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Circle Skirt and Belts

While I have been not been busy blogging lately I have been busy creating and producing.

CircleSkirtI finally finished the half circle skirt, not sure I will ever undertake a full circle skirt just because I will have to hem it and I am not skilled enough to ease the fullness of the hem with a sewing machine. I am pleased with the result. Initially when I cut it out and started sewing it, a year ago, I was a bit heavier so when I resumed assembly a month ago I had to do some refashioning. I folded over the waist band, which was quite wide, and added some elastic to the waist instead of putting in a zipper as I originally planned. The polka dot fabric was a bold print decision but I think with the right styling I can pull it off. It was a bit thin and see through under the white dots so I lined with with some white broadcloth.

BeltObiAnother project I finished this week was an obi belt. I decided to make this belt because I like the fashion of wide belts, however, I could not find a wide belt in the stores. I suspect they might have gone out of style, fortunately I do not care if they are over because I’m going to sport my obi belt regardless of the fashion. I got the pattern free from burda style and I got the fabric out of the clearance bin at walmart. I liked the fabric because it had a stripe woven into the fabric and it is a color that will go with many of the things in my closet. I put a piece of stiff canvas in between the two layers to give it some body. I also used grosgrain ribbon as the ties because making a tube with the fabric would have made thick ties which would be unflattering when tied. ObiI also altered the pattern a bit to make the belt longer. Following the pattern the belt only wrapped around the front half of my waist so there was only ribbon in the back. I did not care for this look so I made the belt longer to go all the way around my waist. This was a really quick and simple project. I plan to make at least two more of these belts, one with brown canvas and white burlap and potentially a belt buckle, another with two neckties from Goodwill.

Belt3The final project I completed this week was a chainmaille belt with two hop drops. All the parts of the belt are a half persian 3 in 1 weave using rings with a larger aspect ratio so that the chains would be more flexible and the weave would have a more open appearance. I got the inspiration for this belt from an episode of Glee where they performed Bon Jovi and their attire for the performance with black leather and chains. I think I achieved my goal, the belt is figure flattering and has an 80s quality to it. Belt

A Most Excellent Trip to Goodwill and a Completed Skirt Refashioning

Last week I went to Goodwill looking for a few key pieces I need for some upcycling and refashioning plans I had. I was looking for a denim jacket, a couple large men’s t-shirts and some men’s dress pants. I left the store after spending 33 dollars, a large quantity of money at Goodwill, but I did not have any of the items for which I went into the store. Instead I found some amazing items in new or near new condition as you can see in the pictures below.

I got a black Gap skirt that I think had never been worn because the two back slits had never been opened. I bought this skirt with the plan to galaxy paint it however I can not bring myself to paint on this skirt. I also found a tea length brown linen skirt from the Gap, a blue high-waisted linen skirt, and two pair of pants to refashion into skirts one from Bass and one from Geoffrey Beane. I also got a black and white skirt from Banana Republic which I think was surrendered to Goodwill because the black lining shows a little bit at the bottom, as you can see in the picture. Lucky for me I know how to remedy this, I plan to hem the lining. As you can see in the last picture, I also got a long, green and black striped, faux wrap skirt with buttons on the side. Refashioned SkirtIt is a bit frumpy so I planned to hem it, then a moment of inspiration struck and I decided that instead of simply cutting it off and hemming it I would make it into a bubble skirt. This required several attempts because the faux wrap section of the skirt produced some hiccups. But the third time was the charm and I successfully converted it into a bubble skirt, which I think is much more stylish and actually something I will wear.

Another Goodwill find, I mentioned in a previous post, was a green vintage wool and fur swing coat. I thought I would share some pictures of this fabulous coat with everyone. It is by far my biggest Goodwill score to date, which is why I forked over 15 dollars for it. It needs a little work, that collar was sewn on by hand and is starting to come off on the edges, which can easily be mended. Also the buttons on the coat, which I assume are the original buttons, are heinous. I think they are quite possibly some of the ugliest buttons I have ever seen. Thus I plan to replace the buttons with some flat buttons that will match the fur collar. I will share the results once I get all the alterations made.

I hope that next week I will finally be finished hand hemming my two layered half circle skirt. I would hem it with the sewing machine but easing the fullness with the machine is beyond my current skill set and the fabric is polka dot so I have to switch thread color frequently. I don’t think I will ever undertake a full circle skirt just because of how long it will take to hem a full circle unless I learn to ease the fullness on the sewing machine. Next week, I also plan to share my first attempt at galaxy painting on a black t-shirt.

I also have some grand plans for future projects since Walmart has had white and off white jersey knit fabric on sale for 1.50 for the past week so I now have about 12 yards of jersey knit waiting to be dyed, painted and written upon then sewn into something fabulous. Thanks to Burda Fashion I have several patterns which I downloaded for free so I am ready to roll with the projects I have in mind. Now all I need is the most elusive part, time to work.

Upcycled Lace Shorts

A few weeks ago, I saw a pair of shorts on pinterest which inspired me; plus, I already had the materials. The shorts on pinterest had added lace to the bottom of a pair of very short denim shorts with the intention of making them a more wearable length. Personally, I am not comfortable wearing such short shorts with or without lace, so I made my shorts a bit longer. The pants I cut off the make into shorts were originally a pair of Gap jeans which I bought at Goodwill with the intention of making capri pants. As I mentioned in my previous post, when I attempted to make the pants into capris I found the flare at the bottom displeasing so I changed my intention for them and cut them off into shorts.

I left the edges of the shorts frayed and unhemmed. For the lace I used a crocheted table runner that I found at Goodwill a while ago. I washed the table runner in RIT fabric whitener as it was a bit discolored. Then I cut some of the crocheted pieces apart and then cut them in half. These shorts only required a small amount of then disassembled table runner so I still have plenty of crocheted lace for future sewing projects.

After I cut the crocheted pieces in half, I pinned and then basted the pieces along the inside of each leg of the shorts. On the outside seam of both legs I put one small crocheted piece, purely for decorative purposes. I hand sewed the crocheted pieces with navy thread and I angled my stitched to match the weave of the denim so that my stitches would be as invisible as possible. I also stitched some of the edges of the crocheted pieces together. Overall, I am quite pleased with the result, I think I will wear these shorts quite often. I am interested to see how they fray with the sewn in lace.

I am almost finished with my redo of the chalkboard paint spice jars, so I hope to write about that in my next post as well as the completion of another sewing project.

Homemade Softblocks

While I was pregnant I attended a homemade baby fair held by Parents as Teachers and from this event I got the idea to make some of my own homemade baby toys. To make blocks like this is simple.

I bought some fabric from Walmart, these require a very small about of fabric. I bought about  six fat quarters and after making three blocks I had a plethora of fabric leftover. I also bought some washable stuffing from Walmart and some jingle bells from Micheal’s. These blocks can be made for about ten dollars with some stuffing and jingle bells leftover.

First I washed all my fabric in baby detergent and I cut out six squares for each block. Then I sewed four squares together in a straight row. Next I sewed two squares onto the sides of one of the squares in the row. Then I sewed all the squares together to form a cube, except for one edge so that I could turn the block right side out and put in the stuffing. Then I hand sewed the last edge.

I added the fabric tags into some of my seams so that the blocks are easier for small uncoordinated hands to hold.

In one of the blocks I put several jingle bells and in another I put a mint tin with beads in it. These two blocks make sound when the baby shakes them. For the third block I wanted it to crinkle when the baby grabbed it so I washed an empty chip bag and sewed it to the inside of the fabric squares before I started assembling the block.

My baby loves these blocks and I like them much better than the soft blocks you buy at the store.

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