Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Camping Themed Birthday + Campfire Cake


This year's annual birthday planning had to include TWO girls since Elodie turned one this month. Harlow turns seven later this month. I needed a cake theme that fit both of them. I went with camping since we've spent the last few months camping as a family.


I made the Stanton State Park pennant with my Cricut and personalized a shirt from Walmart for Colin. Stanton is our last name, but if it was a real state park, we would have tie dye uniforms. 😄


Here are the cake details:
  • The cake is strawberry, and the recipe is from Call Me PMc. I was careful to find a cake mix that was milk free.
  • The filling icing is bakery frosting. You can find the recipe in this past post. I think it's best to make this icing ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge to let the flavors mix together. I added vanilla in addition to almond extract. This isn't a frosting I recommend making the day of or even day before. It won't taste right. It will taste like vegetable shortening. It needs to sit! A few days before serving, add chopped mashed strawberries. I think this icing is best when it has strawberries in it. You can even make it, strawberries included, and store it in the freezer if it's going to be a couple weeks before you serve it. Take it out to thaw in the fridge for a couple days.
  • I wanted the outside icing to be white. I didn't make the bakery frosting for the outside, because I don't like it without strawberries. My youngest daughter has a milk allergy, so I needed a recipe that was dairy-free. I made 7 minute frosting for the first time, and it was delicious! It tastes like marshmallows. I had to mix it for much longer than 7 minutes, but it eventually did get to the whipped consistency. I will definitely be making it again!
  • The dirt is gluten free crushed Oreos (wanted to see how they compared in taste to the original). The logs are dark chocolate Pirouline. I followed this tutorial to make the flames. I made the little campers with a candy mold from Michael's and white melting chocolate and food dye. The gummy worms are Albanese-- the yummiest gummy worms in my opinion. I didn't get a picture of the 1 and 7 candles, but they were cute and fit the theme. 😆
  • I made Elodie a mini "smash" cake. It also kept her from having the couple items I added to the main cake that had dairy (campers, Pirouline).



Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Gathered Skirt from a Men's Shirt



I made this skirt and then worried that the colors were too springy to be able to wear it for the fall. Then I realized you can put a cardigan over anything to make it work for autumn!

This skirt is similar to the idea of the plaid skirt in my last post. Instead of being fitted, though, we’re getting a bit of volume with some gathering at the waist.

Here was my process in turning my husband’s old shirt into a skirt for me:
•I didn’t take any width out of the shirt. I decided to use it to have some fullness.
•I used a seam ripper to remove the shirt pocket and cut off the top of the shirt to get the length I wanted.
•I used the top of the shirt to make a waistband.
•I gathered the skirt to the waistband. I really just folded and tucked it in place every couple inches.
•The skirt wound up being fuller than I wanted, so I took it in at the sides. It would be best to do this at the beginning, but sometimes we just roll with it.
•Men’s shirts don’t button all the way down, so I sewed another button hole at the bottom. The great thing is men’s shirts do come with spare buttons, so I didn’t have to find a matching one in my stash.
•I didn’t have to hem the bottom since I left and used the shirt hem.

I think I’ll be able to make this skirt work year round with different tops and shoes!

Also, these pictures are reminders that I need lipstick to bring a little color to my face!💄 

Friday, October 01, 2021

Off-the-Shoulder Dress from Men's Shirt

I needed to add some pink to my wardrobe 🌸


To make this off-the-shoulder dress, I took one of my husband’s dress shirts, cut it up, and then put it back together using Lutterloh pattern 201/202. I used French seams to keep the dress shirt look and reconstructed the sleeves to my size. I like that the pattern took a lot of the guess work out of sizing, darts, and so on, making sure that I got the most use out of the fabric since there wasn’t an abundance of material to work with. You could probably hack this without a pattern, though

This could be worn as a dress or a tunic. I think I’ll unbutton a few of the bottom buttons when wearing it with higher waisted jeans. It would be cute tucked into a longer skirt (doubling as a shirt!).

This shirt is the brand Forsyth of Canada, a nice quality shirt that you can feel and see in the fabric’s texture. Thanks, husband, for it not working for you anymore so I could butcher it!

It’s been a challenge making new garments from existing garments, because it really pushes you to be precise since you can’t run out and buy more matching fabric if you mess up or miscalculate. It saves a lot of money that would have been spent on new fabric and buttons, though!

Tunic from a Men's Shirt

It doesn’t look like I did much, but I reconstructed another one of my husband’s old shirts. I took it completely apart, cut it to a Lutterloh pattern, then changed the pattern a bit. I sewed French seams, added darts at the bust, made the shirt and sleeves slimmer, shortened the sleeves, reattached the collar and made a v-neck. 🥵

It wound up being too short for my liking as a dress, so I’ll wear it as a tunic or will make it into a shirt. I guess the work isn’t over for this piece yet.

Puffy Sleeve Blouse from a Men's Shirt (Plus Sizing Tips)


I’m embracing the puffy sleeve trend with both arms (pun intended).

I cut up another of my husband’s old shirts to make something for myself. I used Lutterloh pattern 171 for the shirt bodice.

I didn’t use a pattern for the sleeves. I left them in tack instead of taking them apart and cutting them to a smaller pattern. I shortened them a bit at the cuff and then made them fit into the armholes, gathering them and resulting in a puffy sleeve.

Sizing Tip for Refashioning Men’s Shirts:

I hope my experiment in upcycling my husband’s old shirts has inspired you to try refashioning some clothes! I often restyle my own clothes but never think to post about it. I haven’t thought it would be that interesting.

When I started going through a pile of my husband’s shirts (another story for another day of why I have a pile), I thought I’d show you how I transform or tweak them. This is something you can do too!

If you grab a shirt from your husband’s closet or go hunting at thrift stores, here’s what I’ve found to work for me on sizing: go up at least two sizes.

I wear a small in men’s shirts in the bust. If I want to button them through the hips, I would need a medium since most men’s shirts fall straight and don’t allow for hips that are larger than bust measurements. That means I need to go up two sizes from a medium. That gets me at an XL, which happens to be what my husband most often wears. The reason you need to go up at least two sizes is to allow for seam allowance, hemming, having enough materials for facing, waistbands, etc.

If you are only using a portion of the shirt (for a skirt or small tank or kids clothes), you could make do with a smaller size.

If you need a larger shirt than what’s available or have a bigger project, you could find a few shirts that coordinate and Frankenstein them together.

I’ll soon be sharing two skirts I have made that are good beginner projects if you’re ready to give it a go!
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