Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kids Garden Apron

I made this darling apron from 2 pieces of baby clothes I got for .25 cents each at the thrift store.  You will need a pair of overalls with adjustible straps and a heavy weight baby dress with a flat a line skirt.

First, cut the pants off of the overalls.  I cut below the side snaps so she could put the whole thing over her shoulders and secure it easily herself with the side snaps.  I serged the back part, but you can turn it under if you don't have a serger. 

Cut the bodice of the baby dress off.  This dress buttoned down the back, often times you will have one that doesn't and buttons at the shoulders.  Eiter way, cut the side seams open,  Trim the front of the skirt to fit the overall bib.  Then take the back of the skirt, (I buttoned mine up) and cut a shorter piece to make the front pockets.. Turn under the top edge of the front pocket, and then sew it to the skirt, both good sides facing up.  Then run stitches down the pocket to create 4 pockets, (I reinforced with backstitches at the top of the pockets for durability).  Fold back side seams of skirt and stitch down.  Sew skirt to overall bib front and you are done.

This is a super easy and fun way to reuse clothes your kids have outgrown.  Althought my niece is a 3T, these overalls were 12 months and the dress was 9 months.  The apron fits her perfectly.  So next time before you donate those outgrown clothes, look at them in a different way and ask yourself, how could I make this into something else?  Check back here often for more kids upcycled clothing tips.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

80's skirt turned summer top

Remember these HUGE skirts we wore in the 80's.  I found these at my local bin sale for a dollar, and wanted to turn them into a simple cotton top for summer.  With my arm in a sling, I need things that are easy to get on and off.  I recently made a pillowcase dress for my niece, and thought "Why not turn the skirts into pillowcase style tops?"  It was super easy.  First, on choosing the skirt, go for a print you like that has the following:  elastic waist, and enough fabric to cover you from side to side.  I try them on by placing the waistband above my boobs to make sure the circumference is right and there is enough length in the fabric to hang as long as I want.

Next, wash it and dry in hot water to make sure you get it to shrink first.  Remove the waistband from the skirt.  Now take the skirt and lay it down on your worktable with the sideseams on the side, and if there is a backseam, lay in on the back so the solid piece of fabric is in the front. 

Taking a sleeveless shirt that fits you well, lay it on the fabric and trace the armhole with chalk as a guideline for how deep to cut it.  If the skirt has pockets like mine did, I cut the armholes where the pockets were and it was perfect. 

Turn under the arm seams., I serged mine first, but you can turn them twice and get the same effect.
Turn the top edges under 1 inch and form a casing for your ribbon or elastic.  I cut mine in a V in front and straight in the back.  You have to make a V shaped facing for the front if you want the V neck.  It is a little more tricky, but not too difficult. 

Once your casing is stitched up, thread a coordinating ribbon through and tie off.  Be sure to try it on and measure the length of the ribbon with the top on you before cutting it.  I run my elastic through the casing with a safety pin, and then pin one end to the other so it doesn't come undone.  Then I tie it off where I want it and slide the knot into the center back to hide it.  You can cut the ties so that you tie them into bows on both shoulders.  I used a thin black elastic, and I love how it turned out.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

princess t-shirt dress

Here is the result of my first attempt to make a t-shirt princess dress for Loo Loo...  It was pretty easy.  I found this t-shirt dress at the TS and cut the bodice off...

  I gathered up the netting, pinned it to the top of the skirt, then pinned the bodice back on and sewed it up.  It doesn't take much sewing knowledge to do this... You could even do it by hand  without taking the dress apart, just sew it on top.  It would look just as cute...  This netting was taken off a prom dress I cut short.  It was a white underskirt designed to puff out the dress.  It was originally white and went into the purple dye with all the other things.  To finish it off and hide the stitches, I made a big sash out of the top of the netted skirt to tie in a bow on the side.

I hope Loo Loo likes it...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

make mine Po Pull

Remember when you were 3 or 4 and your favorite colors were pink and purple...  Over the years. in my experience of raising girls and spending a lot of time around them....  here is what I have learned about color and little girls... and my opinion on how their love of color happens.  Most start out liking pink, because it is basically the only color they make little baby girl clothes in.,.. thus they are dressed in it constantly.  Pink, real pale baby pink is the color of innocence, and it suits very tiny girls perfectly...

Then the toddler clothes start coming in orchid pink, fuschia, rose, blush, and even neon pink...sometimes mixed with brown or black. along with the introduction of lavander and purple....  the most regal of colors.    In medieval England, purple could only be worn by the Queen.  Most girls start to gravitate to purple by about 3 years old, and usually from 3 to 6 it is in the favorite color scheme of most mini divas.  I attribute this to them coming into their feminine power.  Purple is a power color.  A color of confidence.  As a little girl gains her autonomy, and learns she is an individual and not an appendage of mommy, the wardrobe becomes filled with all the shades of the purple family. 

In purchasing the clothing to make a princess wardrobe for my favorite 4 year old, I chose all white and pink fabrics and clothes that could  be dyed if need be.   She was not too interested in the darling pink things I showed her, but she lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw the lavander dress I had made my other niece for her birthday.  "Do you like this dress?" I asked her.  She nodded, he big blue eyes going all round with amazement...  "Do you want me to make you one like this?"  Again another wordless nod...  "What color do you want, pink or purple?"   Wiping her juice moustache off her upper lip, she says  "Po Pull...  Make mine Po Pull too please Auntie., and I want lotsa flowers on it..."

Do I have purple tulle to make it?  Well....  not really, but I will have soon.  With the help of my friends Rit Dye and a pair of BBQ tongs...  Now, on the package of rit dye, it specifically states that nylon and other synthetic fibers will dye lighter, and to test dye a piece first.  I am just too impatiemt... In for a penny in for a pound is my motto... I grabbed everything I had that was white, tulle netting like, and dunked it in the purple dye bath.  Within a minute, it was all a lovely shade of grape purple.  All my synthetic, drab, boring dingy tulle stuff was transformed!

After the success of the tulle, I threw in the cottons and was very pleased with the results.  Now I am off to make the Po Pull Pwincess Dwess for Miss Loo Loo.....  I hope to have it finished for posting tomorrow...

So go grab some Rit dye and get dying....  But be warned...  it is addictive...  You will find yourself scrounging for things to dunk in the dye...  so grab more things than you think you might want to dye to have on hand for throwing in the pot. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Altered kids clothes

I love finding things at garage sales I can redo for my nieces. I look for clothes with personality and character. I don't care what size they are...  I convert them into what I need them to be.  I spent $5 at a thrift store bag sale recently and bought all pink and white clothes to redo for Miss Breezie.  Now I am on a mission to see how many outfits I can remake from these two bags of clothes.  Here is a photo of the purchase.
The first makeovers are two tulle skirted dresses that were stained and shredded.  I cut away the skirt from the bodice, removed the stained underskirt and ripped tulle, replaced the tulle with some sparkly christmas fabric I had left over from my wedding, and they are good as new.

Next I will be dying things purple, for the purple princess...  stay tuned as I share the good, bad and ugly of dying fabrics and creating a princess wardrobe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Garage sale goodness

There are some days when I go garage saleing, and I can't find anything really great.  Then there are days like Saturday... that go down in history as a GREAT GS day...   Maybe it was leftover birthday Karma... maybe it was just plain good luck, but I SCORED big time.

I hit a few sales and got a couple of small things, then I arrived at an estate sale that was amazing.  I found this dresser for $5  then bought all these wooden crates for another $5 

 While looking around some more, I found  a bag of vintage laces for $3.  I spotted these crochet hangers, which I was ready to pounce on.,..  she told me 10 for a dollar, and then sold them all to me for $3...

Then as I was leaving, I asked her if she was selling the workbench and cabinets in the garage.  She told me, I could have them for free if I could get them out...  Are you kidding?  I got my hubby and the guy down the street helped him load it all up in our cars.  It took 3 trips, but I got a workbench,  2 cabinets and 3 shelves, scrap wood, a maple bed, some wooden boxes, a picture frame and a door, 4 table legs, a root planter, some driftwood for mounting orchids, and a storage bin with sliding plastic drawers.

 As I was leaving, she brought out a huge box of jewelry, and asked me if I did beading.  I said yes, I did, and made jewelry with the girls at the shelter.  She donated them to me for the art program! 

Then after leaving that sale, I went by a sale I had stopped at early in the morning.  and caught them as they were packing up everything for donation... I got these chandeliers and these two footstools for Kayleigh's room for FREE!  We're going to paint the sides of the stools with spray paint and then cover the tops with a fabric that matches her room.  She has been wanting some of these for a while now, and I am so stoked I got them for free!  So...  overall, I paid $40 and came home with 5 truckloads of stuff.  Stay tuned over the coming months as I transform these items into garden decor and the potting shed of our dreams!