Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Toddler Girl Cardigan

I got frustrated yesterday morning when I realized that my baby girl is growing! I went to put on my favorite white little cardigan on her, but it was almost too small. She was too little still for the 2T cardigans and sweaters I have waiting for her, so I left it alone and she wore the first little cardigan.
I decided it was time to make her a new little sweater. I started off with a stretchy knit fabric I got off the sales rack at Joanns a couple of months ago. It's thicker than t-shirt material, so I thought it would make for a good sweater some day. I got the pattern idea from a great tutorial on the Craftiness is not optional blog. Here's the link to the tutorial I used. I did make my own little changes to the sweater. #1: I added a box pleat on the back. And #2: I added a flower lace around the neck and down the front (because I messed up on the button hole making).

So in two hours, I had her new little white cardigan with a single button!

And because I have them, and I think it's cute, I added my own tag. I realize it's off-center, but that's what makes it handmade... by me :)  

Here's a close-up of the front with the lacing.

You can see a little bit of my marking pen where I had wanted to place my button holes. Because of the type of fabric, my button hole venture was very unsuccessful. Not a problem though! I had some really cute flower lace that I've had saved up for something special. Here was my "something special", and it hid my mess. Double awesome!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Upcycle #4 - Shirt to toddler dress

I might be getting better at this upcycling thing! This project only took me two hours.

I started with a womens size 4, 100% cotton, peasant blouse. Cost at thrift store: $3.

First, I cut off the sleeves:

Next I cut the front and the back of the shirt apart, folded them in half length-wise, and stacked them so that the hem on the bottom and top lined up:

Next I cut the dress out using the measurements from a dress pattern I made the other day.

Then came the sleeves. I folded both in half so the design was in the middle and cut the sleeves as big and as long as I could, only because that's what the picture in my head looked like :)

After that, I got so engaged in what I was doing, that I forgot to keep taking pictures. But here is the end result of my two hours of labor: A super cute little cotton dress for my baby girl (who is almost 2).

Here's a brief explanation on what I did to the neck-line. I used the scrap material from the sides of the shirt to make a casing (bias tape) for the elastic that I threaded through the top. I reused the ties that were originally on the front and used them on the back of the neck. I cut and sewed a vertical "head" hole for the back in the same style that it had in the front of the original shirt. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have problems getting the dress over her head. For the front of the dress, I added a small little black bow. I reused the ties on the sides of the dress that will draw in at her waistline. I serged all the seams, ironed them out, and VOILA!!! 

I finally got some pics of what this little dress looks like on my 2 year old model/recipient. 

Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Upcycle #3 - Shirt to Toddler dress

Today, I made the mistake of going to the thrift store AGAIN. I found a few great deals and this was one of them. I really want to have some "house" dresses for my my little girl to romp around in at the house and this tank top looked the part. I want to say that this took 1 hour from start to finish. It's a great "during naps" project!


I started with a size large tank top. I figured that starting with a larger size would give me a little extra scrap in the end should I need to mend anything later. This one still had the original tag from the store it came from, so it was brand new! Thankfully for "sales", I got this one for a couple bucks.

What I did was cut the front and the back apart and worked with one side at a time. I cut the bodice to the width I need for my little girls' 2T frame. I did my best to keep the pleated detail intact because it's really cute. I cut the spaghetti straps off to use them on the finished dress. I also cut off the two that went across the back to use them later too. With the extra I had left over from cutting the front bodice out, I pressed some bias tape and sewed up along the two new arm holes. I then replaced the straps on the top of the front bodice. 

For the back of the dress, I was lucky that this shirt had a 1/4" elastic simply cased in along the entire top part. I made sure to pin the elastic in place before cutting and then pulling the elastic out just a bit to keep the bulk of the fabric for the dress. I hope that just made sense. In other words. I kept the back of the shirt intact and only pulled the elastic in to have more scrunch to it before sewing it place. 

I also ripped off the two little strap pieces that hold the two little plastic rings  and resewed them closer together so that I could have adjustable straps as there was originally. I have yet to sew the rest of the little pieces into place, but you can see what i'm getting at, hopefully. You can see that I also sewed the two side ribbons in place before sewing up and serging the front and back pieces together along the sides.

What's left for tomorrow will be the hem job on the bottom. It's a little too long right now but i'm going to be keeping a lot of it and sewing up a large portion so that I can let it out as my little one grows taller.

Thanks for looking! If you have any questions, just send me a comment :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Up-cycling projects

I've been doing some up-cycling this past week and a half. Mostly due to the crazy thrift store run I made last week. I feel I need to finish some of these before I go crazy again at some other thrift store. Anyway, here's a couple I finished this past week.

The first one was reassembled from a white skirt that had an interesting black embroidery job on it. This skirt had a slip under it because the little circles you see on it are cut outs. Super cute fabric! I ended up reusing the black ribbon that went across the top as well. The idea for this skirt to dress upcycle came from the Craftiness Is Not Optional blog. She has a great tutorial on there for how to do this type of upcycle. This one is from the Skirt to Dress Refashion.

Here's what the original skirt looked like:

Here is what the front of the finished dress looks like now. I added a black rolled fabric flower that I made to add a little something.

Here is what the back looks like. I did sew 4 inches of 1/4" elastic along the top between the two straps.

Up-cycle #2:
Basic skirt with an invisible zipper to the right.

Cut the zipper off along with some more on each side of the skirt. Cut out the arm holes and used matching bias tape to make the straps. The flower was made with scraps as well as some off white lace for contrast.

Sorry for the blurry pic. The only thing I cut away from the original skirt to make the back was the arm holes. I really want this dress to fit her for a long time, so I added two rows of 1" elastic on the top. I also left a couple inches on each strap end so that I can lengthen the straps as she grows. The plan is that this dress will fit through next fall (2T/3T). It will of course fit just a tad shorter than it does now.

Thanks for looking!