Archive | Sewing RSS feed for this section

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! 😉



Swap Preparations

14 Aug

So, as I’ve probably mentioned here before, I’m a moderator for the Heartfelt Handmade swap on Ravelry. The whole point of the swap is to make ONE handmade item for another person who will actually appreciate it because they’re crafty, too. Then we just add in one extra, very small item to finish the package and mail it off! It’s a low-cost swap with the emphasis on the craft and the spirit of the swap, so I love being part of it.

A few times a year I jump in and participate in the swap as well. This round, August to October, we’re swapping something for the hands – mittens, gloves, arm warmers, fingerless mitts, you get the picture. At the risk of giving too much away I’ll just say that I decided it would be the best option for my recipient if I dyed up some Faux Cashmere spinning fiber to make her mitts.

I chose my “Irial” colorway which is a blend of some of my recipient’s favorite colors (deep red, burgundy, purple and black). I dyed it in a graduated pattern instead of variegated this time, so I’ll split this braid in half lengthwise and then spin a single from each half and n-ply those singles on themselves to maintain the color progression from start to finish.

Here’s the fiber:

I’ve never spun straight Faux Cashmere before, but I’ve been wanting to for a while, so this will be exciting for me! I’m going to knit my Rainbow Brite Mitts pattern b/c I’ve been wanting to see how that will look in a graduated pattern instead of a striping one. I hope my recipient likes the mitts!

In other news, I sewed up a little bag of some sort. I’m not really sure what to call it! I wanted to make a sturdy project bag so I could use it to hold a spindle and not risk damaging that spindle too much. This design is okay, but it’s not 100% what I had envisioned, so I’m going back to the drawing board. In the meantime, I’ll be putting this one in my shop some time on Monday in case someone else finds a good home for it:

The bag is made from a sturdy canvas fabric on the outside. It has interfacing and batting on the inside and it’s quilted, with a regular hot pink cotton lining. It has a nylon webbing strap on it and some binding on the top edge. In the pictures you can see I have put some stuff in there to show off the size – that’s 4 oz of superwash merino top and two of my spindles to show that the bag is plenty large enough to hold those items and more. 🙂

Watch for a Shop Update in Etsy and Artfire on Monday – it will have some roving/top and a few project bags in addition to this one!

A Wedding Tradition

13 Aug

I finished a project, yay! Mind you, I still have a shrug on the needles and a few spinning WIPs, but at least I finished something, right? 🙂

My husband has a friend who needed a traditional Russian first-year wedding anniversary  gift for his wife, which apparently is a muslin tablecloth with a decorative edging. Most of them are pretty darn decorative, but I agreed to make a very simple one and that was fine with the recipient, so here’s what he got:

I used some decorative stitches on my sewing machine and some light blue thread to do the border. It feels good to finish something!

Monkey Quilt Top Finished!

3 Aug

Ok, so I got the idea for this quilt MONTHS ago, but I finally got around to starting it more recently than that. Today I finished sewing together the top for a monkey quilt I’m making for my son’s birthday (he will be 2 in September). It’s my first non-T-shirt quilt, and on top of that I sort of made up the pattern as I went along, so it has its imperfections but I’m okay with that.

Here’s the top displayed on my son’s toddler bed:

Not the easiest thing to see, but it has monkey fabric framed in random green/brown/gold/tan scraps, then strips of green and banana fabrics in between.

Hopefully I’ll get the time to quilt, back and bind it before the week is out!



Happy Birthday Grandmom!

17 Jun

Today my grandmother turns 94, wow! She’s an amazing woman, and I’m very grateful to have her in my life! I made her a little wall hanging for her birthday:


I got all of the fabric for this in my friend’s crafty room destash. When I saw the puffin fabric I knew I had to make something for my grandmother, because this puffin poem has long been a favorite of hers. I just sort of free-hand pieced this together and then quilted it at random. I added two little plastic rings to the back for hanging, or she can just put it on a tabletop. I hope she likes it!