Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sequin Refashion

Confession: the "before" of this project, is neither a hand-me-down, nor is it a rockin, thrift store find; it is from my very own closet. SGHS prom, circa 1995. Not as embarrassing as a couple of my other evening wear selections from that era, but embarrassing enough... I kind of wish I had a photo to share from back in the day, but I never got any copies from my date, because we stopped speaking the next day. My only regret about that is not getting those darn pics!

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion before frontUlterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion before back

With this awesome little number, I wanted to create something a bit less, Vegas party-girl, and a bit more classic/classy sophisticate; something appropriate for nearly twenty years later, to wear to a friend's wedding. As mentioned in my previous post, I've been collecting both inspirational and aspirational ideas for this sparkly revamp on a SequInspiration Pin board.

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion dress to skirt
The deconstruction:

Inside-out, I marked the front, waist line and cut line with chalk. (The back was easier as I just popped those straps off with a seam ripper, no sweat.) Carefully, I de-sequined in between the lines. Once that arduous process was complete, I sliced off the top.

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion cut to skirt
The reconstruction:

I added a band of elastic inside the waist for strength with a give, then hemmed and folded down the flap of sequin-free material over that, hand tacking it all in place. The beast of this process was individually hand-sewing sequins in place that were bent, broken, scratched, or missing. I also needed a full row for the new top of the waist line. Now complete, but not quite finished.

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion fix
The addition:

Axed as my original idea for a blouse, I cut apart another old, unwearable dress that I had dyed navy to match.

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion peach dress for trimUlterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion peach dyed navy dress for trim

These strips became a dainty, sheer, ruffle trim. I saw a similar detail on an image that I just could not get out of my head! Had to have it. Not only does this create additional length, but it adds an extra dimension of personality that I adore. 

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion back and bottom detail

I love the way it turned out, and proudly wore it to what turned out to be an absolutely beautiful wedding. 

Ulterior Alterations: Sequin Refashion Before and After

Paired with a simple navy blouse, and nude pumps, I achieved the look I was going for- and happily accepted multiple compliments on my new skirt throughout a wonderful evening!

Ulterior Alterations: Completed Sequin Refashion

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Eyelet Trimmed Sweater

As my farewell to cool weather, and a long, strange winter for us here in ATX, I'm posting my last sweater for what I fear will be all too many moons...

This over-sized grey (and tiny, white striped) sweater came from a place where I often find myself browsing: the clearance rack in the men's department at Target. All it needed was a couple of tweaks.

Ulterior Alterations: DIY Eyelet Trimmed Neckline Refashion

Changing the neckline makes all the difference in the world, don't you think? Adding this eyelet trim gave a slouchy sweater a sweet, feminine detail that I love.

I needed this super simple refashion, as I've been working on another for weeks and weeks, slowly but surely. I'll give you a clue: sequins. Check out my SequInspiration Pinterest board for more hints. Hopefully it'll be ready to share really soon!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Toddler Vest

You know when you start a project thinking, "This will be an easy, simple, quick project", and a couple of months pass and it's still not finished...

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest Fabric

This scrap fabric came from the clearance bin at the fabric store. I wasn't intentionally looking for fabric (it was supposed to a quick in-and-out trip), but this rocketship-printed fleece was so precious, I couldn't not buy it. So I did; although I had no idea what it would become, I did know who the what would be for.

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest Pattern Original

I have an adorable, nearly 2-year-old niece who I don't get to see often enough as we live 1800 miles apart. We were together for the holidays though, so, using one of her vests, I made a pattern and quickly had three pieces sewn into a basic vest shape.

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest Pattern

That part was easy, however, as often happens with me, I got stuck on the finishing. So this became an experiment and lesson for me on a few things:

1) Fuzzy fleece- this shed like a mutha! There were (and still are) little blue fluffs all over the floor! Plus, and more importantly, this is why I desperately needed to finish it. Trying to fold and hem it under was impossible- it got all stuck in the machine when I tried. 

2) Binding- I have never used binding before, so this was for sure a learning experience! I used the extremely knowledgeable Habby Goddess as my main teacher, though I read and viewed a bunch of tutorials before I started so that I didn't mess it up too badly! The result is imperfect, but I did get a little better as it as I went.

3) Zipper installation- sucks. I was so proud of myself a while back when I successfully put in a zipper on a Pillow Case, but that was a whole different story. Mostly, again, because of the fuzz factor. Maybe I should've bound and then zippered? I ended up using wash away basting thread to hold it in place, then machine sewed. That worked. -ish.

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest Wash Away Basting

You can see it looks a little bumpy and does not lay completely flat, but the wash away thread is super cool!

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest Complete

All challenges and lessons aside, I think it turned out to be pretty dang cute! And it's really dang cute on the really dang cute little girl!

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest + Leftovers LovieUlterior Alterations: Toddler Vest + Legwarmers

I also included a little lovie blankie from leftovers and legwarmers from an old pair of my socks in this "just-because" care package that didn't make it for Christmas and might be out of season come birthday.

Ulterior Alterations: Toddler Vest Thank You

...and maybe I'm just a proud aunt, but this thank you note is the. best. thing. ever.