Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Refashion A Skirt Into An Infinity Scarf

From This...

To This....


Here's how....

This started out as a long straight skirt.  I cut off the waist band, used a seam ripper to take the zipper out, and took out the back seam to open up the skirt. I put it out on the floor to measure and cut the fabric. I wanted my scarf to be on the skinny side because I don't feel comfortable with alot of bulky material around my neck, so I measured 7 inches from the bottom of the skirt and cut from one side to the other. I realized that my strip of fabric wouldn't be long enough for an infinity scarf, so I cut two strips of fabric the same width and length.


I cut two strips so I could sew them together end to end to make them long enough.  It made my fabric strip 70".  That was just the right amount for my infinity scarf to wrap around my neck twice and be the length I was comfortable with.
Next, I folded my fabric in half lengthwise and pinned. (At this point, check to make sure both ends are the same size...if they aren't, trim them with scissors until they match. This will make it easier when you sew the ends together later on.)


Now, onto the sewing...
I sewed down the long side with a 1/2" seam allowance.
Once I was finished sewing, I ended up with an inside out tube of fabric.


This would be the point where you would iron the seam open. I didn't do this because I'm lazy and didn't want to drag out my ironing board. I do recommend this step if you a) like things perfect or b) you are giving this as a gift.  Neither of these applied to me so I didn't care. ;)
Next, I turned the fabric right side out.


Now this is the tricky part. (not really tricky to do as much as it is explaining how to do it.)  To join the ends together, I matched up the inside seams and pinned. I put the fabric in the machine then sewed my way around the circle sewing the ends together until the circle got too small to sew. At this point, I took the fabric out of the machine, folded the raw ends under and put it back under the needle and sewed the gap shut.  This method makes the seam visible. I, however, didn't care because this scarf is for me and I knew my hair would hide the seam.  If you like things perfect or are giving this as a gift, you should hand sew the rest of the opening shut instead of putting it back in the machine.

And that's all there is to it. Super easy!
So easy, in fact, my 6 year old daughter sewed most of this one and one for herself!(With guidance, of course, but still.)
And I love that I didn't have to go out and buy fabric for this. I just used old clothes that I don't wear anymore! =)


The scarf for my 6 year old was made the exact same way EXCEPT the fabric was cut 7" x 48" and we only cut one strip of fabric.

***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Wedding Gown Reveal!


For the back story on when and where I bought this dress, go here.
The lady who sold me the dress originally wore it as a Halloween costume. That's probably why she parted with it for only $5.  Lucky me! =)
Right after purchasing this dress, I made a sketch of what I wanted it to look like in the end and to my surprise it actually looks ALOT like my sketch. Yay!
I've been looking at websites and bridal magazines for wedding gowns and I used the ones I absolutely loved as inspiration for this dress.
Here are a few of those gowns:
A gown from Modern Trouseau

A gown from Alfred Angelo

I know that one of these dresses cost $1500! There is no way I would pay that for something I would only wear once. 
Knowing that the pretty dresses cost that much, I was more determined than ever to turn this $5 monstrosity into the dress of my dreams.
Here's how I made it gorgeous:
The first thing I did was remove all the ruffles on the top of the dress.  Under all the frilliness was a lace covered tank style top with a sweetheart-ish neckline.
It was snug to say the least, so I decided to chop off the very top of the bodice and turn it into a strapless style with a straight across neckline.
My plan for the skirt of the dress was to take off all the lace except the bottom layer.  I was super disappointed to find that the bottom layer of lace was only sewn to the bottom half of the skirt.  The top half was only muslin. So, I had to have two layers of lace instead of one.

This is how the dress looked at this point.

Next, I had to work on the silhouette. With my hips, there was no way I was keeping the full skirt.  I really wanted a mermaid style gown. 
To make this happen, I had to take ALL the lace off of the skirt and I had to put on the dress inside out and pin the excess fabric closer to my body to make a slimmer silhouette.
This part of the refashion was a pain in my tushy. Figuratively and literally. (Hey there were stick pins where stick pins should never be!)
After about the 5th try at doing this, I finally got it right.  However, the end result of this step wasn't pretty. 


Once the silhouette was refashioned, I had to sew the lace back on. Unfortunately, that mess I created with inside of the skirt was visible through the two layers of lace, so I had to sew a panel of lace under my original two layers of lace. Lucky for me that dress came with a ton of ruffles.  It left me with alot of extra matching fabric. This is how it turned out with the panel and two layers of lace when I sewed them all back on:

This picture shows a strap...that wasn't sewed on just yet. It was merely for effect to see if it would look good.  I thought I was almost finished so I emailed the above photo to my older sister Jen for her advice on how it looked. She informed me that the dress, while pretty, was still too poofy.  This led me to taking the lace off the dress and sewing it back on a bunch of times to get it tight enough to not be poofy.
I think it was precisely at that moment when I understood why lace wedding gowns are $1500! =) 


 This is how it looked when I finally made it less poofy.

Next, I sewed a piece of lace into a belt to cover the seam where the bodice and the skirt were sewn together. I sewed it directly to the gown.
The last step was to make some sort of strap or cap sleeve.
I decided on a wide strap, but chose to attach them to the dress close to the underarm instead of right on the seams of the bust.
And after all that hard work, the dress was finally complete!
I don't think I've ever been happier to complete a refashion than I was when I finished this gown. =)
Here are the front and back photos of the completed wedding dress.

I would like to give credit to my 11 year old daughter for taking the after pictures of my gown. I think she did a great job!

Here are the rest of the pictures from our photo shoot....

 Hopefully someday I'll actually get to wear this dress down the aisle. =)

Thanks for reading! 

***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Me as "Mary Poppins"
(Pay no attention to the fact that I
have an open umbrella inside my house...
I like to live dangerously)
Viv as "Olivia"

This isn't gonna be a step by step tutorial. Unfortunately,  I didn't take pictures of the costume making process. Mostly because I've been working on the Olivia costume since October 1st and only when I've had extra time. So I never remembered to grab the camera. But I'll do my best to explain what I did. =)

For the Mary Poppins costume:  The only things I had to make for this costume were the bow tie and the hat. Yep, I made the hat. Because of course, when you need something, no store ever has it. EVER.  I already owned the umbrella, purse, and boots.  I got the blouse and the skirt at Goodwill.  I made the bow tie using a tutorial like this one from The Pleated Poppy . 
As for the hat...I found a cardboard box.  I cut a strip a couple of inches wide (this will determine the height of the hat).
Then I bent that strip into a circle and stapled it shut.
Next, I drew a circle on another piece of cardboard bigger than the circle I just made. This will be the brim of the hat. I cut out the middle about the same size as the circle that I stapled shut.
 I used the middle piece of cardboard that I cut out as the top of the hat. I hot glued and duct taped all of the pieces together. 
To cover the cardboard hat, I used a black sheet and hot glue. It didn't have to be perfect, because I was going to use a red ribbon/strip of fabric to cinch the sheet down.  In fact, it turned out somewhat billowy. 
After the sheet was hot glued on, I used a red piece of fabric as a ribbon around the hat and I hot glued that down.
 I then searched my house for some white and yellow flowers. (I actually had to raid a floral arrangement in my living room, but it was totally worth it.) And I hot glued those on.  Once that was done, my Mary Poppins costume was complete. =)

For the Olivia costume:  I actually made most of this costume. I had a pair of red capri pants that I knew I would never ever wear.  So I seam ripped the legs and crotch open all the way to the waistband. Then, I sewed the seams straight down in the front and the back. With leftover fabric, I made the straps.  I found 2 big pink buttons in my sewing stash from a coat I had a couple of years ago.  So I sewed one at the bottom of each strap. I hemmed the bottom and the jumper was finished.
I found a long sleeve white t shirt in my daughter's closet that had a very small hole in the stomach, so I decided to use that t shirt since she probably wouldn't wear it again due to the hole. I used a ruler to mark off stripes and painted the stripes with red acrylic paint (*please note* I should have used fabric paint, but I had red acrylic paint on hand so I used that.) 
For the leggings....I searched and searched and could not find striped OR white leggings (see what I mean about stores never having anything I need when I need it? I couldn't even find a red and white striped shirt to make leg warmers), so I had to get creative. I bought cotton tights, cut off the foot and used a zig zag stitch to sew at the ankle.  I did waste a pair of tights trying to paint the stripes on them. Of course, I used the acrylic paint and it did not work. The paint was hard and it wouldn't stretch over my daughter's legs.  So we just made the easier choice of wearing plain white instead of stripes.
She already had black shoes so that was easy. =)
For the ears, I bought white foam sheets (because, again, I couldn't find baby pink foam) and peach acrylic paint. I cut out ear shapes from the foam. They didn't have to be perfect because Olivia's ears aren't.  I painted them peach and attached them to a plain white headband with hot glue and a couple of handstitches.
I think it turned out great! And she made the most adorable "Olivia".
 I will warn though, if it's raining even a little outside and these ears get wet, they will droop. We found that out the hard way....


Hope everyone had a fun Halloween 2013...We sure did! =)

***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***
Thanks! =D