Carolina Girl-Game Day Ready


In my last post I had made a dress out of one of my dad’s old shirts. I wore it to church last Sunday and had tons of compliments. Some of those even came from people who hadn’t seen the blog post or known that I had made it. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel good when someone compliments my outfit, and it makes me feel even better when the compliment is directed at something that I have crafted myself! I really loved wearing it. It is super comfortable, but not sloppy. It was a little bit structured and a little bit loose and still had some girly elements to it.

I had an event coming up (which has past now because I just got home from it) and I wasn’t planning on making anything to wear. I didn’t really think I had time and I figured I could just wear something I already had. But like always…the crazy kicked in and I knew, while I was at church, I wanted to make another of these dresses to wear. I left church, checked the time, and hurried over to the thrift store. I knew exactly what I wanted. Well, almost exactly. I knew it needed to be a shirt that was carolina blue and big. They had exactly what I needed, and I actually headed home with 2 shirts.


Here we have the 2 lovely shirts. Please ignore the wet hair and pretend I look decent in this photo. I was on a time crunch and had to take the photos when I could.


First things first – cut off the collars and the cuffs and store them for an awesome project one day. I actually have a whole little tote container of them. Let me know if you have any ideas. I’m still waiting on something great to pop into my head.


I cut off the sleeves as close to the seam as possible as to save material. I didn’t take them time to seam rip it because I knew I would make a new arm hole anyways.


I put the shirt on and determined where the new shoulder would be. I also put some pins under my arms to try and figure out where the bottom of the new arm hole was going to be. This is honestly the hardest part because….men’s shirts have gigantic arm holes and women do not typically have quite as giant arms or need as much room. The smaller you make the arm hole the tighter you are making the shirt across your chest. It’s not too bad for me because I don’t have much in the front to consider, but I also didn’t want the shirt bulging open at the buttons. Unfortunately I didn’t make them the correct size. I pulled the shirt too tight, but keep reading and you will eventually see the solution.


After marking the new arm holes I cut the seams down the sides of the shirt. I used the cut off sleeves to create a new more feminine sleeve. It attaches more at an angle instead of straight out and has more of a curved line than a men’s sleeve would.

After the sleeves were sewn to the shirt I then sewed the sides back together all the way down. I sewed on an angle down the side of the shirt so the bottom of the dress would still be full and the top more fitted. It I guess was kind of an a-line.


I used fabric from the other shirt to create a cuff for the new sleeves. It just gave it a cute little finished touch on the sleeve and some contrast.


Because button down shirts are curved at the bottom they make awfully short dresses when you hem them straight across. I used fabric from the other shirt to add a few inches of length to the bottom of the dress. I loved the blue and white accents on the bottom and on the sleeves.

After I finished the bottom. I finished the neck line by just turning it under and stitching it down. I worked great on the last shirt dress and this one also.


Here is the finished project. The event was a Carolina Tar Heels football game and my dad’s fraternity reunion weekend. (I’m sorry for the quality of this picture. I took it in the hotel room and thought it looked fine until it was on my computer and it didn’t look very fine at all, but it’s the only fully body pic I took this day.) I wanted to make a dress for this because I knew it would be a hot day and a dress would be cool and comfy. You can see that my solution the the tight armpit holes was to just add a tank underneath and leave a few buttons open. I like how it turned out and I even liked how it looked with open buttons at the top.


This dress went great with morning Bloody Mary’s…


And this dress also went well with afternoon pre-game beers!


We made it to the game and I took a stadium selfie to prove it. It was hot and I was a little sweaty at this point, but feeling comfy in my dress. I did sneak in a little nap during the 2nd quarter. Football is long and I was tired from partying with the guys from the night before. You might not should be jamming to Janis Joplin with your dad’s fraternity brothers at 2:15 in the morning when you know you have a long day the next day. It was fun though!


Here is one last picture to prove that I was actually at a live sporting event since at least one person was convinced that I would not go. Haha. Maybe I shouldn’t tell people how much I dislike sports. I’m not big on sports at all but this entire weekend was great and even the game was fun. It’s always more fun when you win!


Plaid Shirt Dress


It’s been almost a whole year since I’ve last blogged. It’s not because I don’t care any more or haven’t though of it…I just haven’t done it. It seems like every time I’m working on a project I’m finishing it last minute and don’t have time to photograph it. Basically I’m just a slacker in the crafting, and then writing about it, department these days.

After coming back from this long hiatus I should be full of insight or have something great to tell you, but I don’t. Over these past long months I’ve learned a lot about myself and others. I’ve learned that I’m much stronger than I thought I was, but that I also still need someone to hold my hand sometimes. I’ve learned that people don’t always do what you expect and sometimes it’s in a good way and sometimes it’s in a bad way. I’m working on “putting myself out there more” like someone suggested. And that will hopefully be leading to new friendships and new opportunities…But I’m not really ready to talk too much about all this stuff. I might be ready to share in time, but now it’s not the right time.  So let’s get to the craft part.

plaid before

Here we have the before pictures. This is a lovely shirt that I inherited from my dad. I know its a super nice shirt and I might not should have chopped it up, but it doesn’t quite fit me and I don’t think giant preppy man’s shirt is the best look for me. But I do love this shirt!


I started with my usual process. Disassemble all the pieces! I took off the collar and the cuffs and stored them with all the other collars and cuffs that I have no idea what to do with, but one day will have a brilliant idea. I also cut off the sleeves.

Sometimes when I up-cycle I kind of used the item as fabric, but this time it was more of a sizing down process. I also didn’t take any more pictures of the process after this one. I forgot I should be snapping pics when I plan on blogging. I’m out of practice. I will just tell you what I did instead. After I cut the appendages off I put the shirt on and measured where the new shoulder should be and I created smaller arm holes. I used the sleeves I had taken off to make short sleeves for the dress. I turned the neck under so it would just be a round neck dress without a collar. I made a straight hem at the bottom of the shirt and realized I had made a really short dress. You know how the sides of button up shirts are shorter? Well, when the whole dress was that length all the way around it was a little much. It could have been a tunic, but I wanted a dress so I dug through some scraps and found a scalloped lace piece to add to the bottom.


Here it is. Front view. I actually really like the finished product!




View from the back.


Get a good over the shoulder look too!


I love looking down to see these fun patterns and cute (almost warn out) boots!

IMG_1320In the past 6 months I have probably put on make up like 5 total times. I just stopped wearing it. Today was one of those times. I hope you are impressed with this effort! It was all for you. I need to wash my face now.

This dress can also make a super cute fall outfit….


Bring on the colder weather. Tights and cardigans are my favorite clothing!


Now if you would please stick a marshmallow on this stick for me to roast. I need the fall to be here soon, but not that pumpkin spice crap everyone else wants. I want crisp air, scarves, and bonfires.


One last pic. I hope you have a lovely evening and that fall gets here quickly so we can all enjoy the best season there is!

1st Birthday Princess


Little girls can be lots of things. They can be messy, bossy, silly, funny, pretty, playful, rambunctious, creative, happy, etc…. And, little girls can be princesses! What better day to be a princess than on your birthday?

This particular post is about a princess on her first birthday. Well, it’s mostly about what she wore for her first birthday. This little girl is a bright eyed doll with a mommy who loves to dress her up. She is so stinking cute. I would want to dress her up too.

The mom wanted something special for her to wear for her birthday, so she approached me with some ideas.


This was the first image she sent me. It’s cute.


But she wanted the sleeves to be more like theses.

When I first saw it, I thought that is pretty stinking cute, but then I had a problem with it. Sequins can itch and even hurt some kids. As a dance teacher I am fully aware of how they can cut up sensitive skin. I knew that I didn’t want sequins against her sweet baby skin. That meant I would have to make a few adjustments to the design so that she wouldn’t get all scratched up.

I hit the fabric store and found the sweetest pink material. It was soft and I knew it would feel good to wear. I couldn’t find any gold or sequin that I liked. Then it hit me. I had some gorgeous gold/champagne sequin left over from last Christmas. It would be perfect for this project because it would help this romper look less like a dance costume and more like a dressy outfit.

I got to work. The shape is almost identical to the shape of the romper I made for my niece’s 1st birthday and almost the exact same size, so I used the pattern I made for that. I started piecing it together and came up with a plan so the sequins wouldn’t touch her. I trimmed around the edges of the legs and the top with pink so she wouldn’t get cut.


From the front.


I love these sequins.


Criss-cross straps that hook in the back .

I think it turned out pretty great! I love the pink and gold together. It looks very special and very princess like. The little girl’s aunt made her a crown to wear and her mom adorned her with jewelry and the cutest gold shoes. Here are a few pictures from her photo shoot. She looked beautiful! Plus, the photos are awesome since her dad in the photographer.






I think she makes a great princess. What about you?



My most recent fortune cookie said, “If you want to win anything – a race, your self, your life – you have to go a little berserk.” I’ve felt pretty crazy the past few weeks, so perhaps that means I will be winning at something soon. I’m not saying that I think horrible things are happening and I’m waiting on the good stuff. Actually a lot of good stuff has been happening, but for a pretty un-organized person it can make you feel quite berserk!

I’ve been horrible at blog posts lately. I have 2 “real” jobs and kind of a side business with my sister. I work 7 days a week every week with my “real” jobs and in my free time craft. Many people might not categorize teaching dance as a “real” job, but I have set hours, I take time to plan every week, and I get paid….so it’s a real job, just not a 9-5 one. So basically, I’m busy. Lately I’ve been doing plenty of projects, but not ones that I’ve really wanted to blog about. And I haven’t wanted to stop working on stuff long enough to type. I typically blog about personal projects that I do for myself on the side, but I haven’t done any projects for myself lately. (sad day, right?)

My sister and I rent space at an antique mall and we sell some things that we make. Every since Tater-Tot was born, we have been slacking off. How can you possibly want to spend your free time crafting, when the cutest, sweetest baby ever is tugging on your heart strings. Now that she is a little bit older, it’s been a little bit easier to get projects completed. We decided to totally revamp everything we’ve done. We wiped out everything in our booth. All the old stuff gone, and totally turned it into a Christmas booth. Our thoughts were that it would be like a little Christmas store, and almost everything in it is wood. Here are a few pictures. This includes stuff made by me, my sister, and a few things made by our mom.








I’ve also started making hair bows. I think I kind of got suckered into this one with out even realizing that I was being suckered. I think this was a sneaky move by my sister so she could have bows to match all of Tater-Tot’s clothes, even though she is refusing to wear bows at the moment. It’s actually been kind of fun, but I never really thought I would stay up late at night wrapping ribbon into bows. Here is a picture so show some of the most recent Christmas bows I’ve been working on. The sewing machine makes for a great bow shelf.


I also let Tater help me sew some lace ruffles on gloves. It takes so much longer with an almost 15 month old, but I think it will totally be worth it if she loves crafting as much as the rest of the girls in the family. Plus now she has learned how to say “please.” It sounds more like “peas,” and if she says “peas” I can’t not pick her up and put her in my lap. Here we are sewing, and a picture of the girly gloves.

Charley Sews


So you see, I have actually been working and creating. I’m sorry I’ve spent so much time away from my blog. I promise to try to be more timely with my next post. Notice…I said I would try. Not making any guarantees here. I also have a few big projects that are in the works, but I can’t spill the beans for some of them until after Christmas, and one even has to wait untill May. There is also a Halloween blog just waiting to be written, but we can all see how that is going.

Until next time…I hope your life is filled with lovely berserk days!

Custom Tater Tot Clothes


If you haven’t noticed yet, I refer to my niece as a tater tot. With stats at 90th percentile length and 15th percentile weight, she is actually more like a french fry or a green bean, but never the less she will always be my tater tot. And she is the most beautiful tater tot I’ve ever seen.

Alex, my sister, sent me a link to a website with the most adorable little girl clothes. I can’t remember the site now, but I was really sad because there was nothing small enough for my favorite tot. She needed these beautiful funky clothes with lace and ruffles. Lucky for her she has a wonderful aunt, me, that will probably end up making her whatever she wants as she grows up. Not only am I just an all around great aunt (haha)…I’m a sucker and at 6 months I think she already knows it.


This was the first shirt I made her. It was a little boys button down shirt. I made a ruffle the bottom with extra fabric from the sleeves and with lace. Out of the lace I also created a peter-pan collar and poofy sleeves.  I had to open the neck on the back of the shirt so it would fit over her head and added a button and an elastic closure. I think this will be so cute with little leggings and boots!


This was the second item I made her. It is supposed to be a dress, but I think is going to more of a tunic on her long little body.  I started with a onesie, but I cut the bottom out of it, so it would be easier to sew the skirt on, plus I’m not sure it would have snapped at the bottom. Then I made the skirt part. This fabric is a little bit special because it is left over from the quilt I made her for Christmas. It’s just cotton and such a sweet pattern for a little girl. There is elastic at the waist so it’s easier to get on and off. I added a lace ruffle on the bottom and on the sleeves. And of course added another peter-pan collar on this one too.

I’m really excited that she has some funky one of a kind things that no one else will have. Now if I could just get some combat boots on her I think we would be set.

charley wagon

Here is a picture of my beautiful little tot, if you can find her. She is in her wagon with the quilt that matches her dress. She fell asleep with all of her stuffed animals while on a walk around the neighbor hood.

Rock the Boat


It’s that time of year again…Dance competition season!!!! It’s so close I can taste it. Well, maybe that is just a side effect of smelling too much E600 glue this time of year. The studio I work for is heading out to the first competition this weekend, and finishing touches are being placed on dances and on costumes. I think all dances need a headpiece of some sort. The costume never seems totally complete without a little extra something for the hair. Lucky for me, my boss agrees and all dances have them. I have been making a bunch of headpieces in the past weeks, but I was working on some really cute ones today. The dance is called “Rock the Boat” and has a nautical/boat/cruise theme.


Lycra (that matches the costume) and felt all cut out and ready to glue.


These gold anchor buttons are like buried treasure on my kitchen floor.


The finished product! I think they are super cute.

I cut out a rectangle from felt and then wrapped the lycra around the felt and attached it with a hot glue. I then made a ruffle and hot glued in to the side. Lastly I glued the 3 buttons down the front. Now I just have 21 more to finish.

Wish us luck this weekend! I’m already proud of all the dancers.