Archive for the ‘clothing’ Category

Taking in a Blouse the Lazy Way

I prefer my tops to be a little loose, because it makes chasing a toddler much easier. Breezy tops also make hot, humid weather a little more bearable. I tend to avoid actual blouses because they either fit too snuggly for my liking or look like a giant tent.

To fix that, I take a too big blouse and add a little elastic across the back to make it look trimmer without sacrificing comfort. I can’t take credit for this idea. I found it years ago online, but have since lost the link to that tutorial. If that was you, I would love to link to your original, much better tutorial. Smile

IMG_4540 Giant, but so comfy tent. *A note on the door. That is my craft room door. Yes, it’s supposed to look like that. We call it the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” door. The door frame however… Let’s just say my house is one big diy project that is slooooooowly progressing.

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Cut a piece of elastic to the size you want your shirt to come in. I played around by stretching the elastic and pinning it to my shirt. I ended up with about 4 inches. Since this shirt has the two vertical seams on the back, I made the elastic attach at each seam.

For the most flattering location vertically, find where your natural waist is and attach the elastic along that line. I found that spot by putting the shirt on, eyeballing it and marking it with a pin. I also ended up with my elastic a tad too high, so you might want to go with a more accurate method, such as actually using a tape measure.

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Sew a straight line at each end to tack the elastic where you want it, then zig-zag along the elastic while keeping it evenly stretched. I like using a three step zig-zag on elastic, but a regular zig-zag will work, too.

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Finished result on Athena, my almost-twin dress form. Why yes, I do own an iron, why do you ask?

Clear as mud? If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll try to clear things up for you. Smile

Nap Time T-shirt to Tunic Dress Thing Refashion

I should really start taking more pictures before I start a project. During would be good, too, but at least a before and after shot. I also need to find my tripod and/or maybe just wait until someone other than Beckett is home to take pictures.

Anyway, here’s the final product:

IMG_4518I’m not sure what my crazy child was doing at the time, but it must have been cute.

It’s pretty straightforward: Two similarly sized/shaped/weighted t-shirts cut across the middle and the bottom of one sewn into the middle of the other. The shirts were pretty big to begin with, so the end result looked like a sack. I serged the sides in about an inch per side with the end result being a slightly less big sack. Not something I see myself wearing out much, but for around the house or running Finn to and from school (hence the super-flattering sneakers) it will get some use. More than the original boxy, awkward t-shirts anyway.

Nap Time Yoga Pants Refashion

This morning I threw on a pair of black Danskin boot cut yoga pants for the walk to school. They were some of the first new pants I bought after Beckett was born. They fit a little big now, except for the length. They were now cropped in a less fashionable, more “look at my ankle” sort of way.

After seeing some pants to leggings tutorials, I decided that was the way to go. With fall arriving any day now (please!), leggings will get more use for under skirts and with tall boots.

I didn’t take any before pictures. This is the inspiration tutorial. Instead of only trimming from the inseam, it looked better if I took some from along the outside, too. To keep it even, I did one leg, tried them on to make sure it fit, then folded them in half and used the finished leg as a pattern for the other leg. I had planned to add a cuff using the fold over waistband. It was black on one side and grey with multicolored stripes on the other. I thought it would be cute and add length. I tried it on one side, and decided I didn’t like the way it looked. With the tighter fit, they actually stay down at my ankles anyway.

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The left leg is rolled up to show where the yoga pants were hitting me. Not a flattering look with a boot cut.

One thing that’s really nice about making the leggings this way is that the yoga pant’s fabric was heaver than most leggings, so they offer more coverage as long as they don’t get stretched too tight. Definitely cut a little bigger than you think. You can always take more off easier than fixing something that is too small.

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Side note about the shirt I’m wearing: I really want to do something to make it less boxy, but I can’t. I’m afraid I might make it un-wearable. Normally that wouldn’t matter too much with a free t-shirt. This one is special, though. Right after Beckett was born, Finn and my mom went to the grocery store to get a few things we needed at home. Someone offered Finn a free t-shirt. He politely turned it down, but then said that maybe his mom would want one, so they gave him one for me. For a while afterward, any time I wore this shirt, his face would light up and he’d say “You’re wearing the shirt I got you!” So, yeah, I will probably wear this shirt as-is until it starts falling apart. Then I’ll turn it into a pillow or something to keep forever.

Also, Beckett just woke up from his nap, hence the no-pants look.

I did learn just how sharp my fabric scissors are while working on this project. I was snipping some threads at the end and managed to catch my finger. I can totally vouch for their razor-sharpness.

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Thrift store dress refashion

I found this dress at Thrift Town for $1.99. The color and general shape of the dress are cute, but it needed some tweaking.

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Overall, it was a bit big. The sleeves were awkward, and I’m more likely to wear a dress when it’s warm, so the sleeves needed to go. I also think it feels a little frumpy at that length.

Here’s what I did:

The shoulder seams were low, so I was able to just remove the length and hem. I added two darts in the back at the waist to trim it down but keep the fullness of the skirt. I kept the top a little loose, but that makes nursing easier and will allow me to wear it over a long sleeve black tee in the winter if I want. I do need to find a new belt or trim down the one I used for the “after” photos. I really like the belt with the dress, but it is way too long. I like how the width of it breaks up the business of the print, though.

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I had planned to take about six inches off of the length, but Finn thought it looked nice the way it was. I still might, but honestly, for chasing after a toddler the longer length is probably more practical.

T-Shirt to TV Pants

I went on a little Pinterest binge a couple days ago looking for ideas to help clear my refashion stash. Saturday night I decided to make a pair of yoga pants out of a t-shirt using this tutorial. I wear a size eight on average, and used an XL adult t-shirt.

I did make a few changes to the design. First, instead of cutting the shirt down the middle, I cut it down the sides from the middle of the underarm to the hem. This also means you’ll have an inseam and no side seams. That keeps any design on the front or back intact and moves them to the hips. For the waistband, I cut the underarm seam from the sleeves and squared them up to be two equal rectangles, leaving the hem intact. I sewed the short sides together making a big, short tube from the sleeves. I then put the tube inside the waist of the pants with the pants right side out and the right side of the tube facing the inside of the pants. The raw edge of the tube lines up with the raw edge of the pants. I serged the top together like that. This made it so when the tube is folded down to the outside, the seam is covered.

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Sorry for the awkward pictures. No one was around to take the pictures and Doctor Who was about to start.

I sewed it all on my serger and it took less than ten minutes. I probably should have added two minutes and switched from white to black thread. Or not.

They are a little loose at the waist. If I were planning to actually do yoga or wear them in public I should probably add some elastic at the seam. Since they will probably be used mainly for watching Doctor Who while sitting on the sofa, I probably won’t bother.

Stay Puft Costume round up.

Here’s the final Baby Stay Puft (or Sweetpea or little sailor) costume. Not too bad. 🙂

To see how I did it:
Phase 1
Phase 2.1
Phase 2.2
Phase 2.3
Phase 3

Beckett’s Costume – Phase 3

Phase 3 is the accessories. Beckett was sick Friday night and Saturday morning, so I was in a rush to finish everything in between him needing mommy cuddles to feel better. I didn’t get as many step by step pictures, but really, they are just a bib and a baby hat. If you are trying to make a similar costume, there are a million different hat and bib tutorials out there by people better at writing tutorials than me.

I agonized the whole time  over how to make a hat like Mr. Stay Puft’s. I finally decided to make it easy on myself and do a simple baby hat inspired by the original. Honestly I think it looks a little wonky, so you may want to find a different way to do it. Here’s how I did Beckett’s, though.

I measured Beckett’s head (18 inches) and divided the measurement by three (6 inches). Then I traced one of Finn’s knit caps on a sheet of paper. I centered six inches on the bottom line and slimmed down Finn’s hat pattern to make my pattern piece. That probably makes no sense to anyone but me. The pattern piece is on the right side of the photo, so maybe seeing it will help.

 I cut three pieces from the leftover sleeve pieces using the pattern and surged them to make the hat.

I cut a strip of navy fleece to make a band/cuff for the hat. Before sewing it to the hat, I used iron on letters to write “Stay Puft”. Then I sewed it into a circle and attached it to the hat. I sewed red ribbon to the top and tacked it so it falls properly.

The bib is based on a pattern I made from one of Beckett’s bibs. I squared off the bottom similar to Mr. Stay Puft’s collar. I used some random navy fabric from my stash, white ribbon for the trim, Velcro for the closure and the same red ribbon I used on the hat for the tie.

 Rather than make the tie s separate piece, I knotted it and stitched it to the back of the bib.

Tomorrow I’ll take a picture of the whole outfit on my little marshmallow. For now, I’ll leave you with this:

Phase 1, Phase 2.1, Phase 2.2, Phase 2.3

Beckett’s Costume – Phase 2.3

FYI, snap tape is a pain to work with. It seemed like it would be simple to just sew it in, but I had a really hard time staying on the edge without hitting the snaps. I tried using a zipper foot as recommended, but ended up going back to my regular (zig-zag?) foot and raising it around the snaps.

Gratuitous Beckett pic.

 This picture shows my crooked stitching and that the snaps face the inside of the jumper.

Before sewing in the other strip of snap tape I serged the edge because this side won’t be folded under. Since fleece doesn’t fray that was really unnecessary, but I love my serger and make up excuses to use it.

Pinned.

Slightly less crooked stitching.

Front completed.

Giant baby-head clearance opening on the back. I had planned to use snap tape,but I ran out. I decided to make it a button closure, which was way less scary than I thought. I did the same perpendicular seam at the top of the back seam as I did at the crotch to separate the button placket.

More unnecessary serging along the cut edges and a straight stitch along the inside edge of the button placket. 

Mr. Marshmallow. I should have added a gusset to for diaper room. He is wearing a super thick nighttime cloth diaper in the picture, though, so it shouldn’t be as snug with a regular diaper. 

Marshmallow jumper complete. On to Phase 3 – the collar.

Phase 1, Phase 2.1, Phase 2.2

Beckett’s Costume Phase 2.2

I’m still in Phase 2, the jumper phase.
This picture is showing how I pinned the sleeves in.

This shows how I tapered the underarm seam to get rid of the weird hip points from Phase 2.1.

I wanted to shrink the width a little but leave it big enough to look like a puffy marshmallow. I used the jumper that fits Beckett as a guide and added about an inch on top of that to mark where I would sew the front and back seams.

I marked where to stop for the legs with three red pins.

Sewing…..

 Stop!

Front seam done!

Here I have the back seam pinned. I started it a few inches down to add a button closure for giant baby head clearance.

 I stitched a line perpendicular to each seam at the end of both the front and back seam.

I cut inside the seam to create a continuous strip for me to attach the snap tape.

Here I have the first part of snap tape pinned in. When I sew it, I will fold it in the width of the tape and stitch all around the edge. 

And here’s where Beckett got too fussy for me to continue for the night.

Beckett’s Costume – Phase 2.1

Beckett actually gave me a few minutes to work on his costume this morning. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

First I turned the shirt inside out and cut off the sleeves just inside the seams. Then I took a picture with my camera in need if batteries.

I folded the shirt in half matching all seams to be symmetrical. then I cut it down the middle along the fold.

Starting at the cuff, I matched the sleeve of my guide jumper to one of the sleeves and marked it about an inch longer. I cut it wiith a slight curve to match the jumper’s arm hole seam.

I used the first sleeve as a pattern to carefully cut the second sleeve while holding a cranky, teething Beckett.

Cranky, teething Beckett.

I don’t have pictures for this part, but I pinned one shortened sleeve into the arm hole with right sides together. (If you’re following along, remember that there is a top and bottom to the sleeve because of how it is cut with the slight curve.) There was hole under the sleeve since the new sleeve is smaller. Once I got the sleeve pinned, I sewed up the underarm hole and tried to taper it out a little. Then I sewed on the arm.

Beckett tried on the new sleeve. It’s a little big, but poofybunchy is good for the costume and it gives him a little room to grow.

Here it is flat. You can see I need to do something to soften the weird hip point. I will probably do the other side the same way first, though, and then fix them both at the same time.

Time to break for lunch and to replace my camera batteries.

Phase 1 is here.

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