Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

Happy New Year y’all!!!

This is my first post of 2013 – and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  Rather than bore you with all the lame and boring oh so exciting details of what I’ve been up to, I think I’ll get right to point today … besides, I’m already late to pick up my daughter!!!  (wish I was kidding about this!)

My awesome grandmother, known affectionately as “MeMaw”, passed away last Spring.  She lived 95 beautiful years!  I’d guess that she sewed for about 85 of those years.

Anyway, as I went through her closet, I found a few scarves that I thought were worth keeping.  Now, they weren’t exactly worth WEARING but they were worth keeping.


See what I mean….

So today, I had about 20 extra minutes (translate: I can be up to 15 minutes late before I get in trouble!), so I ran to my little stash of scarves and grabbed this one. 


Then I went to my little stash of embellishments and grabbed a long strand of pom pom fringe. xoxoxoxoxoxo – I LOVE THIS STUFF!

Then, I just simply sewed the pom pom fringe all around the perimeter of the scarf.  I used a long and wide ZIG ZAG stitch to be sure I got a good hold of the fringe.  This also keeps it from curling up on the edges as I wear and wash it.



I mean, COME ON!!! Isn’t this so cute and sweet now!!! ??? !!!


I just love it. I wish I could just run over to her house, give her big hug, eat some of her homemade wheat rolls, and sneak another scarf out of her closet. For now, I’ll settle for wearing this aLOT and remembering how lucky I am to have had her as my grandmother.


Time: took me about 7 minutes – I could’ve done it in 5, but that stupid bobbin needed threading halfway through.

Cost: Scarf – FREE.  Fringe – about $3 (I got it on 75% clearance!!!! hollah)

Think. Think. Think.

What can YOU add fringe to???


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Oh my goodness … the last few days (and by few, I mean like a TON of a few!) have been hectic.  I told y’all that I’d pick a winner for the Boo Boo Bags giveaway two weeks ago … shocker!  I did not.  But I haven’t forgotten!!!!

I’ve been having a blast making dresses from my flash sale a few weeks ago AND >>> I’ve been coming up with a couple of new pieces to offer in my shop AND >>> I’ve been making aprons!

Here is my new Caftan Tunic (also available as a dress and a maxi dress) .. I'll be offering this in lots of different fabric combinations.

Just in case you'd like to see what it looks like on a real live person ... although, I've not had any coffee so I'm not technically "real live" yet! (sorry mom, I keep taking photos of myself without makeup!)

And this is my new Moonview Dress ... available in any color combination - great for those color blocking dreams of yours!

And finally - today's tutorial project : an apron made from a man's XXL button-up shirt. (which was thrifted for $2.50!)

Just like last week’s project, I saw this in a book somewhere … I would LOVE for you to believe that I can look at a shirt and say to myself “hey you, turn this into an apron!” … but I’m a horrible liar!  So settle for knowing that I didn’t create this idea, I’ve simply just executed it.  Just in case you don’t have a bookstore nearby that’s filled with lots of crafting books to read aimlessly, here’s a tutorial for How To Turn a Man’s Shirt into a Woman’s Apron!

Start by raiding your husband's or your father's side of the closet (or a thrift store) for a size XL or bigger button-up shirt. I got mine for $2.50 at Savers.

To make the bodice of the apron, unbutton the shirt, and cut off the lower half of the shirt. I cut up the righthand side to the armhole, then across to the button holes. (Here is the first of several gratuitous blurry photos! Hey, it's a FREE tutorial!)

Now cut off the rounded part at the bottom so you have a square or a rectangle, whichever shape makes more sense for your apron. NOTE: keep the button hole placket in tact.

You'll end up with something like this.

Now go to the back of the shirt - to make the skirt of the apron: cut up the left side to the armhole, then around the armhole to the upper back, cut across the upper back to the other armhole and straight down. Here you can see half of what you end up with.

Then cut a straight line from armhole to armhole. (Yes, you can skip this step if you're good eyeballing a straighline across.)


I put a couple of small pleats just off the center of the skirt portion, then I sewed the two pieces together.

If you have a serger, you're back side should look like this.

Now, cut yourself a long strip of contrasting/coordinating fabric to become the tie of the apron. Cut it twice the width you desire + seam allowances.

Sew the tube right sides together, then turn right side out and press.

Center the tube on the apron, and carefully sew it along the upper edge of the skirt - all the way across the seam of the bodice and the skirt - and continuing to the other side.

Tuck in the ends of the strip, press and stitch closed.

Form a casing at the top of the bodice to thread ribbon through. Then, duh, thread your ribbon. You're done! Bam!

Here's your cute little homemaker ditty. So fun, huh!?!

I chose to keep the bottom of the shirt in tact, so it's rounded at the bottom and not straight across. Why reinvent the seam!?!

So there you go … an easy repurpose project for cheap.  Here’s the breakdown:

Cost: If you have scrap fabric on  hand for the tie, then all you’ll pay for is a shirt.  Go cheap – you might be tempted to pay $8 for a nicer shirt but DON’T!  It’s an apron… the fun of this project is not the fabric but the fact that it used to be a man’s shirt … and now you have that shirt cooking in the kitchen!  Ha!

Time: If you are privileged enough to get to do this at one sitting, I think you can easily do this in one hour.  (unless you’ve got Parenthood on in the background)

Are you going to make one???

I know, I didn’t forget!!!

The winner of the giveaway for a set of Boo Boo Bags … is …. SUZANNA!

(Now, usually I’ll choose winners at random, but I feel obligated to choose Suzanna because she was able to identify the book that came up with the project!  This makes me soooo happy because let’s face it – good people give props to good people.  I’m working on being that good people kind of thing!)

Congratulations Suzanna.  I’ll get to work on your set of Boo Boo Bags this weekend!  Send me your address!

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I am in total and complete shock.

It’s day 4 of my So Celebrate Sewing challenge, and I haven’t missed a day yet!  Wowzers, so exciting!!

I am feeling a little, maybe a lot, sick today.  I stayed home from church this morning.  Watched a little U.S.Open Tennis.  Then I got antsy.  The sewing kind of antsy.  Hence the tutorial for today – another idea for embellishing / updating / upgrading a onesie.

I've had this Micheal Miller fabric all summer, and I've been dying to cut into it. Good news is - I still have 2.75 yards left!

You can probably determine how to make this just by looking at the pictures … but just in case you can’t – read on!

Start with your fabric and a onesie. Put the oneside aside for just minute while you create the strips for the arm ruffles and the thigh/waist ruffle.

I decided to use bias strips for these ruffles - why? - because I didn't want them to be super fluffy. A strip cut on the bias will lay flatter than one cut on grain (just straight across). In the end, I don't think it really matters...so if cutting these bias strips takes your sanity - just cut regular strips! Anyway, where was I? Take a decent sized piece of fabric. This one is about 1/4 yard cut in half. (9" x 22")

Cut across from one corner to the opposite corner. (You can see that it's okay to cheat and not cut exactly straight lines! I just eyeball it. When you create the ruffle, any imperfections will disappear. If you're one of those "meticulous" types, go ahead and use a ruler.)

Fold thone of those pieces over so that it's about half the width of the ruffle you desire.

Use that side as the guide for cutting the rest of the strip.

Cut as many strips that same size as you can from your fabric. I was able to cut 3. To join them - place the ends perpendicular to each other with right sides facing, and sew a diagonal stitch ...

....When you open up the two peices, you'll see that you've made a continuous strip. Repeat this for as many strips that you were able to cut.

Finish your side edges - I chose to use a rolled hem from my serger, but you can do a typical hem if you prefer.

Right now you have one long bias strip. I chose to measure my two sleeves, and then I used the remaining strip for the legs and back. For the sleeves measurement, I placed the strip where I wanted it on the onesie...

... then I doubled that length so that I'd have enough fabric to ruffle. Then cut another one exactly the same length. These are your sleeve lengths.

You see that I have 1 long strip to go from one leg, around the back and to the other leg. I have 2 smaller strips to go over the shoulders.

Now finish all your side edges. Since I used a rolled hem, I needed to put Fray Check at the corners so the threads don't unravel.

Now you're almost done! Sew a long basting stitch across the top of each strip. Pull the top thread on each to create the ruffle. Pin in place. ****Change your needle to a BALLPOINT NEEDLE - because you're sewing on a stretch onesie**** And sew those ruffles on!

Your front will look something like this ...

... the back will look something like this ... UNLESS OF COURSE>>>

...You decide it needs just a little tiny something extra! I heart this!

Remember, this is YOUR project, so your strips can be all kinds of bigger than mine, longer than mine, etc.  If you do make one of these, I’d LOVE to see it!

For the breakdown:

Cost: $2 onesie at Walmart, purchased fabric wholesale on sale, so 1/4 yard was $0.25!  I’m not lying, I promise!

Time: not more than 30 minutes … again, tennis was on!

The main thing I’m excited about with this project….that the ruffles stay clear of those chunky monkey thighs!!!  I’ll send a photo after I put this on her tomorrow.  Although —- our cold front of 90 degree weather might make it too cold for this!

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What is most exciting about this project is the ridiculously low “cost per wear” of these used-to-be-jeans.  Originally, these were purchased for my son when was 3 years old.  They are a size 4T, so their intent was to be purchased big in order for him to wear them a long time.  And that he did!  As he grew, I cut them off to be worn as cutoff shorts last summer.  Nice!  (Have you realized that stores are selling cutoff shorts for about $30!?!)

Well, this summer Owen is almost 6 and can no longer wear them.  BUT WAIT!  Ellie is 4!  The show – er um CUTOFFS – must go on!

I just love them … and wait til you see the back!

Here’s how I did it…

I cuffed the shorts to the length I wanted them to be on Ellie and then pressed the creases. This gave me a line to cut so that I could cut all the way around accurately.

After I cut off the excess length, I created a flower 'stem' using extra wide rick rack. Pinned it down and sewed a straight stitch right down the middle.

I created a fabric flower and hand sewed it to the top of the stem. Then, for extra pizazz I added a covered button. You pretty much have to hand sew these ... trust me, if there's ever a way around hand sewing I will take it!

Then I created little hearts and sewed them on - again by hand, with embroidery thread so it's extra sturdy.

Ellie wanted flowers and hearts. I, of course, wanted RUFFLES! So I added them to the legs.

And here is what I/we ended up with ... just a fun pair of ragamuffin cutoff shorts that I love .. and I'm pretty sure she does too!

So once again… this project was FREE!

I used an old pair of cutoffs and scrap fabric.  If you don’t have any official scraps, please please please don’t buy any fabric for this … just find something in your closet that you don’t wear anymore and cut it up!  How fun!

That’s all for now.

Please remember to check out my latest venture: Austin City Craft.  The blog is completely in it’s infancy, but you’ll get the point!

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I am a firm believer and enjoyer of hand-me-down clothing, especially for babies!  So, I was thrilled when my aunts delivered a HUGE bag of clothing from my cousin’s baby girl.  It was a lot of fun going through it all, and I kept most of the pieces just as they were … except for this one:

Yes, this is a cute little pair of overalls. HOWEVER, it's stinking 150 degrees here on the face of the sun, so there's no way I could subject Rosamund to wearing these. Not even for the sake of fashion!

So I transformed them!

Read on…or should I say “view on” for the tutorial on how easy it is to transform a pair of overalls into a darling dress!

Start with your overalls. Duh.

Grab a piece of your favorite scrap fabric that you've been dying for something to use it for! My piece here is roughly about a half yard, maybe 1/3 yard. (You know me, I didn't measure it, who has time for that!)

Before you cut your fabric, cut the legs off the overalls just below the bodice seam. I also cut off the back pockets in case I wanted to reapply them to the new skirt.

Now to cut the fabric - aaah, scary! Simply cut your fabric into two equal rectangles. Sew the sides together. Go ahead and hem the bottom. I just used a simply serged edge. If you don't have a serger, just use a typical hem.

Sew a gathering stitch (it's just the longest stitch on your machine - mine is a 6) all the way across each of the two upper edges. (sorry for the lame photo!)

To join the two pieces, turn your overall piece upside down...

Pull up the gathers on both upper edges and turn the skirt inside out (right sides together)

Tuck the bodice piece inside the skirt piece. Match up the side seams, pin, and sew.

Here's another lame-o photo, but you can see the pins and seam. NOTE: I was too lazy to replace my needle with a heavyweight needle, but I regret it! Since I was sewing onto denim fabric, I highly recommend taking the measely 3 seconds to put in a denim or heavyweight needle!)

But it all worked out nicely. In fact - I love it!

I chose to embellish one of the pockets with an easy flower and covered button. Then I reattached the pocket onto the front. Since little babies spend lots of time on their backs I decided not to put the pockets back there! You're welcome, Rosamund!

I also decided to make a little headband - just cut a strip from the bottom portion of the overalls, and attach elastic at the sides. Oh, and a little covered button adds some pinache.

Now you're ready to play dress-up with your little angel baby! ( If I didn't live in Texas, I'd put a little onsesie underneath the overalls, but goodness gracious - why add to the heat here!)

Now for the breakdown…

Time: If you don’t take the time to remove the pockets, you can do this in about 15-20 minutes.  No lie!  Removing the pockets takes some time because those puppies are sewn on tight!

Cost: FREE if you use scraps and hand-me-downs!  If you purchase, be sure to thrift the overalls so that it’s still inexpensive!

*click here if you’d like to learn how to make those little flowers that I put on the pocket.

That’s all for now.  I’m off to work on the City Craft sewing class!

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CONFESSION:  I’ve never used a set of these before.  However, after playing around with some fun fabric options, I will start using them TODAY!  I admit it – I used to think they were a little ridiculous and unnecessary.  I created them only because I needed a third item to add to the receiving blanket gift pack.  However, as with anything in my life, the right fabric can convince me that I need ANYTHING!  These are no exception.

How to Make Washable / Reusable Nursing Pads – No longer just for the Granola types!  (But granolas – you’re included too!)

Here is our finished project - a pair of Nursing Pads. These here are made with flannel fabric, however you can use cotton as well. Just be sure to use soft fabric (for obvious reasons!) and fabric that is also absorbent.

What you’ll need to get started:

Fabric – definitely scrap pieces are perfect.  It requires such a small amount of fabric, so you probably won’t have to purchase any.  If you do, 1/8 yard will be enough!

Cotton Batting – NOT polyester!  Remember, you want these to be absorbent.  They’re keeping you from embarrassing yourself (or yourhusband!) so don’t skimp on this!  Again 1/8 yard is enough.


Someone in your life who is nursing a baby!

If you squint, you can see the difference here between cotton batting and polyester batting. Cotton is soft, kind of like a blanket all by itself. It cuts just like fabric and is super absorbent. (Polysester, on the other hand, is sort of like webbing - it's all netted together and has lots of plastic - NOT absorbent! Excellent for quilts, not for nursing pads)

For starters, find something round to use as a template so that all the circles are the same diameter. I used the lid to a can of peanuts. I personally don't think there's a "rule" to how big or small the circles should be - so long as they're large enough to provide sufficient coverage and not so large that they stick out. There are like thong underwear - they should be the wearers little secret!

Once you have your template, cut out 4 circles from the fabric and 2 circles from the batting.

Lay 2 fabric circles right sides DOWN.

Place your batting circles on top of the fabric circles.

Then add your final 2 fabric circles on top - right sides facing UP.

Pin well. (As you know, I only require you to pin when it's truly necessary - let's save as much time as we can, right!?! For these, the circles all move around when you sew, so you'll definitely need to pin these little darlings!)

Lastly - serge these ditties together! If you don't have a serger, use your zig zag stitch, making sure the stitch both catches all the layers AND extends just outside them. AND YOU'RE DONE!


Remember - these are slippery little suckers! Before you package them up and give them away, be sure to check the edges on front and back. Or....you'll end up with something like this. If this happens to you, just resew over the edges one more time.

These are really quite relaxing, and they’re another excellent way to use up scraps.  Plus, I think they’re really thoughtful gifts.  Do keep in mind – some women don’t like gifts that highlight their….well… you know!  Be sensitive!

As you can see from the following, I have surprising really enjoyed this project.  Of course I would, though, right!  They’re FREE, FAST AND EASY!  Love it!

You may have noticed, I can't get enough of this fabric! You can see more projects with this Amy Butler fabric here and here!

I had forgotten how much I enjoy this fabric until I pulled from the depths of my stash. See another project with this fabric here.Oh my sweetness! This is the second flannel fabric I purchased to make yesterday's receiving blankets. Soooooo soft and happy. I might have to keep these for myself.

These are made from scraps from a strapless dress I just made for a pregnant friend. It's the sister fabric to this fabric. Hmmmm. Maybe I should send these to my pal as a "happy pregnancy" gift!

Well, now I can’t figure out how to get out of this dialogue box, so we’re stuck with the gray back ground for a bit longer….

Oh, there were go!

Where was I???

Time: 5 minutes to complete ALL FOUR sets!  Honestly!

Cost: FREE if you use scraps and have batting on hand.  If not – not more than $5 if you purchase no more than what you need!  (I’m not sure if anyone ever does that, but hey, I gotta mention it as a possibility!) Woohoo!!

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From one Daddy’s Girl to another!

I am SOOOOO glad I made the time to DIY today….Can I just say it again…I AM SOOOOO GLAD I TOOK THE TIME TO DIY TODAY!

A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend (and one with whom I’d LOVE to hang out more) Lori Dewan gave me a magazine tear-out showing how to take a man’s button-up shirt and turn it into a dress for a little girl.  DARLING!  I have been carrying this paper in my purse everyday since so that I would NOT forget to create this little ditty.

Furthermore..oh the coincidence is astounding….my husband Jonathan received a button-up shirt for Christmas that was just a little too small.  Me, being the packrat that I am, just knew I couldn’t give it away…”there’s GOT to be something we can do with this fun shirt…”  Well, thank you very much Lori and Martha Stewart for this tutorial….here’s the before and after….

If you don’t have a Lori in your life, you can find this tutorial online here.  I didn’t bother printing out the pattern, I just guessed on the measurements.  Martha Stewart says this will easily fit a 4-8 year old…Ellie is only 3, so it will swallow her for a bit, but I’m so excited that she’ll be able to wear this for a long time…if I don’t decide to shorten it!

Time: this took about an hour…it takes a little bit to figure out how you’re going to cut into the shirt, and then I made the bias tape by hand using scrap fabric.

Cost: FREE!!!  Can I say that again….FREE   (take a shirt you already have but no longer wear, add bias tape and ribbon from your stash, and you too can make one for FREE!)

Stay tuned – I’m going to be doing another give-away this week…..gosh it’s good to be back!

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