Another Refashion and Blizzard

Well we have another blizzard moving our way tonight, with the now usual rain/ice pellets mixed in that we have come to expect over the last month. Ugh! That means it will be awhile before I can wear my altered summer dress. This sweater refashion is much warmer. Doesn’t mean I still don’t wish for warmer weather…..

When I was digging through my clothing stash (I have way too many stashes!!) I discovered two items that matched in color hues of purple. A too big sweater with an interesting neckline and a too small sleeveless top with an interesting pattern.

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The color and the neckline are the only reasons I snapped this gem up.

I knew right away that I was going to steam punk these two by making a faux corset top. Now doesn’t that sound like fun?


First thing I did was take in the sides of the sweater with my serger. I also made some front darts of shape.

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pin, pin, pin then sew.

Wow, it looks good enough to wear as is. But I know that I stopped here I wouldn’t ever get around to finishing the refashion that I really want.

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I almost stopped here…glad I didn’t.

Next was cutting the off the bottom of the top, right under the arm holes. The back of the top will now become the front of the faux corset.

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snippety snip

I ended up with three extra buttons from the top section, so I added three buttonholes to the corset. Mostly because I didn’t want any embarrassing belly flashing….

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and the buttonholes go here.

Using pins I marked where I wanted the two pieces to join and the center. During this trying time I also decided to use the bottom of the top to attach to the sweater, with the raw edges as the hem.

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Where the center is and the attachment line.

I then pinned the two pieces together and whoa! I am not the small in the waist anymore. What to do now?

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I think even Diana is sucking it in! 😉

I figured out that where the two pieces joined fits good so I only had to adjust below that. What I decided on was inserting a reverse triangle of fabric. I cut up the center of the corset back and inserted the upside triangle. I sewed two sides and then stitched the seams down as well.

With the fit improved I then sewed the two pieces together with the stretch zigzag stitch. The top was already lined so I sergered the raw edge, which I ironed up and stitched down for the hem. Lastly was sewing on the buttons.

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The side view…nice and comfy now.

I love my faux corset Steam punk sweater.

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I think the back insertion add a nice detail….that’s my story anyway.

Still don’t what the snow; I could wear this outside in the spring instead of a skirt and jacket. Just saying Mother Nature.

steampunk BA


Pinterest Alteration Challenge

I recently took part in a challenge with an alteration group I am part of. The idea was to make an altered item of clothing using ideas we have saved on Pinterest. We all won bragging rights. 😉

Silly me thought that the hardest part would be deciding what I wanted to do. I set the bar really high, but managed to  get over it; mainly with a step-ladder, slinking over said bar and landing on the mattress I placed on the other side.

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My idea board with a rough sketch of what I was going for.


I found this dress at a local thrift shop and picked it up with the express idea of altering it. Many years ago. I forgot the original color (off white I think), but I dyed it and some slips (again years ago) so I don’t have a picture of the original dress. It didn’t come through the washer intact, which is no problem as I planned on getting rid of the flappy-wings thing anyway. The fabric is sheer with an attached lining.


Front of dress.


Flappy-wing thing. It got torn while having its dye bath.

Awhile ago I had dyed a large batch of fabric scraps and laces. The range of colors I got from that one dye was an eye opener: barely there color to bright vivid color.

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All this gorgeous color from one box.

I also grabbed some sheer fabric from my stash. Does everybody’s else stash continue to grow, no matter how much you take out of it? Now I have everything I should need to remake this dress!

First was cutting off the sleeves and that awkward flappy thing. Next I took in the sides for a more fitted dress. Next was cutting off some of the length. I wanted a hi-lo so I figured out the highest and lowest points. I also took in the bottom of the lining; less fabric for my legs to fight with.


looking better already…

Did I say that I knew what I was doing? True, but only so far. This dress continued to evolve as I worked on it. At this point I decided that I wanted a sleeveless sweetheart neckline, but with sheer straps. Out come the scissors and off goes the shoulder part of the dress. I sergered the lining to the dress along the top edge. Looking good.

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At this point I am wondering how I am ever going to make this work.


Time to hit the slip pile. I was originally going to sew the slips in layers in the front ‘hi’ section of the hi-lo, but it wasn’t working for me. So I grabbed one that had a double row of lace and sewed it to the bottom of the lining. Better, but still needing something.


lots and lots of slips

I tell you this dress ordered me around something awful; I would do one thing and either hear ‘I need more’ or ‘hahaha wrong move Angela’.


Lace on the lining…really panicking at how awful this looks right now.

While I was thinking about the bottom, I moved back up to the top of the dress and put a zipper in the back. Having made it fit snugger to the body meant it could no longer be pulled on.

I decided between one of two sheers. After determining the width of the hem, I cut twice  the length of sheer I would need then sat down with a candle and melted the edges. First time doing this and it was tricky; too little and it wouldn’t melt, too much and it would flame up. I then gathered and sewed it to the bottom of the dress. Almost done the bottom!

Next up  were the straps. I used the extra fabric I cut off the dress to make them. I just hemmed the long edges and tacked into  place. No lining here.

Taking more sheer I attached it to the bodice along the bottom. I then hand gathered lengthwise along the bodice front  and back. I pinned the top edge of the sheer to the bodice edge, pulling the thread to gather the fabric.


Uhmmm…this better work!!

Next was machine sewing the top edges together. Then using a decorative stitch on my machine I started sewing the gathers down. Here the dress hollered more and I sewed an extra line between the ones already done.


What a difference one extra line of stitching will make.

Whew! Almost done. To the lace pile I went and came up with three different laces and one ribbon. One went on top of the stitching attaching the gathered sheer on the hem.


All the bottom layers in their glory.

Two laces and the ribbon were used to embellish the bodice.


Finished bodice.

It fits! Now if all this snow would just go away so I could wear it!

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PicMonkey Collage1

Keep warm everyone.

Some Alterations I Have Done Lately.

I have this beautiful teal sweater that I adore the color of. Unfortunately, the last time it was washed the Closet Trolls had some fun with it and poked a few holes in it.

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Closet trolls, free to a good home – actually any home!

I almost threw it out, then remembered that I wanted to try to make a caplet type of sweater. First off I removed the stitching in the middle of the V-neck. Next was deciding on the length.

Snip, snip

Snip, snip

Next I hit my lace stash and found one that matched. What was the luck? I originally planned on only sewing lace around the bottom, but decided to sew it around the neck line as well. Then I stepped back and had a look. That is how the rest of the lace ended up on it. Lastly was a ribbon to tie the sides together.





I am happy with it, but wish I had cut it a little longer. I might add wide lace to the bottom?? Time will tell.

Next was turning some camisoles into bralettes.

I made two cutting lines, one for the top and the other for the bottom band. I took in the sides of the top, using an inverted V, 1/2 inch at the bottom of the top. I also made two breast darts.

Cutting and sewing lines.

Cutting and sewing lines.

The bottom band I took in 2 inches then folded in half, wrong sides together. I then attached the band to the top, with a clear elastic sewn into the seam. I have a serger, which made this so much easier and faster than a regular machine.

Front view

Front view

Yes, I am modest.

Yes, I am modest.

I saved the bottom of the camisoles. I am thinking they would make great waist bands on some summer skirts.

My Adventures with Quilt as You Go

The saga of ‘The Evolving Quilt’ continues….dah dah dah.

I am actually making good progress on the quilt. I hope to be finished by the end of April. I also hope that spring will actually arrive by then too. Maybe I am setting my hope level too high? Oh well, dream big or stay home. Oh, who am I kidding? I always dream big and I always stay home! So I guess that means I am outside the average??

I have a normal sized machine which I love, but find it is very awkward to (wo)man-handle a bed-sized quilt to machine quilt. These hands are just not strong enough. I have read numerous articles on quilt as you go and have finally found one that works for me. The sashing is super skinny, but I can make that work. I have already redesigned a quilt I am finishing for a friend to take that into account. But way before then I need to finish my daughter’s.

As you know, all the quilt blocks have been assembled. Next is quilting them. This part is so much easier already; 12 inch square block in way easier to woman-handle then man-handling a full quilt. I have two left to quilt. In the mean time I have machine quilted the blocks around the outside of the quilt with a meandering stitch.

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A meandering stitch was used to quilt the outside blocks.

Another advantage to smaller pieces is that I was able to use spray glue to hold the batting in place. No hand-basting or fighting pins while sewing.

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Spray glue for basting is wonderful.

The top and bottom rows have been sewn together and I will talk about how I did that below. I have sewn the sashing strips on with a 1/4 ich seam allowance. You need to know the seam allowance you will use to determine the width of the sashing. I cut two sashing widths, one for the front and one for the back. For the front I cut 1 inch wide and back is 1.5 inches wide. I cut the length a little over 12 inches. The 1.5 inch piece is folded in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together.

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The front sashing and the folded back sashing.

With the quilt block facing up, lay the front sashing right-side down, lining up edges. On the back of the quilt block, line up the raw edges of the back sashing on the same edge as the front sashing. Make sure you use the raw edge, not the folded edge, here.

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In this picture the backing sashing is on top. All the raw edges are lined up.

Sew all three pieces together with a 1/4 inch seam. Trim the sashings even with the quilt block now. Press the front sashing over the stitched seam. Lay your next quilt block out beside the just finished one make sure that you have the right edges matched. Place the right-sides together, lining up the other raw edge of the front sashing with the edge of the second quilt block. You ignore the back sashing during this step.

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Physically lining up the blocks helps me ensure all the blocks are facing the right way.

Sew with 1/4 inch seam. I found it easier to place the first seam over the foot; less fighting keeping the seam at the right place. I also found it easier to sew with the first seam on top, as pictured below.

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Placing the seam over the foot allows for smoother sewing.

Now flip the two quilt blocks over and press the back sashing over the seam. As you can see the edges of the blocks meet. This gives your sashing the body that regular quilting would give you.

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Ahh, there is the batting for the sashing strips. It’s magic!

Sew the back sashing  down using a blind applique, making sure to cover the stitched seam.

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A little hand-stitching and you are done.

Yes, you may do more hand-stitching with quilt-as-you-go, but for me it is a better exchange then fighting with a whole quilt in the machine. It also allows me to have fun with the quilting, whether follow the line or free-motion. I usually do the hand-stitching in the evening, catching up on some shows.

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Here is the back of the quilt, with the sashing sewn down. You don’t get to see the front yet! You have to wait until it is done.

Now do it all again on the opposite side of the second quilt block. When you have all the blocks sewn into rows you are ready to sew all the rows together. Cut your sashing strips the same width for the front and back (1 & 1.5 inches), with the length equalling the length of the completed row. For mine I have 5 blocks per row, so 5 blocks x 12 inches is 60 inches. I cut the front sashings 1 by 61 inches and the back sashings 1.5 by 61 inches. I always cut my sashing a little longer to be on the safe side. It is way easier to trim extra off then add extra. 😉

I have yet to sew any rows together, but I will let you know how it went goes.

Baby Clothes Stuffies and A Finally Finished Purse.

Some more UFOs completed. The pile is dwindling, slowly yes, but it is small. On the other positive side, my completed Christmas gift pile is growing at the same rate. Win Win 😉

This stuffies are made from some of my daughter’s clothing, baby to age 2. These were scraps left over from the baby clothes quilt I made her. I also have a pillow still in the UFO pile.

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Baby Memories…She even remembers some of the ones from when she was two.

All the button eyes and added flowers, bows and other items where all saved from various outfits when I cut them up for the quilt.

This teddy bear is made from a cute teddy bear outfit she had; a one piece with ears on the hoodie. The flower came from a different outfit.


Side view


Seating pretty in all her flowered glory!

The puppy is from a plaid dress with a matching sweater.


Pretty in bows.


She has a chain collar and a flower on her ear.

The tiger is made from two tops.


This little beauty is wearing her button collection.


Ahh, look…her heart is in her eyes.

The kitty is made from overalls and a top. The tail was cut off the outfit as is.


Don’t you wish your cat could wear a bow just like this one? I do.


I think she hung out in the garden today.



My daughter designed this purse a few years ago. The deal was that I would only work on it with her help; aaand that is how it ended up on the UFO pile. I hope she still likes it. If not, it will be for sale.

She wanted a ruffled purse, but with different colors. She picked out all the fabrics.


A ruffled collection to wear on your shoulder.

She decided the order of the colors, and had even stitched the hem on one of the color strips. That was pretty much it.


A side view of the ruffles.

She likes purple and blue, so the lining was a good choice for her.


The interior, with pockets of course.

Unicorn Princess

I loved this cross-stitch when I first purchased the design many many years ago, and still do today. I finished the cross-stitch part all those years ago, but put off framing and hanging it for some reason. Well, no more procrastinating!

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Medieval Princess and Unicorn.

I had decided that I was going to turn it into  a wall hanging, so first thing on the list was finding (hopefully) a fabric from my stash that would complement the colors. I think I did a pretty good job on uncovering some hidden treasures, both front and back.

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Lovely shades of teal.

I sewed the fabric to the cross-stitch and then just knew that I needed something else to make it go from ho-hum to wow! My daughter helped decide on the lace trim. Unknown to her, she was picking out lace for her Easter gift.


Three lace choose to from.

After the front fabric and cross-stitch were sewn together, I went on to the backing. I had a different fabric in the same color family – who says unicorns aren’t lucky? I pieced two strips to make the back and then constructed the pocket for the rod hanger. I did not join them together yet.

Now on to the middle layer. I originally was going with quilt batting, but went with a really heavy interfacing/stabilizer. I spray one side with spray adhesive and smoothed the backing fabric on. Next I place that hanger pocket in place and sewed it down to the interfacing. After trimming the edge of the backing even with the interfacing I was ready to attach the front.

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The backing with the rod pocket and hand-stitched finished edges.

Again I sprayed the front of the interfacing with the adhesive and smoothed the front down, positioning the cross-stitch in the middle. I sewed the lace around the edge of the cross-stitch, sewing through the interfacing and backing fabric all in one go.

Lastly was finishing the edges. I folded the raw edges of the front fabric to the interfacing and then wrapped the folded edges around to the back. This I hand-stitched down, watching some shows and keeping the pets company while doing so.

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Another close-up.

The completed size is 18″ & 21″. Yeah, another UFO done!


Just a quick update on how Dorothy’s quilt is progressing. I was making good head-way on the quilting, until I ran out of thread….twice. Now I have to wait until later in the week before I can make the trek across the bridge and hopefully find a matching thread. Cross everything for me please. Until then I will finish another group of UFOs that I have been working on.

Finally Finished the Last Quilt Block

Today I finally finished the last quilt block on my Daughter’s Evolving Quilt. Yay!!

#17 is some of her favorite movies and/or characters. She was very specific of what scenes she wanted and how I was to crop them before printing them out.

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Some of her favorite things…

I printed them out on Transfer Artist Paper, or TAP. I am very happy with this product. I ironed the printouts onto plain white muslin and then joined them with the two main fabrics of her quilt block.


#18 is an Easter themed one, featuring EB from Hop, but done is colors she wanted. She designed the egg, picked the colors and then laid the little circles (left over from quilt block #5)  to decorate the egg.


It’s Easter time!

She colored EB with oil pastels on printer friendly fabric. Once she was done with the coloring I ironed the dickens out of it, using several sheets of plain paper to absorb the heated oils. I also rinsed it afterward in hot water and then ironed it dry. The oils soaked right into the fabric.


An Easter bunny in Easter colors.

The little eggs were printed onto the TAP and she colored it in with markers. You have to color lightly or you scratch the coating off. Also, the eggs got attacked by a glass of water and their color ran away.


Water-downed art work still looks fantastic.


This week I have also designed the final quilt and figured out the final cuttings. I also finished cutting all the fabric and batting out tonight so am ready to start quilting. The last thing my daughter has to do on this quilt is place all her 18 blocks in the order she would like.

I am going try doing this as a quilt-as-you-go. I am hoping that quilting individual blocks it will be much easier for my sore wrist to handle. Especially as I only have a sewing machine for quilting, not a long-arm quilting machine. I will be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you my adventure into this type of quilting.