Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Bunny, The Bunny, Woah, We Made The Bunny

 If you didn't get the title of this post, you haven't watched enough Veggie Tales in your life.  ;)  Anyway, this is the bunny that I helped my sister make.  I've been teaching her to sew the past week, because she's constantly asking me to make things for her.  I figured if I could teach her to sew, then she could make things whenever she wants!  We started with a circle skirt, but she's already gone on to make a knit maxi skirt for herself, 2 doll skirts and this bunny.  I think she's a natural.  :D

We got the idea from Elena at Randomly Happy, but added some details of our own, like the fuzzy yard pom-pom tail.   Oh, and we added an embroidered nose after I took the pictures.  We used a scrap of fleece I had in my fabric box, and cotton fabric for the inside of the ears.  It's a gift for our little sister, who happens to love pink.  Go figure.  ;)  I think it's cute, and it would be a great thing to make for a baby.

I'm also making a sock monkey for the same sister out of some old socks that no one liked to wear.  I know it only has 1 arm right now, but it's in progress.  I'm gonna go work on it some more now.  We'll see how it turns out.  I kinda love sock monkeys.  :)

And just so we don't end with a creepy, half-done monkey picture, here's a picture of what I wore today.  I've had this skirt for years, way before polka dots were cool.  It finally fits me again.  *happy dance*  And this denim jacket seriously goes with everything.  I'm gonna wear it constantly this fall.  One of the best $3 of my life. 
Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!
Skirt: thrifted from Goodwill.  Ruffled Shirt: Old Navy.  Jacket: thrifted.  Shoes (not seen): thrifted.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Saturday Off

Busy.  I've been busy.  To busy to work on sewing projects or outfit posts.  I've worked every day this week.  Thursday and Friday were 8 hour shifts and I came home too tired to put any effort into a blog post.  I've also been weirdly emotional or something this week.  Maybe I've just been tired. 

I had every intention of sewing on one of my many projects tonight, but my sister roped me in to help her make a gift for our little sister's b-day in two weeks.  It was a sweet idea, but she was up late last night, so her patience level was short.  Her little bunny turned out cute, though.  We were inspired by this post, but added some details of our own.  I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow maybe. 

Today was a fun day though, and it was my day off.  We went to Philip Foster Farm this morning, and I took a bunch of pictures, so maybe some of those will be posted tomorrow as well.  For you non-Oregonians, Philip Foster Farm is a historical site of the house of someone who came here on the Oregon Trail.  There's hands-on stuff you can do and it's fun. 

Then a friend of mine hosted a girl's bible study/hang out thing this afternoon.  I hadn't spent time with friends in a couple weeks, and I almost forgot how much I like them.  We talked about women of the Bible, which was awesome too.  I definitely noticed some good stuff in the passages about Mary and Martha.  It was some much needed Bible and social time. 

Well, time for bed.  Hope you all are having a good weekend so far.  :)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Quest for the Terrarium

I keep seeing pictures of cute terrariums and mini gardens.  I wanted one.  So I decided to try my hand at it.  It was an adventure.  First of all, I needed a jar or bowl, so I found one in my sister's fort (she said I could use it) that was full of rotting vegetation of some sort.  I cleaned it out and put some pepples and dirt in it.  Then I needed to find my plants.
But I got sidetracked taking pretty pictures. 
And making new friends.
And walking through and taking pictures of spider webs all aglow in the afternoon sun.
I found some moss and a little sprig of something to plant in my jar.   I gave it a little water and brought it inside.
Then I searched the house for little things to inhabit my terrarium.  I found a little bunny and Piglet.  Perfect.  And a bottle cap for good measure, just cuz I love bottle caps.  One of my weird obsessions.
Now my mini garden lives on my bedside table.  We'll see if it thrives or dies.  But making it was sure a fun use of an afternoon.  Because in my heart, I will always be a country girl who loves traipsing around in nature with only her imagination for a companion, discovering beautiful things that her Creator has made.  And having a little piece of the beautiful indoors by my bed sounds lovely too.  :)
P.S. Sorry for waxing poetic/nostalgic/sappy at the end there.  ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Heart Sweatshirt with Elbow Patches Refashion

I bought this gigantic old sweatshirt at a thrift store for an 80's party.  I cut the neckline wider so I could wear it off the shoulder and wore it to the party.  Then it sat in my closet because it was much to huge and ugly to wear.  So, refashionista that I am, I decided to give it a makeover!

Here's what you'll need to try this for your self:
  • 1 sweatshirt/hoodie/sweater that needs a facelift
  • a 1/4 of a yard or so of a contrasting fabric
  • sewing machine or needle and thread
  • pins
  • scissors
First, if your sweatshirt is too big, like mine, you'll want to size it down.  Put it on inside out and pin it to the size you want it.  Sew along where you pinned to take it in and trim.  I also cut off the bottom band of the sweatshirt, but this isn't necessary.  You could also cut off the cuffs of the sleeves if desired.
Once your sweatshirt fits the way you like it, cut a large heart or other shape out of your contrasting fabric.  This is a great way to use up scraps!
Pin the heart to the sweatshirt, making sure it is centered.  (Mine's a little off...)  Zig-zag around the heart to attach it to the sweatshirt.  You could also use that iron-on fusible web stuff if you didn't want to sew it. 
As you can see, I zig-zagged around the large heart twice, without bothering to hem the edges.  Another option for the heart would be to just paint one on with fabric paint.  In fact, that was my original plan, but I ran out of paint.  So I covered it up with fabric.  And I like it better this way anyway.  :)
For the elbow patches, try on your sweatshirt and bend your elbow.  Mark the center of your elbow with a pin or a pen.  Cut two smaller hearts from your fabric and pin them on.  Center the hearts on the marks on the elbows of the shirt and pin them on.  Attach them as desired.  I used my sewing machine, but it was a little tricky, so I might recommend hand-sewing the patches on.
That's it!  Another easy refashion!
I'm kind of in love with the elbow patches.  Definitely makes the whole thing.  I want to sew elbow patches on all of my shirts now.  :)
I turned this giganto 80's sweatshirt into something I'll actually wear this fall and winter.  I'd call that a success!  What do you think?  Would you try this refashion?
Recycled Fashion

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Maxi Style

Yep, I'm finally wearing the maxi dress I made a while back.  I hadn't worn it yet, because I couldn't figure out how to style it.  But now that I have my awesome new denim jacket, that problem is solved!  And yes, the last picture is my "how awesome is this jacket?" picture.  ;)  The blue accents and denim jacket were just what this dress needed to make it more casual.  It was a super comfy outfit for church and watching "Born to be Wild" at OMSI. (that's the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, for you non-Portlanders.)
And yes, my necklace does match my nails perfectly.  This was unintentional!  But actually, they are exactly the same, because the necklace is painted with the nail polish.  It was just a gray/black stone in the middle before.  It was a hand-me-down from my great grandma, but I never ever wore it.  It was kinda ugly.  So I decided to give it a few coats of nail polish to turn it into a trendier statement necklace.  And now I like it.  :)
Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!  Mine got better just now because I devoured a deliciously fresh, juicy apple while reading "Mattimeo" by Brian Jacques.  Small pleasures.  :)
P.S. "Born to be Wild" was a pretty cute movie, especially if you're into animals.  I'm not that much of an animal person, but I do love elephants, so I thought it was kinda adorable for that reason.  I want a baby elephant now.
Dress: self-made.  Jacket: thrifted.  Necklace: refashioned.  Belt: borrowed from my grandma, then refashioned.  Ring: bought it in Austria. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

 Just a quick post/teaser about some posts I have in the working.  I've been busy the last few days and I haven't had the chance to finish the few projects/posts I'm working on, but here's some sneak previews.  :)

A sweatshirt refashion...
...a scrap-eating elephant...
...and a few other things I don't have pictures of yet.  :)  Stay tuned.  Oh, and Happy Birthday to my mom and happy first day of autumn for all of you.  :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Washer-woman Woes

One of my clothing wishes from my last post has already come true!  I went to a new, hole-in-the-wall thrift store yesterday, and behold!  There was this denim jacket in my size just hanging there waiting for me.  I tried it on and it fit!  A denim jacket for the price of a Starbucks drink.  3 dollars, people!  *Cue mini happy dance*  I also found a cute silk scarf/bandana thing for a buck. 

 This brings me to a confession.  Before now, I haven't always washed everything I've thrifted before I've worn it.  I know, I know, that's probably gross.  Most thrift stores usually seem pretty clean and stuff, so I just haven't bothered a lot of the time.  But after today, I think I will always wash my thrifting finds.  My sisters informed me that the store I found the jacket and scarf at smelled bad (I hadn't noticed.  Wonder what that says?) so I determined to hand wash them quickly just to get any smells out.  This was perfect for the scarf, but when I started washing the jacket, the water was turning dirty pretty quickly and I got a little grossed out.  So into the washing machine it went.  Now it's clean and fresh and ready to be worn.  Sorry if I've disturbed you with my little story.  ;)
I have a second story about thrifting and washing.  Remember that dress I thrifted a few weeks ago?  This one?
 After I had worn it once, I found a stain on it (should have checked in the store...), so I was going to try to wash it out.  It was "handwash only", so that's what I did.  But the color started running!  NooooOOOooooo!!!  So now the pretty white flowers are bluish.  Bummer.

See the damage?  If any of you have any ideas on how to remedy this problem, please, please let me know!  My dress and I beg you.  If worse comes to worst, I'll just cut the bottom off and turn it into a top.  But I'd still like to know if you have any suggestions first.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Wardrobe Wants

This is a list of things I would love to thrift/refashion/somehow aquire for this fall.  These are not needs, merely wants.  There is a big difference.  And obviously, thrifting/refashioning would be ideal, but I might cave and buy some of these items new for my "I've reached my goal weight" shopping trip.  :)
1.  More cardigans and sweaters!  Comfy, cozy and cute.  I'd love to have a mustard yellow one, though I'm not sure how it would look with my complexion. 
2.  Colored jeans.  I really want a pair of colored skinnies.  I've seen several ways to make them yourself, but my experiences with dye thus far have not left me extremely optimistic.  So I might have to buy them new, since I've never seen any at the thrift stores.
3.  A plaid flannel shirt, preferably red.  I could possibly refashion one from a men's shirt. 
4. A plain white tee.  Simply because I don't own one, and I have lots of colored/patterned skirts that I need a plain shirt to wear with.
5.  A denim jacket or the perfect denim/chambray shirt.
6.  Oxfords.  So cute.
7.  Non-furry boots.  The boots I have have fur around the edges, so I'd love a pair without.
8.  A pair of jeans that fit me well.  Maybe skinny, maybe not.
9.  Extra number. Oops.
10.  Lace.  Plain lace fabric, preferably, but maybe a lace shirt, skirt or dress.
11.  Lace-up ankle boots.  Like the ones they wear in Little House on the Prairie.
12.  This one's just silly, and not really specific for fall.  A fedora.  I've seen so many pictures of people looking incredibly cute in them that I want to try one.  If I can find one that fits my head.  I sometimes have a hard time finding hats that fit.
So there you have it.  Some of the things on my wishlist for fall and winter.
And a question for my readers.  Would any of you be interested in a post or series of posts about transitioning your summer clothes into fall?  Please let me know your thoughts, or any particular clothing items you would like to see featured.  Thanks!

Monday, September 17, 2012

DIY Chevron Necklace (or any shape you want)

So again, I have a tutorial I want to share, but I didn't take very many pictures of my process along the way.  Hopefully I can describe it simply enough without them.  :)
Supplies needed:
  • A sheet of Shrinky Dink plastic
  • 9 or so jump rings
  • 1 jewelry clasp
  • Paint in the colors of your choice
  • Paintbrush
  • The oven
  • Picture to trace (optional)
Step 1: Trace or draw your design/shape onto the Shrinky Dink plastic.  Follow the directions on the package to shrink it in the oven.  If you are doing the chevrons, use a single hole punch to punch 4 holes in the corners of the top piece and two in the top corners of the bottom piece.  (take a look at the picture below and you'll see what I mean)  These are where your jump rings will go later.  Remember, the plastic will shrink 3x, so everything will look big before it goes in the oven.
Step 2:  When you've shrunk your plastic, it's time to paint.  I painted mine gold on one side and a red/pink ombre thing on the other so it's reversible.  2 necklaces in one!  I used a few coats of acrylic paint, however, you could also color the plastic with markers or colored pencils before you shrink it.  If you have a lot of colorful Sharpies, that could be really fun.  Also, I'm not sure that acrylics were the best choice for the job, but they were what I had on hand.
Step 3:  Link the two chevrons together with jump rings.  Look at the picture to see how I constructed it.

There are 3 jump rings connecting the top and bottom.  On top, I have two jump rings on one side, and a jump ring and a clasp on the other side.  This is so that... can open up one of your existing chains and attach it non-permanently to the necklace.  The clasp of the chain attaches to the jump ring side of the chevron charm and vice versa.

That's it!  Fairly simple, no?  Certainly way cheaper than buying one!  And think of the possibilities for all of those extra Shrinky Dinks!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Red and White a.k.a. No Creative Title

I recently saved this sheer blouse from my mom's "get rid of" pile.  It had a few stains, but I managed to partially bleach them out so they're not as noticable.  Then I realized it would be good to wear with my new skirt.  The denim of the skirt keeps the blouse from feeling too fancy.  And I finally know what to wear my red polka dot flats with. 
I really like this outfit!  Like, really, really like it!  Sometimes you just find an outfit that you love, and, not gonna lie, it feels good.  :)
Shirt: my mom's (originally from Chadwicks.)  Skirt: refashion.  Shoes: thrifted.  Belt: thrifted.  Bag: thrifted.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Late Night Outfit Post

Yep, that's my creative title for this post.  This post was going to be slightly more elaborate, but it's late and I'm tired, so this is what you get.  :)  A few pictures of what I wore today.  It's a really simple outfit, because I didn't even leave the house today, but I still think it's kinda cute.  My "new" denim shirt and my trusty brown skirt.  A pretty good combo for a lazy, indian-summer kinda day. 
Skirt: Old Navy.  Shirt: refashion.  Necklace: self-made. (Tutorial coming soon!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Granny Shorts Refashion

Behold!  The "granny" shorts!  Actually, I've been on the hunt for "granny" shorts ever since I saw this post from 49 Dresses.  I thought that the skirt she made was so cute, and I loved the fact that it had pockets!  So when I spotted these red denim shorts in my size at the thrift store yesterday, I snagged them.  They're fairly awful as shorts, unless you're creating a Mickey Mouse costume, but I knew that they'd be an adorable skirt.  So this morning I got to work.

Step 1 is to take apart the center seam using a seam ripper or scissors.  Scissors are easier.  :)  To clarify, you want to rip the seam that goes from the inside of 1 leg to the other. 

You should then be able to lay it out like this, with "J" shapes in the front and back and the side seams in the center.  (Note the gigantic pockets.  Bonus!  Who doesn't love skirts with pockets?)

Pin it in a line (slightly angled) and sew down.  The idea is to get the "J" shape to go away.  So you're sewing straight down, but not quite.  Clear as mud?  Maybe you should go over to 49 Dresses for a second.  Her post has a good diagram.  My picture above isn't exactly how I ended up sewing it.  I had to fix the angles a little.
This brings me to an important point.  Try it on before you cut off the excess fabric!!!  I have learned this valuable lesson from past refashions.  Once you trim the seam, you're commited, so make sure you like it how it is.  When I tried mine on, it was doing something strange in the back, so I took it off and tried again.  My refashions involve many trips to the bathroom or bedroom to try things on in front of a mirror to see if I like how it's fitting, ect.

Once you've got the front and back the way you like them, you're pretty much done.  Trim off the extra "J" fabric and finish the seams however you like.  You could serge them, zig-zag or leave it the way it is.  I zig-zagged along my hem, then did some top stitching on the new seams I had created to make them match the rest of the skirt.  At this point, you could add back pockets, adjust the length, whatever you want.  It's really up to you.  :)

The finished front...

...and back.

Wear your skirt with pride and no one will ever guess its humble beginnings as "granny" shorts unless you tell them.  If you do tell them, they'll probably be very impressed with your refashioning abilities.  ;)

If you have any questions, or need me to clarify any of my instructions, please let me know!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Quest Continues...But I Saved the Shirt!

 Lately, I've been on the hunt for the perfect denim shirt or jacket.  They go with practically everything and they are definitely "in" right now.  When my mom put an old denim shirt in the "to get rid of" pile, I snatched it and decided to try to alter it to fit me.  If I ruined it, no big deal.  And no, I didn't ruin it, but I came close a few times.  (I didn't take a before picture of just the shirt, but I wore it in this post, so you can see it there.)
I don't have a full tutorial for you, but here's a few tips that may or may not be helpful. 
First of all, put your shirt on inside out and pin it around your body so that it fits you the way you like it.  Then sew along where you've pinned. 
Ideally, you could save the sleeves, but I wanted to take them in, so I cut them off and then got too lazy and frusterated to figure out how to put them back on properly.  So I settled for a vest instead.
The arm holes gave me problems.  I thought I should just sew up the sides leaving an armhole the size I wanted, but when I did that, the chest no longer fit right.  So I ripped it out and sewed it up with the original arm hole size.  Then it fit in the front, but the armholes were huge and gaping.  Grr.  All that to say, darts are your friend and not that hard.  Just make a dart from the sleeve going in.  It will fix your shaping problems if you do it right.  Again, try it on and pin it while you're wearing it.
 After you sew on your darts, try it on to make sure they're even. Mine weren't, so I tried again. And I had to take off the pocket to sew the darts, hence the big ugly spot. Once I got the darts right, I just sewed the pocket back on.
Hem the arm holes, fix any broken buttons (I had to...) and adjust the length of the shirt if desired.  And you're done!
 See?  It fits waaaay better now.
 Although it wasn't what I had envisioned, it's not horrible.  I saved it and turned it into something I can wear without looking like a tent.  Always a bonus.  :)  I also may add some contrasting pockets or something to this shirt sometime as well.
And here's a sneak preview (a.k.a. really bad picture) of the results of a half hour in one of my favorite little thrift stores.  If you live in the area, check it out!  It's called Chase Me Again and it's located in downtown Gresham.  Their prices are extremely reasonable and the best part is that all the proceeds go to local charities!
I got a pair of red granny shorts (all shorts were $1 today!) that I plan to turn into a skirt tomorrow, a leather purse (I've been wanting one for a while), and three books (books were 1/2 off today!).  I know that this is unrelated to my shirt refashion, but I was a little excited about my finds.  ;)
Thanks for hanging with my long-ish post!