Friday, November 10, 2017

Oh Baby, I'm a ROCKSTAR in this Buffalo Plaid!

We had so much fun with this photo shoot to show off our outfit for the Project Run and Play Buffalo Plaid Challenge.  "Baby I'm a Rock Star," was blasting, and my model was strutting her Rock Star Stuff.

This outfit makes you feel like a Rock Star with the Vegan Leather and Buffalo Plaid Knit Bomber Jacket  and matching 
Vegan Leather Skater Skirt.  


The jacket has a front zipper and ribbed cuffs, waistband and neckband.

We even rocked out her new BoHo Boots 
with matching fabric bands.

"I love my new outfit, 
cause Baby I feel like a ROCKSTAR!" she sang.

Ohhhhhhh Yeah ! 
Cause Grandma's Gonna Win this Contest.
Yeah Baby

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Buttons, Ruffles, and Coordinating Boho Boots

Project Run and Play's latest challenge is  
 "All Buttoned Up."
I love sewing with buttons because they have their own personalities.
Shiny, fancy, sturdy, elegant and striking,
are just a few characteristics that makes each button unique!

It was fun, sorting through the button jars at the fabric store
 to find just the perfect combination.

See how beautifully each button compliments the colors in the knit fabric. 
Yet... each button demands attention on their own.  

 I used the buttons to highlight the curved seam on this top.

I added some ruffles and lace.

I loved working with the soft colors in this print, 
"Happily Ever After" by Art Gallery fabric.

This fabric is a single knit and had one characteristic that I didn't enjoy.... the fabric rolls.
How did I solve this problem?
I needed to turn the edge of the ruffles twice and top stitch the edge to add some weight to the ruffle so it won't "roll" after I wash the completed top. In addition, the other side of the ruffle needed to be gathered...Yikes!
So to get the fabric to lay flat, I used spray starch.

Spray Starch to the RESCUE!!! 
See how well using the spray starch helped me to be able to sew each side of the ruffle. 

Notice Her Matching Boho Boots

First, I started with a pair of children's boots that I bought at a resale shop for $3.99.
Next, I spent some time cleaning them up with boot polish and a black permanent marker.  
To create the "Boho Look," the boot top is turned down. In the above picture you can see the boot before and after the turn down.
 In order to get your foot into the turned down boot, you must cut open a back seam. I also trim more of the inside of the boot, than the outside of the boot with this cut. I bought the scissors to cut this leather at Hobby Lobby in the leather department.

How much is enough?  Just try on the boot until you can comfortably slip on the boot.

Next, get ready to decorate!!!
I am always on the look for belts with a Southwestern look when I go to resale shops.  Using this beautiful silver and black belt I first measured and cut off the buckle end.

From the backside of the belt, mark a curved end in the cut-off belt. Cut, and with a black permanent marker "dye" the cut edge. Then, using a leather hole punch tool, punch new holes in the leather so the buckle can function properly.

 Using Barge All Purpose Cement Glue, I glued the belt end to the belt. My Granddaughter was so excited that she was kicking up her heels and I realized that I needed to add glue to hold everything in place, if possible. (Believe me, I am terrible using glue and only did this because it was necessary. I temporarily glued two of my fingers together in the process....)
  Now, to decorate the other boot.  Using the cut off length of the belt, punch holes in the leather to form a circle that will fit over the boot.
Use these screw post through the holes to secure the belt.

Add other jewelry like chains,   boot bracelets, feathers, fabric, or  medallions made to decorate leather.  When using a fabric band, I like to add fabric that is colorful and usually Southwestern in flavor. But on these boots, I made a band that matched the shirt that I just sewed for my granddaughter.  
Here is an example of another of the boho boot that I made myself.  Sew how wonderful the bright Southwestern fabric adds to the overall design. Notice that I used 2 belts on this shoe as it is larger and can visually handle 2 belts.

My Granddaughter really likes this outfit and plans to wear it to school tomorrow....SUCCESS!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Using Double Faced Knit Fabric and Self-Fabric Trim to Finish Edges

As I sew, I like to try new fabrics that come out on the market, and new sewing techniques. I guess you could say that is my style.
 The double faced jersey knit that I used in this outfit for the
was so easy to work with. It was soft, stretchy, and forgiving.

 Double faced jerseys can have the same face on each side or     vary in pattern or color. Mine varied in pattern but featured the same color palette. 
My granddaughter has been asking for a top with a high-low hemline, and I knew that this fabric would be perfect.  When viewing the top from the front, the lower curved back panel on  the top is visible. So I needed a fabric that looks great both on the right side of the fabric as well as the back of the fabric.

 The fabric is soft and drapes well. "It's like wearing my pajamas!" said my granddaughter.
 I like trying new sewing techniques, and this outfit utilizes
 raw edge self-trim.
 I want my granddaughter to like the finished outfits that I make for her. Trying to keep up with pre-teen fashions is an important job for this grandmother. I visit stores like Justice, Forever 21, and internet stores that feature pre-teen fashions to see what girls my granddaughter's age are buying... then I incorporate those details into my designs. 

Same Look, Different Top
While in Target, I noticed an white sleeveless knit t-shirt top on the 80% off rack for $2.80. 

I started thinking about adding a cold-shoulder sleeve to the original shirt to create a different look to go with her new pants. 

 Here is how my idea turned out.

Again, I used the raw edge self-fabric trim to finish the sleeve top.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Upholstering My Dining Room Chairs

Well I'm back from a 3 day upholstery class in Minnesota ath the Blue Skies Gallery.
 I thought I would share the results with you.
 First, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be... I started with this cane back chair that I disliked. 
I worked for 2 days on my chair adding the fabric inserts and new support structure.
 On the 3rd day, I told my instructor that I really disliked my chair and I was going to tear it all apart.
 "So what can we do to make you happy with your chair?" he asked. 

Yeap, we cut off the top of that chair and added a nailer strip to the back of the chair so I could add fabric there too. 
 Here is my finished chair. Both the front and back of the chair are covered with my new taupe herringbone fabric. I'm one happy girl!!!!
 My six chairs are far from completion, but I'm on my way and plan to have it finished for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Skirting the Issue 2017: Pre-Teen Skater Skirt

Pre-teens can be
 hard to please...

So before I chose my pattern, I researched the fashions that teens seem to prefer. I found that skater skirts are very popular with teens.

 I made this skater skirt out of a lightweight pin-wale corduroy that features a black background and bright pattern.
The pattern that I used for this skirt is Simplicity 8027.
It has an elastic waistband that is sewn into an attached casing. This keeps the waist area free from bunching of fabric, and an elastic waistband makes it suitable for many different pre-teen body types.
Zig-zag the casing near the stitching line.
Then cut away the excess so it reduces the bulk of fabric at the waistline.

 Here are some different ways to sew your elastic ends together.  Don't just sew the two ends together like a regular seam, as shown in the first example.  Overlap them or sew the edges together with a small piece of soft fabric under the edges to hold it together.
Here is a little advise from this pre-teen about choosing your fabric for your skirt: 
"I think that pre-teen girls would like this pattern to make a skirt for their first day of school. It's important that you look and feel great about yourself, as you met new friends in your classes in middle school. "

"If you don't know what pre-teens like... then take a pre-teen with you to the fabric store to choose the fabrics you will be using in your skirts that you plan to donate to girls in foster care." 

So start sewing those skirts to donate to girls in the foster care program through the USA!

(P.S.  Don't you like this car!! I've been trying to get my Grandpa to save it for me when I start
 driving in 5 years.) 
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