Nov 26, 2017

Fall Florals

I picked up this dress a while ago and there it sat....waiting.  I have several projects that are patiently tucked away just waiting for motivation, time, and inspiration to transform them into something new.  I loved the floral pattern and color of this dress.  It originally had elastic shirring at the bodice, but it was completely stretched out and formless.  It was also rather long in length.


You can see from the following picture that the elastic shirring was completely stretched out.  I also wasn't crazy about the white elastic thread showing through.


I started by picking out all of the old elastic thread.  I then filled a bobbin by hand with elastic thread.  Using regular thread on top, I set my machine on the longest stitch length.  Without backstitching the beginning or end, I proceeded to sew rows of stitching across the bodice, leaving enough thread tails to tie off later.


When I finished stitching the rows, I turned it to the back and pulled the top threads through to the back.  A straight pin worked well for this.  I then tied knots at the beginning and end of each row of stitching.


Now my dress had some shape to the front!  I wore my pocketwatch necklace from this past post.

Nov 20, 2017

Let's Runaway to the Circus!

Each Halloween I like to do coordinating costumes with my husband.  We also decorate our van for trunk-or-treating to match the theme.  This year, I was inspired to do vintage circus after thrifting a heavily embroidered and sequined skirt.  As it turned out, the weather didn't permit trunk-or-treating, so the activities were moved indoors.  I have to admit it was easier decorating a classroom than running electrical cords and such to decorate the van!




I had fun collecting curtains, fringed trim, decorated tins, etc. for the circus theme.  I also found a music box clown that I modified to fit the theme.  I ordered a cymbal-clanging monkey from Amazon.  After printing out letters and different flourishes, I made a sign using foam core board.  The white globe lights around the perimeter operated in random motion and added to the fun.  We also made a "Wheel of Fortune" from a bicycle wheel (not shown).  The kids had fun spinning the wheel and then choosing a prize from the appropriate container.  I also printed several vintage circus posters and hung them around the room.  I found some free calliope music on the internet and had it playing for the evening.


So here's a few more details of the costumes...


Nov 7, 2017

Tinley Rose

My daughter recently gave birth to our eleventh grandchild.  The score now stands at 6 girls and 5 boys.  But, our son and his wife are expecting in February and the score will once again be even!  Grandchildren are so much fun!

My daughter really wanted to do some Disney princess scenes for the newborn photoshoot.   I admit, we may have gotten a little carried away!  We had fun gathering items from thrift stores to use in the scenes.  It was a full day and a half of shooting, but in the end it was worth it.

This is Tinley Rose in Wonderland.  The playing cards announce her birth date, 9-23-17.  The Mad Hatter hat shows her weight, 9 lbs. 2 oz. The tape measure that was used in the hospital shows her length, 19.1".  She was born at 9:04, so all of the clocks were set to that time.  I made a new cover for the Little Golden Book that features her name.  Her little dress was refashioned from a women's blouse, utilizing the elastic sleeve and button detail.  She got double duty out of the dress since she dressed as Alice in Wonderland for halloween this year!


(Photo editing credit to my oldest daughter, Kim!)


(Photo editing credit to my oldest daughter, Kim!)

Sep 22, 2017

A Blast From The Past!


This summer our family took a trip to Southern California to visit our daughter and her sweet family. Six of my grandchildren live there and I miss them so!  When I was packing for the trip, I came across the scooter skirt I made in seventh grade Home Ec. class.  Yes, I lived through the scooter skirt craze!  I guess now you would call them skorts.  Do people still use that phrase?  In fact, while shopping at a thrift store a while back, I found a copy of the original pattern I had used so many years ago.  I had to pick it up for old time's sake!


I packed the skirt in the hopes that it would fit my granddaughter, even though she is younger than I was when I made it.  I thought, "How fun would it be to get pictures of my sweet little granddaughter in a skirt I made so many years ago?"

Aug 12, 2017

One Busy Summer = A No-Sew Tunic!

This summer has been filled with vacations, weddings, girl's camp, baby showers, camping trips, and lots of tractor work!  I have had little time to sew, but did manage a no-sew refashion.  I just love those!!  I didn't even take the time to shoot before pictures because there was really no change to the items, just a bit of layering.

I have been loving tunics and this one is no exception.  I found a bright floral t-shirt that I loved, but it was bit too short.  At the same time, I found a silky polka dot tank top, but it was a bit too loose.  My original plan was to cut off the lower portion of the tank top and stitch it to the bottom of the t-shirt.  That plan alone would have been a super simple refashion.  But, then the idea came to just layer the two and not stitch at all.  I love it when inspiration strikes!  Because they were kept separate, the two tops have the added bonus of future mixing and matching.

Aug 9, 2017

got beads?

I just returned from a wonderful week at Girl's Camp!  This was my 22nd year at camp.  In the past I have served 6 years as a unit leader (in charge of about 8 girls), 6 years as the co-stake girl's leader (in charge of about 25 girls who basically run the camp), 4 years as a trek mom, 5 years as a crafty lady, and this year as the bead specialist...or in reality, the crazy bead lady!  

Each year the girls work hard to pass off their certification.  We like to award them a colored bead for each item.  When they complete all of their certification, they get a larger colored bead.  If they go the extra mile and complete even the optional items, they get a "flower" bead (a colored bead with small flowers painted on it.)  Some of the certification requires them to learn new ways to cook outdoors, lash useful items together, tie knots, orienteering, first aid, hikes, learning about useful and also poisonous plants, finding their way by the sun and the stars, helping others, and daily scripture reading and journal writing, to name a few.  The girls work hard and really earn their beads!

Along with the certification beads, we also give out an early bird bead when they arrive at camp on time, a camp attendance bead, and various other beads for special activities.  The adults that serve at camp also love to get beads.  They usually get a bead that goes along with what their assignment is at camp.  I tried to photograph most of the beads that I made this year, although I didn't photograph the small colored beads.  But, just know that I spray painted over 1200 wooden beads in preparation for camp, and painted flowers on about 150 of them!  I love this new position, even though it was a lot of beads to make!

Warning...this is a long, photo heavy post!

Before I left for camp, I just had to make a few t-shirts.  Originally, I was going to use iron-on vinyl, but didn't get it ordered in time, so I settled for freezer paper stencils and fabric paint.  I chose to put the designs on the back of my t-shirts so that they wouldn't get covered by my own beads.

Aug 7, 2017

A baby shower...with a touch of vintage Disney!

We are anxiously awaiting the birth of our eleventh grandchild, a little girl.  My daughter's friends gave her a shower and I was happy to help with the decorations.  The theme was vintage Disney.  We had fun collecting storybooks from thrift stores and using them for decorations.  I was also able to recycle some of the decorations I had used for the Mad Hatter tea party from last year.  It was a beautiful shower in her friend's backyard.

My daughter found this beautiful IKEA tray at a thrift store for only $3!  I just cut her daughter's name with my Cricut and taped it in place.  


Jun 28, 2017

A Navy and Cream Tunic

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the bodice left over after refashioning the lower half of the dress into a skirt.  Even though I have made several tunics lately, this left over piece was just destined to become yet another one...they are very comfortable after all!


  I began by putting the bodice on my dress form to determine my cut.
I cut it higher in the front and lower in the back.

Jun 22, 2017

A Navy and Cream Skirt

Next in line from my Mom's stash of dresses was this cotton/poly navy and cream dress.  I liked the print and the button detail on the front skirt portion.  I decided to give it more versatility, though, by cutting it in half and making a skirt first, with a top to follow.


It was a pretty straight forward refashion.  After cutting it at the waist and removing the elastic, I made a new waistband from the lower portion of the bodice.

May 30, 2017

The Fuchsia Tunic....part two!

The last refashion I completed in the tunic series left me with part of a skirt.  I could have just hemmed it and added it to my wardrobe, but quite honestly, I have too many skirts already.  I decided it would be better served as a simple peasant dress for one of my little granddaughters.  To recap, this was the before and after of the tunic:


And the following pictures are my best attempt at photographing a VERY busy toddler.  I think it was easier making the dress than taking the pictures!!