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Signature style & Pinteresting Project – April

This week for Project Run and Play, we are supposed to show our signature style.  This has evolved for me over time as my kids have outgrown the dressy, special occasion clothes.  If I were to make a lovely dress, it would sit in the closet unworn and unloved. :(

Right now my signature style for the kids is:

  • something that is fun and comfy
  • matchy, matchy outfit
  • use of embellishments (iron-on rhinestones, vinyl iron-ons, ribbon, trims, etc.)

This outfit doesn’t really have embellishments, but it does use a mixture of different fabrics.   It is a bit of a collaboration with the girl.  I told her what I planned and she agreed. ;)  Then she picked out a bunch of other fabrics for me to make her clothes.  She keeps me busy, I tell ya!

The shorts are a modified Ottobre pants pattern from a few years ago.


I increased the size, made them shorter, added to the rise and added elastic to the back.  I also did the waist band differently.  This was inspired by pinning these shorts from Zulily:


I had some black fabric that was similar to the coral fabric, so I thought it would make a great pair of shorts for Anya.



I wanted it to be contrasty, though, so I put cream underneath it.


It looks so nice inside, too!  I am getting better at doing these fly zippers.  I also really like doing snaps, as it is much easier than a button and buttonhole.


I made two shirts to go with the shorts.  Both are self-drafted.

This first is a very soft tank top, and I used up the last of this fabric on this shirt.  I had to piece together the front, and the top is part is lined, enclosing the seam across the middle.  She is a bit particular about clothes being itchy at all, and I figured the seam would be itchy.  This is a very lycra heavy shirt, so I used clear elastic at the neckline and arms to keep it from stretching out of shape.

Normal picture of Anya…in the midst of a cartwheel.


The circle shirt is from this tutorial.  For Anya I made it 32″ wide, and cut 18″ on the fold for the length.  As the fabric is lace-like, I serged the edges twice.  I then did a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch for the folded over hem.  It shouldn’t fray…I should hope!


She was very happy with this outfit.  She was so happy with it that she wore it to Catechism class, and it was 40 degrees.  I made her wear boots and a hoodie, as I was tired trying to explain to her that she might actually get cold.  She wasn’t having any of that.


Sometimes you just have to let it go, and let them learn!

The “Clan” shirt

Kai is a little addicted to the game Clash of Clans.  It is on Brian’s phone, so he doesn’t get to play it too often.

I guess you could say that Brian AND Kai are playing the game.  It is constantly playing, so when Brian is at work he checks on it and tells Kai how the game is progressing when they get home.

Yes, my guys love playing games.

So…Kai wanted me to make him a Clash of Clans shirt.  He asked often for it.  At first I was thinking that it would be hard to cut something out of my Silhouette machine that would look decent.  Then I remembered that I purchased some  Transfer Artist Paper several months ago.  You print a mirror image onto it with a color printer and then iron it on.

At first he wanted a Wall Breaker on his shirt.  Um…no.  Skeleton carrying a bomb??  I don’t think so, son.  I told him I would do the logo with the shield, as that was fairly benign.

Yes, this is totally copyright infringement…or something.  I am a bad person, but good mom (FYI…when I searched for t-shirts I saw a whole lotta copyright infringement of people selling shirts with the logo and characters on them, so at least I’m not sellin’ it!).

Here is what it looks like printed out:


Here it is on the shirt:


I ironed it too long, so I had a hard time getting the paper backing off and it wasn’t smooth anymore.  Maybe reading the directions before ironing would be a good thing!  It says 20-25 seconds, and I did more like twice that at least.

I also made him a pair of sweat pants.  He really, really likes comfy clothes.  This is a deep wine color, and I used an Ottobre pattern that I lengthened a bit.  I also added front pockets to it, as well.    The shirt is an Ottobre pattern, too.


He wants more sweat pants, so I shall be making him a few more outfits.  I made the pants extra long so they fit him in the Fall again.  Our kids seem to grow like weeds over the summer!  Must be all that fresh air that they get.


Just a reminder that voting for Challenge Create: Adult Edition is up today for the refashion week.  Go and check out the other contestants, as everyone did a great job!

I have next week’s outfit all done, and just need pictures.  I am working on the last week’s challenge which is just something from your stash, which will be fairly easy since ALL of my sewing right now is from my stash!

In other sewing news, the Spring Top Sewalong starts on Monday, so I want to get a few new Spring tops done for when the weather warms up.  Plus they are nice to wear under cardigans in the winter, too.

So much sewing…so little time before springtime yard work cleanup starts!

Skirt Fixation – Week 2 – Refashion

Well, here we are again!

This week we are supposed to upcycle from a ready made garment.  I wasn’t sure what I had and thought I would have to go to a thrift store to find something.  That would have negated my intention to not buy ANYTHING for this contest, as I have way too much to sew up.

Then I remembered that I threw this dress into my upcycle box:


It is a lovely cotton eyelet summer dress from the LOFT.  I wore it twice…maybe.  It just really isn’t my style.

I orginally thought I would make a dress out of it for my girl.  Now wouldn’t that make a great dress for a little blonde waif?

Yes, yes it would…except…dress.

The last time she wore a dress on her own accord was at sometime this past winter when one of her friends came over and they played dress up.  They put on my shoes, some dresses and sprayed my Bath & Body Works bath sprays all over the place.  They smelled really good.

So…no dresses for her anymore.  ’Tis a shame, but one must adjust to the tween or make lots of stuff that never gets worn.

Onward to making something for me!

I put on my thinking cap and browsed Pinterest for a bit until several different ideas finally gelled into my little brain.  I decided to use the bottom part of the dress as an underskirt for a plaid skirt with some leather accents.  Luckily I have a massive amount of fabric, so I didn’t have to buy anything.


Here we have another drop-waist skirt (ya gotta know what works for you!), with layered squared off circle skirt cuts that I randomly picked up and sewed up to show the skirt underneath.  This is what I mean:


I love the look of layered skirts, so this was really fun to make and experiment with pulling up the different sections.  This has a definite “Scottish Kilt” flare going on up here.


Boots – Matisse Outlawed (out of production – got these on Zulily for a steal – the Renegade boot is pretty similar)

I should have really interfaced the top of the skirt, as the fabric has a little bit of stretch to it.  The bottom part is a bit heavy with all that fabric.  It is lined on top, but the lining isn’t really substantial.  I added belt loops, as I figured I would need a belt to keep this  sucker up with all the weight…plus it just looks cool.  The belt loops are the plaid fabric with a leather overlay.


I put in a side invisible zipper, and can I just say I love my new zipper foot?  Holy crap did that make putting in the invisible zipper a complete breeze!  Totally worth the $18.  I see many more invisible zippers in my future!


I was going to make a white lace shirt to go with this, due to the lace on the underskirt, but that was just a bit too “twee” for me all together.  Instead I used my TNT self-drafted princess seamed shirt pattern to make a fitted stretch poplin shirt.  The black poplin has a white stripe in it, and it isn’t very thick.  I doubled up the arms and put white bias binding between the layers to bring in the white from the collar.   The middle front is also lined.  With all that lining it adds a bit of bulk and not a lot of shape.

The collar is a nice brushed cotton from a flat bed sheet that I cut on a significant curve and it is lined.  I put the lace that was around the neckline of the dress into the edge of the collar.  So, this is what it looked like:


Still a bit too “twee” for me, so I  hacked that off.  When I wash the shirt the edges of the lace should get a bit frayed, and I think that will look cool.

It is hacked off in these pictures outside (I bet you are jealous at how well I hide the remote! ;) ):


I stitched a channel with a button hole opening on the bottom side around the edge, and I threaded a white satin ribbon through it.   I wanted to be able to bunch up the collar and give it some volume.

The poplin is stretchy enough that I can just pull it over my head.

I also made the jewelry for this outfit.  I bought the beads around my birthday in December, and it was time to do something with them.  They are three necklaces and the earrings.  The silver chain was just a length folded on itself several times.  Pretty easy.  Making this kind of jewelry is fairly straight-forward.  It is just threading beads together.


So…I had a refashion on the underskirt and the collar, and the rest was from my fabric stash.  Probably NOT as much as I should have gone for the refashion part of this challenge, but I kept within my budget of $0 so I win in any case. :)

Well, I hope you liked my refashion/stash mix!

Voting opens on Friday for your favorite creation.


Designing fabric

This week’s challenge for Project Run and Play is to design your own fabric.  For me this is not such a stretch, as I have a Spoonflower shop of fabric I have designed from my scribbles.  I think the current blog background I made would make a pretty fabric design, too.

Here are a few things I have designed in the past:

Pink Fairy Dress:


Trees shirt:


A not-quite-right design I made for a shirt:


This one was a painted stencil to create my own design on the fabric:


So…what to do, what to do??

I decided to try using some Decolourant (a.k.a. fabric bleach) that I had bought a good year ago.  Do you do that? Stockpile craft supplies with no project in mind?

I do.  I almost have a craft store in my craft room with all the supplies I have just waiting for projects.

This stuff works pretty fast.  I have seen similar results for sun bleaching, but that would mean the sun would have to shine for some extended period of time.  Not happening right now.

This is fairly straightforward, though time consuming.

I decided to do a simple top…Alabama Chanin style.

Simple?? Mmmmm…not really.  This top took me FOREVER.  Not really the best choice when you decide to start on Friday night for it to be done on Sunday.  I took some quality time at gymnastics and sittin’ in my chair at home to sew the front.

Then you have to cut those little pieces out.

 I guess you could say it is simple…just a lot of hand work.  Definitely not in the easy-to-make-in-one-night category.  I’m sure she appreciates all the hand-stitching I did on it.


This needs to be your mantra if you sew for a tween.


Just sayin’.  It will keep you sane.


Here are the steps to make the front:

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A few extra notes:

  • I drew out my own design, but just search for stencil images on Google and you should find something suitable.
  • When ironing, you just keep at it until it is the color you want.  A few spots got a yellow tinge to them, and I think it got too hot and burned the fabric a bit.  I was cutting those spots out anyways, so not a big deal.  It was a bit stinky, though.
  • Use stable knits without a ton of stretch.  Unlike me.  It got a bit wonky because the top was a pretty stable knit and the one underneath was very stretchy and shifty.  Stay away from the shifty ones…good advice in life, too. ;)
  • Be very, very careful in cutting out the pieces.  I accidentally cut my fabric underneath in a few of the tight spots.  I used a thread the same color as the knit to patch those little holes, which you can’t really see.
  • I did a  reverse appliqué here, so the pieces are cutaway to show the fabric underneath.  You can do it in the reverse, though.

I only did the front of the top.  It was more than enough for something that will be lucky to get two year’s of use out of it.  It took about 4-5 hours to hand-stitch the front, and then another hour or so to cut it out.

This would be a good project to make on the sidelines of your youths summer sports.  All those hours of handstitching would help pass the time.  I think I will maybe do a corset style tank that she sells for $1,375.  It will keep my fingers busy, as I have a hard time just sitting through so many, many games and practices for baseball and softball.

So here is The Princess wearing her new shirt.

alabama-chanin-inspired-2 alabama-chanin-inspired-1

I chose the colors to match some new jeans I got for her at Justice.  The tween mecca.  They had a clearance on jeans this weekend, so I scored several pairs for her at pretty good prices.  I got them big enough so she can wear them next Fall, but I also have to fix the waistbands on most of them.   She’s on the thin side, so rarely does a RTW pair of jeans fit her in the waist.  I insert elastic in the back waistband and tack it down.  These were the only ones that fit her without alterations, though.

I’ll be making a few more shirts to match her jeans.  I like to have matchy-matchy outfits!

Skirt Fixation – Week 1 – Nature Inspired

Well, hey there!

Here we are kicking off Skirt Fixation’s Adult Create Week 1.  The theme this week is nature inspired, so I finally, finally am sewing up this piece of fabric I got from a world traveler friend.  She and her family are in the foreign services and were stationed in Mozambique at the time.  This was years and years and years ago.  I can hoard fabric like you wouldn’t believe!

It has some nature inspired motifs on it, but it also reminds me of the Red Rock Canyon right outside Vegas:


The fabric is a border print, so I wanted to make a full skirt with it.  Full skirts that start out at my waist make me look about 20 lbs heavier than I am, so I did a drop waist on it.  The fabric on the drop waist was super stretchy in one direction, so I interfaced it.  The skirt is fully-lined, and has a side zip and pockets, as well.  This is mostly self-drafted.  The only thing that is not self-drafted is the top outside of the skirt that I stole from a pencil skirt pattern.


To decorate the top, I cut out some leather appliqués of my drawings on my Silhouette Cameo machine.  I am still working on the kinks of learning how to trace and get cut lines, but I am slowly getting better at converting the files.nature-inspired-skirt-inside-and-appliques

I think I have figured out the best process for cutting leather appliqués. First, fuse Heat n’ Bond to the piece to be cut, and then put it on the cutting mat.  Cut it once for things like this, which is lambskin and a rather soft, thin leather (Speed at 2, Knife at 10 and Thickness at 25).  The cutting mat doesn’t get too messy from the leather that way, and then you don’t have to cut out the backing separately.

I tend to like to make outfits, so I also made a top to go along with my skirt.  This is a rather busy outfit, but as it is a bit drab outside I think we need a bit of color right now. :)


The top is another self-drafted fiasco.  I drafted and cut out the pieces, sewed it up, and they were several inches to big on the front.  I had to cut and chop and resize…and I really need to get a dressform!  Fitting would be so much easier if I had something close to my size.  I like how it turned out, though I would rather have the neckline a bit higher.  Next draft, perhaps.


Here I am…sacrificing my body heat for the photos. ;)  This is my backyard, and as you can see winter still has a hold on us here.  The snow had a major melt on Sunday, though, so it is getting better.  I will be able to wear this eventually…maybe in a few months.


* Hair note:  I had just dyed it, so it is not usually this “burgundy”, though it does match the outfit quite nicely. ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you liked my creation. :D  Voting opens up on Friday at Skirt Fixation to vote for your favorite look.

Next week…Refashion!