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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / The Great Dress Challenge on: March 22, 2011 06:53:14 PM

I have been way into re-purposing clothes lately. My mom had given me a challenge months and months ago.
Look at this hideous dress she found at a campus clothing exchange.

I was stumped. For the longest time there was nothing I liked about it. I put it on my dress-form for inspiration, and there it sat. Then about a month ago my bestie Tae came over and saw it on my sewing room. She pointed out that the print is pretty cute and the blue and purple are great colors. I also really liked the shape of the body.

Maybe it is the subtle signs of Spring but I decided I wanted a summer dress.

I cut the arms off, about 6" off the hem, and a (too?) deep v-neck.

Then I took the material I cut off the bottom and sewed it to the neck line in a faux wrap. Basically I just top stitched it.

Spring in New Mexico means wind so all the shots are action shots.

I love this dress! The only bad thing about this project is that it snowed last night, it's too cold to wear it to work tomorrow Sad .
It just goes to show that I can't give up on any garment no matter how ugly.

22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / 2.5 mens undershirts to yoga tank (lots o pics) on: February 21, 2011 01:04:11 PM
About a year and a half ago my mom went to the hospital with some serious health issues. Since then she made one positive life change after another. She quit smoking (15moths without a cigarette!), she started walking for health, she recently lost 10 lbs. Basically my mom is the bomb.

So her new thing is Zumba Latin aerobics. She is Puerto Rican so it makes sense. She got the videos but wanted to take a class, and she found one at Body (a fancy yoga studio). The only time I had ever been in Body was when I saw a pair of awesome workout pants on a woman in my dance class. She told me she had gotten them at Body (also a yoga boutique). I went to check them out and...well guess how much they were.

$80! Eighty bucks for workout pants! Anyway I didn't want to go to the fancy yoga studio in shabby duds, and I didn't want to go out and buy a new tank...so I made one.

Here is me in my new tank and my mom in a workout shirt she re-purposed (check out that purple ruffle)

I googled yoga tank and used these two for inspiration:

I started with two cheep white men's undershirts (shhh don't tell my husband)and ended up needing a third for the straps and trim. I put one shirt inside the other and cut them like so.

I gathered the top and added a bias tape like strip to the top and messed it up like I usually do when working with bias tape like things. Then I tried to seam rip it and made a hole in the bias tape and instead of starting over I just added another strip of bias tape that made a sweet detail on the top.

This is what it looked like after i sewed it all up. I ended up taking in the sides a bit under the arms just to give it more shape.

Then I tie dyed it with some liquid Rit dye I already had. I have to say I love the heart and it was easier than you might think. I found the tutorial online, let me know if you want it and I'll find it again.

Here is that layered detail of the top.

And the back.

And the back on me.

This feels like one of the most professional looking things I have made. I really like it and I have to say Zumba class was crazy fun.
23  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Another "my first felting" ...and the evil kitty! on: February 05, 2011 09:18:51 AM
I know I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head, but I turned in my first epic grad school paper this week (a day early I might add) and s a reward I got myself a needle felting kit. I have always been amazed by the needle felting people do and its harder than I thought but totally rewarding.

Anyway I made the fairy first and It was good for learning but the mouse is my favorite. I call him Algernon and I love him. I only got two colors of roving so I had to die the pink for the ears myself but thats wasn't too hard. I learned a lot from making him. On my next I will probably make him out of grey and add the white to his belly (duh) and he's like one of those weebles that wobble cuz his bottom is so round.

 I can't wait to make my next.

Tips/suggestions welcome Smiley

Ummm minutes after posting this I went into the living room to find....

Oh the horror!

24  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My Billy Cardi on: January 19, 2011 10:24:12 AM
My mother-in-law just gave me like 10 yards of white jersey and I thougth it would be a perfect opportunity to make a Billy Cardi. I saw the tutorial here http://www.luvinthemommyhood.com/2010/10/billy-cardi-tutorial-with-katy-from-no.html

I'm all about mending or re-purposing but sometimes there is a garment that is just too far gone to bring back. But in the spirit of not letting anything go to waist I found a way to give this dieing shirt one last purpose before I send it out of this mortal coil.

I think this is from my early days of bleach pen-ing. I have had it for years and basically it just started to disolve. Check out that sleeve.

Anyway the tutorial is great and it's super easy so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel, but you should check it out for full instructions.

My mother-in-law gave me about 10 yards of white jersey fabric and I couldn't wait to make my own Billie Cardi. basically you cut your old shirt on the seams. All you need to make the pattern is a sleeve (good cuz I only had one good one), the back, and half of the front.

I think the original tutorial uses patten paper but I like to cut out the middle man. I just pinned my shirt pieces to the fabric and cut it out.

I loved how "lovinthemommyhood" used a broach instead of a button, partly because there are so many ways to close this cardi, but also because I hate making button holes. So I needed a broach. I used my tried and true vintage earring to button technique.

One vintage earring minus clip...

plus pin back and hot glue.

My favorite way is the sort of high collard method.

But it is super comfy just left open.

And for a blazery look I like to close it just under my bust.

Overall the project was super easy. After looking at the originals I think I would have made the front flaps bigger and the sleeves a little wider. I still have a ton of fabric so I will totally try this again.
25  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Easy Peasy Onsies. on: January 09, 2011 08:01:29 AM
My bestie Sarah is expecting her first child in June, so for Christmas baby stuff right? not so fast. She won't know a gender until next week Sad. Believe it or not it was hard to come up with cute gender neutral gift. I was walking through Target in the office supplies section and I saw it. Printable iron on transfers. I went to The Graphics Fairy (my favorite place for vintage images if you can think of it it's there) and ta-da!

This is my fav!

26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Strapless A-line Calvin Klein Little Black Peacock Dress! on: November 30, 2010 08:35:24 AM
Behold the Strapless A-line Calvin Klein Little Black Peacock Dress! (insert timpani here)

I bought this dress at T J Max for a bargain but have never had a place to wear it. I love the lines but think its a bit plain.

I also love peacocks.

I used blue and purple silk dupioni fat eights (all I could afford) and a zig zag stitch. This is also my first real attempt at applique. I didnt have fusible interfacing but going slow and pinning heavily seamed to work. And I think I am well on my way to mastering the zig-zag on my sewing machine (we have fought about this in the past).

Here are the pieces I cut.

I appliqued them together before applique-ing them to the dress.

Then I pinned the feathers to the dress where I wanted them and traced the rest of the feather with a pencil. Much zig-zaging Later and voila!

The dress has a lot of pleating and boning in the bodice. There are places where my machine wouldnt zig zag over to spite my pleading, but the stitches are just straight in those spots and all together I dont think it looks bad.

27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Vintage clothes to Aprons on: November 23, 2010 10:24:10 AM
I turned some great thrift store finds into aprons for Christmas gifts.

I have kind of gotten into the smock style apron.

28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Mens Shirt to Pretty Pintucks on: November 17, 2010 10:41:35 AM
I wanted to make something pretty and I am obsessed with the idea of converting a mens shirt. I also wanted a chance to try a new technique: Pin-tucks. I read many tutorials on them, then kind of ignored them all. They all say to sew your pintucks before you cut the pattern which doesn't really work for my purposes.

This shirt was quite an adventure but I am really pleased with how it came out.

It pulls a bit between the first two buttons. If I did this again I would use a larger shirt. This was an Old Navy mens medium.

I realized I would have to take off the pocket for the pin-tucks to work. I used a seam ripper but got lazy and pulled...and tore a small but noticeable hole. Lesson: patience.

Here is the hole on the finished shirt.

A piece of the lined cuff, some hot glue, and a pinback later...


I also added some vintage lace trim I scored from a good will grab bag.

29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Two Sweaters to...Two Sweaters. on: November 02, 2010 08:25:29 AM
That's right I started with these two sweaters and ended up with...well two sweaters. but they are both far cooler than the ones they started as.

I cut the collar and the bottom ribbing off the purple sweater. To put on the green one.

and the back:

It seemed like a waste of the part I like of the purple sweater so I decided to save it and make a warm up shrug for dance class. I lettuce edged the bottom and ta-da!

DH said it was sexy Wink

30  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / vintage lace + modge podge = dressup crown on: October 27, 2010 11:43:05 AM

I scored some random lengths of vintage trim from a Goodwill grab bag that were too small to sew into anything, but too cool to toss.

Then I saw these crowns and I fell in love. This is the second I have made and the method I have found differes a bit from the link.

Here is the method that seems to work for me.

Lay your lace or trim on a length of tin foil or wax paper and cover in a healthy coating of Modge Podge. I let mine dry overnight.

I use a generous ammount of MP to ensure the crown is stiff enough. This means that after I peel it from the foil I need to trim the excess glue. no biggie.

The beauty of using Modge Podge is that the lace trim is flexible when dry. You can bend it (and even fold it) without it cracking. I bent mine and sewed the crown closed overlapping a little. It doesn't matter the color of thread as I painted mine last.

I painted mine antique bronze then highlighted in gold.

Move kitty out of the way...

and Viola!

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