New Clothes from Old Clothes

March 18th, 2012

Last summer my grandma passed away. My grandpa wanted all of her things (clothes, purses, jewelry, shoes) cleaned out as soon as possible. We all took things we thought we’d use but here’s the thing, my grandma shopped. A lot. There are 4 girls in my mom’s family (out of 8). And there are a lot of granddaughters and great-granddaughters. And we all got multiple purses and shoes and clothes and there was a ton left.

I took a few piles of skirts and sweaters that I planned on wearing (what can I say, my grandma had style) and a few piles that I thought I might be able to do something with.

In the last couple weeks I’ve started taking apart the  clothes and making new stuff for Lexi and my niece, Ester (who was named after my grandma).


Any one who knew Grandma will appreciate this: every time I check the pockets of  a piece of clothing, there is a tissue.


So, here’s what I’ve done:
This stylish yellow denim jumper
Became a cute dress for Lexi:


This summer sweater vest:

Became a skirt for Ester.

This was a long smocked skirt my mom made for my grandma.

Now it’s a little tunic dress for Ester.

This was a wrap denim skirt.

Now it’s a wrap skirt for Ester
And the other half is a twirly skirt for Lexi.IMG_2268

These were all fun to make because I didn’t have a pattern to work with – I just played around with the material I had to see what would work. I also tried to use the hems that were already there, buttons or zippers that were in place. I added some bias tape to the yellow dress, some fun lace and patches to the denim skirts, but that’s basically it. And they don’t take long at all. I did the yellow dress and the two denim skirts this afternoon.

(Sorry for the sideways pictures. Every time I tried to turn them, the computer flipped them back.)

Halloween Costumes

October 3rd, 2009

I finished up the kids’ Halloween costumes this afternoon. Lexi wanted to be a “Green Princess” and Milo has no opinion yet so he gets to be the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

Here’s Lexi’s costume (it’s hanging funny because it’s on an adult size hanger, not a kid one.)

And here’s Milo’s.

When we go trick-or-treating, I’ll get pictures of the kids in the costumes.

Random Topics

September 28th, 2009

Random Topic #1

Does anyone know why I’m so interested in Portland, OR? Seriously, when I think about moving (which we are currently not planning on) I never think about moving across town or to a different neighborhood. Nope. I go straight to Portland. And here’s the odd thing about it. I’ve never been there. I’ve never even been to the Northwest. But the idea of living there is very, very appealing to me.

Random Topic #2

The kids’ Halloween costumes are almsot finished. Lexi got her wish and gets to be a green princess. She’s tried on the dress twice but has declared she can’t wear it until Halloween. And Milo is going to be the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. He was going to be a bumble bee because that’s the costume I had left over from Lexi 2 years ago but the princess dress pattern was actually the pattern for the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. And the Scarecrow pattern was included so Milo gets to be a scarecrow. And he’s going to look adorable. Pictures of the costumes and kids in said costumes will be coming soon.

Random Topic #3

Twitter killed blogging. All my friends that used to entertain me in blog-land have abandoned ship for twitter. I check google reader and the only updates I get are news blogs. Come on, don’t let the blogs die!

Random Topic #4

Kid updates.

Lexi is now taking a gymnastics/dance class. Parents aren’t allowed to stay and watch the class so the only info I have is what I glimpse through the window and what she tells me. I usually wait outside the gym in the hall and I can always hear Lexi. She’s loving class because all I hear is “WHOO-HOO! I did it! Ms. Jessie did you see me? I DID IT!” (even though she is the most ungraceful one in the class).

Milo is a crawling machine. He’s also obsessed with saying “all done”. I think he sort of knows what it means but mostly I think he just likes saying it. But don’t confuse it with his other phrase “up down”. There are other things he has words for but are kind of hard to understand still. He says “hi” and “dog” but they come out more as “i” and “dah-g”.

Random Topic #5

We’re on season 3 of The O.C. Total teenage drama. Total waste of time. Love it.

Love Free Stuff

September 12th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I picked up 5 huge boxes of fabric off of freecycle. This afternoon I finally had time to go through all the boxes. I ended up freecycling 4 not-quite-full boxes because I have no idea where I would have put it all – and a lot of it was smaller pieces that I probably wouldn’t use.

What I did find was some serious vintage fabrics and a lot of it. I’m not sure what it’s going to end up being but I do know that a lot of it will turn up in my shop in one form or another. Any suggestions?

These are my favorites (especially the two on the far left)IMG_7085

And the other half of my favorites (the two flowery ones on the far right? How cute are they?)IMG_7086

And after sifting through 5 boxes here’s what I was left with:


Anyone have any idea what I should make with orange camo print?



Last week Lexi and I hit up a church rummage sale. We spent $6.75. Lexi came home with a toy phone, a basketball and a book. I came home with this (and a pair of knitting needles that didn’t make the picture):


A few items for the Etsy shop

September 5th, 2009

It’s a three day weekend so I’ve been busy sewing  and listing items in my etsy shop, Copper Boom.

I know you are curious so here’s a sample of what’s for sale:

A twirly skirt.

Gadget cases.

Cute hats.

I’ve also got a few more ideas lined up and (if I can find the time) I’ll be loading up the shop with great Christmas gifts.

Copper Boom, Baby!

Making Ring Slings

July 2nd, 2009

I like to sew but one of my favorite things to make is ring slings. And recently I’ve been making a lot of them and giving them away to parents who are in the process of adopting.

For those of you unfamiliar with babywearing, it’s amazing. It’s a great way to bond with your baby, it allows you to have your hands free while you carry your baby around with you and in general makes life with a baby a little easier.

I originally thought I would sell my slings but honestly, I don’t really like to sell my stuff. It’s much more fun to sew when I’m not trying to make a profit. Instead I posted on an adoption forum that I am on a message stating that if anyone wanted a ring sling to contact me and I’d make them one.

So far, it’s been great. I’ve got about 20 slings to make and I’m done with about 9 of them. But there’s no rush – most of the people waiting for a sling probably won’t hear about their baby until late winter or early spring this year.

I’ve been gathering up fabric to use and I’ve got quite a bit. My brainstorm that bedsheets would work was a good guess, they make great slings. And then there is my freecycle stash. A lady I picked up fabric from must have bought stuff by the bolt because I have yards and yards of material that will work. And I’ve got lots of scrap material and ribbon that is adding a few finishing touches to each sling – just to make them a little different from each other.

Here are some I’ve done that I really like:
RIng Sling for Tanya
Ring Sling for Matt & Kari
Ring Sling for Christina

More Randomness

March 10th, 2009

I’m guessing until we leave these posts are going to be filled with random thoughts and ramblings. Sorry.

1. I won! Okay, I hardly ever win anything. But I entered a blog give away on Infinita Diversidade and I won. My package (from Brazil) arrived today. I had completely forgotten about it because it took over a month to get here (cuz, you know, it was coming from Brazil). I’m excited about this loot. Check it out:
My Winnings
There’s a big pile of fat quarters, 3 different colors of felt, floss, beads, a handmade birthday card, really cool lace/trim, thread, buttons and ribbon. Plus, the little tan bag with the teapots is actually a bag containing an apron that she made.

Apron from my Winnings

2. We left tonight (in a mini snow storm, mind you) to run errands. We needed to go to REI, IKEA and Target. We got to the exit of REI and guess who threw up, again, for the second time since Friday? So we pulled over, cleaned up Lexi and headed back home. Where she threw up again. Blech. Although now she’s watching Veggie Tales and demanding water and food. I’m thinking she’ll be fine.

3. My lesson plans, preping everything the sub will need, photocopies, and supplies are all ready to go. The finished copies of the lesson plans and classroom routines ended up being somewhere between 75-100 pages. It’s amazing how much you need to tell a person to in order to leave them in charge of 21 kindergarteners. My room is almost cleaned out as well. Only things that still need cleaning belong to the kids so they will be cleaning on Monday and Tuesday.

4. It’s hard to believe that in 10 days we will go from a family of 3 to a family of 4.

A cute little dress

December 14th, 2008

I made a dress for Lexi tonight – unfortunately, Lexi doesn’t like to wear anything I make. Okay, she doesn’t like to wear clothes in general but I pretty much everything I make for her she says “ooh, cute.” And then if I ask if she’ll wear them, it’s always “uh, no.” Good thing I’m bigger than her and can make her wear them.

So anyway, here’s tonights project. It’s a pattern I got from my sister-in-law, Limor and it takes about 45 minutes to cut and sew one. They can be reversible but I didn’t have enough material for that so I used corduroy and lined it with black. I also add lace to the top and hemline.

Dress FrontDress Back

The Finished Kilts

December 13th, 2008

To recap: Libby and I made 6 kilts for Pat and Angela’s wedding. What we thought was going to be a simple project of pleating and stitching turned into a huge adventure and undertaking of math, hand-sewing, tailoring, lining, buckles and lots of firsts for us (and we really aren’t beginners in sewing).

Here’s the basics of what we did.

Start with 5 yards of fabric (8 yards for the Groom). Do a lot of math and pleat the middle section. But here’s the catch, the pleated part needs to end up with the pattern of the tartan still visible. Notice how the you can see the pattern in the pleats? Unless you are really close, it’s actually hard to see that it’s pleated.
KIlts (Pat's Wedding)

Pin all the pleats in place. Iron all the pleats to help them set. Now hand sew them from the hipline to the waist. Make sure the pattern of the tartan lines up – no squiggly lines. Sew across all the pleats inside the kilt to anchor them in place. Unpin it and pile a bunch of heavy books on top for a night to set the pleats.

KIlts (Pat's Wedding)

Oh, but before you pleat everything you need to sew darts into the aprons and a fringed edge on the over-apron to give it shape and style.

Okay, so now that the pleats are done, you need to add lining, interfacing and a waist-band. All hand-sewn (except the top of the waist band). You also need to sew belt loops, a button hole, and buckles.

And insist on taking a picture of the finished product. From the front and the back.
KIlts (Pat's Wedding)KIlts (Pat's Wedding)


November 15th, 2008

Our good friend Pat (known around our house as Uncle Pat) is getting married next month. He and the groomsmen are wearing traditional kilts. They ordered tartans from Scotland (Homeland Security actually held them in customs for a while before they arrived here) and Libby and I are making the kilts. We have six to make. Three groomsmen, 1 groom and 2 ringbearers. We found a site online that has a decent tutorial and we have a pattern that is approved by the Official Scottish Kilt people (yes, they have a more official and respectable sounding name than that but I don’t remember what it is). The nice people at Treadle Yard Goods assured Libby that kilts are easy. The person who wrote the rather humorous tutorial reminded us that it’s a myth that kilts are hard to sew.

Um…yeah. They’re not. They are complicated and time consuming. Libby and I have it figured out and if the little kilts are any indication of how the full size one will look, the guys will be looking pretty good. But these are going to take a while to make. The groom’s kilt has over 8 yards of fabric and the groomsmen have about 5 yards. And about 3/4 of that fabric needs to be hand pleated. That’s going to take some time.

I’m excited to see how these turn out. It’s a big project and the fabric is gorgeous. Pictures will be posted as soon as they are finished.