Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shrunken Jeans to Cute Summer Capris

I was going through my closet today switching a majority of my jeans out for capris. Unfortunately, I have very few fitting capris post-baby. Let's be honest, one too tight pair that I squeeze into and one fitting pair. And that is it. Wouldn't be a big deal if I also wore shorts but capris are really all I wear in the summer. Even more upsetting were the disappointing jeans at the bottom of the pile. You know the ones I am talking about. That pair that fit great when you bought them but then suddenly all of the length disappeared after their first ride in the dryer. And then this mom on a budget had a brilliant idea!

I tried on my awkward length jeans and marked where they should be cut for capris, I measured out an extra 4 inches before marking to allow for a 2 inch cuff. 

I laid the pant leg on a cutting mat and used my rotary cutter to create a straight cut. 

I then used that leg as a template for cutting the other leg.

I then tried the jeans on again to be sure it all looked right. But the flare in the leg just looked funky. I grabbed a safety pin and marked where I thought the pants should fit closer to the leg.

I then removed the jeans and measured how far from the seam the safety pin was. I removed the pin and turned the pants inside out. I measured out the distance from the seam again and began pinning all the way down the leg. I tapered it off the closer to the hip I got. 

I then stitched along my markings, removed the pins and tried the pants on. My seam was a little wonky at the top, it didn't taper enough so I quickly fixed the taper. 

I then re-stitched over the seam for reinforcement. Then another seam 1/4 inch away from this seam. I cut the excess denim off and then zig-zag stitched the frayed edging.

I then folded the jeans over each other and used the finished leg as a template for the unfinished leg. I marked the pant leg and stitched the other leg identically to the other one. 

I didn't love my zig-zag stitching and knew it would be showing in the cuff so I cut some small pieces of crocheted lace to cover the seams and stitched it into place. 

Finally, I folded my cuffs and pinned them into place so I could place periodic stitches to hold them permanently into place.

And that was it! Only took about an hour and a half.

I now have a pefectly fitting pair of capris for this summer! I am going to be seriously digging through my closet this week for more projects.   :)

Happy sewing!
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Congrats to the Stanley Cup Champs!

Something that you will probably learn about me over time . . . we are huge Chicago Blackhawks fans! So when game 6 of the playoffs was going to land on my husband's birthday I knew I wanted to look great to celebrate while still rooting for my favorite team! And I had just the stuff in my closet to make that happen.

A 99 cent thrifted Blackhawk tank, a $3 Old Navy tank top, and a black jersey skirt.

This project would've been even easier if I had wanted to keep just the spaghetti strap tank and eliminate the white tank but I hate having my bra straps showing and prefer more coverage so I needed a way to transfer the logo to the white tank. 

I used my circle guide to measure how big of a circle was needed to cut out the logo. I cut about a half inch to an inch bigger than this measurement. 

I cut out a cardboard circle in the size I had originally measured around the logo. I laid it in the middle of my circle and then began to loosely thread around the outside. 

I continued all the way around until I reached the starting point and than pulled it all tight around the cardboard circle.

Then I folded the cardboard and pulled it out. 

This left me with a nearly perfect circle. I tried on the white tank top in order to position the circle in the middle. I used pins to secure and fix up the circle. I also used a fabric pencil to mark the area where I wanted the shirt to end and dress bottom to begin.

I then removed the shirt and sewed on the logo. 

I then cut the shirt where my mark was using my rotary cutter and mat to be sure it would be straight.

I then turned the tank top inside out and used a zig zag stitch to attach the top to the skirt. 

Finally I took the bottom part of the red tank and created a band for around the waist. To spruce up the bottom I added a logo that I took from the arm of a previously upcycled too small jersey. And my dress was complete in about an hour and a half. 

Apparently my dress was lucky, since they won the cup Monday night! My husband had a great birthday and we had a great time celebrating! Goes to show, you can make something great out of the things you don't think you are going to wear anymore . . . on to find more disregarded clothes.

Happy sewing!
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Monday, June 3, 2013

A Fabulous Thrift Find: Pottery Barn Side Table

I started giving our room a makeover a few months ago and have been slowly finishing it up before I reveal it. So you can imagine how happy I was to find a sturdy side table that was just perfect to use as a nightstand on my husband's side of the bed.

I immediately grabbed it when I saw it. I loved the chunky look and the black finish (keeps it manly for my husband). . . only the top needed to be touched up. I was even more pleased when I went up to pay and found out that all furniture was 50% off. I only paid 10 dollars for the table. Of course, it took some pushing and shoving to get it into the backseat of the small 2 door car I had driven that day but over the course of pushing and shoving, I saw a small white sticker on the back that looked awfully familiar . . . yep . . . pottery barn!!! Now I was overjoyed. I brought that baby home and got it right outside to start fixing it up. 

I wanted to keep that signature Pottery Barn look by sanding down the top and staining it a beautiful brown. However, as I got to the corners I realized the top was a veneer. Uh oh. 

A little bit of sanding on the side confirmed my suspicion. Two layers of MDF topped with some veneer. Darn. On to plan B.

I simply painted the top black to restore it to its original beauty! 

Now it is perfect in it's little nook in our room. And my husband loves it which makes it that much better! 

Now we just have to fix up a mirror and I have to sew a king size quilt and I may finally be ready to reveal my newly decorated room. If only all my projects could be as easy and cheap as this one was!  :)

Happy thrifting!
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