Sunday, 26 July 2015

Hot Christmas in July (a mixed quilting/refashioning post)

Today was the July Sew-In of my Guild.  I was only able to go for a couple hours so I needed a low-fuss project with not too many moving parts.  The weather was on the cool side, so I though a little Christmas quilting would be appropriate...  Remember this Christmas-sy top?

Well it's now all sandwiched an pinned and I started quilting a couple days ago.  I thought it would be a great project to take with me.

There was only one problem, though.  I was dressed for cool temperatures but our sewing room felt more like the beach (minus the sun, the sand and the water).  Thankfully my back-up project was not a quilt, but a re-fashion I had been meaning to do ever since I started following Gillian's blog, the Refashionista (go see her blog even if you are only interested in quilting... it's worth it!).  Anyhoo, rather than buy ugly clothes from second hand stores, I figured I might as well work with my own unloved closet.

Today's project is a dress from my early 2000s April Cornell period (anyone remember La Cache stores?  I used to love these stores...) I have not worn this for years, yet I could not bear to give it away.    Here is the before picture:

This is so 2003...

Yikes!  This dress is big, ill-fitting, does not do anything for my shape, and although I like the colour, it's not particularly good for my skin tone.

My plan was very simple:  take in the sides a little, and chop it to make a top.    I would love to show you a picture of the big chop, but whoever tried to take the picture did not actually press on the button... Ironically one of the reasons I waited that long to work on this dress is I wanted help in documenting the how-to...  Well, at least I have this one... thanks Linda!

Notice I am wearing long sleeves?  Man that was hot!

So, one chop and one hem later, I had a new outfit for a hot sewing day!  The whole process probably took 20 minutes...

Don't be fooled, though, it was still cool outside...

I wasn't entirely sure about the angle and the pointy side, but my top got rave reviews from my guild mates and I have to say, it's comfy!  The colour is still not the best for me, but there is less of it, and I think it looks pretty sharp.

And so, dressed with my weather appropriate outfit, I enjoyed working on the Christmas quilt for an hour or so.

Anyone else intrigued by re-fashioning / upcycling? 

PS: to check out my other upcycling / refashioning projects, check the "Upcycling" tab at the top of the page.  It's a work in progress...

Monday, 6 July 2015

T-Shirts to Skirts: the Upcycling Edition

I set aside the quilting yesterday afternoon, dug out the old serger, and transformed three t-shirts and a nightgown into little girls skirts.  So.  Much.  Fun.  It helped that there was already red thread on the serger.  I can't tell you how much I dislike threading that thing...

So, this is what I started with:

I wished I had thought of unfolding the t-shirts, but you get the idea

2 hours and 27 seams later, I have skirts for my girl and her two best friends, twins, who have a birthday coming up.  Here's the first one...

The red one for little Miss L.

And the second one:  goes well with it, but not identical... just like the twins.

The blue one for little Miss O.

As for the third one, it's for my daughter and it's a mish mash of what I had leftover.  The t-shirts actually did not yield that much fabric because they were covered in sponsor logos which I did not want to include.  I worked with what I had, and I have to say, it worked out all right!

This back is kind of interesting.  It was the side of the nightgown, which had a slit and a little ribbon with a heart.   I am glad I thought of keeping it.

And here they are all together.  Not bad for two hours of work and recycled materials, eh?

Now to go make one for myself...

Saturday, 4 July 2015


It's swapping time again!  Last Winter, my guild, Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, had a successful zippered pouch swap with MQG Victoria.  This time, we are swapping pillows with the Edmonton MQG.

Here's mine:

It was hard to get a good picture today.  I know it's kind of weird to take a picture on the the deck, but this is the best I could do inside:

I enjoyed quilting the pebbles but the amount of time it took reminded me never to attempt quilting pebbles on a full size quilt !

I used some leftover bits on the back and inserted a small piece of batting behind the colour bar, and quilted just a few more pebbles.  The rest of the envelope back is plain and unquilted.

 I used velcro for the closure and used permanent ink to include some details.

I hope the recipient likes it.  I am looking forward to receiving my own pillow!

Have you ever participated in a swap?