Posts Tagged ‘repair’

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.

Materials:
Old jeans
Scissors
fabric for new pant legs
iron

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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For the Love of Buttons!

I love buttons.  I get excited seeing a jar of random buttons, all the colours and shapes.  I wonder what the buttons were on before they landed in my possesion.  I wonder how old they are, what their purpose was etc.  It’s a strange obessesion really and this morning I found a reason to get my buttons out to use them. 🙂

I had received a bunch of clothes from a friend, for my daughter.  one of the items in the bag was a pair of plain white tights.  My daughter wore them the very next day and promptly put a hole in them.

I let her wear them for a while like that and then decided today, as I was doing some mending, that perhaps I should attempt to fix them.  Embellished tights are really popular on the runways right now, though I have yet to really see them on anyone in the normal world.  I felt this would be the perfect thing to fix the hole in the tights and to use my buttons.  I googled embellished tights first to get some inspiration.  Cocorosa’s tutorial had caught my eye a few months back and it was one of the top hits when I did my google search.  Park and Cube has a cute one too.

Anyhow, I gathered my materials:

Parker’s tights with the hole in them
thread and needle
buttons
plastic water bottle
scissors

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I started by sorting out the buttons I wanted to use.  I have a thing for green and pink right now and I had lots of those button colours so I sorted them out and put the rest away for another day.

In order to start mending the hole I needed something hard to put in the leg of the tights so that it would stretch it out a bit as well as keep me from stitching through both layers of the leg.  This is where the water bottle came in.  I put it in the leg of the tights where I wanted to put the buttons.  Then I threaded my needle, made a knot and started stitching on buttons.

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Once I finished mending the hole and had more buttons on the leg I decided to have my daughter try them on so I could see how it was looking.  I then marked some more spots to put buttons.

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And voila! Tights are as good as new and they look pretty cool too!

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Bowling shirt and Skinny jeans tutorial two-fer!

I promised and here it is.  Seriously you will laugh at the ease of these two projects.

First things first, the bowling shirt. This could work for any size, kids or adult, boys or girls.  My example is a shirt I made for my son.  It’s the same skull fabric I used for his first shirt but it’s white skulls on a black background instead! hehe! Fabric choices are totally up to you but crisp cottons work great for this project.
One thing I want to say on the subject of boys clothing is think outside the box.  We get so caught up with images that we can’t see past them.  One thing I hear complaints about the most when it comes to sewing for boys, and I’ve made this complaint myself, is the lack of boys patterns both in fabrics and in sewing patterns.  I’ve found that a lot of the girls patterns I have for pants, shirts and shorts can easily be transferred to boys with little to no alterations.  The pattern I used for the bowling shirt here is a ‘girls’ pattern but honestly, it’s such a basic pattern they could have easily made this unisex if they had just used a photograph of a little boy AND a little girl, instead of two little girls.  Anyhow, next time you are out shopping for patterns and fabrics for your little man, try to remember that just because it’s a little girl pictured or the sewing sample in the store is ‘girly’ it doesn’t mean that it is just for the girls.

On to the tutorial.

Things you will need:

shirt pattern – you don’t want anything too fitted and it doesn’t have to have short sleeves, fancy yokes, pockets etc.  The more basic the better.  I used Simplicity 4978.
Main fabric – in the amounts indicated for the size you are making
Contrast fabric – this will depend also on the size you are making so read the tutorial completely and you should have a better understanding of the amount you will need.
interfacing – again, consult your pattern
buttons (4 to 6, I used 5 for this shirt)
scissors
imagination 😀

Start by choosing the size pattern you will make.  Last time I did a size 3 for my son.  It fit but just barely so I made a size 5 this time to give him some growing room.  I then decided to use red as the main fabric for his shirt and the black and white skull fabric as the contrast.
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I traced out the pattern pieces I needed onto waxed paper since I plan to use the pattern a few more times.  I cut the front, back and sleeves out of the main red fabric.  I cut the collar and pocket out of the contrast.  The thing that makes this a bowling shirt, for me anyhow, is adding a stripe of contrasting fabric down one side of the front.  In order to figure out how much fabric I need for this I measure from the highest point at the shoulder/neck point and down to the hem.  I cut a strip of contrast fabric that length (you can add an inch or two just to make sure) and I cut the width of it about 5cm (2.5 inches) plus 1cm (.25 inches) on either side to turn under.  Depending on the size of your shirt you can make this wider or narrower, it’s really one of those things that is up to you to decided what you think looks best.

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When cutting out your pieces, take note of the direction of the pattern in the fabric, if there is a pattern.  The skulls on my contrast fabric all go the same direction so when I cut the collar, I made sure that the skulls would be facing up when it’s attached to the shirt, same for the pocket.  Since this was a remnant piece I didn’t have control over the amount I got, so the skulls on my stripe actually go sideways.  Ideally, I would have bought enough fabric to cut the stripe so that the skulls were all going up.

Once the pieces are cut out, apply interfacing to your front facings and under-collar.  If you are doing long sleeves with a cuff, you will probably interface the cuff.  Follow the instructions on your pattern for this.  Next step is to add your pocket and stripe to the front pieces.  If you are doing a pocket and it’s not included in your pattern just cut a piece of paper into a square shape or whatever shape you want.  When you have something you like, add seam allowance and cut it out.  You can put your pocket on whatever side of the shirt you like, the stripe will go on the opposite side.

Next turn under 1cm (1/4 inch) of the long sides of the stripe piece to finish the edges.  Position it on the front of the shirt without the pocket and make sure that it is far enough away from the center front that it will not be covered by the buttons.  I could have put my just a little more to the side but it still looks ok.

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Pin everything in place and topstitch.  I used a contrasting red thread but you can use a matching thread if you like.

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And there you go!  Finish the shirt like the pattern instructs or however you might normally finish it if you are like me and don’t read the instructions.  🙂

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Now for the skinny jeans!  Again, this could apply to kids or adult, boys or girls and you can adapt the info to re-construct a pair of jeans/pants you already own.

Things I used for this:
Pant pattern (I used Burda 9626 but any basic pant pattern can work)
Tracing paper
Old pair of jeans (you can use fabric yardage too, just consult the pattern for the amounts you will need)
knee, calf and ankle measurements
scissors
calculator (or lots of paper to write out your math equations. 😀 )

I chose the pattern size that closest fit my daughters hip measurement.  I then measured her knee, calf and ankle and wrote those down so I wouldn’t forget.  I traced out the pattern pieces I needed using waxed paper.  Wax paper is cheap and perfect size for most patterns I need to trace but you can use any transparent paper you have around, I’ve used old patterns that I know I will never use again.

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Next I prepped my jeans.  I cut up the leg seams and crotch seam.  I was careful to cut out the zipper so that I could re-use it.  I also took off the back pockets to reuse.  I planned to reuse the waistband as well but the button wasn’t in good condition so i used the waistband off of another old pair of jeans I had.  I pressed each piece flat and then I prepped my pattern.

Here’s my math.  To determine the width I wanted around the knee I added 2.5cm (1 inch) to the measurement I took.  I then divided that number in half.  I measured across the knee of the pant pattern front and subtracted the knee measurement I had just determined.  I can’t remember my exact measurements but for example, if the knee measurement was 20 cm (8 inches) then I added 2.5cm (1 inch) to total 22.5cm (9inches) for the knee.  Half of that would be 11.25cm (4.5 inches).  If the front pant pattern knee measurement was 20cm (8 inches) then you would subtract 11.25cm (4.5inches) from 20cm (8 inches) to get the difference of the two knee measurements.  Therefore I would need to remove 8.75cm ( 3.5 inches) from the knee.  Divide that number in half to get the amount to take off equally on each side (4.5cm (1 3/4inches).  Do the same for the calf and ankle measurement.  Mark on the traced pattern the amounts you need to remove from the sides to get a close fit and redraw your side seams.  Do this for the pant back as well.Make sure to re-add seam allowance.  If the fit isn’t close enough when you are finished you can always take it in some more.

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I forgot to take pictures of the rest but basically what I did was laid out my front pattern on my jeans front matching the finished hem with the actual hem on the jeans.  I then did the same for the back.  I re-cut the pockets to fit the new smaller jeans and re-used the original jeans zipper.  I cut new belt loops and re-used the waistband from another pair of jeans.  I cut it to the length of the waist of the jeans, keeping the original button and making a new button hole.

Here’s the finished pair (these are a size 5 for my daughter).

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Some thoughts on the skinny jeans:

-you may want to measure around the ball of the foot to make sure that the foot will fit through the ankle opening.

-I decided to distress the jeans a bit so I made use of a cheese grater, sandpaper and my scissors to create holes and worn spots.

– if you are wanting to make regular jeans into skinny jeans you can use the same math as above but subtract the difference in measurement directly from the jeans.  You can also put the jeans on inside out and pinch and pin out the excess.

-I had to add elastic to the back waist.  You can do this by cutting  slits in the inside waistband at the side-seams, making sure not to cut right through both layers of fabric.  Insert a piece of elastic and secure with stitching at one side.  Draw up the elastic to the whatever you need and secure the other side. tuck in the elastic ends and whipstitch the openings closed.  See my post about cut offs for the little lady to see pictures of this.

If the shoe fits…+ TUTORIAL

I bought my daughter a pair of dressy shoes at the grocery store.  It was convenient and they were cheap (about $12).  Not too long after wearing she scuffed the toe and I guess the urge to peel the vinyl was too great for her to resist.  As we drove in the car I heard a noise something like tape being ripped off.  When I turned around to see what it was, she had already torn off most of the toe of one shoe and was working on the other.  needless to say I was not happy, they may have been cheap shoes but they were still new!

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So I took them to work with me to see how I could possibly fix them.  I looked at fabrics, ribbons, and buttons.  I thought about glitter.  I finally settled on a string of sequins after watching a co-worker cut some for a customer.  I decided to just cover the toes of the shoes and not make it a bigger project than it needed to be.  Here’s how I did it:

Equipment used:
Shoe Goo (any heavy duty glue would work but this is meant specifically for shoes and I thought it was appropriate.)
Toothpick
scissors
approx. 3 meters of pre-strung sequins

First I scored the vinyl on the shoes with my scissors at a point I wanted to remove the vinyl to.  This probably isn’t necessary but since they were already peeled most of the way I figured I might as well finish the job.  However I’m sure you could just glue over top of whatever fabric the shoe is made out of.  I also cut off the bow that was on the shoe and saved it to put back on later.

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Next was to take the Shoe Goo and, using the toothpick, applied it to the toe of the shoe.  You could probably use super glue or another really strong glue but shoe goo is specifically for repairing shoes (I got mine at Rona I think) and it also doubles as a protective coating.  I just used enough for each strip of sequins so that it didn’t end up drying out before I got to it.

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I made sure that each strip of sequins were going the same direction.

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I kept adding strips until I got to the last one.

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I trimmed the excess sequins and threads and then wrapped the last strip of sequins around the base of the shoe to finish it off.

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Last step was to put the bow back on.  I have to say, the shoes are pretty darn cute! and I would consider doing this kindof thing again,even if the shoes didn’t need it! 😀

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And voila! New shoes! A few thoughts on this project.

1. ribbons would look amazing on this.  Choose the same colours, contrasting colours, or varigated colours.

2. A strip of contrasting sequins would look amazing.

3. interesting fabric would be fun too.

There are so many options with this project, you just need to visit your nearest fabric/craft store for inspiration.  this would work great for adult shoes too.  Have fun!

**Some more thoughts on this project**
I found that after she wore the shoes the first time, the sequins started flipping and bending etc so it’s started to look a little raggedy.  My thought is that I didn’t use enough glue.  If you are trying this with the sequin string, I would suggest being generous with your glue application so that when you put the sequin strip on, you have to push it into the glue so it catches the individual sequins to prevent them from moving.

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

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Detail of Dress Front

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Dress back

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Detail of armhole thingys and the lacing. 😀

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Detail of lace flowers on end of ribbon ties.

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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.

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Dress Update #2.5

OK, just a quickie today.  I’m super busy for the weekend but wanted to show you the fabric I’m using for the coloured area’s of the dress.  My friend gave me this piece of plaid taffeta that is so amazing in colours.  I can’t wait to get the dress together so i can start adding this fabric to it.  I am also trying to think of ways to embellish the dress.  Since the lace is pretty much destroyed and removing it has left some tiny holes that need to be covered up,  I was thinking of making a design using very skinny bias strips of the plaid fabric to embellish the bodice and skirt.  Another thought I had was to make fabric flowers.  I want to do something light and fluttery so I found this tutorial by Reese Dixon and I think it would be perfect.  I am definitely going to give this a go and even if I don’t use it for the dress, I’ll have some pretty awesome fabric flowers to decorate something else with.

I have to add some length to the skirt as well so I’m hoping I will have enough fabric to make a wide hem.  I think that is about it for now.  Keep visiting for more updates over the next few days!

0502091104aThis picture really doesn’t do the fabric justice.  The colours are so much deeper and richer than they appear here.