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Category: DIY Fashion

Plaid Dress Re-Fashion!

Plaid Dress Re-Fashion!

I will admit that this dress was a bit of a project. I attempted the transformation for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I loooved the fabric! Yellow plaid flannel?! Whoa! Secondly, and very importantly, the dress was basically free. I found it while sifting through clothes at a stuff-a-bag-for-$5 rummage sale. Couldn’t go wrong, right?

At least the first step to dress improvement was simple. Remove those shoulder pads!

Since the dress came from a rummage sale, I wasn’t able to try it on until I got home. Upon try-on, I discovered that the cinched waist was a bit too tight and actually hit me below the waist at a poochy place. Uncomfortable!

I found that the waist cinch was created by a band of elastic encased in a tube of fabric. Using a thread ripper, I open the tube so that I could removed the elastic.

Once the elastic had been cut out, I had to re-sew the tube closed so that the waist wouldn’t hang strangely. In the picture, the tube to the left of my finger is still open. To the right of my finger, however, the tube has been re-stitched closed.

The next step was to trim down those huge sleeves! I realized that the shoulder seam was actually long enough to become a cap sleeve for me. I marked 2 inches from this seam to create a seam allowance.

I cut along my marks to remove the sleeves.

I tried on the dress and realized that the waist was still lower than my waist. In an attempt to fix that, I raised the shoulder seams. I used a ruler and disappearing pen to mark where the new seams should be.

After pinning, I stitched along the line I had drawn.

I laid the dress out flat, removing the wrinkles as much as possible. I then pinned the front and back of the bodice together so that they wouldn’t move, and then I folded the dress in half.

I placed an existing dress on top to use as a pattern. The pattern dress had a similar style and was of a similarly non-stretchy fabric as the flannel dress. It was also important that the pattern dress have a somewhat roomy fit, since I did NOT want to cut the flannel dress too small!

As a added precaution, I traced about an inch and a half extra around the pattern dress. I then cut according to my marks.

I pinned the side seams and stitched them closed, leaving the sleeve area open. (I will want to fiddle with those sleeves later.) Ta-da! The dress is getting whittled down to size!

After trying on the dress again to test the alterations, I moved on to hemming the sleeves. I rolled the hems, pinned them in place, and stitched. I also extended the side seams up into the hemmed sleeves.

Finally, the top part of the dress was fitting better. I left the skirt alone, since I liked the fullness and length! (I also didn’t want to mess with that button placket extending from the bodice to the skirt!)

I decided to try the dress with some fall layering! A wide belt helped adjust the waist, while lace-up boots and a plaid beret added highland flare.

The dress turned out to be super comfy and somewhat warm, due to all that fabulous flannel!

I played with the color skeme a bit by adding a thrifted corduroy jacket and vintage purse. I love how both pieces coordinated with my beret, which came courtesy of Scotland!

Freezer Paper Stenciling

Freezer Paper Stenciling

Customized T-shirt are some of our favorite projects, and what better excuse to make shirts than our Blogiversary?! Yes, our blog has officially turned one! Cue the music and bring on the cupcakes! Make the fanclub shirts and wear them shamelessly! Wha-hoo! 🙂

In order to make our shamelessly-worn-fanclub-shirts, we turned to a favorite technique, the use of freezer paper stencils! Freezer paper looks alot like wax paper and can often be found near the foil and plastic wrap at the store. Making stencils from freezer paper, while time consuming, allows you to get relatively professional-looking results for your fabric paint money. Once you cut a stencil from freezer paper, you can iron the paper to fabric and cause it to stick! When you apply paint to the stencil, the paint will only be able to stick to the fabric exposed by the stencil. The freezer paper will later be pealed up and removed, leaving the painted fabric underneath. There are lots of fun painting ideas available on Pinterest, but this tutorial was what first inspired me to give it a try! After making many shirts, I have developed a few tips for gaining that hard-worked-for professional look. Here’s what works for me! 🙂

Firstly, gather your supplies:

  • freezer paper
  • template 
  • masking tape
  • x-acto knife and/or small scissors
  • cutting board
  • iron and ironing board
  • fabric paint
  • paint sponge applicator
  • T-shirt- washed and dried
  • drop cloth.

As always, I washed and dried my t-shirt before doing any work on it. I then designed my template in a word processing program and printed it out.

Next, I cut a sheet of freezer paper a little bigger than my template. I laid the front of my template onto the SHINY side of the freezer paper. (The shiny side is what will eventually be ironed onto the fabric.) Recap: Front of template touches shiny side of freezer paper.

Tape that template down!

Flip the papers over so that the freezer paper is on top, while the template is readable underneath. (The dull side of the freezer paper should be facing you.)

Next, I used an x-acto knife and scissors to cut out the shapes and words. This takes patience, but a more accurate stencil will yield neater results.

Be sure to save the small freezer paper cut-outs from letters like “o” and “a.” We will replace those shapes back into the letters when the stencil is ironed to the shirt. Once the words have been cut out, cut the freezer paper down to the size of the paper stencil behind it. Note: Don’t miss this step! You will need the stencil to be a symmetrical shape for the next steps! You can remove any left-over masking tape.

Next, we need to ensure that the stencil will be ironed to the shirt with the proper orientation and alignment. These next steps show my way to find reference points on the shirt to help me line up the stencil. These steps don’t ensure perfection, but they lead to much better results than simply “eye-balling” the stencil’s placement! Note: Very cheap t-shirts have a tendency to shrink and warp in the wash. A higher quality shirt should be easier to work with! Start by folding the shirt in half, smoothing out any wrinkels, and marking along the center fold. This will give us a vertical line of reference. (I used a disappearing ink pen from my sewing stash for this part.)


Lay the garment as flat and straight as possible so that you can create horizontal reference points.  One way to do this is to place a rule from armpit seam to arm pit seam. Mark this line with the disappearing pen. Another horizontal line can be drawn from the top of each shoulder seam.

Next, measure the bottom hem and find the middle point.

Place a ruler between this point and the center of the neckline to make another vertical reference line. This line may differ slightly from the one drawn when the shirt was folded in half and can help you double check its accuracy.

Now that the shirt is marked, I also marked the middle points of each side of my stencil. It’s a bit hard to see in the picture, but I marked these points on the stencil with a Sharpie. Once that was done, I could then align these points with the reference lines on the shirt! Yay for a centered stencil!! (Be sure to do a visual double check to see if the stencil appears straight!)

Use a little masking tape to secure the stencil to the garment in the correct orientation. 

It’s finally time to iron the stencil to the shirt! I usually start ironing at one side of the stencil and work across. Once the stencil is secured in place, though, you can remove the masking tape so that you don’t accidentally iron it! Carefully iron down the edges of all the letters and shapes. You don’t want any paint to be able to leak under the edges of the stencil!

Once the letters are ironed down, add the small cut-outs that you saved from letters with inner shapes. Place these shiny-side-down, then use the tip of the iron to gently iron them in place.

Hurray! Now it’s time for painting! I use Soft fabric paint from Tulip, because this paint does not become bumpy or crunchy. I applied the paint with one of my painting sponges, but a foam applicator would work nicely. Before painting, line the shirt with cardboard, freezer paper, or wax paper to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back of the shirt. Of course, don’t forget to protect your work surface with a drop cloth!

 Sponge the paint all over the cut-outs of the stencil, making sure all the details are covered in paint. For my shirt, I let the paint dry for at least half before adding a second coat. I wanted to ensure that my letter would be opaque and vibrant.

After waiting a several hours for the paint to dry, it’s time to remove the stencil! Carefully peal up the edges of the freezer paper and remove any small pieces!

Ta-DA! 

I was so excited about these shirts that I even made one for my husband! It was the least I could do considering all the photos he has taken for me! Of course, Lindee had to get in on the action too! 

We heart custom shirts and Partnersincraft.com! 🙂 Happy Blogiversary!

Pumpkin Time!

Pumpkin Time!

I can no longer resist the call of pumpkins! For a short time at least, I’m seizing the moment to enjoy pumpkin everything! Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin candles, and especially pumpkin decor! (I’ll send any haters a batch of pumpkin scones to console them.) Here are a couple of my favorite pumpkin crafts to help you join the pumpkin party!

I combine my love of both pumpkins AND pom-poms with this first project! You guessed it- I’m making cute lil’ pom-pom pumpkins to add to my fall centerpieces.

You can create these fuzzy little guys using pom-pom makers, different textures of yarn, and green pipe cleaners!  Check out our Pom Pom Pumpkins tutorial for the fun, easy DIY!

While I am very attached to my pom-pom maker, I also have a thing for fabric paint and stamps. I couldn’t pass up an excuse illuminate plain dish towels with fall motifs!

You can find the complete towel stamping tutorial in our post Nifty Gifties: Stamped Dish Towel!

I used foam stamps from the craft store, but you can also make your own! For step-by-step stamp making directions, check out our Funny Bunny Scarf post!

These make such cute fall gifts! I have given them away so fast, that I have yet to make some for me!

Of course, no pumpkin quest could be complete without real pumpkins! We made our yearly visit to a local farm to pick the perfect pumpkin, taste some apples, and snap pictures of the beautiful produce!

I was super excited to finally be able to wear this sweater and vintage wool skirt! To add to the 1940’s vibe, I accessorized with vintage earrings and a homemade snood hair net. You can find all the snood-making details in our DIY 1940’s Snood Hair Net post!

Happy Pumpkin Time, Everyone! Enjoy it while it lasts!

Costume Time: Across the Decades!

Costume Time: Across the Decades!

Halloween is almost here! Today we are showcasing some of our favorite costumes from across the decades! Click on each photo to see the whole post and outfit DIY!

Happy costuming, Everyone!

Costume Time: 1920’s Style!

Costume Time: 1920’s Style!

I used the think that 1920’s costumes were challenging to create. Over time, I have found that it’s very possible to turn thrift store garments into “mod” looks! Today’s post features some of our favorite 1920’s outfits and a range of crafting commitment. Bring on the flapper flair!

I was so excited about these first outfits, that Lindee was given no choice but to do a photo shoot with me! The drop-waist dresses from the 1980’s required next to no alteration, other than the mandatory removal of shoulder pads.  The addition of a sash and flower pin were totally optional.

Less optional were the long necklaces (Lindee’s was actually two strands of pearls of different lengths), cloche hats, and vintagy shoes. You can find links to similar items at the bottom of this post!

These dresses were surprisingly comfortable and fun to wear!

Even our photographer got into the act!

Of course, you may recognize the blue dress from our earlier post “Vintage a la Thrift Store: 1920’s“! A faux fur wrap from the thrift store and some wooly tights added warmth on a cold day.

For a more formal evening look, check out Lindee’s transformation of a plain dress into fabulous flapper duds in our post “DIY 1920’s Costume“! Fabulous, Dahling, Fabulous!

If you can’t find a drop-waist dress, you can make your own from an over-sized shirt and coordinating fabric! Our post “1920’s Dress from Polo Shirt” will show you the step-by-step process! For these pictures, I channeled my inner “modern” and had *fun* with contrasting accessories and lipstick!

We love the 1920’s!

Here are some fun 1920’s-inspired accessories to get you started!

Costume Time: 1940’s Style

Costume Time: 1940’s Style

With Halloween around the corner, it’s the perfect time to create vintage fashion magic! This month we will feature some of our favorite tutorials for turning thrift store clothes into old-time fashion statements! Wear them to a costume party or wear them everyday! Today’s post highlights dresses that were originally made in the 1980’s but have lots of of 1940’s flair! My first dress needed very little work to give it swingin’ style!

Remember this dress from our “Week of 70’s and 80’s Dresses“? The only alteration it needed was the obligatory removal of the shoulder pads. (Hey, the 1980’s called and wanted them back!) The puffed sleeves, fitted waist, and below-knee length are 1940’s-ready all on their own!

Of course, it’s the accessories that really take this dress back in time! The hat, bag, and belt are vintage finds from a local thrift store called Crossing the Jordan! Coincidentally, that’s also where I found the dress!  

I was so excited to find this vintage enamel jewelry while thrifting, as it’s hard to find! The statement flowers play well with the statement flower print of the dress. Fashion Tip: The 1940’s ladies loved their brooches and clip-on earrings! The shoes are also a thrift store score from years ago, but you can find similar here. 

My next 80’s dress needed a little more love before it could really shine. Check out the tutorial here to witness the full transformation! This dress is now one of my favorite refashions!

My fabulous friend Katherine agreed to dress up for a 40’s-style photo shoot! Believe it or not, her outfit is NOT vintage but has lots of vintage flair! Fashion Tip: 1940’s ladies loved fitted blouses, skirts that reached around knee length, and snazzy belts! And you know what they loved even more? Red Lipstick and lots of it! Check out this fascinating article from vintagedancer.com for historical makeup tips and tricks!

If you can’t find a 1940’s hat or simply want to cover a modern haircut, you can make your own “snood” hair net! Check out my tutorial here for what may be my favorite vintage accessory DIY! Daisies are optional extras.

Ok, Vintage Fashionistas- time to get thrifting! And sewing! And quite possibly dancing…

Here are some 1940’s-inspired accessories to get you started!

1920’s Dress from Polo Shirt

1920’s Dress from Polo Shirt

I *love* re-fashioning thrift store staples into unique, historically-inspired outfits! Oversized polo shirts are ideal for such projects, since they are easy to find and are practically dresses already! With the addition of some coordinating fabric and elbow grease, my polo shirt will become a drop-waist dress inspired by the 1920’s. Calling all flappers: it’s time to get sewing!

Step 1: Find a big men’s polo shirt at your local thrift store. The longer the shirt, the better! Look for a shirt that is a color/pattern that can easily coordinate with other fabric. Also watch out for stains and signs of noticeable wear. Step 1.5: Goofily pose in your shirt after washing it!

 Gather a skirt-sized piece of coordinating fabric, and make sure it is washed and somewhat wrinkle-free. This fabric will become the “skirt” part of the drop-waist dress.  Lay your shirt out flat and smooth out the wrinkles (iron if necessary).


Now it’s time to re-fashion that polo! I folded the shirt in half, being careful to smooth out all wrinkles. I pinned the side and shoulder seams to keep the fabric from moving around.

Next, I got out a loosely-fitting Tshirt  to use as a pattern. A word of warning: DO NOT use a snug or even perfectly-fitting shirt as a pattern, or you will cut your polo shirt too small! This dress is meant to hang loosely on the body, so cut bigger than you think you will need. (Learn from the voice of experience, People!) You can see in the picture that I measured about 2 inches of EXTRA fabric around the body of the T shirt before cutting the polo. I did cut off most of the polo’s sleeves.

Next, I needed do some prep work before hemming the side seams of the polo. First, I used the Tshirt to help me guess how high the side seams should be sewn under the arm. I marked this with fabric chalk. I also measured several inches up from the bottom hem of the shirt and marked this spot on both side seams. This marking will remind me to not stitch all the way to the bottom of the shirt.

I sewed the side seams using a large, loose stitch and standard seam allowances. (Be sure to use the right kind of needle for your fabric, which in my case was knit!) I stopped stitching several inches from the bottom of the shirt, as I had marked off earlier. I tried on the shirt, and found that it was too big and the seams needed to go higher under the arms. I used rulers and chalk to measure where I thought the seams needed to be. As before, I sewed the seems and tried on the shirt. Better this time!

During all this trying on, I found that the sleeves were way too long. I left about an inch of sleeve beyond the shoulder seam, then cut the rest off.

After another just-to-double-check-try-on, I determined where the finalized side seams should be. I then stitched the seams using a stitch designed to both bind and serge the seams in knit fabric. In the picture, you can see how many tries it took me before I liked the placement of the seam! You can trim some of the extra fabric off after you sew the final seam.

Once the shirt portion of the dress fit, I turned my attention to the skirt. I laid the two pieces of skirt fabric out flat, then folded the double layer in half. I lined up this skirt fabric with the folded shirt. I cut the skirt so that it began the same width as the bottom of the shirt, and then increased to a slight a-line towards the hem.

Here are the skirt pieces once cut. (The pieces appear to be slightly different sizes in the picture, but they are actually the same.)

Next, I pinned the skirt pieces to the bottom hems of the shirt. One skirt piece got pinned to the shirt front, the other to the shirt back. (Remember: the side seams of the shirt were not yet stitched all the way to the bottom of the shirt. This allowed me to work with the front and back of the shirt individually, since they were not fully attached to each other.) I liked the look of the shirt’s hem, so I kept that as a flap with the skirt pinned behind it.

I pinned and stitched the skirt pieces to the shirt pieces. 

With the skirt pieces sewn to the shirt, it was finally time to extend the side seams all the way to the hem of the skirt. I pinned and sewed!

After trying on the dress, I decided to shorten the skirt a couple inches so that it reached right below my knee. I saved the trimmed fabric for later use!

Now to finish those sleeves. I simply folder under the extra fabric extending beyond the shoulder seam and pinned it in place. Stitched that in place and the “sleeve” was done.

I had just enough fabric trimmings left to make a couple accessories! (Nothing like some custom detailing to make a re-made dress look vintage!) The strip of gray fabric became a sailor-like necktie. The blue circles would morph into a flower that could be clipped to my hat.

I cut out petals from the circles and cut small pieces of black felt for the backing. I stacked the flowers from largest to smallest, attaching each new flower layer with hot glue.

A cute lil’ button became the center of the flower, while a piece from the shirt’s hem acted as leaves.


The circle of felt became the base of the flower, while the rectangle secured the hair clip to the base.  I used my E6000 glue to attach the hair clip to the felt.

I couldn’t wait to style my newly-made dress! The addition of my favorite cloche hat and vintage-y shoes completed the look!

Find similar styles (here)!
And here!

Of course, I also added my homemade accessories and a LOT of eyeliner! Check out this historically-inspired 1920’s makeup tutorial (here) for more ideas! Much fun!

This 1920’s outfit makes me want to dance!

Hey, Flappers! Who’s ready for a polo shirt dance party?!

Make A Statement: Painted Denim Jacket

Make A Statement: Painted Denim Jacket

Recently, I have been inspired by statement jackets and decided to paint my own as the perfect adition to my back to school wardrobe. This oversized denim jacket used to be my dad’s but he let me steal it from the coat closet. If you are looking for a denim jacket to make your own, check out your local Goodwill and don’t forget to check the guy’s section (endless oversized treasures have been found there).

Supplies

  • Denim Jacket
  • Fabric Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Fabric Pen
  • Trash bags, paper bag, or anything that will protect your work surface from fabric paint.
  • Pinterest board where you can gather inspiration (check out my inspiration linked here: http://www.pinterest.com/eyre0482/my-painted-jacket/

Make sure to put something inbetween the front and the back of the jacket so paint does not bleed onto the opposite side. I decided to use the lines of the sems to frame my painting.

To get the colors to be very vibrant, I had to add a layer of white paint as a base.

Tracing around the letters with a black fabric pen really helped them stand out and look clean around the edges. I didn’t use stencils or stamps, I just free handed the whole thing using pictures as references. Whether you trace everything out first or just go with the flow, making a statement jacket is all about your creative process and what calls to you. Have fun with it! I certainly did!

Check out Britt’s statement jacket incorporating both patches and stamping from our past blog post Basic to Trendy- Patches (found here)!

Ice Dye: Apartment Edition

Ice Dye: Apartment Edition

Britt and I have a tradition of tye dying almost every year. This summer we decided to attempt it at Britt’s apartment… Instead of doing pots of dye on the stove or in buckets outside, we discovered ice dying, which was a new technique for us. We decided to try it out and see if it was more suitable for apartment-sized crafting than our usual dying method. With our new found inspiration, we set out to see how big of a mess we could make in Brit’s car port.

We found some great istructions from Brit+Co. Check out this bloggers post for more inspiration. https://www.brit.co/how-to-ice-tie-dye/

Supplies

  • Tarp
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Tin pans with plastic lids
  • Cookie racks
  • 1 lb. Soda Ash (We bought ours from Amazon via this link. )
  • Rit Dye (We also tried a polyester dye for a poly/cotton blend scarf… it didn’t work as well.)
  • Ice
  • Ruber bands (You only need these if you want to do starbursts or to tie up the fabric to produce a certain pattern).
  • Clothing to dye

Step 1: Soda Ash

We started by dissolving a package of soda ash in a couple of gallons of water. The package of soda ash should say how much to add for water volume. Then for an hour, we soaked the clothing and fabric in soda ash as a fixative for the dye.

Step 2: Stabby stab!

We used scissors to poke holes into the plastic lid that accompanied the tin pans. This allows water to drain into the tin pan as the ice melts.

Step 3 – Optional

I love starbursts so I used tiny hair rubber bands to create them around the bottom of some shirts I was dying.

Step 4: Assemble materials!

We placed the plastic lids on the tin pans. The we put cookie racks over the tin pans that didn’t have lids.

The red package of polyester dye did not work!

Step 6: Arrange fabric and add ice.

We used one bag of store bought ice. When I ice dyed sheets a few weeks later, I needed a lot more. When in doubt, just get more ice!

Step 7: It’s time to dye.

We opened the packages of dye and shook the powder onto the ice. There isn’t really a specific method for this part, have fun!

We ended up leaving the ice to melt over night. When I dyed sheets back at home a few weeks later, I left the dye sitting for 3 hours.

In the morning we collected our ice dyed goodies from the car port and put them in the wash.

Results!

Tote bags

The dye had a harder time melting through and getting both side of thicker material like the tote bags and a pair of shorts. Still turned out pretty cool but it is something to take note of.

We hit the beach rocking our new ice dyed clothing!

We fit right in at Brit’s local market.

Clean Up!

We washed the tin pans and cookie racks in the bathtub so I could take them home and do some ice dying with my friends! (The dye water dyed the soap scum in the tub, but did not dye the actual tub because we scrubbed it clean as soon as possible. Your tub might retain dye if it is old and/or cracked. If in doubt, you can do this step outside.) We used a hose outside to wash the tarp. Relatively easy and quick clean up!

Britt and I have deemed this project appartment friendly! I had so much fun ice dying that when I returned home I ice dyed some sheets to remake into curtains. Check out my post on ice dyed curtains here: https://partnersincraft.com/ice-dyed-curtains/

The Sarong- An Almost Instant Dress

The Sarong- An Almost Instant Dress

Ever really want a new dress for the weekend but have NO interest in sewing or searching stores? Enter the Sarong, a giant piece of fabric that, with a little help, can become clothing! When the dress-urge hit me, I was grateful to discover just such a piece of fabric in my stash. The piece was about 3 yards long and about a foot and a half shorter than myself. The fabric was somewhat drapey and featured a hippy-ish print as a bonus. Although I could have hemmed the raw edges, I skipped this step in the name of hippy-ness. (It helped that the fabric didn’t ravel very much.)

There are many ways to tie a sarong, but this is the easiest way I have found to get the most coverage from the final result. When wearing the sarong as a dress, I wear a tank or tube top and a half slip underneath. We don’t want any “wardrobe malfunctions” now do we? To begin, hold the fabric long ways behind you.

Depending on the length of your fabric, hold either the corners of the fabric or places a short distance from the corners. Start to twist the fabric at the two places where you are holding it. Cross the fabric in front of your body.

Almost done! Now take the twisted fabric pieces you are holding and tie them together at the back of your neck.

Ta-da!

I added a belt to create a waistline and to help insure that the wrapped fabric didn’t come unwrapped! Boho jewelry was also a must!

I took my new “dress” out to dinner! 

Upon discovering more fabric, I made matching sarongs for Lindee and I! We wore them as swim cover-ups and discovered that they were very breezy and comfortable. The hippies know a thing or two!

Time to find more fabric!