Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Maternity Skirt to Girl’s Skirt March 29, 2012

Filed under: girls' clothes,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 7:57 pm

Recently I was going through my old maternity clothes, figuring it was time to find a new home for some of them while they’re still somewhat in style. I found a white eyelet skirt that I had loved wearing, and it dawned on me that I could probably turn it into a skirt for my 8-year-old.

I cut several inches off the top of the skirt in order to remove the maternity panel, and then I folded the top down in order to create a casing for a 1-inch piece of elastic.

My daughter loves it. She’s been wishing for something like it. After she tried it on for me and modeled for a few pictures, I said, “Ok, you can go change back into your pants now.” And she answered, “Do you mind if I just keep it on?” There’s no greater affirmation of my sewing success than a comment like that!


Boy’s Shirt into Baby Dress December 26, 2010

Filed under: baby stuff,kids' stuff,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 3:26 pm

When I first ran across this tutorial on turning a man’s shirt into a girl’s dress, I knew it was something I was going to want to try sometime. (Isn’t her example so cute?) Well, I was going through my 5-y-o son’s clothes, and I came across this hand-me-down shirt. I knew there was no way he would ever wear it. In fact, when I asked him to put it on, he howled “No way! That’s a girl’s shirt!” I thought the pattern on the fabric was really nice though, and I decided this might be a great shirt to try to turn into a dress. I was a bit afraid that it wasn’t going to work, since I was using a much smaller shirt than the tutorial calls for; however, I was also planning on making it for a 18-month-old, so I figured it would probably work out ok.

Here’s the boy’s shirt. It’s a size 6, and I had to have my daughter pose with it on, because, like I said, my son wouldn’t go near it.

And here’s the front of the refashioned dress:

And here’s the back:

It looks adorable on my baby girl, but you’ll have to take my word for it, because she’s not into dressing up for pictures. The only thing that didn’t work quite as well, using a boy’s shirt instead of a man’s shirt, is that the sleeves were too small to have any extra room for gathering. These sleeves aren’t gathered, but I think they’re still pretty cute.

I’m really happy with the finished product. Son’s happy. Mama’s happy, and Baby Girl is happy too.


A Homemade Barbie Bed December 23, 2010

Filed under: a handmade Christmas,kids' stuff,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 9:27 pm

My daughter and I have plans to make a Barbie two-story home out of a 2-shelf bookshelf, and we’ve been keeping our eyes open for items that can be turned into Barbie furniture. So….when I saw an empty clementine box and packing material from Christmas shipments……

I saw “Barbie Bed” written all over it!


Native American Costume October 28, 2010

Filed under: costumes,kids' stuff,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 2:49 pm

I am so proud of myself! My daughter has been set for months on dressing up as a Native American for Halloween. I really wanted to sew her a costume but had a hard time finding a good pattern or a good tutorial online. (I only buy patterns when they’re $1, and I hadn’t come across any sales.)  And I just didn’t have confidence that I could “wing it” and make something that I would be proud of.

Well, a month ago or so I was in a thrift store with my kids, and we came across this Pocahontas costume in my daughter’s size. I really didn’t love it, but my daughter did, and it fit her perfectly. I thought, “Oh well. It’s only a couple of dollars, and now I won’t have to stress about sewing a costume.”

But this costume really annoyed me. It wasn’t just the fact that I don’t care much for the Disney character. It was the costume itself, too. That whole fake bare arm with the arm band on it really bugged me. The more I thought about it, the more I really didn’t want my daughter to wear this costume. So….I came up with an idea that turned out to be pretty brilliant: I took this costume apart and used it as a pattern to make my own costume. It took me only a couple of hours to whip up after the kids went to bed, and the kids’ reactions in the morning were priceless! The fabric and ribbon cost me only about $10, thanks to a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby. Yay for me!!!!!!!

The moral of the story is: If you love the design of a garment but don’t like the fabric (or it’s too worn), don’t be afraid to take it apart and use it as a pattern.

You just might really love the end result!


Fabric Dyeing August 27, 2010

Filed under: around the home,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 1:31 am

A month or so ago I found this tutorial on dyeing fabric and knew it was something I’d have to try sooner or later. Well, this was the week!

I started going around the house, looking for things to dye, and I felt the same ravenous feeling as when I’m going around the house looking for stuff to stick in a garage sale. (In other words, my kids were trembling in their boots and hiding all their stuff. :)) Ok, I’m joking about that part. They were actually timidly excited and my son wanted to make sure that I had something of his to stick in the dye. So, here is the before picture:

The pink shirt was the impetus that got it all started. I had bought it for my daughter several months ago, and the first time I washed it, I put it in the washer with some new jeans. Yep–you guessed it. The new pink shirt has blue streaks in several places that wouldn’t come out. It was ruined unless I could do something creative to rescue it.

The white jacket is something I’ve had for 8-ish years and have hardly worn, mostly because it’s white. One brush against the car door and it’s filthy; one hug from a sticky-fingered child and it’s stained. I decided that since it just sits in the closet, nothing could be lost from trying to dye it.

The onesie was kind of stained, and the hand towel was too plain, and the shorts were thrown in just so my son could be represented. (Plus, I thought it would be fun to see what would happen to a darker garment.) I was so excited to try dyeing, and I must say that my first experience was a winner!

I used half the bottle of Rit dye and after about four hours I took the towel, shorts, and onesie out of the dye. I was trying to make room for the jacket and shirt because both appeared to have lighter spots on them from being sort of wadded up in the bucket I used. The wiser part of me had told myself not to fill the bucket so full of clothes, and the tight-wad part of me (which won out) had told myself to put as many things in the bucket as I could fit. Well, the wiser part of me (along with the advice of my wise husband) decided to, after four hours, get a bigger bucket out of the crawl space and use the other half of the bottle to make sure the jacket and shirt had lots of room to spread out and the best chance of turning out well. So, I soaked those two things for an extra hour, and that did the trick. They look great!

The shirt was probably the greatest success. It looks like it was made to be brown. I’m not sure yet what I think about the jacket. I haven’t decided whether I did something really cool or whether I turned my once-delicate-and-feminine white jacket into something that looks kind of Carhartt-ish. Oh well. Nothing lost. It was a fun process, and I’ll be test-driving the jacket for a little while before the final verdict is in.