Football Fashionista

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Every once in a while artists and creators hear some great words that sound a little bit like, “Make whatever you want.” For real? I don’t have limits? Maybe a few limits, but I was granted creative liberty on this particular project, and I was so freaking excited! (If you couldn’t already tell.)

I love up-cycling and I love making children’s clothing. I think both can be super creative, fun, and don’t have lots of rules! Children’s clothing allows for much more cuteness and freeness than adult clothing. I was commissioned to make some pieces of clothing for a little nugget and here is the story…

There is an uncle who is a high school football coach and there is a niece that attends almost all football games. The uncle has lots of t-shirts representing the school so the mama asked me to make some cute stuff for the nugget to wear to the games out of the old t-shirts. Most specifically she wanted some warmish items (for chilly nights) and maybe some dresses (because that’s kind of my specialty).

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Here are the starting supplies. Tons of shirts from her uncle and 2 jackets from her mama. I made 4 pieces and here they are.

1- For the first piece I used the most vintage looking t-shirt and the corduroy jacket. I felt I could play on the vintage feel with these 2 items.

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Along with the vintage feel of the fabrics I tried to choose a classic shape. Fitted at the top and looks a little bit like a jumper and then more full at the bottom. I thought it was kind of classic/preppy/football seasonal looking.

Check out these cutie details – ruffles and elbow pads!!!! Makes me smile!

2- For this dress I used a shirt that was designed by her uncle, so I wanted to used the whole design of the shirt and include the last name on the back.

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I’ve made lots of t-shirt dresses so I kind of kept my usual shape with this one. It was easy to pull from knowledge I already had, plus I was able to keep the full design of the shirt. It’s basically an A line dress with short sleeves and a ruffle bottom. I wanted at least one short sleeve item for her to wear while it’s still warm outside. You can always layer later.

I attached the sleeve almost like a baseball tee would have the sleeves attached. I was able to make the best use of my supplies by doing it this way. And the ruffles – a perfect addition to all little girl clothes.

3- This is where I went wild and totally didn’t follow the guidelines, but it’s my favorite of the 4 pieces and I’m glad I veered off track. When it’s chilly outside you have to cover up your cute clothes with a jacket, so why not make a jacket?

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I mostly used one of the jackets for this project. I sized it down from adult to basically a 5T, created a stand up collar, used excess for a ruffle bottom, and lined the sleeves for a pop of orange as they roll up. For the back I used iron on interfacing to make a giant stiff patch that was then sewn into place. I made bows for the front and used the original buttons from the jacket.

I know I’ve already told you how cute ruffles are, but seriously??? I can’t even handle this. It really is one of my favorite up-cylce projects that I’ve ever made. I don’t want to be a cougar, but I would totally rock a jacket like this in my size! I’m very proud of this one. (Okay…I’m proud of all of them, but this one really is the best!)

4- This was the most simple of the pieces and it was created from the same t-shirt used in the jacket and then scraps from the navy dress.

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It’s a simple, sweet, elastic waist pull on skirt. It’s soft comfy and will look great pulled up high on her waist or sitting more on her hips. It would look pretty with the jacket or just a plain t-shirt. Tights look adorable with skirts and so do suspenders.  It’s mainly just a little something that she can probably wear this year and next.

Hello football fashionista! This kid might be the best dressed cougar at the games. My mom made clothes for me and my sister growing up, but not too many kids get the opportunity to have someone make custom clothes for them. I always felt so special having my “own” clothes that no one else had so making kid’s custom pieces is so exciting. You get to allow a child to feel super special and unique! I heard she put them all on for a fashion show at the house and modeled like a champ! I know she will be knocking everyone’s socks off at the games!

I know you already know from my previous excitement that this was fun for me. Seriously it was a blast! One night at around 1 am I had to force myself to go to bed but I didn’t want to stop working. It’s been a while since I’ve really thrown myself into a project with that much gusto. Maybe this was just the change up I needed to get me re-excited about all my projects. It really has been a bit of a kick in the butt to get me going again. I’m thankful for a friend and her daughter who trusted me to “make whatever I wanted”. It’s always nice to have someone trust your judgement and it’s always nice to let loose and have fun with sewing. This project was definitely fun! There were some t-shirts left over, so maybe there is more of that in my future. ; )

Carolina Girl-Game Day Ready

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This dress went great with morning Bloody Mary’s…

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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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View from the back.

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Get a good over the shoulder look too!

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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….

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

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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.

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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!

Snow and Stuff

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I’ve been on a roll lately, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from my blog because, once again, I’m slacking. Perhaps I shouldn’t say once again. It’s basically been a really long slack fest for the blog. When I signed up for WordPress my goal was only 2 blogs a month, so maybe I’m not doing too horrible if that’s my goal.

Today in NC it was a snow day. Well it was a snow morning that turned into a very slushy gross afternoon, and will turn into an ice skating rink tonight. That’s how it happens in the South ya’ll. But, I really need to let you know that my roll started about 2 weeks ago and today was just an opportunity to keep rolling. I decided to clean up and clean out. I did a little extra decorating, but essentially just made my home neater and cleaner. (There will be another blog post about all the cute stuff I added.) This organization made it easier to work. I’ve been trying to put away projects instead of leaving them all scattered all over my house.

The snow started falling last night and was projected to fall all night long. I was 99.9% positive it would be a snow day and I wouldn’t have work, so I started thinking about what I wanted to work on. I have a few projects going, but one big one that I’ve been a little intimidated by. I knew a snow day would be the kick I needed.

snow 5I woke up at about 7:30 and snuck out of the house before I got Petoddy up. I wanted to explore outside before puppy foot prints covered the yard and before it melted. Here is the gorgeous house I live in covered with a beautiful white blanket. In my dreams this whole house is mine and the entire upstairs is dedicated to sewing/crafts and the downstairs is living quarters and a dance studio. In reality it has 6 apartments and I only get to enjoy a little slice of this beauty.

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I drank coffee. I drank a lot of coffee today. Here are a few of the delightful cups waiting to be washed. It will happen before bed tonight. I needed coffee, courage, a few prayers, and a whole bunch of deep breaths before I could cut. The project I’m working on is a very special one and I don’t want to screw it up. Actually I can’t screw it up because I have very limited materials and I can’t get more if I mess up. My friend Kat is getting married. I’m using her mom’s wedding gown to create an after party dress for her wedding. See…it’s a big freaking deal. I’ve spent the past month, little by little, seam ripping all the details off the dress and stripping it down to a blank canvas. I won’t show you any of the goods. You’ll have to wait until after the wedding for that blog post to happen. It was time…

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I don’t usually use a pattern. I actually don’t really like patterns that much, but I knew I would feel more confident in this particular project using a pattern. I cut out all the pieces today and basted the edges down where the needed to be. Slippery fabric might be the death of me. The pieces I was most worried about were the skirt. They required a lot of fabric and it was like a puzzle trying to figure out where to cut from. Just the 2 pieces for the skirt took me almost all morning. I know that sounds like forever, but I was extremely nervous and working very meticulously.

I usually keep the t.v. on channel 9 because I only have a few channels and that seems to be a pretty basic one. It’s mainly just back ground noise. I had the t.v. on this morning as I was working, but when The View came on, I had to turn it off. I just don’t like it. Basically I’m admitting that I do enjoy Wendy Williams that comes on right before. Don’t judge me too hard. So I headed to my computer for some music. Whatever Pandora station I picked played “Brown Eyed Girl” right after “Sir Duke” and I knew it was going to be a good day. I calmed myself down and worked on the dress and some other stuff too.

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I did some doodling that might potentially be part of a project for my sister and me. And then I decided to go to my job for a little bit. I’m not just lucky to live in this beautiful house, I’m lucky because my job is only 4 blocks away. By about 1 o’clock Petoddy was driving me a little crazy. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be inside or outside so I took a little break. I went and worked a few hours at the store even though we were closed today.

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After I came home and took Petoddy on a long walk I decided that I didn’t want to cook. I called the Mexican restaurant down the street to check if they were open. I finally changed out of pjs and headed out the door. I’m thankful that Kat made me this awesome scarf for Christmas to keep me warm. I look a little like a lumber jack with a blanket wrapped around my neck in this picture, but I don’t care. I’m sure I’m not the only person who didn’t want to “get ready” for the day today.

After dinner I came home and worked some more. I began sewing the pieces of the dress together. I’m still a little nervous, but I think it’s going to be a-okay. I have finished most of the sewing for the bodice. I still have to cut the lining for the skirt which is almost like being in the same place I started this morning. I’ll get there eventually. The wedding isn’t until May. Keep checking back to see projects as the get finished. I hope everyone had a great snow/slush/ice day! I know I enjoyed the extra time today!

In other news…It’s been just over a year since I started my blog. I just celebrated a year with my dog, and it’s been almost 2 years since I moved into this apartment. Maybe I should continue to make changes in February and March. They seem to be good months for me!

Tater-Tot Tar Heel

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Football season is upon us. Sometimes we learn to follow certain teams later in life, but sometimes we are born into a fandom. I was born a Carolina Tar Heel. No if ands or buts about it. It’s just how it was. (Quite frankly now that I’m older I could really care less about football, but if I do cheer for a college team it is Carolina.) Tater-tot, my niece, was born a Tar Heel also. She was at her first football game before she was even a month old. She toughed it out through the entire season of home games and even had a Carolina Blue fuzzy bear suit looking thing to keep her warm. She was definitely the cutest thing in Keenan Stadium last year.

I had her an amazing first Birthday present, but I also like to give a handmade gift too. It needed to be a good one. A really cute light pink Carolina t-shirt came into my store, but it was a junior’s large. No problem for me. I enjoy a challenge.

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It’s cute, but it definitely needs some bling, so I took care of that problem.

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I used E600 glue and size 20 aquamarine ab stones. I got them at Hobby Lobby, but other fabric stores might carry these stones or anywhere that has dance costume supplies.

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I filled in all the letters with these pretty stones.

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I used a shirt she already had to cut this one down to size and then I sewed the sides and shoulders together with a slight zig-zag stitch.

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I just rolled the fabric in the arms under once and sewed it with a slight zig-zag stitch. Then I reattached the neck of the t-shirt to the new neck of the dress.

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I used what was left of the bottom of the shirt to make the bottom of the dress. I set my sewing machine on a zig-zag setting and lined up the bottom of the hem with the needle. I then stretched the fabric as I was sewing right over the edge. The stretching creates the ruffle. I stitched around twice to have a good amount of blue on the edge. (Confession: this ruffle technique isn’t my idea. I saw it on a tutorial once. I would really love to give the other person credit, but I can’t figure out where the tutorial is. I swear I pinned it on Pinterest, but it’s not on any of my boards. If I find it again another day, I will share.)

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I then sewed with a wide straight stitch on the other side of the ruffle boarder and pulled a thread to make the other side have a bit of ruffle too. I sewed this ruffle piece onto the bottom of the dress.

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I then used excess sleeve material to make little ruffle sleeves/wings.

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I used the same technique on these as I used on the bottom of the dress. I then sewed these over the shoulders of the dress.

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Here it the front.

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Here is the back.

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Here is a silly little girl modeling. It’s kind of long because I didn’t want to cut off any of the design on the front of the shirt. The length makes it look a little bit like a gown, but she is still precious in my opinion.

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Crazy girl.

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Hello kitty cat. So nice to see you here.

I did make her try this on after her birthday party. I’m sure she was exhausted, but I still think she is the cutest little tater-tot in the whole world!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

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I like to give themed presents. For instance, at baby showers it’s fun to give a whole tub of bath supplies and some books about bath time too. Everything goes together and the presentation is so cute. This time it wasn’t a baby shower, but a 3 year old birthday party. (It’s the same 3 year old that is having a pirate party.) It all started with a puzzle. A giant Dr. Seuss floor puzzle. At that moment I knew I had to have a Dr. Seuss theme. In the present there were also multiple books, a cat in the hat bag, a water bottle, and a dress/tunic (thats what this post is really about). I’ve been gathering items for a while now, so when a super cute “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” shirt came into the store I knew I had to do something with it. It couldn’t go as is because most 3 year olds don’t wear juniors size XL.

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Here is the shirt. It’s actually very cute. The fish are metallic and in general, it’s just fun!

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I laid the shirt out flat and started by measuring out how wide the top of the dress needed to be.

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I then drew a rough outline of where I needed to cut, and cut out the shirt. I had to make some tiny adjustments as I went, but when I work with t-shirts I feel like they don’t have to be exactly perfect and it usually works out just fine.

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I sewed down the sides and sewed the shoulders together on the inside. I used a small zig-zag stitch to make sure the seam would stretch a little bit. I used the same zig-zag stitch for this entire project.

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I turned under the neck and the arms just once and pinned them down. I stitched them into place.

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The next thing I did was make 2 bows. I used the scraps from the sleeves of the shirt. I cut 2 rectangles and folded both of the long ends together to make a little pocket like the photo above. I sewed down both sides. I then flipped this little pocket and turned it over. I used other scrap material to gather the middle together.

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Here are my 2 finished bows. I just tied the material around the middle and sewed it into place and I was sewing the bows onto the dress. I gathered both shoulders of the dress and sewed a bow onto each shoulder.

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Here it is. It’s kind of a dress, kind of a tunic, and it kind of looks like it would be a great pool cover up. It’s pretty comfy so it might even be a night gown. Either way, I liked it.

Dress Season

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While out thrifting I saw a gorgeous shirt…actually it was quite hideous, but had so much potential and I had a plan for a dress. It’s almost my favorite season. It’s almost dress season! That means I can wear a dress every single day without tights or leggings. I love dresses and I was going to make me a new one.

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Here it is. I told you it was ugly and it’s massive too.

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Goodbye sleeves and shoulder pads. From here I took in the sides, finished the hem around the arms, cut the bottom off, and cut down the back of the shirt. Because the shirt was so big to begin with the arm holes turned out to be a bit bigger than I wanted, but it’s not too horrible. I will probably just have to wear a tank underneath.

Then, I made the bottom of the dress out of a funky chevron pattern. I’m almost over chevron for the most part, but this one was a little different. It kind of had an aztec-y feel to it even thought I’m not sure thats what you would call it. I basically made one big circle. I gathered the top and sewed it to a waist band. The waist band was then sewn to the top of the dress.

The last big step was installing an exposed zipper. I’ve never done this before, but it was pretty easy. Way easier than a regular zipper.  I watched this fabulous tutorial, and it gave perfect instructions. Mine isn’t perfect, but I’m sure there are other exposed zipper dresses to be made in my future.

The last step was hemming the skirt part. I accidentally made it a little bit shorter than I had planned. It might end up being a going out dress and not a dress for work. I could always add tights, but that takes away from the fun of dress season. Tights are for winter. My birthday is coming up soon. Maybe it will be my birthday dress.

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Here it is. I paired it was a teal chevron necklace, teal bracelet, beige high heels, and a headband.

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There is that beautiful zipper I stressed out about for no reason. For real though, you have to watch the tutorial, it makes it so easy.

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Even though this sweater covers the cool zipper, I still like it. Maybe I could wear this until I’m slightly less pasty.