Wednesday, June 27, 2012

7 Shirts. The Shirt Skirt. or Skirt Shirt.. oh now I'm confused.

It's holidays, and my number one priority this holidays was to go to several Op-Shops and get stuff to refashion. On my mind were several projects which involved cutting men's shirts to pieces! Yay! On Monday I headed to Salvos, Lifeline, Vinnies and a few others and spent just $20 buying 7 men's shirts - and a women's long sleeved shirt which I'm DYING to cut up for Moo but I can't think of what to do with it just yet.
My pretty shirts! Oh I have plans for you!
Today I decided to get cutting, despite the fact that I can't find my rotary cutter and without it I'm pretty useless at cutting straight lines. (It survived The Move, but it didn't survive the "Let's Clean Up Before The Birthday Party" - I remember seeing it, I don't remember where I put it.) I chose to start with the red one in the centre. It was going to make a pretty skirt.

I had seen this shirt-skirt floating around Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I loved the arms belt but didn't end up incorporating it into my skirt for 2 reasons - firstly my girth did not allow it (sad) and secondly when I tried to fashion the arms to even LOOK like a belt, my son told me it looked silly.
Here's how I did it.

First up I unpicked the sleeves. You can skip this, in fact in hindsight if I -had- skipped it I may have had my belt as I could've cut it straight across.. but anyway. I unpicked them and it took me forever.
Almost wanted to keep it as a vest.
 Then I cut straight across from armpit to armpit. A bigger shirt could've been cut in an a-line from higher if the skirt needed to be longer. (from armpit-armpit it fell just above my knees)
I miss you, rotary cutter.
I sewed down the button line to prevent any gaping opening, unbuttoning etc and then took off that top button.
I was able to sew white on the white line to camouflage it a bit.
Then I made the waistband by doing little more than making a case and threading some elastic through.
Love my cute pins. Problem is, my kids love them too.
And I'm done!
Cute, quick!
But then I came inside to see this ....
Oh Cobes, you are cute, but I think I can come up with a more permanent solution.

Using this tutorial from Green Kitchen (and without destroying another pair of pants, just traced around) I used the sleeves from the shirt and quickly whipped him up some new, very rough, PJ pants. Awesome!
Pretending he's asleep. Because that's what you do in PJ pants.
 I'm not sure what, if anything, I'll do with the top part of the shirt.. but I would really like to say I used the whole lot ;)

1 shirt refashion down, 6 to go! :D

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm Back. And so is my SewJo.

Hello blog, bloggers, bloggees and bloggerverse,

I'm back! :D Are you excited? I am! It's been a long few months and a lot of stuff has happened since I last dusted off the sewing machine and sat down at the table.

Firstly, we moved house! That's a bit exciting, it does, however, mean a little less space so I wasn't able to set up my sewing machine straight away. There IS a room outside which will be perfect for the machine and I... but that's going to take a bit of setting up.

Secondly, I have finished my Diploma course. This is what ruined my SewJo in the first place. Rassenfrassen braincells being stripped for some piece of paper. But the close of study for the course is Monday next week and I'm waiting, patiently, for my final assignment to be marked. Confident that I've passed that one.

Thirdly, I've lost a bit of weight. This is actually important because firstly I'm super proud of myself, and secondly it relates directly to what I've sewn today.

And here it is.
I have a skirt. This skirt, I'm pretty sure, can be found in hundreds of photos of me (if I had allowed photos to be taken) I liked it, it was versatile and comfortable. I had it for years. But then something happened, my "Thirdly" - I lost weight. I lost so much weight that it made wearing my favourite skirt impossible. Sad, I know. I thought about what I could do - Could I just take it in? Well the hem WAS all tatty, yes I could fix that.. but I didn't know if taking it in would even work. Could I just eat enough Big Macs to put back on the weight I lost? Yes, yes I could.. but will I? Probably not, I am enjoying being less... big. Could I keep it in my drawer until I found motivation to do something? Absolutely.
And that motivation came to me today in the form of a Pin. A French woman's blogged post, with a skirt repurpose was pinned and so I repinned, as you do, and then I wondered - did I need a wool skirt or is this what I can do with my favourite skirt?

Dodgy photo of The Skirt

So this afternoon my husband cleared a desk and I went to the wardrobe and pulled out my sewing machine, beautiful shiny machine she is, within an hour and a half I'd sewed, unpicked and hemmed the armholes and neckholes - I had a pretty little top :D

I was never good at posing for photos...
And I really do like it :D It's comfortable and, maybe it could be versatile ;) Just as it was! And it was easy peasy.
I'll have to keep and eye our for woolen skirts when I next am on the hunt for things to repurpose, because I'd LOVE a more flowy, wintery number.

I'm going to do a lot more repurposing, I've decided. It's something I really enjoy and I am LOVING doing it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Such a Pretty Skirt!

And it only cost me 50c!
Yes, 50c people.. that's all it cost! And it's cute, it's practical and it's easy!
I could bang on and apologise about my lack of posting, talk about study (finished three assessments all due in a week of each other, by the way!), work, kids and the fact that it means the hobby (or, the secondary hobby, blogging) gets pushed to the wayside while I feverishly try to look up references to back up what I've written in my assignments - but I won't bore you. ;)

I've actually made a few things in the last couple of weeks including a skirt for me that I cannot get a good photo of.. which got me loads of compliments from co-workers and friends who didn't know I'd sewn it myself. I also made a pretty little skirt for Eva, it's a repurpose and I followed Craftiness is not Optional's tutorial for the Blowing Kisses Skirt. Hence the cost of 50c, because, you see, I picked the shirt up from an Opshop for just 50c.. it was the perfect material for the job.

Way too small for me, Way too big for Eva.. Perfect for a repurpose.
And I had some fleece in my stash that would do the trick for the reverse applique. :D It took me the longest to fix my loose bobbin issue than it did to sew the hearts, and eventually I worked out the best way to sew the waistband on the stretch knit that the shirt is (The answer is to stretch it as you go) and, by gosh it's a cute result.

I really like it, I want one for me (I say that every time, don't I!) And Eva likes it too.. without prompting she put it on and said to her big brother "My love my skirt... Mummy made it!" It made my heart happy to hear that, a lot!

Now those with kids would know and appreciate that without a very decent camera, taking a photo of children isn't the easiest thing to do.. So I did my best, and she did her best posing too.

Great, practical skirt for jumping!
And for posing sweetly.
Such a cute skirt and so very easy to do, and not to mention cheap! I'll be trying some more reverse appliques with different patterns, most definitely!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Study Break.

Hi there blog. I haven't forgotten you, I haven't forgotten about sewing either.. I got busy.. I'm still busy but there's road works, kids TV and two munchkins hanging nearby so I'm not in the right space to finish the essay and the other two assessments.. I'll get there soon though!

I did, however, decide if I couldn't do a good essay job, I probably could do a good sewing job! Just as well because I felt I was neglecting my hobby and I really wanted to get onto something before winter went away- it's already getting warm through some days!

As I mentioned in the last entry, my not-so-baby boy turned 5 recently. His Aunty Becca posted up a present for him and a meter of printed flannel for me to "make him something"
 And the very same afternoon I just so happened to be walking past a winter clearance rack and picked up a jumper in the next size up (to last an extra cold season!)

Got the mind ticking...
Becca had suggested I might like to add a hood to a jumper, or something.. so I did just that.

I love this kid :D
(And yes, those who know me "in real life" I have a sewing space finally!)
But it wasn't quite done, I mean I had a heap of the material left and it seemed too easy..  so I cut a chunk from the middle of the sleeves and added some material to them too!

Always a goof!
He LOVES his new "Pirate Jumper" :D And I'm a bit partial to it too! It seems that it'll make a good jumper/sweater repurpose when things get holey or a little too small. I will definitely be doing this again! It looks way too cute, really.. and meant to be!

But I wasn't done! Still with a good amount of material and another thought in mind, I quickly cut and whipped up a pair of PJ pants... he loves those too! And they're super easy to make!

More super-silly.
He's going to be a bit warmer for the rest of this season, and onto next.. thanks to Aunty Becca!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling Stitchy!

I haven't updated for a week and a half - I actually haven't sewed for a week and a half! I was feeling quite stitchy by today.. but I've been busy! In the week my beautiful, delightful, thoughtful, caring son turned 5! Amazing that next year I'll have a school kid - I still wait every day for that knock on the door from.. whoever.. to say "Oh my goodness, we made a mistake, we weren't meant to give you a child.. sorry for the muddle, we'll take them back now." But that hasn't happened yet.. thankfully because, truth be told, I've grown attached to the wee midgets. Just a little. ;)

So after a week and a half preparing for the monster party, and heading back to work from holidays and studying away I was feeling pretty stitchy. And today, with it blowing a gale outside as it does in Brisbane while we head back into warmer weather, I thought it'd be the perfect day to just sew -something-

I came across a couple of  strips of material in my stash - nothing to do much productive with alone, but nice colours. And that's when I started ticking. Hot on the heels (hemline?) of my gored skirt, I thought I can make another - for Eva!

The material was perfect for colour matching and the perfect width, I just cut it to the length and sewed the panels together. I love this skirt, it's so cute it hurts. Eva's very pleased with it too- she's a great critic. As soon as I held it up, she whipped off her pants and asked to put the "very-booful!" skirt on. And then clawed at the door so we could go outside and I could get some photos.. she knows how her mummy works.

Yay for leaves and cute skirts! (slightly off centre)
 She had a ball heading out there and throwing around the leaves!

Oh I love it. I want one for me.
I may have to embelish the shirt so it matches, or make a headband.. For now she's bringing over the scraps and asking me to make more skirts for her friends!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Holy Cow! Or is that holey socks..?

I had a problem, I actually had 3.
I have a girl who toilet trained earlier than expected - which isn't a big problem until the next..
I have shirts, Eva's size and a bit bigger, that have snaps to do up between her legs, again, not a problem unless combined with above.
I have the cutest, kiwi, crew socks that have holes in them. Big problem. :(
Now, The Husband implored me to throw out the socks, in his opinion they were stupid looking, they had holes and they were toe-socks. Perfect candidate for trash, says he. They are cute, warm and were a gift from NZ. Perfect candidate for doing something with, says I.

Here are my problems.
Really, could YOU throw out those socks?
I had a friend making way-cute baby legs by repurposing long socks but I wasn't sure if that was the solution for my socks, Eva doesn't wear nappies and she prefers tights under her skirts (No really, she loves to wear tights and skirts) so then I had a brain wave. Use both my clothing problems to make a pyjama shirt. Oh yes, yes I did.

First I cut off the bits I didn't need, just above the highest hole on the socks and just above the leg.. binding... bit, you know what I mean.

I hemmed the bottom of the shirt and then set to work finding out the best way to attach the socks to the arms, to do this the exact same way I did, do the opposite of how I explain it, and then sit on the couch and unpick it, sighing loudly and try again. ;)

Keep the shirt the right side out, turn the sock tube inside out and slip it over the sleeve with the cut end closest to the sleeve cuff, then sew around the sleeve cuff.
Big yays for Sharon for showing me how to sew
tight, small circles like this.
Repeat with the other sleeve, turn it all the right way and put it on your awaiting model!

Big grins from the rosie-cheeked teether
who also has a cold.
And the all-important "pretend you're sleeping!" shot
Sure, the kiwis are upside down, but if you have socks with no patterns it'd work even better! And besides, they're just PJs! :)

Problems solved!

And hey, it's a bit of a tutorial, innit it? :D

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eye Spy a Shirt and a Silly Hat.

I've been sewing away on a few different things, as you do. I could rabbit on about each project or I could do a pic-post and post a couple of pictures and some things about what I've been doing for the last fortnight or so.

When I was on a beanie spree a couple of weeks ago I made one more for a little belly-babe who was still baking away. Lucille's on the outside now so I can share the beanie or silly hat!
I promise you she was impressed!
Some will argue that the best part of the silly hat was my pre-baby model...

Woof! I liked making this beanie, it was a quick sew of two rectangles with the little thingies in the corner. Very technical, aren't I.

I found this very retro polo in an oppie, I had to buy it, it was $3 and it reminded me so much of my childhood, my dad.. I'm sure it's something he would've had in the wardrobe (or still does!), the soft knit fabric, brown with retro stripes.

Much like the sweater dress, I just put one of Cobey's shirts over the top of this one, traced around then sewed, it doesn't take me long to do these- I did this in a morning before we were due to leave and he was to wear it.
It looks so sweet on him, I love how the stripes sit lower than the original and feels good too. I made it slightly too big so it'll last a little longer and through the summer.

And the Lucky Last thing to post about is yet another present. Today we celebrated a good friend's 4th birthday! I had seen an Eye-Spy tube years ago and with my son's I Spy book obsession I had been meaning to make an Eye-Spy bag for ages- so with Stella's birthday coming it seemed like a great age for the gift!

I used various little things and rice for the inside, and fleece and clear PVC for the outside. I didn't need a tutorial, it was fairly straight forward!

Taking a photo of all the bits and bobs and writing the poem was what took me the longest!

I just know I'm going to be making a few more of these, for presents and for long car trips as the kids get older! Bound to keep the squidlets quiet for a while!