Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Outfit with Reversible Hat

Recently, I made this reversible sunhat. Then Project Run and Play posted their May challenge pattern from Crafty Cupboard and it inspired me to make a top to go with the hat. I also decided that the outfit needed some capri length leggings to complete the outfit.  I love how summery this outfit turned out!

To the shirt front pattern, I added 3.25" to the center width of the shirt making the total width added to 6.5". Then I sewed from the wrong side of the fabric, six small 1/2" tuck pleats, three facing toward the center of the top. I added about 1" more in length to the little flutter sleeve too because I wanted the shirt to have a soft vintage feel.  

I accented the front of the shirt with three tiny heart buttons.  Instead of one color of buttons, I used soft yellow, golden and mint buttons. My granddaughter liked her little buttons.  According to my daughter, she did not like her sunhat.

 In the back, I used larger heart shaped dark mint and navy colored buttons.

After making the classic white, pleated top, I used fabric from some sleeves that I had cut out of an old shirt to make these capris.  The sleeves were leftover from a refashion I actually made for myself (if the weather gets warmer next week, I'll show you how this turned out).  When cutting out these capris, a time saving tip that I love is to use the original hem.

By using the hemming tip, these capri shorts only take about half an hour to make from start to finish, which was fantastic timing to tuck them into a box and get shipped off to my cute 18 month old granddaughter.  I used the free leggings pattern from Ellie Inspired.

The hardest part about this new format Project Run and Play has going on this year isn't completing the monthly projects in time, it's mailing them to one of my grandkids and getting them photographed in time. Boohoo to all of the grandmothers out there who have all of their grandchildren far, far away!  Every once in a while, I do so want to whine about this living arrangement.   xoxo Grandma

Making Good: How to Repair Wicker Furniture

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This week, I'm part of a blog train hosted by Agatha Lee of Green Issues by Agy called Making Good Yesterday Vanessa  from SweetLeigh showed you how to repair glittery shoes and add more bling to them.

So, I know its hard to believe, but I haven't always had so much time to craft and create. At least not with fabric. Ages ago, I used to work for a high end furniture store that specialized in wicker and rattan. Because of that job, I have some beautiful pieces of wicker furniture in my home. Fast forward to last summer, and while grandchildren were visiting, a certain grandson, who will remain nameless, picked at an area of cracked wicker on one of my white wicker daybeds, even though I begged him to leave it alone. Sadly, he created a lovely hole right in the back of the daybed.  Luckily, pillows can cover this hole but when those pillows are removed, YIKES, it looks bad! 

While working for that particular wicker furniture store, I also used to help repair some of the pieces of wicker. After watching a refresher video on how to repair wicker furniture found HERE , I set about repairing that gaping hole in the daybed. 

You might wonder why even bother repairing a wicker daybed? Firstly, this daybed is beautiful and classic in design. Secondly, my biggest motivation is that my oldest daughter just purchased her first home. When I redecorated her, and her twin sister's, bedroom long after they moved out, we put one of these daybeds in our storage area.  Yes, I own two of these daybeds.  When cousins came to visit, we'd have a dormitory using the trundle beds, that were stored below these daybeds, filled with cute girls.  I told my oldest daughter that she could have her daybed for my granddaughter's new bedroom.  Needless to say, my daughter was delighted to get one of these beautiful bed frames.

The hardest part about this project was finding half round real wicker reeds to repair the hole in the back of the daybed. I had to order mine from a store I found online called Frank's Cane and Rush Supply.  I couldn't find a way to place the order online so on a Friday morning, I placed my order the old fashion way and called the company on the phone.  The owner answered & I gave him my order.  They have amazing service because I received my order three days later in Monday's mail.  YEA for fast service!

Anyway, on to how I made that daybed good again: 

The first step was to soak the reeds in warm water for at least 30 minutes.  I soaked mine in the bathtub for several days... let's just say I may have forgotten about them.

Next, remove enough wet reeds to repair your wicker.

The size of reeds I purchased were a little larger than what I needed so using scissors, I cut the wet reeds down to the size of the original reeds.

Then working from the back of the daybed, I snipped off the existing wicker pieces so that they ended behind the horizontal reeds.  Then I started to weave the reeds in and out keeping the pattern as close as possible to the original weave.

This is what the front of the daybed looked like once I was finished weaving:

I let the wicker dry for several days. Then I laid down old towels in front of the area I was going to paint and behind that same area.  After shaking the can vigorously, I sprayed the wicker from the front of the wicker.  I had to repeat that process four times.  

Beware, the spray paint is super stinky so make sure when you spray, you do it on a nice, non-windy day with the windows wide open.  You don't want any wind to blow dust or particles onto what you're spay painting.

This is how that repaired wicker daybed looks - like new again!

I'm grateful I was challenged to repair something because now this daybed is finally ready to be passed onto the next generation of children in my life.

Tomorrow, please join Julia at Sum of Their Stories.  Julia lives in the United Kingdom and comes from a long line of crafty women.

Here's the schedule of bloggers that have joined together to bring you this series of posts about mending, just in case you want to hop over to their blogs and learn a ton!

1 May - Agatha, Green Issues by Agy (Fixing My Jug With Polymorph)
2 May - Lisa, Cucicucicoo (Creative Patches for Jeans)
3 May – Millie, 2 Crochet Hooks (Jean Skirt Fix)
4 May – Stella (Fixing a Bag Strap)
5 May -  Adeline Oon, Accidental Mom (Replacing a Broken Clasp on Necklace or Bracelet)
6 May – Audrey with Angel Hearts Crafts (Repairing Sandals)
7 May – Yaney with Adopt an Ami (Replacing Inner Soles of Shoes)
8 May – Christine with Rhinestic's Knick Knacks (Weaving Embroidery Mending)
9 May – Karen with Rude Record (Fixing Slippers)
10 May – Kareena Let's Go Fly a Kite (Great Grandma's Cast Iron Waffle Maker)
11 May – Lapis Lapis William  (Reupholstering a Tilt Table and Chair)
12 May – Vicky: Vicky Myers Creations (Mending Jeans and Shoe Repair)
13 May – Brandi, (How to Repair Upholstery Holes)
14 May – Carrie Curly Crafty Mom (Desk Chair Revamp)
15 May – Taking a break
16 May – Kathy Smile For No Reason (Reupholster a Chair)
17 May – Cassandra  Hippie With a Dragon (Repairing a Dress)
18 May -  Taking a break
19 May -  Maegan MAE & K (Simple Cassette Repair)
20 May – Judith Juicy Green Mom (Repairing Toys)
21 May – Vanessa  SweetLeigh (Re-glitter Shoes)
22 May – Joy  xoxo Grandma (How to Repair Wicker Furniture)
23 May – Julia
24 May – Amanda
25 May – Diane
26 May – Emily, 
27 May – Emmy –  
28 May -  Vanessa  -
29 May - Jean Chua -

This post is part of a blog train hosted by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy on "Making Good". What is repair, and why do we even bother to repair the things we have?  Some see repair as a way of reconnecting with our possessions as we extend their lives. Others see it as a form of creative potential and an avenue to express their craft.  The rewards for mending varies from feeling immense satisfaction to prolonging the life of the product. Follow the “Making Good” blog train this month and see what we have repaired and reconnected with. Have you mended anything today?

Linked to:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Turn an Embroidered Napkin Into a Yoke - a Refashion

I love it when I'm working on a creation and it inspires me to create something else. This very thing happened last week, I sewed up May's Project Run and Play project using a free pattern called Summer Chevrons Shirt by Crafty Cupboard and then shipped it off to one of my granddaughters. I'm hoping it arrives on time so I can show it to you by the end of the week.  After sewing that pattern, I had an idea that worked out wonderfully and I want to share it with you today. 

For my second attempt at creating that same pattern, I added a fun twist.  I have a lot of linen napkins that my sister-in-law inherited and then shared with me last fall.  She told me that she doesn't remember her mother ever using most of them and believes they were probably ones her mother inherited from her grandmother.  She challenged me to use them to create something instead of letting them sit in a drawer for another 60 plus years.

As I was looking at the yoke to the Summer Chevrons Shirt pattern, I started to wonder if I had a linen napkin that would be the right size to cut that yoke out of.  After trying the pattern onto three different linen napkins, I found one almost the right size.  

Here's how I used that embroidered napkin and turned it into a yoke: 

  • Fold the napkin into fourths and pin the bottom, outside corner.
  • Pin the yoke pattern in place remembering that you will not need to sew the shoulder seams so pin that pattern up a little higher on the fold.
  • Cut out the neck opening.
  • Unfold your yoke.  It's now ready to attach to the bodice pieces.
  • Pin the bodice onto the yoke - the first photo shows these pieces from the back side.
  • The second photo shows the pieces from the front side.
  • From the front side, sew right above any embroidery attaching the yoke to the bodice.
  • Pin on the interfacing and sew around the neckline.  
  • Turn the interfacing to the wrong side and iron in place.  Fold under the seam allowances and pin in place.
  • Now stitch the interfacing to the yoke from the right side of the fabric to keep any stitching lined up with any embroidery on the edges.
Then, I followed the rest of Crafty Cupboard's directions to complete this top. I hope this tutorial inspires you to see what you can do with a linen embroidered napkin or something else similar.  

To the bottom of the shirt, I added a little vintage looking off white lace, a bright pink ruffle and...topped the look off with some fun floral ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. 

To the bodice, I added wonderful, almost flat, vintage buttons because I hate to think of thick buttons poking my little one in the back when she has to sit in her car seat.

This weekend, I get to spend time with one of my granddaughters and I'm planning on taking photos of her in this summer dress.  Since this post has to be up by Friday to be eligible for this sew-a-long, I'm hoping you will excuse this long-distance grandmother and enjoy the tutorial for now without photos of it on my little one.  If you try this refashion, I hope you're as happy with your results as I was with mine.   xoxo Grandma

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Refashioning Tips & Tricks

Earlier this week, I was asked to speak to a group of women from my church about refashioning.  Here's a few of the tips and tricks I shared with them that I thought you might find helpful as well. 

  • It's saves money.
  • It's environmentally friendly.
  • It's fun to create an unused item into something new!
  • Create original clothing.  Once I showed up at church and two other ladies had on the exact same dress that I had purchased in Florida.  I was sure my dress would be unique because I'd purchased it so far from home. While talking to the other ladies, we laughed about the fact that we had each purchased our dress in a different state!  If you refashion your clothing, I can almost guarantee that you'll never find yourself in this situation.
  • Create an article of clothing that preserves the best features but changes it into something new & more fashionable.

  • Gather together the items you want to refashion and put the elements into a pile, include a photo or sketch of how you want the refashion to look like once it's complete.  

  • Resize an article of clothing by making it smaller or larger.

  • Add a pocket, stitching (embroidery), additional fabric, or layer on lace.

  • Transform one thing into something completely different.

  • Combine more than one item into a refashion.
  •  Look at your fabric. What can it do? Is it stretchy?  See through? How does it drape? Is it heavy? How does it feel?  What kind of item would profit from these properties? 
  • Reuse the best features of the garment you’re refashioning. Ask yourself the following two questions:  What don't like about the garment? What do you like about the garment?
  • Always turn the garment wrong side out to re-size.
  • Invest in a good seam ripper and sharp fabric scissors.

  1. When possible, use the original hem of the garment (like in this Hand-me-down Blues Dress.)
  2. If you're going to purchase something to refashion, buy the largest size possible.  You almost always spend the same about of money but you'll get more fabric.
  3. Shrunken wool sweaters make great stuffed animals & baby pants (felted wool is very absorbent for baby clothing).  See HERE & HERE.
  4. Have no fear, just hack away.  Mistakes can result in some amazing refashions not originally thought of. (per Karen Ellis of Rude Record)
  5. Sometimes just changing the buttons on an old article of clothing can give it a pick-me up. (per Agatha Lee of Green Issues by Agy)
  6. You can also add a fun pocket to give new life to an article of clothing.
  7. Keep all scraps you've cut off the items you're refashioning until you’re completely done with the refashion.  You never know when a small piece of fabric might be needed.  
  8. Sometimes, simply change the neckline will make your garment more wearable.      
  9. Keep a lint roller near by, it'll help pull loose threads out of fabric and off you as you unpick and rip seams. 
  10. Look for unusual sources for your fabric like, pillowcases (as pictured above), curtainssheets and tablecloths. (per Amy Mayer of Sews n Bows)
Great blogs with fun refashions - Remember the old saying,  "A picture is worth a thousand words"?  Find refashionists that you enjoy and learn from what others have created. I've got quite a few refashion projects on my blog which I hope you'll check out HERE.  Four of my favorite blogs that feature refashioned projects are: 
You might want to find other blogs that showcase their projects by searching Pinterest. For additional inspiration, I created a Refashion board HERE. Please feel free to join.  

It's still Spring which is a perfect time of year to clean out your closet and start having fun refashioning what you don't wear. If you have a tip or trick to refashioning that I didn't mention, please leave me a comment & I'll add it to this list.  xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Crafty Allie, Diana Rambles

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Transform Your Old Sandals

Do you own sandals that you hardly ever wear, but you just can't bring yourself to throw them away? If you do, this post is for you. While putting away my winter shoes and pulling out my summer ones, I came across a pair of sandals that I've had for several years.  They are super comfortable for my wide feet but I hardly ever wear them because of the colors in the fabric.  

I've been wanting to try this project ever since I saw this post but I'm not a big fan of regular flip flops.  So the "bones" of these sandals was perfect for this transformation.  First, I gathered together these supplies:

  • 7/8" ribbon (other widths can be used)
  • a variety of shell beads (mine were upcycled from a shell belt & necklaces)
  • clear seed beads
  • pearlized beads 6mm
  • thread
  • needle
  • pins
  • strong epoxy glue like E6000
And I proceeded to transform my sandals like this:

I took the end of the ribbon and tucked it into the bottom of the strap. Add a little glue to the ribbon's end or pin this in place. Then I started to wrap that ribbon around the strap until I got to the toe strap.  I wrapped it once around the other side and then looped it back to wrap the toe area.

Then I wrapped the ribbon back and forth over the middle area.  Once that was done, I added a bit of glue to the end of the ribbon. 

Then I add seashells, seed beads and pearlized beads.  For one sandal I glued all the accents on ahead of time, and for the other I simply started sewing these elements on as I went.  The nice thing about using this type of sandal was that the straps were all fabric, making it was easy to sew right through those straps. 

I'm quite happy with the new look from my old sandals. Try transforming an old pair of sandals yourself and see what new look you can create! xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Crafty AllieDiana Rambles

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Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Make Tutu Pants

Do you have a place you often go to get inspiration for your creations?  My inspiration seems to come from the same places lately. Once again, I recently found inspiration at the dollar store.  It happened when I saw this tutu skirt.  

This granddaughter, pictured below, loves wearing tutu pants! What are tutu pants, you might ask?  Well, they are leggings with a tutu attached. Of course.

Last fall, I made these bright pink tutu pants for her and the fact that she still loves wearing them is an understatement.

She has another pair of black tutu pants that her mom purchased for her, but she wore them so much that there were holes in both knees.  I took those hole-ridden pants and cut the skirt off of the pants and resewed it onto another pair of black leggings. Problem solved.

Knowing she loves these pants, I purchased that dollar store tutu and then bought a pair of leggings from WalMart.  I don't mind telling you I spent a whole $5 per pair to create these granddaughter-pleasing tutu pants.  If you'd like to make some too, here's how I did it:

I unpicked the elastic from the dollar store tutu. Then I added a gathering stitch back onto the tutu. 

I pulled the gathering stitch to adjust the tutu to fit the leggings.  
I then pinned the tutu onto the leggings below the elastic waistband stitches.

I plugged in this stitch into my sewing machine (a large zig zag stitch) and sewed that cheep tutu onto those inexpensive leggings.

After the tutu was attached to the leggings, I pulled out the gathering stitch.

In under 30 minutes, I made one more pair of these tutu pants so she and her cousin would have coordinating tutu pants.  I must say, after I gave these to my granddaughters, I had two very happy girls in their simple tutu pants dancing and playing!  My oldest granddaughter even wore hers to the beach.  

Give this technique a try, I'm sure you know a little girl who would love wearing tutu pants too!  xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Craft Gossip, Diane Rambles, Totally Tutorials, Crafty Allie