Friday, March 31, 2023

Making a Wrap Shirt

 Hello Readers. One thing I learned from Covid was that my life and my body are always changing. I wanted to make a top that would always fit me. A top that would adjust to my changing size and shape.

A wrap top would be the best.

A while back I recovered this stool cushion with this fabric. I had some left over. It was a weird L shape and there wasn't much of it. Could I make something to wear? I always try to use my scraps so I don't waste fabric.

Here is a close up. It's such a great design. The wild print is going to help me. 

I made the L shape into more of a square. You can see the new seams here. I didn't try to match the pattern to hide the seam, the wild print will hide the new seams well enough. I wanted a wrap shirt so I needed a front and back that were the same size and shape.

I made 2 equal pieces with 1/2 of an oval in each for the head hole. I used a sewing machine to connect the shoulder seams. If I had more fabric I would have made the top longer but as long as the 2 pieces are equal the shirt will fit well. (At this point I noticed that there was a JoAnn Fabric's logo on the edge of the fabric that I had to cut off.) I made sure my design was right side up on both pieces

I made sure my design was right side up on both pieces before I sewed the shoulders together. I didn't want a bunch of upside-down faces on one side of my shirt. If I had used a solid/stripes/polka dots, this wouldn't be something to consider. When I put it on the dress form I thought it looked really short. 

I was right, it was really short. This is all the fabric I had so I was going to have to keep going with it. My shirt will be a cropped length but you can make any length you want.
I didn't want to lose a millimeter by turning the edges under and I needed ties at the waist so I used bias tape to finish the edges.

The bias tape wraps around the edges to cover them. I sewed the bias tape around all the edges and the neck hole. I used extra long pieces at the waist that would be used to tie the shirt around my body. That might sound confusing...
Bias tape close up! The bias tape is like a... taco and the fabric is the filling. (And now I want tacos.)
Here is a better look at the whole shirt. The blue bias tape is a great finish for the sides and neck. I used the bias tape along the waist also. I made the bias tape at the waist so long that it hangs off the edges and it can tie around my waist. 

The shirt doesn't have closed sides. I create sides when I tie the shirt on myself. The ties from the front piece are tied in the back. The ties from the back piece are tied in the front as you can see above. The ties are adjustable so this shirt will always fit comfortably.

I wore the shirt over a simple straight skirt with a very high waist, that way the shirt is the star of the show. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- This top is so sweet. It's the best. I could never find it at the store. That is the beauty of sewing. It is fun and I love it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Crochet Top

 Hello Readers. I had one more crochet blanket that I wanted to use to make something to wear. Could I make a simple sweater? I thought I could so I gave it a go. 

I did it. Before and after.

This blanket was in good shape and I loved the 70's colors. It had a lot of openness in the design. That made me a little concerned that it would be hard to sew together. Would it fray like crazy?

I used a sweater that I already had to get an idea of the shape I wanted to cut out. I thought it would fray and I was right. I cut out this shape and quickly got it to the sewing machine.

I couldn't just sew the side seams together because there were to many open spaces in the weave. I used bias tape to "wrap" the edges of cut yarn. I put the cut edges in between the 2 layers of the bias tape. I used a wide zigzag stitch to hold all these layers together. When the side seams were done I cut out a head hole and finished it with bias tape as well. 

Full disclosure- This was such a difficult project. The sewing machine did not like sewing this at all. It was so uneven that my sewing machine could handle it. The thread broke over and over and the needle broke several times too. I love the colors so much though I am glad I did it but I am glad it's over. And I don't think I will do a project like this again. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.

***Year End Update- This blanket to sweater was so fun and I love the warm fall colors.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Making a Bag from Scraps

 Hello Readers. I refashioned a quilted skirt in my last post and I had some of the fabric left over. I wanted to make a matching bag from the scrap pieces. 

Before and after.

I had these 2 scraps from the bottom of my skirt to make my bag. I don't like to waste scraps of fabric and I thought a matching bag would be fun.

I didn't have a pattern and I just tried to piece together 2 rectangles with sides and a bottom and I thought it was going well. (Spoiler-It was not going well.)
I had this olive green belt and I was going to use it as my strap. 
I put the bag together and.... you guys it was a lopsided mess.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. 

I made a new shape with the scraps of the first bag. It was getting smaller each time so I had to get this right.

I liked the new little bag.

I liked the bag on it's own but it will be great with the skirt too.



Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Quilted skirt

 Hello Readers. I found this amazing quilted skirt at a clothes swap and I was really drawn to it. I took it home without trying it on. (Obviously I don't strip down at a clothes swap.) I really liked it as it was but it didn't really fit well. 

Before and after.

The skirt had zippers on each side. I thought they looked really cool. I didn't really want to remove them.

I cut off as much of the length as I could without cutting the zippers. I shortened it as much as I could. 

I made it shorter and tried it on inside out so I could mark it if I wanted to alter it anywhere else. 

I had to alter the waist a little to make it fit well. They only place I could make a change was down the back seam. I took in a few inches at the waist and sewed the new seam all the way don the back of the skirt so the seam would be smooth and look like it was always there.

I removed the belt loop and then sewed it back on, right on top of the new seam.

I liked the skirt in a casual outfit too. I will tell you more about the matching bag next time. (Spoiler- It was a hot mess.) Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 

***Year End Update- This skirt is really warm and comfortable and warm. And I do love green.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Refresh Kitchen Cabinets With New Knobs

 Hello Readers. I have lived in the same house for 20 years. Some things are getting a little worn out, of course. All those years, the kids, the dogs and everyday life can wear things out. One of the places I can see the wear is the kitchen, specifically the cabinets. I wanted to do something bold and different to brighten it up and I decided to replace the cabinet knobs. 

These gold knobs were what the builder decided we were getting when the house was built. We lived with them for all this time and they were ... fine, for a while anyway.
This poor sad knob had been to war and back. I replaced it with a new bright fresh knob and gave the kitchen a fresh new look.
This little rack was my inspiration. These blue and white ceramic knobs were so fun. This was hanging in my daughter's apartment. It occurred to me that I could buy some knobs like this and I could replace my beat up old gold knobs with new bright knobs. It would really freshen up my kitchen cabinets.

I needed more knobs so I started shopping around. Look at all the different shades of blue in these knobs. If I wanted new knobs to have a visual impact then bright colors and various patterns would be best. These are the knobs I chose.

This is a look at my kitchen before replacing any knobs. The cabinets are all white and the counter is blue. If you think there is a blue and white theme to my choice of new knobs, you are right. Those blue knobs will really work well here and give the kitchen  more custom look.

 The first step was removing the gold knobs. I used a screwdriver to help loosen the screw from the inside of the cabinet and the knobs came right off. 
There was 20 years of crud under those old knobs. YUCK!!  I scrubbed all the dirt away on each cabinet.
The new knobs I chose came fully assembled on a long screw. I pushed the screw through the hole in the cabinet. There were already knobs on these cabinets so I did not need to drill holes. 
 Once the knob was in the hole I put the washer (Metal O) on the screw. The 6 sided nut went on last. I tightened them up by hand. You can use a wrench to tighten the whole assembly if needed.

Here is a video reenactment of the whole process.
 I love the little pops of blue and the variety of the shades of blue.
Here is a little side by side comparison of the old and new knobs. The blues really pop. The blue knobs look great against the white cabinets.
And one more before and after picture. 
I love the effect of the new brightly colored knobs. Will it always stay this neat and orderly? No, but the new fun knobs definitely add a new fresh look to the overall decor. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself.
 ***Year End Update- These knobs are fun a colorful. They really made my cabinets look more custom. They seem to catch to the eye.








Friday, March 17, 2023

Using a Scarf to Make a Sweater Larger

 Hello Readers. Today's post is about a beautiful green sweater. I liked it so much and it was so soft but it was also a little tight. It had a matching scarf with it so I thought it would look great if I used it to make the sweater larger. it would match perfectly. Let's do it!

Before and after. 

I found the side seams of the sweater. I needed to cut along those seams to open up my sweater. 
I cut the sweater in 2 pieces. I needed one for each side of the sweater.
I made a pointed end on the scarf piece so it would fit into the underarm area of the sweater easily.
I clipped it all in place so it wouldn't get out of hand while I was sewing. 
This is a look at the new piece sewn in. You can see the stitches from my serger.
Here is a look at whole the sweater from the outside.
A close up!
And tucked in. Wearing it this way hides the tassels from the scarf but it's good to have options. Thanks for reading along, now go make something fun for yourself. 
***Year End Update- This sweater is still a winner for me. I love the color and the style is versatile.