Saturday, September 29, 2012

Upcycle me something pretty! part 3

Here's one of my favorite's.  I feel so pretty in this skirt and would wear it all the time if it wasn't so darn hot outside still.  All that fabric is kinda warm so if you live in a colder climate than Arizona, which is pretty much anywhere else, it would be perfect.  If I was still in Seattle, I'd wear it every Sunday.  
It's a long maxi skirt with ruffles made from a bed sheet.  I also remade the shirt too. 
Let's get to it.


Here's the before and after for the shirt.  Not terrible, but it needed a little feminine touch.

 First I cut off the collar.  I didn't use it again so you can discard it.

Next I cut off the sleeves.  I just hemmed the edge of the sleeve and didn't do anything fancy.

Next I lined up the front of the shirt and trimmed the neckline a little larger like shown.

 Cut up the sleeve and save the strips.  They will become the ruffle at the neckline.

Open up the sleve to get the pieces for the ruffle.  Fold them in 1/2 and press.  Gather the raw edge and serge or zig-zag to prevent fraying.
 I serged then turned the fabric to make a simple hem, folding the button placket to make sure everything lays flat and nice.
 Here's what it looks like with the neckline sewn in place.

Then I added some pin tucks to the front and the back.  Make sure you line up the placement and length to get them even from side to side.

Here's the front of the shirt, and the back.

Now for the ruffle.  I wanted it simple so I layered the two pieces cut from the sleeve, one slightly larger than the other.  Pin the ruffle in place starting from the front of the shirt working your way back.  I sewed it the first time with the ruffle upside down, then folded it over and top stitched it to the shirt.  This hides the serged edge and finishes the look.

Here's a close-up of the neckline.

Now for the skirt.  I'm using a full size bed sheet.  I used one of my maxi skirts as a pattern. Fold the sheet in half and lay the skirt on top and cut about 1 inch from the edge for seam allowance, plus a little extra at the waistline so I can still get it over my hips, and for the elastic waistband.  I didn't want to mess with a zipper this time.

This is the waist line.  Cut it slightly curved to ensure a more feminine fit.  Seam up the sides of the skirt, add an elastic waistband, hem and set aside.

Fold the remaining sheet in 1/2 and  1/2 again.
Then fold the  piece into a pie shape from the folded corner.

Measure the longest distance but still having all 4 layers of fabric underneath.  

Keeping the end of the tape in one place, move the tape across the bottom of the pie wedge marking the fabric  every few inches at the same length from the top corner of the wedge.  Cut along this line and you will have a complete circle.  Unfold the circle and lay flat.

Starting from one edge cut inward in a spiral trying to keep the width the same all the way in.

 After cutting the spiral you have a huge length of ruffle.  I used my serger and roll-hemmed both sides of the ruffle.  Then after hemming the bottom edge of the skirt, I started sewing the ruffle on the skirt starting at the bottom side edge.  Sorry I don't have any pictures.  I just sewed it on and didn't pin it at all.  I guess you could pin the ruffle in place but it really would take a ton of pins and I would inevitably get poked several times.

And done.  I added a little satin ribbon and ribbon flower at the waist to finish the outfit.

 I feel pretty!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Upcycle me something pretty! part 2

It's day 2 of Upcycle me something pretty and this outfit came from some knit I had and my Husband's old dress shirt that was fraying at the collar and the cuffs.  
I love how it turned out. 
The shirt is definitely more feminine than an old man's dress shirt. 

Wait, I don't mean my man is old, just the shirt.

Anyway, let's start with the skirt.  That was the easy part.

Cut a few long strips of your fabric and pinch gather, or gather like normal.  It's your choice.

For the skirt part, I used one of my other skirts as a pattern, adding a little for seam allowance and the gathered waistline since I'm not putting in a zipper.
Sew the sides together and turn right side out.

Decide where you want the ruffles to be placed.  Measure from the bottom of the skirt and pin in place to make sure the ruffle line is straight.  
Add the other ruffles, as many as you want.  More would be cute, but this was all the fabric I had.

Add a normal elastic waistband.  You can see how I did another one here.
Now the skirt's done.

 On to the shirt.  Sorry I didn't take a before pic of the shirt, but you've seen one man's dress shirt, you've seen them all.  The design doesn't change that much.  
I'm using one of my Ann Taylor shirts that I LOVE! as a loose pattern.

First let's cut the shirt apart, collar, sleeves, and side seams.

Fold the back piece in half and cut a new back using your other shirt as a pattern.  You can see I'm raising the arm hole a little so it's not so baggy on me.

Put the back piece on top of the front piece and trim the sides to match, but be sure the buttons are buttoned so the front is matched up correctly.

Now for the sleeve.  Cut it all the way apart and remove the seams.

Serge or zig-zag the shoulder seams only for the shirt.

Open up the shirt and lay the cut off sleve in the space and trim to fit the curve of the arm hole like shown.
If you wanted a gathered shoulder seam you could make the sleeve wider and gather before adding to the shirt.

Pin the sleeve in place and sew.  You could top stitch the seam if you wanted to give it a more professional finish. I think I forgot that step here, but it's OK.

After the sleeve is in place, sew up the side seam.  I also trimmed the bottom edge so that it was straight across.
Hem the bottom edge here too.

I wanted to pretty up the sleeve so I added a piece of elastic that was exactly 1/2 the length of the sleeve.  Stretch and sew in place.

Here's what it looks like from the right side out.

The neck line was a little baggy for my taste so I added a few pin-tucks to  the neck line alternating the lengths.
Try it on and add more or less depending on how it fits you.

I added another piece of elastic to the waistline on the inside to make it a tunic design.  Put the shirt on and decide where your natural waist falls and pin in place.  Mark the shirt all the way around and cut a piece of elastic that is a little shorter than your waist measurement.  Stretch and sew in place.  I ended up adding another shorter piece in the front to give it a little more tighter gather.

And done!

Done with Day 2 of Up-cycle me!  Still more to come! I promise.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Upcycle me something pretty! part 1

 I've got this upcycling bug that has hit pretty hard.  You've seen what I can do with an old sheet over and over again plus another t-shirt re-do.  This time I've taken an IZOD boat shirt and turned it into something more girly and more summer friendly since it is still summer here in Arizona.

Here's the before and after.
Now let me show you how.

First cut off the collar and the sleeves.

Reserve the sleeve fabric.  It will become your tie.

Open up the sleeve by cutting out the seam.
Cut off the hem at the wrist and open up the stitching.  This piece will be the bias tape for the neckline.  Sew each of the hem pieces together to make one long piece of bias tape.

Now cut up the sleeve fabric into long strips as shown.
Sew the two strips together to make two long pieces, then fold in half and stitch along the edges to make the ties.

 Place the ties where you want them. I folded mine accordian style and placed them at the top of the shoulder.  Pin the hem bias tape to the neckline and sew in place.

 Here's a close-up of the neckline before stitching.

 Once the neckline is done, let's make this a little more flattering fit.  I cut a curve from the bottom of the sleeve all the way down.  Serge or zig-zag the seam to finish.

 With the small pieces left over from the sleve, make more bias tape to put on the end of the sleeve.

I folded it in half and placed it over the raw edge of the sleeve and stitched it down.

It gave it a slightly different look.

 I added a small piece of elastic up the middle of the top of the sleeve to give it a slight gather.  If you look close at the last picture, you can see the gather detail.  A simple and effective way to pretty up a plain sleeve.

This was part one of an Up-cycling theme I have going right know.  There will be two more outfits I've done in the days to come.  Please come back and join me as I create something new and beautiful from something old and plain.  Isn't creativity the best!

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