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11  Ex-Boyfriend proves self worthwhile in form of old sweatshirt. in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MissJessica on: June 23, 2009 07:52:22 PM
I have kept this item around longer than I kept the guy to whom it belonged. Well, I finally decided to make it into something useful:

Usually I make cheesy Microsoft Paint collages for Facebook, and I will share this one with you even though it is embarrassing, because I am too lazy to pick out pics:


Repurposing this sweatshirt felt surprisingly gratifying, not only physically but emotionally. No more lurking reminders of ex-boyfriends! Only cute clothes, please! Though I did like it like this, too:

I don't care much about football one way or the other, but I do like Minnesota (where I currently live). And I do like sweatshirt dresses. I imagine wearing it in the fall with leggings and a turtleneck. Cozy. (In a funny coincidence, my high school and college mascots were both also Vikings.)

I can't decide what to do with the kangaroo pocket. I detached it with the intention of reattaching, but I don't know if it would look weird. The top of the "skirt" is gathered, and it I attach it much lower I'm worried it will be too crotch like. What do you think?

Thanks for looking!
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12  Hot heat yields hot tanks! in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MissJessica on: June 23, 2009 03:17:51 PM
It's been in the 90s in Minnesota, so I've taken to turning everything I can into tank tops.

I have a bin of old t-shirts and scraps which I'm slowly plowing through. My number one problem with tees is rotten armpits. My number two problem is that tees are often too short for me.

Here is one with a peacock and flower motif. Both were originally shirts from Forever 21 (notorious for weak armpits). Sorry about the industrial bra in the pics; it was too hot to change.

Here's one from a favorite fishy tee plus scraps:
before (note disgusting armpits):

after, with bonus fish face:

And here is me dreaming of a tropical vacation. With an ocean and daquiris, preferably.

Thanks for looking!
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13  The great t-shirt resurrection in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MissJessica on: May 30, 2009 08:16:15 AM
Here a few recent t-shirt recons.

The first is a two-become-one project:

As you can see, my favorite horsey shirt had become very rotten in the armpits. This is a constant problem with cheap t-shirts, but it means I get to do a lot of t-shirt recons. Yey! The yellow shirt was just too short. Here is how it turned out:

The next one is more elaborate than my usual attempts.

Sorry for the cheesy poses. The light blue tee came from a high school robotics competition in which some of my students participated. I liked the design but it was just too boxy. (Their robot's name was Scrappy.)

The neckline and sleeves on this tee dress are far from perfect, but I did spend a lot of time problem solving, and I'm happy with how it turned out. I wish I'd off set the bodice and waistline with the red or the dark blue. Here's a shot of the neckline in my filthy mirror (sorry):

The other parts of the dress were leftovers from another recon I did for Valentine's Day:

Polka dot shirt (with rotten armpits) and red long sleeve boxy shirt from Target.
Here's an action shot at a conference in Chicago. (On Valentine's Day. Much colder than today.) Yey free books!

Thanks for looking! T-shirts are amongst my favorite recon projects.
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14  Purple Alphabet top-- in which I learn an important lesson in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MissJessica on: May 22, 2009 08:08:30 PM
Here is the top I made to wear to an alumni party, after some modifications to McCall's 5621:

I intended to make a dress, but this is how it looked:

Not very flattering (hence the sad faces). I swear I made this in the right size. The top fits really well, but the bottom fits like it was made for someone with no hips. Or someone who is the same thickness from chest down, that thickness being, thin. This is how I thought it would fit:

So the important lesson I learned (which I should have learned from my last pattern project, here https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=305021.msg3492353#msg3492353 if you're interested) is that patterns will not always fit me perfectly. That's okay. That's why I'm learning to sew, so I can make clothes that fit me perfectly. I'm using a lot of patterns right now to help me learn the basics of construction.

Well, I think chopping the dress and making it a top was a good idea. Doesn't this look more flattering?

Here is a closer look at the neckline. This pattern was pretty easy, but this piece was a bit of a challenge. I ironed it three times and it still looks like this. Ah, well.

Here is the fabric:

I'm attending an alumni party tomorrow for my graduate school, and my degree (as well as several of my friends who are graduating) is in Writing, so I thought the alphabet was appropriate. The pink fabric is something I had laying around, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I like pink and I like purple, so it will be a-okay.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think.
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15  Weekend dress from Simplicity 2725 in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MissJessica on: May 14, 2009 05:34:26 PM
I made this dress to wear to my brother's graduation this weekend:

It was very quick and easy, though I was a little disappointed with how shapeless the skirt turned out:

Would you agree it does not look like this in the pattern?

It's the first time I used a Project Runway pattern, and I liked all the embellishment options, though I just kept it simple. Here I am as a wallflower:

The dress might be this shape on me because I am a bit disproportionate in my top half. No matter. Nothing a snazzy belt can't fix. Shazaam!

I love the little puff sleeves:

Ah, darts. A bosom's best friend. And a close up of the fabric, from grandma's stash, as is all my good stuff.

Oh yeah, and poster's in my living room are totally appropriate to include in this post, because guess what my brother is graduating with? A Masters... in Musicology.

Thanks for looking!
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16  T-shirt becomes skirt. I fall in love. in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MissJessica on: April 28, 2009 04:13:29 PM
I made a super easy t-shirt to skirt transformation:

(my best "fierce" pose in preparation for America's Next Top Model tomorrow)

It started life as this Grateful Dead tee from Goodwill (warning: Dead Heads should read no further, as a tee was harmed during the making of this skirt):

But I knew it could be more. I cut off the sleeves then cut the tee across the width. Bye bye Grateful Dead. The sleeves became the waistband and the neckline became my new pockets.

Here it is with an untucked shirt and a belt. Sadly, I am not wearing white nylons in these pics. Those are my legs.

And now I'm pretending I'm locked out.

I rather like how it looks like a burlap sack. And it is sooooo comfortable.

I did a similar thing to another tee but it was before I could post pics to Craftster. It looks like this and my friend has been borrowing it ever since I made it. Damn.

I made this with the intention of wearing it tomorrow, but ever since trying it on I just don't know if I can part with it.

Yessiree, life sure is pretty good, just me and my pocket:

Thanks for looking! Let me know whatcha think.
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17  Pink polka dot polyester: a recon ten years in the making in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MissJessica on: April 16, 2009 04:47:27 PM
So, my mom had this really cool shirt, only it wasn't so cool yet. It had elastic wrists and a way too high elastic waistband. It also had long saggy sleeves. But I knew it had the potential to be something more along the lines of this:

Now, even though I had the vision when I stole it from my mom's closet when I was in high school, I did not yet have the skills to make it happen. I cut the seams and even pinned the new armholes down, but I just could not sew the material. It kept bunching, tearing, twisting, and basically ruining my life. But I could not give up on the cool pink polka dots. I tried several attempts over the years, but kept bungling it and getting more frustrated. So it went into my "to finish" pile and remained dormant. Until now.

I am proud of my younger self for believing that one day I would have the skills necessary to complete this project. And now I do! Figuring out the whole ball point needle for knits was crucial. When I happened upon this shirt with the pins still in it from all those years ago I swooned with nostalgia.

This shirt was handmade to start with, and when I cut it open it still had notches from the original seamstress/seamster(?). That was pretty cool. Handmade rules! I have no idea who made it; my mom doesn't sew and it didn't look like my grandma's style.

I used the long sleeves to make a new waistband. I wish it were a liiiiiittle bit bigger (or that I was a little bit smaller Smiley so it would sit lower on my hips.

Here are a few ways to wear the neck, or, me being silly:

Today I wore it over the long sleeve pink tee, but pretty soon I hope to be rocking it like this:

Word. Thanks for looking, and to all the new sewers out there: don't stop believing.
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18  Belated Easter top from Simplicity 2970 in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MissJessica on: April 14, 2009 02:44:23 PM
So, I meant to make this in time for Easter, but a combination of procrastination and major misshaps led me to finish it this week instead. Ah, well. I still like it a lot:

This pattern was okay... I like the finished product but some of the instructions were difficult to understand. This led to some... I won't say mistakes, but I definitely had to rip out more than one seam.

Normally I take pattern instructions as mere suggestions. But this time I tried to be more perfectionist and follow all steps, even ironing (!) It paid off. It fit better and looked nicer than a lot of the non-knit items I've made.

Eventually my natural laziness and impatience overcame me, and I did this:

it would have taken three seconds to change to navy thread. Ugh. I sewed through elastic so I didn't feel it would be viable to rip it out.

It is plenty roomy, but I still thought it was flattering. (That's Mr. Penguin and some birthday party decorations in the hallway)

The pattern calls for rick rack and buttons. I didn't have appropriate rick rack, but I might try it next time.

I plan to sew some pink buttons on but I really wanted to wear it today, so I went with my "teacher" pin.

The wonderful fabric is more from my late grandma's stash. There was only a yard of the floral and half a yard of the polka dot, so I cut carefully. These two fabrics happened to be together in a fabric pile in my grandma's sewing room, which had no organization to it at all, so it was entirely random that they should be next to each other. I really love them together.

Thanks for reading!
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19  Circles and circles and circles again... 2 knit projects, both glorious in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MissJessica on: March 27, 2009 03:46:23 PM
I am very excited about my new dress:

It started its life as a humdrum oversize tee (my apologies to the Irish, but I am not Irish, and I bought this $1 Goodwill shirt for its deep green color):

With the help of two other t-shirts, lime green and black ones, it became the mod dress of my dreams:

From the back (I never know how to pose, so I get a little silly):

Close up of binding + my armpit, sorry:

It is bust-minimizing, which is nice:

Just for fun (with bonus filthy mirror!):

Detail of the little pleat at the back neck and contrast stitching:

Now, you might be thinking, all those circle appliques? How did she do it?

Well, I practiced a whole lot when I made this tee:

It's another favorite because it combined two things I wasn't wearing (Tori Amos concert tee relegated to sleep shirt after years of use and purple Forever 21 tee with some misguided puffy paint art) into something I love. I tried to find a pic of the Tori tee on ye olde internet, but to no avail. It was fairly similar to what I ended up doing with it. Making the new dress I had the song "Cloud on My Tongue" in my head (with the lyric that prompted this post title) so I threw on Under the Pink while sewing. It made me happy.

Thanks so much for looking!
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20  Pixelated Chickadees Knit T-Shirt (6 Pics) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MissJessica on: March 08, 2009 08:13:54 AM
This fabric is another awesome find from my grandma's stash. It was probably meant to be for kid's pajamas or something, but I love it:
I took apart one of my favorite old tees from Forever 21:

because it had this little problem:

Gross. Then I traced around the pieces to make this little beauty:

The print reminds me of Atari. Here is another view of the sleeves, which I like. The neckline isn't perfect though:

And here is a close-up of the print and my magically matching IKEA bedspread:

Now I just have to find a new life for my old green tee, a life free from rotten armpit stains. Thanks for looking! I am so pumped that I've made enough posts to be able to include pictures now. Whoo hoo!
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