Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Pumpkin Skirt Made for Twirling

I bought this pumpkin fabric over a year ago in the last trimester of my pregnancy. I thought I could make something cute before the baby (Elodie) got here. The problem was I was too mentally tired to decide on what to make and too physically tired to make it.

A year later I pulled it from the pile I keep of things that need to be mended or finished up. I asked Harlow if she wanted a Halloween skirt to match the sequin pumpkin shirt I got her at Walmart. She said yes!

Instead of cutting a rectangle and sewing it up, I cut a sort of trapezoid shape to give more fabric at the bottom to make it twirl. I’m not sure I would go that route again, but it definitely twirls more than a rectangle skirt. I might try a circle skirt next time. I put elastic in the waist to make this an easy project. 

Now, what else has been waiting for me in that to-finish pile…

Spooky S'mores

🎃Looking for a way to use up your kids’ Halloween candy or forgoing the usual trick-or-treating this year? Make spooky s’mores!

🍪Our family loves an old fashioned graham cracker s’more, but mix it up with different “sandwich” options. The cookies are Pillsbury break and bake pumpkin cookies with white chocolate chips. I added some sprinkles on top.

🌈It’s hard to beat traditional marshmallows, but let’s add some color with Yummallo rainbow marshmallows and Peeps monster and pumpkin marshmallows.

🔥Don’t have a fire pit? Set your cracker/cookie on a cookie sheet. Top with your marshmallow. Toast it under your oven’s broiler. Watch it toast to perfection!

🍫A milk chocolate bar is the traditional filling, but I like to amp it up with a peanut butter cup! Reese’s has different shaped, colored, and flavored cups to give taste options and add visual interest.

🍡Fill blank spaces with options you and your guests can snack on while you assemble your s’mores. I used candy corn, m&ms, Oreos, meringue cookies, and gummy candy.

🧟‍♀️This is your chance to make scary good concoctions!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Halloween Dress from a Tablecloth

I’ve been thinking about making this dress for a year now!

Last year Keiko Lynn posted a pumpkin tablecloth dress she made, and I wished I could luck out and find the same fabric. While shopping for dining room chairs on the Kohl's website, I found this tablecloth!

I followed the same DIY Daisy tutorial that I used to make the yellow floral dress. I changed the neckline to a square neck with facing. I went with big sleeves and shortened the skirt a bit. I made the measurements smaller than last time but still felt it was a bit too much fabric for my small frame. I saw someone else added straps to tighten the dress at the waist, so I did the same. This dress is liking wearing a lightweight blanket!

This was a fun project. I had to work in small increments since I don’t have a lot of uninterrupted time (one-year-old baby constantly on the move). Without distractions, this is a good day project. 

I checked, and this tablecloth is sold out now. But buying a tablecloth, especially on sale, is a great way to save on the cost of fabric. This is a jacquard fabric, which would be more expensive at a fabric store. If you see tablecloth, sheet, or curtain patterns you like, you can turn them into clothes!

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!

Quiet Time When There Is No Quiet Time

I love looking at Instagram-worthy Bible study posts— the illustrations, elaborate highlighting, hand lettering, and sticky notes. It’s interesting and appealing to look at, but it’s not what my Bible study looks like. My Bible has some underlining, simple highlighting, and some short notes. If I have a question about a passage, I mark it with a small sticky tab. There isn’t anything artful about my study process, and that’s ok! What matters is that you read, pray, and look to learn about God that day. There’s nothing wrong with an art-filled Bible, as long as it leads to true study, but it’s definitely not a standard to try to meet.

Set aside time each day to have quiet, personal study. Don’t be disappointed when that quiet time is interrupted, though. My study time is often interrupted by a baby who won’t nap on her own or an older child who needs a snack. Study in those moments if you can. Find another time in the day to come back to study if the distractions are just too much. Make it a priority, but realize that “quiet” time looks different in different seasons of life. Let your children see you making time for study and meditation in the scripture. Ask them to be respectful of that time when they’re old enough to understand, and also teach them to read the Bible. From the time they’re born, you can read scripture to them and tell them what you read.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to have a Bible that you think is Instagram worthy, and don’t get frustrated when the time comes with distractions or interruptions. Just keep at it.

Buffalo Plaid Skirt from a Men's Shirt

Here’s your weekend project— an easy skirt made from a shirt!

There’s no pattern, and it’s beginner friendly. It’s just two flat pieces sewn together!

Grab a shirt that has plenty of room to fit around your hips and enough fabric for a seam allowance. You can use your waist and hip measurements to trace out the skirt, or grab a skirt that you already have and trace it onto the shirt fabric, adding seam allowance.

I did French seams, but you can just do a straight stitch down each side and not worry about finishing the seams inside the skirt.

I made a waistband, but you could fold the top over and stitch it in place. Just be sure that you don’t sew the top closed where it buttons since you need to unbutton the skirt to put it on.

Don’t have a sewing machine? There are fabric glues you can use until you work up the nerve to learn sewing. Learning to piece fabric together and understanding garment construction is a good place to start, and I won’t tell anyone you used glue!

I didn’t have to hem the bottom, because I left the original shirt hem.

You could use a seam ripper to remove the pockets, but I liked the look of leaving them.

If you make this or any recycled men’s shirt, tag me in your photos so I can see!
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