Tuesday, May 31, 2011

batik shirt into revamped shorts

This used to be a shirt. I took the pockets off and added them to the sides, after cutting the pattern on the fold. Normally, you might cut four pieces out of the fabric, but cutting on the fold saves sewing one seam and gives you a place to put your pockets. The waistband is elastic. You can't see it, but I did make button tabs on the back to adjust for sizing. Perhaps that would make a good tutorial? What other clothes would you like to learn to sew?

Hope you had a great holiday weekend! We enjoyed the fine Michigan sunshine at the beach in Empire. There's a sweet little lake there, perfect for a birthday celebration!

Friday, May 27, 2011

art party - felt sushi!

This time it was Christie's turn to bring a craft. She chose this great sushi made out of wool felt. We had so much fun making all kinds of sashimi, sushi and accompaniments!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

dream collages

One of the best things about where I live is the people. There are so many cool people, and a group of us meet once a month in a sacred women's circle. It nourishes our need for friendship, community and conversation. This month we were creative too!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

finishing serged edges

Here's a little technique on tucking in those threads that are left when you serge something. You can tie them in knots, but this is much cleaner looking. Using a large needle with a big eye, slip the needle back into your serging and pull the threads through. You can thread the needle after slipping it in when it's short. To make a really tight finish, repeat the whole technique to wrap the thread twice.

Right now I'm dreaming of a new serger...

Happy serging!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

onesie and skirt to dress

One of my first "mama" friends came over with her little ones a while back. We are both artists, and can hardly resist the opportunity to customize something to our own tastes. She brought the brown onesie and the pink skirt and we scouted my t-shirt scraps for the green waistband and some pink striped ruffles. They are easy to make with a basting stitch (long stitch length - 4) because all you do then is pull the ends to even out the gathers and stitch them in place (after turning stitch length back to 3, of course). Confession time - this is always the hardest part of this incredibly simple process for me to remember!
More girl clothes to come...

Monday, May 23, 2011

hat workshop at the community sewing studio

We "hat" a great time at the workshop yesterday! Amy, Nadia and Sonja came to the community sewing studio and taught us about using the color wheel to choose colors. Then we followed the instructions on from Anna Kata. We used dress shirts, pants and t-shirts for their fabric and cut out circle for our hats. It seemed that stretchy fabric made the best hat band. Then we added some circle flowers and vintage buttons. They turned out great! Thanks girls, for fun day in the studio!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

a lovely weekend at Lake Michigan aka the big lake

A gorgeous weekend at the big lake. Waves on the shore, sand in our toes and the sun setting across the horizon.

If you seek a peaceful peninsula, look around you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment) bare feet

One extraordinary moment from this week that I want to savor and remember.
What inspired you this week? Share your link in the comments.
Inspired by Amanda Blake Soule at soulemama.

hope you have a wonderful weekend outdoors!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

tablecloth to wrap skirt with pockets!

This pink fabric was from a tablecloth I found in my thrifting adventures. It was in nearly pristine condition, and since I love hot pink, I snatched it up! The red fabric is left from some wedding purses I made for my cousin a few years ago. It was reversible, so I decided to use each side for one pocket. Now when I put on my skirt, I figure out where the pockets will go on the front and wrap accordingly. Works great with leggings or a jersey skirt underneath for warmth! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

community sewing studio class - pants to skirt, part 2


For a longer skirt, we cut up the inseam and pulled out some stitching.

Some possiblities for an insert in the front of the skirt and some applique for embellishing.

A lightweight pair of pants and a pieced skirt:

Measuring for length and then for width of the flouce, to be sure it's the same size as the bottom of the waistband section of the skirt.

Using a pinking shear to trim the edges so they don't fray.

The next artist class is the Make your own Hat Workshop with our friends Nadia, Sonja and Amy Daniels Moehle. We are going to be making Greta Garbo inspired hats from recycled materials. Nadia will also show you the color wheel and talk about how to choose colors.

It's on Sunday, May 22, 1-4pm, at the Grow Benzie community sewing studio, $20. Let us know if you can make it! It's warm and green in the greenhouse too, so stop by and see what's growing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

community sewing studio class - pants to skirt

Here's a review of one of the first classes held at the sewing studio at Grow Benzie!

It starts with a pair of pants, or in this case, some tiny jeans. We cut off the legs just below the back pockets, and just above the crotch (not my favorite word, but for lack of a better one just now, there it is). Using the leftover legs, cut four curved pieces, 2" - 4" wide, using as much of the leg as possible.

Sew the curved pieces together to make a flounce for the bottom of your skirt. Pin the right side of the flounce to the right side of the skirt and stitch, leaving a couple of inches unsewn at the ends of the flounce. Once you have done this, you can see where the ends of the flounce can be stitched together, so they will fit all the way around the skirt. If it's not long enough, insert another piece into your flounce. Finish sewing flounce to skirt.

You can use any kind of pants for this recycled+revamped project!

And at the top, you see the adult size, with a wide flounce. This was a bit wider and more curved so it took a lot more pieces to make up the flounce, but Erin did not give up, she persisted and ended up with two great skirts after two hours of class. Way to go, Erin!
On the hem, you can use a regular stitch about 1/4" from the bottom to keep the fabric from unravelling too much. And if it gets stringy after washing, just trim as you would your favorite frayed jeans. 

Please feel free to post links to your revamped jean skirt projects, it would be fun to see them!