Feb 24, 2011

Going SHIRR CrAZy… a refashion

A little overdue I know, but here’s my latest refashion…
finished 2
This one is SO EASY and quick… a super way to turn an old, unloved or thrift find jersey top into a casual and comfy girls or toddler dress.
95% of this project is simply shirring…  with almost no cutting, new seams or exact measurements… therefore I have named it SHIRR-CrAZy!
Here’s what I started with – you could use a any similar top or even an old t-shirt for this…
It was a 75c thrift shop find that was originally a ladies size 16 target branded top… I bought it because it was cheap, I liked the bright colours and fabric plus I was sure I could remake it into something for one of the girls.
1x adult sized top ready for a refashion
Elasticised thread
Sewing machine, thread, scissors (all the usual suspects)
Cut & remove the hem from each sleeve very close to the seam. (This first step is optional… if you don’t have an overlocker or are happy with the sleeve hem you can leave it.) This top had a kind of bias trim running along the hem and it was a bit too heavy for what I wanted to do with the sleeve a little later on…
remove sleeve hem
I then used the overlocker to do a rolled (lettuce type) edge over the sleeve openings to finish where I’d just cut… (start near the seam under the arm so your start and end point isn’t really obvious)
lettuce edging
Use existing neckline as a guide for the start of your shirring.
I started at the front about half an inch in from the neckline….
guide for neckline
I then repeated this shirring line using the presser foot as a guide for row width another 5 times.
This resulted in a shirred neckline, reducing the size and giving a nice ruffle kind of upright collar (a little hard to see or photograph but the finished photo’s show it off better at the end of the post)
neckline shirring
Then using the same shirring technique, shirr lines around the entire waistline (I did 3 lines but you can do more if you wanted or had a wider waist band)…
waistline shirring
Then to finish off the sleeves I shirred about 5 rows over the top half of each sleeve. I didn’t want the shirring to go all the way around so I just lay the sleeve flat and marked the half way point on the front and back of the sleeve.
I sewed my first row about half an inch from the rolled sleeve hem going from the marking over the top of the sleeve to the marking half way down on the back of the sleeve.
sleeve shirring 
Now, at this point I thought I was done and Little Little Miss M was busting to try the dress on…
almost done
Yep, a fine example of bed hair… but as you can see in this next picture the waistline didn’t sit quite right with just the neckline shirred…
waistline effect
It sits high at the centre of the waist where the neckline gathers hold it up… So I decided to shirr the whole remainder of the front panel rows fanning out from the top outer shoulder seam. This seemed to make the dress sit better….
SO… Now its time for a victory dance!!!
Here’s the finished dress… (this time on Big Little Miss M – we nearly had WW3 over who was going to wear it!)
You can see the collar and sleeve better in these pics…
finished neck&sleeve

finished 2
Big Little
I hope you liked it, maybe even enough to give it a go yourself! If you want a little more detail on how I do my shirring (so many people seem to have there own way, so whatever works for you on your machine) click HERE for another refashion that has a little more detail contained within it regarding shirring.
I’d love to know what you think… I ♥ comments, followers, feedback ….
And just cause I love them to bits, here’s both my girls having some fun in the sun in a couple of homemade dresses!
the girls

Some totem tennis… (I loved this when I was a kid!)
totem tennis
And I love this one, Little Little Miss M looks lost in there… makes me want to say… “Take care… It’s a jungle out there!”
its jungle...
So, till next time…
Cheers xoxo

Oh dear blog...

Oh dear blog, I haven't forgotten you... I have another refashioning tutorial for you in just a few hours!


Feb 20, 2011

Farewell oh Camera…


By this time of the week, I normally would have a tutorial all ready to post and go for all you lovely readers… BUT alas, my good old camera has finally given up the ghost…

sad faceWhen I discovered that my camera was no longer working – the lenses seem to be all misaligned like it’s been dropped – I had a mini world in crisis  moment…

How can I document my tutorials?… I’m unable to take my daily headshot photo’s for each of my girls (a year long project)… I cannot photograph any items for my store…

Without my camera I feel a little like something is missing – I carry that thing around with me everywhere!

I’ve been saying I’d like a new ‘fancy’ camera for months and months now, (I even held out when one of my lovelies managed to pull the photo button off and I’ve had to use a pin to take photo’s since then). Honestly, I don’t want to spend (nor have) the money to buy a new camera right at the minute…. with Kinder fees, ballet fees, swimming lesson costs and the ever growing cost of everyday living I just hadn’t factored in the cost of a new camera…

I’m still having fleeting moments of panic over it… but really, there’s bigger problems in the world than not having a camera – I’ll get by… just not sure how yet!

Meanwhile, I did use my mobile phone camera to take a couple of photo’s of what I’ve been sewing today… (and it too is a far cry from the latest & greatest example of technology – a really kind of basic phone, which is how I wanted at the time, so sorry if the photo quality is leaving a little to be desired…)

vintage dress

This dress is a beautiful vintage inspired style, with a couple of pleats on the centre front and back and easily adjusted shoulder tie straps (Check out I think sew for some gorgeous patterns).

vintage dress1

This dress is only half the project however, as I am making some matching baby shoes… will add a photo when I can (mobile phone takes OKAY photo’s in natural light)… even though I say it myself, I do love how this fabric and the contrasting bias looks in this style.

Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got for now – the lack of a camera is a little disappointing but I might do a mini tutorial using my phone as a camera… will have to dig around to find an easy refashion.

Hope you are all having/had a great weekend!

Cheers for now,

UPDATE: Thought I’d update with a photo (yep, still relegated to the ranks of mobile phone photographerSad smile) BUT on a brighter note… I absolutely love how this fabric ended up looking with this design shoe…

vintage handstitched shoes

I just wish I had another little bub of my own to put some little baby shoes on… hmmm… it seems my girls are growing soooo fast!

Feb 15, 2011

A foray into 'jewellry' making...

A big hello to anyone reading... it feels like its been a while since I've been on here but its only a matter of days! I've been busy sewing items for SpaNGle and time seems to have escaped me this week...

My Big Little Miss M had her kindergarten orientation last Monday, and today was her first full session... she is still ultra excited about it...

Check out the big floppy (and mandatory) kinder hat they have to wear as part of their sun safe policy for outdoor play - it nearly swallows her head (but I still think she looks gorgeous)!
Poor Little Little Miss M was a little lost all morning without her co-conspirator in household shenanigans about... a few times she even forget that Big Little Miss M wasn't there and went off running to get her when I gave her morning tea (it really was so cute)!

Now, onto a tutorial of sorts (it's a little late and this tutorial photographically dwindles off towards the end... I never realise this when I'm taking the photos - only when I start to edit and prep them for the blog draft but it's a pretty easy one so hopefully it'll all still make sense).

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had found a 'chain thingy' at a local thrift/op shop that looked as if it might have originally been part of a bag?? and that I wanted to turn it into a necklace.

Here's the original chain:

Long nose pliers
Two tones of thin 10mm satin ribbon
some satin fabric scraps for singed flower
three diamante buttons (saved from my 50c Thrifty Refashion)
Needles & Thread

TOTAL COST: approx $4(chain $3, ribbon from 99c spool and only used about 1m, remaining items already in sewing kit)

(Click on photo's to enlarge & make reading the comments easier)

In the above photo the chain length that is separated from the four other lengths was the shortest larger chain length - it will become the section that goes around the back of my neck.

I suppose I could have done the above and below step before starting to weave the ribbon but I didn't think to do it till I did!

Okay, this is where my photo taking in this tutorial for reasons a little unknown to me (maybe I was just too absorbed in the whole jewelry making process...) become scarce... so bear with me as I explain, it really is pretty straight forward.

After tying the pink ribbon in a bow, I used a piece of lighter baby pink ribbon to weave through the remaining larger link chain. I simply tied a knot in the ribbon to attach the start and finish of the ribbon to the chain.

I then used some satin fabric scraps (in light and dark pink) and cut about... hang on let me count... about eight rough circle shapes. Four in each colour and in varying sizes. I used a candle to singe the edges and stacked them in alternating colours from largest to smallest, then using a needle and thread attached three small diamante buttons and stitched the flower to the chain on the opposite side to my ribbon bow.

Okay... just in time for a VIctORy DaNCe!!!
Here's the finished necklace...

Now, I'm not much of a jewelry person. I have the pieces I wear EVERYDAY and they rarely come off... my engagement, wedding, eternity ring, some simple gold earrings and a chain my mom gave me for my 21st... If I take jewelry off I have a bad bad habit of losing it so now I rarely will wear any other jewelry... so although I really am a little surprised at how much I like this piece the sad truth is I don't know if I'll ever wear it.... but it sure was a bit of fun and a nice break from sewing.

And speaking of sewing, over the week I hope to get my next refashion started (and completed).
Here's a little peak of what I'm starting with (it is VERY wrinkly cause I was too lazy to iron it tonight - but I promise I will iron it before I start cutting it up):

The photo doesn't do the fabric justice - it is a really nice weight cotton/elastin blend with deep red vertical stripes complemented with navy blue random script and flowers all over... Still kinda ugly in its present state BUT once again I promise you in my head I have a visual image of a very cute little girls outfit that I'm hoping to bring into reality... so please come back again, become a follower if you like and check out what I come up with...

Oh, and feel free to leave some feedback on the necklace - I'd love to hear what you think of it!

Cheers xo

Linking up & Partying with these FaBUloUS hosts (I will progressively add to this list):
Todays Creative Blog - Get Your Craft On
Tip Junkie – Tip me Tuesday
Funky Polka Dot Giraffe – Too Cute Tuesday
Its a hodgepodge life

Feb 11, 2011

Pay it Forward...

Today I received a GORGEOUS surprise in the mail... a gift from The Clip Cafe as part of Pay it Forward 2011.

Here's what arrived:

Aren't these little owl pins just the CUTEST!

And I (and the girls) practically fawned all over these:

(UPDATE: These little beauties are actually napkin toppers - I'll admit I wasn't quite sure they were and I'll blame being blinded by their loveliness... but they will look so elegant on crisp white napkins)
Ohhh.... and another pic cause they are just so beautiful!

But wait, still more pretty things... a girl can never have enough hair bobbles! ♥LOVE♥

AND Ribbon Yo-yo Hair clip holders... I have a real soft spot for yo-yo's...

Aren't they all just DIVINE... My girls went crazy silly over them (as I'm sure any littlie in receipt of such beautiful girliness would)

Here's Little Little Miss M showing a couple fabric button bobbles off:

And Big Little Miss M wanted one of each in her hair:

She swiftly declared them to be her "party hair ties"... but no fear of them being packed away for a party - EVERYDAY is a party day when you're 3 and a half and the world is PERFECT!!!

Little Little Miss M almost couldn't contain herself - we had wing flapping, dancing and all!

So if you think her handmade accessories are as gorgeous and beautiful and lovely (... and any other adjective that fits the girly eye candy label) as I do why don't you head over to her blog...
Feel Free To Take My Button 
Click HERE
and say hi... and check out her online store where you can find some of her creations.

Thank you so much Vanessa of The Clip Cafe - you have made my girls day and that in turn makes mine!

Oh... and my PIF surprise will soon be on it's way...

Wishing you all a most beautiful weekend! Will hopefully have a tutorial up for you all before the weekend is over...

Feb 10, 2011

Just touching base...

Here's a pair of baby shoes I've been playing around with tonight...

As you can see they're only partly finished, still have a pin here and there and quite a lot of unfinished edges... just not sure if this shoe design is doing anything for me though? I used cotton for the outer, wool blend felt for the lining and I fused the two with fusible webbing before cutting the pattern pieces.

I think I'm just tired - today has just been one of those days where everything seems to make me feel more tired.

Anyway, back to the shoes... I first thought I'd leave the edges of the shoes and straps bare BUT then I changed my mind and decided that I'd blanket stitch the edge, much like this pair of shoes I did I while ago...

BUT GUESS WHAT... I got part way through the blanket stitching and decided I wasn't happy with how it looked on the polka dots so I pulled it all out.... So I tried just a plain straight stitch - still not happy... some white ric rac - you guessed it, STILL not happy!

And then I squished my finger above the needle arm on my sewing machine AND ran out of white thread.... couldn't chance upon a new spool ANYWHERE!

I think its my brain telling me its time for bed and a little catch up on some sleep... I will revisit these shoes another day...and just because I've never really tried my hand at jewellery/necklace making before I'm going to try it out (and because I also found the perfect 'chain-thingy' at the thrift (op shop) store which I have a few ideas for). Here's a sneaky peek at the find - it is silver and really is a little weighty... I think it may have originally come from a bag?

So come back soon, I promise I wont be as tired and dull and you might even see a necklace tutorial on here - how fun!

If you have any ideas for the necklace or shoes I'd love to hear them... have a little bit of a mental image of what I might do but am open to suggestion & I just love comments (...and new followers too!!)

Well, good night for now (it has just hit midnight here) & I hope to have you back here again soon...

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