Friday, October 28, 2022

Dress Up a Free T-shirt

 Hello Readers. I got a freebie t-shirt recently and wanted to dress it up. Free t-shirt just seem to happen, you can't get away from them. Let's have some fun with this one.

Before and after.
This was a simple t-shirt. It was kind of boxy and shapeless like they all are and it had a logo on the back too. That's OK, I have a plan for this.

Life Happens! That is for sure. The first step in this project was to mix up some acrylic paint. I wanted to try and match this late color.

I mixed up a color close to the right shade and I started painting over the white and green writing. 
Here is a look at the shirt when I was done painting over the lettering. I let it dry over night when I was done painting. The acrylic paint will last forever, it never washes out. It's not perfect but it will work great.
When the shirt was dry I used iron on tape to hold the lace on the shirt. You could use pins but I was afraid it would shift around. I cut the lace off a cropped shirt I found at a clothes swap. The shirt was old and tired looking but the lace was still very pretty, so I saved the good part.
After ironing I was ready to sew the lace down across the top and the sides.
Actual stitching!
I used a zigzag stitch on the sides to really secure the edges.
I cut the neck binding off and I also cut the sleeves at an angle so they would have a fluttery look. 
I cut the logo off the back when I cut the neckband off.
 The shirt is casual and fun and more feminine with the lace. It's easy to wear and no ironing needed ever! I love T-shirts. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.*Year End Note From Chickie- I love this shirt for work. I can't really ruin because it's brown.








Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Fix a Wide Neckline

 Dear Readers. Do you have any weird fitting clothes in your closet? Sometimes things just don't seem to look right or feel right when you wear them. This orange shirt was one of those items. I loved the orange color, but the shirt just didn't fit in a way I liked.

 Before and after.
This orange color is so warm and cheerful What's not to love? The weird neckline. I didn't love it. I had an idea to fix it though. 

I wanted to use this silk ribbon to keep the shirt from falling off my shoulders. I have been waiting a long time to use this piece of ribbon. I save everything because eventually I will find a way to use it. Today was the day for this ribbon.

The new shirt was bright and fun and unique with the addition of the ribbon. I just needed some bright, fun and unique pants to go with it.
The fabric was so pretty but they are miles too long.
I needed to cut off a few inches to make these pants fit better. I turned the cut edge under twice and stitched it down with  straight stitch.
My daughter gave these pants to me and they are so wild and colorful. I couldn't resist. They just needed a hem because I am super short. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- I loved these pants but they didn't seem right for winter. They will come back in spring for sure.  

Friday, October 21, 2022

A Piece of Pumpkin Pie Outfit

 Hello Readers. It is October and that means pumpkins are everywhere. And if you decide to drink a pumpkin spice latte someone is going to harass you for being basic. But I don't care, I am not a complicated person. Some of the basic stuff tastes really good to me. So when I saw all these orange clothes I decided to go wild and put them all together. Is it too much orange? I will let you judge for yourself.

Before and after.

I love corduroy and I loved the color of these corduroy pants and they almost fit. I just needed to take them in at the waist and take a few inches off the legs. I am short so this is nothing new for me. 

I tried the pants on inside out and marked them where the new side seam needed to be. 

I made new side seams with my sewing machine.

I always try things on before I cut the excess fabric off just in case I made a mistake in the sizing. 

I have had this pumpkin orange trim in my sewing stash for a long time. It is woven and strong. I think my mother-in-law was going to make purse straps out of it. Is it strong enough to be a belt? Let's see. 

I used my serger because it frayed like crazy when I cut it. I was going to attach one end around the belt buckles. This is a really simple kind of belt to make.

Was it harder than I thought? Yes. The metal belt buckle pieces got caught on my sewing machine and it messed me up. Did I forget to change the thread color on my sewing machine? Yes. But I just went with it. 

It worked out well. The belt fit and the thread blended in. 

My daughter didn't want this sweater anymore so I decided to take it. But it was a little long, more like a dress. I decided to cut out the middle so it would look like a classic pull over. A pumpkin pullover if you will.

I needed to make the sweater shorter. 

Check out these stitches!

When I was done sewing I cut the extra fabric from the sweater.

My sweater was ready to iron and wear.

My pumpkin outfit is complete. Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes, the pumpkin bread, the pumpkin pie with tons of whipped cream... I want it all. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
*Year End Note From Chickie- I wore those pants a lot! They are such a fun color. They got more wear than the sweater. The sweater didn't have as much stretch and wasn't as comfortable as I thought it would be. I need to remember that I love stretch.


Thursday, October 20, 2022

Upcycling an Old Coatrack

 Hello Readers. Storage for clothing and accessories is always an issue. Not every apartment or house has a lot of closet space. I like to sew and I need a place for my makes, and for some thrift store finds as well. When I saw this old wooden coat rack on the side of the road I thought it had great potential. Not for coats but for purses. 

Before and after.

This coat rack had seen better days. It was banged up, a little scratched, and it was missing a hook. It was free and I am a scavenger at heart so I took it home. 

I waited for a dry day and went outside to clean the coat rack up. It was a little dusty. I washed it with soap and water and let it dry thoroughly. 

I wanted to prime the coat rack and this is the primer that I had on hand. It was made to spray up at a ceiling but it worked fine for this project too. 

I started spraying my clean dry coat rack with the primer. I am not a professional painter. I just started spraying and tried to get a light coat all over the rack. The can ran out so I let it dry over night.

I found this can of spray primer at the store and decided to try again with a full can. I filled in the spots I missed and made sure the rack was fully covered. I let that coat dry over night. I liked the flat white so I didn't add any more paint to the rack.
When the rack was dry I was able to deal with the missing hooks. I did not have any matching replacement hooks. I decided to go with a very simple idea. Nails. I could nail in nails where ever I wanted. A 2 inch nail could hold up an empty purse easily. And I could just hammer them in and not have to deal with the power drill. I added a couple nails to the top of the coat rack on the side that seemed to be missing the hook.

I also added nails to the midpoint of the rack so I could hang more bags from the rack. 

I really liked the flat white of the rack with the purses. And I liked being able to see them all. It is really handy storage. And it was easy to freshen this rack up with very little money spent. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
*Year End Note From Chickie- This is more useful than I could have imagined. It is loaded with stuff. I am glad I made this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Making a Skirt & T More Flattering

 Hello Readers. It seems like fall has really arrived in my part of the world. It is chilly and windy and leaves are flying off the trees. I started this refashion when it was warmer and the cold weather made me restyle this outfit for fall at the end. 

Before and after.
This shirt and skirt caught my eye because they were both stretchy knit materials and I am all about comfort. The t-shirt was just so encouraging and positive that I had to bring it home from a local thrift shop. I am always trying to encourage myself to stay positive. Maybe this sweet shirt could help? It can't hurt. 
I tried the skirt on and marked it where I wanted the new side seams to be. You can see here that I cut off the extra fabric.
I made new side seams and I explain it here. I wanted a more fitted skirt.

This look is not doing anything good for me. 

I cut the sleeves at an angle to remove the name of the school it is from and to make a fluttery little sleeve.

I cut the neckband off and cut the sleeves but I wanted to do more. Tucking the shirt in the skirt wouldn't work well for me but I had a plan.

I cut the hem of the shirt off and stretched the cut edge to make it curl. Then I cut a slit in the middle of the front. This is to make a knot. Not a regular knot and tummy hiding,  tummy camouflaging knot.

The more fitted skirt is more flattering and the shirt is a huge improvement too. Is my mom tummy gone? No. This isn't magic here. The shirt with the knot is just a a better look for me. It is a little cold for this outfit so I added some layers to make it wearable for fall.

This is more appropriate for the current cool weather.

I wanted to highlight a great jewelry company. World Finds is a fair trade, sustainable company the has handmade jewelry and bags. They employ and empower women in India with fair wages and employment. They products are colorful and fun. I think they are irresistible.

You can see more at And this isn't an ad. They don't know me. I just really love the jewelry and the business model. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
*Year End Note From Chickie- I loved this whole outfit. Everything worked for me.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Replacing the Back of a Vest

 Hello Readers. It's cool enough to start wearing more layers. It makes getting dressed more fun. The possibilities are endless. I found this amazing suede vest at a clothes swap and thought I could refresh it by replacing the old worn back. 

Before and after.

This suede vest was so fun and the suede was in great condition. 

The back was old and felt a little brittle. The back of this vest was not attractive at all. It had to go.

I removed the back by unpicking the seams.

I took the back off at the shoulders too. I picked out all the stitches and seperated the back from the front.

I used the old back as a pattern. I cut around it and left 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around.

I cut out 2 new back pieces at the same time. I put the 2 back pieces together with the right sides facing each other. I used my serger to connect them along the bottom, the neck and the arm holes. Then I flipped it right sides out and ironed it. (And I threw away the old back.)
I explain how I connected the back and the suede pieces here.
I tried to center the blue flower on this back piece. This was a scrap of fabric I had available in my stash. I also thought it would help keep the suede vest from looking too western cowboy-ish.
The vest turned out great. It had a really fresh new look and feel to it that I really liked. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
*Year End Note From Chickie- I wear this to work and I still love the peacock on the back. If I gain weight it's going to be too tight so I hope I can hold back on the cookies.