Friday, March 23, 2012

Make a short shirt longer: Add ruffled hemline

What do you do when you pull one of your favorite t-shirts out of the dryer, only to find that it has now become a bit of of a mid-drif? Hmmm.

I tried to ignore the fact that it had shrunk in length and wore it anyway but found myself tugging at the hemline all day to avoid a belly flash. It isn't impossibly short, but short enough to bug me.

Enter: Ruffled Hemline. The answer to my how-to-make-a-short-shirt longer dilemma.

Okay, this is what it looked like before:

And this is what it looks like now:

A simple, yet stylish solution to add length.
No more tugging on my shirt to keep it down.
No belly flashes. Whew!

Have a short shirt that needs a little length? Here's how:

First measure your shirt all the way around. *Write that number down and double it. That's how long you need your strip for the ruffle to be. If needed, you can cut shorter strips and sew them together, like I did.

Decide how much longer you want to make your shirt. That will be your **width.
Cut up an old t-shirt into strips, based on your *Length and **Width measurements. I made my strips 3-1/2 in. wide and 48" long for front and the same for the back.
And P.S.? If you ever feel inferior and think the clothes you sew don't turn out perfectly? Look at this wonky seam. I knew this t-shirt always felt a little twisted. This is the laid flat. Whoever sewed this shirt was on crack.

Anywho, I cut a bunch of pieces for my ruffle, from a clearance rack white t-shirt (light weight)

FYI - for jersey, I use a ball point needle. Regular needles can make holes in your fabric.

After ironing the ruffle pieces I pinned/sewed them together to create one long strip.
And used a zig zag stitch to tack down the seamed edges.
(sorry, I had to improvise with this picture, the zig zag wasn't actually that wide, but you get the idea)

I ruffled the long strip on my machine.

Using the tightest tension

And longest stitch length

It creates the ruffle for you.

Next, I pinned it to the hemline of my t-shirt.

And sewed the ruffle on with zig zag stitch (gives jersey a little more movement), right over the gathered stitch.

Here's a close up.

Personally, I think it's even cute than the original.
But that's just me. :)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Clothes hoarder

I'm getting into a bad habit.
I clean out my closet and then keep the things I want to give-away so I can refashion them.

I can't help it. I see them as a stack of fabric. And heaven forbid I give away fabric.

And I have to admit it. I have two other stacks like this.
I'm so ashamed.

What if I cut up two shirts, and create a totally new one? What if I make a few alterations to an old sweater to totally transform it? What if I turn my old suede skirt into a stylish vest? The options are endless!

Some call it hoarding.
I call it keeping.

When I first started sewing, I had the re-fashion bug. Big time.
I refashioned a men's shirt to a skirt, a tablecloth to an apronadded big ruching to a sweateradded sequins to top or twoadded ruffles to t-shirts, and cut up a tank top to make one with tiered ruffles...

Oh heck, here's a link to all my refashions
Listing them separately is useless.
The real question is, what didn't I refashion?!

I'm currently working on a simple t-shirt refashion that I'll share with you once it's done. It's based on making a short t-shirt (that shrunk) a little longer. And no, this refashion doesn't use any of my left-over clothes. But someday I might just need them to do that!! hahaha Must. Keep. Clothes.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Summer Skirts

Maybe it's the out-of-the-ordinary-sunshine we had in Seattle for a few hours Monday morning that's messing with my head, but I'm ready to bypass spring and jump straight to summer!

In my mind I jump ahead to warmth-filled-bare-foot-days sipping lemonade, listening to the spray of sprinklers and childrens' carefree giggles, while the sun's rays tickle my toes. Ah, summertime.

I discovered last summer that I LOVE to wear breezy skirts. Paired with a plain or decorative tee, they are both casual and dressy enough at the same time, and oh so comfy. Slip on a pair of cute sandals and you're good to go.

Here are a couple of last summer's favorites (soon to be this summer's too).

Black peasant-style skirt and decorative tee
( I didn't sew these)

Peasant-type cotton skirt with shirred waist. SO comfy!
(Didn't sew these either)
And sorry for the goofy photo with the reflector showing in the background.

But I did sew this skirt.
"Painted" Linen Maxi skirt I refashioned from a maxi dress. Very comfy as well.

And I also wore a few others I whipped up. {See other skirts I've made.}

On to my current projects...

I bought some fabric last spring with the intention of making a few skirts.
But as you can see, it's still ready for the making.

Decorative Denim. I love the cherries.

Hawaiian Designed Cotton. Love the dreamy colors and designs. Makes me want to be back in Maui.

And a summer favorite for sure, light blue and white Seersucker cotton. 

This polka dot and flowered material, my mom gave me that day we reminisced through fabrics. I think it's rayon. I want to make a cute top out of the blue and white polka dot (there isn't enough for a skirt), and a skirt out of the blue and white flowered.

The biggest problem I have at this point is deciding which design for which fabric. All my ideas are whirling! Stop the madness!

I happen to like longer, breezy skirts, and found 5 tutorials for Maxi skirts from Sew Chic and Unique, 48 free skirt tutorials on Frugal and Thriving and a panel skirt tutorial on Adithis Amma Sews. The question is, which styles are right for me? I don't want a lot of bulk. I already have enough, thank you!

So the search for the right patterns continue. I don't want to ruin these great fabrics because I jumped the gun and didn't think it through. I don't use patterns, so the risk is a little higher to mess up royally. Luckily, and not so luckily, summer's still a ways off, so I still have time to decide.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Ink Blot Onesie: The biker dude

There's something special about making something for someone you love. It's both exciting and a little nerve-wracking at the same time. It has to turn out perfectly. (You know, like my mom's pillow?) What can I say, I'm a perfectionist.

So when my sister-in-law asked me to make her a special Ink Blot Onesie for my soon-to-be-nephew, I was both excited and a little scared.

You know ink blot designs are a shot in the dark. Every time I splat my paint with one hand, I keep my fingers crossed with the other.

But hallelujah! It turned out mighty fine. 
And she and my brother were happy with it, and that's what counts!

I see a motorcycle dude with a mustache and sunglasses.
Perfect for my soon-to-be brother's son, who will probably love to ride motorcycles just as much as his dad, his uncle and his grandpa.

It will be a while, but I can't wait to see my new little cutie pie nephew wearing it! That will be icing on the cake.

Want to see how it was made? Watch here!

Want an Ink Blot Onesie of your own?
Buy ready-to-wear Onesies here

Want to make your own Ink Blot Onesie?
Buy your Ink Blot Onesie Design Kit here

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's voting time!!

It's time for the voting to begin for 
Walmart's Get on the Shelf Contest!

  • Round 1 voting: March 7 - April 3, 2012 up to 2 votes per day
  • You can submit a vote for each product, by each method, each day through the voting period.
  • Click the "VOTE FOR US" button for each product and it will take you directly to the voting page for texting and facebook instructions.

Thank you so much for your votes!! 
I can't do it without you!

Vote in Get On The Shelf
Ink Blot T-shirt Design Kit

Vote in Get On The Shelf
Fairface Washcloths for Sensitive Skin

Vote in Get On The Shelf
Shaving Cream Cozy

Thank you so much for your votes 
and for spreading the word!!

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Monday, March 5, 2012

On the cutting room floor

This week I'm finishing up my latest phase of ink blot design
Ink blot baby bibs.
Come on, you knew I couldn't stop at Onesies and T-shirts!

I decided on super soft white jersey knit for the front, since the fabric paint I use works beautifully on this material, backed with absorbent white terrycloth. I've got to pin the heck out of these to prevent fabric shifting.

Sewing tip: Jersey can be tricky to sew on anyway since it can be stretchy, but putting it together with terrycloth, am I crazy? No, (well, not entirely)
I just pin, pin, pin, and sew very s  l  o  w  l  y with my trusted walking foot.

And always remember to use a ballpoint needle to prevent poking permanent holes through your knit fabric!

I just can't get enough of this {Wearable Psychology}! I'll show you pictures of the finished bibs once I'm done.

I'm just about finished with the turquoise Ink Blot Onesie for my coming-this-summer-nephew, along with a cute little non-ink blot (gasp!) somepin' somepin' for my darling soon-to-be 2 year old niece. Can't reveal and spoil the surprises, but I'll be sure to share them a little later!

Happy Monday!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Dansko Makes Tennis Shoes!

Back in the day, my go-to-spring tennis shoes?

White Keds. 

The perfect little white canvas shoe that went with practically everything. I looked forward to the day I'd go by me a pair for $20, and count how many days they stayed crisp white (inevitably someone always ended up stepping on them).

Flash forward to present day. No more cute Keds.
I have 2 words for you.
Arch Support.
I sound like such an old lady.

So when I ran across Dansko's new line of canvas tennis shoes?? I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

They have several colors and patterns to choose from, but I fancy True Navy. I feel like such a kid again. A kid with arch support.

Aren't they so cute? And they even have pretty insides.
Makes me want to skip around licking lollipops.

Now if only it would stop raining enough for me to try them out.
Heaven forbid I get them wet. Or someone step on them.
I want them to look new for as long as they can.

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