Valentines – Upcycle love

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I can’t get no loving anywhere else so I guess I’ll love up on my clothes! I’m just kidding. There is tons of love in my life, just not currently coming from a romantic relationship. I know I’m where I am supposed to be. I’ve learned that love is far too complicated to understand and that I’ll just keep loving how I love and it will be the right thing. I know my plan is far bigger than I can even wrap my head around and I know that I’m not the one in charge. So for now I’ll get my love where I can get it and a whole lot of it comes from my family and friends.

This is an up-cycle post, and I will get there, but I want to start somewhere else first. I have to admit that I am one of those crazy women who are all about the LuLaRoe craze. Now I don’t have 35 pair of leggings or 25 shirts or anything to that extent, but I am a fan of the brand and have multiple pieces. Yes I think the leggings are incredibly soft, but no I don’t think they feel like butter. Butter is gooey to me and leggings are solid and not melty. My entire life I’ve been told that my clothes don’t match and then here comes LuLaRoe. They encourage pattern mixing and crazy prints and colors. I’m over here like I’ve been trying to show you how cool these crazy patterns and colors are for years now. I’m glad the rest of the world (well a lot of people) are finally on board with pattern mixing. I feel like I’ve been trying to get these weird trends going for years now or at least getting people to accept my personal style and now it’s finally happening. People are embracing and celebrating their inner wacky style and I love it. And one more note…If one more person tells me that $25 is too much for leggings I am going to hand them a mirror, turn them around, and let them see their underwear shinning through their $15 dollar leggings. And for someone who doesn’t really like to wear jeans, $25 isn’t that much for what is essentially a replacement for them in my particular wardrobe.

I told myself I wouldn’t buy Valentine’s leggings and that holiday leggings were ridiculous, but I was having a rough day and I was perusing some online groups for what was maybe a little bit of a retail therapy session. There they were. The red leggings with white hearts. The only Valentine’s leggings that I’d seen that I really liked. I didn’t have to fight for them. They were just there and no one had claimed them yet. I made myself wait 5 minutes. Was I being ridiculous? While I was waiting I came across an oversized black and white stripe classic t-shirt. This was actually something I’d been looking for for about 2 months. I didn’t feel ridiculous about quickly typing sold in that comment box. I’d been waiting on that. Then I realized how cute of a pattern mix that top and those leggings would be, so I bought them both. My best friend informed me that it had been a full moon and she had done some retail therapy that night too. Maybe it was the moon, maybe it was my blue feelings, or maybe it was just the most adorable outfit fell onto my computer screen and I hadn’t done anything for myself in a while. Either way I scored both items.

They arrived and I was super happy with my decision. As I was digging around my craft supplies I found a black and white stripe maxi skirt that I had purchased for $3 at a thrift store. It was super cute, but a size small. I mainly got it for the fabric, but when I saw it I knew it would be a part of my Valentine’s outfit. I would use it to make a long vest that is similar to the LuLaRoe style joy. I don’t own a joy because they are mainly lace and I’m not a huge fan of lace vests. It’s odd because I love lace.

(Please forgive my pictures in this post. They were all taken on my phone and not with a camera. Also, it’s really hard to see the details on such a dark piece.)

bw1Here it was in the beginning. Pretty simple. Basically a straight skirt with a roll down waist. It was soft and stretchy and perfect for my vision.

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The first thing I did was remove the waist band. Then I cut the skirt all the was down the front. Here it is laid all out on the floor.

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I used a vest I already had to help measure where I wanted the arm holes to go. I actually cut the holes bigger than the original vest because I wanted this one to be a little bit baggier and looser of a fit.

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This is what it looked like after I cut the arm holes. Now onto some sewing…

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I started by finishing the edge that would be the opening in the front. I turned the hem under and sewed all the way down the front (where the red lines are). Make sure if you are sewing with stretchy fabric you use a stitch that will stretch. I use a zig-zag stitch and a needle specifically for stretchy fabric. At this point I could have turned the arm holes under and sewed them, but I waited. It may have been easier at this point.  On the diagram there are two purple circles. These are around the fabric that will be the front of the vest. I wanted this fabric to be ruffled. I sewed a straight seam across the small section and pulled the thread to scrunch the fabric.

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After I scrunched the fabric, I lined up the top of the vest at the shoulders. I sewed the pieces together and created the shape of the top.

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Next I turned under all the fabric around the arm hole and sewed it down. I also did the same for the back of the neck creating a bit of a rounded edge.

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To finish this vest I wanted it to have 2 slits in the sides that went to the hip. I used a seam ripper to take out the current seem and then just folded the fabric down and sewed along both sides to finish it off.

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Here is a side by side of the before and after. I think I will get a lot of use out of this transformed piece.

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I really liked this vest with my 2 LuLaRoe pieces I had purchased to wear for Valentine’s day. Not too many things are better than black and white stripes, but I think 2 sets of stripes is pretty snazzy!

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Check out my date for the day. This girl is my love!!! In true girl fashion she insisted on me buying her dinner for the holiday. Honey please! I buy your dinner every day.

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Feeling a little something-something in this vest. A little feisty-ness perhaps.

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And of course a kiss to send you off. I hope you had the most lovely of Valentine’s days. I hope the day was filled with love, hugs, kisses, candy, and kindness. I love you all!

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Granny Kimono

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I saw this awesome DIY vest on Pinterest. It is so stinking cute and I want it! The only problem is that I’m too short for it. The tassels will hang almost to my ankles. I know long and baggy is trendy, but I don’t think excessively long is very popular. Also, I couldn’t really figure out how I would have finished the arm holes to make it look good.

So, I didn’t make this vest, but it was totally the inspiration for my latest project. I’ve seen girls wear these little kimono jackets around lately. I’ve thought they were kind of cute, but not cute enough to spend my money on. I figured out a way to make a vest/kimono like jacket thingy out of a scarf. I will apologize in advance for crummy pictures. I couldn’t find my camera so I used my computer. Here goes the up-cycle…

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Here is the before picture. I chose this scarf because it’s been with me a few years. I’m kind of tired of it, and it’s a little bit dressy so I thought it could be a cute jacket thingy.

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I stretched the scarf out flat on the floor. They like to move when you try to cut them so be careful. I cut off both ends and cut 2 arm holes. I used a shirt of mine to kind of figure out where to put the holes for the sleeves. I cut ovals instead of circles because I thought it would make it hang better. The holes needed to be the same size as the sleeve, so they can be attached easily. I cut the circumference of the hole to be the same as the width of the scarf.

Since this fabric will fray and ravel quickly, I zig–zag stitched over all the cut edges. On the ends I rolled the hem 2 times and sewed a straight stitch. For the sleeves I used the ends of the scarves. I folded them in half and sewed the opening together to make 2 tubes (or sleeves). I then lined up the opening of these tubes with the holes I cut and sewed the sleeve to the jacket.

Photo on 10-12-14 at 11.33 AMHere is my jacket.

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Front view with a not so goofy pose.

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Back view. You know the combat boots set it off.

If I were to do this project again, which I probably will, I would change a few things. I would actually cut circles for the arm holes instead of ovals. At first I thought the oval would make the sleeve hang better, but I think I was wrong. Also I would cut my arm holes closer together. I used a fitted t-shirt for measurements, but I think it needs to be cut more like a vest and the sleeve should start farther into my back. I would make the sleeves shorter. Last thing I would do is lower my arm holes so there is more draping material around the neck. That part is just for aesthetics.

I thought it was cute, but when my sister arrived at work today she told me it looked like something a grandma would wear. So be it if I look like a granny. I don’t care. Granny’s don’t wear combat boots with their kimonos!