Friday, March 26, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired, once again, by Amanda Blake Soule.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

boy's headband recycled from t-shirts


This is strip of an old t-shirt, about 3" wide and maybe 18-20" long. If your subject is right there, you could try wrapping it around their head first. The ends are cut diagonally so there's enough to tie, but not too much hanging down. I cut out a tree from felted wool sweaters and stitched it on, not quite in the middle, but off to the side a couple of inches. Tie it on, karate kid style. Am I dating myself by saying that?

Anyway, it's a great solution for keeping growing hair out of kid's eyes! Little f like to wear his when I wear a headband. Mine is just a bit wider and longer, but not much, b/c my head is pea-sized (a family trait).

It's great for keeping hair out of my little guy's eyes!

a recycled wool baby sweater


Here's a sweet little sweater that I made for my friend's baby girl. The trim is some of the same yarn we used at the blessingway, couched on with a zig zag stitch. The style is inspired by my friend Rose. The buttons are from a cardigan, cut out in squares. There's another button inside too. A tutorial is on my mind, anyone interested?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

revamping a little pink dress


This sweet little organic dress was covered with embroidered cutesies. They had to go, so I found a pink sweater that matched, and cut out the pieces to replace the yoke and make a pocket. Somehow, the cutesy is much better inside the pocket!
The whole dress is so much better!

Monday, March 22, 2010


First there was a sweater torso, which I cut off the crew neck and added a collar made from t-shirt material and a button placket from another sweater. After sewing on the sleeves, I wanted to make them longer, like wristwarmers sewn right on. I took another black shirt and cut off the sleeves and the bottom. Sleeves were taken in a bit and stitched together. Same thing on the bottom.

All you have to do is make sure that the "tubes" you are adding are the same diameter as the shirt. For more detailed instructions, check out my tutorial down a few posts.

Right sides together

Ooh, I'm toasty in my new shirt! It's great under sweaters and the new wristwarmers fit into my mittens, so no more cold snowy wrists.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

sewing 101 - basic troubleshooting


Your stitching is all off and your machine sounds funny. First thing to do is:

Rethread your machine.

that's it, just that easy.

Rethread your machine.

After you've done it a few hundred times, you'll be so speedy that you'll be back to sewing in no time. I'm amazed how much time I have wasted trying to figure out what's wrong, when all I had to do was this, and the problem solved itself in one rethreading. You'll find it here several times to help you remember...

Rethread your machine.

Rethread your machine.

Rethread your machine.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

recycled wool goodies for little elves

Sounds like it's going to snow here one last time this weekend, so I'm featuring some nice woolly goodies! Selena makes all kinds of sweet things for little elves, and few for the pixies too.
I love her sense of imagination.

This is brilliant! No more pants falling down. It reminds me a lot of some pants my friend Jen wanted to make. Somehow, it's much simpler when made out of a felted wool sweater.

Again, for my friends with girlies, I checked out the sweet offerings in pink. The tunic is featured, but the ideas for the outfit are so fun I wanted to show you both! This one is a small size for little girls, but wouldn't it be great in cashmere in adult size?

Friday, March 19, 2010

{this moment}

men's shirts recycled into little girl's dresses

Here are more fun ideas for using men's shirts to make dresses! I love the way Jayme uses new, modern fabric to give old shirts a new life! Lillipops has many more sweet little dresses.

And, since I am always looking for little boy clothes for my own little guy, I found these cute shorts on lillipop's etsy site too. She's launching a new line of boys clothing, with matching shorts and tops with very boy appliques - the pirate ship and flag are the first.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

recycled wool newsboy cap from simpleup



Such a great hat pattern and tutorial from Trish over at simple up. I found her blog one day while searching for recycled wool sweater projects. It was even featured on Craft (which used to be a magazine, one of my absolute favorites!)

Someday, my work will be featured there.

There were a couple of additions here - a recycled t-shirt lining and a cashmere band on the inside. The warmer the hat the better, so I used the same hat pattern pieces and cut them out of cotton jersey (nice way to say old t-shirt) and sewed them together. For the hatband, a recycled cashmere sweater cut out in the same size as the band and stitched to the outside band at the bottom. Then it was like the bread in a sandwich, with the hat and lining for the sandwich filling. I left the top edges raw. Oh, the brim also has a little stabilizer, cut a bit smaller than the sewing lines, so I didn't have to stitch through it when sewing it to the hat. Which I did with my machine, as well as the trim, since handsewing takes a little more patience that I have for sewing these days. I need immediate results that can be obtained within a nap's worth of time.

For some reason, the pattern only calls for five hat pieces. Mine could have benefitted from a sixth piece, even though I have a very small pea sized head. I used about 3/8 seam allowance, so a little more than recommended, only because it's tricky to sew anything with a 1/4 seam allowance. And that is coming from someone with years and years of machine time!


In closing, let me just share with you this amazing blog by Anna Maria Horner. I want to be her.
Selling my signed book and designing gorgeous lines of fabrics, doing crafts with other artists.


Well, her and about thirty other people, but I digress... here's the hat in action, right in front of my newly folded fabric stacks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

sweet kandee for boys and girls





More recycling! I love it! Sweet Kandee makes all kinds of things for boys and girls out of old clothing. The rainbow legwarmers are my favorite, but I think they might be a little small for me...

happy st. patrick's day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

today in the kitchen

Once again, I have been inspired by Amanda Blake Soule a.k.a Soulemama. (It's on my list of followed blogs on the left. ) Only this time I'm acting on it and sharing with you!



:: clover sprouts, for the first time ever! inspired by Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and some wheatgrass, as a test for our easter grass. And I'm trying to figure out why blogger keeps rotating my photos, anyone? anyone?



:: cinnamon rolls! Gram used to make them, and now I'm giving it a shot. Mine are a simplified version, so we'll see how it goes. Somehow today was going be soda bread for St. Patrick's Day, but maybe I can muster that up next week!


:: tea. and my newly reorganized tea/cup cabinet in which I am taking much delight.


:: new spoons, started this weekend with some friends recycled from linden cutting boards. Will be completed as soon as sandpaper is discovered in shed (large cleaning project also added to list).


:: mud pies, courtesy of the little guy outdoors. It is so sunny and warm! Spring is here already, hooray! Last year it started in October and was still snowing in April. Groundhog must have slept well.
Welcome back sunshine!

and if you are new to this blog, welcome to my thoughts. please enjoy and share.

Monday, March 15, 2010

all the numbers recycled dresses




A friend turned me on to this great creative site. Seems like all my friends are having girl babies (within the last year and a couple coming up!). Kiki at all the numbers makes dresses out of all kinds of recycled things, and these are my favorites! There are plenty more too, so check it out!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

hemming jeans tutorial

keeping original hem intact!

I just used this on a pair of little pants, removing the cutesy stuff and reattaching the hem. It worked great!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

revamped shirt with wristwarmers tutorial

Here's a fun little tutorial about recycling and revamping a shirt by lengthening a shirt to make it a tunic, adding sleeves to warm your wrists, and reshaping a neckline.

One brown shirt, bearing the logo of my favorite little chocolate shop started the whole thing. The fit just wasn't quite right, and it languished in my closet waiting for inspiration.

The inspiration was this pink striped shirt. It had been attached to a tank top as part of a tunic, but the tank wore out so I cut it off, along with the hem of the sleeve on the chocolate shirt. Cut the wristwarmer section either part of the body or the sleeves of another shirt, adding about 1/2" for seam allowance. These are about 8" long but could be longer or shorter depending on how you like it. Fold the wristwarmer section with the right sides together and sew a tube that is wide enough to fit over your hand. If you are using a shirt sleeve, stitch along the seam to make a tube. The idea is to make sure that the openings in the sleeve and the wristwarmer section are the same size.


Slip the wrong side of the wristwarmer onto the sleeve so they are right sides together. Stitch with a stretch stitch (it looks like a little lightning bolt) or use a serger. Turn right side out and try it on. If it needs tightening, you can turn it back to the wrong side and stitch it again, making the tube a bit smaller.

For the neck, cut the collar off the shirt. Try it on and make little cuts or pin before you cut it out since stretchy shirts look different on your body that when they are laying on your cutting table. The new neckline could be square, v-neck, scooped or asymmetrical.

Cut 1" strips of fabric for the trim on the neckline. If you want a ruffle, stitch down the middle of the strip with the longest stitch length on your machine. Pull one of the threads and gently squish the fabric along the stitching to make either a tight or loose ruffle. Lay trim pieces along the newly cut neckline and stitch with a stretch or zig zag stitch.

For the bottom, cut off the shirt hem and measure the length you want to add. Cut and sew it into a tube that is the same size as the bottom of the shirt. Turn it wrong side out and slip it over the shirt so the right sides are together. Stitch with a stretch stitch or serge.

a little snow elf visit...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

time to share!



There are so many of you doing cool things and it would be fun to share! Check out the recycled+revamped group and post up some pics of your latest projects.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

revamped cashmere cowl neck sweater and a tutorial giveaway

mmm, cashmere! After a comprehensive closet assessment, I determined that I needed more sweaters. I headed over to resweater where I lucked out and actually got two of the exact same turquoise cashmere sweater! Here's a preview of my next tutorial...




It also has instructions for adding wristwarmers to the sleeves of the sweater! Can I tell you how excited I am to finally have a sweater that has sleeves long enough to be comfortable? Ooh, it's so deluxe that I wore it for two days in a row! I'm basking in the success of another great revamp, especially after my last t-shirt project, inspired by a Generation T sewing party with my friends. It reminded me why I like to sew things that don't have to fit! Perhaps when I get it worked out, you'll get to see it. For now, I'll be wearing this sweater...

What kind of tutorials should I make next? What do you want to learn about sewing? Leave a comment with the details by March 23 and I'll enter you in a giveaway for a tutorial, and you can become a recycled+revamped product tester. Tell your friends.