Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Whoooo" Is Hanging Around The Nursery?

Whose hanging around the nursery these days?  This cute little owl sitting on a branch.  

This is him without the light on...

...and this is him with the light on.  
I love the way the light creates a blue edge around the shade!

My daughter's nursery was lacking in overhead lighting, so this was our way of alleviating some of the problem.

I covered a thrift store shade with some thrift store fabric.  I deconstructed a thrifted swing arm lamp for the actual lighting portion of this lamp. 

I appliqued an owl on a tree branch to match her woodland theme in the nursery.

Vintage buttons were used for the eyes.  The whole project came in well under $10.00

You can see the whole process after the jump.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Pleasant Peasant Dress

An ongoing refashion series inspired by the 40's, 50's, and 60's.

This is probably one of the simplest refashions I have done lately.  In fact, it was so simple, I failed to take any process photos, so you'll just have to use your imagination!

I came across this picture awhile ago and liked the combination of denim and sheer together.  I kept it in the back of my mind whenever I shopped at the thrift stores.

While shopping one day I came across this embroidered muumuu for $2.00.  It wasn't exactly like the inspiration photo, but I was drawn to the embroidery on the yoke, and the price tag!

I did a little searching and found that peasant dresses and tops have been around a very long time.  I'd say that they fit into the retro runway series!



I cut the top of the muumuu off at the waist, allowing about 1" seam allowance for an elastic waist casing.

I also cut off the sleeve length and took everything in at the side seams for a better fit.  I made sure, however, to leave it roomy enough to still pull over my head.

A friend had recently given my a couple of yards of white gauzy fabric.  It was just the ticket!  I measured from my waist down to the length I wanted, adding a hem allowance and the 1" allowance for the elastic waist casing.  I cut two of these lengths from the fabric using the full 45" width for each piece.

I stitched the two rectangles together, gathered the top edge of the skirt and attached it to the bodice with a 1" seam allowance.  I then stitched the 1" seam allowance down to create a casing for the waist elastic, leaving a small opening to insert the elastic.

Once the elastic waist was done, I hemmed the sleeves and the skirting and was good to go!

Thanks to my son for letting me use his fun little retro scooter, lovingly named Jackie, as a prop!

I like to link to these great parties!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hedgehog Happiness!

My youngest daughter has been decorating her nursery in a woodland animal theme.  To add to the fun, and to give her some lumbar support while nursing, I made her a pillow.

I drew inspiration from this design I found on the internet.  I can't find the original source, but I believe the company is Cocoa Mint Kids.

I cut the various pieces from fabrics that were already in my stash and used fusible webbing to hold them in place.

I then machine appliqued around the fabric.

The details were done by embroidering a variety of stitches.  It helped pass the time as I spent a total of 5 hours on a school bus with my youngest son for his most recent field trip!

Decorative vintage buttons were used for the flower centers.

 Small black buttons were used for the eyes.  Two sizes of black pom-poms were used for the hedgehog's noses.

I finished the edges of the pillow with large piping cut on the bias from some of the fabric that is already used in her nursery.

It was a fun project and should add a pop of cheerfulness to the nursery!

I like to link to these great parties!

For more inspiration, you can check out the toad stool foot stool I recovered for the nursery here, and how I fixed the little guy's dresser here!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dotted Swiss

An ongoing refashion series inspired by the 40's, 50's, and 60's.

dot·ted swiss


sheer, crisp cotton fabric, embellished with woven, flocked, or embroidered dots.

Dotted Swiss is a type of fabric first made on hand looms in Switzerland in 1750. While there are many variations available, the original look is always the same: a sheer, lightweight fabric with a dotted motif. The fabric, which is usually cotton batiste or a polyblend, provides the background that is usually a muted or pastel shade, such as gray, light pink, or cream. The fabric then has dots applied onto its surface in a number of methods. Single colored or multicolored dots can be woven, flocked, printed, or embroidered, resulting in a temporary or permanent pattern on the fabric.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

When my girls were young, they wore dresses made from dotted swiss, usually Easter dresses.  I picked up a skirt the other day at a thrift store with a pretty blue floral pattern printed on top of embroidered dots.  It was kind of an updated version of the flocked dotted swiss that my girls used to wear.  I shopped around until I found a white dotted swiss blouse that could be merged with the skirt to make a pretty retro-inspired springtime dress.

The bodice has small embroidered dots with crocheted lace detailing.

The skirt has larger embroidered dots with a pretty blue floral pattern printed over it.

During the refashioning process, I felt the white blouse was too white for the skirt, so I opted for rows of crocheted lace sewn to the midriff area to mesh the two together.  I like that the floral pattern of the skirt still peeks out from under the lace.

An invisible zipper was sewn into the side seam.

This fun little trail behind me is called "The Hobbit Trail."

It leads through the dense under growth, over a couple of sand dunes, and right onto the beautiful Oregon beach!

The Process

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

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