Friday, January 27, 2023

A Quilted Bomber Jacket

 Hello Readers. I made a bomber jacket from what I would call a "Grandma in Boca Raton" jacket. (If you have ever lived in south Florida, you know what I am saying!) Anyway. This jacket was light weight and I like the blue and white color scheme. And the quilting looked really good.

  Bomber jacket.

I forgot to take a before picture! What was I thinking??? This little jacket had no front closures, no pockets, no waistband, and no cuffs. I thought that would make it easy to transform this jacket because there was nothing in my way. Look at the quilting, it was nicely done.

I accidentally bought one gigantic piece of navy blue ribbing and I had to cut strips and make my own cuffs, waistband and collar. This is the collar piece right here. Measuring, cutting and ironing it myself took extra time but it wasn't difficult. 

I stitched the waistband on first. I think the navy blue color makes those big flowers really pop.

The next step was to add the wrist cuffs. 

I cut the original collar off and added the new navy blue collar piece. 

When I added all these pieces I used my serger so that it would keep the ribbing from fraying all over the place. It was a mess and there is navy blue lint all over my sewing room. Was this easy to sew using the serger? No. Was it a pain in the &$$%? Yes. The thread kept breaking and I had to re-thread the serger at least a dozen times. The needles broke a few times too. I do not know why this was so difficult to sew through. I even stopped to oil the whole machine. I got it done but the inside seams are not my best and I am never doing this again!

The last step was the zipper. I waited for this to arrive from Amazon because I really wanted a navy blue zipper to go with the navy blue ribbing I had already added to the jacket. The zipper wasn't that easy to sew on either. I was using a different sewing machine and a straight stitch at this point. My needle broke and it was difficult to get my bobbin tension correct. I still don't know why it was giving me so much trouble. Maybe the fluff of the jacket was unusually tough to sew through? I have no idea. I got the zipper in and top stitched every seam so they would lay as flat and smooth as possible. 

I really did like how it looked though. It is just a smidge big on me but that was perfect because it was actually for my daughter. She is taller than I am so this jacket will be a great length on her. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 

***Year End Update- My daughter still likes and wears this jacket and is glad I made it for her.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Bell Sleeves to Balloon Sleeves

 Hello Readers. I have been trying to really use all the items on my refashion rack. I save pieces and parts from projects along with clothes from swaps and thrift stores on a clothes rack in my sewing room. Sometimes items sit for quite a while. This outfit is all from things waiting on the rack and it was time for them to come out and have a moment in the sun. 

Before and after. 
This sweater was a hand-e-down from my daughter. She is taller than me so she gives me things she doesn't want anymore. I likes the statement sleeves but bell sleeves are tough when your arms are short like mine. This sweater probably fit her perfect because her arms are longer than mine are.
Both of these pieces really needed some elastic. Let's start with the sleeves of this black top. I decided to make the sleeves into balloon sleeves. I cut the tiniest hole in the hemmed part of the sleeve, on the inside. 
 I threaded elastic through the hole and around the end of the sleeve. 
I connected the ends of the elastic with my sewing machine. The elastic will keep the puffy sleeve on my wrist instead of having the long sleeve hang over my hands. Look, I can use my hands!!
The skirt is part of a skort I refashioned last summer. The skort had biker shorts under it and I had been wanting a pair of biker shorts. I cut this skirt piece off the shorts and I loved those shorts a lot. (Still do!) But the skirt was leftover with no waistband. 
The skirt needed a new elastic waistband. I had some ugly black elastic I could use. It's OK if its ugly, no one will ever see it. 
I measured my waist and connected the ends of the elastic with my sewing machine. Then I marked where the sides and middle of the front and back should be. I wanted the skirt to be evenly gathered around the elastic waistband. I clipped it in place.

I connected the elastic with a zigzag stitch all around the elastic...
 and then flipped the elastic inside the skirt and stitched all the way around again. This method uses less fabric than making a traditional casing for the elastic. 
 It looked great to me when I was done. 
I wanted to go for a monochromatic look with this outfit. But is it too much black? I like black so you can let me know what you think in the comments. I tried to break it up a little. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 

***Year End Update- This sweater and skirt are so soft, and black is always easy to wear. This was a great easy outfit to throw on and it always works.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Recovering a Stool Cushion

 Hello Readers. Sometimes the fabric on a piece of furniture isn't what you want. The color can be off or the style is not working in the room. Some pieces of furniture are easy to recover. This stool was fine as it was but I wanted to make it more fun and give it a punch of color with some bold fabric. 

This is such a fun look. 
I mean look at these stylish women! It's fabulous fabric for a sewing room.

This stool came with a dressing table that was given to me. I love it! I just wanted to change the fabric to something that fit my sewing room a little better. 

I didn't want to refinish the whole table. I just wanted to update the fabric. This kind of stool is easy to work with. I just needed to remove the cushion piece from the stool. 

I just needed a screw driver to remove the screws that held the cushion in place. It was easy to remove. 

When all the screws were removed, the base and the cushion came apart easily. 

This floral fabric was just taped onto the stool. I thought it would be stapled or nailed in place. I decided to remove it and see what was under it. 

Under the fabric was this cream colored brocade vinyl. This was very securely attached to the cushion piece so I left it there and I was ready to start attaching my fun new fabric. 
I put my fabric right-side down on the floor. Then I put my cushion piece on top of the fabric, cushion side down. I made sure I had 2-3 inches of excess fabric all around the cushion so I could attach the fabric to the back of the cushion. 
I used a very basic staple gun to attach my fabric. The staples will hold the fabric in place over a long time of use. I like to staple my way around the piece so that I get a nice smooth look to the fabric on top. 
When I was done stapling the sides of the fabric it was time to do the corners. I folded the fabric under a few times so that the corners would be tucked in tight. Then I stapled the fabric down with a few staples to hold the corners firmly in place. 
The new fabric was all in place and stapled down. It only took a little while to put this all together. Now I needed to put it back on the stool. 

It was easy to reattach the cushion because the holes for the screws are still in place I put the base on the cushion piece and centered it so the holes lined up with each other.  I just put the screws in and started turning the screwdriver. 

I thought the new fabric looked great. The colors looked great with the dark wood.

It works well with the table...

 And I can move it around my sewing area. This is such an easy project, and it uses small amounts of fabric. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- This stool is fabulous and it is in my sewing room. I love it.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Change a Shapeless Dress

 Hello Readers. It was also shapeless and just kind of blah. It was made of cozy sweatshirt material so I thought it had potential to be cozy. I thought it just needed a little reshaping. 

Before and after.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, just look at this dress. It will put you straight to sleep. The shape and length are not doing anything good for me and while I do like navy blue... the color is not very thrilling either.

I thought this dress needed a defined waist. It would give it more shape. I also thought a 2 piece dress would be more modern. And I could wear the pieces separately. The dress is a little wider than the orange skirt. I could use that extra fabric from the sides later.

I decided to use navy blue elastic. I was going to make a visible waistband. I thought it would kind of look like a belt and break up all the stripes. The navy color would match the sleeves too. 

I cut the dress in half based on the length I wanted the skirt to be. I wanted to add the elastic waistband to the top of the skirt. I made the elastic into a circle based on my waist size. I used a zigzag stitch to connect the ends of the elastic.

The new waistband brings in the waist and gives the whole look more of an hourglass shape. I thought that would be more flattering. The new look is not more "dressy" but that is OK, I didn't want it to be dressed up, I just wanted it to be less shapeless.

I made a small waistband for the shirt from the scraps I had left when I made the skirt. When I wear it this way the elastic waistband is hidden by the shirt. 

Here is a close up of the new shirt. I really like the cropped length. The stripes change direction in the waistband and it breaks up the stripes a little. 
I like the navy blue waistband on the skirt too. This was an easy refashion project but I really liked the results. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
***Year End Update- This outfit is like a big blue sweatshirt so of course I love it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Doggie Sweatshirt Refashion

 Hello Readers. Christmas has passed but one of the gifts I gave my daughter was a sweatshirt from (Not an ad. I just liked the shirts.) I loved that they made sweatshirts for dogs that matched their human. But I miss judged the size of little Gordon. And he couldn't get his front legs into the shirt.

I added the dark blue strip of fabric on each side of the doggie sweatshirt so that Gordon would have more breathing room. 

Gordon did not really understand why I was taking photos but he was too big to get his sweatshirt on. This photo is from Christmas morning and I knew I could send the shirt back to the company and get a different sweatshirt. But I really wanted to try and fix it myself.

I have already used this sweatshirt dress in other projects so I cut some of it off for this dog refashion.
I cut 2 narrow strips of fabric. 
I sewed the strips into each side. I had cut the seam open under each sleeve and then stitched the blue fabric in using my serger. A zigzag stitch would work for this too. 
Here is a look inside at the seams. It was pretty easy sewing. I tried to follow the angle of the shirt where it curved around the belly area. 
Gordon wasn't thrilled with being photographed but I wanted to show how cute the sweatshirts are together.
Once Gordon was allowed to relax on the sofa you could really see how much he liked the sweatshirt. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. Or your dog!
 ***Year End Update- Gordon is still wearing this sweatshirt. He has short fur and gets chilly.





Friday, January 13, 2023

Making a Denim Skirt Fit Better

 Hello Readers. I love denim in all shapes and sizes. It's just an easy fabric to wear, to match, to work with. It isn't fragile or fussy. It's great. This denim skirt was not so great. It was kind of shapeless. I really wanted it to be more fitted. 

Before and after. 
I saw this kind of skirt ages ago and I have wanted a skirt with this kind of fit ever since. It was time to try and re-create it for myself.
I didn't have a longer denim skirt that fit that well. I had this denim skirt on my refashion rack that did not fit well at all. I thought I could alter it to make it more fun, more modern and more fitted!
I tried the skirt on inside out and marked where I wanted the new side seams to be. I used a marker and pins so you could see it. You can use whatever you have.
I used my sewing machine to make new side seams for this skirt. You can also use a serger. My serger doesn't do well with thick denim material so I used my regular sewing machine. 
*** I always try on clothes before I cut off that excess fabric. If it was too tight I could take the seam out and try again. I tried it on here to make sure I liked the fit.
Here is a close look at the side seams. The straight stitch is done but the zigzag will keep it from getting frayed and messy inside the skirt over time.
This skirt was a winner for me. I loved the new fit and it's denim. It will be so easy to wear with other things. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End Update- This skirt is still great. It goes with everything. It never wrinkles. I love it.