Cute Lady Tunic Refashion

I have a new tutorial for you all this week!step 1Refashioning, also called upcycling, is perennially popular, and I love it! I’ve reworked a number of things, both clothes and nick-knacks, but this one turned out so well, I just had to share. I bought an XL men’s dress shirt a few weeks ago at Salvation Army, intending to turn it into a shirt. I neglected to take any photos of the original shirt, but trust me when I say that I was swimming in it! It was – and is – a lovely faux-suede woven fabric in matte black. In fact, it was the heavy weight of the fabric that sold me on it.But enough of the set up: Here’s the redone shirt!

Sorry about the image quality! I used my phone after dark...

Sorry about the image quality! I used my phone after dark…

Lovely, isn’t it? It’s tunic length, but fits my curves and has little cap sleeves and generous petals all down the front! If you want a shirt like it, just head to your local thrift store and pick up an XL shirt. I recommend using a heavier weight shirt if you can find one, but if not, go ahead and try with a standard weight cotton dress shirt – just let me know how it goes!

Materials:s materials

  • XL men’s dress shirt
  • needle and thread – I used a sewing machine, but it’s not too much to hand sew.
  • scissors
  • fray check or similar product

Procedure:

  1. Wash your shirt according to its tag. It’s always best to pre-launder thrifted items to make sure you aren’t surprised down the line.
  2. Cut off the sleeves right where the join the body. Cut off the collar and shape the neckline into a scoop. Try to make your scoop hit in between buttons so you don’t have to re-sew any buttons or button holes.step 2
  3. Fit your shirt. You’ll probably need to take in the seems and, if you’re busty, add darts.step 3 I don’t have a dress form, so I just pull the shirt on inside-out, pin and mark, then carefully remove and sew.
  4. Once you’ve make fit adjustments and checked that the shirt fits how you like, trim off the excess material.
  5. Set the body aside and pick up those discarded sleeves. Cut the cuffs off the bottom and open the sleeve along its seam.
  6. From the first sleeve, cut out petals.step 4a I made a template before cutting, but it’s up to you how regular you want your petals. I used about 28 petals to make my shirt, but depending on your frame, you may want more or fewer. Treat the edges of the petals with fray check.
  7. The second sleeve will make up the edging for the neckline and armholes. Cut with the grain into 2″ strips. Fold each strip in half and iron. Open and fold the edges into the center and iron. Fold the whole thing back in half and press one more time, so each strip looks the the illustration.step 4b
  8. Assembly time! Once your petals are dry, pin down in overlapping rows, starting from the bottom and working up. Once pinned, use a zig-zag stitch to sew each row down, starting from the bottom row and working up. Once the petals are sewn, tack down a strip of fabric along the edge of the top to hide raw edges.step 5
  9. Pin the binding you made in step 7 around the armholes and neckline and sew down, close the edge of the binding. step 5
  10. Wear your shirt with pride and joy!IMG_1164

Tips and suggestions:

  • If you’re like me and fail to catch the edge of the binding in a few spots, go back and hand sew.
  • If your shirt has a distinct wrong and right side to the fabric, consider mixing up your petals for visual interest.
  • You could also make your petals and binding out of complementary fabric from another shirt!
  • For best fit, don’t take all the fabric in at the side: Take some in with back darts. I didn’t bother, as I don’t have a dress form, but it does make a difference.
  • If you want to shorten your shirt, just mark, cut, and put in a normal hem when you’re sewing the side seams and darts.

Round Up!

Hello there everyone! Today, rather than sharing a tutorial of my own, I thought I’d share a few projects I’ve done based on other great tutorials. One I followed exactly, and the other two I tweaked a bit. Also, if you make it to the end, you may just find some gratuitous photos of one of my cats 🙂

First up, a mask based on Sprinkles in Spring‘s excellent tutorial.IMG_1094

The premise is using puffy paint to draw on tulle to create a flexible mask that looks delicate and sturdy and fits like a glove! I designed my own mask pattern and love it, but put the eye-holes a bit too far apart.IMG_1093 Guess I’ll just have to fun making another!

Second, a felt flower. IMG_1102This is based on a tutorial from makeanddogirl, although I’m not sure the post/blog is still up…But it was a lovely post on creating your own dahlias out of felt. I make mine a bit smaller and attach hair clips rather than pins so I can wear them in my hair.IMG_1097 I’ve made about ten, all in different colors, so you can guess how much I love them!

Finally, a tutorial on turning vintage clip-ons into a necklace from doe-c-doe. Now, I have a stash of vintage costume jewelry I inherited from my grandmother, and have used parts of it in many crafts (including centers of felt flowers!), but I think this is my favorite re-purpose.IMG_1099

For my necklace, I combined two different pairs of earrings to make my pendant. But in doing that, the back surface didn’t really align with a pin back, the way doe-c-doe demonstrates. So instead, I used heavy-duty scissors to cut a backing out of the metal bottom of a coffee can! IMG_1100

Worked like a charm, and I love my necklace! I even made another one for my mom, so she can wear part of her mom close to her heart!

So there you go: Three tutorials I’ve used with great results! Go forth and craft!

Oh, and here’s Mr. Luna Tic basking in the September sunshine.IMG_1103

He's swimming through the pebbles! Look at that form!

He’s swimming through the pebbles! Look at that form!

 

Create-Your-Own Cat

003Look at this dapper kitty! Isn’t he adorable? But wait! Who’s that behind him?

002Awww! Look at that fuzzy duo! Oh, look again! There’s a whole family!007

Don’t you just need some cats like these in your life? Well,  don’t worry! They’re quite easy, and don’t cry out for perfection! Before you know it, you’ll have a basket of cuddly kittens too. Here’s how to make one of your very own =^.^=

Materials:materials

  1. pattern
  2. fabric – I like t-shirt or fleece, and generally use two colors
    1. the amount of fabric will depend on the size of your cat
  3. 2 buttons
  4. needle and thread/sewing machine
  5. embroidery floss
  6. ribbon
  7. stuffing

Directions:

  1. Draft and cut out the pattern pieces. You can use the picture as a pattern or draw your own similar shapes. These cats are supposed to look a little home-spun, so don’t worry too much about exact proportions.step 1
  2. Using the pattern, cut out two body pieces, two tail pieces, and a bottom.
  3. Put the body together, right side of fabric together, and sew around the sides and top, but not the bottom edge. Do the same for the tail pieces. Then pin the bottom piece to the body of the cat, and stitch, leaving an opening like in the illustration.step 2
  4. Before you turn kitty right-side out, carefully notch the fabric at the neck and the ears. Then turn out and sew across the bottom of each ear.step 3
  5. Stuff the body and tail, and then insert the tail into the gap of the body. Using a running stitch, stitch the body closed.step 4
  6. Sew on the button eyes and embroider a face. Tie the ribbon around the neck to make a collar. step 5

Enjoy your new friend!

Tips and suggestions:

  • I like to cut my cats from the sleeves of old t-shirts, and then stuff with the scraps. Recycling 🙂
  • If you’re giving a cat to a small child, consider embroidering eyes – or drawing them on with sharpie – so there’s no choking hazard.
  • You can embroider the face before you sew if you find that easier. I like to do it last to I’m more sure of placement.
  • Make a whole litter in different sizes!
  • Play with different materials for collars. I made one cat with a snowflake-print fleece and gave it a scarf instead of a collar.

    100_1710

    Have fun with your new friends!