Monday, September 20, 2010

Flower embellished t-shirt refashion

I wanted to make a shirt with a flowered neckline.

So I found two matching square neck t-shirts on clearance.
I cut one of them into about 1" wide strips and ruffled them for the flowers.
I used coordinating 1" wide satin ribbon I already had, and ruffled that for flowers.

I created the flowers by putting the ruffles in a random circular pattern until it looked right and pinned.

Then I sewed right over the top of them until it looked like this:

I like the coordinating colors and textures.
Let's hope the flower fad sticks around too...

Ruffle embellished t-shirt refashion

It's clear that I'm totally obsessed with ruffles. If the trend suddenly stops, I'll be in trouble and have to cut out half my wardrobe!

I saw this ruffles shirt refashion on Made by Lex and loved how she combined cream and white. So, I decided to try it myself.

I started with this white clearance t-shirt at Kohls ($4.00!) and a clearance cream t-shirt and white t-shirt to cut up.


I cut cream strips in varying widths - about 1" - 1-1/2" wide, ruffled them, and this is what I came up with:

I added a ruffle to the sleeve from another cut-up white t-shirt because the sleeves were a tad bit too short for my liking.

I love wearing this with my jean jacket.
One trick I learned when washing my own ruffled tee's is not to completely machine dry them. Some knit ruffles will bunch up and become whithered and scrunched.

Instead, I throw my t-shirt in the dryer for about 3-4 minutes to fluff out any wrinkles. Then I take it out, smooth out the ruffles, and hang it to dry the rest of the way.

It really isn't that much of a bother and beats having to iron the ruffles out after the shirt comes out of the dryer!

Fabric flower attempt #1

I've seen so many fabric flowers lately and have been wanting to make one. However, I have a confession. Sad but true, I've been intimidated by my glue gun.

So the time came when I decided to be vulnerable and finally took it out of it's package. And it turns out its not even a little bit scary.

After cutting a strip of aqua jersey and cream polyester and ruffling both of them, I created my first glue-gunned flower.
It's a little on the simple side, and next time I'll put a piece of felt on the back to give it extra stability, but I think it gives this otherwise drab vest a little something.





Let's just say there are more complex flowers on the horizon, since my glue gun and I are now friends.

Necklace with bow t-shirt

I have seen a lot of necklace t-shirts lately. The ones with a necklace or necklace-with-bow connected to the t-shirt. So I decided to try and make myself one.

Sorry I don't have a before photo - I'm always so excited to get going that I forget to take them!


I strung my own beads on stretchy cord and tied each end off with a necklace attachment. I sewed the permanent necklace clasps to the back inside neckline of the shirt (so it won't sag and will allow the necklace to be removed for laundering).

I tied the brown bow on the side to bring the outfit together. It will go with a brown knit skirt I'm working on at the moment. Once I finish the skirt I'll show you the two together.


I like it because the necklace is light weight enough that it doesn't pull on the back of the t-shirt and it gives this tee a splash of coordinating color (that will go with the skirt) and a little touch of femininity.

Sequin embellished t-shirt refashion

Sequins are in. And I love a little sparkle. So when I found a sequin scarf and black t-shirt on clearance at Kohl's, I knew the two were meant to be together.

The scarf is made of black t-shirt knit with single columns of black sequins


By simply cutting the scarf to the length of the t-shirt and sewing the edges down the middle of the shirt, the sequin black tee was born.


I've gotten so many compliments on it. And that makes me happy.

Here are a couple pictures lightened so you can see it a little better (but it really is dark black).

Sewing with sequins is on my mind now...if only Kohl's had a bunch of clearance scarves left...

I'm finding that sequins on mesh are hard to find unless you special order them. I've seen sequins with elastic and sequins on a strand of thread, but nothing like the scarf. Oh well, I guess it makes mine a real original. :)

Here is another sequin shirt refashion. Same scarf, different idea!

Linked to:
Tea Rose Home

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sweater transformation: big ruching

I have to admit, I love ruching (a French term that means gathering, ruffling or pleating in a zig zag fashion, instead of straight-stitch gathering).

I found this white long-sleeved sweater on Old Navy's clearance rack for $2.50...

The sleeves were too long and I wanted to make it much more feminine...

So after cutting off the sweater sleeves, finishing them off with a zig-zag stitch, cutting up a TJ Maxx clearance cream-opaque polyester robe, and adding ruching embellishments to the white sweater, I created this:




I like how it turned out. It feels very feminine.

It made a cute outfit for church Sunday.


Linked to:

Tea Rose Home
Sew Much Ado
AGirlinParadise

Music that's sew-inspirational


I love Anthropologie. Love it. I could spend hours browsing through their stores, soaking up ideas and creativity.

If they sold their inspiration in a bottle I'd buy it.

But since they don't, I figured out a way to bring a little of the Anthropologie creativity home with me.

Playing Anthropologie music while I sew.

I searched for "Anthropologie music" online, and found this list of songs:
  • Moi, Mon Ame et Ma Conscience by Paris Combo
  • I'm On a Roll by Over the Rhine
  • Ragged Wood by Fleet Foxes
  • French Navy by Camera Obscura
  • Medicine Man by Zero 7
  • Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? by She & Him
  • Nuit et Jour (Night & Day) by Cynthia M.
  • Kantoi by Zee Avi
  • Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini
  • Les Omnibus by Brigitte Bardot
  • Green Jay by Christina Courtin
  • Race You by Elizabeth & The Catapult
  • Going Up the Country by Kitty Daisy & Lewis
  • Baby Love by Annie Philippe
So after logging on to Youtube and making a playlist of all the videos, I turned off the computer screen, and turned up the speakers.

Ahhh, it made me feel like I was walking through the store.

Now that's my kind of inspiration and a little music to sew by.

Refashion: Add sleeves to a tank + 2 t-shirts into 1

Here are a couple more of my summer sewing projects:

Adding sleeves to a tank top 
I purchased two identical tank tops from Old Navy's clearance rack. I cut one of them up and embellished the other.

It started like this:

and ended up like this:

Okay, here's the condensed version of what I did.

I cut up a bunch of strips (about 2" each), folded them in half long-wise and used a technique called ruching for the ruffled look.

You use a straight stitch in a zig zag pattern and gather, instead of just stitching straight lines for regular ruffles. I used a couple different techniques for these ruched strips, making two a little fuller and the other two a little less full.

I also added sleeves to the tank top. I'm sorry I don't have step-by-steps for that. I'm certain I did it in the strangest way possible, but in the end it worked.

What I learned about adding sleeves to a tank top is that you need to cut the material so the grain is long so it doesn't stretch. I ended up cutting about 4 pieces of material and sewing them together to fit in the arm hole. Like I said, totally random technique - not worthy of a tutorial!

I also lowered the belt line so it didn't interfere with the ruching.

I still have to wear a tank top under it because the neckline falls too low for my comfort, but all in all I think it turned out nicely.

*************************************************
Next up?

From 2 old shirts to 1 new shirt

Okay, these two shirts aren't actually "old" because they'd never been worn. But I decided that if we'd had something for two years that still had the tags on them, chances were high we were never going to wear them! (no offence Cougars!)

This was another random t-shirt transformation that I made up as I went. 
But in a nutshell, here's what I did:

First, I cut the original t-shirts into pieces (separating front, back, and sleeves).
Next, I used the two t-shirt "backs" to create a new front and back, with an altered neckline.
Then I sewed the original sleeves back in, gathering the top of the shoulder seams for a little feminine touch.

My newly assembled dark blue t-shirt was complete (sorry, no picture) but it needed something.

For the embellishments, I cut up this Old Navy clearance striped cream and blue jersey shirt.

I cut up strips (each about 1/2-1" wide) with different patterns, and ruffled them.
I also used a skinny strip of cream to make the neckline and small bow.
And, I couldn't resist putting a striped, ruffled base on the shirt.

And this is what I ended up with:

Oh, and I added a cream button to the neckline



The possibilities are endless when it comes to refashioning t-shirts, and since jersey is so easy to work with (no hemming), I'm sure I'll come up with many more! xo



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Refashion: Pants to skirt

As I was going through my closet, I ran across a pair of stretchy pants that were given to me as a gift a while back. They've always been too big so they had a permanent place on the back shelf.

A refashion opportunity?
Of course. I don't pass such opportunities by.

So here you have it - this is how it began (the black ones)...



And this is how it ended...

(sorry it's hard to see due to the "blackness" of the black. If that's even a real sentence.)



In a nutshell, I cut up through the inner-seams of the legs and trimmed each seam for a "skirt-fit" when sewed back together.

I had to try on the skirt and tweak the back seam a few times so it wouldn't bubble when I put it on, but I finally got a clean line.

For the bottom ruffle, I cut up a clearance rack black t-shirt and ruffled it. Those clearance t-shirts always come in handy!


And my "new" skirt matches perfectly with my black ruffled shirt. Bonus!






Refashion: Men's shirt to skirt

Once again I was inspired by other people. I was browsing Made by Lex and ran across her men's shirt refashion and knew I had to try it myself!

This looks like an ordinary clearance rack men's button up shirt, right? Not when I got through with it.

From this:





To this breezy summer delight:

I made it with a t-shirt waist band I'd seen other people try and it worked great. I also cut a strip for a ruffle, folded it in half and sewed it on. It has been so fun to wear this summer.

I even surprised my friends and family with my men's shirt transformation. Now every time I wear any new skirt my little nephews ask me whether it first had been a men's shirt! haha! I guess you never know with me.


Refashion: Dress to skirt

I bought two dresses on the Old Navy clearance rack (of course) with the intention of turning them into skirts.

Project Dress-to-Skirt #1:
From this rather drab bathrobe looking dress:

To this cheery ruffled skirt - perfect for wearing to church on the 4th of July...which I did.



From this lime colored tank-dress with a pre-ruffled edge...
To this cute lime-o-licious flower-embellished skirt. Even cute enough to wear out the next evening...which I did.
I used close to 98% of the original. After cutting it up, I used the ruffled straps for the flowers and had just a couple small scraps to spare. By the way, the waist band is elastic.

It was fun for summer and will be fun again when spring arrives!

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