Saturday, November 30, 2013

Green Cashmere Sweater Overhaul

Who doesn't love cashmere? "It's a cashmere-ical!" (If you know that line, you know my heart as well.)

Green Sweater to Cardigan Refashion

I went on a thrifty cashmere mission and came up with several pieces, but nothing 100% wearable. This green one is just such an example. Obviously, I love the color. But, it was a size small; I am not.

Ulterior Alterations

Also, there were several tiny, annoying moth holes, mostly on the sleeves, but a couple on the back. Here's how I made it wearable:

Ulterior Alteration RefashionUlterior Alteration Refashion

1) Sleeve chop. And hem. I wasn't quite sure how this wooly fabric would take machine sewing, but it worked just fine. 2) Open up. Right down the middle. I used a scrap of plaid flannel from some pjs I made last Christmas as the collar band, similar to my Sweater to Cardigan Remake post from a few weeks ago. 3) Triangle slice. Up the side seams, but not perfectly aligned- because of where the holes were. Insert more flannel scraps. Not sure I love this part of the finished product, if I'm being honest, but it served its purpose... wearable!

Ulterior Altered Sweater

It was a beautiful, chilly, but mild Thanksgiving afternoon in Austin, and my lovely niece obliged me to a photo shoot. She told me she likes pictures that are alive. Yep. She's 10.

In my opinion, Black Friday should be spent like this; in your pjs (matching or not), with someone you love. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Napkin Throw Pillow Case

napkin to pillow upcycleAnyone who sews is probably thinking, "Pillow case? Big whoop." And you're right. It's one of the simplest, most novice homemaker items to create. But there is no denying, throw pillows are a wonderfully manageable and affordable way to refresh home decor. This project cost me approximately $4!

I bought these two napkins on clearance at World Market. The block print and colors are so me; I had to have the fabric in my home. I didn't know right away how they'd be used, but I knew they'd be used somehow...

For the ulterior use of the beloved napkin find, and also because I sewed a zipper enclosure, I'm actually super proud of this pillow case- elementary or not.

Maybe you don't understand:
I. Vanessa. Successfully. Sewed. a ZIPPER!

throw pillow case with zipper
Zippers are so intimidating! But I can happily report that it was relatively painless, following a very clear video tutorial that brakes it down step by step. Seriously, it feels like I graduated or something!
I'd made some envelope-style covers previously for these two old, ugly greens, but honestly they were a little sloppy, and looked as though hiding something. Which they were. Time to rip that ugly green right off, once and for all. (Sorry J!) 
What I discovered inside was completely bare polyester stuffing, so I decided to sew a nice little muslin case around. Now the pillow form can just as easily be washed as any cover. Essential for old dingy pillows especially!
With it's pretty new, zippered case, the pillow looks much more polished than the way I'd covered before. And I quite like the way she fits in with her Anthro sisters.
The only question now is... what will I use for the other one?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Repurposed Tablecloth, Part 2

A tablecloth is basically a large piece of fabric, no? So the possibilities are infinite. Pun intended! In Part 1, I used a piece of this thrifted tablecloth to create a top. Here, I go a different route...

Ulterior Alterations Upcycled Scarf

Using a scrap of camel knit jersey for the outside and a panel from the lace tablecloth for the inside, I created a simple infinity scarf.

Along the way, I realized the jersey piece wasn't as long as I wanted it to be, so I attached an additional block of tablecloth to elongate. When wearing, I tend to kind of hide this piece in the back. 

Repurposed Tablecloth to Scarf

Two of my favorite things: scarf & lace. What's not to love? 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

DIY Lace Overlay Sweatshirt Refashion

I got this idea for a lace overlay on a sweatshirt from So, Zo..., an incredible UK blogger, when it was floating around Pinterest a while back and have been dying to try it ever since. Admittedly, I was a little intimidated and let it swim around in my head until I just couldn't stand it any longer and had to give it a go! Here's what I did:

Start with regular old sweatshirt.

Remove bands. Cut arms off (remove those bands as well). Spilt sides and shoulders.

Pin lace (containing a little bit of stretch preferably) to the front side of the trunk and trim to fit. It helped me to keep the lace pinned flat to the front the whole time, just to make sure it kept against the correct (front) side.

Sew back together* in the reverse order of how it was taken apart, with lace overlay sandwiched between right sides.

*If necessary, make any resizing adjustments. I took about an inch or two from the shoulders as this was a man's sweatshirt. I also chose to shorten the sleeve length to just below the elbow.
Sew the bands back on. (Still with the lace pinned flat to the front.) This part took the most care. For each band, I pinned at half way marks, then half way again, and again (like you would elastic)... until I felt it was pinned and spaced evenly enough to zig-zag stitch back in place.

Woah, neck band! Had to do that sucker twice to get all the layers stitched down. (Also, had to unstitch the shoulder a little bit.)

I love the finished product! I love it so much, that I'm a little saddened to have given it away to my sister for her birthday this week. But, they say the best gifts are the ones you truly love yourself, right?

Happy Birthday, sister! Love you so much!!! xx
(Looks so cute on you!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Vintage Dress turned Blouse

This is another great thrifty find, albeit perfectly my size, not perfectly my taste. I adore the tiny floral print, and was able to see the refashioned look in my head instantly. It's a simple one, but one that I'll get continued wear out of for sure!

refashioned dress to blouse

Cut and hem, presto! I considered taking out the lining that creates the tucked/slouched waist to see what it looked like dropped, but once I tried her on, I decided to leave well enough alone.

Dress turned Blouse

I think that sometimes, refashioning is about what you envision more than what kind of skills you have.


Refashioning is also (in my humble opinion) about not being afraid to fail.

I took the remnants of the success story above and attempted part deux. Not so successful. The problem really is primarily because of the sweater. It was once a delicate, deep-V, long sleeved, "boyfriend" cardigan by Velvet, which after an extreme amount of wash and wear, had become so mangled, that I had already cut it up thinking a casual shrug might be its final chapter. Well, that wasn't really a go, so I thought this might be:

I still like the idea, but the execution along with the battered shape of the cardi... not fab. The good news is: I lost nothing. A little time, a little thread, but I like to think I gain something through every attempt.