Recently I had the privilege of making a sweater teddy bear for Sharon of Gentlestitches, both shown in the photo below. Sharon sent a well-loved carousel-horse-print sweater all the way from Australia to Kansas, USA and wrote such a lovely post when her bear (now named Eddie!) arrived home. Here’s to bloggy friends near and far! ♥ P.S. Click here and here for more bear love.
I know that you . . . like me . . . are all HUGE fans of Beth, the Renegade Seamstress.
Besides her inspiring blog full of “real” projects that any of us can try, Beth also sponsored Refashion Runway, is a weekly contributor to eHow, and has a book coming out this fall that I can’t WAIT to read!
Now Beth has been asked to teach a live web seminar on March 31 for BurdaStyle and has invited all of us to participate!
“Refashion: Inspiration and Projects to Revamp and Recycle Your Wardrobe”
I know it will be amazing . . . congratulations, Beth! ♥
I love it! Can I have it, pretty please?
If you have a favorite old sweater, you can send it to me and I’ll make you a bear! (I owe you a present anyway after winning one of your giveaways!) Shoot me an email if you decide to go for it!
Really really? And you don’t owe me anything! Let me see if I can find a sweater!
Yes, really! It’ll be fun!
Eventually, Evgenia got a chance to send a couple of sweaters, and I got to work. The large bear is from the same pattern I used before (McCall’s Crafts 703) and the smaller one is from Claire’s cute (and FREE!) Mr. Ted pattern on Craft Schmaft. After a bit of embroidery and button, ric-rac, and flower a-la-mode, they’re all ready to put in the mail to my bloggy pal. I hope you love them, Evgenia! ♥
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a What Can You Make With A . . .? project, but I have one today! The inspiration was this blue dress. It was soft, swingy, and SO comfortable, with pockets in the side skirt seams, perfect with a black cardigan for chilly days . . . and what’s not to love about polka dots? But my mirror (and an “honest” family member) told me that this was not my best look and added more than a few pounds to my curves. So, out came the scissors.
- The skirt is PERFECT as . . . a skirt! And I still get to enjoy the lovely color, fabric, and pockets. I simply cut it off a little above the empire waist, nipped and tucked here and there, and used the top of the cut-off piece to make a waistband. I love wearing it with my black pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
- You’ve already seen the laptop case I made with the sleeves and neck elastic. I LOVE it and use it every day. It’s especially fun when someone asks where I got it!
- That left just some bits and pieces, so I cut them into strips, twisted and stitched them into a flower, and used it for a-la-mode on a fun spring pillow I stitched up with some bird fabric from my stash. (Spring WILL come, right???)
Ahhhhh . . . much better! ♥
When I saw this post on Thrift Store Crafter, I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a journal upcycled from a vintage book! I also remembered that I’d promised the person who gave it to me (my BFF/sister Susan) that I would actually USE it and not put it away with my treasures, so I got it off the shelf and began listing all the crafts/sewing projects I want to make and tucking in clippings and patterns. Now, when I find myself with a little block of free time, I’ll be all ready to go. And besides . . . this journal just makes me smile! ♥ P.S. Be sure to check out Sarah’s tutorials on Thrift Store Crafter!
Happy 2014! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas season. I had extra fun with my family celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, AND my birthday! And, with several days off from work, I enjoyed some extra sewing and crafting time, too.
Remember my sweater teddy bear? For my first holiday break project I wanted to use up the leftover sweater parts, and I found the perfect idea in the January, 2014 Woman’s Day magazine, submitted by Anna of Lasso the Moon. For mine, I . . .
- cut the scraps into two-inch squares,
- folded them in half,
- strung them on stiff wire,
- tied off the wire, and
- added a ribbon.
It’s always fun to have something new to hang after undecorating for Christmas! ♥
First of all, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments, good wishes, and over 100 LIKES on my Christmas Bunting post! I met my writing deadline for work and had an extra-special time with our Thanksgiving guests. Before I straighten the house and start decorating for Christmas, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our friend Mahe’s newest “green crafting” e-book that you can get TODAY through DECEMBER 4 for FREE by clicking here! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for your computer—also for free—right here.) The book includes step-by-step photos and directions for a Christmas tree, snowman, package toppers and tags, ornaments, placecards, a mobile, bunting, cards, envelopes, gift bags, and LOTS of fun handmade gifts. Most of the projects are designed by Mahe herself but (as always!) Mahe welcomes guest artists, such as:
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Vicky of Vicky Myers Creations
- Cherie of Down In Fairy Dell
- Cristin of Eve of Reduction
I had a sentimental sweater from a beloved family member that always seemed to say “teddy bear,” so I decided to give it a go! I have a hand-me-down pattern that was a perfect fit for the sweater front and back (McCall’s Crafts 703), but otherwise I probably would have sketched my own. The eyes only required a bit of embroidery on two of the knit-in designs. Then, since the McCall’s pattern was faceless, I used Claire’s cute (and FREE!) softie pattern on Craft Schmaft to figure out the snout. After stitching and stuffing, the squeezable, huggable Teddy is in the arms of a sweet little one. Plus, I still have the sleeves and a few smaller remnants left for new projects . . . we’ll see what those bits say! ♥
I won the CUTEST business card holder in a recent giveaway by Barbara of Zibergirl Sews! (Click here for a tutorial if you’d like to make your own!) If you followed Season 1 of Refashion Runway on The Renegade Seamstress, you’ve already met Barbara! You can also see an amazing gallery of her sewing projects here. Thank you, Barbara . . . and keep inspiring us with those fabulous creations! ♥
I really love cardigans. I have
quite a few way too many! While we were packing for our recent trip, I was folding my turquoise cardigan to put in my suitcase, and I saw this pull on the back. I have no idea how or when it appeared, but I was bummed. However, by the time we got home, I knew just how to fix it! Lucky for me, the pull was perfectly centered, so I handstitched a bit of crocheted cotton lace over it and added three “sister” (but not triplet) blue buttons into the lace designs. Now my cardigan is way cuter than it was before . . . so this Eeek!!! turned out JUST right! ♥
For my two year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world who you would like to have as next-door neighbors. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came from around the world! The blogger with the most nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some new treasures and return. This year’s winner was Staci of Crafty Staci, who decided to send her going-away dress from her wedding 22 years ago! She said, “It’s been stored under my bed ever since. I’d love to have it made into some things I could actually have out to enjoy, and red is still my favorite color, so that’s what I’ll be shipping to you.” I was so excited, and when this exquisite handmade dress arrived, my mind started spinning! So . . .today is the reveal! Here we go!
(1) I always like to start with a pillow, and the bodice of this dress was the perfect size to make a pillow cover for a 12 x 16 cushion. After detaching it from the skirt and shoulder straps and removing the boning, I traced and embroidered the logo from Staci’s blog and Etsy shop. Next, I put the pillow inside and nipped and tucked and pinned until I had a perfect fit, then took in the seams and stitched across the bottom. (The zipper is still in the back, just shortened a bit.) To fill in the armholes at the top, I made a lining with a coordinating floral fabric that could peek out at the corners, checked the fit again, pinned, then stitched the top closed. Then all I had to do was trim the seams, turn, press, and zip the pillow inside. I love that I got to showcase the lovely lace on both the front and back of the pillow!
(2) Next, I wanted to use part of the still-gathered skirt to make something to wear and decided on an apron! I found my inspiration on page 40 of my A is for Apron book by Nathalie Mornu which had a short skirt over a longer one. I used pieces from several different apron patterns along with some of my own ideas and two fun fabrics from my stash, and it came together perfectly. Here it is blowing in the wind on photo shoot day!
(3) When I saw the size and shape of the shoulder straps, I immediately thought of a bow clutch–one strap for the bag and one for the bow. However, this project turned out to be a little more challenging! I opened up one of the straps for the bag, made a lining from a coordinating fabric in my stash, and attempted to put in a zipper. Since the bottom was already closed up, that was a total fail! So I carefully removed the crooked zipper and simply blanket stitched the top and lining together, then added a button hole and vintage button for the closure. Next, I opened up the side seams and handstitched the other shoulder strap in on both sides, being careful not to catch the lining since I probably should have done this step first! (Since both pieces are padded, the seam was too thick for my machine.) Finally, I used another strip of the lining fabric to cinch the middle of the outer piece to form the bow. So . . . it’s not as perfect as I had envisioned . . . but maybe it will be cute for an evening event where the lights are low??? ♥
(4) The next step was to trim the hem from the skirt. With it, I made three of those fun “twist, coil, and stitch” flowers. I had a straw wreath and some red and green ribbon in my craft stash, so I wrapped the wreath, added green vintage buttons to the flowers, stitched the flowers onto the wreath, and added a coordinating green ribbon for hanging.
(5) Last but not least, I decided to make something kind of artsy and festive with a remaining piece of skirt fabric. I cut it into one-inch strips and made a pom-pom, then I hung it from ribbon on a gold wooden frame from my stash. I hope it will inspire the idea of “celebrating the everyday” as Staci lives her very creative life with her loved family and friends.
Thank you for being our good neighbor, dear Staci . . . and your package is in the mail! ♥
A year or so ago I had fun making some vintage earring magnets but I’ve given them all away, so it was time for another batch. Simply use pliers to pull the hardware from a clip earring, then superglue a sturdy magnet on the back! Then I had a chance to go to a new-to-me antique store last week, and I found a vintage metal tray to use as a magnetic memo board . . . a perfect match! ♥
P.S. What are the memos, you ask?
- Top Left—A recipe for “Peachy Spread” (to serve on quick breads) from my friend Janice: Mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of baby food peaches, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
- Top Right—“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
- Bottom Left—A photo for a project I can’t wait to make . . . the ANNY BAG from my bloggy friend of It’s Sew Anny!
- Bottom Right—Adorable Josh . . . our youngest grandson! ♥
When the lovely Simona of Sewing Adventures in the Attick decided to downsize her pattern collection, she hosted a giveaway . . . and I won two! I can’t wait to try them out! If you haven’t met Simona yet, please click below to read about:
- her Craftsy class,
- her cute pillows (and you KNOW how much I love pillows!),
- her gorgeous party dress,
- her sporty red and white dress,
- her altered T’s, and
- her colorful Christmas stockings!
Thank you, Simona! ♥
THANK YOU for helping me celebrate my second blog anniversary with another amazing outpouring of nominations for the Good Neighbor Award! For every blogger listed below, an avid reader (or more than one!) took time out of her busy schedule to send me an email telling me how much she would love to have you for a neighbor and why. Isn’t that just the most lovely compliment?
- First, I’ll share the comments, in no particular order.
- Then I’ll list the blogs that were nominated in ABC order. (Be sure to click on the links to find some new friends!)
- Finally, I’ll announce who got the most nominations and wins the giveaway. Here we go!
- Living next door to this blogger would be great. She could help me with my photography skills and I know I would learn so much from her. She is such a sweet person and I feel a kindred spirit with this lovely lady.
- She’s my twin but she doesn’t know it . . . we must have been separated at birth!
- She’s so stinkin’ funny!!!
- Her home sounds like quilt heaven. Imagine being able to visit any time I’d like!
- Because of her, I can’t throw ANYTHING away without first pondering how to reuse it in a creative new way.
- I would like to have her as my next door neighbor to have a cup of tea together because she is so friendly and cheerful.
- I love the ideas she has for different crafts, plus she just sounds like the kind of person who would make a great neighbor.
- She’s Wonder Woman in disguise!
- Her tips make my life easier.
- She makes me look forward to getting older because she has so dang much fun!
- Her patterns and tutorials inspire me, teach me, and stretch my limits.
- Her DIYs are to DIE for!
- I so admire how she balances her family, job, and creative pursuits. I hope to be able to do that someday, too!
- She’s SO sweet! What’s not to like???
- Her cards and paper crafts are a delight to the eyes.
- I’ve learned so much about how to make my home more company-ready and hospitable from her, something that’s very important to me.
- Her OOTDs are so inspiring! I’d love to be able to recreate something similar from my own closet. If she lived next door, she could help me!
- Her blog is WAY better than Pinterest!
- I love, love, LOVE the jewelry she designs and sells! It would be so much fun to watch her in action!
- She has given me lots of good advice, both knowingly and unknowingly. I just love the way she thinks things through.
- She’s so creative, yet so humble . . . I can’t imagine a nicer neighbor to have.
- She was one of the very first supporters when I joined the blogging world and has been a super bloggy friend. Even though we live in different countries, I feel that we are close friends and close neighbours. I am always inspired by each one of her posts. She always leaves me thinking a bit more deeply about the simple things in life.
- She’s REAL! And not many people are real these days.
- Her sense of humor never fails to brighten my day.
- She always takes wonderful photography and it would be so neat if she was my neighbor and could teach me how to take better photos!
- She makes me laugh every day.
- I would love for her to drop in for a cup of tea and show me her latest ideas. I would like to tell her some kids’ craft ideas of my own and she could use them in her own work.
- Her gentle, loving personality comes through her art.
- I want her craft room! Please, please, please move next door and help me!
- Her blog is many things to many people (crafty, witty, funny, sweet and always, always kind and caring). I never would have dreamed that a woman I met through blogging would one day become one of my dearest friends.
- I wish she lived next door for a hundred reasons: we have an amazing ‘kindred spirit’ connection. If she lived next door we would share walks, talks and cups of tea. We would craft together, visit antique shops, eat falafels and be there for each other (as we are now) through thick and thin.
- She makes me laugh. She makes me smile. She loves animals and children and shows her care through words and deeds. I would be one lucky woman to have her living next door.
- Her life seems to be a lot like mine was 15 years or so ago, when the youngest kid was just starting school and the oldest was starting the teenaged years. I’d love to have her next door so I could say every morning “You’re doing a great job! They’ll be fine!”
- I love how she weaves her faith in God into her everyday life. It’s hard to do that without being preachy, but she nails it.
- She’s always nice and encouraging and seems like a fun person to be around.
- She has a variety on her blog but what I would love to learn from her is paper piercing. She has done some amazing birds and I have bought one of her cushions, so beautifully made. Very inspiring and very creative.
- I’ve learned so much from her about how to promote my business through my blog.
- Her recipes are so amazing that I just want to lick my computer screen. If she lived next door, I’d always leave my window open so I could enjoy the good smells coming from her kitchen.
- They make me laugh!!! They need to move to my neighborhood so we can go shopping together.
- She could check my patterns and find the errors! (That’s selfish, I know . . . LOL!)
- She has a great blog full of wonderful craft projects to do with your children. They are inexpensive and fun projects that promote lots of creative play. She would be fantastic to have as a neighbour, endless ideas for me!
- She cares for the world and everyone in it. I admire that.
- There are actually two ladies that I would like to have as neighbors. They are both so generous with their time and talents. I look forward to their posts. They lift my spirits and make me laugh. They are also wonderful at teaching their particular craft.
- She’s so open about sharing the ups and downs of her life . . . I need someone like that next door!
- She helps me so much over at my blog. When I get stuck with how to do things, she just writes me a lovely clear instruction and I am away. She is kind, generous with her time, has a terrific sense of humour and talented at crochet! I wish she lived nearby.
- Her writing voice is so witty. I’ve learned a lot about writing AND life from her!
- I’m so much more organized since I’ve “met” her through her blog. If she lived next door, I’d hire her to help me get my whole house in ship-shape.
- I never heard of “refashioning” until I read her blog. Now I see it everywhere, but hers are the best of the best! I’d so love to learn from her.
- I want her to move next door so I can see her collections and so we can go thrifting together. What fun we’d have!
- I’d invite her over for coffee and get her advice on redoing my living room . . . or kitchen . . . or family room . . .
- Her tablescapes never cease to amaze me. They make me want to entertain every night just so I can create such prettiness!
- She could teach me to crochet and make me laugh!
- She helps me keep things in perspective. I need a next door neighbor just like her!
- She ALWAYS “likes” and comments on my blog posts. That means SO much to me!
- Her refashions are beyond words! Maybe, just maybe, she could teach me to do that!
- It is one of many grandparenting blogs I read, but it is above and beyond because of her exceptional photography, quilting, decorating, gardening, shopping skills, and it is an all around fun blog. She has a great sense of humor and I could picture myself sharing a cup of coffee and dessert with her and enjoying the conversation immensely.
- Where do I begin? I use her recipes! I try her decorating ideas! I pin her crafts! She simply inspires me with each and every post. How wonderful it would be to have her as my next-door neighbor!
Please pick up your button above to display on your blog (if you wish). Nothing is required. I just want you to know that you’ve made a big impression on someone (or many someones!) and that we’re all grateful you’re sharing your life with us. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . the blog with the MOST nominations is . . . Crafty Staci! Click here to read about your prize, Staci, and if you choose to accept it, please email me and I’ll send you my mailing address to get the ball rolling. CONGRATULATIONS! ♥
It has been SO much fun to get SO many email nominations for the Good Neighbor Award this week! I’ll be posting the results this Sunday, September 22, so you still have time to send me the names of your favorite neighborly bloggers! Click here for details . . . and remember that the blog with the MOST nominations wins a prize like the one below! (Click here for a description . . . all made from last year’s winner’s beautiful but no-longer-needed sundress!) Also, I got an email from author/blogger Geraldine Hartman of Veggies, Yarns & Tails and she is offering Kindle versions of ALL of her books for FREE this Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to check them out! (Remember . . . you don’t have to own a Kindle–you can download the app here for your smartphone, tablet, or PC.) Thank you, Geraldine! ♥
AWARD: Simply put, the Good Neighbor Award is for someone you’ve met in the blogging world you wish could be your real-life neighbor. To nominate a blogger, simply email me (to keep it a surprise!) at email@example.com, including a link to the blog and why you’d like this blogger to live next door. Is it to cook, sew, craft, shop, or write together? To learn to do something new? To be inspired? To visit over a cup of tea? Nominees will receive the award button on my second blogiversary, Sunday, September 22. (Click here to read about last year’s nominations!)
GIVEAWAY: The person with the MOST nominations will be invited to send me a formerly-loved garment that I’ll make into some fun treasures and return. (Click here and here to read about last year’s winner!) Thank YOU for being MY good neighbors the past two years, and I hope to hear from you soon! ♥
I got a lovely gift in a pretty lime green Coldwater Creek shopping bag that had the store name written across both sides, but I wanted to reuse the bag for a homemade gift. So, I cut out some flowers from last year’s calendar and glued them on the sides . . . perfect! P.S. The lace hairbow on the card is from my recent vintage dress upcycle . . . a little extra gift to go with what’s inside. ♥
Do you follow Awesome Sauce and Asshattery? If you haven’t discovered it yet, please pay Sheri a visit soon! Her creative projects and fun-loving writing style are guaranteed to inspire you and make you smile. Sheri has also written TWO books now! I previously reviewed the first one, Life on the Zig Zag, which is now available in a Kindle version. And Sheri is offering the second book in her “Confessions of a Refashionista” series called Bewitched Bedsheets FREE from Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1! It’s on Kindle, too . . . but remember that you can read Kindle books on any PC or tablet with the free Kindle App. I can’t wait! Click HERE for complete details and worldwide links, and thank you from all of us, Sheri! ♥
I have a super-lightweight coral cardigan that I made even more summery by cutting and hemming the sleeves to 3/4 length. You may have some cuffs lying around from your altering/refashioning projects, too! To turn them into pouches, simply stitch the ends, sew on buttons and cording loops, and fold them over . . . perfect for presenting a gift card or jewelry gift to someone special! ♥
In June, I wrote in this post about our crafty upcycling friend Mahe (aka MZ) that included a call for submissions for her new upcycled craft book. The Green Crafts Lifestyle is now out, and it’s amazing! It includes sections on paper, plastic, wood, metal, and fabric and has projects from 20 artists around the world, including four of my bloggy friends:
- Vicky of Vicky Meyers Creations
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Lora of Lora Lee’s Centsations
- and Sheri of Awesomesauce and Asshattery (author of her own new Kindle book . . . click HERE for details!)
Along with 35 projects detailed on nearly 200 pages of photographs and step-by-step directions, you’ll find author bios and photos with links to their blogs, websites, and other online contacts.
Now for the promotion! To provide all crafters with a chance to learn from these techniques, Mahe’s Altered Upcycling business will provide unlimited FREE Kindle copies of The Green Crafts Lifestyle this Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18! Kindle doesn’t restrict you to its device; you can read the book on any PC machine or tablet with the free Kindle App. Simply click HERE for your free copy.
AND . . . drum roll . . . MZ is looking for MORE submissions from MORE of you! In her words: “We need talented artists, crafters, and upcyclists to provide projects and tutorials based on upcycling and green crafting. Altered Upcycling will take submissions for Part 2 of “The Green Crafts Lifestyle” series, and the project submission deadline is August 31, 2013. Please make sure you send tutorials that upcycle wood, plastic, paper, glass, or fabric. The tutorials must be in MS Word format with the pictures embedded in the doc file. I will also need a photo of you as well as an artist bio and links to your blogs, Etsy shops, etc. Please email tutorials to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s save the world one craft project at a time!”
Thank you, Mahe! ♥ P.S. If you haven’t entered my “Catch-up Giveaway,” please click HERE!
Hi! I’m back from my Pillows A-La-Mode month off! I spent it working 12-hour days on several huge writing assignments for work (some that aren’t quite finished yet!) and going on a lovely trip. I’ve missed reading your blogs, so I came up with a way to catch up that I think will be fun for us all. Will you post a comment with a link to your favorite article you’ve posted on your blog in the past month? I promise to read them all! Plus, I have PRIZES! Three commenters will receive either my vintage shabby chic pillow, apron, or clutch! (Please add a note to your comment if you have a preference . . . otherwise you’ll be in the drawing for all three!) I’ll announce the winners in one week—on Friday, August 16. Have a happy weekend . . . I can’t wait to hear from you! ♥
I’m taking a month off from blogging to finish a big writing assignment and go on a little trip. (Will I have the willpower not to click on my WordPress reader with my morning coffee??? We’ll see . . .) But first, I want to share my latest “What Can You Make With A . . . “ project. I got this dress from my friend Liz who bought it at a rummage sale for ONE DOLLAR! (Click here to meet her.) The color and fabric were perfect for some shabby chic projects, like . . .
- a pillow with fabric rosettes,
- a lace hair bow with a fabric rosette,
- an evening bag with zipper flower a-la-mode,
- a half apron (with a bit of toile from my stash),
- and a lace-decoupaged flower pot.
Here are the creative bloggers and authors who inspired me. See you in August! ♥
Apron: Page 51 of One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins (“Granny’s Clothespin Apron” designed by Elorie Bechtel)
Lace-Decoupaged Pot: Urban Comfort
As much as I love to sew, I couldn’t resist this dress I found at Old Navy.
The color! The print! The lightweight, summery, flowy fabric! The neckline! The tucks! The matching belt! The price!
But . . . after “almost” wearing it several times, I decided it was too short for 5′ 10″ me.
So, out came the scissors and off came 6 inches from the hem. After a quick pinning and hemming on the sewing machine, I had a PERFECT tunic to wear over capris or skinny jeans!
The drapiness made the remaining fabric perfect for an infinity scarf, too. All I had to do was hem the raw edge . . . quick, easy, and a fun “freebie” accessory.
P.S. My grandmother made these beautiful crocheted hangers for me when I was a new bride. I AM going to learn how to do this someday! ♥
For all my bloggy friends who love to sew and refashion, you MUST be sure to follow Beth’s exciting new competition—the first-ever Refashion Runway taking place at The Renegade Seamstress! Click here to read about the competitors (who had to apply and try out!) and here to read about the sponsors and prizes. Oh, and EVERYONE can vote AND sew along! Here are the categories:
Week One: Stripes
Week Two: Denim
Week Three: Copy Cat from a magazine, catalog or celebrity
Week Four: Summer Dress
Be sure to read this post for complete details. Thank you for hosting this fun summer activity, Beth . . . and best wishes to all the competitors! ♥
Last month I told you about my “biggest refashion ever” . . . making a first communion dress from a wedding gown. It’s done! I would never attempt a tutorial, because every gown is different, but here is a summary of the steps that worked for me:
- I used the bodice from the Butterick 3350 pattern, cutting it from the gown train.
- I also used the Butterick 3350 sleeve, cutting it from the beaded top front of the gown.
- I was able to use the gown’s skirt (taken in at the side seams and shortened, of course) and preserve the back of the gown (including the original zipper!) by stitching it right onto the new bodice.
- I made a sash from the extra buttons going down the gown’s back through the train.
- Finally, I snipped the beads from the remaining remnants and handstitched them around the front neckline.
My only advice is to (1) spend quite awhile thinking, planning, and sketching before you start, (2) baste everything (and let your special little girl try it on!) before sewing anything permanently, and (3) keep every little bit of fabric and embellishment, because you might use it. Thank you for joining in my excitement over this once-in-a-lifetime project! P.S. I couldn’t resist using the “Radiance” effect from PicMonkey on the photo below. ♥
I am the VERY excited winner of the recent one-year blog anniversary giveaway by Linda (aka LubbyGirl) of the REmissionary! From a pair of jeans, Linda created this cute bag with two pockets on the front, a big pocket on the back, a zippered pocket and a snap pocket inside, and a tab and button closure . . . and I love the way she attaches the strap to the front on one side and the back on the other to make it lay perfectly flat against your body when you hang it over your shoulder. Linda doesn’t have an online shop yet, but I hope she opens one someday with her fun creations like this and this and this. She has also inspired me to start saving old jeans that family members no longer love so I can do some projects of my own. Besides collecting jeans, I’ve been collecting links from my blogging friends! If you have a jeans refashion/upcycle project that I don’t have on my list yet, would you be kind enough to put a link in the comments so I can add it? Thank you! And thank you to Linda for the lovely gift! ♥
- Denim Projects
- Denim Projects
- Denim Projects
- Denim Projects
- Denim Pillow
- Denim Jewelry
- Denim Basket
- Denim Basket
- Denim Bunting
- Denim Clutch
- Denim Purse
- Denim Purse
- Denim Tote Bag
- Denim Mini-Skirt Bag
- Denim Pocket Organizer
- Denim Potholders
- Denim Potholders
- Denim Rag Rug
- Denim Vest
- Denim Water Bottle Carrier
Allyson chose Butterick 3350 with sleeves, scalloped neckline, and straight hem.
I’ll admit I’m a tiny bit nervous about working with and on two such important dresses, but I’m excited about it, too!
And I have a cheerleader! My dear friend Faye transformed her daughter-in-law’s wedding dress into the stunning First Communion dress below for her adorable granddaughter, and she’s only a phone call away if I need advice and encouragement.
Watch for the big reveal in April . . . and wish me luck! ♥
March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! When I taught first grade, we always celebrated by wearing Dr. Seuss T-shirts, cooking green eggs and ham in the classroom, and reading all the kids’ favorite DS books. But now that I’ve moved on to a different career, I decided to use this well-loved T-shirt for my next “What can you make with a . . .” refashion.
- First, I used the bottom of the shirt for the no-sew spaghetti t-shirt scarf that I shared last month.
- Next, I used the “Sam’s Ham” graphic and back for a pillow (which is now on its way to some sweet little guys in Florida along with a copy of the matching book). I love that the T-shirt had a Dr. Seuss label that I could stitch into the side seam of the pillow!
- The fabric from the shoulders became a travel neck pillow with “Ahh . . .” embroidered for a-la-mode. (You’ll find a fabulous tutorial at The Cottage Home!)
- The rest of the scraps were stitched together into a rectangle and paired with a colorful remnant to make a little mat to put under a centerpiece or plant.
- Oh, and did you know that a t-shirt neckband makes a perfect no-sew headband for around the house or working out??? Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! ♥
I got this bright red, gently-used sweater along with a couple of other items for free at a consignment store with a Groupon gift certificate! It was too wide and too short and stretched out here and there, so I immediately knew it was going to become my next What can you make with a . . . project.
First, I made the heart mini-pillows I shared in this post. Then I made the big sweater pillow I shared in this post. After that, I made a business card/gift card/credit card/reward card case with floral pockets and a vintage earring button closure (click here for a great tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard) and three flower brooches with vintage earring centers. The neck and hem ribbing I hadn’t used up as ruffles on the big pillow will be package wraps (picture a small box wrapped in kraft paper with these pretty red buttoned bands stretched around them). Finally, I cut all the little bits into triangles and made bunting by stitching them onto the fun button-design ribbon I recently bought from Lizzie Rose Jewelry.
Another fun haul! ♥
I recently received a bag of vintage sweaters for pillow making, and I just fell in love with this fun print. I used everything from the armholes down, leaving the zipper in the middle for a-la-mode, stitched, and stuffed. It still has the side-seam pockets, too! I think I’ll give it as a birthday or Christmas present and tuck a gift card in the pocket. Then the recipient can use the pockets for . . . hmmm . . . the TV remote? Earphones? Tissues for a sad movie? Or . . . M&M’s??? (OK, I’m still thinking about chocolate after that last post!) ♥
In the spirit of Valentine week’s focus on pink and red . . . how cute is this??? It’s a little girl’s bag upcycled from a little girl’s smocked dress that will make a perfect gift for a little girl in my family! You can see creations like this one at my blogging friend Vicky’s Etsy shop called Vicky Myers Creations, including drawstring bags, corsage bags, messenger bags, shoulder bags, bucket bags, and knitting needle cases. As Vicky describes her business, “I love making new items out of recycled materials, upcycling fabric remnants and old clothes into new bags. Using many textures, colours, and patterns, I create unique handmade bags. Each bag has a label describing where the fabric has been sourced.” Please check out Vicky’s blog, her shop, and her FB page from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for my adorable purchase, Vicky! ♥
Remember my Wonder Woman retro apron? (You can take a quick peek here!) I’ve made and given away three so far and have more in the works, but I wanted to make a simpler, non-ruffly version for art teacher Tiffany (one of the beautiful brides on my mantel!) who wears fun aprons at work in her job as a middle school art teacher. Then I received a bag of sewing hand-me-downs, and tucked between some fabric remnants was a denim work apron—just the body with a pocket on the bib, no neck or waist ties . . . perfect! To WW-ize it, I:
- removed the pocket,
- appliqued one of my WW bibs right over the top of the denim,
- used the pocket I removed for the inside of a new WW star fabric pocket and sewed it on the skirt, and
- made and attached star-fabric neck and waist ties. Done! ♥
Last week I had a work-related training meeting in NYC. By the time I came home to Kansas I’d been in four planes, one train, and numerous cars and cabs, including a four-hour airport layover. Luckily, I’d brought along a project that hardly took up any space in my bag . . . hand-stitching little hearts made from the sleeve of an old red sweater. (If you predict a What Can You Make With A . . .? post coming up, you’re right!) I cut the shapes at home using a small cookie cutter for a template, then joined each pair together with a blanket stitch on my travels, leaving a small opening for stuffing and closing when I returned. What will I do with them? So far I’ve thought of:
- adding a pin to the back for a Valentine brooch,
- tying them onto baker’s twine for gift-wrapping,
- displaying them in a pink heart-shaped bowl,
- sewing or tying them onto a small wreath,
- sewing them onto a pillow, and
- stringing them together for garland.
Your ideas are welcome! ♥
A few days ago my tote bag handle triggered a sensor on a sink faucet in a ladies room, causing water to pour into the side pocket where I kept my cell phone! The bad news is that the phone was ruined, but the good news is that I got to trade it in for a much more up-to-date touch screen version. (Even the uber-polite sales assistant at the Verizon store laughed at my dinosaur phone! But I didn’t mind. :) ) Since the temperature was ten degrees, I soon learned first-hand what I’d always heard about gloves and touch screens. Luckily, I’ve also heard about DIY-ing your own conductive gloves, so I decided to give it a try. I found conductive thread on Amazon.com (I’m sure it’s available lots of other places, too), cut a 6-inch length, stitched a small asterisk design on the index finger of my glove (making sure that the thread went all the way through so the inside will touch the skin of my finger), and tied it off. It works! It took five minutes, and I have enough left to do all the gloves in the house. Yay for new phones and successful DIYs! ♥
My sweet daughter-in-law Christin is getting SO crafty! She made this beautiful blue no-sew spaghetti T-shirt scarf for me after seeing a how-to video on TV. I LOVE it! And, of course, I HAD to figure out how to make one myself! I found a tutorial on Margo Is Crafty that matched it perfectly, and believe it or not I finished it in TEN . . . yes TEN minutes! If you have old or extra T-shirts lying around, try this! And if you’ve already posted a tutorial for a T-shirt scarf, will you please comment with a link so I can add it below? I know there are lots of styles and techniques out there that will be fun to try. Thank you! P.S. Christin used pinking shears to cut her strips to add extra texture, and I used my regular sewing shears. I love it both ways! ♥
Other T-Shirt Scarf Links:
Do your New Year’s resolutions include using more of what you already have in your crafting, gift-making, and home decor? Then you’ll want to meet Mahe at The Altered Upcycling Blog and Altered Upcycling. Mahe explains that she has a Master’s degree in Operations Research, works at a software house, and is an avid altered artist who is constantly looking for ways to make the world greener one small craft project at a time. And, if you sign up on her blog or web site, you’ll receive her FREE pdf book called The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling for one-of-a-kind jewelry, cards, gift bags, wall art, and more. Mahe sends out free ideas and how-to videos in her email newsletter as well, such as how to make a beautiful card from a dinner napkin, old dictionary page, leftover ribbon, and glue! Mahe writes in a friendly, conversational style as if she’s sitting right beside you, includes what worked and DIDN’T work for her, and supports her ideas with step-by-step directions, photographs, and alternatives. You can get your copy by clicking on the link in this post or any time from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Mahe! ♥
My blogging friend Sheri of Awesome Sauce and Asshattery was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of her new book Confessions of a Refashionista: Life on the Zig Zag. Sheri autographs the books AND includes an item to refashion to get you started! My gift was a beautiful thrifted scarf, which Sheri suggested making into a scarfigan (page 6), crisscross vest (page 63), infinity scarf (page 64), or even a new neckline or sleeves for a shirt (pages 44 and 58). How cool is THAT??? You can read all about her book (and see fun photos of Sheri!) in this post . . . but here are some of my favorite parts:
- You can learn to refashion/redesign/embellish shirts, pants, shrugs, skirts, and flip-flops and make amazing accessories like ruffled flowers, scarves, wristlets, and bangle bracelets.
- You can learn to make a dress form from duct tape, sleeves from socks and aprons, a boho blouse from a vintage nightgown, a skirt from a tablecloth, and an amazing tunic from a BEDSHEET!
- Do you have neckties . . . doilies . . . dishtowels . . . lace? You’ll use them in amazing new ways!
- You’ll even learn to make an instant, no-sew skirt from a man’s shirt!
You can read a review of Sheri’s book at Designers Against AIDS (where Sheri donates a portion of each sale) and purchase Sheri’s book at Sew Much Fun or Dawanda. Oh, and Sheri has another store, too: Mensch T’s. And remember that you can find Sheri’s book anytime in my Shop Love! page above. THANK YOU, Sheri! ♥
No, I didn’t refashion my BFF (really my sister Susan!) . . . I love her just the way she is! :) But I DID help her turn something beautiful but too-big into something fun and fashionable. This Eddie Bauer dress is a gorgeous color with a velvety touch and drapey, travel-friendly fabric. But . . . it went almost to Susan’s ankles (even though she’s 5’10” like me), was too big around the middle, and left her neck out in the cold. To move it to the front of Susan’s closet, I:
(1) removed the skirt from the bodice,
(2) widened the two front and back darts by 1/2 inch each and did the same with the two front and back seams of the gored skirt,
(3) sewed the skirt and bodice back together,
(4) shortened the skirt by a whopping 17 inches and rehemmed, and
(5) made an infinity scarf from the fabric I cut off by reading several different tutorials I’d bookmarked and adapting them to the size and shape of the fabric I had to work with.
I think it will be super-cute with tights and boots this winter. Enjoy, Susan! ♥
Awhile back I wrote a post about my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy and how she inspired me to do the Good Neighbor Award project and refashion for my one year blog anniversary. Laura has been traveling, and I’ve been sewing, but she’s home, and I’m finished . . . so today is the reveal! Laura, your coat is now on my “What Can You Make With A . . .” page, and your package is in the mail! I was able to make:
- A pillow . . . of course! :)
- A fabric flower with beads from a vintage earring in the center
- A coffee cup cozy
- A tissue cozy (Thank you, Little Bit Funky!)
- Two jacket-sleeve notecard pouches
- A Chanel pouch makeover
- An embroidery-hoop wall hanging with Laura’s blog name
- A framed fabric-under-glass for writing notes, menus, or welcome messages for guests
- A garment dust jacket for one of Laura’s lovely outfits (Thank you, Schlosser Designs!)
- A tote bag with a jacket pocket on each side and a braided leather belt handle
- And, last but not least, all the leftover bits made into mini-bunting! ♥
Knowing that I had lots of my grandmother’s embroidered pillowcases, one of my crafty friends offered to lend me her pattern for pillowcase dolls! She explained that, historically, the dresses have matching bonnets and are worn by very simple, faceless muslin dolls so I’d actually have three items to cut out and sew—a doll, a dress, and a bonnet. Although I couldn’t locate a link for a free pattern like mine online, you can find several inexpensive (under ten dollars) patterns for dolls identical to these by Googling “pillowcase doll kits,” and you can also find free patterns for different types of rag dolls and doll dresses that could be adapted to this style. Making pillowcase dolls IS detailed and time-consuming, but it’s completely worth every tender stitch you put into it. I know these little ladies will be loved forever! ♥
My mom-in-law LOVES Chanel face powder . . . and I love it when she gives me the little black drawstring bags it comes in! Of course you can leave the famous brand name on the front, but where’s the fun in that? :) Instead, I like to cover the label with a teeny remnant. This bit of green fabric with embroidered flowers was perfect (does it look familiar? ♥), and I added some colorful “reverse blanket stitch” on the edge for extra a-la-mode. Now it’s ready for its new life as a pretty jewelry pouch . . . or even a wristlet. ♥
As you know, I’ve been having tons of fun with my “What Can You Make With A . . .” series (see page in header), so I MUST share who inspired me to offer a “makeover” for my one year blog anniversary prize! Following one of my posts, I had the following comment conversation with my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy:
Laura: Okay, that’s it. I can’t take it anymore. Either you are going to have to adopt me or I am sending you all my old clothes so you can turn them in to cool new things. Of course you’ll have to send the new things back to me.
Me: Actually, now I want to do that!!! Because you have such a beautiful wardrobe, I can only imagine what fun I’d have! Send me an item you no longer wear . . . and I’ll work my magic and mail it back to you, and we can both blog about it. Okay???
Laura: Seriously?! That is so cool! Now I will be up all night thinking about what I can send…but I have a thought. I’ll email you tomorrow. I’m soooo excited!!
Me: Yay!!! Can’t wait!
So, I thought if Laura would think this was fun, maybe someone else would, too. Thank you, Laura! And check out the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G jacket Laura sent (and click on the photo to see the beautiful embroidery!) . . . all the way from Australia to Kansas, USA! I’ll be posting on it sometime in November . . . stay tuned! ♥
For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send. I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT. I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!” So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.
- I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
- The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
- The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
- With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
- A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
- While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! :) After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
- Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet. :)
Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail! ♥
When I saw the gorgeous mantel designed by Mrs. Hines’ Class, I decided I MUST add some bunting to my autumn decor this year. I used up most of my fallish remnants making my fabric-tie wreath, but I DID have a reversible quilted placemat in just the right colors that hadn’t found its way into a project yet. I snipped it into triangles, zigzagged all the edges, then connected the tops with a strip of green fabric from my stash. I can’t wait to add it to the mantel! ♥
I was rummaging for a frame yesterday and found my long-lost fork easel! I didn’t make it . . . I bought it at a craft show. But I think I could make one now that I know A Ponytail Kind of Day! She has a post here about her fork easels. Plus, if you go to her Category Cloud and click on “silverplate,” you’ll see knives, forks, and spoons made into candleholders, bracelets, necklace pendants, money clips, vases, key chains, and napkin rings! I’ll try it if you will! ♥
P.S. Click here for a tutorial for a rock and wire photo display option . . . another fun upcycle! P.P.S. And now I just discovered this AMAZING silverware starburst mirror! You must check it out! P. P. P. S UPDATE: Spoon rings now on A Ponytail Kind of Day! :)
Do you have toy dinosaurs in your toy box? I do! Now one of them is holding my bangle bracelets! He’s so cute . . . and a surprise pop of fun in the room. P.S. Check out these dino ring holders on My So Called Crafty Life, too! ♥
Awhile back I posted photos of some vintage treasures from my dad, including an old kite he’d found in his garage. After being assured that no one had ever been able to get the kite to actually fly, I agreed to take it home to upcycle. When I took it back out to “study,” I noticed that it had two long, skinny pockets, which made me think of the plastic bag holders I’ve seen some other creative bloggers make. (Like you, I really DO try to remember my reusable tote bags for shopping, but . . . ) So, I folded it in half vertically and zigzagged along all the seams, which resulted in three more bag-stuffing spaces. With a piece of pretty rick-rack threaded through the kite string loop for hanging, it’s all ready to go! P.S. I love these upcycled can trash bag containers from Neaten Your Nest, too (and check out Erin’s beautiful new business logo while you’re there!). If you’ve posted a tutorial for bag storage, please send me a note in a comment and I’ll add your link here. Thank you! ♥
I’m at it again . . . trying to figure out fun ways to repurpose empty mint tins! I’ve already had a chance to try out my mint tin sewing kit, so this time I decided to make one into a game.
(1) Decorate the top with a tic-tac-toe symbol using paint, scrapbook paper, tape, ribbon, or fabric with embroidery (my choice!).
(2) Find five each of two different colors of buttons.
(3) Glue magnets on the buttons.
(4) You’re ready to play . . . perfect for home, the car, or restless little ones at a restaurant or waiting room.
Click the photo for a larger view, here for the super-cute version at Art + Baja that gave me the idea, here for a tic-tac-toe game made of felt, and here for another wonderful mint tin craft by Look What Mommy Made! ♥