Monday, March 30, 2015

The Little Guy's Dresser

My daughter just gave birth to her first child.  In preparing for the event, she was in need of a dresser for the nursery.  A friend passed along a simple dresser with clean lines, but as you can see below, it had a little problem on the bottom drawer.


I just happened to have a little bit of white trim left over from a contracting job we did last summer.  It was just enough to cover the problem and give the dresser a bit of style.


The knobs were removed and given a coat of white spray paint.


The top, back edge also had a similar problem.  I just added a wider piece of trim along the top and covered it up.


And this is the sweet little guy that's going to use the dresser!




It's great being a grandma!

I like to link to these great parties!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Greetings From the South Seas!

I would love to be on a beach somewhere in the South Seas with the sun shining brightly and the breeze blowing gently.  But, alas, that just isn't the case right now.  Although, we got a taste of the tropics at our last church activity.  We "cruised" to the South Seas.  I was asked to decorate for the event..something that I love to do. We were trying to make it somewhat simple and most of all inexpensive.  The majority of my decorating was focused on the stage where the entertainment would be.  In fact, I didn't even get pictures of the grass skirting around the food tables, the bamboo table runners cut from thrifted bamboo blinds, or the tabletop tiki torch centerpieces.  But I can show you some scenes from the stage, and the dress that I managed to refashion for the event.
The palm trees were made from heavy duty cardboard tubes and brown paper lunch sacks.  It wasn't an original idea, you can find other examples by doing a quick search on the web.  The tubes were extras that were being thrown away from an upholstery fabric shop.  I did use my chop saw and made a few cuts about 2/3 of the way through the tubes in strategic places.  I would make 4 or 5 cuts about 1/8" apart.  I then "scrunched" those cuts together and taped them with duct tape.  This gave me a nice bend in the trunks.
The next step was to cut a slit in the bottom of a lunch sack, slide it over the tube, tape it in place around the bottom (you only have to the tape the first and the last sack to keep them in place), then scrunch it down.  My son and his friends continued adding and scrunching sacks until the tubes were completely covered.  I then used some brown spray paint to add a little texture to the trunks.  To make the trees stand, I just screwed three 2x2's (standing upright) to a piece of plywood.  I made two stands since I had six trees.  The trunks just slipped over the top of the 2x2's.  I placed a 10lb. weight in the center of the trees (on top of the plywood) to keep them stable.  The greenery at the base of the trees covered the weight and the plywood.  As for the greenery at the top of the trees, two of them sported silk ferns.  The other four were fashioned from one large tropical plant I picked up at a thrift store for $14.99.  I just cut the branches apart and wired them together, slipping them into the tops of the tubes.
I really scored at one of the thrift stores I visited.  I found these brown balls that looked just like coconuts.  They even had a loop of twine on each one which made it easy for attaching them to the trunks.  At 59¢ a piece I snatched up 18 of them, along with a bag of spanish moss, orange tropical flowers, a silk fern, and two straw balls (I don't know what they were for originally, but they looked like they would fit in with the tropical theme.)

  
I really like vintage post cards and thought one would be perfect for the scene.  I started with a frame made from 3/4" pvc pipe.  I used an ombre-dyed sheet that was used at our Moroccan activity and stretched it over the frame.  I secured it with safety pins.  The edging of the postcard is just a package of bulletin board border from the dollar store.  I used the back of them and taped them in place.  The black shoreline is poster board.  The ocean is some fabric that I had.  The trees, sun, and lettering were cut using my Cricut.  The main letters were cut from the pages of a book on Hawaii that I picked up for $1.99.  One tip:  When hanging lightweight things like lettering, etc. on stage curtains, or in this case fabric stretched over a frame, I like to tape an open safety pin upside down on the back of the letters or pictures.  I can then use the pin as a hook and poke it right into the fabric curtains or backdrop.  The whole "post card" was hung from the curtain rods above using black twine.
It was a fun "cruise" in the middle of winter.  I thrifted my husband's shirt and my dress for the event.  Although, my dress didn't start out this way.  If you want to keep reading, you can see some detail pics along with the transformation.
 The Dress

I started with this oversize dress...


What I really wanted, though, was it to look something like this...more fitted, ruffled sleeves, and a high-low hem with ruffle.

The finished results were close enough to make me happy with the outcome!  Plus, I was finally able to wear the shell lei that I brought home from Hawaii years ago!


I used the excess fabric that was removed from the sides of the dress to cut strips for my sleeve ruffles.  I didn't have enough width to make just two wider rows of ruffles, like my inspiration dress, so I went with three narrower rows on the sleeves.


I applied a rolled hem of contrasting navy blue, using my serger, on the ruffles instead of going through the laborious job of sewing bias tape to all the ruffled edges like the inspiration dress.  I also added a bit more color by adding some navy piping to the neckline.


The extra fabric that was removed from the length of the dress was cut into two strips, serged, gathered, and sewn to the hem of the dress.



The Process

After removing the facings and sleeves, I placed the dress on my dress form to get an idea of how much needed to be taken in.


 After taking in the shoulders and sides, it went back on the dress form.  I knew I wanted raglan sleeves, so I used a pattern in my stash to give me an idea of where to cut.  I pinned the pattern in place and marked the cut lines with some chalk.


I did the same thing with the sleeve pattern.  As you can see, though, the raglan pattern was too wide for the original sleeves.  I just made a pleat in the pattern and opted for sleeves that weren't as full.


I made casings at the bottom and top of the sleeves for elastic.  I also added the ruffled strips to my sleeves before setting them into the armholes. (no picture)

I cut down the original facing pieces and was able to reuse them to finish off the new neckline.


For the hem, I folded the dress in half along the center front and center back lines.  I used my tape measure as cutting guide for the high-low curve.


Once the new hemline was cut, I serged the edge.


From the excess fabric, I cut two strips, stitched them together, applied a rolled hem, gathered, pinned, and stitched them on top of the new hemline.
 

And there you have it!  Thanks for sticking with me to the end!

I like to link to these great parties!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Simply Stripes

By looking over my last few posts, you might think I have a thing for stripes.  Well, I guess I do!  Especially when it comes to these colors!


This oversized t-shirt dress had been hanging in my refashion closet for some time.  It was to be a simple refashion, really just an alteration, but I never got around to it.  Well, my husband I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary by spending a few days on the Oregon coast and I thought it would be a perfect time for some "guilt free" sewing.  You know, no housework to do, no meals to fix, no taxes to calculate, etc.!  He was going to enjoying reading and relaxing, and I figured I would sew.  We had a great time and I was able to get a few projects finished.  Plus, an added bonus was having the beautiful Oregon coast as a backdrop for the "after" pictures!

Only one process picture in this tutorial because, well, that's about all there was to it!


We enjoyed walking around Old Town and found this great vintage car parked in front of a cafe.  The color matched my dress perfectly!


While packing for our getaway, I grabbed a few necklaces to bring along.  This one happened to match perfectly with the dress.  And, the best part was that I picked it up for only $2!


The rest of the pictures were taken on the dock at the Port of Siuslaw.




I guess ombre is popular even in nature!  Check out these barnacle-covered piles!






I like to link to these great parties!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stripes Are A Good Thing...Part Two!

If you've been following along, you'll remember from "Stripes Are A Good Thing...Part One" that it all began with an oversized blue dress and a men's polo shirt.


Part one ended with this dress...


Next is part two, using the leftovers....


...which resulted in this skirt.


A fun, comfortable skirt with patch pockets on the front.


A buttoned slit at the back.


And, stripes down the side.



  

It was beautiful, but slightly windy day at the Oregon beach!


Here's how it all came together:









Hem it any way you prefer.  To get the most length I could, I serged the edge, turned it up 1/2" and stitched it by hand with a blind stitch.

I like to link to these great parties.




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