Nov 9 2011

it’s beginning to look a lot like…

I have a little magnet countdown to Christmas on my fridge right now. And it tells me that we’ve got 46 days left.
Good grief, where has this year gone??


This year, I have decided to be proactive. I love Christmas, but it seems that every year I’ve put off making Christmas pretties (er, decorations) and our house just looks a little blah. But not this year. I have a bit more time on my hands right now, and I have decided to use it, along with my thrift store super powers to make my house look fabulously festive. I have a long list. And I will be sharing it with you as I go! My inspiration for the decor is West Coast festive.

(side note: This was supposed to be a DIY post, but I got so into the project that I forgot to take pictures as I went)

My first project was throw pillow covers. Christmas throw pillows can be dorky. It’s something I almost didn’t do, because it can be the one thing that pushes you over that fine line of cute festive decor to crazy christmas bomb decor.

I went to the thrift store in search of any fabric item in my colour scheme (greens, browns, greys, creams) and after not finding anything in cotton…I had a brainwave–cozy sweaters! I can’t even describe how happy I am with how this turned out. The sweaters really made them unique. I also bought a big bag of mismatched buttons that I used, and will also be using for other projects.

I decided to do some festive silhouettes on a few pillows using these templates that I made (reindeer head + tree branch).

Et, voila!


Jun 12 2011

it’s all in how you word it…

I made a dress from scratch last night. I love sewing from scratch. Unfortunately I suck at it. I need a dress form. Do you know how difficult it is tailoring something while it’s on your body?
This was made out of some vintage fabric I found.
Actually it’s just an old bed sheet. But saying vintage fabric sounds nicer.
It’s all in how you word it, right?


May 28 2011

project restyle {preview}

I’m making a dress from an old vintage sheet I found….
…Is that weird?
Oh well. I like the pattern on the fabric.
And of course, being the crafty *cough cough* {cheap} person that I am, I’m just wingin’ it, and going without a pattern. I drew up a sketch of what I want it to look like.
Hopefully it will look close to the sketch. ;)


Mar 26 2011

project restyle: 60′s inspired baby-doll dress

Today for my project restyle (that I’m contributing to “A Beautiful Mess”), I’m doing something that for the most part, is a super quick and easy restyle. I went shopping this afternoon for fabric for Chatty Budgies. Often times when I look for fabric to reuse, I also look for stuff that I can utilize everything. For example, this dress that I found today: I knew that I could do something with the dress, and still have a TON of fabric left over to make bows and headbands and so on. The first thing that I thought when I saw this dress was that the general shape reminded me of 60′s baby-doll dresses. Of course, it was a early 90′s sack dress, but that didn’t deter me.
The first thing I needed to do was figure out how short I wanted it to be. I tried it on, measured where I wanted it to hit on the leg and cut off the excess fabric. After I cut off the fabric, I ironed up the hem to where I wanted it to be. Recently I have discovered fusible hem. Now, I absolutely HATE hemming dresses, and since my sewing machine has been acting a little funny lately the fusible hem has become the best way of creating a clean looking quick hem. (I don’t recommend this for everything, but for lightweight fabrics it has worked great for me). I usually iron it on in about 5″-8″ pieces. These next few steps are optional. The only reason I needed to do them was because this dress was about 4 sizes too big!
The dress needed to be taken in drastically, however, since it had no zipper or buttons I had to be clever about how it was cinched at the waist. I still needed to be able to pull it over my head!
I decided that the best way to do this was to put elastic at the back of the dress. This way it could still be stretched over my head, but would cinch around my waist when it was on.
I started by measuring how much needed to be taken in. I determined that I needed a piece of elastic that was 6″ (to be stretched over 12″). I pinned it in the center of the back of the dress, then pulled it as far as it went to the left and right and pinned it there as well. I continued to stretch it and pin it into place so that when I sewed it, it wouldn’t move too much. I sewed the elastic with the tension set as low as possible so the thread wouldn’t tear if it was stretched far.
In the end, I also put two small pleats in the front (because I wanted it to be a little more fitted than I originally thought). They ended up looking quite cute anyway. :)
Here’s the end result:


Mar 10 2011

thriftday: project restyle

Lately I’ve been following a blog called “A Beautiful Mess” and have enjoyed reading a regular post the author does called “Project Restyle” The challenge is to take something unwanted and turn it into something useable/wanted. Since this is something that I have been doing on a regular basis for the last few months, I decided to submit a photo to the Flickr group (where other people are also involved in the Project Restyle). I probably won’t blog about the whole process every time I make something out of a thrifted item (it’s quite time consuming to have to set up and take pictures of each step!) But I do plan on posting more of my projects in the future.
I found this skirt at MCC today. It’s a light shapeless rayon skirt with elastic waistband. I loved the pattern of it and knew that I could do something with it.
My Plan with the skirt was to cut it at midpoint so that I could add some more shape to the skirt. It was a long gradual a-line skirt (not that you could tell when it was on though). I measured to where I wanted the waistline to begin – 15″ down from the waist (figure 1) marked a line and cut. (figure 2)
I wanted to have some front pleats in the skirt because it needed to have a little bit of shape, but I wanted the front to sit fairly flat. I measured to have two 2″ wide pleats on the front of the dress at 6″ from the sides of the dress (figure 3). Once those were pinned, I basted them into place. After that was done, I folded the top over 1/4″ ironed it (I find that if I iron before I sew, I do a better job of sewing) and sewed, so that when I made my waistline I would have no loose threads. (figure 4)
I decided that the back of the dress would be elastic so that it would be nice and comfortable. So next I folded the top over again 1″ (enough to fit the elastic in) (figure 5 & 6). I left two openings on the sides of the waistline so I could feed the elastic through easily. (TIP: I always attach a safety pin to the end of elastic when I feed it through, so that it’s easy to pull through (figure 7)) After attaching the elastic at either end, I closed up the openings and was finished!
The skirt is really comfortable and will be fairly versatile for me. I love the 70′s colours and I think it will go well from summer into fall this year.
After I finished the dress and was cleaning up I realized that the part I cut off the top of the skirt could be used as a top with the skirt! It will be a nice summer outfit for days that warrant something flowy and light.

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