Monday, September 19, 2011

The Reveal!

Are you just bursting with excitement and anticipation? I KNEW it! Remember this fabric from the previous post?
I told you when I picked it up that I had an idea for a refashion. My idea was to make matching mommy, Evie pj pants! Cute, right? Well, I had made some toddler pants before but I never really loved how they turned out... then earlier this year I found this tutorial from Dana at the awesome/inspiring blog MADE. (If you've never visited her blog, I highly recommend it!) When I found her tutorial on how to make your own pattern and steps for sewing some cute kid pants that look store bought, I thought "hey, now that looks pretty simple", so I jumped right in and made a pair. Ok, that's totally a BIG LIE! I think originally, I found the tutorial back at the beginning of summer and was going to do the shorts version... you know, for summer. I had already drawn up the patterns for the pants and for long shorts (because they look so stinkin' cute on Evie) and a few days ago, I pulled out the pj set, tried the bottoms on me which fit besides being "high waters" (that's Iowa lingo for short pants) and then set about fitting the pattern pieces on the shirt for Evie's pants. Because this is a woman's medium set, I had to go with the long short pattern and decided to make them a bit longer - capri length - I would add a ruffle at the bottom in a complimenting color. I also, figured that since my pants are too short anyways, that for another project I will shorten them and add a ruffle as well for the matching set I was hoping for originally. Eventually ;)
The pants came together really quickly. It started to slow down a bit when I got into figuring out how I wanted to do the ruffle at the bottom. I chose red cotton and cut strips that were about 2x as wide as the bottom of the leg to be able to ruffle. They were also twice as tall as I wanted so I could fold them over (you could also just do a hem on the bottom and use less fabric). Then, I decided to pleat them instead of gathering the ruffle (truth be told, I just don't like gathering fabric). After making the fabric into tubes I measured out how much extra I had, about 4 inches flat (or 8 inches total) and divided it into 8 different pleats of about an inch each, then pinned and did a basting stitch to hold it in place so I could pin and sew it to the leg, then I topstitched it down.

Done, right? Well, maybe not... I have a bunch of 24 month long sleeve carters onsies that I had gotten when Evie was 2 to make cute shirts for her... yeah, didn't get done. So, after making such cute jammie pants, I thought "these need a cute shirt to match, then she'll have a set!" I grabbed one of the onsies tried it on her (sadly they still fit even though she is going to be 4 in less than 5 months, they are actually way longer than her torso) marked the length and then hacked it off with my rotary cutter. Then after a couple tries got a bottom hem done that matches the sleeve hems. Though, next time I am going to use a double needle... I found this tutorial for using double needles for knit fabric too late this time! My original idea was to do an applique with some of the frog fabric and maybe a heart from the red fabric, but after cutting them out and trying to get them arranged on the shirt, I just thought they looked stupid ok, so we don't use that word, but they looked bad. Definitely not like something I would pay money for. So, back to the drawing board. Then, I thought what about painting something on the shirt to match? I drew up a larger image of the frog's head as decided by myself and my husband then I jumped on the computer and did some searches for using acrylic paint on fabric and found that it is generally said that it will be stiff and crack unless you use a fabric tempering medium to mix in... well, I am on a tight budget so was hoping to use things I already have. I have a variety of "puffy fabric paint" and some craft acrylic paint too. I didn't have the green in the fabric paint so I decided to do a test run on a scrap t-shirt of white puff paint mixed with green craft paint... it worked :)
that little oval is the applique I was going to put on the shirt
Next, I traced the outline on the onsie t-shirt with a fabric marker and my laptop screen as a tracing table.
Then with a sheet of paper underneath to prevent the layers sticking together in case the paint bleeds through, I mixed up my paint and started filling in the lines. (I have to say, this was a pretty fun process, even though it took way longer than needed because I could just sit with my husband while he watched the football game instead of being on the sewing machine and it made me feel really creative, not just like I was copying someone else's idea but that I was actually coming up with something on my own! though as a disclaimer, I know I am not the only one to ever do this, just that I didn't use anyone else's ideas).

Pretty cute, no? Yes :) So, the next morning, I show this to Evie. The conversation goes something like this:
Me: "What do you think?"
Evie: "Good."
Me: "What do you think of it with the pants?"
Evie: looks it over, then "it needs legs. It's supposed to match those ones (on the pants)"
Me: wishing I hadn't drawn attention to it "so I need to paint a body on it too?"
Evie: "yes"
Me: back to the drawing board. Literally.

So just when I thought I was done... my "customer" lets me know otherwise. I guess I should have consulted her in the first place.

Done. And, done!

This project has given me a new motivation to get some of the projects done that I have had lining up all year, so hopefully you will be seeing more postings like this one.


This is what happens when I say "strike a pose" oh, goodness!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I am so excited!

I finally completed an entire project! It seems like lately, I just have a bunch of partially done sewing projects. Sometimes because things aren't going like I want them to, sometimes because it gets to unknown territory and my lack of confidence keeps me from moving ahead. Whatever the reason, it leaves me feeling frustrated and unable to create cute homemade items that don't necessarily look homemade but like something that someone would actually pay money for. Anyhow, I still have to get the girly to model the entire outfit so I can get pictures to post but I will give you a sneak peak at what I started with before the refashion took place.

Isn't this froggy fabric cute? I saw this set for $1 at a garage sale early this summer and though the pants are usually too short for me, I thought maybe I could do a refashion. I just want to make a note that I am really proud of myself for getting a refashion done the same year I bought the fabric :) I am also pretty excited that I went a different direction with part of it than originally planned too! I can't wait to share it with you!

So, do you have any guesses what I did with it?