Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

I feel like I might be a little bit behind the times, as legging have been in style for quite a few months already.  Better late than never, though, right?  I found this great free pattern by Shelby Kaava via Burda Style.  The pattern was so easy to follow, and so quick to put together, that I was able to search for and purchase fabric, cut out pattern, and sew everything together in one evening.

One thing I regret not doing was measuring the length of my legs and comparing the measurement with the pattern. My legs are pretty short, so I just assumed that the pattern would be plenty long enough (as pretty much every pattern that I have run across thus far are).  However, the leggings did end up being a bit short on me, so I recommend taking this measurement before cutting in, and adding some length if needed.

I’m planning on making a couple more pairs of these in the next week or two, maybe in some fun colors!  I think I would also like a pair for PJ’s because they are just so comfy!

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Upholstered Chair Detail

I used the rest of this week to finish up that upholstered chair I was working on over the weekend, and it looks amazing!  I love the fabric, and it goes so much better in the room!  The living room now has the grey loveseat that I recovered a while back, and three yellow chairs.  I feel like I am getting closer and closer to having this place just right.

Next on my list is to make pillow cases to cover some bright red pillows I currently have on the loveseat.  Now that I have recovered this red chair in yellow, I don’t think the pillows go with the room anymore.

Upholstered Chair

When I think back on the two upholstering projects I have worked on, I realize that maybe I should have started with this one instead of the loveseat.  This project went so smoothly, as the upholstery is very simple and basically a “slipcover” to begin with, so there was no stapling, hammering, or changing padding involved.  If you ever consider re-upholstering any of your furniture, I recommend starting with something small and basic, it will help boost your confidence for your bigger projects!

Have you ever done any re-upholstering?  What was your experience like?  Did you start by dipping your pinky toe in the water, or did you dive in head first?

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More upholstery

After feeling sick this week, I decided to take it a bit easy on the weekend. I did get some stuff done, though! I was able to work on reupholstering a chair that I have had for a long time, that needed a little face lift. I am still in the process of decorating our new place, and the colors in this fabric go much better with the other furniture in the room (the chair used to be red). This project is going much more smoothly than the sofa I recovered this summer…it is much smaller and much less complicated! As you can see, I have yet to sew all the pieces together, but my guess is that it will take very little time to finish this up.

What did you do this weekend…did you enjoy any Halloween festivities? Are you happy to be done with October and on to November?

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As you might know, it is sometimes really hard for me to work on the little sewing and crafting tasks that come up.  This is Mike’s favorite sweater, and last year, he wore a little hole in the elbow.  Now, a year later, I finally sat down and patched it up.  By this time, the hole had grown a bit, so I decided to embrace it by making the patch cover the whole elbow, sort of like those men’s jackets with the heavy duty elbows on them.

Mike chose the fabric, a heavy-weight wool houndstooth, and I think the result is very nice.  I am thinking of sewing a patch on the other elbow, though.  It is getting a little worn as well, and that way they would both match.  I’m dreading it a little bit, though, because the patch was really a pain to sew on to the sleeve.  Have you ever tried to sew something on a sleeve that has already been finished?  Not fun.  It is a really hard spot to get to, and I had to rip it off a couple of times because I had managed to fold the sweater on itself and sew.  Luckily my machine has a little storage piece that comes off, so it makes the area much narrower and much easier to slide a sleeve on.  Maybe I should let my frustration die down a little before I attempt the other arm…Now on to the other 20 little projects I have to finish up!

Do you have trouble with the little projects?  Do you let them pile up, or do you tackle them as they come your way?

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I have been meaning to post the instructions for my grill tool carrier for a while now.  I know that we have just about reached the end of summer, but if you happen to live in a place where your winter is just ending, or you have year round sunshine, this is a great little gift to make.  Mike has been using his all the time, and I know we will use it well into the winter for some snow storm grilling!  The best part about it?  It takes very little time to put together. 

Download the Instructions for the Grill Tool Carrier to get started!

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I spent this weekend working on a few projects.  However, I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew because I didn’t actually complete any of them.  I worked on canning some chutney-like plum sauce (I was sure to include some more of those Colorado peaches in it, of course).  I started making a fabric shade for the hideous florescent lights in my kitchen.  I worked on another grill tool carrier for a friend.  I put up some new curtain rods in hopes that I would soon get to making some curtains for my apartment (yes, we have been living without curtains for about 2 months now…it definately makes getting from the shower to the bedroom interesting…).  So yes, so many projects, so little time.

This brings us to this little post today.  Since I don’t have any finished projects to show you, I thought it would be a great chance to feature some of your projects that you have posted to the Flickr group!

This first top was made by Pink Tulip.  I think it is very flattering on her, and the fabric is lovely.  I like that this top is long sleeved, so its obviously good for the cool fall weather up ahead, but the colors could work for spring as well.

Photo Courtesy of PinkTulipZA

Photo Courtesy of PinkTulipZA

 This next piece is by Ginny Rae of Aunt GiGi’s Craft Corner.  She used an old 90’s pattern to make a jumper that is stylish for today.  I love her use of plaid…I have been seeing it around a lot lately.  Like Pink Tulip’s top, this dress can be worn in other seasons too, depending on whether you layer it or wear it on its own.

Photo Courtesy of Ginny Rae

Photo Courtesy of Ginny Rae

 This last top is by April Rhodes of Sew to Speak.  I absolutely love the neckline on this tops…it is so unique!  Again, I could see this working for autumn with a long sleeved shirt underneath, or a blazer, and I could see it working for spring/summer on its own.

Photo Courtesy of April Rhodes
Photo Courtesy of April Rhodes

Great job on your lovely work, ladies!  I really enjoy seeing your projects.  If any more of you are interested in participating, just join our Flickr Group!  This edition of Build Your Wardrobe will be running through November!

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As promised, today I am sharing some more details about my leather bag.  First I should tell you that I fashioned this bag after a lovely bag at Anthropologie (suprise suprise).  Mine turned out a little more square-shaped, but for my purposes I think that is better.

The first thing I did was rip out the seams of the jacket.  I left the back of the jacket in one piece even though it was made up of 4 pieces of fabric because I knew that I would want to use it as one piece.  There was also a front flap and two cuffs that I removed from the main body of the jacket but did not deconstruct completely because I wanted to use them as they were for the strap.  I took apart everything else.  I discarded the jacket lining because it was not in very good condition and I wanted something with a little more style to use as the lining of the bag.

I had some trouble deciding on what part of the jacket to use for the main back piece of the bag.  I finally ended up taking the two front pieces (they were separate because of the zipper) and sewing them together. This made a large enough piece to cut out the back.  The added bonus of using the front of the jacket for the back of the purse is it had 4 pockets that I was able to include.  These are really useful for storing my phone and wallet because I can access them very easily and they are more secure than storing things in the front pocket.  What the back of the bag lacks in style it certainly makes up for in convenience.

The pockets on the front of the bag were cut from the arms of the jacket.  It was helpful that the jacket was pretty large because I was able to use some of the “smaller” parts, like the arms, for some suprisingly large pieces.

I bought most of the hardware that I used on the bag, with an exception of the zipper.  I reused the zipper that was on the jacket.  That worked out really well because it was the perfect size for my bag.  If I was making a smaller bag I probably would have used the zipper still, but I would have cut it to size and used thread to stop the zipper from coming off.

To line the bag I made another bag out of the striped fabric and sewed it to the inside of the leather bag.  I didn’t add any pockets to the inside because there are so many pockets on the outside, but I may end up adding some if I need them.

Finally, I made the strap from the cuffs and front flap of the jacket, which ended up being just the right length!  I can wear it over one shoulder comfortably, like I usually do with purses, but it is also long enough to put over my head, across the chest so that I can carry it easily while riding my bike.  Yay!  No more messenger bag for me!

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This is what I was up to over the weekend…refashioning a leather jacket into a shoulder bag!  Mike has been doing lots of studying, so I have had plenty of time on my own to work on my sewing/crafting (though I never seem to have enough time to think that trying to tackle my un-upholstered couch is a good idea…I think I’ll have to work up to that one!).  I have heard about people refashioning leather jackets and then selling them on Etsy, and I decided to give it a try.

This was my first time sewing with leather, and I found out quickly that it is a bit different than working with regular fabric.  One thing that I found I had to be careful about was once you poke a hole in the leather, there is no getting it out.  This meant that I could not use pins to hold the leather in place, which was a little difficult at first, but since leather is so sturdy, I soon got the hang of it.  The leather would pretty much go wherever I told it to, unlike fabric, which can sometimes have a mind of its own.

The permanent hole problem also showed up when making the actual stitches…I had to be extremely careful to line everything up properly, and only sew the seams once to avoid having a whole bunch of extra holes in my bag.

You can see from the pictures that I haven’t quite finished the bag yet, though I am getting really close.  I still want to put a couple of tabs on the pocket flap that will go through the little loops on the bottom of the pocket.  I have made the liner for the bag, but I still have to put it in and attach the zipper.  And of course I have to put a strap on it.  I will post a finished picture of it on Wednesday so you all can see how it turned out.  I will also give you some more details on what parts of the jacket I used for what.  Because a leather jacket has only so much fabric, you have to be a little creative in using it.

How was your weekend?

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I spent yesterday planning some fall transition clothes to make for the upcoming season…fall just seems to be getting closer and closer!  I fell in love with this Tulip Study Dress at Anthropologie.  It is so stylish, but also very carefree due to the black jersey bodice.  It looks like the perfect dress to slip on on a hot day, or wear under a warm sweater with tights on a cool day.

To make the dress, I took a black jersey dress that I no longer wear, cut off the skirt, and attached the beautiful floral fabric, but project would also work well with a simple black tank top as the bodice.  I chose the fabric because the colors are bright and cheery for summer, but will transfer well to autumn.  The fabric also has a beautiful sheen to it that catches the light perfectly. 

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Last week I made this t-shirt for Mike, and I thought it needed a little something extra.  We have been having lots of rainstorms that have been a bit out of character for the area that I live in, which got me dreaming of all things Autumn…hot tea, crisp leaves under my feet, sweaters for every occasion, and pumpkins!  I used those storms as my inspiration for the detail for the shirt.  To make the clouds and raindrops, I used the back side of the fabric that I used for the shirt…it is a little bit darker, and has a different texture.  The effect is pretty subtle, so it doesn’t look too much like a child’s shirt.

I put together some instructions and a pattern so you can make one too!  If you are making this for an adult, you can use the pattern as is, but if you are making this for a child, you may need to shrink the size of the pattern to fit on a smaller shirt.

Here are the Stormy T-Shirt Instructions.  Enjoy!

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