Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thriftaholics anonymous anyone....?

I found myself kidless this morning and had a few hours to kill before my hair appointment.  I decided to try my hand at the thrift stores.  NOT GONNA LIE....I am a bit in love.  It was inevitable I am sure---I already had a love of yard sales.  It is a slippery slope from there.  I have a stack of cute clothes, some shelves, some new and fabulous fabric, an old sheet to use for sewing, AND a new pair of shoes that I may never take off.  I love that shoes ALWAYS fit.  My tummy may get bigger---I may not fit in my cute jeans anymore, BUT are always there to make me happy.  These little cuties were 2 bucks at Value Village and I have been wearing them and smiling ever since.  SERIOUSLY I may have a new problem---My name is Jessica and I AM a Thriftaholic♥

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Luxe

Another book to recommend
I have been SUPER lucky lately.  Usually I have to wade through some crumby books to find the good ones, but I am on a run of good ones.  The latest....The Luxe by Anna Godbersen.  This is the first in a series of books about the incredibly rich kids living in New York in the 1890's.  The book starts with the death of Elizabeth Holland, the most eligible young lady in New York.  Her funeral is held on the day that WAS to have been her wedding day.  At the funeral are the main characters--her little sister, her best friend (who was in love with her fiance), her fiance (the richest man in New York), her boyfriend and true love (also one of her servants), and her maid (who hates her and loves her boyfriend), the reader gets to start over at the beginning and find out what led up to Elizabeth's death.  It is all full of mixed up relationships and the rules of the rich.  Reading this book made me realize how lucky I am to have been able to chose who I would marry.  Even on bad days, at least I can remember that I CHOSE to be married to this person.  I cannot imagine having my husband chosen because of how much money he has.  ANYWAY, I have already gone to the library to get the 2nd book in the series (even though I am slightly embarrassed that it was in the Young Adult section).  It is a little like a soap opera book---except without the sex.  Just a warning though---with all of the twisted up love, and death (or assumed death), and balls with beautiful gowns and vicious girls---don't start reading until you plan to follow through ♥

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The bandana SKIRT AND bandana shirt tutorial

Bandanas are back!!!
This is the last bandana post for a while---I swear....kinda.  I just keep finding new ways to love them.  LOVE THEM!!!  This is basically just the bandana shirt without straps, but who does not need a new summer skirt????  I DO!!  PLUS another pair of shoes out of retirement---I love these RED ones!!!

Anyway I may never wear anything else to church.  Now that I know I can make a skirt for 2 bucks....anything else seems a little silly:)

By the mom hates the way I stand.  She has ALWAYS said I stand like a duck and I have ALWAYS stood that way...not sure why???  I guess 9 years of ballet lessons don't get you much these days--ha ha:)
Anyway...I decided to make a tutorial for the bandana shirt/skirt for 3 reasons.  1.  because I got more e-mails, comments, and even phone calls about this post than any before.  AND 2. because when I first started making clothes (a few months ago), I needed VERY CLEAR directions. AND 3. because I needed something to do while I watched the American Idol Final.
SO here it is...

YEP... I made another one:) 
For the shirt you need 3 bandanas--only 2 for the skirt. Plus some 1 inch wide (or whatever you want) elastic.
First, you need to put your hankerchiefs right sides together and sew down each side.  I made sure to put the words on the top so that they would not show.  I also sewed the side seams about 1/8 inch away from the edge because I wanted the shirt to be as wide as possible (I am not as small as I used to be).

Next, fold the top down about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inchs.  I just folded over until it lined up on with the blue edge because I did not want to measure.  IRON. 
Then, sew about 1/8 to 1/4 inches around the folded down top portion to make an elastic casing.  Leave a 2 or so inch opening so that you can thread the elastic through.  Make sure to go pretty straight because this will be visible on the outside of the finished shirt:)  Just a tip.
After that, take a piece of elastic (I used 1 inch wide) and wrap it around your chest so that it fits really snuggly.  Cut it to the length that you want and then put a safety pin on the end of it.  Use the safety pin to thread the elastic through your new amazing elastic casing. 
Once you get the elastic all the way around.  Take the 2 ends and overlap them by about an inch or so.  Make two rows of zig zag stitches to hook them together.  I found a new trick this time around.  FOR EVER when I sewed elastic it would get bobbin vomit on the back side.  Anybody know what I mean???  Just a bunch of thread spit out on the backside.  WELL that is what happened to me.  BUT I found that if you turn the bobbin tension up to like 7 while sewing over the elastic it makes nice clean stitches----no vomit. FYI.
Then sew your little hole shut (the one you threaded the elastic through).  Now rotate your elastic around so that your side seams are lined up on either side---you don't want a crooked crack:)  Then you are left with this...
Check out my little helper's toes--even her toes are the cutest!!♥ can stop now and have a cute cute skirt....or you can keep going and make some straps.  Hmmmmm???? decisions decisions????
OK--for the staps I used the 3rd hankie and cut 2 strips that were 2 1/2 inches by the length of the hankerchief.  If you want a little wiggle room, you could go 2 3/4 inches on the strips---mine were tough to get the elastic through---but I am not so great at straight line sewing either....your choice. 
Fold your strip in half and sew 1/8 inches all the way down the long edge (on both straps). I zig zagged along the edge too.  I doubt it was necessary, but the material is super cheap and flimsy and I didn't want my straps falling apart--again, your choice.

Take your tube, hook another safety pin on, and poke it down through the strap. This will flip it right side out.
After you get it turned right side out, get the seam lined up on one side and iron the strap flat.  This will be the back of the strap. 
One more time with the safety pin.  Hook it to the elastic and poke it down into the strap.  Scoot the pin down and through until it comes out the other end--make sure you don't lose the first end though.
Once you get the elastic through, sew the elastic down at both ends of the straps.  This just keeps it in place while you hook it to the shirt.  I sewed about 1/4 inch from the edge (through the elastic and the strap).
Next, it is time to attach the straps.  To do this, I put the shirt on over a tank top that I like.  I lined the staps up with the straps of the tank I was wearing and then pinned them onto the shirt.  Then I took the shirt off and sewed the straps onto the front of the shirt.  Make sure the seam is down the back of the strap (not showing when you wear it). I sewed about 1/8 inchs away from the edge--forward and then back stitched across to make it secure.  AGAIN--make sure to make this a straight seam because it will be visible right on the front of the shirt.
For the back straps I placed the straps a little (about an inch) further in (closer together).  I did this for 2 reasons. 1. so that the back is different than the front (makes it easier when getting dressed). and 2. because this is how most of my bought tank tops are.  SOOO I did it that way too:)
AND there you have it.... a new shirt...OR a new skirt. 
I still have not made a dent in my supply of hankerchiefs.... the bandana party is just starting over here.  Anybody else getting obsessed????


My little Sweet Tart:)

Look at the chubbo on those mommy's slippers.  Cute Cute CUTE!!!  I have had a re-fashion on the burner for the last few darn weeks and I FINALLY got it right.  The first attempts of making some adult clothes into Emersyn clothes was NOT a success, but THEN I tried, and Tried and TRIED one more time and then it kinda worked.  They cannot all be great--right???  Somtimes things just don't turn out as expected!!! 
I started off with these Sweet Tarts Pj's donated by the beatiful Melissa.  Even the Koch's JUNK is great---those girls have some fun stuff at their house....I'm just sayin!!! 
Anyway...I used the shirt to make a little dressy-pooh.  It took some trial and error and some more error and then some seam ripping and then some swearing and finally turned into a dress--kinda. Em loves the hearts and thinks she is a princess girl, so that is what REALLY matters.
The skirt had some issues too.  It started off---well just a little long and freaky (kinda like 2 year old hair).
So I cut and sewed and re-did and shortened her on up.
Now it is a fun little heart skirt that Em thinks is her dancing skirt.  Can't beat a dancing princess girl!!

The End!!♥

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bandana shirts

I found a NEW favorite thing. I know I constantly have NEW favorites, but this is FOR SURE it for right now. Hankerchief shirts.  It all started a while back at Connell Craft Day.  I was making a dress for Emersyn out of two hankerchiefs and someone asked if I was making myselft a shirt.  I thought...hmmm???  and held up a hankie to myself.  It went half way around me and right there the idea hatched---hankie shirts.  Then when I was at Wal Mart and saw the new hankerchiefs they had (I think it must have been fate) I bought some and started right in. 
I don't do sleeveless, but I think it would work great as a tank top.  Just loose and easy---light and breezy!!  I love alliteration--it is the English teacher in me:)  Any ways.....this is all I did. 
It took 3 hankerchiefs per shirt.  First, I sewed 2 of them right sides together to make a big tube.  Then I rolled the top of the tube over 1 1/4 inch and sewed an elastic casing.  Then I strung the elastic in using a safety pin and sewed the hole closed.  Next, I cut 2 strips of fabric 2 and 1/2 inches wide.  I then sewed the long sides together--right sides together.  Then I used a safety pin to flip the tube right side out and strung the elastic through it---think of when we used to make scrunchies.  Hmmmm???? What happened to scrunchies????  Then I sewed the straps onto the shirt and VOILA!!! (edited: I have added a full tutorial for this HERE).

And the very best part....I can wear it with my pink shoes.  I love pink shoes and these have been waiting for a new look. 
There is really only one problem with this idea....hankies only come in ONE size.  I am a size small or medium.  Probably more like a medium who wishes she was still a small....but that is another story.  A few more brownies and I am not sure this would work out for me. I bet you could add a little bit of fabric on each end and make it wider, but that might defeat the cheap and easy factor---not sure how it would look either. These hankerchiefs were only a buck a piece, so the whole shirt was 3 bucks plus elastic.  I planned on using some of the 3rd bandana to make ties in the back, but then I didn't because I was not sure how much they would shrink after washing. PLUS I did not want the ties poking out in the back of my sweater---I hate that.  I STILL have not gotten them out of the dryer yet, so I hope they still fit when I grab them:)  I will NOW have to use the leftover fabric for some cute matching bracelets or for some more fabric flowers to pin onto my sweaters.  I TOLD YOU I was in love:)
Here was my second attempt.  I am just gonna go on a limb and say that if you see me this summer I will be wearing one of these shirts.  I have all ready raided the rest of the bandanas at Wal Mart---I figure I only get dressed about twice a week, so it wont even be like I am wearing the same thing every day--right??? ♥

make it wear it

Show and Tell Green

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book Review

I have finished two great books this week and would love to share them with you.  The first one I LOVED!!!  It is The House At Riverton by Kate Morton.  It starts off with a little old lady who is almost a hundred years old and living in a nursing home.  She is meeting with a producer about a movie that they are making about her past.  She meets with them to help with the movie and begins remembering all of the memories of her past.  It goes back and forth between past and present and slowly the whole story unfolds.  As she gets closer to the end of her life she continues remembering the events leading up to a fateful night at the Riverton House.  She had been a servant in the house and gets to know the rich children who inhabit the house.  She grows up with them and tells us the story from the perspective of a servant (or outsider).  It goes through both world wars and how these wars changed the world for the working classes and the aristocracy.  It was one of those stories that keeps unraveling until the VERY last page----which was a huge surprise to me.  I usually can guess the end of most mysteries, but this one kept me wondering.  LOVED IT!!!

The 2nd book was The Queen's Governess, by Karen Harper.  It was a Historical novel about Katherine Ashley who became the governess to Queen Elizabeth of England. It follows her from her youth all the way through her beginnings at Court with Queen Anne Bolyn.  It is a great inside look at the crazyness of King Henry the 8th and his Court.  It goes all the way through her adult life, workings, spyings, time in The Tower, and in prison, and the ups and downs of being at court.  I find everything about the many wives of Henry fasinating and this follows through them all and his death.  If you enjoy history, this is a great book--it does read more like a history and less like a novel though.
Finally a couple of books I can recommend.  I hope you try one and enjoy it.