Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thrift shop blue sweater project

During my Thrift shop shopping spree, I also bought this light blue 100% wool blue turtleneck sweater. I washed it in Hot setting twice and dried it. It was a Men's XL and it has shrunk quite a bit. There were some moth holes in the neckline which I didn't notice before. So I decided to refashion it into a wool skirt as seen on one of the refashioning blogs (

I cut off the sweater just below the sleeves.
I already have this stable knit in my stash. I decided the black and grey check may be too bold so I just went with the dark grey back of the knit.
I made a ruffle band and attached it to the hem of the wool skirt, and Voila! An almost instant frilly wool skirt for my pregnant belly! And it took only a few hours to do. I'm loving this refashioning thing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thrift Shop Monstrosity Project 1

The Thrift Shop Monstrosity that I bought yesterday (let's call it TSM from now on) has produced its first project. I cut off the huge sleeves and used one of the sleeves to make a wool hat for myself. It took some trying and adjusting and tada! I hereby unveil the first byproduct of TSM.

From this:
To this:

I cut off the top and the bottom of the sleeve, serged the edges (just in case they unravel), handrolled and stitched the hat bottom edge in place, used a tie made from the sleeve to close the hat top tightly. Voila! Instant funky winter hat in about an hour!

Now what am I going to do with the other sleeve??

New Year Sewing/Craft resolution

I want to make a craft resolution for myself this year. I know it's going to be a busy year with the new baby coming in April. But I want to make sure that I make time for myself, as well as being mom to 2 kids under 3, wife, homemaker, chaufeur, financial planner, social planner, etc etc. Sewing/crafting seems to provide the instant gratification that I can accommodate right now. I mean, I love home decor, refinishing furniture, jewellery making, etc etc as well, but they just take up too much time and space in the house. Sewing/crafting for my family not only gives me joy and relaxation, but seeing them being enjoyed by my family is even more gratifying!

I plan to make at least 1 gift for each family member this year (for birthdays and/or X'mas) with my existing fabric/craft supplies stash. I think I need to start planning now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thrift Store Monstrosity

I have been so inspired by the felting projects/tutorials on various blogs that I decided to try it myself. I went to the Thrift store yesterday morning to get some 100% wool clothing. I bought 10 pieces of cardigans, sweaters in Ladies and Men's L and XL sizes. I washed and dried them on Hot settings but somehow they didn't shrink or felt as much as I thought they would. May be the wash setting wasn't hot enough? I guess I can always wash/dry them again.

A couple of the Men's XL cardigans shrunk just enough to fit me as maternity cardigans. I'm actually glad because I am running out of warm clothing that could fit my bump. These grandpa 100% wool cardis came just at the right time. I am thinking of refashioning them and give them some feminine touches. Will do that in the next 2 weeks.

Anyways, I also bought this Monstrosity of a cardigan. It actually didn't have a label so I don't know if it's 100% wool or not. It was in the Ladies' XL section and it's HUGE! Even bigger than the Men's XL cardigans. It has thick green and aqua stripes and the shoulders are gathered with big shoulder pads. Who was wearing this thing, I wonder? But for some reason I was really drawn to the colour. I washed/dried it on Hot settings but it didn't shrink that much. I guess may be it's not 100% wool. I don't think I can refashion it into another cardigan that I will wear - perhaps some winter accessories? This is going to be a fun design challenge!

Fabric books for the new baby

I had never noticed them before, but there are fabric panels sold in fabric stores that you can make into fabric books for babies! I stumbled upon them at my local fabric store and bought 2 different panels and some quilt batting. They were quick and easy to make. Now I have 2 fabric books waiting for the new baby and they cost a lot less than the store bought ones. I think they are adorable.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Refashioned/Upcycled/Repurposed clothing

I hear so much about this Refashion/Upcycle/Repurpose clothing recently. I looked into it and found that it's something that I have been doing for a while too! I have been using my husband's used/worn clothing make home decor furnishings for years and now clothing/accessories for my son. I have made several pants/shorts for my son with my husband's used pants.

My latest Refashion project are 2 newborn hats for the next baby. My husband gave me a bunch of worn t-shirts and I made the hats with Butterick 5220. Super easy and quick to make! Took just over an hour to make both hats. One is plain and the other has a little floral thing on top (in case it's a girl). Can't wait to put them on a newborn baby's head!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Toddler pants - Simplicity 3765

I finally got to take some pictures of the pants I made for my son while he is out. I have been using this Simplicity pants pattern for him for 6 months now. I just keep adding width and length as he grows taller! LOL

This is a very easy pattern. One pattern piece only (no side seams). I can make a pair of flannel lined pants for him within 2 hours! I have made at least 10 pairs of pants for him with his pattern already. This is just a small collection of them:I made them out of whatever I have in my fabric stash: navy blue corduroy, green polartec fleece, forest green heavy cotton twill, grey cotton sweatshirt fleece. I lined the 2 corduroy ones with flannel craps that I have been keeping for a while - one green plaid and one green stripes. I made name tags for him with stash ribbon inside the back of the pants.
If you want to make something fast and easy for your baby or toddler, this pattern is highly recommended!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A little luxury for me

Okay! Call me crazy! I'm almost 6 months pregnant and I bought a pair of patent mary jane heels today. Why did I do that? When am I going to have a chance to wear them?

I didn't plan this really. I haven't bought shoes for myself for more than 2 years. I was actually looking for educational toys for my son when I walked by these shoes. They called out to me. They looked really cute and I'm a sucker for mary jane heels. I tried them on. I liked the look of them even though they are a bit high for me to walk in (I haven't worn heels for a few years). They were on sale. I bought them. Yes I'm weak.

Now I'll have to make a dress to go with these shoes! And of course I'll have to find an occasion to wear them too.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sewing room being downsized!

My sewing room is being downsized because we are moving my son to a new bigger room and use his current room for the new baby. Actually, I don't have my own sewing room anymore. I will have to share the same size room with hubby's computing equipment, desks, filing cabinets, book shelves, etc etc. I had to do some major clean up of my fabric stash.

It was actually a good exercise for me to see what I actually have, and what I don't need anymore. 1 garbage bag of fabric bits that are too small for anything, 1 bag of good size fabric pieces for donation (not sure where yet), and lots of small bits that I'm keeping to make clothing and accessories for my little boy. I even found bits left over from a fleece jacket that I made hubby 13 years ago! The same fleece bits are now 2 hats and 2 neck warmers for my son. Nothing wasted here! I'm trying to be as 'green' as possible by using every single bit of fabric possible.

I need to remember to take some pictures of the clothing that I made my son the last couple of months. I only remember to do it after he has gone to bed, and unfortunately, the clothing are in his room! I didn't feel like waking him up just to take some pictures of his clothes. Will try to do it on the weekend.

I saw this wonderfully organized sewing room on 'The cottage home' blog. I'm drooling! I wish I can have my own tranquil space like this to sew, do craft, make jewellery, etc. How on earth was she able to keep everything this tidy when she runs a business from this room?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sewing for the next one

Happy New Year!

I've starting to sew for the new baby due in the spring. For the last 2 months I have been busy sewing clothing (mainly pants) and winter accessories (hats, neck warmers) for my toddler boy who just started half-day nursery school today. I enjoy sewing for him very much. His clothing takes so little fabric (perfect for the scraps that I have saved all these years) and they are so fast to make. I can cut, sew and finish a pair of flannel lined pants for him in one night! And of course I think he looks adorable in my clothes.

I'm going to be making the following for the new baby:
- quilted play mat
- organic bamboo blanket (summer/autumn)
- one or more stuffed animals (a penguin may be?)
- stuffed letters (initials of the yet-undecided name)

It's actually a much shorter sewing list than I had for my son when I was pregnant with him. I just don't have as much time now so I have to prioritize.

I was thinking of making some additions to my own wardrobe this winter but just don't have time. I'm wearing my own maternity line right now from my last pregnancy. I'm glad I made a couple pairs of pants and a couple winter coats that still work.

I will post some pictures of stuff I sewed for my son in the next post.