt. When I decided to focus on yellow I started looking around my stash of sewing stuff for yellow things. I found this yellow silk that my mother-in-law passed on to me and was determined to make something out of it.

Before and after.

I had 2 pieces of yellow silk. I really loved the floral print. I just did not have that much of it. It was very thick because it is actually a decorator fabric. It should probably be a seat cushion somewhere, but not today. Today it is going to be fun clothing. I had more of the plain yellow fabric. It had a pretty sheen and would be a good buddy fabric, if I needed it. 
 The floral fabric was a long narrow rectangle. It was going to be impossible to make anything big out of it. I knew it was a great piece to make a wrap skirt. Wrap skirts are usually just long narrow rectangles, so I was half-way done already. I went through this book and got out the wrap skirt pattern. This is not an ad. I just like this book of basic simple patterns.

You can see the fabric and the paper pattern here. They are both rectangles and they are already similar in size. This should be easy. The pattern shows where all the tucks need to go to make the waist fit well. All of those little triangles are important.

This is a view of the skirt. You can see a couple of the tucks I made at the waist. I followed the pattern directions and hemmed all the cut edges. But that waist needs a closure. (We all need closure don't we?)

I was running out of fabric. I almost made a waist tie from the plain yellow silk but then I saw this bias tape. It matched really well to the skirt and it was a lot easier since it was already made. 

I sewed the bias tape around the waistband and left some extra to tie it closed. The bias tape is great because it covers the waistband inside and out all in one step. 

Here is the finished skirt. It was thick enough that it didn't need any lining underneath. 

I added a little magnetic snap inside the skirt to keep the skirt layers in place inside the skirt. I sewed it on by hand.

This skirt was perfect for a charity concert in Washington D.C. You can see the Washington and Lincoln Monuments behind me.
 The concert was performed by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra. It was beautiful and supported refugees from the war in Ukraine.

My daughter took me. It was great.
 We did some snacking and tailgating in the parking garage before we went into the concert. Thanks for reading along, there will be more yellow silk next time. Now, go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- I love this silk skirt. I need to go somewhere so I can wear this again. I also still pack snacks when I go out.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Using Vintage Quilts

 Hello Readers. I wanted to do 2 things. I wanted to make something to cushion and cover this gold chair. It isn't very comfortable and needed something to make it nicer to sit on. I also wanted to find a way to use these 2 pillow covers. They are very old. (They were made by my great-grandmother and my great-great-grandmother.) So, I made a simple chair cover.

Before and after.

This chair came from my mother-in-law when she was cleaning out and downsizing her house. It is nice and small and fits in tight spaces easily but it is hard and uncomfortable. It needs something to soften it.

I had a mixed collection of cushions and stuffing. The blue padding is actually cotton shipping material from Thrive Market deliveries. (Not an ad, they just have a lot of foods for people with food allergies/sensitivities. I love them.) I always save the 100% cotton padding for projects like this.

The cushioning is not always blue but it is always squishy and worth saving. I put several layers together at the back of the chair and a little under that boring seat cushion.

I pinned the 2 pillow shams together to see where I would need to sew them together. I want the cover to fit snug enough to hold onto all the stuffing but loose enough to fit on gently. I wanted to be gentle with the fabric. I wanted to use it but not damage it. I do not like putting things away and never using them. Why keep things if we are never going to use them? But I DO NOT want to rip my great-great-grandmother's quilt. I remember seeing it at my grandmother's house. I was not allowed to touch it, but I really wanted to.

I didn't want to hide those yellow borders, they are so pretty. I wanted them to stand out. I sewed the 2 pillow shams together with the wrong sides in so that the right sides would be on the outside. That way I could see the look I was going to get.

I stitched the sides together and it made the cover fit well over the stuffing. I used the longest stitch I could so I can take this apart pretty easily if I ever need to. These are only one layer so this was an easy project.

I use this chair in my sewing room. so it is not getting any rough wear and tear from my family. It is gently used and very loved. 
These pillow shams also had matching quilts. I hung the a quilt above the bed behind the headboard. It is visible so I can enjoy it. It is shady in this room so the quilts are protected from the sun and rough handling. 
I used the largest stitch my machine could do and I sewed the quilts together. I hung the 2 quilts over a wooden rod. The weight is evenly distributed along the 2 quilts. I am not a vintage textile expert but I think they are safe up there. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- I think these 2 are still great and they look just like they did because I love them and haven't changed them at all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

A Tea Shirt

 Hello Readers. I love to sew and refashion but you don't always have to sew to refashion your clothes. No-sew refashions can be a lot of fun and easy to do. Let me show you a couple recent refashions like this.

Before and after.

I am still in my happy yellow phase this month and this shirt was a fabulous find for me. I am a tea drinker and I love a good pun. This shirt had everything I could want in a tea/T shirt. It was a little boxy so I decided to do some quick work on it.

I usually find the round high neck on t-shirts to be uncomfortable. I like to cut the neckband off. The knit fabric will not fray so you can cut the neckline however you like most, round or V shape. Removing the neckband opens up the neckline, elongates the neck which is more flattering on me. It also feels more comfortable to me when I am wearing it. 

My next step was to cut off the end of the sleeves. I cut mine at an angle so I would get a little cap sleeve look.

I pulled on the cut edge so that the fabric would roll up in a curl. I like this look and I thought it would look cute on the short sleeves. I wanted them to be as loose and fluttery as possible.

I cut off the bottom of the shirt. I also pulled and stretched the cut edge to make it roll. Then I cut a slit in the center of the shirt. I liked the curled up edge. 

I tied the 2 corners into a knot in the front. The knot looks cute and it pulls the sides of the shirt in and gives shirt more shape. With no sewing! It's so fast and easy.
*** PART 2 ***

These black jeans fit perfectly and were very comfortable. But they were too long. I am really short so that was not surprising. I wanted to make them shorter. I could have just cut the jeans straight around each leg but I wanted to do something different.

I cut the jeans shorter and made it fun too.

I washed and dried the jeans and I got some great fraying. I cut off the really long strings so they wouldn't tickle my feet. (No tickling allowed ever! I hate it.) You can cut off as much of the jeans as you want. Have fun with it. 

The shirt was easy to wear and felt light and open. I tucked it in for this picture. The jeans were now the right length and I liked how the back of the leg is longer than the front. I really liked the fit of these jeans. They are Gloria Vanderbilt from Kohl's. They make my mom gut seem to disappear. (Not an ad. I just like them.)

I like the knot detail on the front out as well. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
*Year End Note From Chickie- I love this and will forever. A "tea" shirt! Come on now, that's funny.