Chevron Apron

Hi!

So… I sewed an apron up for my sister a couple of days ago, and I love the way it turned out!  I’ve made aprons for myself and my mother but my little sis was out of the country and now she’s back and wanted an apron, so I made her this reversible apron with contrasting pockets:

Isn’t she gorgeous?

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I’ll have to write up a tutorial for making aprons soon because it really is a great quick project that only takes a couple of hours and you can customize it however you like.

Do you think I could sell these? I’ve been toying with the idea of starting an online store but haven’t had the guts to do it yet. I think I’d sell aprons and tote bags and stuff like that. What do you think?

Have a great Tuesday!

T-shirt Refashion: How To Make Your Kiddo’s Clothes Fit Longer

Hi!

As you already know, children tend to grow like weeds; sprouting up literally overnight sometimes.

My Ellie May has been going through a growth spurt lately, and all of a sudden a few of her t-shirts were looking a little short.

She is going to be 3 in November, but already she is starting to grow out of her 3T shirts!!!
Seriously. She needs to slow down.
Ah, I guess she can’t help it with a tall daddy (6’4″) and tall momma (5’9″).

Her sweet belly was starting to almost pop out from under the hem to say hello and while it may be cute, that wasn’t really a look I’d like her to have.
 Modesty was at stake!

SO.

I decided to go to the store and buy her all new shirts.

Nope.

Just kidding!

Why buy more when I can just modify the ones she already has??

We have a ton of 4T shirts in the attic, waiting for her to grow into them (ahem..) but unfortunately, they’re all long sleeved, for fall and winter.
I decided to just lengthen a couple of her existing t-shirts so that by the time she grows out of them, maybe it will be cold enough to wear the larger long sleeved ones. (hopefully.) 🙂
This is what I started with:

It was really pretty simple.
I took some knit fabric I had left over from my Pleated T-Shirt Pillow that I made last spring and cut a strip about 4″wide and 25″ long.

 I had measured the width of her shirt and it was 12″, so I doubled that length plus added an inch for seam allowance.

Side Note: When you’re sewing with knits, make sure to use a ballpoint knit needle on your sewing machine. It looks SO much nicer and you won’t have weird holes or puckers in your fabric.
I didn’t know to do this when I first started sewing, and boy can you tell a difference!! Those first few knit projects I did looked a lot rougher.

Make sure to get the ones that say “Jersey” or Ball Point” or “For Knits” on them, like this.

 Since the bottom half of my fabric strip was already hemmed and knit doesn’t unravel, 
I just pinned the strip of white fabric to the inside of the bottom hem of her pink shirt.

Then I sewed it on and aha! A longer shirt.

It looks pretty cute too, if I do say so myself.
Of course, it looks even cuter when she’s wearing it.

The other shirt I started with a 4″wide x 36″ long piece of fabric and gathered it a bit for a ruffle

(here is a great tutorial for gathering/ruffling if you don’t know how) 

and sewed it on the bottom hem of her shirt, leaving the bottom hem unfinished for a more deconstructed look.

I accidentally missed a little part of the back of the shirt at one point,

oops!

 so I had to go back and fix it.

much better. 🙂

Eliana loves her “new” shirts and I love that I don’t have to buy her any new shirts!!! 🙂

Incidentally, the day I sewed these I was going down the list of blogs I read regularly and the fabulous Ashley at Make it Love it had the same situation on her hands with her daughter, except she chose to make some long-sleeved shirts into cute flutter sleeved ones. So there’s another option if you want to use some long sleeved shirts from the next size up when your little girl gets taller overnight. I may make some flutter sleeved shirts for Eliana if she keeps growing so quickly! 🙂

Refashion: Maxi Skirt & Leopard Print Skirt

Hi!
Today I’m going to show you a little re-fashioning I did last week.
On two different things, without costing me a penny.
It pays to shop your existing wardrobe!

I had a maxi dress in my closet- you know, one of those gorgeous flowy, gauzy ones that has shirring across the bust and then little spaghetti straps up top so if you wear a bra it looks weird but you don’t want to go bra-less because, well, that’s weirder.. and a tank top underneath just looks bulky?
Yes. One of those dresses.
I wore it a few times last year and the year before, but didn’t feel comfortable really so mostly it just sat in my closet. Then one time when I wore it one of the straps broke.
I was thinking of getting rid of it but loved the colorful, cool fabric so instead….

I cut it up and made it into a skirt.

Basically, I just cut off the top part, leaving a few rows of shirring for elastic, then hemmed the raw edge to make a high waisted maxi skirt. Love it. It looks so cute with a tank top tucked in or with a shirt untucked! I just need some gladiator sandals to go with it and I am set. 😉

A Close-up of the waistband. 

Then I had this extra shirred fabric sitting around, waiting to be used…

Enter the next refashion.
I got a cute leopard-print dress from Target way back last year when my Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law came to visit around Thanksgiving, and wore it once or twice, but it just didn’t fit like I wanted it to.
It was too ruffly up top, so I cut the top off and wore it as a skirt and loved it.
But, since I didn’t really hem anything when I initially cut it up, it started looking a little bit ragged.

(I had pictures of the ” before”, but for the life of me I can’t find them!)

I decided to fix the waistband.
I unpicked the seam and took off the waistband and elastic and left the gathered part of the skirt still intact.

Then, I took the shirred fabric from the maxi dress and sewed it to the gathered skirt and now I have a whole new skirt!

I like how the pink of the waistband brings out the pink in the actual skirt.

I actually like it better this way- it’s more comfortable because of the shirring and the skirt is a little bit longer, which is nice. And I have a pretty little pop of color peeking out from under my skirt!

Two refashions, zero dollars; for about half an hour of my time. Is sewing the coolest thing ever, or what?!
I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. 🙂

Have you refashioned anything lately? I’d love to hear about it!

Refashioned Shorts: Men’s to Women’s

Have you ever seen a pair of men’s shorts that you just loved but they didn’t fit how you wanted them to because, well…

you’re a woman??

I know I have. Sometimes there’s just a pattern or a style that is so nice, but I can’t find a similar pair in the women’s section. What to do??
Hubby has this pair of white and blue striped shorts that we found at the thrift store for $3 a few years ago, but he has never really liked them much. It was one of those things I picked out for him because I liked them, and he wore because I liked them, but he never really loved them. (oops!)
I had them in the pile to go back to the thrift store and walked by them this morning and thought, ” Hey why don’t I try to alter them so that I can wear them?”
So I did!
Shorts Refashion: Men’s to Women’s


Here is what the shorts looked like before I did anything to them:
Baggy, too big and kinda sloppy.
I have to tell you, when I was in high school I did wear guys’ shorts and liked it, but those days are over. (late 1990’s!) I had this pair of camouflage cargo shorts that were so comfy! I’m sure I looked like a thug in them though. 😉 
As a mom, I feel sloppy often enough, I like to look a bit more classy when I can help it! 😉
No baggy surfer shorts around here anymore!
Here is how I altered the shorts:

I found a pair of shorts that fit me well and laid them on top of the bigger shorts.

I wanted to simply alter the width of the men’s shorts; not the length so I kept the existing hem on.
Then I traced a line slightly larger than the legs of the khaki shorts; as I wanted this pair to be a bit more loose fitting but not too baggy.
If you look closely, you can see the lighter blue line that I used as a guide to sew along.
In true fashion to my math-hating self, I didn’t measure anything, I just freehanded it.
Feel free to measure if you’re more comfortable with that. 🙂
Then I sewed up the lines, and tried the shorts on to make sure they looked okay, 
making adjustments as needed.
I cut the extra fabric off and zigzagged the edges so they wouldn’t fray, then they were done!

Now I have another cute pair of shorts, that I can wear two ways!

~Trendy and Current: Rolled up legs and high-waist with a belt:
Or, the more Classic Bermuda Short look:
I only got one picture of this style, because it was the only one that turned out! 
Which do you like better? I like them both, and will probably wear them both ways depending on the day I wear them or if I want to dress them up or down. 🙂
It’s so fun to re-purpose clothing into something new!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
~Becca

Handmade Head Sash Tutorial…and Giveaway!- Giveaway Closed.

I got my hair cut last week and got bangs for the first time in about two years.
So, I’ve been experimenting with how to wear them and scaring myself every time I glance in the mirror as I walk by. It is taking some getting used to. I like them, but am still just adjusting.

I remembered when I had my hair short and had bangs, I really liked to wear head scarves with it, for a vintage/retro flair but alas, I have no scarves anymore.
I went on Pinterest to try to find some ideas, but for once in my life, didn’t like anything I saw on there. There were lots of cute headbands ( the plastic kinds but those hurt my head, or the kind that have elastic on the back) but no cute head sash ideas.

I decided to just make my own.

Handmade Head Sashes




I actually made several, and it just took me about 10-15 minutes for each. That’s my kind of project! 😉

Would you like to make a few for yourself?
If you sew, you may never buy one of these again- it’s that simple.
If you don’t sew…scroll down to the bottom, because I’m giving one of these away and you could get your very own head scarf for free!

Okay, here is the tutorial:

Find some pretty fabric (this is a great way to use up all of those long scraps you probably have in your fabric stash. I always end up with long skinny pieces of fabric after doing a project, for some reason.)

Be very scientific and wrap the fabric around your head to see if it’s long enough to fit, plus a little extra length for tying. 😉
Decide what width you want your head scarf to be. I did one wider one, and a few skinnier ones. It’s up to you. Keep in mind that you’ll be folding the fabric in half lengthwise, and the width of the folded fabric will be the width of your finished scarf.

Once you have your width and length figured out, fold the fabric in half right sides facing each other, then iron it flat. Make sure the edges are lined up with each other nicely.

Then cut the ends at an angle, like this.

Sew along the raw side of the fabric only. Do not sew the ends!!

Take a safety pin, pin it near one of the ends, and feed it through the tube you just made. As you pull it through to the other end, your tube will turn right side out.

Once your tube is right side out, iron the seams flat. It helps to kind of flatten them out with your fingers first before you iron them.

Here is my sash, half ironed. See how nice the ironed part looks?

Then, tuck the ends of the sash under about 1/4 in. and iron flat. To get the edges even, first fold one side under and iron, like this.

 Then, flip your sash over and fold that end under, making the edges even and the angle the same on your sash end. Iron flat.

Next, simply topstitch (my stitch length is 4.0 for this) around the whole sash, making sure you secure those little end bits. Start on the slanted part, then carefully sew to the end. Don’t forget to backstitch, so your thread doesn’t come unraveled!

When you get to the end, simply stop your sewing machine, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric so the long part is under the needle. Then sew again. I used about a 1/4in. seam allowance for the top stitching, but if you want you can go closer to the edge.

When you get to the end, back stitch again to secure your thread, then cut off the extra bits of thread. Iron one more time to make everything nice and flat and finished-looking.
You’re done! How fast and easy was that?

Now, would you like to win one for yourself, or a friend??

This is my first giveaway, I’m so excited!!

Spring Green Vines

Brown Botanical

Lavender Leaves

How to Enter:


~Like Sweet Swan Songs on Facebook

~Leave a comment here in the comment section with your email or blog URL included so I can contact you if you win. Tell me which sash you’d like. (apparently I have a thing for botanical prints, eh?)

That’s it!

I’ll draw a winner on Saturday, March 17th and notify the winner via email.
Good luck!

Thrifted Finds

Yesterday afternoon, our family went on an impromptu visit to the thrift store.
Typing out the word “thrift” looks kind of weird, but I think I’m spelling it right.  😉

Going to the local thrift store (Goodwill, Salvation Army, independent second hand stores) is a great way to find treasures that you may not feel comfortable paying full price for (or just plain can’t afford!). Also there are usually really cool vintage things there that aren’t sold in stores any more, so thrifting is a good way to add one-of-a-kind style to your home for a fraction of what you’d pay otherwise. Of course, you have to sift through the duck clocks and grandma sweaters to find the good stuff, but it’s kind of like a treasure hunt.

 We  managed to find some great things yesterday and I thought I’d show them to you!

I’m pretty excited about these books- they were around $ 0.75- $1 each! I’ve been wanting to get a few classic chapter books and begin reading them aloud to the children and thought that “Charlotte’s Web” would be a perfect one to start with. The kids love animals. I read the first chapter to them last night in the car while Tim ran into Kroger for a few things before the big game, and the kids really enjoyed it.
We’ve been wanting to get “The Chronicles of Narnia” too, for us to read and then the kids to read when they’re a bit older. I think it would be a little too scary for them now, but I’m looking forward to sharing those classics with them in the future. I remember reading all 7 books as a kid, and I really enjoyed them. I hope they enjoy them as well.
 Tim read “The Road” a couple years ago, just before the movie came out. He went and saw the movie (I didn’t; it was too graphic for me to handle) and he’s been wanting to get this book as well.

Tim also found this pair of Italian Leather shoes, for nine dollars. What a deal! He has a hard time finding nice shoes in his size (13) so when he does, we take advantage of that. This particular thrift store seems to have regular big-footed donators, because last time we went, he found a pair of Merrells similar to these that were only $10! It’s amazing what good brands get donated and sold for – I love thrift stores!

Thrift stores are also a great place to find inexpensive fabric. I got this blue and white striped fabric for a dollar! I think it’s a 54″ length, and there are at least 2 yards of it. Score!! I’m thinking about trying to make a dress for summer out of it, that kind of looks like this one:

source

Finally, I found this cute cropped jacket that is from Ann Taylor Loft.
I’ve been wanting something that is kind of spring-y and this fits the bill perfectly!
It has nice detailing on the back and sides, and the best part? It was seven dollars. Yep.
I’m going to pair it with skirts or dresses, I thought it would be nice to go over a tank top if it’s not quite warm enough to go completely sleeveless, but still warm enough to wear short sleeves.

I also found a wooden spoon  for $0.45, but didn’t get a picture of it. You know what a wooden spoon looks like, right? (hehe!)
I’ve bought so many of them, and they always snap right in the middle of mixing up cookie dough. I hope this one will last longer, as it has a thicker handle. 🙂
All together at the thrift store, we spent $25.25 . Not bad, for what we found! I’m happy with it.

Do you like to shop at thrift stores? What do you look for, and what is your favorite thing you’ve found there?

Kids Clothing Week Challenge! Day 6 and 7

Whew! I finally finished that beast of a tunic for Eliana.

It turned out to be quite a lot more difficult than I thought, and I’m not really jumping at the bit to try making her another shirt any time soon. If I do, it will probably just be a knit t-shirt or something simple like that.
If you remember from day 4 of the KCWC, this is what I had done so far:

Looks pretty much done, right?
Wrong. I messed up the sleeves, so I unpicked them and took them off, then hemmed the armholes.

Next, I added a band to the bottom of the shirt to give it some weight. I accidentally sewed the shirt bottom
partway closed while doing this, so I had to go back and undo that, and then re-sew it again. Grr!

Then, I decided I should un-baste the pleats in the front because they were making the shoulder seams all wonky, so I unpicked those and created homemade bias tape for the neckline, and sewed that on.

Oh. And when I went to iron the band around the bottom of the shirt, I didn’t check what setting the iron was on and nearly melted the fabric!! Yikes! It did pucker and yellow a little bit, but thankfully didn’t completely melt. So I had to figure out a way to cover that up.
Oops.
I decided to sew a little flower on there. I kind of like the way it looks. So that wasn’t all bad.

Basically, if you ever want to make a shirt, just don’t do all that stuff that I did and you will have a merry old time. I’m learning as I go, and that makes for some frustrating moments!
Here is what the shirt looks like now, all finished:

Vintage-Style Tunic



As you can see, Eliana had as much fun trying it on as I had making it.
Ha ha ha ..:)



I am planning on making one more thing tomorrow, and then I’m done for a bit!
Next up: a sunbonnet to go with Eliana’s Peasant Dress.
I’m really hoping it goes more smoothly than this project. 🙂

What is a frustrating sewing or craft project you’ve started that made you just want to give up?
Did you finish it? I have a few I’ve just given up on.
Like the dress I tried to make when I basically knew nothing about sewing. Yeah. If you don’t know anything about sewing, a dress is probably not the best first project. Neither is a quilt. I am overly ambitious sometimes.
This is one project I’m glad I finished. I won the battle of the sewing machine! This time, anyway. Woo-hoo! 🙂

Kid’s Week Clothing Challenge- Day 4 and 5

I’m on the ball today- I was already able to crank out an hour of sewing this morning while the kids were having snacks and watching a movie about trucks. Woo-hoo!

Day 4:
Vintage Style Tunic (or Pinafore)



Yesterday’s project still isn’t finished; it turned out  to be a little more time-consuming than I’d planned, so I’m going to work on it more either at naptime today, or tomorrow.
I’m making a tunic for Eliana but it may end up being more of a pinafore, because I messed up the sleeves and am not sure I can fix them. I may just take them off and make  it sleeveless. It will be roomy enough for her to be able to wear a long-sleeved top underneath.

Here is what it looks like so far:

I love the little lacy embellishments on it, they’re so cute. I can’t wait to see how it turns out as a finished product. This fabric is from the 1970’s I think- I got it from a lady at church who has had it since her daughter was a little girl, and the daughter is now in her 30’s. The little yellow flowers are so precious.

I still have to hem it along the neckline and the bottom, and then figure out what to do with those sleeves.

Day 5:
Knight Helmet

Today’s project was a Knight helmet for Ethan.
Can you guess what he’s dressing up as on Halloween? Actually before then, because we have a few Fall Festivals to go to.We may just stay in on the actual Halloween, because I’m pretty sure we’ll already be loaded up on candy.
Yep. A knight. But not just any knight. He wants to be The Good Knight, which one of the characters from this book..

If you haven’t read it, you should. Its pretty cute. My favorite part is when the dragons say at the end of each day, “Good night, Good Knight!”
Love it. I’m always glad when the kids ask to read it because its one of my favorites that they have. It is one of Ethan’s favorites too!

Here is my little “Good Knight” in his knight helmet .
We still have to make a trip to the dollar store for a sword and maybe a shield.
He also has a cape that I made him in the spring that he will wear with it.
I didn’t leave the raw edges out on purpose at first, but I decided I liked the look of them. It adds to the rugged Knightly-ness. 🙂 And I didn’t want to unpick the seams and start over. 🙂

 

Knights can only hold still for a few seconds, apparently! Too many things to do.
Like..play with my sewing stuff, for example.

Oops! Caught him in the middle of a sentence. 🙂 

I used this awesome tutorial that I will definitely use again for another hat and basically just followed the instructions, except I just used broadcloth instead of knit fabric. I may go back and line this hat with some jersey or fleece for when it gets colder to help him stay warm if he decides to wear it for anything  besides dress-up.
Hopefully I will have that shirt of Eliana’s finished and can show you  the final product tomorrow!

Kid’s Week Clothing Challenge! Day 3

Hi!
It is actually day 4 of the challenge, but I haven’t sewn anything yet today so I’m just going to write about yesterday’s project, then post again after I sew today. 🙂

I missed day 2 because I woke up with a horrible headache, chills and an awful sore throat that kept me in bed for half the day. I kind of made up for it the day before though, because making Eliana’s dress took me about 3 hours instead of just one. 🙂

Yesterday, I decided to make Ethan a belt.
He is super skinny and his poor little pants are always falling off of him, even when they have the adjustable waists.
I found this lovely tutorial on Elsie Marley’s blog and thought that the belts were just too cute and I should make my little man one.
I didn’t have any d-rings, so I just sewed a loop, and used buttons as the way to adjust the size of the belt.
I made it out of an old pair of my jeans that had a bunch of holes in them- it took one half of a pant leg to make this belt. I really like how it turned out, although I’m still learning how to do buttonholes.

Stay tuned for Day 4, hopefully coming later today!
Also, check out all of the Kid’s Week Clothing Challenge creations here, at Elsie Marley.