Saturday, September 4, 2010

Refashion: Make your own boyfriend {jeans}...

(originally published March 24, 2010)

It's been SUCh a long time since I've done a refashion. I so needed this.

And really, this is the only way to get exactly what you want, both in a boyfriend, and the jeans. I've been wanting to do this for months, but you can probably guess, I've been uncontrollably lazy lately.

Power through.

I also have an unbelievably difficult time finding jeans that fit me. It has to do with hips, thighs, a bubble butt and a small waist. I am very thankful for the small waist, but it is responsible for a gap of at least 5 inches in most pants I try on. Waaaaaaay too much information, you're thinking. And you're right.

I love all the boyfriend jeans they are showing lately, so I dug into my stash of Levi's 577 that I haven't been wearing much of lately, and decided to sacrifice a pair. The nice thing about this project is that you can do anything you want. I saw a pair of patchwork boyfriend jeans recently, that I loved, and of course, did not fit me, so that was my inspiration.

I gathered together some fabric that mixed up well and my jeans. I decided I wanted them cropped with a rolled hem. After trying them on, and deciding where I wanted them, I hacked the bottom off of both legs and then turned up the hem about a 1/2 inch twice, steamed them good, and pinned.

Then I sewed the hem down, using a contrasting thread in red, just for fun.

Not shown: I then rolled them up 2-1/2 inches, steamed them good again, and sewed about a 1 inch space on the inner & outer seams, so they would [hopefully] stay in place (I'm sure they will need to be pressed after washing to stay flat).

I cut the fabric, freehand, in various uneven squares and a long rectangle, added some Stitch Witchery to the back [to give it some stability - you can skip this, or use whatever you have], and played with the placement of the patches. Then, ironed them in place.

I like little unexpected touches, so on the back of one leg, a few inches above the cuff, I decided to embroider a little bird from my Sublime Stitching pattern stash. My embroidery skills are quite rusty, but I'm into imperfection.

Then, to help the patches POP more, I added some whip-stitching around my patches, which will also help them adhere better since I didn't sew them on. Notice the imperfections :)

Strut your new boyfriend...

This was seriously easy - anybody can do it. Another easy idea is to just crop an old pair of jeans, hem them and then sew on a doily. It's simple and cute.

I think so at least...

Tutorial: Little Girls D-ring Belt Apron

(originally published January 29, 2007)

I get asked, periodically, if I make little girls aprons. I do not. I love them, they're darling, and the little girls wearing them is the cutest picture. I just don't have time, and I find I have to be careful how I diversify and add new products.

However, if you recall last April/May, I did make a whole batch for my little friend Rachel, who was turning 5 and having a tea party birthday. It was so fun, and it was so easy - too easy really, and I'd much rather share how I did it, rather than release a whole line of little sweets.

What I like about this little apron is the belt feature - I used a D-ring ribbon belt as the band/tie, which eliminates the frustration of little fingers trying to tie apron strings. A great tutorial on making a D-ring Ribbon Belt (as well as all the supplies) can be found on the J. Caroline Creative site (also a great resource for lots of fun stuff!) (note: since this was originally posted, J. Caroline has closed their craft supply site. Try Google!).

Really, this is very simple - but first a disclaimer! I have no idea how to write or explain what I do. For this project, I simply made a childs' apron, and snapped photos along the way. It's not perfect, and I'm sure many of you will be able to create something far better then what I am showing. But it's easy and your little girl will be over the moon! This is also a great gift bag item for a birthday party...especially if it's a tea party!

Start with a heavier weight home dec fabric. I suggest prewashing it, and pressing it. You will then cut it into a 16 x 21 piece. Also, assemble matching Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape and your ribbon belt (the belt I used is 40" long, finished, but you can make them as long or short as you need to).

Pin the bias tape in place on all three sides (both sides and bottom), leaving the top edge free.

Machine stitch the bias tape in place.


Then, with right side facing up, press the top line of fabric down about 1/2 inch. Alternatively, you can serge the raw edge here, and skip the pressing.

Pin in place, and stitch along the top edge.

When you get to the end of the apron, pivot and stitch down the side to the end of the ribbon and then along the bottom edge, pivot again and stitch to meet up again where you started.

Cut your threads, press, and you are done! Wasn't that easy? Isn't it darling?

Another totally cute and fun thing to do is embroider the girls' names on the apron, as I did for Rachel. You can write their names freehand with quilters chalk and then just go for it!

The story of the remixed {and reworked} Land's End cardigan.

(originally published July 25, 2007)

One of my new favorite pastimes is perusing the wardrobe remix group on Flickr. I mean, how great is that? So many ideas, so much style, so inspiring. Two of my favorite remixers are Graygoosie (who lives here in Southern California!) and Becktress, who is Green Kitchen's sister. Somehow, through them, I found Lorimarsha, who is the supreme remixer and reworker of all garmentry. Granted, it's what she does for a living, but take a look at her designs, they are amazing!

You can also check out the Wardrobe Refashion blog - lots of inspiration and creative ideas! I just found it and I love it!

And I started to think about some of the items in my wardrobe that I liked elements of, but didn't wear often because there were other elements I didn't like. For instance, this green cardigan I bought a couple of years ago from Land's End. It's one of the fine combed cotton twinset cardy's, it's my favorite color (right now), but I mistakenly bought it a size too big, then washed it in the hopes it would shrink all over. It didn't. It only shrank in the arms. So I started rolling them up. But it was still too long.

Boring, boring, boring! So, I decided to rework it. I figured, I couldn't really ruin it, right? I started by removing the buttons, and found some lace I had from another project idea that never happened.

I cut and pinned the lace to the front and stitched very close to the lace edge (not easy since there was a tiny scallop), and back up the other side (which also had a scallop - I ended up going straight up about 1/8" in).

It was still too boring.

Then, I thought, 'what if I cropped it?' The only problem would be the unraveling of the yarn (small problem, right?!). I don't have a serger, nor do I know how to operate one (confession number one). BUT, I remembered that Kelley does have a serger, and knows how to use it! So, I ran over there and put her to work (Again. That poor girl. If she's not teaching me how to crochet, she's sewing for me. Ack!). We measured, we cut, we serged (well, she measured, cut and serged). Thanks again Kelley!

Then I sewed a band of grosgrain ribbon along the bottom and sleeves where we had cut and serged.

Pressed it under and slip stitched it (by hand - I never hand sew...hate it.)(still do).

I thought the bottom was a little swingy still, so I did a little 1" pintuck on the outside of the arms, and sewed a vintage button on for a little decoration.

Which gave me another idea; I was going to do something else to the front, which I still thought was too boring. Remember last week I had Kelley teaching me how to crochet flowers? Well, I was going to sew on little crochet flowers, but I wasn't happy with the way they looked, and didn't want a bunch of different colors. I wanted something subdued and simple, but classic, with an artsy twist (I'm a simple girl after all...) Then I remembered that great Adorn Magazine cover, with the buttons sewn on the collar of a sweater! Perfect! I had a bunch of vintage white buttons that I had bought on eBay years ago for another project that never happened...and layed them out on the sweater until I was happy...

Then I couldn't figure out how I was going to mark exactly where they were so I could sew them on. So I took a pin, put it through the button hole, and gently lifted the button. The pin held my place, while I marked in chalk where to sew the button.

My chalk dots were pretty too...

I sewed on the buttons (by hand, have I mentioned how I dislike hand sewing? I still do.) and then added a hook & eye closure to the top. It's finished! My first reworked garment!

I think I have another boring sweater somewhere...