Monday, March 30, 2015

Upcycled Denim Skirt.

I had to take a break from the green acetate blouse. So I decided to make another skirt for No Pants April.

I had found  a few jeans in my kids room that were outgrown or had rips.
And I have some black corduroy someone gave me.

I cut off the legs:

 Then I saved one of the pockets:

Then I cut my finger:
 Then I measured my waist (where I want the skirt to sit, which is a few inches below my actual waist). I divided that by 6, since I am using 6 panels, I measured my hips (at the fullest point & was a bit sad), and divided that by 6 (& added an inch).
 I added an inch to that number for seam allowance. Then I cut the jean legs into panels that were the waist measurement at the top and at least the hip measurement 8 inches below the waist (which is how far below my skirt waist that my hips are)

pictured  next is the panel from the non-ripped jeans. I folded the leg, so I would have the fancy stitched double seam showing.


Here, you see that the ANKLE HEM of the jeans will be the WAIST of the skirt.(see the fancy double stitched seam from the side of the keg, now down the middle of the skirt)

I wanted gores between the panels in the front and the back, so when I stiched the panels together I left 12" unstitched to insert the gores:

the pocket from the old jeans:

The zipper is placed on on of the seams in back, but is off center, as there is no center seam:
 I cut 4 triangles out of the black corduroy. 12" height and 8" base. I then sewed the gores to the panels:

HERE IS A LINK for how to sew gores.
I cut side seam pockets out of colorful fabric. (here is a LINK for POCKETS)

I used bias tape to finish the waist edge:

the colorful pocket:

EVERYTHING were items I already had, old jeans, free fabric, zipper & bias tape from my supply drawer.....

Friday, March 20, 2015


I saved all my pennies and finally bought that 2nd sewing machine this family needed! (between myself, my 2 sons, their friends they were teaching to sew, and my friends I am teaching to sew- the one sewing machine we own was costing more to maintain that it cost to buy new!) SAILRITE was recommended to me by a friend (who has a friend who has an industrial machine) I decided on the Sailrite LSZ-1. It has a walking foot.
It came with a spool of heavy nylon thread. I make quick work of setting it up and getting it threaded. Or at least that was the plan. I bumped the bobbin casing out of place and had to wait for Connor to get home and be my third hand. Then I decided to make a satchel to carry the power pedal/cord. So I found canvas & denim and cut out pieces that night,
 The zipper, D-rings and strap were purchased the next morning.

I sewed the zipper using what I learned making my 3 Zipper pouch from THIS tutorial.
I sewed the side strips to the zipper, ironed them open, and top stitched. When I sew zippers. I put the pull tab about 1/2 open, sew starting at the closed zipper end of the zipper, then when I get to the pull tab (Picture Left), I stop the machine, lift the presser foot, pull the tab behind the presser foot. (picture right)


**SO FAR- This machine sews like a dream through thickness! (But the added fabric pull of the walking foot will take some getting used to)

Then I made end tabs for the zipper. Using the blue denim, I cut the tabs  twice as long as the finished width of the zipper with side fabric and made it about 3 inches wide. (for this one, the two fabric strips were 3" by 6")
I folded and ironed one long end of each tab and stitched the fold in place. The picture was from the first piece I cut out, TOO SMALL. iron over, the stitch along the folded fabric.

Then fold it in half, lengthwise, and pit these to either end of the zipper. (explained better at that zipper pouch tutorial LINKED HERE, too)
Here is what it looked like with end tabs sewn:


Then I made fabric loops to attach the D-Ring to the ends. Using smaller strips of fabric (3" x 4"_ I iornoned the long end over twice so the folded edged met in the middle.

Top stitched both sides. Then put through the D rings and attached to the zipper section ends:
**It should be noted here, that my zipper section was too long. I had to remove the Ring Tabs, cut an inch off each end, then re tack down the ring tabs)

I then made inner and outer pockets & attached to the front and back panels:

HERE IS A LINK for how to sew patch pockets. it is similar to how i did mine.

Them I placed front and back pieced right sides together (make sure both pockets are top edge the same direction). I sewed along the side, the bottom, and up the other side. Then I mitered my bottom corners to make more of a box shape and give my satchel depth.
See how it makes such a nice square!
it is pretty simple:
1: with the pouch turned inside out, pinch the corner together so it makes a triangle. Make sure the seams math up and the sides are even.

2: sew a straight line across "the bottom edge of the triangle" so it looks like:

THAT'S IT! when you turn it right side out it will be that nice boxed square.

NOW came the more difficult part. This satchel was a concept. I have never done D-rings and I knew the pieces wouldn't really match up. Mu zipper section was a very squared corner rectangle and my pouch was an oval. BUT is had SQUARED bottom edges, I wanted to make it work.
I got too wrapped up in making it work that I forgot to get good pictures. So I will try to explain.

After fitting the 2 sections (zipper section and pouch ) and trimming the zipper section to fit, I sewed both short ends of the zipper section to the side seam edges of the pouch, lining up the middle of the loop for the ring with the seam on the side. (The pouch was turned inside out)*KEEP RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER!

THEN I unzipped the zuipper section and sewed the long edges of the sipper to the pouch, folding the ends(blue denim tabs) to make them fit.

Here is the result:

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Life for some old dreses

Last blog I posted about my new skirts. I shared the link for one of the patterns and posted how I made another of the skirts (from older dresses I no longer wore). This blog will be the tutorial for the 3rd skirt, another one I frankensteined from old dresses.
here are the 2 "renewed" skirts:

Last Blog told how I made the Red Panel skirt. This blog will tell how I made the white and blue one. (whit&blue has an elastic gathered wait, the red paneled skirt is more fitted with a zipper)
 Here are the 2 dresses used for the Blue & white panel skirt:

both are dresses I wore often and liked! But were getting used-looking.
First, I gut off the bodice (to allow the gathered skirts to lay flat and ungathered)
Then I cut panels out of the white dress, approx 23" long, 28" across the bottom tapered to 10 inches across the top) 

I cut panels from the blue dress that were approx 20 inches long, 18" across the bottom tapered to 12" across the top)

I sewed the sides together:

I them trimmed the top (waist) to the same all the way around and sewed the last seam.
I got a scrap of white cotton and made a waist band. (Cut the white the same length as the skirt, folded in half and sewed the waistband to the skirt, with the fold at the top (the open edges attached to the skirt). Made a one inch casing and inserted a piece of elastic the size of my waist.

 NO HEMMING required! used the dresses original hemmed edges!

2 Skirts.

Last week I made a new skirt, from all new fabrics and 2 'new' skirts from old thrift store items. The first skirt was made using a patten I found online for  a J Panel Wrap Skirt.

here are the "frankensteined" skirts. I will give a quick tutorial for them.One tutorial this blog, the next blog entry will be the other tutorial.

The Red&White skirts was made from a thrift store sundress and a youth sized wrap skirt.

I cut 3  panels from the wrap skirt, using the sections of yellow flowers , and made them as long as possible. *top of panels are 8", bottom edges are 18".I did the same with the Sun dress, but more narrow panels (*2inches at the top and 6 inches at the bottom)

*I CUT ALL panels so that I would not have to hem my new skirt, as the dresses I used were already hemmed. *
The Sundress had a back zipper. I cut a panel from the back, cutting out the zipper, so I could just sew this panel to my skirt and have zipper! a NO FUSS zipper application!

*Here it should be noted, that originally, I had planned to make a single skirt with all 4 dresses, but changed my mind, so I had to adjust my panels. I had to add a 4th panel from the red skirt, about the same size, a few inches larger.

SO the red & white skirt has 4 panels from the red skirt (3 are slighter smaller than the 4th) and 4 panels from the sundress(3 are the tapered narrow panels and 1 is the zipper panel)

to finish the red & white skirt, I sewed a strip of bias tape along the waist for a waist band, and used one of decorative stitches.
(I have a huge board of yellow bias tape I got for a couple dollars at a garage sale)

 NEXT BLOG will have the How To for the blue swirly skirt I pieced together.


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