soften up a vase with tulle

Things are kind of crazy right now because I’m in the process of packing up and moving and prepping for a yard sale. I’ve finished a few sewing projects lately and hope to finish a few more before I move, but it might be a little while longer before I get to posting photos of my latest works. I do have a quick decorative project for you today.

I loved the bright colors of these artificial flowers from Hobby Lobby, but wasn’t sure how to present them. I had some tulle (netting) and just wrapped it around and bunched it up inside of the vase and stuck the flowers in. Even though the tulle is light-colored, the layers hid the unattractive flower stem and made a lovely decoration for my hallway.


It’s a lightweight alternative to filling the bottom with glass pebbles or rocks and takes about 10 seconds, or as long as it takes you to fluff and re-fluff your tulle to your satisfaction. So it took me a bit longer…


knitting, 70s style

Awhile back a blog I was reading asked the question “what decade do you prefer?” At the time I had no idea. Then I realized most of my vintage patterns come from the 1970s. At a yard sale a few months ago I found a pattern catalog and a knitting magazine from that era.

It’s amazing how many of the items in there look current. I could see this spread in a magazine today.

Here are some of my favorite items from the knitting magazine, which actually includes patterns for everything. First, the outrageous.

A seriously feathered hat.

I think the boyfriend would love me to make him some of this beachwear from rug yarn (?).

This way up! Definitely digging the very flattering knit pants (not).

This girl is dejected because she won’t inherit any crewel embroidery I guess.

“If you didn’t inherit any crewel embroidery, make sure your children will.”

“Play it safe. Do a few. And keep peace in the family.”

And now for some that I’d actually like to make someday.

This popcorn shirtdress is probably my favorite. I’d shorten the sleeves though.

I like both of these sweaters, and they play into my “wishing for fall weather” mindset.

Maybe one day I’ll attempt to do justice to the fair isle detail in the sleeve of this sweater.

This last one is interesting. It’s a one piece dress with a different colored skirt. I can’t decide if I’d like it or not. I definitely couldn’t rock that chain though.

I’ll be following up with pictures from the pattern catalog soon!

failed skirt refashion

It’s not that I failed to refashion this thrift store skirt because I followed it through all the way to the (unhappy) end. The problem was I didn’t like the refashioned skirt any more than the original skirt.

The shape just looked unusual and the sides stuck out.

But I’ll admit it, I tried and failed. Some outdated items of clothing won’t experience new life as an updated, fashionable item.

When I chopped off the length I removed a button vent from the back, and saved the buttons for a future project.

One advantage of the skirt remaking was that I learned a new technique about sewing an elastic waistband with more style. It didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted to (like the waistband this American Apparel skirt and many of my favorite skirts), but I gave it a shot and think I can make the technique work on a different piece.

It doesn’t look too bad in this picture, but that’s because the sides are tucked in so it would hang neatly. I liked the fabric and thought it had potential, but sadly this skirt will not be joining my wardrobe. I hope to use the chopped off bit in something else so the white on green leaves find a place in my closet somewhere.

cowboy crochet hook case

This is the project I was talking about when I mentioned the brown bias tape in my recent yard sale finds post. I’d even bought a piece of red fabric to make the bias tape to finish off this crochet hook case, but before I could cut into it I found the pre-cut pack. I prefer the brown anyway.

I like the contrasting of the cream, brown, and red. I made it for my friend who mentioned she wished she had one when I posted about the other cases I’d made. I used the same tutorial, but this was the first time I did the fussy cut in the center. I zigzagged on the sides to add some interest.

This fabric was leftover from a pair of pillowcases I made for my godchild Anthony last year. I did a red one with cowboy border, and a cowboy one with red border. He’s all about cowboy boots and rodeos. (He does live out in the country on an old farm and his brother has a couple of horses.)

I thought this fabric would also make a fun case for my friend, who is pretty country herself. Hopefully she likes it!

And I can’t resist one more adorable kitten photo.

I don’t think he’s too happy that I always take the fabric he’s laying on away from him. But he gets over it.

World’s Longest Yard Sale finds

The World’s Longest Yard Sale starts in the town where I live. I had to go out to take pictures for the paper (check those out here) and happened to find a few things along the way.

I got some more tape measures (free!), a spool of white thread ($0.50), buttons ($0.20), white fabric marking pencils ($0.10 for both), and a pack of brown bias tape ($0.10). The brown double-fold bias tape was exactly what I needed to complete a project that I’ll be posting soon.

I also got a variety of sizes of wooden embroidery hoops for $0.25 a piece. I have five now and hope to do that “embroidery hoops filled with fabric hanging on a wall” arrangement that is making the rounds on Pinterest. I think it’s a great way to showcase some of my favorite fabrics, and I really like this version with different textures. Of course, I might use them for hand-quilting or embroidery too.

I found this cart where I found the hoops (and a ball of purple chenille yarn for $0.50). It’s one of those things that was exactly what I needed even though I didn’t know I was looking for it. I’m going to use it to store my works-in-progress instead of on a table where cats can sit on them, or on my ironing board where they get in the way of my ironing. It was in excellent shape and for $3 it was in my car ASAP.

The last things I got were some cuts of fabric. The guy had huge plastic containers full of sewing stuff. Some of the fabric felt pretty gross, but these lightweight cottons seemed okay. He only wanted $0.50 a piece for the fabrics.

some were one yard cuts, the green one was less, and the blue one was at least two.

A few of these pieces still had cutting tags on them from “Fabric Mart” listing the yardage.

There’s a good bit of this knit. I wasn’t even sure it was a knit because it had absolutely no stretch one way, and tons the other way. I see this as coming in handy when testing out a new knit pattern.

The last two pieces of fabric I got were these plaids. I’m looking forward to trying out some lightweight summer-into-fall woven tops with these. The bright yellow plaid feels cottony, but the darker plaid might have some polyester in it. I almost bought a black-and-white gingham, but it felt awful and plastic-y so I passed it to the only other woman pawing through large piles of fabric with me. She already had some ginghams which I can only assume had the same feel.

So I spent $3.50 on fabric, $3.00 on the wheeled cart, and some change on the rest of the notions. I’ve been trying to reign in my spending on random yard sale items and feel like I did pretty well on this trip.

polo shirt refashioned to tank

The before picture of this polo would reveal gathered puffy sleeves and blue underarms where the dye was rubbing off. I liked the fit, so I decided to change it into a tank by removing the sleeves and collar. This was one of my first times working with a knit, and the armholes stretched out a lot when I went to sew them down. Luckily, I discovered a secret weapon to combat knit armhole stretch.

I threaded a thick piece of elastic thread (found under specialty elastics at Hobby Lobby) through the skinny casing I’d made. It solved my stretched out problem and gave a nice fit to the top. I sewed the neck more carefully and with longer stitches and it didn’t stretch out like the arms had. It’s not my favorite refashion ever, but it turned out better than expected.


sharing with Recycled Fashion Finds

t-shirt to tank

I had a t-shirt from a rummage sale that fit well, but the neck was too tight. I really liked the design and planned to make a pillow out of it.

I realized the pillow idea was a non-starter after I cut the neck and sleeves off. Then I decided to make this shirt into a tank top by adding two straps, but the neckline just wasn’t working. It was too droopy in the middle and didn’t look flattering at all.

Then I found this tutorial. Genius. It was easy and solved my drooping neckline issue. I made casings on the inside of the shirt and threaded an orange ribbon through. The ribbon is a short term fix, but I’m not 100% sure this shirt is my style so I didn’t want to waste time on making or buying a different strap.

Either way, I solved my unfinished project and preserved the awesomeness of the Dublin soccer player’s hair.