Tag Archives: recycled clothes

Saturday Creativity=FAIL

Do you ever have those days where you think it’s going to be a GREAT crafting day, and then it blows?

That was my Saturday, June 13. 

It started out kinda dark and gloomy, kinda rainy… the sky was unsure of itself. The perfect day to stay inside and make stuff. First thing on the agenda: Lemon Yogurt Bread. This is a tried and true recipe my mom and I have been making for years. We came across the recipe in our church cookbook from the ’90s (Immanuel Lutheran Church of Waukee, “Fellowship of Food” Cookbook, 1995). We’ve both flawlessly executed this bread hundreds of times. I even got a blue ribbon at the Dallas County Fair with it! 

Now, I love trying substitutions in recipes to make them healthier. Splenda and I are very good friends. Wheat flour and I also get along. When I got out the oil, and saw that I needed ONE CUP of oil, I thought no, this wasn’t going to happen. So I quick Googled “oil substitutions” and found out that I could use applesauce instead. So I did. And this is what happened:

 

Lemon Yogurt Bread = FAIL

Lemon Yogurt Bread = FAIL It's dull and lifeless. Look how it raised and then fell. It's not supposed to do that. WHY ME???

 Here’s the recipe to show me up and make your own, if you follow the directions, I promise it will turn out AWESOME:

Lemon Yogurt Bread

Instead of lemon, you can use any yogurt and extract flavor you choose!

Ingredients:

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 c sugar (Splenda)
  • 2 c lemon yogurt (we use 3 regular size containers)
  • 1 tbs lemon extract

Directions:

  • Mid dry ingredieents. Set aside.
  • Lightly beat eggs in large bowl. Add oil and sugar, cream well.
  • Mix in yogurt and extract.
  • Mix in dry ingredients.
  • Spoon into 2 well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. 

Moving on.

Well my bread didn’t turn out, but that’s ok right? I’ll do some sewing today! I had a few more shirts from the boy to resew, and one of them was going to make a perfect skirt. You may remember Not Your School Girl Plaid Skirt from May, and although that skirt is really cute, I wanted to try a different skirt pattern. That pattern used a piece of elastic in the casing, and I just don’t dig the belt thing. I did some research (ok, Googling) and didn’t find a pattern I really liked, or perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood to follow directions. I decided to wing it. 

What I do love about that previous skirt is the waistband, I definitely wanted this next skirt to have a waistband. Also wanted it to be kinda gathery at the top, but not with elastic. Why not try a zipper? It can’t be that hard. So I dug out my vintage zippers and found two that matched, one was perfect, the other was just good enough for worst case scenario (of course I wouldn’t need that back-up zipper! that would be crazy!). I grabbed my shirt and got to work!

 

Ready, Set, SEAM RIP! First things first, I seam rippered off the arms and pockets. This takes a little bit longer than just cutting, but it makes for nice seams when you want to use those parts later. After that, I cut the shirt right under the arms.

Ready, Set, SEAM RIP! First things first, I seam rippered off the arms and pockets. This takes a little bit longer than just cutting, but it makes for nice seams when you want to use those parts later.

After I got the shirt taken apart as needed, I cut across the shirt, under the arms. Then I used pieces from the top back panels to make my waistband, I measured around my waist, added a couple of inches for seam allowance and overlap (buttons). I gathered the top of the skirt to fit the waistband, with right sides together, I sewed them together, leaving about 1/2 in seam allowance. Then I folded about 1/2 under on the top of the waistband, basted that together, then folded the waistband down again, and sewed the waistband to the skirt, again. 

Then I added my zipper. I followed directions (merely guidelines) from the spring SewStylish magazine for sewing zippers, I wanted the zipper to be covered. It looked pretty good! I was really proud of my work thus far, so I showed my mom! And when I went to zip up the skirt… I took the handle of the zipper right off. She informed me that you cannot put it back on. And politely told me, through my tears, that I would have to replace the zipper. Did I mention that it took me like an hour to get the zipper installed? HATE MY LIFE.

 

These should not be separate.

These should not be separate.

Saturday Score:

  • Zipper: 1
  • Bread: 1
  • Aunt GiGi: 0

We ate dinner, and after dinner I replaced the zipper with the backup one. It doesn’t look as good. But I learned my lesson. Never fuck with zippers unless they has been whip-stitched or stoppers attached. The good news is, I’ll never make that mistake again.

It’s Sunday now, and I’ve got the buttons attached to the skirt and it’s all pretty and ready to be worn. I am feeling better about my bread and zipper fiasco.

 

All done, and pretty.

All done, and pretty.

 

View from side. You can kinda see the shafty zipper work, but the pockets look nice.

View from side. You can kinda see the shafty zipper work, but the pockets look nice.

On a side note, I will be in a magical land with no Internets connection for two weeks. Is it heaven? No, no, it’s Illinois.

Chop Top WRANGLER Frock

 

The Gem was upset with me for not sewing for like 4 weeks, and had to spend most of Monday in time-out. Yes. My sewing machine sat in time out. 

I was planning on making this black dress out of a very thick knit, a ponte, apparently. I get all the pieces cut out; the pattern says it’s only going to take an hour. I get a 4 in strip ready to test, you know, make sure the machine is going to work, to decide how big my stitches should be… it won’t catch. The spool and bobbin thread wouldn’t play together and the needle would go through, but neither thread would stay. WTF?

Mom insisted I use her big bad machine, and it worked fine. Here’s the final product:

 

Im really happy with the final product! This dress can go casual or dressy, perfect for the office or dinner. But next time, Im using a thinner knit.

I'm really happy with the final product! This dress can go casual or dressy, perfect for the office or dinner. But next time, I'm using a thinner knit.

 

As mentioned in a previous post, the bf went garage saling and came back with some fantastic mid-90’s Wrangler shirts for me to re-sew. I’m still completely obsessed with my Chop Top Frock shirt, and I decided to make another! 

 

The final product! Mom and I think that it doesnt look like a western shirt anymore, but has a Hawaiian feel now. I love this!

The final product! Mom and I think that it doesn't look like a western shirt anymore, but has a Hawaiian feel now. I love this!

 

When I was all done, I noticed a hole in the top of the pocket. WTF? I was like Mom! They effed up the pocket! Look! Theres a hole! That sucks! To which she informs me that the hole is supposed to be there and its to hold a pen. What? I looked closer and saw that the stitching around the hole was all double stitched. Ill never wear this shirt without a pen in the pocket.

When I was all done, I noticed a hole in the top of the pocket. WTF? I was like "Mom! They effed up the pocket! Look! There's a hole! That sucks!" To which she informs me that the hole is supposed to be there and it's to hold a pen. What? I looked closer and saw that the stitching around the hole was all double stitched. I'll never wear this shirt without a pen in the pocket.

Who Writes Clothes Patterns Anyways?

I cannot stress enough how fantastic my mother is. Clearly my lack of patience does not come from her. 

I learned to sew in 4th grade, it was my first year of 4H, and I believe my sister was working at a fabric store at the time. I remember my mom teaching me to sew, and taking a sewing class at the fabric store. Pretty sure the only thing I made that year was a blue shirt, it was cotton, and other than that I don’t remember much about it – except I got a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair!!! And to get to the ISF, you have to enter at the county fair and wow the judges (who were usually mean old hags to gave you a blue ribbon for the Teddy Bear you sewed from a pattern and said it should have a story about the bear’s life attached, while giving a purple ribbon to the girl who sewed some other stuffed animal from a KIT [you know the kits I’m talking about, think middle school home-ec]) and get a purple ribbon. 

Sewing wasn’t my passion, made some stuffed animals in middle school and some contact paper purses in high school, ok and I re-sew tshirts every once in a while, but make clothes from scratch?! One of my New Year Resolutions for 2009 was to learn to sew from a pattern. My mother is a quilter, former crafter of all varieties, and also knows everything (or so it seems!) about sewing. 

At Jo-Ann’s we found this fantastic magazine called CraftStylish.

As soon as I saw the black dress gracing the cover, I knew I had to make it!

If you need some ideas for recycled projects, definitely go pick up this magazine! It’s got a lot of great ideas inside. You can also find more fun ideas at CraftStylish.com

Here’s my take on the dress:

 

I wore this dress out for my 24th birthday, told many people that it was my 34th birthday, and they all told me I dont look a day over 19. I call it my Hannah Montana dress!

I wore this dress out for my 24th birthday, told many people that it was my 34th birthday, and they all told me I don't look a day over 19. I call it my Hannah Montana dress!

This shirt is made from two men’s shirts. Here’s a hint the magazine doesn’t tell you: If you’re using two different shirts, make sure they button the same direction. I learned the hard way. My solution: add snaps to the top half of the shirt, the button still shows, but the shirt snaps instead of buttoning. Also, I definitely recommend using men’s shirts. I tried to make another one from two black women’s button-ups from the Walmart clearance rack, but it turned into a shirt because the women’s shirts are too short, no matter what size.

Moving on to patterns.

My first attempt at sewing from a pattern was this red and black boho/hippie tunic.

I call this the Angry Hippie. I took measurements before I cut the pattern, but the top is a little big. So the next one I will have to adjust my pattern to make the top smaller. I highly recommend this pattern - its easy and looks great!

I call this the Angry Hippie. I took measurements before I cut the pattern, but the top is a little big. So the next one I will have to adjust my pattern to make the top smaller. I highly recommend this pattern - it's easy and looks great!

That shirt was relatively easy, Mom helped out a lot, explaining things and showing hints/tricks. I bought more fabric to make the shirt again in a brown/flowery pattern. Next up was The Evil Shirt.

This shirt was the devil. Who writes these patterns anyways? And WTF is a placket? Plaket? I dont even know how to spell it, but my mother referred to it frequently.

This shirt was the devil. Who writes these patterns anyways? And WTF is a placket? Plaket? I don't even know how to spell it, but my mother referred to it frequently.

More about The Evil Shirt. Collars are not fun. First of all, I worked on this shirt for like 7 hours one day, and then got to the point where I needed to make button holes and put it away. Button holes? That seems scary. We have two sewing machines, my mom uses a big bad Viking (with like 60 different stitches), while I stick with her travel machine, a Janome Gem Gold (12 stitches!). She had never made button holes with Gem, so I got the book out and figured it out. I woke her up because I was so excited about making button holes. We spent like 20 minutes making buttonholes on various pieces of fabric, “practicing” we called it. 

Once again, I measured myself before I cut out the pattern. Cut out according to the size chart. When I got it all sewed up, it was way too big. It looked like a night-gown. I took in about two inches on both sides, and another four off the bottom (it came down to my knees, not flattering). And that was good enough, so I put it in the wash and… it shrunk. It’s like 2-3 inches shorter than it was before I washed it and went from a flat woven fabric to having a waffly pattern. So… I recommend this only if you want to tackle collars and shrinkage (this probly won’t happen to you, make sure to read your fabric label at the store!)

Next up if a gorgeous number from the Brooke Shield’s Signature Collection from McCalls circa 1985.

Altho you cannot see the back of this shirt, its made from four different pieces of fabric. Four pieces of fabric from my Moms reject ThisIsTooUglyToPutInAQuilt pile.

Altho you cannot see the back of this shirt, it's made from four different pieces of fabric. Four pieces of fabric from my Mom's reject ThisIsTooUglyToPutInAQuilt pile.

This is a girl’s pattern. But I shop in the girl’s section at Target quite often so I wasn’t too concerned. My mom had made this shirt for my sister, so the pattern was cut at a kid’s 10. I knew that would be a little small, so I added about a half inch all over, and I would have added more length wise, but these were just fat quarters, so I didn’t have much to work with. I got the sides sewn up and it fit, but I wanted a little more wiggle room, so I found a couple more scraps and added a 2 inch strip on each side (which came to 1 inch on each side with seam allowances). It’s still a little short, but I wear a lot of high-waisted pants/skirts so I’m not too concerned. 

Also, my favorite part of this project was picking out buttons. Buttons are essential.

In conclusion, if the pattern doesn’t say “easy”, it’s full of gibberish. But I have many more to tackle! Many more blogs to come!