Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#62: Happy 1st Anniversary New Dreams for Old Seams!: Country Western Santa Jacket

Merry Christmas! I can't believe it has been an entire year since I started this blog! I've greatly enjoyed all of the wonderful, sometimes hideous pieces I found throughout the year that both challenged me and made me excited to give new life! This year personally has been filled with some great ups and lots of downs, and I found that sewing is truly self-care for me :)

Since I started off with a Christmas-themed post last year, I thought I'd begin this second year with one as well. And it's a doozie.

I found this jacket at my favorite thrift store for about a buck:

Before: Country Western Santa Jacket

Before: From Behind

I'm not completely sure what this was used for before. It reminded me of some kind of country western Santa jacket. Tack some fringe on that puppy and you've got a HoHoHo-down!

I actually attempted to re-make this into an actual wearable jacket, but running out of time and patience, I went another route:

First, just like in my Santa Jacket post last year, I bought a bunch of fluffy white socks from the 99 Cents Only store.

I carefully cut along the heel of each sock to open them up.

Cutting open fluffy socks

Then I sewed about 10 socks together at the short ends to make one long line of fluffiness. This was also perhaps the messiest project all year, as there was fuzz all over the place!

After sewing all the socks together, I pinned them around the edge of the jacket to cover the white trim on both sides with the edges folded under to keep them from shedding on the final piece. Then I sewed the edges down.

Sewing fluffy trim

Once I had one side sewn down, I pinned on top of the fluffy material some Christmas-y ribbon I got in a 75% off sale at Michael's, tucking the ends into the edges of where the sock ends met. 

Fancy ribbon

I didn't sew the back side of the white sock trim down at first because I didn't want the sewing lines from the ribbon on the top to run throughout the bottom fluffy trim, so I sewed down the ribbon first, then sewed down the opposite side of the fluffy sock line.

Here is where I decided that this would no longer be a jacket. I carefully folded, pinned, and sewed away the entire sleeves so the piece could be as round as I could make it.

Folding, pinning, and sewing away the sleeves

Once the sleeves were gone, I was left with a round-ish flat piece that no longer resembled a jacket (but did it even look like a jacket in the first place?)


 I folded and cut a large hole in the center of the piece,...

Coming together now...

 ...and then cut a line straight up the back to open it up.

Open sesame!

As you can now see, this is going to be a tree skirt!

I finished it off by sewing hems on the edges I had just cut, and sewing some red ribbon at the opening to use as a tie to keep the tree skirt from slipping.

Afterward, I thought I'd sew some extra sparkly red ribbon over the edge of where the red and fluffy parts met to give it more flair.

Glitter ribbon!

 And that was how I turned a country western Santa jacket into a lovely Christmas tree skirt!

Here again was the before piece:

Before: Country Western Santa Jacket

Before: From behind

And here is how it turned out under my tree :)

After: Christmas Tree Skirt

After: Close-up

After: Closer up

I think this turned out pretty well, and leads me off to year 2 of blogging about my sewing adventures. 

I plan to keep sewin' and keep postin'! I hope you follow me on this journey as I develop my skills, take on new challenges, and turn out some new creations!

To you and yours this Christmas: many, many blessings,


Sunday, December 1, 2013

#61: Black and White Lace Dress

Happy December! I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend. I was sick, but it gave me some good time to rest and relax at home.

My Thanksgivings are full of food and family. Typically I spend pre-Thanksgiving with my family, and Thanksgiving Day with my in-laws. I worked on this dress for Thanksgiving dinner with my family over a week ago, but I haven't had consistent internet for over a month now to post it (sucks, I know. Hopefully it will be fixed soon).

Before: Black and White Lace Dress

Before: From behind

I liked the dress structure, but the off-white thick lace strips covering the seams and the over-frilly back was throwing it off. I'm pretty sure it was someone else's project before it landed in my hands.

There wasn't a whole lot I did to revive this dress. The first thing I did was carefully remove the off-white lace strips from the whole piece.

Removing the lacy ribbon

Almost all off!

Next, I removed the scratchy shoulder lifting material so the shoulders would lay more flat.

No more puffy shoulders

After that, I cut and sewed a new bottom hem because the under layer edges were very ratty. I also snipped around the edges of the sleeves and bust to make it look more clean (like I said, it looked like someone's project that was all unevenly cut).

Lastly, I folded and sewed a new hem across the top back to reduce the frilly-ness a bit.

Added some accessories and I was ready for dinner :)

Here again is the before photo:

Before: Frilly Black and White Lace Dress


Before: From behind

And here's after the simple alterations:

After: Less-frilly Black and White Lace Dress (AFTER dinner : P )

After: From Behind

Sometimes all it takes to make a piece look better is taking something off that shouldn't be there : )

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, and Hanukkah is chugging along, and Christmas, Kwanza, and other holiday festivities are barreling toward us, I wonder: what is your favorite part of the holiday season? Got a favorite tradition? A favorite food? A favorite song? A favorite scent? Let me know in the comments section below!

Until next time, blessings.