Monday, April 30, 2007

Sweater Remodel

We arrived home Sunday afternoon from a great weekend with my grandparents. My daughter was sick all weekend with an awful cold, but we still managed to have fun. I tried to organize a few things in my craft room yesterday and ran across this sweater in a pile of "to-be refashioned". I figured there was no time like the present! Here is the before picture...
The sweater was given to me by my grandma, which must be why I had been thinking about it. It technically fit, but was really boxy and unflattering. I pinned up the sleeves and the sides and just sewed a new seam. So easy!! Here is the after...
I think it looks better. Its wearable now at least! I think it needs some kind of fun embellishment, but I can't decide what. Any idea?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Good Mail In - Good Mail Out

I got a surprise package in the mail yesterday from Mary Ann filled with beautiful bright springy fabric! I am going to have a blast using these in some purses. Thanks Mary Ann!!

And hopefully Rebecca will think its good mail going out! I am diligently working on her ATC swap package. Thought I would post a little hint. Here is what the frame I am using used to look like!!
Can only get better right! Reminds me of something my mom had in our kitchen in 1985! (Sorry mom! It was cool then right!) My ATC is pretty much done but just needs a coat of sealer or something. And my frame is taking forever to dry. We are leaving for the weekend this afternoon, so I will probably send out my package early next week.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

CIP Pin Cushions

Aren't they cute all in a row! I made these pin cushions yesterday for my April CIP project. I figured it was safe to post them. There are many sewers (is that even a word??) in my life, you'll just have to guess who will be lucky enough to receive them!! I got the pots from an egg decorating kit from Target that was 90% off. I knew immediately they had to become pin cushions. These are so fun and easy, I'm afraid every container in my house might become a pin cushion soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An Inappropriate Bicycle

I tried my hand at some freezer paper stencilling over the weekend. I picked up this tank at Target for less than $2 on clearance with this plan in mind. I found the bike picture here and did the stencil in two parts - the main part of the bike in one and the wheels in another. Instead of using fabric paint I used bleach. I'm really happy with the results of the bleach, but the picture itself was probably not the best choice! It wasn't until I was bleach painting the second layer on that I realized I was creating an R-rated shirt. Do you see them? I was pretty bummed, because I really like it. The bike actually hits me right below the bust line, but every time I try it on all I see are two big boobs staring back at me. My husband thinks its hilarious of course. And now that I've told all of you I really won't be able to wear it. So, any ideas to distract the eye from them? I thought maybe some spokes in the tires. My sister thought some sort of words painted lightly over it so the whole bike fades into the background more. I just don't know. Anyway, thought I would share this with you so you could all have a good laugh, and just a warning to beware what you make with freezer paper!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thriftaholic, Part II

More great deals this weekend! My mom and dad were in town, so my mom, sister and I did a little shopping. I convinced them we had to check out the Salvation Army since I hadn't been there in while. On the way there we ran across a garage sale at our local Fine Arts Club (Fine Arts Club = rich old ladies). There were tons of books, christmas decorations, kitchen stuff, etc. I scored a couple old books, some green cloth napkins, 2 pairs of kid size gloves to fancy up our dress-up clothes and a really pretty crystal Christmas tree ornament. But the real highlight was this tin of buttons! I got the whole thing for $4. I was so excited!!
Then on to the Salvation Army where I found a few more books (The Joy of Cooking for .25!) a blanket that I think is wool for $2 and a little white dish that is going to become a pin cushion very soon, among other things. A very good thrift if I do say so myself. Now, I better get busy using it all up!!
Hope you all had a great weekend! The grass is finally turning green and little things are sprouting around here!! Spring is good.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Almost done..

I've been slowly working on this purse this week. I've had a very sick little girl to take care of the past few days. Luckily the nasty symptoms were over quickly (use your imagination here!) but she has just wanted to sit on my lap and snuggle for the past few days. As much as I love that, you can only watch so much daytime HGTV before you go a little crazy! By the way, is anyone else torked off that they took away the DIY shows from HGTV?? I loved those shows! Anyway, when I did find a few minutes to myself during nap time I decided to work on this bag. You've seen a previous version before. I've been wanting to make another one for the shop, and this was the perfect time to do it since I had zero inspiration in the creative department. Its almost done...just needs a good ironing and a few finishing touches. I hope to list it in my shop soon, along with a couple other goodies.
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I've been doing too well at the thrift store lately. It's becoming another addiction. Oh well, add it to the list! I just don't feel the same guilt spending money there that I might at a regular store. I think somehow I am helping people and saving the environment when I thrift. But really I just love getting great deals on stuff you can't find anywhere else!

Here was my score from yesterday. I found a bag of scrap fabric that included a couple larger peices of fabric for a mere 99 cents. I am seeing a lot of fabric covered tacks in my future! Make sure you zoom in on this picture to really check it all out. (Sorry for the low light. It is actually sunny out today, I'm just a really bad photographer.) I also picked up some awesome vintage sheets, twin size with top and fitted sheet - whole set for $5. I think these would be so much fun to use in quilts, but alas, I don't make quilts! Anyway, I love them! Here's a close-up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My First Refashioning...size small

I have been really excited about changing up some clothes we already have and making them more usable, in one way or another. For my first attempt, I decided to try out a shirt from my neice that I saved from my sister's thrift store pile (even better than thrifting!! Completely free!) The shirt was one of Kelsey's favorite, but was too small. It was a girl's size 7/8 with 3/4 length sleeves. Here is the before photo (sorry it's bad).

Here is the after shot!

Basically the reconstruction was in the sleeves. I simply cut them off and reattached higher up the shoulder. I also cut off the seam running up the arm and on either side of the shirt. I resewed this seam to fit Sydney's size and hemmed the bottom. Lucky for me, the 3/4 length sleeves fit Sydney perfectly after the sleeves were sewn on, and the neck wasn't too wide for her. This took me a little bit of time, simply because I didn't know what I was time should go better. Overall, I rate it a clothes for no money, and Kelsey thinks its really cool that Sydney is getting her hand-me-downs already!

a proper introduction

I've finally decided! I would like to officially introduce you to Nellie!

My friend Sara e-mailed in the name. I was really torn for a while, but I think it is perfect. However, I do have a little surprise!! I waited to tell you about this other beauty I scored for only $2! I would like to also introduce you to Veronica!

Sara and Dana are the winners! Ladies, please let me know (via comment or e-mail) what your prefered color is for a bag.

You may also notice that Nellie is sporting a new bag. I was inspired by a bag a friend of mine had purchased and decided to try and make up a pattern for it. It needs some fine tuning, but it worked out pretty well.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the love and name suggestions for my new dress form. Here is the entire list (I received a few e-mailed suggestions from some technically challenged participants :)

Veronica, Penelope (Penny) Ingrid, Bertha, Greta, Mabel, Fiona, Julia, Vera, Millicent, Mildred, Priscilla, Martha, Taylor, Audrey, Juliette, Edie, Matilda, Tillie, Kate, Heidi, Claudia, Giselle, Naomi, Winnifred (Winny), Lola, Verushka, Sue (Suzy Homemaker) and Nellie

I'm sorry to say, I just haven't decided yet. Tomorrow, I promise, okay! But, here are my top five (I've totally lost track on my list who these are from, so I am definitely unbiased)

Tomorrow, the decision.

In the meantime, I have been so inspired by my new friend and the Wardrobe Refashion site, that I actually sewed myself a shirt this weekend. This is probably the third piece of clothing I have ever made for myself. The pattern was so easy and the shirt is extremely comfortable (if you are pregnant, this is a must have!! And no Mom, I'm not!). I added a couple darts in the back (much easier than it sounds) and I think it looks acceptable. I've already bought some green fabric to make another one!

Friday, April 13, 2007


I am so excited to share my latest find with you! Yesterday my mother-in-law, Gail, and I went to Hancock Fabrics. I think I mentioned a couple of days ago that ours is going out of business. They are having some pretty good sales, but they are also selling all their store fixtures. As soon as I saw this beauty, I knew she was coming home with me!! I have always wanted a dress form - not to sew with, but to dress up and decorate with! Childish I know, but really it has been so much fun! I'm sure you will be seeing much more of her in the future, she will probably become a pretty permanent fixture around my blog. Sometimes she will probably look a lot like me...
And hopefully, sometimes she will be a more fabulous version of me that is stuck deep inside somewhere!
And now I think its time for another contest! Since we got her in the cart yesterday Gail has been calling her Martha, but it just doesn't seem right. So, I would like your help! Leave a comment with your name suggestion! The winning name will receive a prize from me, yet to be determined but more than likely a handmade purse in the color of your choice! You have all weekend to think up a good name and leave it in my comments. Feel free to leave more than one name and use your imagination!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Idea Born Out of Necessity

Even though Spring has all but disappeared around here and been replaced with Winter, I have been on a Spring Cleaning kick! Yesterday's project - my closet. I am fortunate enough to have a walk-in closet to myself! The original plans for our house called for my closet to be another bathroom. While that would have been nice too, I am so thankful it never happened. My husband has his own closet on his side of the room, and I get the walk-in! Our previous home was built in 1922 and had 800 sq. ft on the main floor with a half finished basement. If your familiar with houses of this era, you know they built closets big enough to hold one pair of pants and two shirts. So, needless to say, I now feel spoiled. And now its clean! All winter items (except for a few sweaters to get me through the next week or two) have been removed and replaced with summer clothes. Every shelf has been dusted and cleaned out. I've got a pile of clothes to be refashioned in some way, and another pile thats heading off to the thrift store. During all this cleaning I discovered my jewelry was in shambles, spread out all over the place. I have a very nice jewelry box Lee got for me a couple Christmases ago, but my necklaces just didn't fit in there very nice. So I decided to make this...
It started out as this...
I removed the picture and the glass and filled it with this stuff...
Not sure what you call it, but I got it at a home improvement store. Its some kind of a pressed paper bulletin board. Much cheaper than cork. I bought it in a very large sheet to do the big fabric covered bulletin board in my craft room and had this piece left over. I covered it with some fabric I got from my sister ages ago (no more hoarding!!) and stapled it on. I added a couple upholstery tacks to hang necklaces from and hung it up in my closet. Done in less than a 1/2 an hour!!
(AAh! White walls! Trust me, one of the very few places you will find these in my house!)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Library Tote

I bought this fabric a couple weeks ago. Our Hancock Fabric's is going out of business, so I got it for 60% off! I'm so glad I stocked up on it, because I'm already thinking of several more items I would like to use it for.

Last night I was in the mood for something quick, so I whipped up a library tote for me and Sydney to use. Going to the library with a small child means grabbing anything that looks remotely interesting and trying to run after your kid before every book in the whole place is pulled off the shelf. So, a rather large tote was in order! Nothing fancy lining, pockets, nothing. Just some really sturdy handles. Also works good for never ending knitting projects, which it is holding in this picture. (On a side note, I am never going to knit anything on needles smaller than a 10, it takes forever!!)

I hope you all had a heart warming Easter and that Spring is actually happening where you are. We are enjoying one last hurrah with winter around here. But, it has motivated me to do a little more spring cleaning since its not very fun to be outside yet. Things have been a little crazy around here with the holiday and traveling and snow storms, but everything should be back to normal this week...whatever that is!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Sorry I've been MIA lately. I had planned a quick trip to MN to see my family and meet up with a blogger friend. But we ended up staying longer than planned because of a snow storm! We had a great time in spite of the weather. Thanks everyone!
Pictured above are some notebook/colored pencil holders I whipped up for Amanda's boys. They were so easy to make, these will definitely become a staple for gift giving. I read a couple tutorials, but then decided to go it alone. All I did was measure the notebook and add 1/2 an inch to either side, then double that for the width. I added interfacing to the front fabric, sandwiched a pocket (iron and top stitch the top of it first), then sewed all the way around it, leaving a little gap to flip it right-side out. Iron it again and top stitch the individual pencil spots and notebook pocket. Oh, and I did a little heat-n-bond applique to the fronts of each first. So easy!!