I like to call this a mash-up creation, not sure if I invented that term or not. What next for a mash up.... tea towels and hot pads?!
Creativity happens anywhere. The thought for this shirt came in the middle of the table coverings isle at Savers. I found this amazing embroidered table runner and new it needed a new life as something else. The size was about perfect to be a "yoke" of a shirt as I held it up in the mirror. I was too excited to wait so I searched the store for something that could be the bottom part of this shirt and found a mustard color scarf that I thought would work. Can you imagine the other customers as I am holding up a table runner and scarf to my body in the mirror with a stupid kid-like grin on my face?! Haha!
Next, I pinned the center and a few other spots, trying to keep it evenly spaced. Remembering to fold down the edge a bit. Then I took my time and sewed all around the scarf edge to attach it to the top piece. I made little folds in the scarf material as I went to gather it. There is probably a better way to do this part, but it worked OK for me. :)
All done! Now looking at the shirt...it is almost long enough to wear as a dress, maybe with a dress slip underneath? If you use a scarf that is non-transparent and made it a tad longer it would make a cute dress!
I like to call this a mash-up creation, not sure if I invented that term or not. What next for a mash up.... tea towels and hot pads?!
This vintage dress has been waiting to be updated since I wore it as "baby hands" for SNL dress up day at the YMCA. Yes, we workout in ridiculous outfits....I am proud to say that I kept my baby hands for the entire 60 minutes! I did like the dress in its' original form, but the collar was a bit annoying and it was a tad too long. The dress also was not lined so I thought it would make more sense to turn it into something more like a swimsuit cover up. Plus, the color/pattern was screaming 4th of July.
I did a lot of guessing with this refashion, and learned what to do next time, (story of most of my crafting endeavors). Here is what I learned:
Here are some pictures of my process. I am not going to make a full tutorial as I would change most of what I did the first time anyway ;-).
Learned a lot from this project, that is actually a good feeling. My brain is starting to get a little squishy from summer break, so this was a nice challenge! ;-)
Anyone else out there totally replace elastic casings with sport elastic?! Or is it super expensive if you don't buy it in a dusty shoe box at an estate sale? Why haven't I heard more about this stuff?!
Serger is actually an "overlocking sewing machine", I guess. One of the many facts I continue to learn in this journey of learning to sew. Most of you know that my lovely hubby gave me a serger/over-locker sewing machine for my birthday this year (never mind that was April and it is now the end of June...). Feeling very nervous to open it up and try it out, I recruited the help of my amazing sewing/serging momma. She denied me at first because she claims that because she was self-taught when it came to her over-locker machine, she wasn't qualified to help me with mine! ;-) I think that self taught ventures are actually the best way to learn a lot of the time. You actually use your own brain to discover, it may take longer, but I think there is more retention.
Speaking of taking a long time... here is the story of how it took my mother and I about 4 hours to even get my new Janome New Home My Lock 634D machine to even start.!. :-O
We started by taking it out of the box, which went flawlessly. Next we we plugged in the power cord/foot pedal. Which, by the way, is extremely short. It barely reaches the floor with very little table overlap! I might start researching if there are such things as "sewing machine cord extenders" because it is pretty annoying that the only way my foot pedal can reach the ground is to have it draped in font of my table. I would much prefer to have it neatly around the back!!
We then oooo and ahhh at all of the intricate thread weaving that already came set up when it was shipped. "How nice" we commented, that we wouldn't have to deal with threading the machine for the first time, because threading a serger is like playing Operation....you literally use tweezers! So, thank goodness came all threaded up.
The needles (yes there are two) came in the down position, I am sure for safety reasons during shipping. So to get started all we had to do was rotate the balance wheel by hand (just like a regular sewing machine) to move the needles to a higher position. Easy enough, right? Apparently not. The wheel would not budge! My Mom tried to rotate the wheel forwards, backwards, to no avail. It was definitely "locked" we decided. Again, probably for safety reasons.
So here is the part of our evening that took up a good two hours, trying to unlock the balance wheel. We pushed on anything that resembled a button. We opened up both bottom sections and rotated anything that would rotate, flipped anything that would flip, turned the machine off and on, pulled the threads in every direction, raised and lowered the presser foot, tried different tension settings, literally anything we could think of. After each "change" my mom would try again to rotate the wheel, with no luck.
We finally gave in and un-threaded the machine. Nooooooo!!! All that nice thread weaving that was already done for us. We thought, perhaps the thread was tangled somewhere which was preventing the wheel from moving. Nope, not it.
At one point we were convinced that there was this tiny black piece too close to the needles underneath, and it looked maybe plastic, like it was more of a safety measure. We almost took out the screw driver and to remove this mysterious piece. Just to be sure though, my Mom took out a magnet to test it and sure enough it was metal, and therefore, most likely a permanent, important piece that should stay put.
OK, so by this point, we had looked on sewing forums online, watched weird monotone YouTube videos that were no help, and I had even called and left a voice mail at the Janome company. We were about ready to give up and I was very frustrated. Using this rare frustrated state I put some muscle behind my rotation and yanked on the wheel.. and what do you know, it rotated!! My mom looked up from her intense concentration on the thick owners manual in disbelief. "What did you do? What did you push?" she jolted! "I just turned it really really hard!" I answered. All that time, no special trick lever, all we needed was a little bit more elbow grease.
My mother, defeated and embarrassed, I think was only trying to be a little bit more cautious as to not break my very expensive birthday present before I even got to use it once. It's okay mom, without you there I would have been too scared to even take it out of the box. So, even though I didn't need your strength (or lack there of) I needed your guidance, intelligence, support and confidence to accomplish this momentous task of simply turning on my sewing machine.
Lesson learned: my mother and I are both weak...err.... strong in our own ways! We compliment each other perfectly for any project at hand! I love you Mom!!
We then, re-threaded the machine, which took another good hour, and I serged about 12 inches! That was all I had patience for in the end. But, I did it! I actually serged! In the end, I am glad I had to re-thread the machine, because I have a basic understanding of how to do it now. Not that I remember much, but at least I've done it once. We still think that they balance wheel is too sticky and hard to move manually., My mom's machine does not feel the same. So I might still talk to someone at the company just to be safe.
I am not ready to give a review of this particular machine just yet, 12 inches isn't quite enough to judge yet. However, I can say it felt amazing to finish an edge with no pinning, no folding and no ironing! :) Can't wait to do more!
This refashion project was inspired by a Pinterest image, but the top was made from a jean jacket. I have been searching Goodwill for the perfect jean jacket to give that a try, but haven't landed one yet. I still wanted to attempt this look, so I pulled out an ancient white sleeveless button-up from my "save for projects" boxes (yes "boxes" is plural...). Because it was already sleeveless I didn't do much to the top other than cut the bottom off, leaving the button section in the front.
For the bottom part of this shirt I wanted to be quick, aka, lazy, so I headed to Goodwill and found a large chiffon dress. This way, it was already hemmed for me! This dress was only $4, had a lining underneath, and I have a lot of fabric still left!
This is not a tutorial, but perhaps I will make a tutorial if I find that perfect jean jacket and attempt this again!
If I get enough comments below, maybe I will make a tutorial for y'all ;-)
Here is quick and easy way to turn a scarf into a beach cover-up. I have so many scarves and wanted a new swim suit cover-up for our Mexico trip (that can not come any faster...it was sleeting rain this morning....ugh)!! I also got some great advise from a coworker/friend about the actual way to use bias tape and it worked beautifully!!! Thanks Carole!!!
Here is how I made my cover-up:
In the above picture, I forgot to label that the scarf is folded in half, with the fold at the top (where I cut out the triangle for the neck opening).
The next pictures are how I used the single fold bias tape to hem my neckline. The sleeves were already hemmed because they were the sides of the scarf, and I left the bottom with the fringes.
Sew along the fold crease closest to the raw edge.
Flip garment inside out and fold the bias tape onto the wrong side. Keep folds tucked under.
Sew along the folded edge of the bias tape that is furthest from top edge of neckline.
Yay for bias tape! To try and fold, press and pin that messy raw edge twice would have been a nightmare!!
Side note, this cover-up really looks more appealing on a model, but considering my legs have been covered up for 7 months I am NOT going there right now! So, perhaps I will update with a live photo after our vacation! ;-)
So, here is another project from "refashion weekend" as it turned out to be. All this sewing was spurred on by the random 9.9 inches of snow we got on Thursday evening causing a snow day on Friday followed by a weekend of horrifically cold weather & state of emergency road conditions. I also think this hit at a perfect time for me. I haven't done much sewing after Christmas present season, I usually need a break after that big creative push, but this weekend the creative juice was back baby!
A while ago I came across the picture below on Pinterest and knew it was my next "men's dress shirt refashion". I love how simple and crisp it looks, and adore the way the bow girlies it up a bit!
Yesterday I decided to give it a try and I am thrilled with the results. I did not take step by step pictures, needed to just flow through the process with this one, but it was not tricky at all. Basically I traced shapes from a tank I already own and put the pieces together! The striped shirt was a thrift store find about 3 years ago that I used the cuffs for a project. The white top pieces were actually from a different men's dress shirt I had laying around. :) Yay for free!
The bow is made from a long strip and then I hot glued the middle piece around. Not sure if this will hold up in the washer/dryer so I will probably use a delicate cycle. The bow is hand-stitched to the bodice.
The most time consuming part of this project was hemming the collar/arm holes. Anyone have a better way than pressing & turning twice? Ug, not my favorite! How about sneaking into my mom's house late at night with a ski mask and stealing her Serger?!! ;)
Hope you are inspired!! Have any great Pinspiration for me?! I'd love to see ideas!!
It's ANOTHER snow day here in MN!! What a winter! Now, I am not complaining about still being in my PJs at 11:00am, but I sure hope that I am not still going to school in the middle of June while my husband is out on the boat!!! To avoid thinking about that I have been sewing away in my craft room this morning and turned out this beauty.
I did not take a before picture of the sweatshirt (sorry), but you can probably imagine it. I added the navy polka dot fabric and that's it. The sweatshirt is a lucky find from JoAnn Fabrics actually. I just looked online and it looks like they do not carry this type of sweatshirt at the moment, but maybe after this post goes viral they will read this and bring it back?. ;-) I really love the giant collar, and if I can remember correctly, the price after my 50% off coupon was amazing.
Here is what I did to jazz up my sweatshirt:
1. Cut a piece of fabric for the bottom ruffle. My fabric was a light weight chiffon. To get the measurement, measure around the waist of your sweatshirt and double it. (I think my piece was actually only 69 inches long and was made by piecing two strips together and it turned out just fine.) I made my strip 3.5 inches tall.
2. Cut a piece of fabric to line the collar piece. I simply laid my fabric over my sweatshirt collar and cut about 1 inch wider than each edge.
3. Fold under each edge of both the ruffle and the collar piece and press with a really hot iron. The fabric did not iron the best but it still helped when I was pinning. So fold under about 1/4 inch and press....then fold under another 1/4 inch and press again. This way no raw edges are exposed. This is the longest part of the process but helped so much when pinning & sewing the pieces to the sweatshirt.
4. Hem the sides and bottom edges of the ruffle. The top edge will still be pressed, but will get sewn when you sew it to the sweatshirt.
5. Divide the ruffle piece into equal parts (I think I did 8) and mark with pins. Then divide the sweatshirt bottom into the same number of parts and also mark with pins. Now match up the pins and pin the ruffle to the sweatshirt. The ruffle will be loopy because it is longer than the sweatshirt.
6. Stretch the sweatshirt as you sew on the ruffle. I had to really pull to get it to match up at each pin. Sew with a straight stitch. Make sure your thread is the same color as your sweatshirt material.
7. Pin and sew the pressed lining onto the inside of the collar piece. I left mine a tiny bit from the edge.
All done! Now time to go shovel 9.9 inches of snow with the hubby. Luckily, it started as freezing rain so the snow blower won't work ;-). April Mexico trip can not come fast enough!!!
OK, so here is a quick tutorial on how I made this little catch-all bag from canvas and vinyl placemats! I followed a tutorial on Spool & Spoon blog but changed a few things. This lovely little number was made for a very special cousin, love ya girl....and next time you come for a visit I'd better see you using it!!! ;-) Kidding, kind of.
Pretty simple! I have been busy at work with some Christmas gifts as well that I can't post about yet because we still have about 14 more Christmas celebrations left... ;-) But here are some teasers: artful scissors, katniss Everdeen, and beer consumption. Muhahaha!!
I bet I have made over 20 Halloween costumes in my 30 years of life! My earliest costume construction memory is of my mom and I working sewing a Gypsy outfit when I was about 7. Then, there were all the costumes that Ang and I created throughout high school and college... can can girls, bugs, boxers, etc.! So this year is super sad because my husband and I do not have plans for Halloween yet and I haven't made a costume for myself!! Usually I have settled on an idea by August...and here it is October already!!
Luckily, I was commissioned to make a Halloween costume for Teacher Bud Beth's little peanut. She haphazardly agreed with her toddler when the 2 year old requested to be Lightning McQueen for Halloween, hoping she would forget. We all know how that turned out.... so my mission became to create a little girls Cars costume. Mom informed me that she has a shirt, but perhaps I could make a girly tutu to match?
Here is what I came up with:
To make the tutu I followed this blog post on Heart Break Kids.
The ribbon is from Jo-Ann Fabrics.
The hair bow is made from an alligator clip, the checked ribbon, left over tulle & a lightning bolt cut from black and yellow felt.
Now what to make for myself?! Here are some of my ideas:
Max from Where the Wild Things Are:
A mail order bride: (Don't normally like cheesy costumes...but it would be SO Project Runway to make a dress from envelopes?!!!
A paper doll: Also fun to create.
Comic Book Character:
Anyone else still get excited about costume making?! What should I be??? Comments/suggestions welcome!
OK, so the dress wasn't that "easy", but I wanted to play on words for the title. :) My last weekend hurrah before school starts, and of course the depressing thoughts pop into my head, "Serena, what did you do with all of your time off this summer?!" As a teacher, I know I can't complain about summer off, but I know other teachers might agree that we get more things done during the school year somehow. How does that work?! I do work part time in the summer, but 80% of the sewing/crafting/house projects I had envisioned remain uncompleted. :( So Labor day weekend, for me, usually is jam-packed with projects to make myself feel better. So far I have cleaned, cooked, got things ready for a sale, painted and stained 2 dressers and sewed a dress...and I still have 11 hours left today!
In my rushed state, hopefully this will be a short post. Here is quick tutorial for my Labor Day Dress:
I started with a stretch lace tank top ($5 from Heartbreaker) that I had already cut the bottom off for another project (Courtney!!). I cut two pieces to make a "bandeau" top for underneath the lace tank. The pieces were doubled up (with the fold at the top) for coverage ;-).
For the skirt, I traced a jersey knit maxi dress I already own. I made the waist a little wider since I was going to be shirring the waistline, bringing it in. Make sure the stretch goes horizontal.
For more details about shirring, check out my February Maxi Dress Tutorial.
After the top is pinned to the bottom, then sew with a zig zag stitch all along the raw edges. You will probably have to pull the skirt layer a little bit to match up with the top layers. Then that is it! I didn't even hem the bottom, I don't think it will fray.
Any teachers out there agree that you get more done during the school year!? Anyone else have Labor Day projects they are working on?