Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This post is about IPad covers.  I really like to have unusual items and I really love this IPad cover which can be adapted for the Kindle and the Nook, both of which I have done.  You need to start with a hard back book.  I got mine at our library used book store and the books already had the library book jacket cover on them.  You can buy the library book jacket covers on-line pretty cheap, but it is worth trying your library first.  You cut out the guts of the book at the spine.  Some books are easier to work with than others.  You need to do some measuring so you can cover the inside of the book.  I use fun foam from the hobby store for the padding and it works really well.  You can sew through it and I also used nylon ripstock for the fabric.   I used Aileen's OK To Wash it glue to glue the whole center to the book.  I have found it really works to adhere fabric to surfaces.  The last thing I did was used gromets on the elastic edges.  I feel that is a weak area and needs reinforcement.  The gromets I used were from the Tandy Leather store.  They are finished on both sides and easy to put in. 

This is the view of the Ipad and center of the book cover.

I also put elastic from the front of the book to slide the back of the book. This keeps the whole cover together so it doesn't fall open if you drop it.

One of the great things about these book covers is that your IPad/kindle/Nook doesn't look like  those items.  If you have them sitting on your car seat etc, they look just like a book.  I made a friend a Nook cover and she had it sitting on the a night table in her room.  Someone broke into her home and took almost everything, even things that had no value.  They even took her Nook cord and plug but left her Nook on the bedside table.  She feels they did this because they thought it was a book.  These covers are fun to do.  I love finding cute books to use.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Altered t-shirts

I have not posted in a couple of weeks due to what I now call OUR FABULOUS GRANDBABY SPRING BREAKS ROAD TRIP.  When we got back here to the Phoenix Arizona area, we jumped into full hot summer temperatures.  I would like to discuss t-shirts.  We buy them when we visit a fabulous place or city or perhaps a college shirt, but then what about them.  As far as I am concerned, I have never worn t-shrits alot.  They haven't fit in my weather temps, but also, for me, they are just not that flattering.  Perhaps that is true for alot of women.  I have posted what I have done with my t-shirts.  I have made tank tops out of t-shirts.  It is easy, peasy.  Cut apart the t-shirt removing the neck ribbing, and cut across the shoulders and then remove the sleeves.  Use an exsisting tank top pattern cutting the front and back on the fold.  Then cut out the neck and sleeve binding out of the sleeves.  If you don't have enough fabric on the sleeves for the facing, buy another t-shirt at the thrift store of similiar color and use that for fabric.
These tshirts are the ones I altered to tank tops.
     The second thing you can do to t-shirts is to cut out the neck ribbing and replace that with another knit facing.  Again it doesn't have to match, and you can use another t-shirt purchased at the thrift store.  Sometimes just getting rid of a high neck ribbing makes a huge difference in how that t-shirt feels.  Another thing I do is shorten them and either hem them, or add a contrast t-shirt binding. Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to look at your t-shirts differently.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

altered bustier/bustiere

Gosh, who knew there were two spellings for this fabulous garment. Wikipedia says that bustiers are traditionally worn as lingerie and also as evening garments. They are used as push up bras or as a camisole for outer wear. That is what I use them for. Either over long sleeve tops with my short skirts and leggings or over tank tops with shorts. Guess I can thank Madonna for using underwear as outwear. I have two bustiers I am currently working on. Both from the thrift store. The solid pink one is finished. The solid pink bustier was a little too tight, bra cups TOO big and had a closure down the back. First I found a pair of stretch capris at the thrift store just the right color to use for inserts in the back to make bigger. Second I cut the front of the bustier down the middle and used the capri pants fabric to make a binding. Then I inserted a zipper so I could do a front closure. I made bra cup linings so I could insert bra cup fillers. Bummer, but what's a girl to do. I also added pink elastic straps. This is really pink.

The second bustier is the pink poka dot one. Wow, sometimes I wonder where these come from or who wore them. It is not finished yet. I have cut off the ribbons in the middle and I am going to put a zipper down the center like I did the pink one. The bra cups are WAY TOO BIG and I have to figure out exactly what I want to do. Either add inserts like the pink bustier or try somehow to remake the bra cups.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

altered straw hats

Today I would like to address my love affair with hats. Now I know, I can hear everyone out in blog space saying Oh, I love hats, I just don't look good in them or I can't wear them. Hear is my response. One that I heard from someone I know who sold hats. He said everyone looks good in hats, you just need to find the style that works for you, and I couldn't agree more. Not only do you look fabulous in a hat, hats help keep the sun off of your face and neck, and hats also keep you cooler. Jay Leno was interviewing Taylor Swift a week or so ago and was discussing her cover on some top magazine and she was wearing a hat. Jay Leno said something to this effect, that more women would wear hats if they knew how good they looked in them. I totally agree. Both of these hats have been altered. The aqua hat was tan when I picked it up at the thrift store. I dyed it with Dylon dyes and it turned out this beautiful shade. After I dyed it, the straw had lost it's sizing and was limp. I put a coat of Stiffy on one side of the hat. It was enough to give it some stiffness, but not make it too stiff. I was able to shape the brim. I also added the poka dot band around the hat and put the same poka dot binding around the hat brim. I love doing that. It is fun and easy, and I think adds a special touch. The second hat is a purple hat that I got in LA at the Melrose Flea Market several years ago. It had a HUGE brim, and because of that I never wore it. When looking at it the other day, I decided I would cut off a big chunk of the brim ( about 5"). I then applied the binding ( couldn't find a poka dot fabric that would work ) around the brim. I glued a piece of felt on the hat band, so I can clip different flowers on the hat. It now looks great, and I will definitely we wearing it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Altered dress

This week I would like to tell you about one of my favorite makeovers. I purchased this dress at the thrift store for about $5. It had big, poofy, 80's sleeves and had a cheap acetate, straight bottom type skirt, and a totally cute little peblem. Guess I should say I here and now I love peblums. I also loved the black, red and white floral, graphic top, and bought it knowing I wanted to use the top. Sometimes I buy something with no direct thought on what to do with it, but I knew right away what I wanted to do with this dress. First I washed the dress. Here is a cautionary tail. I like to be able to wash my garments, but sometimes washing the garment backfires on you. This dress did shrink, and I had to let out the seams in the bodice. Thankfully I was able to let it out enough for it to fit. So be careful when thinking of washing a garment which says dry clean only. You should be prepared for it to shrink. After I washed the garment, I cut off the bottom skirt. I also cut out the acetate lining in the top, which I then finished off with a purchased black bias tape. I also took out the zipper down the back of the dress, using the existing front closure to get in and out of the garment. I did leave the acetate lining in the peblum. I pair this top with either a short skirt with leggings or in our warmer weather, over a tank top and shorts. I really love wearing this.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sweater Coats

This week I am posting about some sweater coats/jackets I have made recently. They are a combination of Katwise sweatercoats and Barb Callahan garments. You can google katwise and see her wonderful creations. Katwise only believes in using wool sweaters and Barb Callahan uses a combination of t-shirts and sweaters. I have come to the conclusion from putting two jackets together, that I have no problem of using t-shirts, but I only want to use the heavy t-shirts and the bottom bands should be sweaters. The weight of the sweaters help weigh the skirt down. The black and white jacket came together just fine. It was the second sweater jacket I made. I learned alot from making the purple/pink/blues jacket. The purple/pink jacket I have redone twice. If I wasn't in love with the top sweater that I used, I would just junk the jacket and start over again. I do like it better this second time I have worked on it. I have come to the conclusion that I really like having a closure on the jackets and like the tabs type closures. In the black and white jacket I used the exsisting sweater tabs and it worked wonderfully. But what to do when the sweater you use for the top part of the jacket is a pullover such as the pink/purple/blue jacket. I ended up on the second redue putting a tab taken from a heavy t-shirt jacket with interesting ribbing. I think it worked pretty well. I definitely would leave out the bold striped sweater in the skirt. In fact I might think of re doing it a third time and take out that striped piece. Who Knows????

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Altered Demin Jacket

Well here is my altered demin jacket. When I bought it at the thrift store I like the white and red stripped cuffs. The collar had red and white stripes as the under-collar. When I was looking around for a demin jacket to alter for Christmas, this jacket caught my eye because of the cuffs. I decided to take the collar off and reverse it so the white and red stripes were on the top. I also ended up quiting the collar and cuffs so they would lay flat. The gingerbread man and the snowman are ultrasuede and the holly and tree are fabric, made with a technique of Wendy Hill. I love the technique but it is time consuming to do. I also changed out the buttons on the jacket with buttons I recently took off a red suit. I am very pleased with the finished product and can't wait to wear it. Now I am all ready for Christmas 2012. All I have left to do is alter a red vest I thrifted for my husband.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Altered sweater

I am in love with all things polka dots, well maybe not all combination of colors of polka dots, but I always check them out when I see them. I found this pull on, polka dot, cotton/ ramie sweater at the thrift store. I loved the bold colors of both the sweater and polka dots. Unfortunately the polka dots were covered with sequins and it was a pullover which I don't like for all sorts of reason. First I cut off all the sequins and then I washed and dried the sweater, which by the way, did some shrinking, which I did not expect. Thankfully it was larger than I needed so that did not become a problem that had to be fixed. I then cut the sweater down the center front and applied single fold, purchased, bias tape. I sometimes make my own binding and use it decoratively, but decided against that this time. Then I put in a sport zipper that makes a pullover a slip on. Easy, Peasy. I love that. Can't wait to wear this sweater/jacket, which will be this week in fact.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Altered Christmas suit

Since I have moved to the Phoenix, Arizona area I have had to rethink my wardrobe, especially my winter wardrobe. I found this red suit at Goodwill at a 50% off sale. It probably cost about $5. The skirt was floor length and I cut about 7" off the bottom. I also shortened the jacket about 4". The Christmas appliques are done with Ultrasuede that was mostly harvested from thrift store skirts, jackets and suits. When I told my youngest daughter that I was working on a Christmas outfit, she asked me why I was doing it now. My answer is that in the fall, when you would normally be working on Christmas stuff, I am too busy to work on something to wear. At least that has been what has happened the last two years. So this year I am way early and will be ready for next Christmas. Next on my agenda is a Christmas demin jacket.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

more wig heads

Boy, I sure don't know how to do just one of anything. I decided after the first five wig heads I painted that I needed more of them. So here are the lastest ones I painted. I really like how they turned out and they are such fun to do. One thing I do need to add is that I glued the wig heads to a larger foam circle for a more stable base. As you can see, one picture is just of the painted wig heads. The other is some of my hats and fasinators on the heads. I painted the faces free form, and even though the shape of the heads are the same, the ladies do look different. It was great practice painting faces too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Christening dress

I washed my dress in the washing machine and hung it to dry. I used the Mother-in-laws lace from what I assume is her wedding dress train, as the trim on little GG's Christening dress. I also incorporated the pearls on my wedding dress on the bonnet. The bonnet for some reason didn't fit, but the both turned out just fabulous. As you might of guess the other picture is of little GG and me, her very proud Nana.

Altered wedding dress

Well this blog post is about the Christening dress I made my little grand-daughter GG. My daughter lives in Sheridan, Wy. A beautiful little town about 16,000 people at the base of the Big Horn mountains about 30 miles from the Montana state line. She delivered her 4th baby ( she had three little boys ) by C-section back in September. I went up for the birth and stayed for the month to help out. We were all surprised when she delivered a little girl. Her middle name is my middle name. If I was thinking properly I would of thought to bring up fabric for a Christening dress, but no, I didn't. Sheridan has a wonderful quilt shop and a great yarn shop, but the only fabric for a dress like that would of been Walmart ( nothing that worked ) or ACE Hardware/Ben Franklin ( they did have some nice eyelet ). I was going to get fabric at the ACE store when I got the brilliant idea to have my husband send my wedding dress. My plan was to use the fabric to make the Christening dress. After getting the dress in the mail, I thought about having my son-in-law's Mother also contribute some of her dress. Here is what I had to work with. The long dress is mine and the one piece is the Mother-in-laws.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This second pair of shoes are either leather or man made leather. You can use the same technique. Install the grommets and use awesome long shoe laces. Like I have said it is a little more difficult with the leather shoes, but where there is a will, there is a way. As for making shoes bigger. The shoes I used were sandals, they were a slide on style. I cut the top down the middle added grommets and laced them up. I was able to add at least a half a size by doing that and again they looked so cute.


Today I am going to talk about shoes. Wonderful, glorious shoes. I love painting and decorating shoes, but I am not going to talk about that. At least not today. Today I want to address shoes that don't fit. I may have a solution for shoes that are too big or perhaps too small. I found a pair of really cute American fabric canvas boat shoes in a catalog. .At least that is what I call this style. Unfortunately that is not a style that usually fits me, but what the heck. They were so cute. I was hoping that these shoes might be different. When I got them, no luck. They were the right lenght, but TOO big around the width of my foot. So I got busy. I have done this technique before with leather shoes and working on the canvas shoes were much easier to do.

I use metal grommets that I purchase at JoAnns. I get them in the package with the little metal tool you use with a hammer. Decide where on the side of the shoe you would like to have the grommets. Mark them with a pen or chalk. I then use a awl to pierce the fabric. You might need to clean up the fabric hole with a small pair of scissors to enlarge the hole to fit the grommets. Install the grommets. Then lace up with a long shoe lace. They fit me great and I actually think they are cuter than before.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wig Heads

Here is the latest thing I have been working on. In the last year or so, I have seen several canvas, wig heads decorated with different types of faces. I decided that I wanted some to display my hats on. Unfortunately canvas wig heads are way expensive so I decided to try to paint styrofoam wig heads. I coated the styrofoam wig heads with a product called MagiKote which is suppose to make styrofoam paintable. After two coats of MagiKote, I painted the wig heads the way I wanted, and finished them off with two coats of a clear varnish. I love the results and my hats and fasinators look great displayed on my faces untill I want to wear them. Even my husband was impressed