Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kylee's new rainbow canopy

I went to Hobby Lobby for some retail therapy after a day of DRAMA on Facebook and decided to make a rainbow canopy for Kylee's bed.  I always wanted a canopy over my bed when I was growing up and every princess deserves one. :)  I bought 3 yards each of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple tulle and a sky blue embroidery hoop.  I cut each color of tulle in half lengthwise and looped it over the hoop leaving about 3 inches and pinned each piece.  I put the other part of the hoop on and tightened it up then hand sewed around the whole thing so that if the hoop came apart for some reason, the tulle wouldn't.
I took some 24 gauge silver colored copper zebra wire that I had in my beading supplies and wired the hoop shut in 4 different places.  I used the same wire to attach the hoop to the ceiling over the bed.  I put nails into the ceiling leaving them out a little bit in 4 different places so that there would be a nail on each side of the hoop in 4 places.  I looped the wire around the nail, then under the hoop, and around the other nail, then I hammered the nails all the way in.  It seems very secure.
My daughter saw it for the first time this afternoon when she came home and she said "Thank you so much, mommy!  It's so wonderful!"  (she uses big words for a 3 1/2 year old)  She kept saying her room was Awesome and Beautiful and that she loved it.  She is very excited to sleep in her new rainbow bed tonight. 
Now I just need to get her some matching sheets...

Monday, April 4, 2011

tailor the polyester shirt

My mom gave me this 100% polyester blouse because it had some ink stains on the sleeve that we couldn't get out.  It was way too big for me, but I thought maybe I could alter it to fit and I could shorten the sleeves to get rid of the ink stains.

I started by cutting of the sleeves very carefully because I was going to re-attach them once I got the shirt to the right size.  I then put the shirt on inside out and pinned it to where it fit me (loosely because you don't want a skin tight shirt with no stretch).  Once I took it off, I straightened out the pins so that the side seams were the same.

I sewed up the sides and put the shirt back on to make sure it fit correctly, which it did.  The shoulder seams would be too long if I left it as is now, so I used my fashion ruler to draw and cut a new arm hole onto the shirt.  (I didn't take pictures of this). 
On a side note, I want to thank my grandmother for giving me her fashion ruler.  It is my favorite sewing tool and I always keep it handy.
the ruler shows you exactly where on the ruler you can trace your armhole curve.

I cut the new armhole and pinned the sleeve on.  The sleeve was much larger than the new armhole, which I expected.  I made tiny pleats in the top part of the sleeve to make it fit the new armhole and puff the sleeves up a little bit.  Gotta make it a little more girly.  After the sleeves were on, I put the shirt on and marked where I wanted the sleeves to hit with a straight pin.  I cut the sleeves off there.  I then cut another strip about 4" wide for the cuffs that go on the bottom of the sleeve.  After sewing the cuffs on, I inserted a piece of elastic into the cuff and sewed them shut. 
Sorry I didn't take pictures of any of that.  :(  I was having a bad day.
Anyway, the shirt fits perfectly and is super cute. 
Thanks for the new shirt mom!
I have another camp shirt to upcycle.  I decided this beautiful color palette would make a beautiful summer dress. 

I started by cutting off the sleeves and the top of the shirt right under the collar.

I removed the top button, pinned and hemmed the top edges.

I put the shirt/dress on inside out and pinned it down the sides to fit.  Once I got to the waist, I took the dress off and pinned it the rest of the way down angling out to the bottom corners.  I sewed each side and cut off the excess.

I turned it right side out and it fit perfectly!  No need for straps I was afraid I was going to have to add.

Upcycle shirts into pants

I read a few (very few) blogs daily.  One is and it gives me the most inspiration to do things with the clothes that don't fit me anymore or that people give to me.  While reading this blog, I stumbled upon a young girl who also upcycles, sews, and makes tutorials.
 I made 2 pair of pants from one of her most recent blog posts which included a small tutorial.  These pants are super easy to make, super comfortable, super cheap, and super cute!  So, here we go.

This is the shirt that I started with.  It's not a t-shirt, which is what she used in her blog, but i thought it would make a cuter pair of spring culottes than a camp shirt.  So, you start by cutting off the top right under the neckline, then the sleeves, then cut the shirt up the middle on the front and back.

The back of the shirt had a little tuck or whatever you call it that added a bit of extra, so I cut that out.  In hind sight i could have left it in for a little extra room in the hips.  I cut the button strip completely off the front and also the strip with the button holes.

So, once the shirt is all cut up, you have your pants pieces all cut out.  Sew each piece up the outside edge(which was previously the center of the shirt) right sides facing.  turn one right side out, put it inside the other leg and sew the crotch together.  I left the front open about 7" or so, enough to make a button fly because there's no stretch to the fabric. 
Next, I took the button strip and the button hole strip, cut them to fit the fly, and attached them to the opening I had left before.  I hemmed down the top of the pants only about a half inch because otherwise they would've been a little too low and sewed the elastic in.

here's an up close pic of the fly

So, as I said before, the Girl in the Heart Glasses said to use a big t-shirt for this project, so out of respect for her (and for more to do), I found an old t-shirt and made another pair.  This one was much easier.  I started with a long sleeved super soft t-shirt.  The shirt was already cut up the middle in the front, splitting the design in half, so I cut the shirt up the sides to the arms also.  This gave me 4 pieces, but I re-attached the front design (actually cutting out the "A" in the name DELANCY that was originally on the shirt, but who cares?)  I finished sewing up the legs, then the crotch just like the other pants, but didn't leave an opening for a fly this time.  I made a casing for the elastic in the top of the pants, inserted elastic and voila!  perfect lounge pants!

my little mermaid

This is Kylee's mermaid costume.  I made the skirt out of an old blue prom dress that I actually never wore anywhere except Walmart one crazy night with my friends.  I didn't use a pattern, just eyeballed it.  The flowers and the straps for what Kylee calls her "shell boobies" were made from felt and the rainbow stripey fabric was just some extra I had lying around from another project.  The "shell boobies" are made from shoulder pads.  I made the round pouches for the bra and put the felt straps in at the same time so that they were connected already when I turned the pouches inside out.  I left a gap in the bottom of each pouch to put in the shoulder pads.  I cut the shoulder pads to the right size after I made the pouches.  It's a lot easier to cut the shoulder pads to the right size after making the pouches than it is to make pouches the right size to fit the pads.  I used felt to make the flowers and hand sewed them on for some fancy finishing touches.


I love to make things out of t-shirts.  Coincidentally, I have a huge basket filled with t-shirt scraps.  I decided to make a set of coasters using a rag-rug technique and t-shirt yarn.  I made a set of 4 coasters from tie dyed and plain colored t-shirts.  They turned out awesome.  They work really well to soak up any moisture and if they get dirty at all you can just throw them in the washing machine.

I also have several pair of worn out jeans that other people have given me to use for whatever.  I made these slippers out of a pair of jeans and some scraps of an old sweat shirt.  I drew the sculls and crossbones onto some felt, cut them out, and I hand-sewed them on.

Care Bear Costume

 My daughter loves to dress up in costumes every day and I have cut up many things to make her costumes that i didn't really want to cut up.  This instance, it was a Snuggie.  I used my Snuggie to create this hoodie and skirt combo and made the rainbow belly badge with some felt.  The skirt also features a heart right on the right butt cheek.
It was a little big around the neck in this picture, so I sewed some elastic into the neck and that perked it right up.  My daughter has since grown into the costume quite well and she wears it all the time.
Static is a problem though.

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

1 lb Firm Tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1 Tbsp Ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp dry mustard

1. Marinade the tofu in a caserole dish for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.  (the tofu can be pressed to soak up the marinade better)
2. bake in the marinade at 375 for an hour gently sitrring every 20 minutes
3. garnish with coriander or parsley and serve in lettuce bowls, serve with Ponzu Sauce

my bellbottoms

This is a picture of my favorite jeans.  They started out as my work jeans (LEI jeans from Walmart).  When I no longer needed to wear them to work, I put them in the closet and never wore them.  I decided to try and make a pair of bell bottoms, so I pulled out my LEI's and a tie-dyed t-shirt that I didn't really wear all that much.
     First, the jeans were a very dark wash, so I mixed some bleach with water (about 50/50) and sprayed the jeans until they were wet.  I hung them in the bathroom over the tub and checked on them a lot.  When I thought they were a nice hippie color, I rinsed and washed them.  They turned out perfect.
I used a seam ripper to detach the jeans up to the knee on the outside seam.
I cut the t-shirt into two equal triangles by putting the shirt inside the opening I had just created in the jeans and marking the corners with pins.  I gave myself a small seam allowance and cut the triangles out of the shirts.  I pinned each side into place and sewed them in on my machine (with the pants inside out to hide the seams).
     They looked cool, but not cool enough, so I sewed the little bird applique on one side.  The bird was cut from a plain black t-shirt.  I used the scraps from the same shirt i used for the sides and made little flowers, then used embroidery thread to make the stems and leaves.
Here is a picture of the details