Friday, November 7, 2014

What to wear, what to wear...

There is an endless stream of fun, easy and creative refashion projects on the internet.  Often of an evening while my sweetheart and I comfortably watch television in our Barcaloungers I'll serf the web and collect new ideas to try between quilts.

I finished the Cat quilt this past weekend. This cute top idea slipped in before I begin cutting panels for a Rugrats quilt.

The refashion is a man's dress shirt paired with a  t-shirt.  I bought the red t-shirt at a second-hand store because I liked the lace insets on the sleeves.

The blue dress shirt was an old one of D's.  It had to be taken in quite a bit as it was a man's extra-large.  I also added the decorative strip which has red and blue stars to dress it up a bit.
More practice in the 'fitting' process will help plus a better quality t-shirt would look and work better. I like the design and look of this refashion and will keep my eyes open for better dress/t-shirt combinations. What do you think?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014 Summer Show-N-Tell Sewing Projects

Not having posted since last May there is plenty to Show-n-Tell from the sewing room. The Cat quilt, the final version of the animal, children's quilt is cut out and half way through construction.  Instead of straight line quilting as was done on the Dog and Bear I am quilting the silhouette of cats on each piece.

At the beginning of the summer I wanted to try spelling words with quilting stitches.  Remaining, various colored t-shirts of L's and remnants of the first UT quilt resulted in a second, more casual, UT quilt.

L. had this really neat hand-painted t-shirt of the Texas capitol and Austin skyline he bought Freshman year.  It was so unique I decided to make a pillow sham and try my hand at adding a zipper.  I really like how it turned out and the zipper allows for ease of care and washing.

The work on the Cat is continuous but it is put aside when the urge to start and complete a project in a day takes over.

I am a big fan of the twirly skirt fashioned onto a t-shirt.  There is still a lot of fabric that I was given and this is such a fun and colorful way to use it.  These finish up in a day.

This cute shorts pattern uses
the remnant bottom of t-shirts.  I had plenty of shirt bottoms so I had to give these shorts a try.

I pulled out a bedspread from storage along with decorative pillows.  The pillows needed a face lift and I found this pillow sham idea. This refashion uses old dress shirts.  

To put some color on this mono dress shirt I made an Exploding Pineapple quilt square to put on the front.

  The finished front....                                                                                         ...and the finished back.
From my sewing room to yours, keep the needles moving my friends.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sewing Gifts for Mom & Me

Re-do ripped out and
 on the dress form.
The clothing refashions coming out of the sewing room have been more 'minor adjustments' than refashions.  Admittedly, I'm timid about ripping out, cutting off then expecting I can get it back together in any kind of shape I would actually wear.
Color me timid no more!

This post features the making of my body form; constructed out of duct tape. It was a project specifically to move toward refashioning a dress that was too full in the skirt and too long.  Not necessarily complicated changes except I wanted to make the adjustments without taking any part of the zipper off the back (that would be complicated).

After finishing the Dog quilt I resolved my next project would be the dress. The refashion didn't take more than a weekend but there was MUCH seam ripping and plenty of measure, try on, measure again.

I am very pleased, and not a little surprised, at how well it turned out.  My courage has been bolstered and another dress refashion selected.  It is a dress of the same style so I'll let out the pleats and see if I can't gather it for a swirly, twirly look plus bring the hem to knee length.

This dress was no sooner pressed than another refashion item was under the rotary blade...

My wonderful mom liked the smallish cosmetic case made out of left over quilted squares and remarked that she could use it to hold her pencils in the car.  Knowing she would appreciate a car tote a knit vest came to mind that caught my eye when I bought a jacket last week, the one that was supposed to become a larger barrel bag (but it fit great so I wore it to work instead).

This vest became a perfect tote for holding puzzle books, a Kindle, notebook and pencils.

The sides were cut down and put together allowing for markers on both sides of the bag then a handle was made out of the colored lines that were cut away.

I added two pockets for a cell phone and pencils.  A previously ordered tension frame was installed for closure.

I need to get this in the mail (I'm already tardy) but Mom is visiting two of my sisters and it should arrive before she makes it home.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Woof, Grrr, Meow

July of last year I purchased a child's rag quilt pattern that has a bear, dog and cat.  They all look the same except for the ears.  Last July I made the bear and this week I finished the dog.

Last month my darling D. caught a hot deal on Amazon and bought me a Brother sewing machine with 99 different stitches.  I knew immediately that the dog quilt would be a perfect project for trying out many of those stitches and helping me learn my new machine.

The cat will eventually be made; this pattern is too cute and too easy not to do them all.

As with most projects I had to re-cut two 'squares' leaving two odd pieces that I quickly found a use for.  

This barrel bag was listing as a cosmetic bag.  It seemed small but the right size to use these defunct, quilted pieces.  My intention was to recycle a red sweater with a super zipper but my initial cuttings were off (measure twice cut once...eek!) and that idea got tossed.

This alternate refashion had to include a lesson for installing a zipper.  Not a difficult task but one that does take a bit of finesse.  I'm happy with how the overall bag turned out, D. thought it was a sufficient size for cosmetics, but it is small.  

A trip to Goodwill today garnered a lined jacket of a lovely color and fabric with a double zipper that will become a larger barrel bag after a quick enlargement of the current pattern.

(I put the jacket, marked size S, on my form to take this picture and thought, 'this fits my dummy, it should fit me'.  Currently rethinking the use of this jacket.)

The summer is looking good on all fronts with a line up of a number of refashion on my friends.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

In My Sewing Room and We're Talking Bags

After the dress dummy I fell into the world of 'bags', grocery and hand to be exact.  In the midst of sewing my timing gears wore out and the machine was in the shop for a week.  In a previous post I shared I got my first Singer in 1980.  There was a flurry of initial sewing but then only minimal action for about 31 years.  Since 2011 I've worn out the timing gears twice with A LOT of sewing but also, more likely, yanking heavier materials than is wise between the feed dogs and needle.

Yet, I have not been deterred but more surprisingly rewarded!  My attentive husband, D.; patiently watching me spin and thread, cut and construct, curse and kick spied a Brother Laura Ashley CX155A sewing machine on Amazon's Daily Hot Deals.  Their selling point, "goes through 5 layers of material" caught his eye, the selling point to me "99 decorative programmable stitches"!

I am eager to start the Dog rag quilt but I needed to finish up the bag projects which today, are complete.

The reversible grocery bags from a t-shirt and fabric were a breeze and very useful.

A regional sweatshirt was headed to a pillow case but turned into a tote instead.
The initial large bottom seemed plain and uninspired (not to mention the pockets inside were wrong).  A revamp fixed the pockets, rounded up the bottom and became a test for 2 of the 99 stitches.  The craftsmanship is clearly first-round but a lot was learned in the process.

This smaller purse received the bonus of lessons learned.  From a sweater to a handbag
I love how this purse turned out.  Handbags are a project that will definitely be revisited.

The sewing room has been cleaned and restocked, fabric picked out and pattern prepared.

Let the quilting begin.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silhouette Me: An Adventures in Sewing Story

*Duct Tape Dangers Disclosure

My adventures in sewing began in 2011 when L. left for college and the unpredictable 'empty nest' season began.  Live & Learn With Sally has been a depository for both the emotional and artistic journey.  Silhouette Me is another stop along this road.

The Refashion movement has caught my eye.  I've tackled minor adjustments on blouses through haphazard pinning while looking at my reflection in the mirror.

 A major dress refashion has swirled through my mind for some time. My avoidance is in large part due to the lack of confidence to 'fit' the refashion accurately and sufficiently.  Honestly, I want to "want" to wear this dress when the refashion is done.

What I really needed was a dress form which cost $100+, a sum I'm not willing to spend if I'm only going to use it once.  (See Upholstery Re-Do)

A trip on the internet leads to more tutorials on 'Making Your Own Dress Dummy' than you would ever expect.  The two common instructions: you need another person and more than one roll of duct tape.  D. was my willing taper and Sam's provided the bulk package of duct tape.

The adventure began:

Start in a trash bag or old t-shirt.

It is important to capture
every curve.

We followed specific
wrapping instructions.

Getting close but not tight.

2 1/2 hours in and we
are done wrapping;
now to cut me out.

Stuffed and ready
for service.
Dress ready for a
The intention for this dress refashion is to make the skirt portion an A-Line and bring up the hem without removing the back zipper.

I will post the results, success or failure, to let you know how the refashion goes and the dress form performs.

Thanks for stopping by.

*Duct Tape Dangers Disclosure
In an effort for full disclosure be aware that continued use of duct tape over an extended period of time can result in blisters.

D. took one for the team!

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Made a Duffle!

In the current recycle/reuse environment I was going through a bag of clothes destined for donation when my recycle eye caught sight of a pair of cargo pants with a draw string waist and excellent pockets.

A bag pattern came to mind inspiring the next project.

With many of these new endeavors I often fly by the seat of my pants; following the suggestion of a pattern and designing as I go.

After cutting out the seams a visit to Joann Fabrics yielded an upholstery remnant that complimented the cargo blue.

Two 4 inch strips replaced the seams.  A bucket design made the best use of size and pocket placement.  My sewing machine couldn't accommodate the thick fabric for sewing the handle strap but two gold buttons did the trick.

The lining came together with minimal frustration and installed with ease.  I am still on the hunt for a cord lock large enough to accommodate the draw string which will make the bag complete.

Deep into the process, as I was wrestling the fabric thorough my machine that wasn't made to handle industrial sewing, it seemed this project might have been too ambitious.

Multiple trips to the fabric store and additional days thinking through problem areas did result in a pleasing duffle.

My feelings regarding this project is similar to the Chair Re-do.  I am happy with how it turned out but I won't intentionally revisit it again.  I do like the myriad of bags and purse patterns out there and this has given me a great trial run.  There is likely another effort out there but on a much smaller scale.

Because it turned out to be much larger than initially expected I have to consider it's purpose. I've decided it would make a great Diaper Duffle.  The pockets are perfect for all the various and sundry small baby items with the interior large enough for diapers, extra clothes and toys.

Another item for my Grandmother's hope chest. :)