Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where Old Swimsuits Go To Die, Hair Ties

Today I went through the donation/garage sale bags and closets.  Ugh, it's amazing how much the princess has grown in the 2 years we've been living here.  Also amazing is the number of destroyed swimsuits.  Between the sunscreen, salt water, chlorine, heat and humidity; anything that has elastic or Lycra, rots.  Fast.  So today, I made hair ties and a headband out of old swimsuits.  I found the idea here.  This gal's swimsuit was clearly not as destroyed as what I was working with.
2 little bikinis and 2 one pieces, courtesy of la nena.
All of these suits were pretty baggy, and the elastic around the edges was sticky or crunchy.  The gal in the link above just cut and tied a single piece, which wasn't going to work with these suits.  So I braided 3 strips together, sewed up the ends, tied another scrap around the sewing mess, and...

Ponytail and bun ties galore.

Pay no attention to the greasy hair.  It's hot, ok?
Super easy and fun little project!  I love not throwing things away!  I recently read (somewhere) that 5% of all landfill waste in the US is from textiles.  That's a lot of fabric.  Almost 68 POUNDS per US household per year.  I'm feeling pretty good about keeping these otherwise useless swimsuits out of the dump. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oh Baby-Doll, Sorry I Had to Chop You

Today I made another dress out of the "bag that grandma left".  The original dress was ok.  The boob part was too big on me, and the baby-doll style was making me look pregnant (I'm not).  The tank top was also in the bag.  A little stretched out on the bottom, and a little faded, but in otherwise good condition.
I got my scissors out and started chopping.
See ya too big boobage.

Next, I took both pieces and pinned them, right sides together.  I am going to use the bottom of the tank top as the new top.

 I zig zagged the pieces together.
Notice how the former bottom of the tank is now on top?
 I tried it on and the new tube top was super baggy.  So I cut a small hole in the "hem" of the top and threaded some elastic through the casing.

I also braided some scraps of the black tank and added the former straps of the baby-doll dress as new halter straps.  Added security for keeping the girls off display.

Not bad!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Drab Tank Dress to Fab Halter Dress

This is my best refashion to date.  I'm so impressed with how this turned out.  I saved yet another dress from the donation bag, this one left by my mom the last time she stayed with us.  I started with a dye job, as it was a blah greyish greenish.  You're going to have to imagine it, because I didn't get a picture before it jumped in the pink pool.
Grey/Green + "Rosa Mexicana" = Mauve
The only redeeming quality of this dress is the soft jersey fabric.  It was too wide on me, and I'm not a fan of screen printed lady bugs on my clothing.  So I got to choppin'.

See ya straps.

 I folded over what used to be the back of the dress and sewed a casing for the new front neckline.

Next, I got rid of the lovely lady bugs.  Don't worry, I'm saving them for something else.
Lady bug, lady bug fly away...

Next on the agenda was taking in the sides about 1.5" on each side so it would be a little more fitted.  I have no idea what size this dress was to begin with, as my mom is a habitual tag cutter.

I cut away the excess fabric and unfortunately the pockets had to be sacrificed.  
Sacrificial pocket.

 Next up I took the extra fabric from the pocket/seam sacrifice, braided it into 2 pieces and sewed one set of ends together.  I threaded it through the neck casing.

 Next I had to deal with the drapey back, as I only took in the sides of the skirt portion of the dress.  I decided to sew another casing and put some elastic through.

I also had to figure out what to do with the front of the dress, as I still had some leftover fabric hanging on the sides.  I left it for last to make sure I wouldn't cut/hem too much and have major side boob action.  I tried it on inside out, and pinned the excess fabric on each side, sewed it down, and cut away the excess.

WOO HOO!!  I did it!

From the back.

Halter strap detail.
I am super pleased/surprised at how well this turned out.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bright Paint, Big Words

I'm not usually a fan of "word art".  You know, the crap some people put on their walls to remind them to "dream", or my favorite, "live, laugh, love"?  I figure if you need a reminder of those things, you've got bigger problems.  I made an exception to my rule for this project.  Not only because it required me to go to the beach and collect driftwood, but because I also got to use fun, bright paint.

I collected a pile of driftwood and then proceeded to go to the grocery store, where the man that loads the groceries into your car asks me, "que paso" with all of the wood.  I told him I was building a new house for my hombre.  Giggles all around.

The day I started this project was super rainy and humid.  The wood was SOGGY.  So I popped it in the oven on low for about 10 minutes to dry it out.
Mom, what are we having for dinner?

Out of the oven and a base coat of plain white paint to seal some of the furry parts so I would have a smooth surface to do the lettering.
Don't mind the soft porn in the newspaper.  Breaks up the corruption, moped accidents and stabbings.

I painted all of the pieces a different color and threw them back in oven.  I have no patience when it comes to watching paint dry.

I free-handed all of the letters, but you could easily use a stencil or trace a font.  It took a couple of coats to get good coverage on the lettering.

I think they turned out great and I think I'll make some more!  After all, I could always use a reminder to do the things I already do ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bangle Arm Candy

Bangle bracelets are fun.  Except for all of the noise they make.  I like moving like a ninja.  Quiet.  Stealth.  Sneaky.  I decided to up-cycle some old metal bangles that I've had forever, and have worn once.  I found some neat variegated nylon cord at my local jewelry supply shop and had a flash back to my teen years doing a neat little macrame action on the bangles.
Neat cord, for less than 2 bucks a roll.

Plain ol' metal bangle.

Put your feet on the coffee table and hold the bracelet between your knees!

Beginning of the knot

I think this is what they call a "half hitch" knot
If you need more detailed instructions, you can check out a decent tutorial on how to macrame bangles here, the author used 2 knots on each side, and I used one, but you get the idea.
I altered the color combination on each one.

Super fun, and now I can sneak around with my funky bracelets, and no one will hear me coming.  Bwahahaha!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Embellished Cutoffs

I came across another cast off in the donation bag of el hombre.  This time a stained up pair of jeans.  I found these  pretty shorts for inspiration for 381 Euros (yikes!) and these destroyed cutoffs for $180 (seriously?!).  The bottom cuffs of el hombres jeans were destroyed, and the area on the front by the pockets are grimy.  The waist on these is a little big for me, but I figured, I can always wear a belt, or continue drinking copious amounts of beer and fill them out.  I chopped them off and did a zig-zag stitch around the bottom so they wouldn't disappear in the wash.
Easy.  The pocket areas are still a little grimy so I busted out a spray bottle of bleach and did a little acid wash flashback to the 80s style, and threw them in the wash.

I knew I wanted to jazz them up a little, so I found these t-shirts that were beyond help.  Stretched out and stained, but they had some neat embroidery that I thought I could salvage.

So I painstakingly cutout the flowers from the shirts, and pinned them to the pocket areas of the shorts (not even bleach could help some of the yuck).  I used a hot pink thread and a fancy decorative stitch to attach them.  My ability to sew straight is limited, so I opted to do a crazy pattern versus trying to sew around the flowers.

Kinda funky, huh?  And according to some rough calculations I just saved a couple of hundred dollars, at least ;)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Holey Man Shorts, Batman!

I have a couple of bags of old clothes from various members of the family.  One of these days I'm going to have a garage sale, I swear.  Clothes from the US sell pretty well here, so I'm sure I could make a couple of pesos for the cerveza fund.  But I'm a pretty good procrastinator, so it hasn't happened (yet).

I came across these shorts in the bag from el hombre.  Usually the stuff he gets rid of is destroyed.  As in holey, stained and smelly, only good for cleaning rags, used clothing.
 Upon first glance, they didn't look/smell too bad.  Then I found this:
Cojones A/C
Normally I try to fix blowouts, but this hole wasn't in the seam.  I've never tried a pants/shorts into a skirt refashion, but I figured this was a good candidate since I didn't really care if I screwed it up.  They aren't MY shorts :)  I read a couple of random tutorials, and decided to take the plunge. 

Flappin' in the breeze
I undid the inside seams.

Then I sewed a straight line from the bottom hem to the end of the curve of the former crotch on both sides.

 Ta da!  A skirt!  I tried it on, and the waist was good since it has a inside drawstring, plus elastic.  The length kind of bothered me though.  It hit right below my knees, which is kind of an awkward length when you're short.  Plus, I would need a kick pleat in the back since I couldn't really walk.  Hmmm.  So I had a couple of options.  Hem it a little above my knees and add a kick pleat or chop through the cargo pockets on the sides and make a mini-skirt.

 I decided to CHOP.  Screw the rule about not wearing minis after 35.  I don't know who made that rule, but I'm not following it.  My legs are pretty tan, so at least the cellulite and varicose veins aren't too obvious.

 Cute!  But now the color is kind of bugging me.  The white parts aren't totally white (these were man shorts, after all, and guys are kind of sloppy).  So I busted out the "Rosa Mexicana" dye packet and...
 Better!  Now I have a comfy, elastic waistband for my expanding beer belly, mini-skirt!  Sweet!