Christmas Lady

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Hello, all! Christmas is nearing quickly. I have always loved the idea of dressing according to the holiday– pink and red for Valentine’s Day, red and blue for July 4th, pumpkin for Thanksgiving, green and red for Christmas. But I rarely have accomplished this… for different reasons; sometimes I am too lazy and choose sweatpants over a carefully picked outfit. Other times, I can’t put together the right ensemble. I fixed that problem for Christmas this year with a casual green dress. I made my pattern to match the Lady Skater pattern which has been so popular lately. I learned a wonderful fact while in the process of making this dress… Serged seams stretch as much as the fabric stretches! Most of you likely have known this for years, but it was my first time to see this amazing phenomenon actually work. Every seam that went into this dress is serged, a first for me as well. Overall, making this dress was quite unproblematic, a nice condition to run into every once in a while. Paired with dark red tights, this dress is my go-to outfit for any Christmas activity!

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Refashioned: Drop-waist Lace

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Time is precious right now. There is hardly enough to go around! My many projects– recovering a chair, painting an old bike, figuring out new curtains, making bread weekly, blogging…ever– have all been tossed to the wind. No time. This lovely little refashion, however, was so quick and easy that I found enough time to make it happen. Like most of my refashions, this vintage dress started out at an estate sale with a 50 cent tag attached.

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Though it was pretty to start with, the waist was a bit too low for my taste; so I seam-ripped the skirt off and reattached it a bit higher. Then I added another panel of white lining under the second tier of lace to make it decent. So easy! Perhaps what I love most about this one is its versatility. Today at church, I wore the dress with a chambray tank over it, a leather belt, and cowboy boots. It would also be adorable with a cardigan and topped of with a cloche for an ultra Twenties look. Anyhow, I am looking forward to trying out options!

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A Scarf and a Few Christmas Goodies

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! You would think that with all this time I spent not blogging I would have whipped up something fantastic made out of velvet brocade or something. But no– a meagre scarf is the only fruit of my hands from the past, well, month. I am rather satisfied with how it turned out, though, considering I haven’t knitted anything since my sock trauma two years ago.

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I was so excited to get this lovely little cloche hat and these quaint gloves that I couldn’t help but show them off to all of you. So here they are…

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And lastly, I made these neat framed pages. I have been aching to try this out ever since I first saw them on Etsy (or maybe on Pinterest). All I had to do was cut a page out of an old dictionary, find a black and white image on the internet (and place it correctly in a word processor), run the page through the printer, and voila! You have a cute illustrated dictionary page. Who couldn’t use one of those?

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Turquoise and a Rose

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I have finally semi-completed my Mexican embroidered dress right in time for….. fall.  There’s nothing like wearing bright flowers and turquoise after Labor Day. Ah well, I am pretty happy to finish my first embroidery project. I said “semi-completed” because I may still add some embroidery at the side seam, right under the armholes. But I was bound and determined to make this blog post before Labor Day; thus it is only partly finished. Though parts of the embroidering became rather monotonous, I really enjoyed making the little pink flower, and I love how the big red rose turned out. The pattern for this dress was hands-down the most simple pattern I have ever drafted. This pattern would probably be cute for other dresses, too– maybe in a more airy fabric? Here are the dresses that inspired me to make mine.

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Refashioned: Colored Jeans

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This project has been on my list for a while. Deciding to try it out, I bought some teal RIT dye. The liquid dye worked smoothly. Here are the jeans I started with:

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Being too short, these jeans would be perfect to tuck into boots or roll up. But first they needed something…. I bleached my jeans for just 6 to 7 hours. I was following (mostly) these instructions which said to bleach for more than 30 hours. That would probably be best if you were dying them a very light color. Into the bleach–

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Out of the bleach–

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Then I made the too-short, boyfriend jeans into some comfy straight jeans. Here’s my post about “jean-slimming.” This is truly the ultimate cut for a pair of jeans. They are the right shape, but they don’t ride up your leg every time you sit down. I must say I was tempted to leave my jeans in this straight, bleached state instead of dying them.

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After I mixed the teal dye and some hot water together in a bucket, I dropped my jeans in for about 30 minutes. That was a lot of stirring.

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Rinsing and washing them left me with these gorgeous, sea green-colored jeans. They go perfectly with all my lace shirts. Also, I think they would be cute in the winter with big sweaters.

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Does anyone have any good ideas for treating bleach spots? Because, each time I washed them new bleach spots would appear. I’m thinking that perhaps I should have washed them with vinegar.

Pleated and Collared Dress

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Here is my lovely lace and blue creation! I made this dress fully out of fabric I already had (the lace was my granny’s). So the total cost was about 3 dollars, the cost of the invisible zipper. This was my first peter pan collar to draft. It was far easier than my last collar, because I actually drafted it correctly. The rest of the pattern is a modification of my polka-dotted dress, which has been perhaps my favorite pattern. The skirt is a pleated half-circle. I guess this dress reminds me of that light blue, white-sleeved dress that Maria wears, because every time I put it on I feel like I came straight out of The Sound of Music. It will be a suitable dress for church, weddings, and the like. This may well be he best-fitting dress I have ever made. Now if that doesn’t convince you to draft your own patterns, I don’t know what does!

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Oh, and the lucky winner of the lace infinity scarf is…. lucyducy! Please give me your email address in a comment, which I will not publish/approve, that way I can send you the scarf!

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Is there such a thing as too many polka dots?

I’m convinced that I could have a wardrobe full of only polka-dotted items… and be 100% happy! I’ve been on a polka dot spree the past two months, as you can see in the photo.

When I was telling someone about my plans to make a polka-dotted dress, they said that in the past polka dots kind of elude to summertime. But after some research on current fashions, I found that polka dots were not saved for summer this year, which was a huge relief. For a while now, I’ve been planning and dreaming about this dress, which I finally was able to stitch up in two days!

The Pattern…

The single disappointment is that I couldn’t find any navy blue with white polka dots in a jersey knit fabric. So I resorted to black, which turned out cute as a button. I also inserted my first official invisible (and successful) zipper. It actually is invisible! Here‘s the link that helped me figure that out. Another first that I celebrated in the making of this dress is drafting and sewing waist darts. I learned some about drafting darts and such here. The bodice is perfectly fitted since I made the darts in the front and the back. It is a very fifties style dress, which I love. Because it has a 1/2 circle skirt, I think it will be lovely to dance in. I probably would have made it a full circle skirt, but that would have doubled my needed amount of fabric! So I am very content with the 1/2.

The Dress!

Tell me what you think and some ideas for where to wear it, even though I will probably wear it most anywhere!

Lace-covered Suitcase

Remember that vintage suitcase that my mom got at an estate sale for seven dollars? It got a makeover. I finally made the decision to cover it in lace (which happens to come from some thrifted, 50 cent, lace curtains). It’s a mix of the ideas from this post at A Beautiful Mess and this post I found on Pinterest. Just be sure to use the same amount of glue over the whole thing, or else you might have a slightly darker stripe, which sadly mine has. I had so much fun dressing up (I made the top!) for these pictures! I love the vintage travel theme.

Refashioned skirt in 20 minutes

Today, I threw together this little skirt from an old dress, given to me for the very purpose of refashioning! It was the easiest piece of clothing I’ve ever made, since I used the previous hem and stitches down the sides. I just cut it to the right length and encased the elastic in the top. It is a comfortable jersey knit fabric. Honestly, I’m probably more proud about the whole outfit than just the skirt. I am wearing a sweater that used to be my grannie’s (great grandmother, so yes, it’s old). It used to have some funny tassels on the sleeves and the bottom which I painstakingly removed. Though I’ve had it probably for a year, I’ve never worn it, for want of something to go with it. My new shoes are some funky boat-shoes/loafers. I’m not sure which. I love them! My hat goes great with this outfit, too. I’m really wanting to wear it out soon.

P.S. My hat

Isn’t it adorable?!?! Seeing it at Target the other day for 20 bucks, I just couldn’t resist. I know that generally you wouldn’t wear a maroon felt floppy hat with a denim sundress. But, for pictures….. It was PERFECT! I have no idea where I’m actually gonna wear it. It would be a unrivaled hat at the horse races.  It’s also a great decoration for my room right now. I love it, even though it’s really just hilarious.  (See it on my post about wearing my ruffle dress=D)