Monday, September 29, 2014

Recycled Jeans & Sweater

This week I did another refashion and again used a pair of my oldest daughter's old jeans to make jeggings/leggings for Elena. The jeans had nicely embellished pockets, were worn soft, and had lots of stretch. I don't usually like denim jeans for little kids because they seem too stiff but this denim was so stretchy and soft that I didn't feel like it would be constraining at all.

It wasn't really all that hard to unpick the pockets and flaps. I sewed them onto the sides of the leggings as cargo pockets and they look great. I was a tad worried that they would feel stiff or heavy, but again, this denim is worn so soft and is so stretchy that it wasn't a problem. I also used a zigzag stitch on any non-vertical seams to make sure it wouldn't stop the legs of the jeans from stretching.

I used my rub-off leggings pattern, and they have an elastic casing at the top. For a fairly recently potty trained girl going to preschool, I think elastic is the most practical and functional waistband. I am all for independence!

What's better in autumn than jeans and sweaters? My neighbor gave me this crochet sweater in a great color but it was short and wide. The first thing I did was cut the sweater down using the back piece of Figgy's Celestial Tee. I didn't touch the sleeve bands or bottom band at all. What were cap sleeves on me are 3/4 sleeves on my 3 year old! What barely reached my waistband is mid-thigh on her! I also had to pinch a good 2 inches out of the neckline along the shoulder seam to bring the neck in. 

She did not like standing on this little dresser. The whole outfit looks great layered with a turtleneck and boots. She didn't want to take it off so I think she likes it too. I'm tired of the hot and humid weather and am ready for fall. Jeans and sweater weather - the sooner the better. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Project Run & Play Wk 2 - Refashion of Hand-me-downs

I am Elena and I am 3. My big sister is 16 and loves clothes - so that makes me really lucky. My mom made her clean out her room just before school started in August. She piled Mom's bed high with lots of good stuff she didn't want anymore. There was a plaid jacket she got at the thrift store but never wore once. There was a mint green t-shirt with a really low neckline. I'm not sure what "modest" means but I think it's the opposite of this shirt. (I'm learning opposites in preschool.) And there was a polka dot sweater my sister wore a few times but too many other people at school wore it too so that meant she couldn't wear it anymore, I guess. 

Can you believe that I am skinny enough that my mom made me a pair of pants out of just the sleeves of this jacket?! She says that if I was any bigger at all she couldn't have done it. It's this nice soft and stretchy material, and if that wasn't comfy enough, she also put some really soft, stretchy knit fabric around my ankles and tummy so they are really comfy and I can put them on and off myself! I love these pants. She said she used her own leggings pattern.

So I needed a new shirt and liked this soft green one. Mom won herself a copy of the GYCT Tinley Tee last week so we tried that one out and it's great. But Mom says this rib knit is too stretchy and she didn't like sewing it. I think it turned out nice and my favorite part is the beads around the neck. I had to promise not to pick at them because I did do that once before to a shirt Mom spent a lot of time on and she looked at me reeeeeaaal mean for that. But that's when I was 2 and, like I said, I'm 3 now so you can trust me Mom.

Now this sweater was just a plain pullover and Mom used a pattern called the Aster Cardigan to change it. She says that's is a really nice pattern and she plans on making me a lot more of these kinds of sweaters for this winter. I did hear her complaining again about this thin super stretchy fabric while I was drawing on the chalkboard. But hey Mom, get over it. And, I can do the buttons myself so that tells you how big and smart I am getting. (Also Mom says to tell you she was afraid the fabric would stretch and wave too much at the front placket if she sewed it normally, so she used hem tape and hand sewed it.)

I told Mom I like hats now so she whipped up this fun one after I went to bed. She says she can't crochet with me around because I'm like a kitty cat. I'm not sure what she means by that, but I do like to play with the yarn and practice tying knots so I was sad I missed out. Also, Mom usually makes my hats really super big so I'm glad this one just fits and doesn't swamp my little face.

So I got a new sweater, t-shirt, and pants thanks to my sister, plus a hat . And did you notice my awesome shoes my dad's friend gave me? My mom says she had some like that back in the late 70's when she was a kid.

So one last thing about taking pictures - I don't really like doing it so I didn't want to when Mom asked after dinner. But later, I remembered she would give me a marshmallow, so I said, "Ok, let's go do pictures." But it got dark while Mom drove around saying, "Where is that black wall? I thought it was on this block." I got a marshmallow just for putting on the clothes and going for a drive. Then we tried again in the morning, but I wasn't being very good. I just can't help playing with the rocks and there were so many of them! Plus this wall faces east and I guess that's a problem with the sun or something. I think we both felt like hitting our heads against a brick wall so we went home. 

Maybe Mom should sew for herself for a little while.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Dear Little Deer Dress

Last month when Heidi from Elegance and Elephants was running her Knock It Off Series, I saw this guest post from Jo of Dotta. She did a knock off a cute little dress from Tea Collection and offered the free pattern in a 2T. Just Elena's size!

I found this knit jersey fabric at the thrift store this summer. The black pieces are from an outgrown pair of yoga pants from my teen daughter. The deer silhouette was found on Pinterest, the source of all sorts of wonders. I like that the paisleys look like little leaves for the deer to eat.
That mess she's watering is asparagus, in case you were wondering.

I left mine unhemmed. I like the rolled edges, but I don't like that it isn't rolling at the side seams, so I am going to go back and hem it.

I plan on using this pattern again. I love it when fellow bloggers are so generous and share their work with all of us. That is just so cool. (I have a free training pants pattern, by the way if you are need.) I also have some ideas on how to change this dress up a little based on other images I've seen. I've seen some similar dresses where the vertical seams come down deeper and curve and have pockets there. That would be fun. I also think the back is a little dull so I'm thinking of splitting it in half and widening the bottom half to gather it on (and match the front at the side seams of course). And did you see how Dotta embellished hers with paint? It's even better than the Tea Collection original.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Greenpoint Cardigan - Modified and Dip Dyed

I finally got around to taking pictures of my modified Greenpoint Cardigan. (See my previous one here.) What made this project fun was that the whole thing was an experiment from start to finish. After assembling the front, back and sleeves, I left the rest open to options. First, I added the ruffle cuffs. They are folded in half and then gathered so I could avoid hemming.

Then I tried to add a ruffled neck band, but I didn't like the way it was laying so I unpicked it and set it all aside again. After much deliberation, too much really, I went with the pattern piece but made it narrower since I didn't plan to do buttons all the way down. I used just one button and a loop to close it at the chest so she can do it herself.

I knew from the start that I wanted to use this piece to try dying something for the first time. Yep, I was a total virgin. I read up a bit and decided go with simple RIT in navy. I knew the risks of unpredictable results, but I was willing to take that risk. Purple was not in the plans, but it's fun and she loves it. I have to thank Karly from Paisley Roots for her very well-timed post on dip dying. I figured it was meant to be and followed her directions. I think it turned out pretty darn good. I tell you what though, you almost need to be an octopus to hold onto the bodice and each sleeve and try to keep things level.

I forgot to mention that the fabric is from Girl Charlee. I think the color was called sand and it's a cotton lycra. Her t-shirt is a refashion previously blogged here. Don't look at the jeans, they're for a future post.

I'm not sure how many more things will get dyed in the future, but it was fun to experiment. This turned out to be another useful piece of comfortable knit clothing for Elena. We are well on our way to an almost completely homemade wardrobe for her, and I'm pretty happy about that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Project Run & Play Wk 1 - Rainbow Brite Inspiration for Project Run & Play Season 10, Wk 1

80's cartoons? What? I was in high school and college for most of the 80's. Yes, I'm that old. So thank heaven for Google and Pinterest. I discovered Rainbow Brite and thought I could work with that.

rainbow brite

On my list of fall clothes for Elena I had wanted to make pieces based on a sweatshirt fleece skirt at H&M (not listed on the website now so sorry, no picture) and this vest on Pinterest. Rainbow Brite's skirt and sleeves are the same shapes as my inspiration pieces so by incorporating some rainbow colors in a shirt, wa-la - it's Rainbow Brite!

The skirt is a 1/4 circle based on her measurements and using sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee. After cutting it, I stitched lines about 5/8" apart on 45 degree angles across the whole thing to give it some dimension. I sewed up the back seam, hemmed it, and added a knit waistband using leftover navy cotton spandex also from Girl Charlee. for Project Run & Play Season 10, Wk 1
Elena chose the shoes, not me. I wanted her hot pink crocs.

I made the reversible vest using basic dress bodice pieces and some almost semi-circle pieces for the sleeves. I again, did the stitching on the fleece after cutting each piece, before assembling. The reverse side is a floral/leaf print flannel. It ties shut with fleece tubes. I debated adding rainbow colored beads before the knots, but wanted to keep it neutral and versatile. 

Since I love to refashion, the t-shirt is made from 3 t-shirts from my stash. I wanted to incorporate some rainbow colors without actually making a rainbow. If you've been reading my blog lately, it won't surprise you that I went to the CINO Nessie top pattern. Again. Great shape with color blocking built right in. Another easy and useful piece for her fall wardrobe. (If you'd like to see some of my other versions of Nessie, try here, here, and here.) for Project Run & Play Season 10

I think that Rainbow Brite is represented in color and shape and playfulness without being too literal. for Project Run & Play Season 10 for Project Run & Play Season 10 for Project Run & Play Season 10

But here is the best part. The skirt and vest are so useful in other ways too. Elena has lots of different tops and blouses already in her wardrobe that look cute with this, but I did make one more blouse for fun. It's a peasant style with a ruffled collar made from lightweight cotton.

But this next one is my absolute fave. I paired it with a homemade puffed sleeve tee and the reversed vest. This one could have been used for my signature style as well. This one melts me. for Project Run & Play Season 10

This was such a satisfying project. I'm soooooo ready for fall so my sweetie can start wearing these pieces.

Besides all of the fabulous inspiration provided by the Project Run & Play contestants, my other favorite part is learning of new bloggers to follow so there are links at the top of the sidebar if you 'd like to follow me by e-mail or Bloglovin. Thanks for stopping by and see you next week for some serious refashioning of hand-me-downs!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nessie Rides Again!

Another Nessie top? You bet. It's my go-to t-shirt pattern for Elena. Why not when it's so perfect.

This one is made with some mystery knit from the thrift store. I bought a large zippered comforter bag full of random cuts. I kid you not when I say that I got 4 yards of this, 3 yards of black velvet, probably 8 yards of some purple toned camouflage stuff, and some vintage green polyester double knit for $5! $5 folks! That's crazy. The velvet was what I was really after, but the rest (except for the green) is cool stuff too. This is probably a poly-cotton blend jersey. It doesn't have much stretch to it, maybe 25%. Like I'm some kind of knit expert now. :-P

This time I added 3 inches of length to the bodice below the armpit to make a tunic to wearing with leggings. The leggings are homemade from last summer and are bordering on too short now. They are out of a cotton lycra purchased at Joann's. I have more so I'm thinking a new longer pair is in order soon.

I added flat piping instead of color-blocking this time. And I did the neckband in white for contrast too.

Another pop of white at the wrists to add some girlishness and sweetness. 

Ready for action.

The white background is just boring to me. But I do love the blue we found on a warehouse. When we pulled up, it was break time and all the workers were outside for a smoke, so we sat in the car waiting for them to go back in before we crept up to the building for some pictures. It was so windy that this last one is the only usable one, but I really like the color combination.

I discovered some other interesting colored buildings to use as backgrounds in the future. I'm feeling really inspired by a black tiled building so now I have to figure out what to make to go with it. Hmmm. Something to think about while doing the dishes, washing the floor.... get back to work, lady.