Thursday, December 28, 2023

Ruffles for Dressember

 Hello Readers. I hope you are having a happy holiday season. I have been talking about the Dressember fundraiser all month. I have been wearing (And refashioning!) dresses all month to participate. I am on a team with my daughter. You can learn about our team here. It isn't difficult to participate, consider joining us next year. All you have to do is sign up and wear a dress. (Approx 75% of the victims of human trafficking are women. The dress is a symbol of those women.) 

This is my last refashion of 2023. It is a fun project to end the year on a cheerful note. I do not remember where I found this dress, it was from a thrift store or a clothes swap, I know that much. (Scavenging, that's how I roll.) 

Before and after.

This dress was too tight in the bodice but the ruffles! I had to save the ruffles! The only way to do that was to make this into a skirt. 

I cut the dress to remove the top. I left enough fabric to make a casing for some elastic. These ruffles are made of chiffon. I hate working with this fabric. It frays like crazy and slips around a lot. All I had to do was make the waistband so I tried to just get it done quickly. 
I put the edge of the chiffon through my serger to keep it from fraying. 
I put the elastic through the casing. I connected the ends of the elastic and then stitched the casing closed. You can see the lining of my new skirt here. It is a nice cotton knit material, like a t-shirt. Whoever made this didn't choose the cheapest nylon/polyester lining material they could find. They actually chose something comfortable! 
My new skirt is so fun! And it matched this flower pin that I have had for years and years and never wore. What a way to end the year. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End Update- I caught a cold for Christmas so going out was not going to happen. I love these ruffles and they will be worn soon. 




Wednesday, December 27, 2023

A Dress Cut in Half for Dressember

 Hello Readers. It is December and it is the month of the Dressember fundraiser. It is such a busy time of year and participating in Dressember might seem like too much. This month I am wearing and refashioning dresses to raise awareness about the work they do. Is it hard to wear dresses all month? It was not possible to wear dresses at my old job so I wore a lot of ties. (That counts too.) If you can't or don't wear dresses, you can wear ties. Buy a tie from a thrift store or borrow from someone you know. It's easy. If you wear a uniform at work, it's OK, you can participate in your off hours. Head over to Dressember's website to learn more. 

I found this beautiful floral dress at a thrift store and bought it without much thought. It was way too long on me (I'm 5'0") but luckily I have a tall daughter. (She's 5'8") Usually we can swap clothes.

Before and after.

I saw this floral fabric and couldn't resist. I bought it. The dress didn't really fit my daughter or me. That's OK. There is always a way to make things work. 

My daughter cut the skirt off. She really liked it because it was a long length on her. Skirts tend to be too short on her so she was happy. 

She knows I don't throw away sewing or fabric scraps so she gave this top back to me. I used my serger around the bottom of it. 

I turned that serged edge under and then added elastic around the bottom. 

The elastic pulled the hem in and it looked more finished. Basically I made a cropped top. It looked great with this skirt. This would be a lot of visible stomach for me. (I'm 51 and I have had 3 kids. My stomach is not for public viewing.) 

Same top and skirt with a sweater on top...This would work better for me. 

It worked really well with high waisted over-alls like this. I will save this outfit for January when the Dressember fundraiser is over and I can wear pants again. The dress was cut up but it's not thrown away. It has a new look, a new use and a new life. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- I always feel good when I can save scrap pieces. I love this combo too.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

80's Denim Dress for Dressember

  Hello Readers. I am participating in the Dressember fundraiser  again this year. Dressember works to fight human trafficking and assist victims. It was started in 2005 by Blythe Hill. It grew from just her wearing dresses every day for the month of December to raise money. It grew and grew and in 2021 they raised 16MM. Go to Dressember's website to see my team with my daughter and learn more about the work Dressember does.

I found this dated denim home school mom dress at a clothes swap and I knew I could use all that denim for something fun. It was floor length on me and I did not get a proper before picture of it. I was SO excited to refashion it I just jumped right in.

Before and after.

I cut almost 20 inches of length from the bottom of this dress. I knew it was too long so I just got some extra out of my way. 

I put it on my dress form to get an idea of how much I wanted to take in the sides. This was too fitted because this denim had no stretch and it wouldn't get off the dress form.

In the end I took a couple inches off each side. 

I used my serger to sew those new side seams but you can use a zigzag stitch for this too. 

Now this is the fabric I cut off the bottom of the dress. I knew I wanted to add a ruffle and this is what I had to make that ruffle with. I had to make it a ruffle somehow. This dress had slits on each side. That was going to be my ruffle. I hope the pointy corners will an interesting feature. 

I clipped my ruffle in place so I could make sure it was spread out evenly. You can see the pointy corners. I think they will add a fun touch.

Preview of the ruffle. I took this and headed to the serger. 

I had to hold the gathered fabric as I sewed. I had to do this to make sure the gathered fabric stayed gathered as it went through the machine. 

I went over my new seams and the ruffle with an iron. 

That was it. My new dress is fun and comfortable to. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- I love this dress it is loose and good for winter layers. It will match everything and anything.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Make a Vintage Wall Hanging

 Hello Readers. I love vintage items, especially vintage textiles. I had my mother's baby blanket and I wanted to hang it. But it wasn't designed to hang on a wall. It was meant to be flat on a bed or crib. How could I hang it that would be gentle to the fibers of the fabric? I didn't want to damage it at all. Let me show you what I did. 

Vintage textiles need gentle treatment.

My mom was born in 1945 so this little baby blanket is about 80 years old. I loved the colors and design. It has been stored for a long time and I wanted to display it. 

This is a look at the back. There is no way to hang or display this quilt. Some quilts are made to display so they have loops to use hooks or a pocket to put a curtain rod in. This quilt didn't have anything like that. 

I had to add something to make this quilt "hang-able". I decided to add a casing/tube to put a curtain rod through. I decided to use this wide grosgrain ribbon. It was 2 inches wide. I needed to attach it to the top of the quilt on the back side. I chose white because it would match the fabric but it was on the back and no one would see it when I was done. 

I used clips to hold the ribbon in place across the top of the quilt. 

I folded the ends of the ribbon under twice to hide the cut end.

I thought it was best to attach this ribbon by hand. I didn't want the stitches to show through on the front of the quilt and a sewing machine might be to rough on the material. I do not like hand sewing and my stitches never look neat but this will all be hidden on the back of the quilt so it won't matter. I started at one corner and made stitches that went over the top edge of the ribbon and through just the back of the quilt. 
I did not want the folded ends of the ribbon sewn to the quilt. They need to be open for the curtain rod to pass through. I did sew the layers of ribbon together to keep them nice and neat.

I sewed back across the bottom of the ribbon to attach the bottom edge to the back of the quilt.

I put the curtain rod through the casing/tube I made with the ribbon. 
Then it was time to hang the curtain rod. We measured and made sure the quilt would be centered and level over the table.
You should read and follow the directions that come with your curtain rod as it may differ from this. We had to drill small holes for the anchors to go in the wall. We determined where to put the holes when we measured the quilt and rod.
These anchors go in the holes we drilled.
The screw gets put in the anchor, in the wall, through theses white plastic pieces. They will hold the wood rod brackets.
The brackets fit over the white plastic pieces and are held firmly on the wall. 
The curtain rod rests on the brackets. I like this kind of curtain rob because it is easy to take the rod down and change out the wall hanging. 
My mom's quilt is a nice piece to display, it just needed gentle treatment. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
 ***Year End Update- I had been wanting to hang this for a while so I am happy it got done. It is nice on that wall.











Thursday, December 21, 2023

An Elf Dress for Dressember

 Hello Readers. It's almost Christmas and when the month is over the Dressember fundraiser is over too. I have been wearing and refashioning dresses to participate in the annual fundraiser. We wear dresses because the victims of human trafficking are predominantly women and girls.  It is a $150 billion dollar industry. Please go to Dressember's website to learn more and give if you can. 

I got hit by a wave of Christmas spirit and threw together this red and green combo. It's a look for an elf? ... a modern relaxed Mrs. Claus? ... Ms. Frizzle's casual Christmas? Whatever it is, I was feeling it.

Before and after. 
This green dress was waiting to be part of the Christmas project. That will work for my Christmas elf dress plan. 

I also had this red trim thanks to my sweet mother-in-law.

I got some red thread and sewed this red trim all around my greet dress. This only took a little while. 
I found  this little Christmas tree patch in my button stash and ironed it on my dress too. 
My elf dress was finished! It's a little crazy and I love it!
Thank you for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 

***Year End Update- This was perfect for having a fun day. Just a regular day here.