Category Archives: sewing

Upcycling

This was my husband’s shirt.

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It’s a little, um, Whoa Polkadot Polyester, and despite his affinity to it’s vintage awesomeness, he generously donated it to my upcycling project 2.0.

What’s upcycling? It’s a newfangled word I just learned! It’s when you take something old/ no longer useful/ unwanted and change it up to make something  of better value/ use/ quality.

I upcycled Keith’s shirt into a dress for my daughter, thanks to a fabulous tutorial from Made. Yes, I am a big fan of Made.

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I opted to make it 3/4 sleeves and just moved the button holes to make the sleeves fit and puff a bit. I had some extra satin blanket binding left over from another project so I used that for the waistband.

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Of course I couldn’t let the leftover scraps go to waste, so I made a wee bow tie for the little man.

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Adorable, aren’t they?

New dress, new bow tie, nearly no money spent. I love projects like that.

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Making of a Superhero- a tutorial

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Do you have a little superhero? Want one? All you need are a few simple tools and a few beginner sewing skills.

Materials:

1/2 yard of fabric

Inch of velcro

Scrap fleece

Scrap ribbons, buttons

Step 1- Measure and cut your fabric. About 22 inches wide by 30 inches long will do.

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Step 2: Make a narrow hem all the way around your cape. Get out your measuring tool and fold over the edge 1/4 inch and press. Fold that over again so that the cut edge is inside of the fold and press again. Do this on all sides of your cape. You can pin this or not, I chose not to because the fabric I used holds a crease really well so pins weren’t necessary.

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With the right side up, sew all the way around the edge of your cape, using your presser foot as a guide. You can use contrasting thread if you are confident in your stitching, or use a matching color to cover up any slip-ups.
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Step 3- Add a piece of velcro at the top edges to create and easy-on, easy-off cape. I get a little nervous with things tied around my kids necks, so I use velcro alot, for aprons, baby slings, etc. With velcro your babes won’t be asking you to tie on their cape every time they want to wear it. Yay for independence!

Step 4- Embellish away! Add ribbons, bows, letters, or whatever you want to make this cape your own. This one was a birthday gift for a friend’s little girl, so I used her initial “A” on the back. I used pinking shears to cut out the fleece and straight stitched it onto the back of the cape and added a pink ribbon along the bottom.

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I used two 3 x 5 inch pieces of fleece to make super-hero cuffs and added a couple buttons to complete the superhero package.

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Have fun but be forewarned-

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Superheroes

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are notoriously

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difficult

Superhero

to photograph.

Just ask Peter Parker.

Twirly Whirly

If only I could bank up “mom-you-are-awesome-points”… I would have totally racked up quite a few today.
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The look on her face and this completely unprompted pose says it all- THIS IS SO AWESOME MOMMY! THANK YOU FOR MY NEW SKIRT!!!

These mom-points, if they could exist, could be traded in for those times when your child is in melt-down mode over the latest catastrophe. We have a lot of those. Ahh… how I wish I could just flip a switch and the tantrum would be over… or whip out a “I made you a really cool skirt yesterday” card and she’d snap out of it….

But I digress.

I was working on the binding this afternoon when a little visitor snuck out of her room during naptime and into the office.

“So, Mom, how is that skirt going along?” she asked sweetly. I told her it wasn’t finished yet, but that it would be very soon. She happily skipped into the living room and kept herself occupied for about 4 minutes before checking in on me again.

“So, Mom, how is everything going? Is it done yet? Do you need anything? What about this?” (holding up a seam ripper) “Do you need this?” She just cracks me up sometimes. Checking in on my progress every few minutes.

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Once the skirt was finished, there was simply no postponing the wearing of said skirt. Sweet Pea promptly put it on over her pajamas (yes, she wears pjs for naptime, but that’s another story for another day!) and pranced around the house, twirling, swirling, and singing.

I made her a matching headband too, but I think I’ll modify the pattern to make it thinner next time. The thickness of the headband is a little much for her fine/thin hair. I guess she didn’t inherit my mane, but then again she didn’t inherit my look-at-a-cheeze-it-and-gain-five-pounds metabolism, so I guess it’s better that way!

I used Simplicty 2356, a pattern that I purchased on sale at Joann’s a month or so ago for $1. The fabric was a bit pricier, but I can’t remember exactly how much it cost. Maybe $4-6 a yard? The cute fabrics always cost more. I really need to start keeping track of that sort of thing, especially if I’d like to sell some of my creations! I used about a yard of both the main and contrast fabrics, plus some elastic that I already had on hand. I’d estimate this skirt cost about $8-10 dollars to make in materials. It took me about 2 hours to complete, but I think I could do it in less time if I was making several and made them assembly line style.

Next up is my first recycled clothing project!

Sewing Class

I met a friend through a local MOPS group a few years ago who SEWS! Imagine that? This friend, Michelle, ended up buying a house a few blocks from me this past year! A sewing friend that lives close by! How fun! Someday when we are not imprisoned in our homes due to our offspring’s napping schedule, we might be able to craft and sew together. Someday.

But for now, we took a class at Joann’s together.

Viola! Simplicity 2599:

Simplicity 2599

The techniques we learned were handling delicate fabrics, making neck facings, darts, and RUFFLES! I didn’t think I was into the whole ruffle bit, but now I have seen the light. It’s fairly easy and it’s something that I can use to add a feminine touch to garments for both myself and my daughter. Come to think of it, you can probably put a ruffle on most anything. Purses, wallets, headbands. I think I could even make a really wide and long “ruffle” to create garland for Christmas or a birthday decoration.

I highly recommend taking a sewing class. It’s always a good idea to get some help from a friend or teacher- in all areas of life!

Sadly, this doesn’t fit me. It’s huge. I need to either rip it apart and take it in, or start over and scrap this one.

Decisions, decisions.

Kid Couture

Did you know that “haute couture” means “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”? A little tidbit I learned today…

I delved into making a dress for my Sweet Pea. Simplicity 2320- a fun Project Runway inspired pattern with many variations. I used some (what looks cute in person) multi colored courdory that I found in the remnant bin at Joann’s.

She’s not used to modeling yet, so please excuse the deer-in-the-headlights look!

In the midst of making this jumper, I was taking a class at Joann’s with a friend and learned more about facings, pleats, and ruffles. This jumper was a great learning experience and I plan on sewing a different variation with sleeves.
Next up… the February Lady Sweater! Yes! I finally finished it!!!

 

To the Maternity Designers of the World

I’d just like to tell you that I do not look good in jewel tones. Please stop making EVERYTHING in DARK, DRAB colors!!!!

It’s tough enough to go shopping when you are 20 pounds heavier than you normally are, with a big ole belly in front, well knowing that what you are buying will only be worn for a few months. I have gone to the big box maternity store with nothing but a pair of jeans to show for it and have fruitlessly searched various department stores for clothes to no avail. I have no choices ANYWHERE!!! And there isn’t a Gap Maternity within 100 miles of me. Oye. Not like their color palette is much better.

And the Nicole Richie line? A hundred and twenty bucks  for a gray flowy bohemian-ish cardigan? Really? Not everybody is the offspring of a wealthy musician.

I’ve ordered this pattern from Burda:

I’m hopeful that *maybe* it’ll work out. Too bad that the model doesn’t look pregnant at all.

The Organza that Changed it All

With baby number 2 on his way soon, we decided to move Sweet Pea into the smallest of our 3 bedrooms. The room has slanted ceilings and a couple little nooks & crannies that we thought would be a fun space for a little girl’s room.

I had ideas and sketches incorporating white eyelet fabrics and soft pink gingham accents…

But then I saw this fabric in the clearance rack at Joann’s:

An embroidered organza for only six bucks. Sold.

Plans quickly changed. I found a great lining on sale with a coupon- I thought the white lining really made the embroidery pop- and the valence project is now my inspiration piece for the room.

I had never worked with sheer fabrics before or linings, but despite the slipping and patience required, I enjoyed it.

I can definitely see the allure of dress-making. With such pretty fabric in my hands I wondered if I would ever sew my daughter a formal dress… or gown… or even for myself! Someday…

The valence is now hanging up in Sweet Pea’s new room. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of her (big girl) bed while I work on the rest of the space!