Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little Tweaks

So, these 2 refashions aren't really anything mind-blowing. But I wanted to post them to illustrate that sometimes you just need to tweak things a little in order to go from "unwearable" to "wearable". I rarely find clothing items that work on me completely as-is (especially since most of my clothes are thrift store purchases - it's not like you can say "I like this top but do you have it in 1 size smaller?"). Usually I have to at least hem or take in. But I kind of like this. It makes my clothes all my own.


This dress was $1 at the thrift store. It's probably 70's - early 80's "vintage". I bought it because I liked the asymmetrical-ish-ness of it. I really liked that one sleeve was black and one sleeve was white. But when I put it on, I realized that the sleeves were super poofy. So, unfortunately I had to chop them off. I folded over the fabric and sewed. Then I took the hem up to above my knees. Added a red belt and I was done.


Now dress #2, really just needed to be hemmed.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but this dress was just too long on me - hitting below my knees. Since I needed to take the hem up anyway, I cut off a few extra inches, then added some length back on in a contrasting fabric. The contrasting fabric is actually a jersey sheet that I had laying around (I think I bought it to make a rag rug). I was able to use the existing seam on the sheet as my new hem so this was super easy.

gotta love dresses with pockets!!

This dress was also supposed to tie in the back but I just don't like that look on me - reminds me of my maternity clothes and that's just not somewhere I care to go again. Luckily these ties were long enough to wrap around and tie in the front, otherwise, I probably would have reworked them.

So, hope this gives you all a few ideas next time you're shopping. It took me a long time to realize that clothes don't have to be worn exactly as they are on the rack.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project 365

So, I'm 30+ days into this project. I have to admit, it is much, much harder than I expected. But I continue to power through. I did find this website - The Daily Shoot, which issues daily photography challenges - to use when I get stuck.

Here are a few of my favorites from the last 30 days.

my son, on the way to school

flower from my neighborhood

trying to capture a raindrop

the distinguished gentleman

church spire near my house

a self-portrait I don't hate (granted, it took a little editing)

I'll continue to post my progress here on flickr if you want to follow along.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anthropologie Inspired Cardigan Refashion

Inspiration - Anthropologie's Scribbled Bouquet cardigan

Anthropologie's version

I have to admit, this sweater gave me fits!! Not really because it is such a complicated design - it had more to do with my own inability to work my sewing machine.

First off, I sewed about 5 stitches and realized I was going to have to stop and stabilize the back of the knit fabric if this was going to work. I used some scraps of quilting foundation fabric and secured it to the back side of the cardigan with quilt basting spray. I thought about using fusible web but don't like the stiffness this often creates.

Then my thread kept breaking every few stitches. Turns out I just had the thread tension on my machine set too tight. Once this was fixed, this was actually a very easy process. I started with a thrifted grey cardigan ($2). I "scribbled" on some flowers with my free motion quilting foot, using black thread. The little colored bits are random bits of light-weight fabric - some cotton, some mystery blends. After the flowers were sewn on, I trimmed the excess foundation material from the back side - and voila - new cardigan. I actually really like how this one turned out and am thinking I may use this process for some more refashions.

My version

Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Me Happy Monday

#1 - Good friends!!!

#2 - Weekend away (Phoenix, AZ) with said friends. There was lots of food, wine, shopping, trashy tv, and a little site seeing.

#3 - coming home to my own bed.

No matter how much I love to travel, it always feels sooo good to sleep in my own bed!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thrift Store Finds

A few of my latest finds

Selangor Pewter floral pendant necklace ($2)

crazy bright floral tablecloth ($1)

sweet vintage nightgown ($2)

miniature vintage trays ($1 for all 4)

2 candle holders - kind of ugly (at least not my style) but they will be reworked and I just know they will be fabulous ($2) - will post pictures when I get them done

and these 2 mixing bowls which totally go with these bowls that I found several weeks ago - 2 more to add to the set ($1 for 2)

It just never ceases to amaze me - all the fantastic stuff you can find at thrift stores if you're willing to hunt!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Skirt to Dress Refashion

I bought this skirt at the thrift store the other day for $2.

It was very long (especially on me), very black, very lacy and very flowy - a little Stevie Nicks circa 1970-something. And although I do love her, I'm not sure I really want to channel her in my fashion choices. By the way, if you like Stevie Nicks (or Will Farrell or The Foo Fighters), this video here is hilarious!! It's slightly crude and inappropriate so if you're easily offended, don't watch (Grandma, this means you). After watching this video though, I can't hear that song without cracking up.

Anyway, back to the refashion. I thought about just shortening the hem but it had some weird bias, diagonal seams that scared me. And the waist was also a little big. So I turned it into a dress. All I did was sew on some straps that I made - since I don't do strapless. Added a pink sash belt and black heels that I already had on hand. Done!! Seriously, it took about 5 minutes. It may still be a little Stevie-ish but maybe in a good sort of way. Luckily the waist band of my skirt was about right to go around my chest but you could also add a little elastic if needed. You could also go skirt to shirt with this plan if you had a shorter skirt. Lots of options.

As a stay-at-home mom, I of course have tons of occasions to which I would need to wear a dress like this. But it was fun to make and I'll probably pull it out for the next wedding we're invited to, or, possibly a date-night if my husband and I ever actually manage to have one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Sewing Room

Well, the sewing room cleaning/organizing project is finally "complete". At least 99%. We're just not going to mention those few little out of site areas where I've shoved piles of stuff. But it is so much better - I actually feel like I can breathe when I go in there. So, without further ado, here are some pics.

over the door shoe rack turned yarn storage

that baby in the photo is me - wearing the hand crocheted dress seen in the other frame

dueling sewing machines - only one of which actually works right now

fabric closet, also over-the-door ironing board that you can just barely see

If you would like, you can see some before pics and my cutting table organization in this post.

Well, whew!! That was a big project. We'll see how long it stays this way now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making Me Happy Monday

#1 - Ok, so I'm kind of repeating myself from last week. I really don't watch that much TV. But it just so happens that my 2 favorite shows both record on Sunday nights. You can read about my Mad Men obsession here. My second favorite show is The Amazing Race. I could sooo win that million dollars if I ever got a chance!!!

The highlight of the season so far has to have been this scene - Claire getting smashed in the face with a watermelon. It really wasn't funny (ok, I laughed a little) - it had to have hurt like hell!! I actually tried bonking myself in the face with a watermelon we had at the house to see how bad it would feel - it didn't feel good. And I didn't have any velocity behind mine!! I don't know how she kept going.

#2 - My sewing room - CLEANED!!

More on this to come tomorrow.

#3 - Weekend jaunt to the Denver Butterfly Pavilion.

Lots of beautiful flowers

And even more beautiful butterflies:

this one decided to hitch a ride on my husband's sweater for a while

then my daughter wanted a turn

this poor guy had a bent wing

we also saw a few of these guys - luckily I'm not scared of spiders!!

me holding Rosie the tarantula

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Reinvention Skirt

Based on The Reinvention Skirt by Maya Made - you can purchase a pattern for making this skirt from scratch in her Etsy store. I actually cheated a little and used a thrift store skirt that was too big. I took in the side seam and added the embellishments - hand stitched on a tea stained doily and made the bottom ruffle from a thrift store t-shirt. There's a good tutorial on making ruffles here.

My little friend Cousteau wanted to be in the photo - look how nicely he's posing!!

Close-up of the details.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Roasted New Potatoes with Artichokes and Feta

Potatoes have been our latest CSA bounty. I've done them mashed, roasted, boiled, and hashbrowned. They've all been good but this is the best way that I've made them - roasted with artichokes and feta cheese - delicious!!

Start with 1 bunch of new potatoes (about 1 lb)

Rinse and quarter or halve your potatoes into bite size pieces. Some of ours were so small I didn't have to bother with this step.

The world's smallest potato!!!

In a large bowl, combine potatoes with 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered.

Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and give it all a good stir.

Transfer to a roasting pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (makes for much easier clean-up)
Roast at 425 degrees for 40 min (or until potatoes are tender and starting to brown). I stirred mine once or twice while baking.

Before serving, stir in 4 oz. of crumbled feta cheese and it's ready to go.

Served here with grilled chicken and crusty French bread.