Friday, June 2, 2017

A Tale of Two Hats

I love hats. I wear something on my head all different seasons of the year. I purchased this hat at the Rose Bowl Flea Market on Mother's Day Weekend in 2016. I found the hat squished in a basket for $5.As you can see it is too big size wise and pretty tacky looking. I knew it needed an update and remodel. For some reason, I associate my hats with movie stars. I have several Aubrey Hepburn, Grace Kelley, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn hats. When I saw this hat, I right away named it Gloria Swanson.

 I used a heat gun to take off the white leaves and the old sequins.and rhinestones.
 This was the after view which is quite improved. My friends wanted me to save the feathers, but unfortunately they were not in good shape and working on the hat was hurting the rest of the feathers that were left. I took off the feathers, which made it easier to shorten the hat to make it fit better.

I added horsehair to a smaller fascinator that I had just purchased and sewed it to the hat along with a rhinestone trim that I had on hand. I really enjoyed wearing this during this past winter. It is very 1920's looking. I believe that Gloria Swanson would enjoy being seen in this hat.

 This second hat, I found on clearance for $16 at Burlington Coat Factory back before Christmas. It had a very large printed horsehair brim along with a large bow type decoration on the side.
 A very Kentucky Derby type hat or if Prince Harry leaves his girlfriend, I am ready for a Royal Ascot invite..

 So when I got home and really looked at the $16 hat, I decided that I wanted a second hat (there were three of them. My kids said GO FIGURE. I on the other hand had vision). That I could salvage the printed horsehair that I had never seen before and was easily more than $!6, and also use the second big bow type decoration as a fascinator.

 I know it is hard to tell but I took a row off the printed horsehair brim to shorten the brim and left the hat as it was.

I took the big bow type decoration off the second hat and added this smaller fascinator along with some more printed horsehair.

And got this rather interesting fascinator. My new motto of Go Big or Go Home certainly applies to this hair decoration.which, no lie, I enjoy wearing.

Painted Furniture 2017

These are my 2017 pieces of furniture that I paint in the Arizona springtime of April and May. A shout out to Pamela Allen for all the help and encouragement she has given me on painting and decorating furniture..This first piece was a table that I inherited from my Mama. The table had a manufacturers mark on the bottom of the table but was not in very good shape. My Mr. Partner in Crime, re-glued the piece to make it sturdy. As with all my pieces, I did a light sand to rough up the wood. Washed it down with TSP and then if if was a dark piece of wood such as this table, I did probably two coats of Kilnz  2. A water based product .For painting I use a combination of Home Depot sample jars of flat paint (since I am going to use Varathan Gloss Varnish which will add a shine) and craft paints. I used Liquitex Matt Medium to adhere the fabric. After adding the stencils, writing and decorating, I put about 11-12 coats of Varathan Interior Gloss Varnish (clean up with soap and water). Then I do a wet sand and put another one or two light coats of varnish and you are done.
 I love using fabric for decorating my furniture. I am not a confident painter, so using fabric gives me a medium that I am comfortable with and allows me to have a very large source of material. This fabric is from Lorelie Ladies prints. Last year I added stencils which I also used this year.
I love how this turned out and My Mama, who would be 98 today, would be so tickled pink that I made this my own and I am using it.

This second piece I picked up at the thrift store a couple of years ago. I started it spring of 2016 and didn't finish it because I could not come up with a design. It looks like a large book. So it sat for a year partially painted. This year, I had a Ah Ha moment and decided to treat it like a book.
 I decided to incorporate writing in this piece. First time I have done writing and not used stencils for words. Nerve wracking. I created some phrases that described how I felt and had my Mr. Partner in Crime pick the one he liked best. I drew it our on paper to make sure it would fit in the design. As usual, it didn't work out quite as I wanted but it still worked out pretty good. You can see that I had to be creative to make all the writing fit, although it fit just fine on the paper sample.

This was a table I purchased in May of 2016 on my 2nd annual Mother's Day Weekend Rose Bowl Flea Market trip.

 For the first time this year, I used stenciled words on my pieces. I was worried about making the words fit in the space and have the correct spelling. I wrote the words out on a piece of paper and proceeded to stencil them on the table. When I texted the picture out to my family and friends only one friend realized that I misspelled create in the bottom left of the below picture.

Thankfully she said something to me. Even though I had spelled the word correctly on the paper, I misspelled it on the table. Although I thought it looked strange, I ignored the feeling.

 Thankfully I had left enough space between the letters to creatively add a funky R to correct the spelling. I went back and did a little more funky letters on my words. I think it made my table words cuter.
            I also love how this piece turned out. All the above pieces are in my family/living room
 This piece was a door to a built in storage piece that came out of my daughter's dining room 1930's home. She couldn't figure out what I was going to do with it and actually at the time I didn't know either.
 The center of this piece is fabric. I left the knobs on the piece and Mr. Partner In Crime added coat hangers.This is hanging in our laundry room. Again I really like how it turned out and my daughter was shocked with pleasure when she saw it..
 This piece is the largest piece I have ever done and is the kitchen table of My Mr. Partner in Crime's family. Again a manufactures label on the bottom of the table. I have to admit that my Mr. Partner in Crime was not thrilled about my plans to paint and decorate this table. He doesn't always see my vision.
 The following pictures show the design process. I did draw out the design on paper.

 After all the checks were painted on the side of the table with the sun type design, I decided that all those checks were too heavy for the area with the heavy checks that were on the drop leafs on the ends of the table and I painted over the area and left only a few checks which you can see in the second picture below.

 I refer to this as a story table. It describes my almost 47 years with Mr. Partner In Crime. The stenciled stars in honor of all the meteor showers we have made the effort to view. Along with a moon for the lunar eclipses we have gotten up in the middle of the night to view. The words describe our marriage and the flowers, Mr. Partner In Crimes hope that I will want to be involved in planting and raising flowers in our yard.  Unsuccessfully I might add. He absolutely loves how this piece turned out.
 This is the final piece. It was in our bedroom.
Again I am very pleased with how all these pieces turned out. I already have my pieces of furniture to paint for 2018

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jacket Adventure

After I made the graphics t-shirt dress in the below blog, I decided that I wanted to make a t-shirt graphic jacket to wear with the dress.The first thing was collecting the t-shirts, which I had left from the dress project. I wanted to use more colors in the jacket than I did in the dress because some of the t-shirts that I had were wonderful and had more colors in them. The next thing  was to find a pattern that I thought would work the best to display the graphics on the t-shirts. This Butterick pattern is from the 1980's I believe. One thing about the old patterns is that they only contained one size vs the newer patters which have multiple sizes in one envelope. My measurements worked with this medium pattern measurements, but as you will often find, the measurements don't always tell the story about how the pattern will fit. This pattern was too big and I did have to make some adjustments.
After I got the jacket designed and pieced like I did the dress, I put the pieces together and decided the jacket was too wimpy.   

               This top picture shows the jacket top front and backs pieced. The solid black is the wrong side
I decided that to give the jacket more body, I would do an interlining. You could use a muslin but I decided to use a batiste, which is a lighter weight fabric. I wanted more body but not weight. This picture shows the interlining. I also put in a black lining.

This picture shows the pieced front and back bottom pinned to the interlining. After putting the jacket together, I finished the jacket edges with a cotton quilt binding.  For me that is the easiest way to finish off the edges of my  garments. lined or not lined. I added buttons and buttonholes.

This is the back finished jacket.

The nice thing about this jacket is that I can wear it with many different pieces of my wardrobe. Here it is with leggings.

Here is the jacket with my t-shirt graphics dress

Back view of the jacket with leggings. I love how this jacket turned out and I have worn it a couple of times and love how fun it is.  Now I have my Mr. Partner In Crimes's matching t-shirt.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fun Funky Garments

This post is about two dresses that I just finished and I am very excited about. Both used t-shirts that I got at the thrift store. My go to fabric store. I often purchase garments there more for the fabric than I do to actually wear.
 A friend of mine was visiting and we were thrifting. She happened to find this wonderful two piece outfit. I was so excited I didn't even think to check the size but decided this MUST go home with me. When I got home, I discovered that this was a size 4 petite. Now I could fit in this but I felt like a stuffed sausage in a bun. That was not going to discourage me. I knew I had some altering to do over and above what I had wanted to do just to make it fit.
 First I cut off a portion of the bottom dress because I was going to add a altered bottom. I then cut apart the side seams and used a similar red t-shirt to sew in the sides to make the dress bigger.
 This might be hard to see, but I don't often make drawings of what my ideas are for my garments. Usually those ideas just stay in my brain since those ideas often change but this time I did make a drawing. I am trying to improve my drawing skills.
 For the bottom, I cut off under the arms of a EX large men's red t-shirt for the base of the peplum.
 I decided what size I wanted my striped panels to be which were different red and white t-shirts. Don't ask me how I determined this since I often do fuzzy math.
 I decided the first bottom had too much red in it. I decided to split the red sections with another stripped panel, which of course make the bottom peplum fuller but I had no problem with that. The panels were also different sizes but they were similar.
 As often happens with I do an size adjustment on the side seams, the garment is sometimes too large in one or two body areas. On this piece it was the waist. So I added some elastic in the back to make me have a slightly more waistline. Of course that is not in these pictures.
 Now I had to work with the overdress. I cut off a section of the bottom and also split is down the front. I also had to split down the side seams to add red t-shirt fabric to make it sorta fit me. One problem that I discovered was (and you can see this in this picture) was that this overdress was not cut on the grainline and didn't hang right. It twisted. Now others might not have noticed this but it bugged me. I added a two inch band to each front side of the overdress and did buttons and button holes and wore it once. I decided that the overdress covered up too much of the dress, which I loved the most of the two pieces. So I went home and cut off most of the overdress and made a short top.

I have received so many compliments when I am in this dress and feel very sassy. I know that no one would guess that I altered this dress so much and totally changed it. I am guessing most people wouldn't even know that I made it.

This dress is my very latest creation, and absolutely love this. This dress and the red outfit above, may become my new two favorite looks. They are definitely going to be my Red Carpet International Quilt Festival looks this year.

Sharon Richards from the Quiltart list and I attended a fashion exhibit two years ago in Chandler Arizona. One of the young designers had made a strapless dress out of the graphics of recycled t-shirts. I decided right then and there that I wanted to make my own version and while I have often used saying from t-shirts, I had never used them quite like this. So I collected t-shirts from the thrift store with funky sayings on them.
 This is what I came up with. It is so much fun.
 In these pictures I didn't have any sleeves in the dress but is over a black undershirt. I decided to put short sleeves in so I can wear it in warmer weather and then wear it with an undershirt like in these pictures when the weather is colder.

My plan is to make a jacket to wear with this and make it with more colored t-shirt graphics than the mostly red and white ones I used in this dress. My Mr. Partner In Crime LOVED this dress. In fact he liked it so much, he wanted me to make him a matching shirt. So we just went to the thrift store and picked out some manly t-shirt graphics to use in his shirt. How cool is that  !!!!! More on his outfit when I get it done.