Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cute Summer Clothing

Today we hit our first 100 degree temperature of the year.  As I said everyone here is looking for their summer clothing.  I started this item with a plain pair of stretch white shorts I got at the thrift store.

I have been practicing my doodles for a year or so, and the girl on the yellow piece of paper is my latest doodle.  I really liked how she turned out.  I hate to admit that I did her in a meeting I was attending. In case you can't see, she has create art in her hair and a list of things I need to do on the paper.

 So I took some of these doodles and transferred them to the white shorts.  I drew the face and the flowers on a piece of tissue paper.  Pinned the paper to the shorts where I wanted my designs. Then I dropped my feed dogs. Put black thread in my machine. Set my machine on a very small zig-zag and using the pattern on the tissue paper, stitched around and put the outline of the design on my shorts.  After I completed that part, I tore off the tissue paper leaving the black outline on the shorts. Then I went back in and did a heavier zig-zag over the black outline.  To complete the design, I went back in and filled in the spaces, some of which I drew in with a chalk pencil.  Even though the shorts were denim, because of the denseness of some of my stitching, I needed to use a stableizer on the back side of my design.  I used a wash away type that feels like fabric.  I perfer that to the wash away stableizer that feels like plastic.  After finishing the project, I threw the shorts into the washer and here is what I ended up with.

Doodling does not come easy to me, but with practice I feel I am getting better.  Both my husband and I like the way these shorts turned out. Something interesting to wear in the ever hotter, spring temperatures of the desert Southwest.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Decorative Metal Tin Purses

Today I am going to tell you about my journey in decorative metal tin purses.  The first one was created because I found a wonderful metal tin at the thrift store in the shape of a Coke Cola bottle, cira 1998.  My youngest daughter loves all things Coke Cola and I thought it would make a great purse for her even though I had never made a purse from a decorative tin before.  My husband, who is often my partner in crime, was unsure if it could be done.  I just knew it was possible.  Often I am more optimistic than he is when I think WE can do something. 

 This Coke Cola tin already had hinges, which take it from me, is the kind you want to work with. My son has since learned and taught my husband how to make metal hinges for decorative metal tins that don't have hinges, but there can be alot of problems going down that road. We purchased a metal clasp for the purse closure from Home Depot in the department that has hinges. My husband drilled holes where we wanted the metal clasp closure to be. We used the double sided rivits that we got from Tandy Leather. The rivits are easy to install and are finished on both sides. The rivits come in different sizes and there is a tool that installs them. All you need are the rivits, tool and a rubber mallet and anvil.

I purchased the purse handles at JoAnn's.  We installed them with leather strips that I had and used the double sided rivits.  I loved how the purse turned out and wanted to make one for myself.  I have been on a thrift store seach for a perfect tin for my purse. 

Finally I found a red polka dot dog bone tin.  Of course what's not to like with polka dots, so that was the purse I wanted.  Well one of a couple of cute tins I found.  This dog bone tin did not have hinges, which my husband installed for me.  One of the more difficult problems we ran into was that the purse clasp was on a inside curve.  That was hard to install and we did alot of jury rigging, but it was worth the effort. I loved how it turned out and have already used it.  You might look at decorative metal tins in a new way from now on.     

Friday, April 12, 2013

Polka Dot Dress

Well I love all things polka dot.  Especially black and white, white and black, red and white, white and red polka dots.  How can a woman go wrong?  My husband and I were visiting Yuma, Arizona and were hitting the thrift stores. At one of the Goodwill's I found a white with black polka dot dress, which I didn't get because it wasn't very flattering.  As we were leaving the store we found this black and white, size child's 16, polka dot dress. 

It looked big and I thought it might be labeled wrong, so I tried it on.  My husband could zip it up but while the dress fit me in the waist, it was way too tight in the bust.  Both my husband and I liked the dress.  Sometimes I buy things and I don't know what I am going to do with them right away, but with this dress, I knew I could make it into a skirt very easily and that is what I did.  I took the back zipper out and then took dress apart at the bodice seam after removing the ribbon.  I cut two inches off the bodice bottom and interfaced that piece.  Then put that piece back on the skirt as the waistband.  It fit almost perfectly because it had been joined to the now skirt area to make the dress.  If it didn't, you could made it work or use a different fabric to make a waistband.  I stitched the waistband on and then just turned it to the back and topstitched the waistband in the seams of the skirt to hold the waistband down.  Now I have a cute little skirt to wear.  This was a really easy redo, and I loved the way it turned out. I feel a dance coming on.   

Friday, April 5, 2013

Altered Summer Clothes

Well here it is the first weekend in April and I am on a quest for some cute summer clothes.  Now I know there are parts of the country that is still in the middle of winter and some in spring, but here in the Phoenix area we are heading into the low to middle 90's for our daytime highs.  When I lived in the Denver area most of my wardrobe was for winter.  Here is how I look at the weather here in the Phoenix area.
January COLD
February COLD
June HOT
September HOT
October HOT
December COLD

I will also add that I probably wouldn't turn on the air-conditioner untill it was 100 degrees, but that is just me.

Since we moved here, I have had to create cuter transition and summer clothes, and have been successful I think.  I have painted shorts.  I have done raw edge applique on shorts.  I have also taken to cutting tank tops off and layer them on top of other tank tops.  Anyway, here is my latest adventure in cute transition clothing. 

I started with a red tshirt from the thrift store. 

Disney shirt

 This shirt on the right is the shirt from Disneyland that is the inspiration for my redu.

 The pattern I used is on the left.  Of course I had to tweak the pattern to make it fit the t-shirt . I sewed the polka dot fabric to the wrong side of the t-shirt and then cut out the top fabric (red) exposing the polka dot fabric underneath.This is reverse applique

Here I am in my finished t-shirt NOT !
Peplums are very popular right now.  They have been long time favorites of mine.  In fact I have several patterns from the 80's I believe, that have peplums.  I decided to make a peplum to fit the t-shirt. I purchased another t-shirt from the thrift store trying to match the red color as best as possible.  Try to get the biggest shirt you can.  That will give you the most fabric to work with. 
I bought one of the new pattens now available that featured a peplum and tweaked the pattern to make it fit. To keep the peplum from stretching when I was sewing it on, I used tissue paper in my seam when sewing and then gently ripped it out afterwards.  My husband has recently told me that he likes me in red and I have forgotten how much I like wearing the color.  I really enjoy the look of the peplum, and I love the collar. Gives the beginning red t-shirt a total new look. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Metal tin post cards

At the International Quilt Festival in November of 2012, post cards were sold to support an animal shelter.  The fundraiser was fabulously successful and is going to be carried over to the 2013 Festival. 

Back in 2012, I donated 6 postcards I think.  Right before Festival, I read an article in one of my magazines on making cute necklaces out of denim and decorative metal tins.  I thought that technique might work for making postcards.  Previously I had found a metal tin in the shape of a dog bone that had cute dogs on it.  I bought it with the idea in mind of making necklaces.

I started the three postcards with the larger dogs before the Festival but didn't get them finished.  If I knew then what I know now, I would of made the decorative metal tin into a purse, but they sure make cute postcards for a fundraiser for an animal shelter.

The smaller dogs were on the sides of the metal tins.  I just couldn't throw them away, so I cut and straightened out the pieces.  For all the postcards, I punched holes in the tins with a 1.25mm metal hole puncher.  I just saw a 1.8mm metal hole puncher at JoAnn's in the jewelry section.  The hole puncher makes a smooth hole on both the front and back of the metal. 

The stitching on one of the postcards was made with heaiver thread and stitched on the sewing machine.  The other cards were hand stitched with #8 pearl cotton.  I can't wait for them to fly off to Houston