Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pretty in Pink

Now that spring is here, and sunnier skies are overhead, that can only mean one thing:  It's Dress Wearing Time!!  I made a recent trip to my local thrift shop to scour the racks for some gems, and it did NOT disappoint.  I walked away with several ugly and outdated dresses that were just begging for a new life!

While I've been sewing for quite awhile, last year I stumbled on a delightful little website called Refashionista that details all of the thrift shop refashions that one blogger creates...she's got some real doozies.  I've taken some pieces in the past from thrift shops and remade them into new outfits and dresses, but the website has spurred me to see the potential in the ugliest of dresses and fabrics at my local thrift shop.  Thanks for getting the creative juices flowing, Refashionista!!

Today's dress refashion started its life as a delightful little hot pink number with full sleeves and shoulder pads.  Oh, those shoulder pads.  Who invented those things??  The body of the dress actually fit quite nicely, which was my main motivation for buying it- I knew I wouldn't need to make too many alterations to freshen it up. 

Making faces is necessary so that everyone
knows this is the BAD version of the dress.
Baseball cap wearing is also necessary.

I started off by chopping those ugly sleeves off to elbow length.  Done. 

Snip, snip!  They're gone!

My next chop made orphans out of those lovely puffy shoulder pads.  Aww...where will they go now?

SOOO sad to lose these puppies.

The sleeves were slightly looser than I wanted them to be, so I made a few passes with my machine to test out how fitted I could make them while still enabling me to move my arms without looking like a robot.  Don't mind the gray thread, I was too lazy to go upstairs to grab my matching thread for basting stitches.

iPhone photo.  Not impressed.

After I got the sleeves to the appropriate fit, I cut off the excess seam fabric and sewed a tight zigzag stitch to finish off the raw edge.

Zig to the zag to the ziggy zag zag.

Now that the sleeves were fitted, they needed to be hemmed.  I folded the raw edge over twice and pressed it flat before sewing a quick straight stitch (using matching thread this time!)


I tried on the dress, and while it looked good, I still wasn't satisfied.  From the side, the pleating made my lady lumps look quite saggy....not good.  So, back to the machine I went to sew a quick seam on the sides from the armpit to the waist.  That cinched the upper portion of the dress in just enough to give my girls the appropriate lift.

No outfit would be complete without trying on various shoes
and texting the pictures to your sisters for approval!
Sorry for the weird shadows and sizing of the picture.
Dave was not very interested in spending time on blog pictures.
He had a lawn to mow!

From start to finish, I clocked this dress redo:  one hour.  If I had a dress form and didn't have to try it on a million times, it probably would have been quicker.  Oh well.  The dress itself was $6 (which truthfully, I thought was a bit expensive...I think the interior facelift of the thrift shop I go to has gone to their heads...I may be searching for some alternate shops soon!). 

Full disclosure...I am really happy that I recently created a "craft room" in the basement for myself.  All that dress trying on and off got too annoying, and I ended up sewing in my underwear...something that might have given the neighbors quite a show had I kept my machine at its previous home on the dining room table in front of 2 windows.  Yikes.  Anybody else sew in their underwear from time to time?  (crickets.....)  No...just me?  Sigh.  It's fine.

From ugly to once outdated dress now has some new life and is loved once again!  Hooray for giving new life to old things!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

I've been busy this past month.  Really busy.  Unfortunately, my busyness had little to do with crafting, hence the hiatus.  Dave and I both celebrated our birthdays, we took his mom to Chicago for a fun little trip, and I traveled a bit for work.  Plus, I kind of got on a book reading binge on some rainy April days, which really cut into crafting time.  Sorry, friends!

I did complete ONE small craft during the month of April, so let's get to it, shall we?  In my quest to be an organizational queen, I was working on my craft closet and found a few gems hidden in the back that were just waiting for me to work some craft magic.

My supplies?  Lots of fake flowers and greens, a plain grapevine wreath, and some flower/craft wire.  

Let's get down to business.  

I laid out all of the flowers and greens that I had, as I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to use.  

Supplies. Check.
Next, I started laying out some of my greens on the wreath.  I stuck the ends in through the grapevines, and the used some floral wire to begin securing the stems around the wreath.  I wanted to make sure that the stems curved with the wreath, but also hung loose a bit so that it didn't look completely structured.

Looks pretty already!  Should we call it a day right here?
 I made my way around the wreath using various greens, as I wanted to create a base layer before adding some flowers.

That's enough.  I wasn't trying to choke the wreath with TOO many weeds.
I've got a really bad habit of getting halfway into a project and forgetting about taking pictures of my next steps.  Sorry.  Here's the finished wreath with some flowers added to it.  I did the same thing as with the greens- stuck the stems in between the grapevines, and secured parts of the stems with green floral wire.

Simple, yet beautiful.

I have a single nail sticking out of my front door, so I needed something to hang the wreath up with...floral wire to the rescue!  One snip of the wire strung through the back of the wreath and twisted securely into a loop, and I was good to go.

Happy Spring, everyone!!
This project took a total of 15 minutes, start to finish.  I've had the supplies for awhile, stashed away after buying during an End of Season Sale, so I don't know how much the project total was, but I guarantee you, it was much cheaper than buying a ready made spring wreath!

Now my front door is springy and inviting!  Except to door to door salesmen.  As far as they're concerned, this wreath is made out of poison ivy and means STAY AWAY.

Have a good week, everyone!!