Monday, September 30, 2013

Fox the Fox (PRP)

Hooray it's time for my project run and play reveal! I'm excited, are you? This week is about your signature look. Well there are several things you should know about me first. Both my husband and I have Native American ancestry and we are very earthy (yet clean) hippy-ish free spirit nature loving people. In case our children's names didn't give that away already.

Unfortunately my pictures this week kind of suck so I apologize for that in advance. I only had a few minutes for this shoot and it was cold, wet, and rainy out.

Our son's name is Fox and he totally lives up to it. He's quiet yet clever. I absolutely love his name and might secretly be a little jealous. There is a price he must pay for having such an awesome name though. The price is that mommy will dress him in everything fox related thing that she can get her hands on....... or make. It's ok I'm not so bad. I mean I could have made him an entire closet of fox costumes for every day of the week and never buy him normal clothes. Instead he will just be a fox every year for Halloween (until he asks to be something else), wear the occasional t-shirt with a fox silhouette, pants with fox embroidery, and a nice warm fox ear hat ever winter. So there might be a lot of orange in his life. To bad his favorite color is green just like daddy.

So anyway onto the outfit.

This outfit is entirely upcycled! The romper used to be a large men's shirt I thrifted, the jacket used to be a large men's sweater I thrifted, and the hat is the left over pieces from both. The ears on the hat even came from tiny scraps I had left over from two other upcycled projects. He loves the hat and the jacket and was a little disappointed he had to change into something else today. I would not have normally done a pointed fox hat but I came across some cute inspiration to do it that way. I'm not sure how I feel about it though. I might still go back and round out that point. I think it might be a bit to reminiscent of garden gnomes.

The romper is pretty basic but it does zip closed instead of snap. (I got that idea from a blog a couple years ago. I don't remember which one anymore so let me know if you know and I'll give credit and link over.) Also there is that adorable little tail. How can you not love a romper with a tail?

The jacket I drafted, cut, and finished all in one day. I'm so thrilled with that and how it came out. I can't wait to make some other great jackets with that pattern. It's a little long because I made it big so he could hopefully get some use out of it next year too. I paid a little more for that thrifted sweater then I normally would have (still only $5) because I fell in love with the color and the texture when I found it. It's made out of lambs wool and cashmere so as you can imagine it is crazy soft and will be nice and warm too. I don't want to waste any of it so I'm now on the look out for uses for all the little left over scraps, lol. I even had a 1"x 2" piece cut off from near a seam that I stitched two little pieces of scrap ribbon to and now the cats have a new toy. Isn't that ridiculous? How can I throw this stuff away though?

I scrimped the fabric together as much as I could to make the hat. Then I borrowed some from the shirt scraps for the trim on it and I already told you about the ears being left over scraps from another refashioning. Can you tell I hate wasting fabric? I feel like all fabric even the tiny insignificant ones should have a use. I've been known to use salvages and other tiny bits as stuffing for stuffed animals before. You just need to spread it out and use actual stuffing too or else it will be to heavy and will never dry if you have to wash it.

Oh did you notice those oversized elbow patches? Aren't they darling? This is my favorite shade of orange and I love how it looks with the dark grey. This maybe a new favorite color combo for me. So what do you think? Am I totally nuts? Or do little orange and grey clad foxes totally rock?

Monday, September 23, 2013

PRP Plaid Challenge

As you know I am playing along in the sew along for project run and play. So it shouldn't surprise you that this is another run and play post. This weeks challenge was plaid. I had a really pretty outfit planned out and then there ended up being much less of the fabric then what I realized. So that didn't pan out. However I was lucky enough that I had a large men's dress shirt I had begun to refashion into a dress for Nova. It was partly done and had been sitting in a box for a while because I thought I had messed it up beyond repair and it would never be worn. It had a number of issues but still for some reason I couldn't get rid of it.
 While searching my stash for more plaid I came across this lost cause of a dress. I also came across a beautiful pair of pants I bought second hand that also ended up having to many issues to be used. Two items that I loved but didn't think could be salvaged. Or maybe I knew somehow they could be but just didn't know how yet....

Then it hit me and I realized that the problems parts could be put together and repaired and a new and better dress could be made.

The shoulder straps on this dress actually came from the front of the pants that was supposed to lace up. I did a lot of unpicking and seam ripping to salvage the most amount of fabric as possible and everything worked together perfectly.

Nova LOVES her new dress. She has been asking me if she can wear it all week and I kept telling her it had to wait until I had time to take her pictures in it. So as you can imagine she is a very happy little girl today in her new dress.
A new dress to go with her new hair cut. Her first hair cut actually! Thankfully it doesn't really look much different. Fox's hair on the other hand........ well you'll just have to wait to see that.

In the mean time here is another picture of the whole dress. Notice the shirring around the waist? I wanted to keep the cuffs of the original shirt but obviously they would have been huge on her. So I cut them out the way I normally would but all the way down at the bottom of the sleeve and that gave me the cuff and saved me from needing to create a new one.

So what do you think? Does it look as sweet as I think it does? Have you ever saved a long forgotten and abandoned project? Do you hang onto your failures like I do in the hopes you will someday be able to salvage them?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Candy challenge (PRP)

It's another project and run and play post. This weeks challenge was to make something candy inspired. So I had to choose something chocolate of course. I mean who ever went trick-or-treating and didn't first dig through and eat all the chocolate candies first? I know I always did.

One of my favorite candies as a child and even now are Mounds and Almond Joys. For those who aren't familiar with them they are basically just chocolate and coconut and the Almond Joys have almonds on top. I'll do a post on how to make these homemade sometime soon. So much better that way in my opinion. Anyway I digress, back to the outfit.

I decided to go with Almond Joys and the candy itself instead of the outside wrapper. After all the candy is the good part and you just throw away the wrapper. So this left me with a great color scheme. Brown for the chocolate, tan for the almonds, and cream for the coconut. Luckily I had all three colors on hand. However I had them all in very very limited amounts. The tan I had the most of with probably around 2/3rds of a yard, the brown I had around 1/2 yd., and the cream I had at most a fat quarter. So I had to be creative and wise with my fabric. I should mention I did use some left over plain white for my lining.

I made this dress up as I went along. The only design element I knew I wanted to use from the beginning was the asymmetric collar. I was inspired by the last couple from this pin. However I knew mine had to be different since I was not using knit fabric. Hence mine is only in the front so it doesn't interfere with the zipper in the back. Ember loves that side panel of ruffles. That was actually born of necessity though. When I cut my tan fabric I did not have enough of it so I used it to my advantage and just filled in the gap. All of the ruffles are cut on the bias so I wouldn't have to hem them all. That would have taken forever and I wanted this to be a combination between finished and rough around the edges. Like country chic. Just like the candy with it's smooth fitted chocolate wrapped around the soft but shredded coconut and the hard crunch of the almonds.

Below the collar is a bib that is ruffled on either side with buttons down the middle.

I did a add a small nod to the wrapper of the candy with my zipper. It is mostly hidden except for that pop of blue color for the pull. Since the wrapper encloses the candy I thought the zipper was the cutest and most logical place to do an almost hidden tribute to it.

While making this Ember begged me to add pockets. I don't normally put them on dresses and she really loved it when I added them to the popover dress. I wasn't planning to add one here either but once I got done with the other design elements I decided it needed something more. I think the ruffle on that pocket might be my favorite part.

The panel of ruffles presented a problem for hemming. So I decided to just let it flow with the disheveled part of the look. I put in to lines of stay stitches a the bottom to keep fraying somewhat under control.

Overall I'm really satisfied with how this dress came out. I can't wait to see the designs the other ladies came up with. I'm sure there are going to be some jaw-droppingly beautiful outfits for this challenge. 

So what do you think? Did I pick a good candy inspiration? Did I do it justice? Does it make you think of my candy?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pop Over Sundress Remix (PRP)

This is a project run and play post. Hence the "PRP" in the title. I've decided to sew along this time instead of just ooh and ahhh. The theme this week was to remix the popover sundress from Oliver & S.

Let me start by saying "wow!". This dress is really open to the possibilities. There are a lot of different directions you can take this in. It took me a while to figure out just what I wanted to do. I finally settled one a design I liked though.

As you can see I've been a little busy.

I added the bib with the rickrack and the buttons.

And I added two sweet little pockets to the front with a rickrack detailing. You can also see the double bands of bias tape I made for the bottom.

You would think I liked bias tape with all that I made for this dress but let me assure you I despise making it. I did at least find this lovely tutorial which at least made me feel a little better about making it since it reduced the amount of waste to nearly nothing. It's still a pain in the butt to do though. I think part of the problem is that I seriously need a better iron. The one I have eats the fabric as it goes along. BLAH!

As you can see the pockets have been approved.

I debated that double band of bias at the bottom. I'm glad I added it though because I like how it looks. Oh and I almost forgot. I decided I did not want to hassle with tying and retying straps on a busy almost 6 yr old. So I made them into normal straps no ties. Although I may hand sew some bows on eventually. I'm not sure it really needs it though.

So what do you think? Do you like the changes I made? Should I have done something differently? Please let me know. I'd love too hear your thoughts. :-)

Don't forget to check out the other amazing entries that other ladies have made for this dress too. Project run and play always has so much talent both in the actual contestants and in the sew along group.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Painting an Old Mirror in the Frame

Ever since we painted our living room wall blue I knew I wanted to hang a large yellow mirror on it. However large yellow mirrors are not something you come across often and I didn't want to break the bank.

I was fortunate to not have to wait very long before finding a large mirror at a garage sale for pretty cheap. It wasn't yellow but that was easy to remedy. It had the original price tag still on it for $99.99. It had some scuffs in the paint (which I didn't mind since I'm painting it) so the people were only asking $8. SCORE!

This is how it started out.

The back was completely sealed and I didn't want to rip a beautiful paper backing off to paint the frame. So I improvised.

 I cut out pieces of cardboard the size I needed to cover the mirror. I left around an inch of mirror showing on each side though so I could take it to the mirror.

This is what my mirror looked like after I taped it. Just make sure that while doing this you tape only on the mirror and the cardboard and not onto the frame. You want to get the tape as close to the edge of your mirror as possible. It might even be a good idea to see if your mirror shifts at all in the frame. If it does then use this to your advantage and push it as far as you can away from you and then tape it down on the side closest you. Be sure to turn your mirror as you tape each side. You don't want to lean on your mirror to tape the opposite side and hear that awful crack sound.

Once you feel secure with your taping you can begin painting. I used spray paint. :-)

I let the first coat dry over night and then added another coating. You may need to re-tape some spots before you do. As you can see my tape was peeling up but I was able to just stick it right back down again.

Now if after your second coat your paint looks like it's starting to crack and bubble then don't panic. Mine did this for some reason and I thought I had seriously messed up somehow. I just left it to dry another night and when I came back in the morning it had all flattened back down and looked fine.

This is my finished mirror. I think it's even prettier in person. Although it does need a good wash (yikes look at those streaks!). You maybe able to see in this picture that a little bit of paint did seep through to the mirror. Despite my best efforts I kind of figured this may happen. I'm happy to report though that the paint that got on the glass scrapes of very easily. A little scrap with a razor blade would be the most you should need. Or you could do like I did and just use your nails. ;-)