Posts Tagged ‘alterations’

All that glitters…a quick tute to extend the life of a pair of kids pants.

K, so I’m not done the sparkle dress yet, it is cut out and waiting for me to do.  In the meantime I made up a couple of pillows using another sequin fabric we had at work.  I had a bit left over so I decided that it would be great for fixing a pair of my daughters pants.

She got a pair of jeans from the Salvation army a few months back during one of their dollar sales.  She loved them, wore them all the time and then the inevitable happened.  She got holes in the knees.  The pants were starting to get a bit short anyhow but they still fit in the waist.  Fixing them wouldn’t be a problem since the style already had a seam right around the knee area so all I had to do was cut of the legs at the seams, use the cut off bottom portions as pattern pieces and add new fancy bottoms to her pants!

Here’s what I did, you can adapt this to any pair of pants and the fabric you choose can be gender appropriate of course.

Old jeans
fabric for new pant legs

I split the pants up the side seam and trimmed the leg off at the seam that was at the knee.   If your pants don’t have this particular seam (and they probably don’t since this is purely for design) just cut off the pant leg slightly above the knee (or just below would work too) so the seam doesn’t run directly across the knee.  Nothing is more uncomfortable than a line of bulky fabric right across the kneecap.


I was instructed to keep the little embroidered girl on the right leg so I cut it out to put it back on the new leg as an applique.  Next I ironed the jean pant leg so the seams were out flat.  Then used it as a pattern piece to cut out the new legs.  I added some length to the new ones while I was at it so she could get some more time out of the pants.


Then I just sewed the new pant legs on, sewed up the side seams and hemmed them.


Some thoughts on this project:

The type of fabric you use will determine the final look of the pant.  Choosing a more casual fabric would have given the pants a more casual look.  Choose your fabric based on your child’s favourite colours, prints etc and try to choose something that is similar to the pants fabric.  The fabric I used was a thicker knit but the jeans had a lot of stretch to them so the two fabrics actually worked out well together.

This works for boys pants too, just choose fabrics more suited to your little man.

This is a great way to reinforce knees too.  create a double layer of fabric across the knee and a single layer of fabric for the lower portion of the leg.

Use your imagination, straight legged pants can become flared leg pants and vice versa.  Just add a strip of fabric an inch or so above the hem if all you need is to add some length and the pant leg is in good shape.


How to squeeze one more year out of a kid’s t-shirt

So my Daughter started school today and was very excited about it.  She got herself dressed but when she came downstairs I noticed the shirt she was wearing was about 3 inches too short in the arms and body so in addition to her belly hanging out, she looked like she had gorilla arms! lol!  That and she had obviously worn this while painting one day and it was covered with little paint spatters.

I had her change her shirt and off to school she went.  When I got home I decided to see if I could get one more year out her shirt.  She has three of the same shirt (my mom found them on sale for a buck somewhere) and I knew they would all be fitting the same so I took the black shirt and the purple shirt and put them together to make a ‘new’ shirt.

Here’s the black shirt before:


and here’s the purple shirt before:


I love how the grease stains on the purple shirt show up so much more prominently in the photo than they do in real life.  Yeah, laundry is not my forte and my daughter has a hard time understanding the difference between her shirt and a napkin.

Anyhow, first thing I did was cut the sleeves off of the black shirt.  I didn’t measure anything, just eyeballed it and used the first sleeve cutoff to measure the second sleeve so they were even.


I needed to add about 3 inches to the length of the sleeve which worked out that I could simply cut off the purple sleeves at the underarm point.


I needed to add approximately the same amount the bottom of the shirt so I cut off the bottom portion of the purple shirt that equaled the length I needed to add plus the hem allowance of the black shirt.


I then inserted the purple piece I just cut off in the bottom of the black shirt, matched the side seams and lined up the cut edge with the top edge of the hem. Then I stitched around the hem of the black shirt to attach the two pieces making sure to follow the stitch line of the original hem.  I used purple thread but you can use a matching thread.

Next I matched up the sleeve edges, right sides together and serged them together.  You can use a straight stitch instead, knit fabrics tend to be resistant to fraying so there really isn’t much need to finish the edges.


So here’s how the shirt should look at this point.


In order to give the sleeves the look of being layered I flipped the seam up and stitched a “hem” around the black part of the sleeve.


I wanted to try and cover up some the paint spatters on the front of the shirt.  Reverse applique is my favourite thing at the moment so I decided to put some reverse appliqued flowers on the front.  It didn’t completely get rid of the paint splatter but I think it looks very cool now.

I cut the sleeves and front from the back of what was left of the purple shirt.  I used the back since it was less stained and slightly bigger than the front.  I turned the shirt inside out and pinned the purple to the front.


Next I turned it right side out again and drew my design on the shirt.  Then I simply used a straight stitch and went around the design a couple of times.

I trimmed the excess purple from edges on the back and then cut out the black inside the petals.



And voila! New shirt that should last at least one more year before she completely grows out of it.


Some thoughts on this project.

To lengthen the sleeves you don’t have to cut the sleeves short, you can just add to the hem of the sleeves similar to how I added length to the hem of the shirt.

If you don’t have enough to lengthen the sleeves, just cut them off and hem them as short sleeves, that way they can’t be too short. 🙂

You can leave the front of the shirt plain, sew on an embellishment, iron on a patch, embroider something, it’s really up to you.  I just really like reverse applique. 😀

Completed wedding dress!

Yay! I’m finished!  Now I need to get the dress dropped off before Friday night and keep my fingers crossed for a positive outcome from the competition.  🙂

I encountered a few snags, some I overcame and some I have to live with.  There were quite a few pick marks and tiny holes that I couldn’t do anything about.  They don’t detract from the dress and are not noticeable (except to me, anyhow) so I left them.  It would have been too awkward to cover them.  I did have to deal with the couple of stains on the bodice, I couldn’t ignore them.  I added lace to the bodice and added some of the beads and sequins I took from the original lace.  It wasn’t a mirror image design in the lace so I couldn’t make a perfectly symmetrical design from the flowers.  I opted to try for more of a non-specific design and I hope it doesn’t appear as though it was just added for the sake of adding it.

I had had an earlier problem of the sides of the dress sticking out.  I’ve somewhat solved the problem by removing the armhole thingys and re- attaching to take up the slack.  I think it is more of a design problem though and in the future I will probably take a different approach to the whole backless dress idea.

I also had originally made some really pretty organza flowers that I wanted to put on the dress.  I had added a cluster on the bodice, a cluster at the top of the train and one of the ends of the ribbon ties.  However, I found that they just didn’t fit.  Once I removed them, the dress seemed ‘finished’ so I’m happy to share the results.

Dress Front


Detail of Dress Front


Dress back


Detail of armhole thingys and the lacing. 😀


Detail of lace flowers on end of ribbon ties.


If all goes well I’ll have some professional photos of the dress to show you. 😀  Wish me luck for the competition!

Dress Update #4

I’ve hit a mild snag.  I have the plaid fabric on the dress and will be able to put the train on very soon.  I was having some trouble with the zipper.  First it was a bit short which meant that the wearer would have wiggle a little to get in.  Then there was an issue with how I put it in.  I tried to do a centered zipper but found that it didn’t really look that nice and also noticed that the back had stretched a bit, causing some gaping.  So I made some adjustments to give allowance for a longer zipper and reinforced the back so it wouldn’t stretch.  The plaid fabric just needs to be stitched on, by hand, now.

My snag is that now that everything is just about together I’ve noticed that the sides of the top are not sitting right.  I’m not sure how to fix this at the moment, I’ll have to think about it.  Right now my focus is to get the plaid fabric and the train on.  I have just over one week left to finish this dress in order to get it into the competition.




Dress update #3

Well, it is coming together, slowly but surely and I envision it will be awesome when it’s done.  I’ve got the front of the skirt and top portion of the back on.  Next step is adding the plaid strips to the waist, center front and center back.  I’ve started working on the armhole things…which I should figure out a name for so I don’t continually call them things or thingys though it does convey my message.

here are photos of the front, side and back.  I almost have all the plaid ready to put on but I think it’s going to be a lot of hand sewing since I don’t want any top stitching.  (That could change depending on my mood though. 😀 )

Oh, and one pic of my boy.  I can’t have the camera out without taking his picture, he is a bit of an egotist I think. ;D




theboyand just in case you were wondering, yes those are boots he’s wearing with his swim trunks which he put on backwards because he likes the pocket.  lol!

Wardrobe Refashion Challenge- I took the 6 months pledge!

I troll the internet constantly, checking out other blogs and websites, being inspired by the incredible creativity that is out there!  One site I’ve come across before is Wardrobe Refashion.  This site encourages participants to take the pledge to remake, refashion, thrift and otherwise make their own wardrobe for a set period of 2, 4 or 6 months.  I happened across it again today and I’ve decided to take on the challenge for 6 months and will be posting things here.  I’ll try to post ‘in progress’ photos and tutorials when I can as well.


The Pledge

I Donna Giroux pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of  6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed__Donna  Giroux__.

Anyone else care to take the pledge with me? click here.

Dress Update

I decided that maybe I could share some pictures of the inspirations I will be using for my wedding dress remake.  I’m even going to let you see my sketch, just promise not to laugh.  It was drawn really quick and with pencil and my scanner isn’t working right so I had to take a picture of it (on my cell phone no less).

Anyhow, I decided that this dress would be my main inspiration:


I love the idea of colour in a wedding dress.  I think it really sets a dress apart from the usual white.  I don’t care much for the silhouette of the dress, at least not for my dress since I don’t feel I could make this shape work with the fabrics I have available to me so I’m going to go with a slimmer skirt.  Here is my sketch.  I don’t know how clear it will be to everyone but perhaps when you look at the other inspiration photo’s it will make sense.


The main portions of the dress will be out of the off-white taffeta that was the original dress.  I’m going to slim down the skirt but create a fishtail train in the back.  The front will still have that awesome sweetheart neckline but I’m planning to add sleeveless armholes (sorry i can’t think how else to describe it) that will hook in the back.  The back will be open and the skirt will have a zipper in the back.  I’m going to add strips of colour (the darker portions of the sketch) around the armholes, waist, front and back of the skirt.

Here’s the dress in pieces:


These are the photo’s I’m using as inspiration for this dress.  This first one is actually the third dress that can be used as inspiration for the competition.  I’m sure you will see how each of these have given ideas for different aspects of my sketch.





So far I’ve removed most of the lace and beads from the top part of the dress.  I plan to use the beads again but the lace didn’t survive very well so I don’t think I’ll be able to use it.  I’ve already started working on the bodice.  here are a couple of photo’s of it pinned on the dress form.  Right now I’m just trimming it up and will start work on the skirt when the top is pinned back on the dress form.

0429091422aA view of the princess seam pinned to fit the size of dress form I’m using.

0429091423bA front view of the side seam pinned out.

0429091423cA back view of the side seam pinned out.

after the fit of one side was what I wanted, I drew the new seam lines on with pencil and marked where I want to cut the back of the top out.  Then I carefully ironed the pieces flat and trimmed the excess fabric.  The front was folded in half so that the other half I didn’t fit on the dress form would be the same and the back piece that I marked also becomes a pattern piece for the other side.