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Upcycled and Refashioned Wardrobe Additions

19 Aug

So, today I finally got around to a few crafty sewing projects I’ve been meaning to do.

First off, I took a T-shirt I have from grad school that wasn’t quite everything I want in a shirt. I loved the awesome logo (Liberty University’s butt-kicking eagle, LOL) but hated the boxy, oversized-but-not-baggy fit. So I chopped it up a little bit and now I like it a lot better!

Please excuse the bathroom mirror self-portraits! I discovered today that having my 6yo take photos for me results in blurry photos that make me look pregnant b/c of her shortened height angle, so in my oh so humble opinion this is at least better than that!

It’s hard to tell, but what I did to this shirt was cut the neckline wider/deeper, cut off the sleeves at an angle going from the armpit area to the outer sleeve (removing the existing hem and making them a little more fluttery) and cut off the bottom hem (it had an obnoxiously big sizing tag on it, ugh). Then I stitched three or four lines of shirring around the neckline and voila! A girlier version of this tee.

Here you can kind of see the shirring at least a little:

Next up, another T-shirt project! This time I made a skirt. I’ve been loving this tutorial, but after closer inspection I realized that the 99-cent green tee I bought at Goodwill yesterday was going to make a mini-skirt if I cut it off below the armpits. So instead I cut off the sleeves and then cut across the chest, making it a little taller. I had to stitch a seam down the sides b/c the skirt stuck out a little where the armpits were, and then I did the shirring as suggested in the original tutorial. Now I have a new skirt!

One thing I learned with this project is that I should look for longer shirts. The other thing I learned is that it’s really hard to find 99-cent tees at Goodwill (on 99 cent day, even!) that don’t have a gigantic logo all over them. This shirt had one, but it’s far enough toward the top that it will never show under the shirts I normally wear.

My third and final wardrobe addition for today is a new dress, wahoo! I followed this awesome tutorial; the only thing I changed was to sew the skirt portion to a polo style shirt instead of a tank top. Also my fabric is actually a thrift-store sheet; I have a bunch of it left over so I plan to make one of these for Jilly to match!

If I make one of these dresses again (which I plan to do, with a cool grammar tee and another GW sheet), next time I’ll make the skirt portion a little lower down on the top. I wasn’t quite accurate in my measurements here, so the skirt starts just below my boobs, which isn’t my all-time favorite style but it’s still cute. It also means the skirt’s a little short, especially (ahem) in the back where my butt makes it stick out more, so I’d do better next time to make it a little lower, longer or both. Otherwise though I am at least glad to have one of these dresses b/c I’ve been ogling tutorials for them online for weeks now!

Hopefully I’ll have more thrift store refashioning posts in the future, this is tons of fun! 😉



Tutu Time

4 Mar

So, I’ve read several blog tutorials over the past year or so, describing how to make a quick tutu like you see at every craft fair you could possibly attend. Last week I finally found some tulle in the remnant bin at Jo-Ann’s and decided to give it a try. I’d say it worked pretty well!

I’ve also been doing some dyeing lately. One didn’t work out so hot so it’s staying here with me. I may use it to practice on my spindles:

The rest will be going in the shop tomorrow:

I’ve also been doing some knitting and spinning. I’ll post more about those tomorrow for Fiber Arts Friday!

Fiber Arts Friday: Crafty Books I Love

21 Jan

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday here at Storied Yarns Central!

This week I have been doing a little here and a little there in my crafty pursuits, but nothing that exciting to report about. Since I recently posted some reviews of books I didn’t love here on the blog, I thought I’d take the time today to review two books I do love, to balance out the review karma a little bit. 🙂 So, let’s get to it, shall we?

1) One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins

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I got this book from my husband for Christmas, and I love it! Every project in the book uses only one yard of fabric; most of them use quilting-weight cotton, while a few use home decor weight fabric or even oilcloth. For some of the projects you have to buy additional materials, such as interfacing and trim, but none of them require a whole lot more than just one yard of fabric.

I seriously want to make sooooo many projects from this book! I’ve already got the fabric to make a dress for Jillian, a purse for myself and messenger bags for both of my older kids and myself. The book comes with a pocket full of patterns in the front, while some of the other projects only require you to measure and cut pieces from the  yard of fabric you buy. It has projects for home decor, wearables, bags, baby items, and stuff for kids. There’s something for everyone, and a lot of the projects would make great gifts.

If you want to see more about this book, the Pink Chalk Studio blog is having a sew-along for all of the projects; I’m not participating with them as I don’t want to do all of the projects in order, but I love seeing what they make and I plan to go back to their posts later when I get around to the projects they’ve already made!

This book has a little bit about sewing basics, but it doesn’t waste a lot of time on that for those of you who already know all of those things. It has projects that range from simple to what I would call intermediate/hard, and everything is super fun and colorful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to sew or wants to start!

2) Intertwined by Lexi Boeger

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This one’s for all you spinners out there, or all of you who think you might want to spin one day. This book is chock full of inspiration! I have always admired art yarn, but sometimes I’ve felt too intimidated to try to make it on my own. In this book, Lexi Boeger (Heard of Pluckyfluff? That’s her.) takes you through the inspiration behind several types of creative handspun yarns and teaches you how to make them for yourself. She includes techniques from simple to ultra-detailed, so by the end you’ll have 100 new yarn ideas swimming around your head.

This book has several awesome components. There are sections where she shows you a type of yarn, such as supercoils, and then shows you how to spin it. Then there are spinner’s diary entries, where she or another fiber artist shows the step by step process from planning a handknit item to spinning the yarn for it and then knitting the item itself. There are patterns for using creative and wild art yarns as well as instructions for how to spin those types of yarns to use in the patterns. On every page there are full-color photos of some of the most inspiring yarns I’ve ever seen.

The only down side of this book is that to make a lot of these yarns you’re going to need the capacity to do bulky yarns and add-ins. There are plenty of yarns in the book that would work with a standard wheel/spindle, but there are also a lot of super duper bulky ones. I’ve been wanting a bulky-capacity spinning wheel for a while now, and reading this book just made me want that even more! In the meantime I will spin what I can and save my pennies. 🙂

So anyway, that’s it for me and Fiber Arts Friday this week. Head on over to Wonder Why Gal’s corner of the world and see what the other bloggers are up to!

Fiber Arts Friday: Writing It Down

7 Jan

This week I’ve done a few things in terms of spinning – I’m almost finished with a skein of handspun yarn, and I’m ready for Distaff Day, which is today! I’ve also been furiously working away at my WIPs, but none of them have made it to FO status yet, so there isn’t much to report.

In other news, I finally got around to publishing my pattern for this braided cowl:

The pattern is free, and the cowl is easy to make. It also includes tips for how to use different weights of yarn to make this project truly your own. See the pattern here.

Today I made a weaving loom, hooray! Here’s a picture of it in action – yes, this is as far as I’ve gotten. Hey, I built the darn thing, didn’t I? 🙂

I spent absolutely no money to make this loom, so I’m pretty excited about it. If you want to make your own free weaving loom, check out my tutorial here.

So what have you been up to this Fiber Arts Friday? Head on over to Wonder Why Gal’s blog and see the answer to that question from other bloggers!

Handmade Holidays: Last-Minute Gifts

22 Dec

Well, I’ve still been busy working on those last few handmade Christmas gifts, but they’re nearly all finished! Here are a few ideas I thought I’d share because I whipped them up quickly and you might like to do the same, now or next year!

I made this cute apron using 1/4 yard of fabric, some trim and some pre-made double-fold bias tape (the widest kind you can get):

I used the Fat Quarter Apron Tutorial from Prudent Baby, and I love it! Hopefully the recipient will, too.

Yesterday I decided to let my kids get in on the fun. I cut out stocking shapes from felt, using a permanent marker and a cookie cutter. I made two of each shape and used each color of felt I had on hand twice, so that got me 12 pairs of stocking felt shapes. I gave six pairs to each kid and taught them the basics of sewing a whipstitch around the edges to attach the two pieces. Then they got to stuff them and add glitter glue to the top. This is what we got:

Sewing and stuffing away! My own little sweatshop.

"Sewing is much harder than I thought, Mom!"

Almost finished!

The little one gets in on the action.

So, we definitely had fun, though in retrospect six stockings apiece was a little bit much for my kids, who are 7 and 5 and have never sewn anything before. They were troopers, though, and here are the fruits of their labors:

Jillian's Work, age 5

Will's Work, age 7

The stockings are currently drying due to the excessive amounts of glitter glue on them. You could always skip this step, or for older children you could teach them to embroider designs on the felt before stuffing and sewing them together, or even how to needle-felt the designs on top, as long as you stuff them with real wool instead of the polyester stuff we used. In any case, once our stockings are dry I will string them up into garland for my in-laws and my sister-in-law. I plan to use three of each child’s creations per garland. You could also use this craft to make gift toppers or Christmas ornaments, too.

Happy Crafting, and Merry Christmas!