Nov 20, 2017

Let's Runaway to the Circus!

Each Halloween I like to do coordinating costumes with my husband.  We also decorate our van for trunk-or-treating to match the theme.  This year, I was inspired to do vintage circus after thrifting a heavily embroidered and sequined skirt.  As it turned out, the weather didn't permit trunk-or-treating, so the activities were moved indoors.  I have to admit it was easier decorating a classroom than running electrical cords and such to decorate the van!




I had fun collecting curtains, fringed trim, decorated tins, etc. for the circus theme.  I also found a music box clown that I modified to fit the theme.  I ordered a cymbal-clanging monkey from Amazon.  After printing out letters and different flourishes, I made a sign using foam core board.  The white globe lights around the perimeter operated in random motion and added to the fun.  We also made a "Wheel of Fortune" from a bicycle wheel (not shown).  The kids had fun spinning the wheel and then choosing a prize from the appropriate container.  I also printed several vintage circus posters and hung them around the room.  I found some free calliope music on the internet and had it playing for the evening.


So here's a few more details of the costumes...


My husband's coat started out as a woman's coat.  It was the right color of deep red and fit him perfectly.  I don't have any process photos, but will try to explain.  At the front edges at waist height, I made a straight cut a few inches toward each side, then cut at an angle downward to the sideseams, then straight across the back bottom edge, removing some of the length.  The newly cut lapels were trimmed in gold piping and covered with velvet.  I then folded them back and tacked them in place.  Velvet was also added to the existing collar.  Buttons were added to complete the look.  The truth is, there was A LOT of hand sewing on this coat!  I also made a gold metallic vest to complete the look.


I thrifted some pillow shams that were a perfect match.  I cut the trim from the shams, edged it with piping, and then hand stitched it to the sleeves.


The epaulettes were made from scraps of my jacket lining and thrifted fringe.  In fact, I scored a whole bolt of gold fringe for $1.99!  I'm not sure what I'll use it for, but when I figure it out...I've got it!


My jacket started as a nice black jacket with black on black trim across the front and silver buttons.  I started by changing out the buttons for some gold ones in my stash.  I also used gold-colored Hot Ribbon and ironed it on over the existing trim.


I cut the jacket at the waist and added a pleated peplum with gold lining.  The gold fabric was a silky sheet I thrifted.  I turned the front of the peplum up for an added feature.  I ordered gold appliques off the internet, cut them, then hand stitched them to the sleeves.  


The peplum was cut in a way so that the gold lining would peak out of the pleating.  Gold buttons were added to the back.


Another gold applique was added to the back.


The skirt is covered with heavy embroidery and sequins.  And, I mean HEAVY...it weighs a ton!



I thrifted some gold lace yardage that matched well with the outfit.  I cut some strips, gathered them, then stitched them to the top of a pair of socks.  The lace peaked out of the top of my boots and added some extra fun.


I made my top hat by cutting a piece of cardboard to fit the top of a plastic cup.   I glued the cardboard in place then covered the whole thing with black fabric.  I also cut a circle from cardboard and glued some stiff wire around the edge.  I covered this with fabric as well.  I glued the hat to the brim with a glue gun.  I then embellished the hat with various trim, including a fun carousel tiger ornament!  The whole hat was glued to a sturdy headband.



It was a fun evening and a fun theme!  Now, I need to start thinking about next year!

I like to link to these great parties!


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Nov 7, 2017

Tinley Rose

My daughter recently gave birth to our eleventh grandchild.  The score now stands at 6 girls and 5 boys.  But, our son and his wife are expecting in February and the score will once again be even!  Grandchildren are so much fun!

My daughter really wanted to do some Disney princess scenes for the newborn photoshoot.   I admit, we may have gotten a little carried away!  We had fun gathering items from thrift stores to use in the scenes.  It was a full day and a half of shooting, but in the end it was worth it.

This is Tinley Rose in Wonderland.  The playing cards announce her birth date, 9-23-17.  The Mad Hatter hat shows her weight, 9 lbs. 2 oz. The tape measure that was used in the hospital shows her length, 19.1".  She was born at 9:04, so all of the clocks were set to that time.  I made a new cover for the Little Golden Book that features her name.  Her little dress was refashioned from a women's blouse, utilizing the elastic sleeve and button detail.  She got double duty out of the dress since she dressed as Alice in Wonderland for halloween this year!


(Photo editing credit to my oldest daughter, Kim!)


(Photo editing credit to my oldest daughter, Kim!)

For the Ariel photos, I made her a seashell crown and tulle skirt and top.  Most of the shells in the crown are actually buttons.  We surrounded her with nautical items, and of course, Flounder and Sebastian!  Her grandma made the beautiful blanket.



(Photo editing credit to my oldest daughter, Kim!)


My daughter found a yellow dress at a thrift store.  It was actually a size 4, but worked well as a long dress for Belle.  I made her a headband and tucked in some ribbon leaves that were made by her great, great grandma years ago.


(Photo editing credit to my oldest daughter, Kim!)

Cinderella rested on a large pouf fashioned from a beautiful beaded wedding dress I thrifted years ago.  I didn't cut the dress, I just tucked it all into itself and tied ribbons around it.  My daughter thrifted the tulle skirt, mouse, and other props.



Snow White slept on top of a fur-covered log bed.  The book is opened to a page that reads, "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Tinley Rose."  This scene took a while to photoshop since it was a composite of three photos.  But it was fun working on it.


We are so blessed to have this sweet little girl join our family.  She truly is a blessing!


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Sep 22, 2017

A Blast From The Past!


This summer our family took a trip to Southern California to visit our daughter and her sweet family. Six of my grandchildren live there and I miss them so!  When I was packing for the trip, I came across the scooter skirt I made in seventh grade Home Ec. class.  Yes, I lived through the scooter skirt craze!  I guess now you would call them skorts.  Do people still use that phrase?  In fact, while shopping at a thrift store a while back, I found a copy of the original pattern I had used so many years ago.  I had to pick it up for old time's sake!


I packed the skirt in the hopes that it would fit my granddaughter, even though she is younger than I was when I made it.  I thought, "How fun would it be to get pictures of my sweet little granddaughter in a skirt I made so many years ago?"

Aug 12, 2017

One Busy Summer = A No-Sew Tunic!

This summer has been filled with vacations, weddings, girl's camp, baby showers, camping trips, and lots of tractor work!  I have had little time to sew, but did manage a no-sew refashion.  I just love those!!  I didn't even take the time to shoot before pictures because there was really no change to the items, just a bit of layering.

I have been loving tunics and this one is no exception.  I found a bright floral t-shirt that I loved, but it was bit too short.  At the same time, I found a silky polka dot tank top, but it was a bit too loose.  My original plan was to cut off the lower portion of the tank top and stitch it to the bottom of the t-shirt.  That plan alone would have been a super simple refashion.  But, then the idea came to just layer the two and not stitch at all.  I love it when inspiration strikes!  Because they were kept separate, the two tops have the added bonus of future mixing and matching.

Aug 9, 2017

got beads?

I just returned from a wonderful week at Girl's Camp!  This was my 22nd year at camp.  In the past I have served 6 years as a unit leader (in charge of about 8 girls), 6 years as the co-stake girl's leader (in charge of about 25 girls who basically run the camp), 4 years as a trek mom, 5 years as a crafty lady, and this year as the bead specialist...or in reality, the crazy bead lady!  

Each year the girls work hard to pass off their certification.  We like to award them a colored bead for each item.  When they complete all of their certification, they get a larger colored bead.  If they go the extra mile and complete even the optional items, they get a "flower" bead (a colored bead with small flowers painted on it.)  Some of the certification requires them to learn new ways to cook outdoors, lash useful items together, tie knots, orienteering, first aid, hikes, learning about useful and also poisonous plants, finding their way by the sun and the stars, helping others, and daily scripture reading and journal writing, to name a few.  The girls work hard and really earn their beads!

Along with the certification beads, we also give out an early bird bead when they arrive at camp on time, a camp attendance bead, and various other beads for special activities.  The adults that serve at camp also love to get beads.  They usually get a bead that goes along with what their assignment is at camp.  I tried to photograph most of the beads that I made this year, although I didn't photograph the small colored beads.  But, just know that I spray painted over 1200 wooden beads in preparation for camp, and painted flowers on about 150 of them!  I love this new position, even though it was a lot of beads to make!

Warning...this is a long, photo heavy post!

Before I left for camp, I just had to make a few t-shirts.  Originally, I was going to use iron-on vinyl, but didn't get it ordered in time, so I settled for freezer paper stencils and fabric paint.  I chose to put the designs on the back of my t-shirts so that they wouldn't get covered by my own beads.

Aug 7, 2017

A baby shower...with a touch of vintage Disney!

We are anxiously awaiting the birth of our eleventh grandchild, a little girl.  My daughter's friends gave her a shower and I was happy to help with the decorations.  The theme was vintage Disney.  We had fun collecting storybooks from thrift stores and using them for decorations.  I was also able to recycle some of the decorations I had used for the Mad Hatter tea party from last year.  It was a beautiful shower in her friend's backyard.

My daughter found this beautiful IKEA tray at a thrift store for only $3!  I just cut her daughter's name with my Cricut and taped it in place.  


Jun 28, 2017

A Navy and Cream Tunic

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the bodice left over after refashioning the lower half of the dress into a skirt.  Even though I have made several tunics lately, this left over piece was just destined to become yet another one...they are very comfortable after all!


  I began by putting the bodice on my dress form to determine my cut.
I cut it higher in the front and lower in the back.

Jun 22, 2017

A Navy and Cream Skirt

Next in line from my Mom's stash of dresses was this cotton/poly navy and cream dress.  I liked the print and the button detail on the front skirt portion.  I decided to give it more versatility, though, by cutting it in half and making a skirt first, with a top to follow.


It was a pretty straight forward refashion.  After cutting it at the waist and removing the elastic, I made a new waistband from the lower portion of the bodice.

May 30, 2017

The Fuchsia Tunic....part two!

The last refashion I completed in the tunic series left me with part of a skirt.  I could have just hemmed it and added it to my wardrobe, but quite honestly, I have too many skirts already.  I decided it would be better served as a simple peasant dress for one of my little granddaughters.  To recap, this was the before and after of the tunic:


And the following pictures are my best attempt at photographing a VERY busy toddler.  I think it was easier making the dress than taking the pictures!!


May 22, 2017

Clipping the Bat Wings!

Digging through the box of dresses that my mom gave to me (ones that she wore back in the late 70's-early 80's), this blue one was the next to catch my eye.  I really liked the soft color, and although it is polyester, it has a linen-like feel to it.


The overall fit was fine, but it needed some tweaking to bring it up to speed.