Friday, September 30, 2016

The Refashioners 2016: Denim Chanel-Inspired Jacket

My third and final "jeanius" project for The Refashioners community challenge is another attempt to replicate a popular style using an unconventional material - specifically a Chanel-inspired boxy, cropped jacket, typically made with tweedy wool, but here made with a pair of men's black denim jeans.

Denim Chanel-Inspired Jacket - Before

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Refashioners 2016: Denim Faux Shearling Vest

My second "jeanius" refashion for The Refashioners community challenge took a bit longer than anticipated, but it's finally finished! I was pondering the unique qualities of denim and how I could use those in unexpected ways to create something new. For inspiration and - copious amounts of fabric - I was perusing the men's section at Goodwill, when I spotted these rather large, sort of camel-colored jeans. The interesting wash gave these pants an almost suede-like appearance, and thus, an idea was born! A picture began to form in my head of a faux sheepskin vest with these brown jeans as the exterior and lots of frayed white denim (denim chenille, I believe it's called) on the inside to mimic the sheep's wool. So I grabbed the brown jeans and three pairs of white jeans as well, and headed home to plot out my course of action.

Denim Faux Shearling Vest - Before

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekend Wraps

The newest addition to my knitting library is Weekend Wraps: 18 Quick Knit Cowls, Scarves & Shawls by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. Every pattern inside uses worsted weight or heavier yarn, and most of the designs are smallish accessories that you really can whip up in a weekend. I was particularly drawn to the architectural aspects of Emma Welford's Post & Beam Cowl. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for cables. They are deceptively simple to create, yet pack a pretty good punch in the final product.

Post & Beam CowlPost & Beam Cowl

I dove into the stash for the required aran weight yarn. The pattern called for 170 yards, and I just happen to have 176 yards of the discontinued Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran (color #21208) that's been languishing in the stash for, oh, 7 YEARS. It seemed like kismet... until my gauge swatch revealed the Rialto to be a slightly thinner aran than the recommended Quince & Co. Osprey. Unphased, I pushed onward, casting on enough extra stitches for a couple more repeats of the cable pattern to keep my cowl roughly the same circumference as intended.

Post & Beam Cowl

Since I was casting on more stitches, I was a little afraid I wouldn't have enough yardage to obtain the correct height, so I flipped the cable chart too. Instead of starting with the posts and finishing with the beams, I began with the beams so I could just make my posts shorter if needed. In the end, I had more than enough yarn. So I just kept knitting until I was about to run out, and then bound off my stitches with the last little bits. It worked out perfectly.

Post & Beam CowlPost & Beam Cowl

It felt so good to get back to the yarn and needles after so many weeks of strictly thread and needles. And now to cap it off with my knitting mantra - It will get cool enough to wear this soon. It will get cool enough to wear this soon. It will get cool enough to wear this soon...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Refashioners 2016: Denim Tunic

First things first - thankyouthankyouthankyou, everyone, for all your support during the Refashion Runway All Stars competition! I couldn't have achieved that silver medal without all of you!

I sort of suspected my sewing muscles would be super sore after that 5-week rigorous refashion regimen, and they were, but surprisingly, not as much as I thought they'd be. My machine and I only needed a couple days apart before we pined for each other's company again. Of course, I had The Refashioners community challenge and Portia's "jeanius" theme to encourage a speedy recovery. After all, I am a Texan. I may hate beans and fried things, but I do love me some denim. Hopefully, I'll have time to complete a few different ideas I have floating around in my head before the September 30 deadline.

First up was another tunic. I must admit, that Refashion Runway challenge showed me the light and I am now a total tunic convert! This tunic began with a pair of jeans a friend gave me when they got too big for her. You can see where I added a couple darts for her as she began to lose weight, but soon darts were not enough and she graciously gave them to me for refashioning.

Denim Tunic - Before

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 5: Riverside

Our final challenge for this season of Refashion Runway was Riverside Blue, predicted to be one the hottest colors for fall 2016 by the Pantone Color Institute. Have a look at what I cooked up below, then head over to The Renegade Seamstress to see the other competitors' project and vote for your favorite!

I actually had quite a hard time finding something in this blue hue. Everything seemed to be too royal blue or too navy or too teal, but eventually I found this 100% cotton wrap dress with just the slightest hint of purple. Just what I was looking for!

Refashion Runway: Riverside BlueRefashion Runway: Riverside Blue

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tunic Tee

In the search for the perfect tunic materials last week, I came across this linen blend skirt from a clothes swap a year or two ago. I never really knew what I was going to do with it until now. I only snagged it at the end of the night because no one else wanted it, and come on, quality fabric and hot pink?

Tunic Tee - Before

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 4: Tunic

For the next Refashion Runway challenge - Tunic - I took inspiration from the traditional tunics of southern Asia, known as "kurtas," which are typically straight cut, loose fitting, collarless shirts that fall somewhere around knee length with slits up the sides. They can be made from a variety of materials, such as luxurious silks for formal occasions, simple cotton or linen for everyday summer wear, or sturdy wool during winter. Rummaging through my refashion closet, I pulled out this skirt and top set in a linen blend, which I brought home from a clothes swap a couple years ago because I loved the pattern and fabric.

Refashion Runway: Tunic

Unfortunately, this fabric was a bit thin to be worn by itself, I thought, so I began to ponder my options for a lining. That's when the light bulb went on. REVERSIBLE! Another dive into the stash produced this cotton muumuu with convenient nursing zippers hidden under the front ruffles. This one came from Goodwill a while back for... $3?

Refashion Runway: Tunic

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Penny For Your Thoughts

If you've been following the other competitors in this season of Refashion Runway, you may have seen Jen, of Diary of a Mad Mama, mention that, of all the weekly challenges, she was most looking forward to the metallic theme. Well, I was most looking forward to the button theme. Little did I know it was for the Exact. Same. Reason.

Penny Buttons - Before

Yup. I originally made myself a beautiful set of penny buttons to be sewn onto my new blue shirt dress. Then, when the metallic entries were revealed a couple days later and I saw Jen's gypsy-esque dress with the dangling penny charms all over it, my heart sank. Don't get me wrong - she did a beautiful job! It was just my bad luck the metallic theme came before the buttons. Obviously, I couldn't use pennies for the next challenge and look like a copycat, so I had to figure out a different route to take for my buttons. But if you're interested, here's how I made my original penny buttons.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Refashion Runway 4, Week 3: Buttons

On this episode of Refashion Runway, the contestants were given the theme "Buttons" to inspire our creativity! Have a gander at my project below before you hop on over to The Renegade Seamstress to see the other entries and vote for your favorite!

I picked up this giant, blue, faux wrap dress at Thrift City a couple months ago with the intention of turning it into the shirt dress of my dreams, and this button challenge played right into my hands!

Refashion Runway: Buttons

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Metallic Meh

For last week's Refashion Runway metallic challenge, I had originally planned an all gold outfit, pairing this oversized gold sparkly sweater with my pleated curtain skirt. It's difficult to capture the sparkles, but trust me, they're there.

Gold Sweater - Before