Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Month In Instagram Pics: July

We're going away for the weekend to a lake house for a friend's 40th birthday...I'll be back to blogging and refashioning come Monday, but in the meantime, I'll post pics to Instagram and Facebook. Here's a look back at this past month in Instagram pics...


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eyelet Lace

This is another of the pieces I picked up in the bag sale, and was therefore only $.27. :) It's an eyelet lace skirt with lining by GAP and being 100% cotton is a perfect summer piece. But I don't wear white skirts, or even this style of skirt...they're just not my thing. But the beautiful eyelet lace is what this piece is all about.

I started out by removing the lining from the outer layer of fabric, keeping the waistband attached to the lining so that I can wear it as a slip. I simply trimmed the outer fabric as close to the elastic waist as possible.

I then laid out the eyelet skirt, found a top that I like to use as a template. I wanted to make this skirt into a light summer top!

I marked the lowest point of the scoop neck and the shoulders on the back of my 'top', folded it in half and cut out the scoop, then cut a more shallow rounded neck for the front of my 'top'.

I also marked the arm openings and cut using my pinking shears. I then basted my shoulder seams, tried it on, and pinned the sides where it needed to be taken in. After sewing up the side seams, trimming away the excess and finishing off the shoulders with french seams, I got to finishing off my arms and neck. I decided to use a leaf motif decorative stitch for the arms, and a simple straight topstitch for the neckline. I pressed all of my new hems/seams and was done!

It's just so pretty, isn't it? ;) I roughed up the prettiness a bit with some distressed denim, then threw on a bunch of thrifted/boho jewelry and my thrifted mocs. And you wanna know something really cool? It's reversible! I can wear it with the scoop in the front and it juuuuust sits high enough. But I definitely prefer it this way. It does seem to pull a bit under the arms, looking at the pics, so I'll probably open up the arms just a smidge.

I got to wear it for most of the day, but when we decided to bike to the park, I changed into something more suitable for that...leggings, t-shirt and a chambray shirt! It's been kinda chilly here in New Jersey the past couple of days (considering its late July). Or, maybe I'm just a wimp ;).

Also, I've been looking through my stash (not sure if you noticed that in the background of my photos...) and I'm coming up with a couple of scrap-busting easy projects. Stay tuned for those and many other refashions to come!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Floral Pants

Enough with the florals, already, right?! WRONG :) I love me some florals and have yet another new piece to add to my ever-growing floral wardrobe. I started off with these pants that I thrifted last month for $3.

I really liked the floral print, but they were obviously big on me. I'd been keeping a lookout for floral print pants (either to resize or that miraculously were just right) and when I finally came across these, I snatched them up.

I started by putting them on inside-out and pinning (roughly) along the outside seam and the inseam, avoiding the hardware around the pockets.

I set my sewing machine to the longest possible straight stitch and basted along the pinned lines (after taking them off, of course). I tried them back on, readjusted a bit at the hips and calves, then reset my stitch length to something shorter and resewed the outer and inner seams. I went back after and unpicked the basted stitches. The crotch area gave me a bit of trouble on my initial go, so I unpicked the newly sewn seams, unpicked the original seams and did some readjusting there by taking it in at the front seam just below the zipper then closing everything back up. I think it's referred to as taking in some of the ease? Once I had the fit just right, I trimmed off all of the extra fabric, overlocked my raw edges and tried on my new pants one final time!

Aaaaah!!! I heart them so much!!! OMG! ;) Hahaha, okay, but for real though. I really like how these came out and only wish they were a bit longer....may have to play with the hems and see if I can let them down a bit. Taking them in as I did makes them high-waisted (which I love) and because there isn't any stretch to the fabric I had to leave them a bit looser at the knee (which I don't love). But that's just being picky. I styled them with a fitted chambray top that I bought on one of those rare forays into the mall a couple of years back, a pair of animal print kitten heels from DSW, and a yardsale necklace I picked up for $2.

Gah! I'm dying over how excited I am that these actually turned out! I was so sure that the crotch would totally end in failure and I'd be on the hunt again for another pair of floral pants...which I may or may not be anyway ;).

Hope you like this one, as its fairly obvious that I do. Oh, and I found that floral silk scarf hanging in the background last week and need your ideas on what to do with it!!! I need to be able to wear it (I simply don't use this type of scarf as a scarf) and don't have any qualms about chopping it up! So, let me hear 'em...all of your best ideas. TIA!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

2 for 1: Stripes & Floral

I snatched up these striped pajama pants at a bag sale yesterday...they set me back a whole $.27. That's a rounded number as the actual price breakdown carried the digit out several more places, but for our purposes, they were just over a quarter. Now, the problem with these is that they are size XS (which I am not) and absolutely wouldn't work as they were. But there's a pretty simple solution...and this process works with many kinds of pants! (Jeans, slacks...even sweatpants)
Love me some stripes!!!
 I'm going to make a skirt, so I started by cutting out the inseam (you may want to unpick the seams rather than cut them out if you're worried about having enough fabric to reach around, but I had plenty and am lazy). I then put on my would-be skirt and pinned the front and back where new seams would be sewn.
It's hard to pin on your backside!!! I need a dress form, asap!
 Next, I ran the front and back through my machine, trimmed off the excess fabric and overlocked the raw edges. Now, this fabric is a polyblend and the new skirt was a really weird length on me (ankle-length is not my thang!) so I gave it a chop...or three ;). I kept trying it on and not being satisfied, but I finally figured it out.
Hmm, maybe this length, no shorter...ok, a bit shorter!

Final step was to overlock the raw bottom edge and hem it up! Oh, and press the hem and new seams (makes a major difference, folks). And I've got myself a hi-low stripy skirt :).
No, I did NOT clean up my sewing space, but it IS on my list...that counts, right?
 I like how this came out and the high-waist makes it much more flattering on me, imo. One little quarter, and about half an hour is all it took.

Long post...cause here comes another one! Well, I had cut off so many scraps from my skirt that I had to do something with at least part of them right away. I've had this floral maxi dress for a while now and haven't been wearing it because it is too clingy on my waist and the thin fabric is a bit unforgiving. So I'd brought it out thinking I'd make it into a maxi skirt but had no wide elastic for a waist band. In comes a scrap of striped stretch fabric...
Stripes, meet Floral ;)
 I took the widest section of the bottom of the skirt, folded it over, cutting straight across the top and along one end to create a yoga-style waistband. I sewed up the side (having measured the width I wanted) and set this aside.
Cut, cut, and sew!
 Next, I folded over the top of my dress where I'd already marked it to be cut, and made the chop. 2!
 Then, I put my waistband wrong side on the outside (right side) of my newly cut waistline and using an overlock stitch, sewed the two together stretching the striped fabric as I went. It was cut smaller than the floral so that it'd create a snug (but not too tight) waistband.
Finally getting the hang of these overlocking stitches on my sewing machine!

Folded over, here is how my stripes-meets-floral maxi skirt looks. Oh, and I even have the cropped top of my dress to play with for later ;).

This was incredibly easy...but that's kinda what I needed in the effort to get my sewing mojo back. And hopefully I have! Here's the final before & after shots:

So, what do you think? I'd love to know what you would have made with each of these pieces! Sometimes I go with the most obvious choice, out of habit I'm sure, but maybe getting a different perspective could help me broaden my vision for refashion possibilities! Thanks for your patience as I enjoy the beautiful weather with my family...but I've missed sewing and posting and hearing from you all! Happy Refashioning :)