Summer Project Inspiration

Well, hello there.

I’ve missed you.

Have you missed me? Don’t be coy ūüėČ

If you follow me on Facebook, you would know that I’ve been in a bit of a slump; crafter’s block, if you will.

It’s pretty frustrating to feel uninspired but I’ve somehow been able to keep myself busy with other things (ahem, life). I’ve never been more on top of laundry. Which, I know my family appreciates but it’s my least favorite chore.

In the next few weeks, I plan on shirking my household responsibilities completing several summer wardrobe projects in anticipation for a 5 day¬†trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico¬†with the hubs (no kids! Thanks to my¬†bestest¬†friend and¬†*other* soulmate, Hollie, for “volunteering” to keep them!), which, will take place mid-March. This is a work-related trip for him so there will be a few mandatory events that I need to keep in mind when deciding what to pack. Specifically, we will attend a formal Awards Banquet that I’ll need an outfit for and I’d love to DIY¬†it¬†(I’m thinking the sequin maxi below). I wore this to the banquet last year and I felt just a smidge too casual (I also just realized that I never showed you how I made the bodice. shame on me). The event is not really black-tie but it’s full of suits and evening gowns and, in case you haven’t met me, I’m not an evening gown kind of gal. So, I will definitely be going for separates.

I realize it’s still winter but, what better way to kick the gloomy weather blues than by immersing yourself in summer colors and daydreams of the beach?!? Sooo…today’s post is a list of DIY inspiration I’ve found out there in the blogosphere. Perhaps, these projects will motivate you as much as they have me.

Two Harbors Tote

Two Harbors Tote

 

La Vie En Rose Victoria's Secret Inspired Beach Cover-up

La Vie En Rose Victoria’s Secret Inspired Beach Cover-up

Prudent Baby Shirt Dress

Prudent Baby Shirt Dress

 

Cotton and Curls Tulip Wrap Skirt

Cotton and Curls Tulip Wrap Skirt

 

A Pair and a Spare Sequin Maxi Wrap Skirt

A Pair and a Spare Sequin Maxi Wrap Skirt

 

Sincerely Kinsey Urban Outfitters Inspired Lace Shorts

Sincerely Kinsey Urban Outfitters Inspired Lace Shorts

She is Red Glittered Sunnies

She is Red Glittered Sunnies

 

Manzanita Flip Flop Refahion

Manzanita Flip Flop Refahion

 

What I Wore Striped Summer Hat

What I Wore Striped Summer Hat

 

 

What do you think of these projects? I hope you’ve been inspired to start some summer projects of your own. If you do, please share them!

I’m off to walk the lake trail with the little one since we finally have some sunshine! I love Thursdays and I am so greatful¬†to have nice weather today.¬†Hey, that reminds me, I heard an interesting statistic the other day (not sure from where) that said that most women are happiest on Thursday. That was speculated to be a result of anicipation for the coming weekend but also attributed to the fact that most women have sex on Thursdays more than any other day of the week. I’m not really going anywhere with this except to say enjoy your day!

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The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible

This book has been invaluable to me. As a beginner in sewing, techniques like darts, french seams and linings were¬†complicated aspects of commercially made clothing that I figured I would simply never be skilled enough to accomplish. Just as The Bible¬†is sort of a ‘How to do everything in Life’ for Christians, The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible is just as comprehensive for the novice seamstress.

Information about essential tools, a guide to body shapes and fashion silhouettes, a glossary of terms and a fabric guide are all included. With easy to follow instructions that include pictures and illustrations you will learn about how to create sleeves, tucks, pleats, collars, embellishment and much more. In many cases, it is explained how to complete a technique by hand and with a machine. Even useful resources beyond the book including websites and magazines. If you’re a beginner or even intermediate sewer there is plenty of helpful information in this book. I definitely recommend it.

Turn a Lined Skirt Into a Dress

 

My Grandma gave me this skirt she found at a thrift store.¬†It’s an Old Navy skirt that looks brand new¬†since there is¬†no fading¬†at all. It was a little too big and an unflattering length but it had a great coral lining and I¬†knew I could do something with it.¬†Here’s how I¬†turned it into a dress.

 

1. Turn the skirt inside-out and separate from the lining with the lining inside-out as well. Determine how wide you want your neckline, mark the middle point of the bottom edge of the lining (which will become the shoulders and neck) then measure out your neckline evenly centered. Pin and sew each edge up to neckline marks backing over beginning and ending stitches to secure.

2. Figure out how big you want your armhole to be and measure down from shoulder seam then cut the outer seam off creating an opening. I finished my armhole by just doing a zig zag stitch along the edge but you could fold over and hem if you like.

 

3. Measure a straight line down from your middle mark and cut in from top to open up the neckline (cut only on the front of the dress).

4. Zig zag stitch along the raw edges or hem.

 

5. & 6. I added a personalized tag by using a t-shirt transfer and  ironing directly onto the inside of the dress.

 

7. Measure and mark the desired hemline and cut.

8. Finish the edge as you have done the others and you’re done! (by the way, I lightly ironed my “collar” outward to achieve the look in the final picture)

 

 

Slacks to Skirt Refashion

Like I said yesterday, this is my favorite of the refashions so far and I wore it only for about three hours and got tons of compliments. It was fun to be at such a beautiful event where I know people wear their best and every time someone tells me “You look gorgeous! Love the dress!” I just snicker to myself knowing that¬†I made¬†this ūüôā …from hideous over-sized MC Hammer-like way-too-pleated $2 slacks from Goodwill!

This really could not be more simple. Grab some slacks from a second-hand¬†store (or your dad, grandpa, husband’s closet). Mine were actually women’s pants which is really not necessary. All that matters is that you like the material.

Turn them inside out and fold them in half. Making sure all of the fabric is straight and the legs are lined up. Pull the crotch out so it looks like the picture below. Using a ruler and tailor’s chalk mark a line straight down from just below the end of the zipper to wherever that straight line lands at the edge of the pant leg.

Now measure how long you want your skirt and add an inch then mark with your chalk and ruler.

These are your cut marks. Make sure the cut up near the crotch is as straight as possible.

Now, open it up and fold in half like you’re going to iron a crease. This will give you two open sides which will end up the middle front and middle back seams of the skirt. Pin down these sides and sew together.

IF the pants previously fit in the waist then all you have left to do is hem the bottom.

For me, my pants were not just too big in the waist but they were waaaay to big through the hips (did you see all that pleating?) and thighs.

I also wanted a curvy shape that tapered at the bottom but had plenty of room in the hips. So I just sewed from the top of the waistband down to the bottom in the shape I wanted.

I didn’t get any pictures of this step but I did a little drawing for your amusement (and clarification). Red is the sew line. As you can see, I had to sew the pockets closed, which I’m still not very happy about but, trying to keep them and get this thing to fit properly would have required more time than¬†I had available (I made¬†it at midnight a couple of days before the wedding).

There you have it, folks. In case you were wondering, yes, I made the bodice as well. It wasn’t a refashion but it was made from clearance fabric ūüôā . It’s a bit more complicated as it’s completely fitted with seam shapes I’ve never attempted before but, it turned out as I wanted. One day, I will share with you how I did it.

Also, the earrings, made those too ūüôā tutorial is coming soon.

And for those of you that are interested the bag is vintage (it was my mom’s) and the shoes are my newest obsession. Vera Wang (got em 60% off though!). I got a ton of complements on these too. Can you see why?

 

 

Thrifted Blouse to Simple Summer Bag

I’m loving this bag! Oddly, it seems to go well with a lot of things I own. I guess because I tend to go for neutrals but, it’s great because this adds a little lot of color and interest to anything I wear it with. My favorite thing about this bag is that you use the buttons of the shirt to open and close it. It’s not as fast as a zipper or a snap but it’s a cute and unique detail.

I’m proud to say that I snagged this blouse at my favorite thrift store for only $1.50. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it but I loved the colors and couldn’t pass it up at that price.

I didn’t do a lining or pockets because I wanted this to be extremely simple and I didn’t want to stiffen it by adding¬†an extra layer fabric.¬†I like the way it slouches due to the blousy fabric.

Here’s what you need to make one:

Large colorful blouse

Scissors & pins

Sewing matching and thread

  1. Cut off the shirt across the armpits and along the side seams.
  2. Fold in half, side seams meeting and right sides facing in. Pin and sew. I recommend a straight stitch about a 1/4 inch in and then go back and zig zag stitch along the edge to prevent fraying.
  3. Cut a strip of fabric from the back panel of the shirt about 20 inches long and 8 inches wide.
  4. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides facing. Pin and sew along long edge.
  5. Turn strap inside out and gather (pleat) the ends. Sew across pleats to hold in place.
  6. Unbutton and put the ends of the strap at each of the top corners lining up the stitches you just made on the ends of the straps with the point where you will sew up the sides. I twisted my strap for interest.
  7. Line up the corners and sides then pin in place making sure you keep your straps correctly lined up.
  8. Sew along the edges about 1/4 inch in from sides then zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.

That’s it! Easy, huh?

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another thrift store find refashion. Tomorrow’s is BY FAR my favorite! I wore it to a wedding last weekend and got a thousand (give or take ūüėČ )complements!

Thrifted Dress Refashion

I love the way this turned out. I grabbed¬†it at a local thrift store for $5. ūüėÄ

 

 

The refashion was simple. I cut the neckline into a V and the back into a tapered square. Then cut it short and hemmed. VERY quick and easy!

If you like this one, stick around this week because I have several other refashions from items that I picked up on the same thrifty trip. One of them being that bright striped bag you see in the pictures.

Dress and bag: Thrifted Refashion Shoes and belt: Thrifted Earrings: Self-made Bracelet: F21

 

 

Southwest Style Day One: Rectangle Crop Top with Low Back

 

This top is so simple. I made it from start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

You need

two 28 x 23 rectangles of light-weight cotton jersey (you could use a different type of fabric here but you would have to hem the edges)

Sewing maching and coordinating thread

With right sides facing pin your rectangle together along sew lines and serge or zig zag stitch right on the edge backing over beginning and ending stitches to secure.

Along the top edge, cut a half oval out of the back side of shirt along the top and between the sew lines. The opening should be 12 inches wide and the lowest point 8 inches from top edge.

THAT’S IT!

A couple of¬†notes…

  • Yes, I am wearing a bra. I don’t go braless ever¬†(you’re welcome). Its a strapless and I measured the back cut of the shirt to be about an inch above the top of the hooks. Before you cut your fabric you might want to do a quick measure to make sure that yours will be covered.
  • I (usually) wear a medium in tops or an 8 in dresses and I’m 5’6″. If you are bigger/smaller and/or shorter/taller you may need to adjust the initial rectangle¬†measurements.

 

Stick around because I have one more post for today (a, slightly more involved than this top but, still simple, dress)¬†which I’ll try to get done before midnight ūüôā

ALSO, if you like my earrings in the pictures above…fret not! Those are also self-made and I’ll be sharing a tutorial for those and many more Southwesty goodies all week!

 

Easy Summer Dress with Pockets

Here it¬†is again, folks! Everybody’s favorite 25 cent fabric is back and this time I made a simple summer dress…with pockets!

First, you need to follow these¬†instructions on how to add pockets from Burda Style.¬†It’s exactly how I did mine.

Ok. Moving on.

 

 

 

The Maxi Skirt

So the other day I was visiting my mom and she gave me this…

she got it from a thrift store. And do you see the price?? You can’t beat that!

The colors are¬†gorgeous (pics taken with my phone and DO NOT do it justice!) and the fabric so soft. I’m not sure what it is but it seems like a loose weave cotton, almost like linen.¬†What a find! Thanks, Mom!

So, I’m thinking maxi skirt.¬†I¬†know I want pockets and perhaps even a side slit. What do you think? Here¬†is some inspiration¬†that I found poking around the web. LOVE them!

Of course I’ll post a tut when I get it finished so stick around for that!

Happy Sewing!