Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creating a Special Place Just for Kids.

Okay, today I am taking a break from sewing. I told you that we bought a new house, but we can't move in just yet.  The house has a lot of "bumps and bruises" from the last owner and we must fix them first.

I also want to create a special play area in the basement for my two granddaughters that live with us.  I want it to be a place that says, "This is your home too."

So the first thing that I did was to paint the basement concrete walls with white masonry paint. Let me tell you that concrete soaks up the paint, even though this paint has primer included in the paint.

But I sure love how fresh and clean it make the space look.

Next, I put down soft cushiony mat 2 x 2 squares in 4 different colors. I just placed them randomly. I even cut them out so they would fit close up to the wall.  My husband helped me. With the white walls and primary colored mats, the space now is beginning to feel welcoming.

Here is the first item that I added to the playroom, "Barbie's Dreamhouse."  I forgot that it was in the attic, and now that I have been packing I rediscovered it.  I went on the internet and found tons of links about how to construct your own Barbie Dream House furniture. I thought that might be a fun project for my granddaughters and I to do together.  I think we passed the furniture on to a friend of ours when she was young so she could play with it.


Monday, February 4, 2013

2 Shirt Sundress

It all started with 2 Men's shirts that belonged to her Grandfather (Papa).
One was a very small blue, white, and yellow plaid, and the second was a light yellow oxford.

My inspiration was from Simplicity pattern 2265. When I spied this design, I could picture it a remake using men's shirt with the "gathered flower petals" on the front. So I cut and measured and created a similar design until 2:00 am in the morning because it was so much fun!

As you create the dress you keep thinking...
how can I creatively use the parts of the shirt?
If you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can see the details.
First, I have to thank my lucky stars that the side seams in the Men's shirt was matched, and that the shirt was cut on grain!!!!!  It made it easy to cut around the entire width of the shirt using the plaid as my cutting guide.  That piece was then gathered at the top to create the dress front and back. I just loved using that front button tab down the back and not making any buttonholes or sewing on a button to match.  YEAH!
The front and back bodice were cut from the sleeves of the plaid shirt. 
 THEN I had the idea to use the cuffs as the shoulder straps...... that made me smile :)
I utilized the placket in the sleeve when cutting the back bodice, which was a bit tricky to finish the edge on the other side.
I needed to add two button holes in this area.

I finished the bottom of the dress with a strip of fabric from the yellow oxford. Then I added all these buttons from my button box.  Before I throw one of my husband's shirt away, I always cut off the buttons and save them, so I had lots to choose from.
A funny story about those buttons is that I sewed most of them on at the car repair shop while I waited for my car to be repaired. One of the mechanics took my picture to show his wife that women really do know how to sew on buttons. 
He took a step by step sequence to show his wife
"How to Sew on a Button".
To finish the raw edges in the inside,  I buttoned on the button side of the shirt, and then turned under the edges of each side and hand stitched the edges shut. Originally, I was only going to have the empty buttonholes on this strip, but this finished the inside so it was smooth as E wears the sundress.
Papa likes to tease E that she's wearing his shirt, and she loves it even more because of that.
  I can't wait to make my next creation as this one was SO MUCH FUN!

Here's your link back to Project Run and Play.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my sundress as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Please leave a "trail of your thoughts" as I so enjoy reading them.
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