Saturday, February 25, 2023

Hiding Entryway Clutter

 Hello Readers. My family always seem to have so much clutter by the front door. The items we take to work and out to run errands collect and maybe even multiply. The bits & pieces and odds & ends always look messy and I can't ever seem to keep it straightened out. I decided I needed to hide it, but it still had to be accessible. We still go out of the house everyday. How could I hide things and keep them ready to grab? 

 Before and after.

Here is a look at our mess. I thought the shelf would give enough space for keys and gloves and whatever else but a lot more is collecting on these shelves. 
We sorted out all the items we didn't need and that helped a little. I thought these bins would help contain the mess and it would be easy to grab what we needed. They had a simple clean design and seemed to hold and hide a lot. It was getting much better but it was still right in my line of vision.

Close up look at the bin. Do we need all of this? I guess we do.
I decided to attach a mirror to the front of the shelves. Now I wouldn't have to see the clutter at all. I found the mirror at Walmart and it was only $7. It seemed perfect for the job of hiding my mess.
I used these Command strips to hang the mirror onto the shelf. They were made to hang pictures but I thought it would work for my project. The mirror was very lightweight.
I attached the strips on the front of the shelves. I used some extra strips to make sure it would stay strong over time.

The mirror hides it all from my view and it also bounces the light around the rooms very nicely also. I liked the effect. Thanks for reading along, happy organizing to you.

***Year End Update- I think this is the best thing I have made. It hides my husbands clutter and made me less stressed. Win-win!



Friday, February 24, 2023

Red Plaid Dress

 Hello Readers. I hope you like red plaid because I have a lot of it here to show you. This dress was at a clothes swap and it was really eye catching. It was a lot of plaid though. Like, a lot of plaid. Like too much plaid for me.

Before and after and after.
I had to give this dress some thought. I liked the colors but the style was giving me 1980's home school mom vibes. (I do home school but not in dresses like this.)

I knew the dress had to be shorter but now it was giving my school uniform vibes. I didn't like that at all.

I thought if I added the second plaid pattern by wearing this shirt under the dress, it would help. It did help a little but I wasn't in love with this look.

I decided to really put the shirt and dress together. I cut the shoulders off both the shirt and the dress. 

I literally put them together.

I liked this a whole lot more.

The bottom of the long plaid dress was a great scarf. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 

***Year End Update- Y'all. I liked this but I can't find it. Where did it go? I have 3 kids and a husband so maybe it got misplaced in the laundry? I will wear it again if I can find it.



Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Crochet Blanket to Skirt and Top

 Hello Readers. The last swap I went to had a small pile of blankets that someone somewhere took the time to crochet. No one wanted them so I took them home with me. I do not know how to crochet but I had been wanting to make some clothes from blankets like these for a while. I have made a shrug and some cozy lounge wear already. Today's post is about a skirt and top.

Before and after.

This blanket had such a fresh spring feeling to it. And I loved the blue and white. It was also a fairly tight knit so it was not as see through as some crochet blankets can be. This tighter weave was going to be easier to sew and it wouldn't be see through when I wore it. I was off to such a great start. 

I used a hoodie as a size guide to cut out a loose tunic style top. 

I cut out my sweater top and stitched the sides together and then cut an oval neck hole at the top.

I used some blue bias tape to close up the neck hole.
  The blue matched well but after I sewed the bias tape around the neck, I turned it under and stitched it down so that only the sweater material would show.
 I originally thought I would just make the top but when I really looked at the scraps I knew I could make something else. 

I did some measuring and I knew I would need 3 of these pieces to fit around my hips. 

I used bias tape to connect the pieces. I thought it would make strong seams inside the skirt.
I made a simple elastic waistband. 
I started to second guess my decisions here. I wasn't sure I liked it when it was on the dress form.
I really liked it when I put it on.
The sweater is fine by itself too. But I really like the 2 pieces together the best. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- I love this sweater and skirt but it is only good for warm weather. It will come back out in spring.




Friday, February 17, 2023

Refashioning Vintage Polyester

 Hello Readers. It took about 3 years but I finally decided what I wanted to do with this vintage polyester dress. It takes me a while to get my thoughts together sometimes. This dress is a pretty blue but the top and sleeves are very scratchy on the skin. I put off refashioning it because it was so uncomfortable to wear. Then it finally became clear....just cut off the itchy sleeves. It could be sleeveless. Duh! So, let's go.

Before and after.

This dress was so long on me. It would need a cut in length for sure 

I put the dress on my dress form inside out. I started marking where I was going to cut the dress. 

I cut the sleeves off at an angle so I could have a halter look. I also cut the skirt into a much shorter length.

I turned the edges under and stitched the fabric down. I also turned the hem under and stitched it down. 

I liked the new sleeveless look and the length was much better. Now, I had to style it. I wasn't sure what I should do.
Should I wear black with it? Black always works.
Or maybe neutrals would be a good idea? I like neutrals.
Casual style with white sneakers and a hoodie? What do you think? Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- I love the color of this dress but the feel of the polyester was not the best. I haven't worn it again.




Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Simple Resizing Ideas

 Hello Readers. Sometimes our clothes get too small. And maybe sometimes too big? Life happens. Stress, cookies, illness, age, it can all change our weight and shape. Today's post is about some simple resizing techniques that I have used and that always work for me.

Before and after.

This outfit needed some help. I was loving the neutrals but the fit of the clothes was all wrong. The sweater was mine and got too small like 5 years ago. Pandemic snacking changed everything. The corduroys were such a nice warm camel color. I got them from a clothes swap and was determined to make them work.

I got to work on the pants first. The easiest way to make them smaller was to turn them inside out, try them on, and mark where I wanted them to fit. I sewed along the side seam and made a new seam. I only needed an inch or so off each side to make them fit better. I also had to hem them because I am short.

The sweater was going to take a little more work. But it wouldn't be hard to make the sweater a little bigger so I can wear it again. I am going to cut it open on the sides and fill in the gap with a ribbon.

I used my scissors and cut the seam open. 

I used a zigzag stitch to sew over the lace and I made sure I was stitching along the edge of the sweater where I had cut it open. I left some extra ribbon at the end so I could fold it under for a nicely finished edge at the wrist.

Here is the finished sweater. The sweater is bigger because the ribbon added 2 inches to each sleeve and 4 inches to the body of the sweater. You could use wider ribbon to add more space to it. The length of the sweater is unchanged.

My whole outfit fits so much better This picture turned out a little weird but it showed the lace added to the sweater so well, I decided to use it.
 The best thing about these methods to change the size is that you could use the same idea for making the sweater smaller and making the pants larger. Using the side seam as the guide for sewing new seams or adding something into the seam is an easy way to go. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
***Year End Update- I love anything cashmere so I am still wearing this sweater all the time. It matches a lot and beige corduroy pants in winter are a go to item.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Applique on Denim

 Hello Readers. If there is one thing I love is a theme to follow when I think of sewing projects. Is it Valentine's Day soon? Than I am definitely going to sew at least one thing with a heart on it. I can't help myself. I have to do it. So read on for a simple project you can do for Valentine's Day.

Before and after.
I had this little heart. (I did not do the needlework.) I have had it for quite a while. I wanted to do something with it for Valentine's Day. I thought I should cut out the heart shape to highlight the design.
 Any non-stretch fabric will do. You don't need fancy needlework. Grab some fabric with hearts or Valentine colors. Cut out a heart shape and you are ready to go.
I knew if I used some fusible interfacing this would be a lot easier. The directions are easy to follow. One side of the interfacing is bumpy, that side faces the back of your fabric and will stick to it when you apply the heat of the iron. Make sure you iron the interfacing as directed on the package.
 I used my iron to stick this interfacing on the back of the fabric heart I was using. I just ironed them together following the directions on the package. It only took a couple minutes.

The interfacing makes the fabric a little stronger and thicker. It makes it more stable and easier to cut out the heart accurately and it will be easier to sew the heart to my jacket. 
Here is a look at a fabric heart with and with out interfacing. You can see what a difference it can make when I compare the 2 hearts.
I thought the off-white and red colors would work with blue denim well. I also knew it would be easy to sew the heart and the denim together because neither fabric had any stretch to it. Both pieces would behave well while I was sewing.

I pinned and pinned and pinned so the heart wouldn't go anywhere. I didn't want it to shift around while I was sewing.

I used bright red thread and a wide zigzag stitch to sew around the heart. The red zigzag stitches would make the red needlework really pop. You could hand sew the heart onto the jacket but I wanted to use my machine.
You can see how the zigzag stitch crosses back and forth over the edge of the heart to hold it on to the jacket.
 I love the heart. It brightens the jacket up a little but it could be worn anytime, not just Valentine's Day. I hope your day is wonderful, and full of chocolates, flowers and whatever you like. 

***Year End Update- I really like adding details like this to my clothes and I still wear this jacket a lot.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Bog Jacket Pattern Review

 Hello Readers. I saw the minimal waste "Bog" pattern online and thought it would be great for some quilted fabric I had. I got the fabric from my mother in law when she cleaned out and down-sized. It was heavy weight fabric and I think she was going to make a bag, more on that later. Let's talk about the pattern.

 I made the shorter length Bog Jacket and I hacked the pattern quite a bit.

The fabric was in my closet for quite a while. I knew it was pricey and the gold side is silk. There is also batting layer and a cotton lining inside.

When I really looked at all the fabric I had I realized it was 2 pieces of fabric and 2 handles. My mother-in-law must have been planning to make a bag with this fabric to go with the handles she put together. I don't know how she made the handles, I didn't want to take them apart to see how they were made. What if I couldn't recreate them again? I thought it was better not to mess with them.

This is a look at the reverse side of my fabric. I went to and found The_Sew_Sew to buy the "Bog" pattern. It is a pdf pattern that you print out at home. Sometimes these can be difficult but this was easy. I started measuring and figured out a way to make the top of the jacket from one of my pieces. 
 The jacket is a little big and boxy so I was able to cut the size down an inch or so where my fabric was too small. My sleeves are tapered and there is going to be a extra seam around the middle of my jacket that wouldn't be there if you used one big piece of fabric as directed. 
I always try things on in the middle of sewing to make sure I am on the right track.
Video summary of my plan.
I added a rectangular piece to the jacket to add length. I added the length I had available and hoped it would be a good length on me when it was done.
The pattern calls for bias tape to finish the cut edges. I wasn't going to find any that match this color and I couldn't make any because I was running very low on fabric. I thought for a while and decided I would try to skip bias tape if I could. I made this little piece to finish the neck line. 

I pinned the piece around the neck and sewed it in place. 
I ironed it flat and there was just enough to get the neckline done. 
 I was able to turn the sleeves under and stitch them down so I didn't need bias tape here either. At this point I was waiting for the zipper to be delivered and I had to take a break for a week or so. 
My zipper came in the mail. I waited because I really wanted this brass zipper. I thought the brass was great with the gold color of the jacket. The zipper would finish the jacket front and keep it closed too. I turned the bottom edge under and stitched it down. Then I attached the zipper.

I used a serger to control fraying and attach the zipper. I stitched with the teeth of the zipper turned out and then turned the teeth in when I was done.

The pattern called for the head hole to be cut out in one oval piece. I was supposed to use bias tape to finish it and then attach it as a pocket. (It was really cute and minimal waste all at the same time.) I wanted to do something else. I really wanted a pocket that could fit my phone. I made these 2 rectangles into 2 pockets for the front of my jacket. 

I folded the top of the pocket under and stitched it down. I ironed the edges on the sides and bottom under. Once the jacket was hemmed and finished I could figure out where to put the pockets.

I used a straight stitch to attach the pockets to the jacket. My jacket was done and I loved it. 

I did a phone test. The size was perfect. Now, about those bag handles. 

My mother-in-law did some work to make these so I AM going to honor that by using them as best I can. But I am really low on fabric now. 

Here is a quick overview of the bag. I had one strip of fabric left from the jacket. The bag went together easily.

I stitched it all together with my serger but I also reinforced the top corners with my sewing machine and that was it. 

My bag was done and ready to go out with my new jacket. 

Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- I wear this coat all the time. It is light weight so I like how it looks and feels.