elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I made F a bunch of new T-shirts this week.

F tshirts (6)

(She said this is her "normal face." I just could not make this stuff up.)

Sewing T-shirts at home is not something I do a lot of, mostly just for The Girl. Since T-shirts are so cheap these days they may as well be disposable, it doesn't make much sense to buy knit fabrics for 10-20 bucks a yard and make my own. So I only do it if I can meet at least one, preferably two, of the following conditions:

  - I am upcycling an existing garment
  - The fabric is really unusual
  - I have a specific design or look I am trying to achieve
  - I absolutely cannot find a single thing in the stores that fits

For F, I have a hard time finding clothes that fit because she is long and skinny, so pants that fit at the waist are ridiculously short. Shirts are easier because they just hang off the shoulders, but sometimes they are too short. I tend to buy the plain and boring ones but this time I wanted something more unique and cute.

The process and 4 more shirts! )

These were so quick and fun! Oh, and if anyone is wondering why I chose April to make new long-sleeved shirts, please know that it has been only three days since I was pretty sure all the snow had melted in my yard. So yeah, still chilly.


Feb. 20th, 2013 01:51 pm
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
My knitted mittens from a couple years ago have completely deteriorated; I darned several holes and the other day I finally just gave up.

So I took a few minutes and made these!

Cut and sewn from old sweaters which I felted in the washing machine.  I actually used the sleeves of the green striped one to make mittens for F a few years ago.  The pattern was given to me by a Treadle customer a few months ago; I believe it was her own draft and she asked if anyone wanted a copy.  (Of course we all did!)

Honestly, these were so easy and simple that it's actually pretty lame that I am giving them their own blog entry.  But I love them!

A Dress!

Aug. 15th, 2011 12:10 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I've been making a new crop of summer dresses (finally). I thought I’d wait for them all to be done so I could blog them as a group, but I’m a bit stuck on the last one because I’ve been busy with real life, and besides, the dresses don’t really have anything to do with each other besides being sewn at the same time.

This was inspired by A Dress A Day’s somewhat-obsession with the Duro style (mostly from a few years ago).

The skirt and trim are a curtain from the Goodwill (the label said it’s originally from Target). I guess I just needed that elusive “I’m wearing a curtain” look in my life. It’s 100% cotton and has a nice drape. The solid is a slightly crinkly cotton from Treadle, the same as the one I used in this orange/floral dress from last year.

More photos )

The pattern is from the Simplicity Amazing Fit line. I really like these. They are as close to fitting perfectly right out of the envelope as I think a commercial pattern can get.

It's super-comfy, machine washable, and was cheap to make, so I think it qualifies as a housedress.  Or maybe it will after I have worn it 10 times to get the "newness" off.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
A chair I made new cushions for.

back view )

The only reason I am bothering to blog this is because it was way more complicated than I expected it to be.

Got the chair for $10 at Goodwill. Good enough condition but the cushions were so ratty and gross (I really should have done a “before” picture!). Before I threw them out, I traced their shape to make new ones. I got this upholstery-weight cotton at Treadle and some 2” thick foam at Jo-Ann. The foam was a nightmare to cut; I tried a serrated bread knife, then a scissor, then I finally broke down and bought a cheapo electric carving knife at Ace Hardware for $12, which worked like a dream. I still had a few rough spots but it was acceptable.

Shoving the foam into the covers was hard, but I am glad I made them fit tightly. They attach to the chair with Velcro self-fabric loops, like the original. I tried to center the designs, but inserting the foam made the fabric stretch slightly and it’s a teeny bit off now. When the bottom cushion is flipped over, the pattern continues from top to bottom, but I like the reverse a bit more.

I put it next to my bookcases where I have been wanting to create a reading nook since we moved in here. Now I just need a little table and a brighter bulb in that lamp.


Nov. 17th, 2010 08:18 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I had a panicked few days as the snow first fell and I realized I didn't have any mittens for little F.  Too late to knit some, at my glacial pace anyway.   I went to about a billion stores and found nothing.   Mittens for sizes 0-3 months were abundant, as well as 4T and up. But a 12 month size?   Doesn't exist!

I went through about 3 pairs of failures and a far too expensive piece of organic cotton fleece (now in scraps in the trash) before giving up on a mitten with a thumb and trying some simpler ones in some old felted wool.

And here's a thing I have been yearning to say for many of my crafting years:

I made these out of an old sweater I felted in the washing machine.

Yay me for upcycling*!

I sewed a little elastic at the wrist, but otherwise they are pretty untampered-with sweater sleeve cuffs. I used a narrow zig-zag on the sewing machine since the serger was giving me crap, and I think I liked it better that way anyway because I got a narrower seam allowance.
Progress veiw and a cute baby pic )
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I rescued this T-shirt; it had a hole near the end of one sleeve, so I cut off both sleeves to a short 3/4 length and added a folded strip of dotted jersey left over from my leggings to finish the ends.

I also added a lined strip of the dotted jersey to the neckline to make a small drape and a tie.  I sewed it on the serger, turned it, then used the sewing machine and a straight stitch to attach it to the already-finished neckline.

Yay for creative mending!

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I found these instructions for making a baby gown out of a t-shirt and decided to give it a try with some old shirts my man was throwing away. One had a fantastic print that was too good to make into rags. The other is plain but a nice color.

These were super-quick to sew (about an hour) and I think they are so adorable, without being covered with insipid, anthropomorphic pastel animals (like a few I bought).

They have that nice overlapping neckline so a baby's giant head with fit through. I didn't add elastic at the bottom as the pattern suggests because I like they way they look now - ungathered and rectangular - but I can always add it later if it seems to be useful.  I also used a multi-step zig-zag instead of a plain one, just because I find I get a nicer edge that way.

Frugal + recycling + easy, instant-gratification sewing = yay!

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Made this dress the other day from a tank top and an XL men's t-shirt.


I've been getting frustrated with my lack of clothes that fit vs. the short amount of time I have left before the baby is done incubating.  Which is to say, hardly anything fits anymore but I only have a few weeks left, so I don't want to bother with making (or buying) fancy new stuff.

I cut the tank top off under the bust, saving the lower half for the belt.  I cut the t-shirt into a trapezoid and sewed the new side seams.  Then I just sewed the two together at the 'waist,' easing them together.  I cut the bottom of the tank into strips for the belt, sewed them and turned them, then hand-stitched the belt to the back of the dress for about 10 inches.

This was another experiment in sewing with knits.  I can now say that a single (interlock, jersey, whatever) knit is relatively easy to sew, but a ribbed knit is more of a pain than silk chiffon.  It's just soooooo stretchy.  Without a serger, there is absolutely NO stitch that has enough stretch.  I got the dress together fine, but the belt was hell.  I'm sure my seam is going to pop at some point.  It's fine while wearing, but tying and untying it are more delicate.

It's comfy and economical, though.  And it shows off my bump so well.  ;)

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
I cut this out last week and sewed it yesterday.  I really like the way it looks!

It's made from a skirt from the thrift store. 

Yay!  I love my new shirt!

patch work

May. 28th, 2008 08:08 am
elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
Most of my mending this week has been the dull, everyday sort, but I mended two pieces last night that I thought were worth sharing.

My patched skrt.  I've had this for about 10 years, and it just keeps getting better.  I originally salvaged it off of a costume I took apart and re-made for someone; the style was 1840s but I think the dress itself dated from the 1950s.

I love this skirt.  It gets more comments than anything I've ever owned (including, once "Oh, I see you're dressed in rags again!  Didn't sell enough matches today?" but the guy was an acquaintance so it wasn't as harsh as it sounds).

Mending adventures!

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