Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#65: Painful Black Tutu Dress

This has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad weekend for me. I don't want to go into details, but I would appreciate your prayers.

Today, I'm featuring the most uncomfortable, painful dress I've ever worn to accompany my weekend's discomfort and pain. (Again, prayers please)

I found this dress at a 50% off sale at a thrift store. I liked the mesh sleeves and the peep back, and thought that it had great potential.

Before: Black Tutu Dress

Before: Super painful

Before: From behind

But whoever made this dress used very stiff tulle, and left the raw, jagged edges on the inside seam at the waist. It literally felt like thousands of sharp needles were scratching my waist when wearing this! I had to waddle to take the pictures just so the skirt wouldn't move and scratch me more.

I wouldn't wish this dress on my worst enemy.

~ ~

Good thing I had no plans to keep the skirt. I removed it completely.

That thing was in the trash before I had a chance to take a picture. Sorry. 

After removing the skirt, all I did was remove the shoulder pads, and sew up a few holes in the sleeves and side seams, and I was done! The key was to accessorize it well.

Here again was the before look:

Before: Painful Tutu Dress

Before: From behind

Paired with a brightly-colored mini skirt and some accessories, here is the after look:

After: Sexy Dinner Blouse

After: Sexy Dinner Blouse

After: From behind

I felt sexy, while still covered enough to not be too risque. It was a nice confidence boost too, especially as I am working on reducing some of the width I grew this past year.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can still feel confident and sexy, even if you are thicker than what people say you "should" be. Don't wait until you're a size small to feel good about yourselves ladies! Enjoy the journey!

Take care of yourselves, and love yourselves. And pray for me, if you wouldn't mind. I need it today.

Thank you.

Until next time, blessings.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

#64: Teal Bib Shirt

Welcome back!

Today's transformation post is one I completed just before New Year. I found this shirt at a thrift store for $1. It looked Indian-inspired to me with all the color and patterns.

Before: Teal Bib Shirt

Before: From behind

The pink bib was definitely not working for me though. I felt like a big 'ol  baby.

Baby bib

 So that was the first to go...along with the gold ribbon down the front.

Removing the bib and ribbon

Once I had removed the bib and ribbon, I said so long to the shoulder pads.

So long shoulder pads!

After that, I cut off half of the sleeves which were really restricting, and set aside the leftover material.

Removing the sleeves

Then I hemmed the sleeves, hemmed the neckline, and removed the wide hem from the bottom to make the shirt longer.

~ ~ 

The area under the bib had left a dark pink stain, so I tried hand-washing it out.

Oh. My. Goodness. I'm so glad that I didn't wash this with my other clothes, because the instant it touched the water in my sink, the whole sink was deep blue. If it was losing that much dye, I thought it would eventually take the stain with it.

No luck. So I thought if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Rather than try to hide the stains, I followed the pattern and emphasized them. I did so by highlighting the front of the shirt by placing rosettes I made with the extra sleeve material.

To do this, I cut the sleeve material in a zigzag pattern so I ended up with long strips. Then I pinned one end down, twisted the long strip, and rolled it up into a rosette.

Rolling rosettes

I stitched the rosette layers together, then I sewed them down the front of the shirt.

Sewing the rosettes to the front

Here again is how the shirt looked before:

Before: Teal Bib Shirt

And here is how it looked afterward.

After: Teal Rosette Shirt

So there you go! Repurposed the sleeves for the rosettes, removed the bib, and gave it a while new look. Like I've said before, sometimes you just need to take off something that shouldn't have been there to transform a look.

Until next time, blessings.

#63: Rice Neck Warmers

Happy belated New Year!

I've been sewing more often lately, but I haven't been keeping up with my posts (sorry). So here's one I made as Christmas gifts.

I wanted my Christmas gifts to be thoughtful, while not too expensive. I saw a rice neck warmer at a home I was visiting, and thought they would be great, inexpensive, customizable Christmas gifts for the family. 

I started by buying a 20lb. bag of rice, as well as purchasing 1 foot sections of fabric at JoAnn's, choosing various patterns customized to each person interests (my mom collects Curious George, my sister likes owls, my grandfather-in-law is a huge Lakers fan, etc.).

With each piece of material, I first folded it in half inside out and sewed one long edge together.

Inside out, sewing a long edge

Next, I measured about 7 inches over from the new seam and sewed a parallel seam.

7 inches wide

Then I cut off the excess and fake-serged the raw edges (lining the edges in the center of the presser foot and sewing with a zig zag stitch).

Fake-serging the edges

Next, I flipped the material right-side in through the remaining open end, and then sewed another parallel straight line about 2 1/2 inches from one side, creating 2 sections.

Flipped right-side in

Measuring for the next line

Sewing the third parallel line

Finished structure

Once I had the structure all set, I laid them all together and cut them on the open short edge to make them the same length.


I then took a funnel and poured about 1 1/2 cup of rice into the smaller section, and about 2 cups of rice into the larger section.


Funneling the rice

Rice is good at holding heat, and can last for years unless it gets moist, so this is a good filler for the neck warmers. I've actually had a smaller one I hand-made about 7 years ago, and it still works well :)

There is still extra space in the neck warmer, which is good because if the rice was filled to the top, it would be stiff and not malleable around your neck.

After pouring in the rice, I carefully folded in the open edges, pinned, and sewed the open end closed.

Folded in and sewing the edges

And that was it! I created some thoughtful, usable, personalized Christmas gifts for family, and all for a low cost.

Here's what the final neck-warmer looked like:

Final product

Just big enough

To warm one this size, all you have to do is heat them in the microwave between 45-90 seconds. Make sure the microwave does not have any liquid in it, or it can cook the rice!

I like these rice warmers because they are portable, so you can take them on the go, and don't have to be afraid of falling asleep with it as with an electric heating pad.

I've also seen ones a bit longer with Velcro on the ends to wrap all the way around which could be a good idea.


I hope you all had good holidays, and are starting off the new year well. May your 2014 be the best year of your life yet, filled with love, joy, and peace.

Until next time, blessings.