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.

1st-dress

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. ; )

Oh Deer!

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It’s that crazy time of year. You know….the Holiday season. I make a personal effort to stress myself out un-necessarily as much as possible. I’m pretty good at it by now. I like to make gifts, but some of these ideas don’t pop into my crazy head until last minute. It’s not my fault my brain feels the need to procrastinate ideas. I can’t control that part.

Along with all the Holiday stress (that I mostly make up myself) I had to deal with renewing my health insurance today. I won’t give you the whole story, but I will let you know the Heath Insurance Marketplace is basically a joke. Every time I’ve called over the past year now they say I’ve never filled out an application, but I signed up for insurance through them, pay for it every month, and am able to use it at the doctor…so I’m not sure how I don’t have an application any where in the system. It can never be found in the system, but I can’t log in online either because apparently my login and password are invalid.

Basically what I am saying is that I was frustrated and needed to do something for myself. Just a little quick project that’s been ready to go for about a month.

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I got this t-shirt from my work. It’s a little girls t-shirt and I know no one in that particular size. It was too adorable not to buy. I had no one to give it to so I had to make something out of it.

I began by cutting the front and the back off. I used a lightweight iron on interfacing so the t-shirt wouldn’t stretch while I was trying to work with it.

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I then cut the front and the back of the shirt into two matching rectangles.

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I faced the two pieces together, pinned down the edges, and sewed almost all the way around. I left a hole at the bottom, so I could flip the form inside out.

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I then stuffed the pillow with poly-fil and sewed it shut. I personally like to use the poly-fil they have at Hancock Fabric. The stuffing from Hobby Lobby feels gross and is lumpy. (I love Hobby Lobby for other stuff though!)

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Here is my new little cute deer hanging out with my other pillows and blankets.

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Look closely and you will realize that all of the pillows are up-cycled. The other two are made of wash cloths and hand towels. These are great because they are easy to clean, and I know the t-shirt one will be too.

My sister always says that if you are stressed out about big stuff, take a break and do an easy project that you know you can accomplish quickly. This will make you feel a little better because you have completed something and it will be one less thing on your list. That’s what this project was for me today. I had tons of other stuff to do, but I began this as I was on hold with the Healthcare Marketplace. It was easy and didn’t take a lot of focus or time, but I’m in love with her! I think she needs a name. The elephant in my bathroom is Theodor. What should the deer in my living room be named?

BTW…I still don’t have health insurance for 2015 yet, but I have 6  more days to figure it out. And I know all of the Christmas presents will get finished even if I stay up all night Christmas Eve. I will have to sleep a little bit though because I know Santa won’t come while I’m awake.

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!

St. Patty’s Day Edition

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There are plenty of times when I realize that I’m not like a normal young adult. Today was St. Patrick’s day, and over the weekend many other young adults celebrated. I didn’t go to a bar crawl, or drink green beer, or go to a parade. Actually I almost had forgotten about St. Patty’s this year.

Even though I didn’t celebrate in the usual ways, I did know I needed to wear green tonight. I teach dance on Monday nights and I was thinking that first group of 6 and 7 year olds could probably pinch pretty hard with their tiny fingers. I did not want to experience that. I snagged a big t-shirt from the consignment store Sunday night after work.

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Here is the t-shirt. It’s cute, but a little big. I will try to explain what I did, but I forgot to take pictures of every step and sometimes I’m not great at instructions, but I will try.

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I started by cutting out the neck, cutting off the sleeves, and cutting the back into a racer back pattern. I also cut a slit straight across the back of the shirt under the racerback piece.

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I tied all of the pieces of the racerback together. I made a bow out of the left over fabric from the sleeves and sewed it over this. In the front I tied the straps with scraps of fabric so the straps wouldn’t be as wide. (This is where I stopped taking pics).

I cut straight down the bottom of the shirt. I crossed the 2 pieces over and sewed them together at the top. Then I rounded off the corners in the back.

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Here is the front with a scrap of green tied in my hair for a headband. It might be silly, but it’s fun for dance.

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Here is the back. I loved the bow.

This might not be the best thing I’ve ever made, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. It was fun at the studio and all the kids loved it. I know it isn’t perfect, but it served it’s purpose. It made some kids smile and I didn’t get pinched. I will probably wear it to the studio again. It made for a pretty good dance top.

P.S. My leggings look crazy because they are actually for running and are reflective. When the camera flashed it made them look quite interesting in the pictures.