Friday, June 28, 2013

Old Lady Floral: My Vintage Refashion

Hello again!

I was absolutely elated to have some time to do some sewing this week! I love sewing and I love refashioning things. I also love watching TV.  As you can imagine, getting to do all of these things together was awesome for me, and very relaxing.

A few weeks ago, I was with my mom in the Salvation Army here in town, and they happened to be having a sale. I found this vintage, floral, very old lady-ish top, and thought that even though it had pirate sleeves, it had some potential. At $2, I figured, what do I have to lose? So I bought it.

When I tried it on at home, it looked AWFUL on me. I do not know what I was thinking... was I thinking I could make pirate sleeves look good? Was I thinking that maybe if I put a belt around my waist, it would balance the arms out? My arms looked like tiny little nubs coming out of an elephant's leg. I even tried the belt. No luck.

And also, no pictures of this. I am so sorry.

My dressform actually makes this old lady pirate shirt look kinda good.

Ha! I said KINDA good, not REALLY good.

So it has pirate sleeves and a very Amish neckline. On top of that, the pattern is very 70s old lady, and the bottom is flowy and could make me look pregnant if I did not wear it right. Like I said, though, it has potential. The pattern is actually kinda cool, and I like flowy done right. I can work with this!

First, I took a seam ripper and I removed the sleeves.

As you can see, I was left with some pretty big armholes, so I turned the shirt inside out and pinned them to be the size I wanted them and sewed them up.

Next, I wanted to make sure the armholes were finished. Because I wanted the shirt to be sleeveless, I did not need to do much else than turn the raw edges under twice, pin, and sew! The only thing that did present a challenge to me is that there was some sort of ruching up by the collarbones on each side that affected the shoulder and the armholes. Luckily for me, the pattern of the fabric covered up any evidence that it caused a problem for me when I was sewing. Yesssss!

Ok, so I got so into sewing the belt/waist tie thing that I forgot to take pictures. I AM SO SORRY! But here is what I did: I took the sleeves, and I cut off any seams so I was left with just fabric. Then I cut the fabric into strips, and I sewed them together so I had one looooong strip. After that, I folded that strip in half, "hot dog style" and then pinned and sewed it, leaving one end open. After that, I trimmed any excess and then turned it right side out and turned the ends of the open side under and sewed across. After that it was kinda puffy, so I flattened it out and sewed down the sides on either side to make a flat belt.

Even though the neckline was too high for me, I figured out that I could leave the top two buttons undone and it would look just fine, so I did not need to do anything to that part of it. Here is the finished product on my dressform:

And here is the finished product on me:

I promise that in the future, I will not take selfies in the bathroom mirror to show you my finished products! This is a one-time occurrence, but my husband will be back from overseas in about a week and then I will have someone to take my pictures for me! :)

I really hope you enjoyed my old lady pirate-shirt refashion! What do you think? Have you ever seen potential in something that is borderline, or downright hideous? :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Train Case Remodel for Our Wonderful Wedding Memories

Hello again... twice in the SAME WEEK! School really did hit a lull. I am still working hard, though, because fall semester will be my last semester. I graduate in December with my MBA!

Enough about school. I went to the Fort Gordon Thrift Store a few weeks ago and found this really beat-up old train case for $1.

Sooo dirty and gross, but I knew it had potential. We have been keeping all of our sweet cards and letters and random pictures and other baubles from our wedding in a shoebox since we got married, and I thought it might be time for something a little more permanent. After all, we will be keeping this stuff forever. The case would never be perfectly beautiful on the outside, but it is nice and sturdy and I knew I could do something to make the inside much more inviting for our wedding memories.

...So first I used almost an entire container of lysol wipes cleaning it out. Then I cut some upholstery fabric that I had laying around. I did not measure anything, other than just to kinda set the fabric on the spot I planned to attach it and try to mark it the best I could with a pencil.

After that, I glued the pieces down with craft glue. I used Craft Goop. I also tried Gorilla Glue... but it soaked through my fabric and ended up all foamy and then did not automatically stick. It was a disaster! Luckily I was able to come back from this (sorry if the pictures are turned in a way that is hard to see).

All of our wedding memories are safe and sound! I love this project because it helped me to use some of the (ridiculous amounts) of fabric I have in my fabric stash. I did this project with things I had around the house, and my $1 train case! I hope you like it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Organizing for the creative person, part 2 (the shoe and handbag edition)

OMG! Finally! A break in the schoolwork. I know it isn't going to last long, though. I cannot believe how much work this summer semester has been. I am, after all, taking three classes. I should have figured!

Well, my sweet M is coming home very soon from his year long stint overseas, and I could not be happier. My goal was to have the entire house free of all extra, unwanted and unnecessary stuff, but of course, my aspirations were high and I have not quite met them. With the amount of schoolwork I have, M will be lucky just to come home to a clean house! :) If you ask him, though, he doesn't care what it looks like or how messy it is... all he wants is to be home with us (me and the furbabies). Awwww. This is why I married him!

I HAVE been doing a few little things here and there in between all of my homework, papers and tests. One of the main things I have done is to make sure that my clothes, shoes and purses are organized (read: in the places they are supposed to be and NOT spilling over into every available inch of closet and storage space in the house, including what is M's). Some time ago I came up with a great shoe storage idea, and then recently I decided that I would organize my purses in a nice neat little display as well.

This is the guest bedroom, so any guests that stay at our house get to look at this wonderful collection. :)

Here is what I did: 

These are shoe shelves I picked up from both Target and Walmart over the years, and I stacked them on top of each other to take up as much vertical space as possible.

And now for the purses:

I used command hooks. I chose the ones that could hold the most weight, and of course the purses are all empty. I have had only one issue with the sticky thing falling off the wall. I suspect this is either due to the CRAZY humidity down here in the South, or the weight of the purses that were on it, or both.

... and I saved some space in the shoe shelves for my clutches and small handbags.

And then of course there is a small area for my craft books, various perfumes and lotions, and some boxes of craft supplies at the bottom.

I am not even going to show you the closet. :) I am sooo not done organizing that yet! I hope you like my "princess room". It takes everything I have to stay organized!

Stay tuned. I have a couple cute refashions in the works! :)