Monday, December 31, 2012

#7: Color Explosion!!

Hi all! Yesterday I took the time to sit in my pj's all day and enjoy the afternoon sewing and watching movies. Though I don't like making resolutions, I definitely want to do more of that in 2013: learning how to rest.

I found this pair of bright pink pants at a local thrift store for just a buck.

Wow! That's bright!

Brights and neons have definitely come back into style this past year, but I have loved them ever since I was young! My husband reminds me of the "bright yellow banana pants" I wore on our first date :) Perhaps it was the funky fresh digs popular on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Windbreakers. You know you had one.

Or maybe all the Lisa Frank my eyes consumed over the years.

The colors~~~~!

Either way, I LOVE bright colors and neons!

Recent fashion trends have surely been channeling styles of the 80s and 90s, particularly color blocking, where you combine contrasting colors to create an overall look. 

Color blocking on the runway

I thought this piece would be great to end this bright and colorful year as I try to class up some color blocking of my own.

Before: Bright pink pants

Before: From behind

First I chopped off a little over a foot from the bottom.


Then I ripped out the seam of the inner thighs of the pants.

Seam be gone!

I turned the piece inside out, pinned, and sewed the new front and back seam, taking it in a little bit at the waist (the pants actually had an elastic waist that was only slightly too big for me).

Pinned and ready to sew

Finally, I folded pinned, and sewed a new hem at the bottom.

New hem

I ironed the new seams and hem as a finishing touch and paired the final product with a simple red top, purple tights, and an orange clutch. And here you have it! Simple, classed-up color blocking.

After: Pink skirt, color blocking

After: From behind

What do you think? It even had pockets! It satisfied my bright inner child :) I hope to somehow incorporate at least a little of my love for bright clothes with my future professional career.

So what do you have planned for the new year? Any resolutions? Whatever the year holds, I pray peace and a whole lot of joy in this coming year for you and yours. Until next time, blessings.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

#6: Not Your Grandmother's Doily: 3 for 1!

I've got 3 re-dos in one post for you today! It's an oldie but goodie. I saw an awesome t-shirt transformation on Pinterest about a year and a half ago. It looked simple enough, so I tried it! I started with 3 plain t-shirts. One white one came from my closet, while the other white one and the black one came from the dollar store (when I say "dollar store," I am typically referring to the 99¢ Only Stores chain. Check them out! They're chock full of great stuff!).

2 Plain White Tees
1 Plain Black Tee
I searched the kitchen section of the dollar store which had an assortment of doilies and table runners. Found some round pink-ish fabric doilies that looked kind of like this: 

Similar, but pink and fabric-y

I also snagged up a nice dark blue table runner and an off-white table runner that looked kind of like this, but had little fringe-y things on the end: 

Kind of like this, but longer

#1: Let's start with the first white tee. I put on the t-shirt and pinned 2 of the round doilies where I wanted to them to go. I simply sewed the doilies on around the circular edges, and made a few hand-stitches in the center of the doilies so that they wouldn't gap away from the shirt. Here's the resulting shirt. Total cost: $1 ($1 for doilies, shirt from my closet). 

Doily Tee #1

#2: Next, let's do the black tee. I took the off-white table runner, cut off the fringe-y parts at each end, and carefully cut the edges off of the sides tracing the floral pattern. I laid the newly-cut table runner vertically across the front of the t-shirt, leaving some overlap at the collar and the bottom. I flipped the excess material into the collar and under the bottom of the shirt and pinned the table runner into place. 

I sewed alongside the sides of the table runner all the way up the shirt. Then I sewed the table runner at the collar and at the bottom of the shirt. I cut off the excess table runner material from the inside of the shirt and saved it for another project :) Like the previous shirt, I also hand-stitched areas in the center so as to not let it gap away from the shirt. Here's the final result. Total cost: $2 ($1 for t-shirt, $1 for table runner). 

Table Runner Tee #2

 #3: Finally, let's take a look at what I did with the last white tee. I used a table runner with the exact same design as with the black t-shirt, except it was dark blue and I didn't cut off the edge pattern like I did with the black tee. I liked how the table runner came to a point at the ends. It reminded me of an East Indian sort of shape, so I decided to keep that style. 

I lined up the pointed end of the table runner with the front collar of the t-shirt, pinned it down, and then cut off the excess from the bottom. I flipped the shirt around and pinned the remaining piece (not quite half) of the table runner to the bottom of the back of the shirt.

I sewed along the side edges of the table runner on both sides of the shirt, and flipped the excess under the bottom of the shirt to create a hem. Then I sewed the hem, and hand-sewed the center of the table runners, again, so that the runner wouldn't gap away from the shirt. I think this one might be my favorite of the three :) Total cost: $2 ($1 for the tee, $1 for the table runner). 

Table Runner Tee #3

Table Runner Tee #3 from behind

I like wearing it best with my dark blue blazer.

Who knew a t-shirt could be so professional?

So there you have it! For a total of $5 I have 3 brand new, one of a kind shirts for work or play that were super easy to make. I suppose if you had fabric glue, you wouldn't even need to know how to sew to make one for yourself! They're not your grandmother's doilies anymore :) I hope you enjoyed these transformations, and keep coming back for more! Until then, blessings.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

#5: Plaid Wool Skirt

I found this wool plaid skirt at a thrift store for just $1.

Before: Too big plaid skirt

Before: From behind

It still had its original tag on it from the GAP for just over $16. I'd say I got a good deal : )

Second hand new!

I saw someone online transform a tweed skirt into a great cape, so I decided to try the same with this skirt. First I seam ripped straight down the back and took out the back zipper.

Seam ripping

I did not have enough material to make a full cape, so I used some contrasting material to highlight the red lines in the skirt material. I recently bought some new bed sheets, so I cut an kept a piece from my old fitted sheet in case I could use it for a project. It worked well for this project (I liked that it already had elastic in it that I could use for the neckline).

Fitted Sheet and Plaid Skirt

I laid the sheet material on the skirt material and pinned the outline where I wanted to sew them together.

Pinned and ready to sew

I turned the cape inside out and tried it on and ended up having to readjust the pins a few times before sewing it so i could get the right fit at the neckline. Unfortunately I forgot to take more pictures once I got sewing. Basically I sewed the sides of the cape. Then I hemmed the length of the red side to match the length of the plaid side. After that I cut straight up the center of the plaid side and hemmed each side I had just cut.

The original skirt had a clasp at the top of the zipper which kept it closed. I hand sewed that clasp onto the top center of the plaid side to keep the 2 halves closed. I didn't have a good brooch to accent the clasp (I'm gonna have to invest in finding some nice brooches and buttons!) so instead I took one of the extra brown buttons that came with the original skirt and painted it red with fingernail polish.

Button painted red

Once it dried I hand-sewed the button over the clasp as a small accent where the cape closed. And there you have it! A two-toned plaid cape.

After: two-toned cape!

After: from behind

After: from the side

Surprisingly, it kept me super warm all night, which was perfect for attending the church Christmas play with "snow" outside afterward.

It's "snowing"!

Another Christmas has come and gone, but I hope the spirit of love, peace, and giving remain throughout the next year. I greatly enjoyed spending Christmas Eve and morning with my family, and then visiting my husband's family in the afternoon. As I get older, I realize more and more that time with loved ones is the greater than any gift. I hope this year wraps up smoothly for you, and that you have a wonderful start to the new year. Stay warm out there!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

#4: Black Halter Jumpsuit

 I've got a new one for ya. I found this black halter jumpsuit at a local thrift store for $1.

Before: Hello Jumpsuit!

Before: from behind (while wearing a unitard)
 I liked the idea of keeping the long pants, but I wasn't feeling the criss cross halter top. So I first cut out the back of the top.

So long back!
Then I pinned and sewed the straps all the way down the criss crossed bust. After that I cut out the bust material, but left the long straps attached at the waist.

See the line followed all from the strap to the waist?

Pinned and sewed.
After that I stitched around the waist to make a better seam where I had cut out the top. I then sewed the long straps to the back of the pants' waist. The edges of this material frayed a lot after sewing, so I took a lighter to it and sautered the frayed edges so little fibers wouldn't shed everywhere.

And voila! A simple transformation from halter jumpsuit to (semi)professional suspender slacks. I liked the high-waisted look, but felt it more flattering with a thick belt. I hope you like it!

After: hello suspenders!

I'm working on another new project tonight. Hopefully it will be done soon and I'll have a new post right after Christmas. I look forward to more time with loved ones this Christmas. One of my favorite traditions is leaving out cookies and a Coke for Santa. My parents always told me that Santa doesn't like milk left out because it's usually warm by the time he gets to our house and Santa doesn't like warm milk : P

What are some of your favorite family holiday traditions? Tell me in the comments section. Until next time, blessings.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

#3: In the Christmas Spirit

Welcome and congratulations on surviving the end of the world! ; ) I found this men's nightgown at a local thrift store for about $3, and I left it behind. But I kept thinking about it, so I went back the next day and thankfully it was still there. And I knew just what I wanted to do with it.

Before: very long men's nightgown

Before: the back
Yesterday I went to visit my family for an early Christmas dinner. Every year for Christmas and Thanksgiving my aunts and uncles all gather under one roof for a feast fit for kings! Where there's family, there's food (or is it the other way around?). And my mom usually does all the cooking. Even with a broken toe this week she still cooked up a storm. My hat is off to her : ) I loved that I got to help out a bit by bringing desserts and carving the ham.

SO delicious!

In the spirit of Christmas, I decided to jazz this nightgown up a bit in a Christmas theme just in time for Christmas dinner. First I cut it straight up the middle. Then I cut about a foot off of the bottom and hemmed it.

Hasta la vista length!

Next I cut, folded, and pinned down the collar on the inside of the neck so it would lay flat. I sewed around the new neckline and cut off the excess collar material.

Inside the new neckline
I decided to give the waistline some more definition, so I pinned and sewed some pleats in the front and back. I had never done pleats before, so I tried to follow the style already on the shoulders of the original piece.

Pinned and pleated

Closer up view of the back pleats

Next, I took a seam ripper to the strip around the sleeves.

So long GB

I wanted to cover up the insignia, so I decided to go all out Santa on this piece. I found these off-white fluffy socks at the dollar store that I thought would work well for the sleeve cuffs.

I love these kinds of socks on cold days : )

I cut them in half long ways to have enough material to wrap around the sleeves, pinned them onto the sleeve to measure the length, then sewed the ends closed.

Cut lengthwise

Pinned to the sleeve

Then I sewed the fluffy sock onto the sleeve itself at both ends. The cut sides of this sock shed so much that the lint roller and I were best friends by the end of this project.

Shedding like crazy

I picked up this awesome gold and red velvet holiday ribbon for 70% off at Michael's that I used for the trim. My sewing machine didn't like this ribbon, and I spent a good while un-jamming it from inside. 

How festive!

I lined the sleeves to cover the edges of the frayed sock and sewed it on.

Pinned and ready to sew. More festive, no?

Then used the same ribbon to line the two sides down the front of the piece and sewed it on.

Almost done!

I had been baking Christmas treats for nearly 3 days straight and didn't have any time to work on this piece, but I wanted to have it done before going to visit my mom. I was so eager and excited to finish this piece that I literally stayed up until 6:30am working on it. Since I was turning it into a jacket (surprise!), I needed something with which to keep it closed, but I didn't have any buttons that seemed to suit the style, so I improvised and sewed on some of the gold ribbon right over the front pleats to hide the pleat seams and keep the jacket closed.

Improvised sash
And there you have it! The final product ended up feeling very Christmas-y to me. I had considered lining the neck and front with the same sock material on the sleeves, but I realized I would have looked too much like Santa, so I toned it down a bit and went a little more with a Mrs. Claus look. Though I wouldn't wear this any other time of year, I felt it appropriate for a Christmas event with my family. My little cousin wore it around as she "played Santa" and passed out gifts to the family.

After: It's straight Santa up in here!

After: from the back (the collar is the shirt I had underneath)
I wish I had had some festive buttons or a broach because I feel like the sash made it look more like a robe than a jacket, but my aunt loved it enthusiastically just as it was, so I gifted it to her : )

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

I also made the outfit I have underneath, but I'll save that for tomorrow's post ;) Until then, enjoy last minute holiday shopping, baking, gift wrapping, and all else the holiday brings! And if you're grieving, may God's peace, comfort, and joy be with you this Christmas. Blessings to you and yours.