Sunday, June 20, 2010

Something creative; something reinvented

So you know I've been feeling sick lately. But it gets to the point where you are tired of doing nothing, and you want to take on something--something small, but something that has a big "wow" factor. It all started with a "flirty skirt" that I found at the thrift store. See how pretty the pattern is? But it was hard to find a good match. I ended up going back to my favorite thrift store and getting the extra large top, but I still needed a sweater to go over the sleeveless top. At our chapel, we have bionic air conditioning, so a light sweater is a necessity. Believe me, I'd rather have it too cold than the humid heat any day. But it does make "planning" for the summer wardrobe a little more complex.

So, I snarfed around the house holding up the skirt to various things. Finally, I found this sweater in my daughter's closet. The original "Goodwill" tag was still on it. She was a good egg and willingly donated it to my "crafting cause". And wouldn't you know it? A bit of coordinating fabric was just lurking around also.
Thankfully, the sweater was a cotton (summer weight) sweater.

And the coordinating fabric was this awesome patterned stitched over cotton look. With all of the seaming, the fabric had plenty of stretch. Note: I probably would have cut it on the bias if it hadn't been like this.

Step 1: Cut a line right down the center of the fabric and then cut the neck off. I kept the top seam around the neck in tact, so the entire piece did not stretch out all over the place.

So let's review. So far we have a second hand sweater that we have cut a seam down the center front and then cut the neck off. Pretty easy, so far right? Some of you may want to wear the sweater just like this. If your sweater isn't going to ravel, that might be a good option. Usually, cotton will ravel, AND I wanted to make this special.

See? Nobody died, and you cut a perfectly good sweater. Actually, I think I prefer my sweater to have a slight "V" in the front so, I'm going to taper it a little here.
Yes, I just lopped off a corner. No measuring, no fuss-fussying for 800 years. Just chop. Want the other side to match? Just lay it on the other side reversed. Cut.

O.K. there's no law that says you can't get out a straight edge and a protractor and measure and fuss. Go ahead. I know some of you German-engineer types will have to do it this way.

So, now what? This next picture shows a couple different steps, so stay with me. This isn't rocket science, but some of you may think it is.

First I cut a 4" strip that was long enough to go from the bottom of the sweater all around the neck line and back down. For me, it was around 1 1/2 yards. You can just piece the fabric if you don't have anything that long.

The idea behind this strip is that you are going to finish the edge of what you cut. You could just buy some bias tape (or make your own), sew it to the raw -edge and hand-stitch it down. (Like binding a quilt).

Obviously, that is not what I did.

Fancy. I had to go fancy, I tell you.

So, you see that little rope thingy on the left? I made a small piping line all around the fabric and turned up the opposite edge (ironed 5/8"). That rope was the size of the piping I used. I think you guys know how much I love piping. Piping anonymous. Or is it welting? Anyway, I have a "welting foot" for my sewing machine. Awesome purchase. I think mine was only $24.00 or something.
Here's another thing that welting foot does: it makes a clean covered cord. So, I made a few yards of covered cording. I realize this may be getting too "high brow" for just about everybody now. Really, you can buy this stuff.

So, I made little loops for button loops. Notice the raw edges of the loops are facing the same way as the raw edges of the sweater thingy. You have to sew on the loops BEFORE you put the edging on. I chose 5 and spaced them out evenly along the sweater. I think people recommend odd numbers for things like "button enclosures".
Now, I just took that first piece of 4" wide fabric with the piping on one side and pinned in along the edge. This is the front side. I want to be able to sew on top of my original seam like for the piping.
If you flip it over, it looks like this. The excess fabric from the piping lines up with the raw edge of the fabric. Once you sew all around the sweater the raw edges need to be enclosed.
This is the underside, before hand-stitching. Hand stitch all around the inside to secure the fabric ends are all enclosed.
All that is showing from the outside is a thin trace of piping. And the buttons? I asked my husband to help me find some cool knots for buttons. I think he found a site for making Chinese buttons.

In between writing sermon notes, he was gladly tying Chinese button knots for me.

And Joanna helped me make an accessory for the outfit. I went around the house looking for pink "junk". There are some beads, some buttons, some odd things and let's not forget a few of my grandmother's pearls.

Inspired by this..
Was born this accessory.
So, want to see the final look?

Makes my home sing Monday (tutorial)
and Reinvented Tuesday Trash to Treasure


Angela said...

I LOVE it. Especially the necklace!! You are so creative. :D

Eos Mom said...

Wow, awesome, I love the whole look! You're so talented!

Mrs. Parunak said...

And yet another way that you are AWESOME. This is so unbelievably creative. Good job!!!

Braley Mama said...

You are just amazing!

Kathryn said...

Beautiful! You did a great job & it all looks so good together. :)

Hope you're feeling better soon.

The dB family said...

Wow! You are amazing!! I was having heart palpitations reading this post (must be the influence of the Engineer I'm married to). I love the sweater and the necklace too!! Are you going to do a tutorial on how you made the necklace ;o)?

Enjoy your beautiful outfit! Hope you're feeling better soon!


Jenny said...

Love everything! I am especially drawn to the necklace and the Chinese knot buttons! Excellent!

Becky said...

Wonderful job! I would have never thought to make knot buttons. I'll have to keep that in mind for some future project.

Jenny P. said...

How positively wonderful! You never would have known it was 2nd hand!

Feel better quickly!

CC said...

Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing this.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

So cute!

And you know one thing that's amazing? You found a sleeveless top that doesn't have HUGE armholes! (Pet peeve - big armholes that are too revealing. Ugh!)

It all looks wonderful together :D

Please, please, show us how you made the necklace next??


PS Still laughing about the "bionic air conditioning". Wasn't there a pastor that told his church that he was going to keep turning the air conditioning up until the women dressed modestly, or something like that?

sara said...

It looks wonderful. And you're making me tired.

momstheword said...

You look very pretty and I love how creative you are. It must be nice to be able to wear something that you've had a hand in creating!

Thanks for linking up today.

Jena Webber said...

thanks everyone!! Yes, I think the bionic air conditioning is part of the modesty plan! When the young gals are wearing snowmobile suits in the summer we'll know it's gone too far.. LOL.

Joanna is going to do a tutorial on the necklace. She said, "Why? It's so basic." Hey, kid. It's not basic for us, OK?

Whims And Trims said...

what a beautiful outfit! Great job!!

Patricia said...

You are too cute in that! Love it all! :)