Friday, September 30, 2022

Imitation Chanel

 Hello Readers. When I found a Chanel style suit I feel in love instantly. Did it fit? No. But it was at a clothes swap and no one else wanted it. I thought it was amazing and it came home with me. I do not have any Chanel and I can not fit it into my budget so this was a very exciting find.

 Before and after

This suit was fabulous. The skirt almost fit but the jacket was really big in the shoulders on me.

I didn't think I could fix the shoulders. I decided to refashion the jacket into a vest. I had an old pattern to guide me in cutting the pieces. I wanted something to make sure I didn't mess this up. Using a pattern gave me a little more confidence. I cut the pieces from the lower portion of the jacket. I did not use the padded shoulders or sleeves at all. I positioned the pattern on top of the jacket so that I could keep the pockets and front button in place on my new vest.

Here is a look at the vest. I stitched it together with my sewing machine.

Here is a look at the back of the vest.

I wanted the frayed edges Chanel sometimes does on their suits. I stitched around the edges of my vest with a very small tight stitch. I wanted the fraying edges but I had to control the fraying or my whole suit would fray away. I wanted about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of fraying. 

I started the tedious process of pulling the threads on the edge. I did this all around the edges of the vest.

Y'all... it took quite a while!

I marked the skirt. It had a back zipper so I wanted to take the sides of the skirt in to improve the fit. 
I cut the skirt shorter. I wanted to cut off the kick pleats and make the new hem right above that point.
I used my serger to finish the hem of the lining.
The fraying edges were going to be at the hem of the skirt too.
 This new shorter length was better for me.

This new suit is so fun. I think this is my new favorite refashion.

I loved that the pockets were on the vest. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.



Sunday, September 25, 2022

Decorating the Front Porch for Fall with Stuff you Already Have

 Hello Readers. That's right, it's fall, and you want to make the front porch look festive... Like you are in the spirit... Like you cared and tried just a little. But you don't want to spend your whole paycheck at Home Depot to buy more "stuff"? I completely understand. I spruced up my front porch with a bunch of stuff I already had. Read on and I will show you.

Fall decor ready!
My front porch was tired and dried out from summer and needed a lift.

Summer heat can be rough. The kids destroy stuff. Life happens. Let's get in the fall spirit. What can we use to decorate? Let's start with old clothes.

Go get the sweater vest Grandma Joyce gave you. You never wear it. It's just what we need. If you don't have a festive holiday sweater, try any shirt or sweater in a fall color.

You are not going to wear the sweater. You are going to put the sweater on a big basket. A large flower pot or even a cardboard box will work. Wrap the sweater around the basket and button it up the front. 

Tuck the excess sweater down into your container. You have an instant fall planter. 
You can put a new plant in or use something that survived the summer heat. It doesn't really matter, the decorated planter will make a fun fall decor piece.

Next we need some pumpkins. You can buy some or you can make some. That's right, you can make some. If you have kids, his is a fun project for them. You need a shirt. I had this orange shirt so I went with that.

The toilet paper is going to get wrapped with the shirt. You can stuff the excess down in the center and you get a pumpkin shape. 

If you need to, use a pencil or a stick to push the fabric down in the center.

You can make a stem for your pumpkin from brown paper. Let the kids help if you want.

Now really, which is cuter? The real pumpkin or the one we made?

This blue plaid rug was on my back porch but I realized it went better here. The doormat is from summer but it has some orange on it that matched the pumpkin we made. Can it work for fall? I think so. I did buy the giant mum because I saw a lady selling them from the back of a truck. And I like to support the local economy.
The final look.

Putting it all together. Happy Fall Y'all.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Removing a Cowl Neck From a Sweater

 Hello Readers.September feels like back-to-school season to me. It's not really true because in my area kids go back to school in August. I have been doing a lot of skirt refashions this month because when I was a kid having nice skirts for school was a thing. I don't think it's as important anymore but it is stuck in my brain. So... skirts for September it is. 

Before and after.
 I started with this cowl neck sweater. I cut the neck off this sweater in my last post so that I could make a tube top out of it. It worked great under a low cut dress. But what about the rest of the sweater?

I had a plan to fix the neck of the sweater and I explain it here. When I cut the cowl neck off I left about 1/4 inch of neck fabric.

I used a zigzag stitch to sew the new round neck line. I tucked the leftover neck fabric into the sweater and stitched it down. It was super easy. I would have been done at this point but the sweater was a little looser fitting than I wanted. I wanted it to fit like a t-shirt. 

I decided to take some fabric out of the back to make the sweater more fitted. I cut some fabric out and made a new seam down the center back. 

This plaid skirt was not very flattering. I loved the plaid fabric. I thought shorter would be better for me because I am pretty short.

I used a skirt that I knew fit well and used it as a guide for cutting my plaid skirt. I cut that excess off, turned the edge under twice and stitched it with a straight stitch all around the skirt. It was a very basic new hem. 

I also took a little fabric out of the waist. I stitched new side seams on each side and then cut off the extra fabric. Sewing the sides like this makes the waist a little smaller. Doing this on each side makes the skirt balanced and the new sewing blends in with the old side seams easily. I zigzag stitched at an angle to meet the existing side seam.

My new outfit was done. 

These pieces are really classic and I think I can wear them a lot. 

Here is a look at that new back seam I made in the sweater. It turned out great too. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Filling in a Low Neckline.

 Hello Readers. Look at this wild dress. I loved all the colors and the fit of the dress was great. I didn't like the neckline and I wanted to fill it in with something. I really wanted it to blend in though. That dress really wants to be the star of the show. 

Before and after.

I had a plan to solve this problem, it involved part of a cowl neck sweater. I cut the cowl neck right off. I just cut around all the way around the neck of the sweater and it was ready for the next step.

It was made of 2 layers so I used my serger to connect the two layers at the cut end. I thought it would keep it nice and neat. I didn't want it to shift around while I was wearing it.

Here is a sweater tube top. It wouldn't work for me as a shirt but it will be perfect under my wild dress.


I like how the color of the tube top and the colors of the dress work together. The neckline is filled in and I can wear the dress without worrying about the low cut neckline. I didn't want to put on a cleavage show.

I will show you what I did with the rest of the sweater next time. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Simplest Skirt You Can Make

 Hello Readers. Sewing is so much fun. I love to put pieces together and make something new and hopefully wearable. My daughter gave me a piece of amazing argyle fabric that she didn't want and it was perfect for making a very simple, very basic skirt. This is the kind of skirt I wish I learned to make in junior high sewing class when I was forced to make a tote bag. The bag wasn't fun or cute or colorful. It felt like a wasted opportunity. If the sewing isn't fun, why are we doing it? We can answer that later. For now let's make a skirt.

Before and after.
This is the fabric my daughter gave me. It is a soft knit and I love that. The argyle pattern was fun and nostalgic. It was also a perfect rectangle. Believe it or not, that is a great start to making a simple skirt. The wider the rectangle the fuller the skirt will be.Wrap it around yourself to see if it will fit well. If you want a very full twirly skirt, you need a wide rectangle. I only had the amount I was given so I will work with what I have.

The first step was to fold the right sides together and sew the ends together. This is going to make a tube shape and that is the beginning of the skirt. 

Now, we need a waist of some kind. There so many ways to make a waistband. I wanted this to be so simple that a very beginner could do this. I am going to attach wide elastic to the top edge of the skirt. That is going to be the waistband. Elastic is comfortable and it is easy to fit. It forgives when You had a big slice of cake and it is easy to put together. Choose a color that matches your fabric.

Measure your waist. This is so important. You want the elastic to fit around you comfortably. Even elastic can be tight if it is too small. Every body is different. Your waist isn't the same as mine. Cut your elastic the size you need. You want it tight enough ti hold up your skirt but not so tight it hurts your tummy. Connect the ends of the elastic with a zigzag stitch. I like to sew over mine back and forth a couple times to make sure it will never come apart. I overlapped the edges of my elastic and stitches over the edge to hide any fraying threads.

Use pins to attach the skirt to the waistband. You want the skirt fabric to be evenly spread around the elastic waistband.

Now, My skirt is all pinned and it's time to sew. I like to use pins or clips to arrange my fabric for sewing. It makes it easier to sew. I used a zigzag stitch because I want to be able to pull the skirt on over my hips and bum. It needs to stretch to do that. If I sew the elastic on with a straight stitch it won't be able to stretch as I want. 

Now I can check my sewing. Did I miss any spot of fabric? If I did (Or you did.) It's OK. No one is perfect. Just go back to that spot and go over it again. If your thread and elastic match well, it won't show at all. 

The last thing I need to do is hem the skirt. Any length is fine. Trying the skirt on is the best way to decide how long it should be. I marked my skirt and folded the lower edge under and stitched it down. The fabric I am using is a knit so it won't fray. A woven fabric would need to be folded under twice to hide the fraying edge.

My skirt turned out great. It is as comfortable as sweatpants but so much cuter.

I feel like it really works with this "Pink Ladies" jacket I found at a swap. I think it's too much. Maybe for Halloween? We'll see. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Shortening a Skirt & Saving the Hemline

 Hello Readers. I am in the mood to refashion a skirt. This purple silk skirt was fabulous but it wasn't fabulous on me. It was too long. I could simply hem it but look at the beaded tassels!!! I don't want to lose the beaded tassels. So, I need to shorten it from the top. Let me show you what I did. 

Before and after. 
Here is a better look at the skirt. It is really pretty silk fabric. And those beaded tassels are amazing. It is a little shapeless and long on me so it doesn't look as great as it deserves. (I don't know for sure if it is washable silk, but I did indeed wash it in my washing machine on the delicate cycle so... I am going to call it washable-ish.)

The skirt had a slit cut in the back so I needed to close that first. 
I ironed the skirt and then turned it inside out.

I put the right sides together and lined up the edges of that slit. I stitched the 2 pieces together with my sewing machine. It will look like a basic back seam when I am done.

I closed that opening in the back that I am pointing to in this picture but I was not done. 

Here is a look at the front. I cut the top off the skirt. I needed it to be shorter and I did not want to cut off the beaded hemline so the waist had to go. I knew how long I wanted it to be and cut it accordingly. 

Here is the secret to comfortable waistbands. And clothing in general. ELASTIC! I found matching purple elastic. 

Here is a description of how I made the elastic waistband. 

I pinned the elastic to the skirt and explain how I will stitch it together here. 

Actual video of the sewing machine in action. This zigzag stitch attaches the elastic to the skirt and it will keep the fabric from fraying inside the elastic as well.

The elastic is visible but I like how it defines the waist. If you match the elastic to the thread the stitches don't stand out very much at all.

I liked the skirt with this ribbon sweater I made this summer. One of the ribbon colors is purple so I think they play well together. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.