Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#53: Teal Sequined Beaded 2-piece Dress

Hello again!
Here's a new post for ya. I found this 2-piece dress that had both sequins AND beads and a thrift store this week. And how many, many beads there were...

Before: Beaded, sequined 2-piece dress

Before: From behind

I really liked the sequined design, but the humongous shoulder pads and the ridiculous amount of beading just wasn't working for me. Plus, it was too tight in the bust area.

Keep reading to see what I did with it...

I decided that I would only be working with the top this time around.

First, I removed the shoulder pads and hand-stitched the many broken stitches where sequins were falling off at the top.

Next, I very carefully and intricately removed all of the beads from the shirt. This took multiple hours over 2 days to get all the beads off.

Painstakingly removing the beads

Without all the beads, the shirt was actually very pretty.

Once I had all the beads off, I made some room in the bust by carefully cutting off all of the non-sequined and some of the sequined sleeve area.

Cutting the sleeves

The sequins on the sleeves had a similar swirl pattern on both sides which I liked, so I cut and sewed around those sequin swirls to leave some design to the sleeves.

Swirly sleeve designs

Though I had created some room in the bust, the arm hole now gaped open at the bottom to show my bra. Since I'm not the bra-showing kind of lady, I used some of the beaded edge material I had cut off of the bottom of the original sleeves and pinned and sewed them directly to the bottom of the arm holes. This gave a double-layered effect that seemed to match with the rest of the textured top, and it did its job of concealing my bra through the arm holes.

Pinning a little extra material to the arm holes

Once that was completed, I was done with the shirt. But what to do with all those beads and those humongous shoulder pads?

Let's start with the shoulder pads first. The other day I was browsing through a gift shop and saw those small cases that are like wallets with wrist straps. I thought how convenient that could be if I ever went somewhere I did not want to take my purse, but the ones in the gift shop were rather expensive. I found these shoulder pads to be perfect DIY materials to create my own! They were a nice color which coordinated with the top, and they had hanger loops attached which I thought could be handy as the wrist straps.

My first step in this DIY wrist wallet/purse was to choose the sides I wanted to face outward, lay those sides facing each other, and sew the straight side shut.

Sewing the long sides together

Next, I carefully took a zipper I salvaged from another project and sewed the sipper onto both sides of the rounded edges (make sure the straps are on the inside).

Sewing on a zipper

Once the zipper was sewn on and the bottom corners sewn shut, I flipped it right side in.

Preparing to flip!

Flipped right side in, the wrist wallet was almost done.

Almost done!

I tried decorating it a few ways, but I settled on a matching necklace bust charm I had bought at the dollar store for the chain, but never used the charm. I sewed it onto the front of the wallet.

Stitching on the charm

From shoulder pads to wrist wallet, here's the result!

After: Shoulder Pads Wrist Wallet

Next, onto all those beads...

I strung together lots of beads on a double-threaded needle. This took a long time, and I barely made a dent in the amount of beads I removed by the time the string of beads was a few yards long.

Stringing the beads

Once I had enough of that, I took some silver thread my friend A.S. sent me a while back, and wound about 5 inches of that thread around 2 pins in my couch 5 times (did this twice).

Stringing the silver thread

At one end, I attached the loop and clasp of an old broken necklace At the other end I attached a loop that typically serves as a hook and loop fastener to keep garments closed.

Necklace clasp

Then I strung the long string of beads over a few times into the loops on both sides and had a new necklace!

Here's what a fraction of my beads went to:

After: New Teal Beaded Necklace

And now, for the dress itself:

Here again is how it looked before:

Before: Teal Beaded Sequined 2-piece Dress

Before: From behind

And here's the after look:

After: Professional and fancy

After: Teal sequined blouse

After: from behind

Shoulder design

I liked this one. It's still pretty exclamatory, but I think it looks a bit more modern this way.

I hope you found some inspiration in the shirt, necklace, and/or wrist wallet! But I still need some help figuring out what to do with the skirt part of this dress. It has an elastic waistband and lots of beads. Any ideas, please leave them in the comments section below!

Thanks for visiting!

Until next time, blessings.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

#52: Purple Plaid Jumper Skirt

So I found another children's item that I wanted to remake. This one is supremely simple.

I found this purple plaid skirt with suspenders at a thrift store last week for $1.

Before: Children's Purple Plaid Jumper Skirt

It was children's sized, so I couldn't actually model in it, but here's an example something similar I found on Google:

Similar Fashion
 (Though this is a children's skirt, I couldn't seem to find pictures of children wearing them on Google. They were mostly worn by grown women.)

Anywho, This was a 3 step remake that took less than 10 minutes.

For my first step, I turned the skirt inside out and sewed 2 straight lines across the bottom to close the bottom opening.

Sewing across the bottom

Second, I took some sticky-backed Velcro, cut a piece a few inches to fit between the buttons, added some no-sew adhesive to the back for extra support, and stuck them on both sides at the top opening between the buttons so it would seal when turned right-side in.

Extra adhesive

Attached to the top

 In my third and final step, I rearranged the straps so instead of going from front button to back button like suspenders, they now have one strap connected to both buttons on the front and one strap for both buttons on the back.

Rearranging straps

And that was it! Not all transformations have to be complicated.

Here again was the original skirt with suspenders:

Before: Purple Plaid Children's Jumpsuit

And here is the re-purposed after result:

After: Purple Plaid Shoulder Bag

After: A cute, simple tote

This children's sized skirt made for a simple tote bag that's neither too big or too small.

I hope you liked this one!

Until next time, blessings.

Friday, September 13, 2013

#51: Black Frilly Layered Children's Dress

Hello, and welcome/welcome back!

After my 50th transformation post a week and a half ago, my blog soared past the 10,000 views mark! Thank you all for your fantastically wonderful support!!!

Today I've got a new transformation for you as well as some other style markers that filled my week. But first, here is the new project I've got for ya today:

Before: Black Frilly Layered Dress

Before: From behind

I got this children's dress for $1 at a local thrift store. It was clearly a children's dress, and there was absolutely no way it could zip up the side on my grown-woman body.

No zipping up the side

It was ratty and frilly and even had a hole...

Hello hole

...but I liked it.

So for my first step, I removed the straps.

Straps removed

Next, the inside seams were trash. Mounds of ratty mess everywhere. I took some time to cut off all the gross frayed parts.

All over the place!

Ratty mess cut from the seams

After that I completely cut off the top bust area, keeping the zipper in tact, and leaving the lace lining just under the bust in tact. Connected to the bust was a ripped-up inner lining of the dress. That had to go too.

Separating the bust

I'm sure it was a stylized plan, but there were 4 almost sheer triangular panels which gave the dress a twirl-factor. But they hung lower than the rest of the dress, and they didn't fit with what I wanted the dress to become, so I pinned them up...

Pinned triangular sections

...and sewed it away! (I sewed the hole closed too).

So long triangle panels!

Then I cut off the excess material and fake-serged the edges so it wouldn't get that ratty fray again.

After I sewed and cut off all 4 triangular panels, I removed and re-attached the zipper lower (the zipper would now be on the back instead of the side).

Re-attaching the zipper

It still ended up being too tight at the top, so I folded and sewed the back in a shallow V, cutting off the excess, including some of the zipper.

Finally, I re-attached the straps, but since they were too short to go over my shoulders, I sewed them together and sewed the opposite ends onto the front at the new bust so it became a halter.

And that was it!

Here again is the before photo:

Before: Frilly Layered Children's Dress

Before: From behind

Paired with a black skirt, here's the new look by itself:

After: Frilly new top

After: From behind

To make it a little less voluminous and more shapely, I added a thick belt:

After: with thick belt

But my favorite look of the day was adding a thin cover and a long necklace. I felt work-ready!

After: Accessorized

I was decked out yesterday, ready to go to work, when...I had to suddenly take my car to the shop and walk to and fro to find a Starbucks so I could work remotely on my computer. Lame. But at least my car got fixed! Praise God!

I'm so excited about my look yesterday because nearly everything in the photo above is either altered or I got second-hand. I took the long sleeves off of the cover to make it summer-ready, I made the shirt for this post, the belt and skirt I got at a clothing swap party last year, and the shoes I got at a thrift store for only $1.50!

Talking about shoes, I'm excited to share that I got my first pair of $130 shoes this weekend. Check them out:

$150 Thigh-high boots!

Sexy, sexy!

I've always wanted thigh-high boots!

"But Leanne," you say, "I thought you liked being frugal and saving money. Why would you spend $130 on shoes???"

Well, I DIDN'T! I got these on SUPER DUPER RIDICULOUS SALE! I was browsing through Frederick's of Hollywood over the weekend with some gal pals looking for a bachelorette gift for her friend, when we spotted this sale. The boots were marked down to $29.99, and there was a 75% off sale on top of that! I came away with these awesome new boots for only $8!!! $8!!! SCORE!!!!!

Another of my favorite finds this week was this new Calvin Klein yellow dress I found at a yard sale for $5. The only alteration it needed was taking up the shoulders a bit.

Yellow Calvin dress

To accompany my new yellow dress, I painted my fingernails in one of the most iconic, simple yellow designs:

Charlie Brown!

This simple design has gotten lots of attention this week!

And another of my favorite finds was this shirt I got at a yard sale. I didn't take too good a picture of the shirt, because I was too excited about the tie necklace I strung and twisted together with 3 beaded necklaces:

Checkerboard shirt and a tie necklace!

This week has been filled with fun fashion finds and styles!

I hope the upcoming week finds you all rested and rejuvinated. Happy Friday everyone!

Until next time, blessings.