Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Refashion: Men's jeans to Boy's jeans

I like sewing for my kids. The garments are small and they are so quick and easy to do. My boy has grown quite a bit taller in the last couple of months and needed longer pants. I inherited these men's jeans from a family member that are too short for hubby:




They are of a good weight so perfect for the rouge and tumble of a young boy. I used a thrifted pattern that I have modified. It has no side seams so it's fast and easy to do.

I cut open the inseams of both of the pant legs and then laid the pattern onto the pant leg. I positioned the side seams of the jeans to approximately the sides of the pattern:

The 2 pairs of jeans were completed in about 2.5 hours (including cutting and sewing and finishing).

And this is how it looks on my son:

Yes they are a bit big on him right now. I always want to make things that will last him at least 1 year. My son actually really likes pants I made him with elastic waists because he is still not too proficient with pants buttons and zippers. Another quick and easy refashion!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Refashion Blitz - A Recap of 4 items in a week

Here is a Recap of the 4 refashions in a week challenge (except it took me 8 days ;-):

Item 1 - Thrifted white yellow tablecloth lace to tunic dress:



 Item 2 - Unused Long Red Scarf to Practical Infinity Scarf:



Item 3 - Thrifted pale yellow tablecloth lace to gathered calf length skirt:


Item 4 - Re-refashion of the pale yellow tablecloth lace to a less bulky lace skirt:


I had fun doing it and it really helped get me back into my sewing/refashioning mojo. Thanks Shawn from 'Some Assembly Required'!


Refashion Blitz - Last item - A Re-Refashion

For the last item for the Refashion Blitz, I re-refashioned this yellow tablecloth lace skirt. It was fine as a fancy dress skirt but just too bulky for me to look normal in it. So I took out the elastic and cut off about a quarter of the width of the dress, both front and back. And this is how it looks now on me:

My daughter will probably be disappointed when she sees this new re-refashioned skirt though. She really liked the bulkiness because she said it was more 'princess'-like. Oh well! I think I may be able to wear this outside and look a bit normal this Spring.
 


Monday, March 16, 2015

Refashion Blitz Day 3 - Another Lace Tablecloth to Lace Skirt

I guess I'm in mood for lace! This is another Lace Tablecloth that I thrifted from my local thrift store last year that had been sitting in my To-be-Refashioned pile for a while. It is much softer than the lace dress I made a couple of days ago and it is of a pale yellow colour.

Since I already made a lace dress, I thought I would try to make a full lace skirt. Normally I would never had made a full skirt because it just makes me look even stumpier. But since my daughter had been asking me to make a full skirt to play dress up with her, I thought I would just try to make one for dress up purpose.

The pale yellow looked a bit whimpy to me so I added this sunflower yellow challis lining to the skirt. Normally this colour looks horrid on me but I figured that as a skirt (not close to the face) I might be able to get away with it.

I folded the tablecloth in half and cut down the middle. Then i cut the lining to the same size. I serged the sides of the front and the back of the skirt and lining . I sewed a channel on the top of the skirt and inserted a 1" elastic into it. And this is how it looks:

And the only way I can wear this full skirt in the least stumpy way is with a cardigan and a thick belt to somewhat define the waist (which I don't really have):

I think it looks fine for playing dressup with my daughter. I'm not sure for what occasions I can wear this outside the house. It is actually a very easy to wear skirt and very travel-friendly too. Perhaps I will try to wear it to a close friend's house first to see if she would laugh her head her when she sees me! ;-)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Refashioning Blitz! 4 things in 7 days challenge

Shawn from the blog 'Some Assembly Required' issued a challenge earlier this month for her readers to do 7 Refashions in 7 Days. I was in a sewing/refashioning rut so I thought it would help motivate me. I signed up to do a 4 Refashions in 7 Days. Unfortunately, I was hit with the flu the day after I signed up. Everything got so behind that I had only started this challenge this past week.

The first item I refashioned was this White Lace Tablecloth to Simple White lace Dress in the previous post.

The 2nd item I refashioned today was this long red scarf. Someone gave this to me as a gift about 10 years ago. I rarely wore it because it was too long and not too practical for taking care of 2 young kids. I put it in the Refashioning pile hoping to be able to make it useful one day.

I looked at it again today and decided an infinity scarf would be more useful. I first measured how long I wanted the scarf to be and cut it and serged the raw edges. Here is the result:



I wore it out and it was super warm! And I don't have to worry about it hanging too long and getting caught in things. Awesome!

I have plans for the rest of the scarf - stay tuned!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March MAGAM Refashioned Lace Dress done!

It's done! Yay! I refashioned a thrifted white polyester lace tablecloth into an easy breezy cap-sleeve lace dress. It was actually very quick and easy to do and a great learning experience in sewing woven lace as well.




First I cut out the dress front and back.

Then I used this mesh tape called Seams Soft to bound the neck edge and armholes before sewing the front and back together. This mesh tape is slightly stretchy which worked well in the curves.

Then I simply serged the front and back together. I found that the pattern at size M was actually too large for me. I cut off about 2cm from each side seams. I used the original hem of the tablecloth so I didn't even have to hem this lace dress. And this is how it looks on me:


For Spring, I plan to wear this dress with a denim jacket. It is actually a very travel friendly dress since it folds into nothing and doesn't wrinkle at all. I can wear different colour slips under the dress to make it look slightly different. Also I think it can make a good coverup for a swimsuit too!

The only complain I have is that this lace is slightly itchy. But then even with lace that are made specifically for dressmaking, I find them itchy anyway. So perhaps I just need to make some slips with good coverage  to go with this!

Friday, March 13, 2015

March MAGAM Project Plan - Refashion a tablecloth to Lace dress

I thrifted this piece of white tablecloth lace from my local thrift store last year. I had wanted to make a lace top with it but I'm now thinking perhaps it will be better to make an easy breezy lace short dress.


The March theme for the Make A Garment A Month challenge is Spring/Autumn (depending on which hemisphere one lives in). I think I may be thinking too far ahead towards the summer with this lace dress. I suppose a denim jacket over a lace dress would be acceptable for Spring? I have never sewn with woven lace before so this would be a good learning experience.

I will be using this thrifted pattern - McCall's 8048 - from 1982. It's just a simple cap sleeve dress with a slight A-line. I am hoping it will be quick and easy to complete.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Frozen Queen Elsa costume (an interpretation of it)

Like many little girls, my daughter is a big fan of the movie Frozen, and particularly Elsa. She would sing the 'Let it go' song a few times a day (with choreography) and she had been bugging me to get her an Elsa costume.

I guess I could have bought her one from the store. I looked at the costumes in a store and was aghast by the price and the quality. I thought I could make her a slightly better quality one and a lot cheaper. I bought some turquoise satin, some chiffon with snow prints, and a roll of silver ribbon for less than half the price of the store dress.

I used a thrifted pattern (Butterick 3267 - used a few times before) as a general guide for the A-line dress. I added a centre back zipper (from my stash) and the silver ribbon around the waist in the front. Then I sewed by hand a trapezoid shaped snow-printed chiffon at the back of the dress and just under the arms.


I also got some yellow yarn and made her a hairband/braid. The costume doesn't really look exactly like the one in the store or in the movie but my daughter seemed pleased enough about it. She wears it at least once a day since I made it. I'm happy that she actually likes to wear something that I made for her (she is not always fond of my creations ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Refashion: Sewing leather for the first time!

I thrifted this very soft and very warm leather jacket from my local thrift store last year for only $9.99! It fit me fine above the waist, but it fit poorly at the waist and below due to my short waist and sway back. I had never sewn with leather before so I was nervous and excited as well in trying to fit this jacket on me.
Note how the jacket bunches up at the back due to my short waist and sway back.
There was a at waist seam that separate the top from the bottom. I took out my trusty seam ripper and started ripping from the lining side seams. This jacket was made in Canada which means that it must be at least 15 years old. The seams were ridiculously securely sewn and were glued down tightly. My eyes were almost going blind trying to rip this well made jacket apart!





Then I rip the leather waist seams all the way and separated the 2 halves. I put on the top half and I was actually liking the look of just the top half. However, I wanted to have a leather jacket that's warmer and more useful so I decided that I had to attach the bottom part with some alterations.



So I tried on the top and bottom to see how much I had to cut off at the waist raise the waist of the jacket. Eventually I cut off 3 cm of the bottom of the top half and 3cm of the top of the bottom half and sewed them together. I broke 2 leather needles sewing this seam because the manufacturers had used contact cement (or some serious glue) to hold down the seams and I had to sew through them all. I top-stitched the new waist seam to give it more support as well as helping the seam to lie flat. I hand-sewn all the seams inside the jacket because it was actually easier as I have no opening to sew through with the sewing machine. And this is how it looks after:
Note the big gap between the last and the 2nd last button because I had cut off the original at waist button hole.
Note that the back doesn't bunch up anymore! Yay!
I know that the jacket doesn't really look very much different from the original. But it now fits me and it was my first time sewing with leather! It was just a relief that I didn't mess up the jacket and I can actually wear it.

The only thing I am not sure is the big gap between the last and 2nd last button. I'm not sure if I should add something there to balance it out. But if I put something there then perhaps it would draw attention to the gap. What do you think? Should I do something to hide the gap or should I just leave it alone?

Friday, January 30, 2015

January MAGAM project done! A little Refashioned Denim Jacket

I 'sweatshopped' myself to get this little jacket (Simplicity 1688) done before the end of this month! I am quite happy with the final result. I didn't take a lot of pictures in progress because I was rushing to get it done This is a summary of my journey with this jacket:

1. I cut open the inseams of the heavy weight blue denim jeans that my hubby gave me. I laid the pant legs flat and laid the pattern pieces on them. It became apparent very quickly that one pair of jeans was not going to be enough even for just the body of the jacket. Fortunately hubby gave me another pair o f blue jeans but it was of a medium weight denim. Both jeans were very worn, stretched (bum and knee areas), and have holes in them. I laid out the second pair of jeans and cut out all the required pattern pieces in both the lengthwise and crosswise grain to economize on fabric.

2. For the lining, I used a thrifted cotton shawl I had in my stash. It has a lovely print and I thought it would make a good lining.

3. For the sleeves, I chose the sleeves for View A because I thought I would look too broad in the body if I have even more wide stripes on the sleeves. The sleeves have the original topstitched side seams of the men's jeans, as well as the hole on the knee. I didn't patch the hole mainly because I'm lazy and because I wanted to retain the original 'charm' of the jeans.

4. I added 2 inches to the lowest band of the jacket. Also, i added a curved centre back seam to fit my body a bit better.

5. I bound the edges of the jacket with some denim binding I already have in my stash.

Here is the final product (I messed up the binding near the neck so please ignore that! ;-):


Here is the fun lining inside:


Here is how the jacket look on me:


Here is the back (you can see the stripes don't match up too well here. Ooops!):


You can see my review of this pattern on PatternReview.com.

I can't wait to wear this when the weather is a bit warmer!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First Refashion/MAGAM for 2015

I can't believe it's almost the end of January already! I haven't done much sewing this month, except the odd mending/repairs. Things have been really busy/hectic: kids getting sick, etc.

I had been given a few pairs of large men's jeans by hubby in different colours. I thought why not make them into little cropped jackets that I can wear in the Spring and Autumn with layering? The jacket pattern on Simplicity 1688 seemed perfect for small scraps of fabric. I'm hoping that 1 pair of jeans will be enough for this jacket if I make it into a cap sleeve jacket.


Let's see if I am able to finish it before the end of January!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Sewing Resolutions

I made sewing resolutions in years past and somehow was never able to fulfill them. This time around, I'm going to make a few very simple sewing resolution for 2015:

1. Each month, take out a few pieces of season appropriate fabrics and use them up! I have got too much fabric (even though I didn't really buy any new ones last year) and they have to be used!!

2. Also, each month, take out a few items from the 'to-be-refashioned' pile and refashion them up! I got too much in the refashion pile as well!

3. Learn a few new sewing techniques throughout the year.

That's it! I think I should be able to do the above, right?