Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I have joined Sew for 30 for September!

Sewist-extraodinaire Star's Threads suggested the 'Sew for 30' challenge for September. I have joined this challenge as well. As per her blog post:

'September is National Sewing Month in the United States.  We all lead very busy lives and finding time to do the hobby we love can be difficult so I'd like to encourage everyone to "Sew for 30 minutes" everyday during the month of September.   It's amazing what you can get done in little increments of time!  A seam here, a press there and before you know it - you have a brand new little something!'

So for this challenge I will try to sew for 30 minutes every day during the month of Sept. I have missed some days already but I'm not going to worry about it. We are going to be extremely busy this Autumn with home renovations, helping some elderly relatives move homes and the usual hustle and bustle with children. I'm going to try my best to get some sewing time each day to relieve the stress.

For past couple of weeks, I was able to sew some simple projects:

1. Girl applique t-shirt - My daughter wanted to have her t-shirt applique'd with her age for the school's photo day. So I used remnant fleece to make a number and sewed that onto her chosen t-shirt:

2. Boy applique t-shirt - my son also wanted the same thing done to his t-shirt for photo day:

3. Hello Kitty pencil bag - my daughter wanted a new Hello Kitty pencil bag for the new school year. So I just used remnant fabric and a thrifted zipper, traced the kitty shape and 'embroidered' the shape onto the bag. I also embroidered her initials at the back of the bag. Way to bust some fabric/notion stash!

4. Sweater knit skirt refashioned - I say refashioned - well it's really just adding a side slit to  the skirt. I like the glittery wool sweater skirt. However, it's not too comfortable to walk in (as I like to speed walk/march). So I decided to just carefully take out the yarn on the side seam up to just above the knee and voila! Much more practical skirt for me to wear this autumn/winter.

I'm pretty happy with the little projects I have completed so far. Hopefully I'll be just as productive for the rest of September!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Refashion: Lounge singer glittery dress to Lounge singer glittery top?

I have been sewing but just didn't have time to post anything yet.  My last post was about this silver glittery knit 'lounge singer dress'.

Sarah Liz and Jenny O kindly suggested that I refashion it into a top. I did just that and here is the result:

It's okay. I don't love it. Perhaps it will look better under a jacket or something. It says 'lounge singer top' to me. It may look better with flowy black pants and heels and some accessories but it will still look a bit like 'mother of the bride' outfit to me. I don't know. I guess I can always donate it. What do you think?

I have plans for the bottom of the dress that I had cut off. I'll make a glittery skirt for my daughter. I know she will like that.

I suppose with refashioning, you win some and lose some! ;-)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Back to School = Back to Sewing!!! Vote Keep/Refashion/Donate

August turned out to be a very very busy month with the kids and the family. I only sewed ONE THING and it turned out to be a fail that needs fixing. Boooo! Anyway, now that the kids are back in school, I have a little breathing room for myself to sew again! Yay!

This month will be a busy month for sewing because there are a number of things that I MUST SEW for my kids. My daughter wants a new pencil case, the kids want t-shirts with their age applique on them for photo day, hubby wants me to alter his shirt, I have tonnes of things of my own that needs altering, etc. Not exactly the most fun or creative month for sewing but probably very productive.

I'm also cleaning out the different piles of 'things' on the floor of my sewing nook. I couldn't find my swimsuit fabric so I didn't make a new swimsuit as I had planned a month ago. I say 'pile of things' because there seems to be scrap fabrics mixed with made garments that require fixing/refashioning in the same pile.

First up, this sparkle knit cowl neck dress that I made years ago from a New Look Pattern. I thought I had donated it already! It fits fine except the cowl doesn't seem to drape right so I just wear it off 1 shoulder slightly. I don't have any fancy places to go so I don't know what I should do with it. What do you think: 1) keep as it; 2) refashion it to something else; or 3) donate it to a charity shop?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Another Swimsuit? A Gallery of what I have made so far

I'm back! We had family visiting us the last little while so I had done no sewing nor blogging at all. And now I'm itching to make another summer garment - another swimsuit! I know I have already made several but for some reason I just feel like making another one. It feels like after I had made one swimsuit and learned much from the experience, I just want to apply the knowledge and make more in different styles and colours.

I swim at the pool all year round and at the beach quite often in the warmer months. So I'm not opposed to making another suit. These are the swimsuits I have made or refashioned thus far:

A RTW refashioned swimsuit. The body was too long so I cut it to make it look like a mock tankini. Good for swimming.

My first self-made swimsuit! Kwik Sew 2690

My 2nd try at Kwik Sew 2690 - Love!
Kwik Sew 3503 - The horizontal neckline and the floral fabric makes me look wider.
A modified Kwik Sew 2797 - My most beloved swimsuit. I wear this all the time because it's easier to get in and out with the front zipper.
A refashioned old RTW swimsuit. Unfortunately it's still a bit loose - not practical for swimming.
So there you have it! Although I have made/refashioned quite a number of swimsuits, I really only wear 3 of them for swimming - the teal one, the red one and the black/white one. I feel like I can still improve on the designs even further. For example, one piece suits are great for actual swimming and slightly holds in my mommy tummy. However, it's not so great for going to the washroom or doing a quick change at the beach. Also, some sort of zipped pocket would also be nice for the key to the locker.

After looking at tonnes of pictures at Pinterest, I have to figure out how to choose the design of my next swimsuit to the following:

A simple tankini top with high waisted bottom?

A zip front swim vest with bottom?

A regular 2 piece bikini with a matching rashguard on top?

Or a Swimdress that can be worn as a top or a dress with a regular bottom?

What do you think? What would be a good design for my next swimsuit that I can actually swim in?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

MAGAM July Refashion: Chiffon Scarf to Date night dress + 2 scarves

My July MAGAM project is done! I have transformed my thrifted $3.99 chiffon scarf into a dress! This was a big chiffon scarf with a giraffe print on it:

I was pondering whether to make it 'practical' or 'whimsical'. In the end I decided to make it practical so that I can wear it  for a variety of occasions and weather.

I used my tried and true thrifted pattern McCall's 8048 from the 1970's. It's a pullover, slightly a-line dress. I made a white table cloth lace dress with this pattern previously.

I serged the sleeves and neckline edges with roll-hem and used the original edge of the scarf as the hem. It came together really quickly (I like that!). It's a bit loose and breezy on me. I thought it would be perfect for a hot summer night. Perhaps even a date night?

I have styled this with a thrifted necklace, a thrifted bracelet and a thrifted patent leather heels.
And here is why I would style this for Autumn:

I have styled this with a thrifted leather jacket, thrifted leather boots and a self-knitted cowl from thrifted yarn

I can't wait to wear this out this summer! Plus I have made 2 identical scarves with the remnants of this project:

I plan to wear one and give the other to someone as a gift. I'm pretty happy with what I have done with this 1 big thrifted scarf!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I'm back and sewing - ideas for a new project

I was sick with a flu for a week and then I had to catch up with all the errands and chores that I didn't do during that week. But now I'm back and sewing! I made some shorts for my kids with remnant fabrics as well as another remnant fabric tote for a teacher.

I thrifted a bunch of stuff to be refashioned this past week. Some of them are really promising, especially this:

It's a polyester chiffon big scarf that I can make into a dress or top. I looked through the web and found some inspirations for this piece of fabric:


Elie Saab RTW Pre-Fall 2013

What do you think? Should I make something 'practical' or 'whimsical'?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Teachers Appreciation Bags 2016

I have finished my 2016 end of year Teachers Appreciation bags. As with last year, these are made with upcycled, salvaged materials (old jeans, salvaged straps, thrifted zippers, old bed sheets, curtain remnants, stuff from the scrapped box, etc).

I'm quite happy with them. I'll let the kids decide which bag will go to which teacher. I hope the teachers like them!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

MAGAM Joyful June Refashion: Purple silk XL tunic to Dress

I thrifted this purple silk XL tunic 2 years ago at my local thrift store. I was going through a 'silk or cashmere' phase and I acquired lots of silk shirts and tunics for refashioning. I thought it would be perfect for the Make A Garment A Month Joyful June theme.

As seen in the photo, it was loose and long but not long enough for a dress. The neckline was too wide as well. The sleeves were too long and wide.

First I narrowed the body quite a bit to make it breezy but not too loose. I cut off quite a few inches off the sleeves to make it a cap sleeve dress. I wanted to add a band to the bottom to make a loose pullover dress to wear in the summer. I looked through my scraps box and found this band of leftover wine colour knit. I had just enough to make a narrow band for the bottom hem.

As for the neckline, I just made a small 3cm box pleat in the centre front  for about 3 inches to narrow the neckline a little bit. And this is the result:
I should have ironed the dress before taking the picture!

I quite like the look because it looks like those vintage dresses. If I had to make it more fitted, I guess I can wear a thin belt:

What do you think? Belt or no belt for this dress?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Me Made May 2016: May 27 to 31 outfits

The last few outfits for the Me-Made-May 2016! I joined the challenge a little late this year but better late than never! Here are the remaining me made outfits:

May 27:
Me-made knit faux wrap dress
Me-altered denim shirt

May 28:
Me-Made cotton lace print dress
Me-altered cotton cardigan

May 29:
Refashioned linen blend embroidered beaded kameez

May 30:
Me altered knit size L dress

May 31:
Me made knit tank
Me made linen blend shorts
For some reason this photo is blurry!

Just like all previous years, it has been great fun and I really look forward to another challenge like this again. Thanks to Zoe Edwards of 'So Zo, what do you know...' for organizing this!

Refashion: Sweatshirt and Curtain remnants to Kids' Shorts

The weather is getting so warm that it has reached 30 Celsius or over for more than a week. My kids need some shorts! I went through my remnant stash and the to-be-refashioned pile for materials. I found a sweatshirt that was too small for my hubby and some remnant rainbow twill that I used for my kid's curtain.

I'm happy to have used up some stash. More kids shorts are needed. Off I go rummaging the stash again!

Monday, May 30, 2016

MAGAM Mad May Projects Completed!

I was really busy for the first two thirds of the month of May.  How life can get in the way of my sewing adventure! So a week ago I started panicking about the project for Mad May theme for Make A Garment A Month. I didn't have any ideas for anything 'mad' sewing projects. So I decided to just look into my to-be-refashioned pile and see what inspirations I could fine. I found 2 items: 1) A beautifully embroidered linen kameez that I thrifted quite a few years ago when I was pregnant with my 2nd child; 2) a pair of black mom jeans from my mom and some jean remnants left over from other projects.

First up, the linen kameez. It was too long and too loose in the body but the short sleeves were very tight on my arms. It has incredible gold embroidery and beading and I wanted to make a simple pullover dress.

I treated this kameez as the other ones I have refashioned before. With my trusty seam ripper, I took off the sleeves and added a bust darts from the sleeves to the chest area. I did this by putting on the kameez and pinning the darts according to my body shape. I then sewed the side split seams together to make a dress. I cut off the dress at the knee and then hemmed it into a dress that hit just above my knee. 

I wore this dress yesterday and it was really breezy even though it was humid and 31 Celsius! I am really pleased with it so far!

The next refashioning projects were for my children's teachers. Yes the end of the school year is almost upon us and I needed to start making Teachers Appreciation Gifts. I like making refashioned or upcycled bags for teachers as end of year gifts. Denim remnants are perfect for this purpose.

The first bag I made is from my mom's black jeans. 

Almost all the materials for this bag were from salvaged/thrifted sources. I used both the back pockets for my mom's jeans, thrifted zippers, a salvaged strap from and old laptop bag, and remnant orange poplin scraps. 

I made 2 identical bags and sewed them together to make a good size cross-shoulder bag.

I also made another smaller cross-shoulder bag from other denim remnants in my stash. This one is also made with old jeans and a thrifted zipper.

I'm happy with all these 3 projects in a week's time. They are not really of the 'Mad May' theme but I'm pretty happy with the outcome!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Me Made May 2016 - May 15 to May 26

It's been so busy that I hadn't had time to blog. And I have barely managed to take pictures of my outfits. The weather got warmer and warmer and yesterday it was 29 Celsius! Hot and humid weather already and it's not June yet!

May 15:
Me-Made denim jacket from a pair of old men's jeans
Refashioned red ponte dress from a RTW XL dress

May 16:
Refashioned XXL RTW sweatshirt
Me-Made cotton knit checker pants (McCall's 5273)

May 17:
Refashioned merino sweater dress to tunic
Me-Made black knit slim pants (McCall's 5273)

May 18:
Me-Made denim jacket from a pair of old men's jeans
Refashioned blouse from a 80's men's shirt

May 19:
Me-Made boucle cardigan jacket
Me-Made charcoal jeggings (McCall's 5273)

May 20:
Me-Made cotton tunic
Me-Made linen shorts

May 21:
Me-altered denim shirt
Me-altered white brocade slim pants

May 22:
Me-shrunken wool/silk blend cardigan
Me-Made fabric scraps scarf
Me-Made knit maxi dress

May 23:
Me-Made linen blend tank
Me-Made linen blend pants

May 24:
Me-altered thrifted cotton cardigan
Me-Made faux wrap knit dress

May 25:
Me-altered denim shirt
Me-Made cotton floral shorts

May 26:
Me-Made floral top
Me-Made linen blend pants

I have lots of floral sun dresses so I'm looking forward to wearing them the rest of the month!