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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Giving an old coat new life... on: September 06, 2007 06:41:50 PM
I'm headed to study in Edinburgh in two days (!!) and my heavy down coat will just not fit in a suitcase.  I have this wool pea coat that I absolutely love, but it's not very warm because cold air gets up inside it through the bottom.  In addition to that, dry cleaning has completely destroyed the acetate lining and pockets.  I happened to have a lot of pink fleece that my grandmother's friend gave me a few years ago, so I set to replacing the pockets and some of the lining with it.  My grandmother's friend passed away two years ago, and so this is also a great way to remember her by, since she was the one who inspired me to try learning to sew.

Blurry, but you can sort of see how the insides are all ripped.  I cut out as much of the lining from the back as I could and tacked the fleece into the three back seams--from the outside, it's all invisible.

Sad, shredded lining...  This was once a pocket.  I made fleece pockets with my sewing machine and sewed them in by hand because maneuvering that much wool coat under a sewing machine presser foot was more trouble than it was worth.

The black thread on the pink fleece isn't very attractive, but oh well.    This is also still a work in progress, as some of the acetate remains in front, but for now the coat is much more snug and also a lot warmer. 

Action shot!  The thick pockets have made the coat a bit thick in the front, which is unfortunate, but at least I HAVE pockets now.
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / button bracelet made entirely from stuff around my house on: August 07, 2007 09:38:59 PM
Inspired by the crazy button-ness in the most recent issue of Adorn, I randomly decided to make a button bracelet today.  I have a lot of buttons that my grandmother's friend gave me a few years ago, so I think this is a nice little thing by which I can remember her. 

I had the fishing line and the clasp just lying around, and had bought the beads for another project but ended up not needing them.  I just threaded and re-threaded the buttons until the bracelet had roughly the shape I wanted.  It's not as flat as I'd like it to be, but otherwise I'm quite happy with the results.

"Action" shot (I'm as white as the buttons!)
3  UNITED STATES / Maine / Sunsplash on: November 28, 2006 03:47:09 PM
The Sunsplash Craft Fair at Bowdoin College is coming up on December 8th.  Since I go to Bowdoin, I was just wondering if any of you all are bringing your wares.  I'm pretty sure the craft fair is open to the public, too, so if you're in the area, come on by!  I'm pretty sure it's in Smith Union.
4  CLOTHING / Shoes: Discussion and Questions / trashed chucks on: August 12, 2006 08:04:48 PM
I have some black low-top Converse that I've worn almost every day for the past two years (and on two continents!).  Needless to say, they're getting pretty trashed.  The toes are turning brown (washing them doesn't help!!) and the canvas upper is starting to tear away from the sole, despite lots of sewing and duct tape.  The rubber support at the heel has broken down, which for a while was great because I didn't have to untie them to put them on, but the last time I tugged them on, the top seam (around the ankle) split.

So basically I am at a loss as to what to do with these shoes.  Before doing any sort of reconning I'd like to repair and clean them.  The only parts that are still in pretty good condition are the tongues and lace-up parts, which would be the parts I'd lose if I turned them into flats or something.

5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / While the rest of my campus was drunk, I was altering a shirt. on: July 16, 2006 07:06:16 PM
Ivies is the big party weekend at Bowdoin College, but I am not a partyer.  As I was on Campus Activities Board, I sold Ivies T-shirts and bought one myself.  They ran out of smalls, so I had to get a medium, which was huge on me (it was a mens' Hanes Beefy-T).  I tried shrinking it the Saturday morning of Ivies before OK Go played on our quad (!!!), but to no avail.  I ended up chopping it up and gathering the sleeves and it looked pretty cute.  Once I got home for the summer and therefore back to my sewing machine, I fixed it up a bit.

(please excuse my camera making things weird colors.)

All I did was cut off all the hems and left them raw so they'd roll.  I put in side seams so the shirt would fit better (which was difficult because of my big shoulders!).  I folded the shirt in half lengthwise and cut off the collar, not realizing that I would lose the top of the text on the back. 

Once I had chopped the hems off the sleeves, the armholes were really big, so I sewed them up so you couldn't see my armpit through the hole.  Much classier now.  I ended up having to redo the gathering stitch and I love the result:

And, finally, this is me with it on:

I've been told that I fitted (fit?) it weird, so it makes me look fat, but I think that's me being poochy around the middle, not the shirt.  I have faith in my crap sewing skills!  I think the color and leaf theme, combined with the sleeves, makes the shirt look a little impish and I love it.
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / T-shirt into Satchel on: July 16, 2006 06:53:55 PM
In high school, I had a friend who said she was going to "fashion a satchel" out of things, so now I really like that word.

My neighbors got me this airbrushed shirt in Florida years ago, but I never wore except as pajamas because I think it's kind of creepy to wear clothing with my name on it.  I cut off the collar and top seams, sewed up the bottom, and turned in the sleeves to make pockets.  Now I have an overnight bag to keep useful things in my ghettomobile car.

Closeup of a pocket.

None of the buttonholes are finished off and most of the edges are raw because a) I like raw edges and b) I am wicked lazy. The drawstring is actually a toga tie from when I was in Latin club.  Someday when I am not poor I will replace it.  I know that this is pretty rough and looks like something a homeless person would carry, but it's useful and was and took me less than an hour; sewing the buttons on took the longest.  Most importantly, it was free to make!  I just used things I had lying around, because I never throw anything away.
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