Pin #9: Welcome to Mrs. Dameron’s Room!

I haven’t created any new Pinspirations in a week or two because I’ve been busy (*cough*…..lazy).  Actually, I have been spending many an afternoon looking up new ideas and buying fabric.  I found a Fabric Outlet with $1.99 knit and I’ve been gathering ideas of what I can make so I can buy all the knit I need in one shopping trip.  Many a day dreaming session has been spent thinking about the projects I’m excited to start….a Nap Mat for Clara (I’ll post in a few days),  too many dresses and tops to count, Halloween costumes (so excited to make 2 coordinating costumes this year!) and of course…..CHRISTMAS DRESSES!  I know with school starting back I won’t have as much time to get crafty- because I’ll be teaching the future of America how to indeed be crafty themselves!  There’s that dreaded word……school.

Since school is starting back whether I like it or not, I have had many thoughts on how to dress up my room.  It is shockingly my 6th year of teaching and I have barely changed a decoration since I first moved in.  I have been eyeing some black and white chevron fabric for new curtains, and searching for cheap wall decor ideas.  I like my students to feel comfortable in my room,  but also inspired by pretty things.  One way I thought I could welcome my new students and let them know that the space they are about to enter can be a home away from home was with a wreath.  I have a zero dollar budget for room decorating, so I scrounged through what I had in my craft closet.  I amazingly found a letter “D” on clearance for $.64, revamped a grapevine wreath I have never used and was inspired by these sweet felt flowers.  Welcome to Mrs. Dameron’s room…….. when you enter this room you are safe, you are noticed, and you are loved.

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July 29, 2012. I love my job!, Interior Design. Leave a comment.

Pin #8: Too Short Dress to Just Right Skirt

I’m tall.  Not like Amazon tall, but taller than the average woman and enough to tower over most of my friends.  Combine this with most designers creating “knee-length” dresses and I get hemlines that aren’t appropriate for work.  Leggings are my friend, although I don’t think they are as trendy as they were a few years ago.  Whatever, I’m wearing them to keep from flashing my students when I lean over to answer to a question.

I bought one of these “just short enough” dresses a few years ago, trying to ignore the fact that is was just slightly shorter than any pair of shorts I would I would ever dare to wear.  The fabric was so darn cute, I even ignored the fact that it was a high-waisted, über pleated, lined dress that would make a broom look pregnant.   Needless to say I have never worn this dress.  But when I saw a pin come across the market for turning a dress into a skirt- I knew what I had to do!

I didn’t really follow the directions because no two dresses are exactly the same.  But, it gave me some inspiration to get started.  Here’s what I did:

1. I put on the dress like it was a skirt to see if it would fit appropriately.  Ironically, the zipper was stuck where the bodice meets the skirt.  What an awesome purchase I made. Anyway, that looked like a great place to make a new waistline and it was the perfect length.

2. I measured an inch from seam where the skirt met the bodice (great new waistline) and cut the top off- straight through the zipper.  Yes, you can cut through a zipper.  I have to talk my students through this process; I guess they think it will explode if they cut it off!

3. This dress had a lining, so I ended up cutting through two layers of fabric.  I folded them TOWARD each other at 1/2″ so they would be right sides together and form a nice new seam with no raw edges.  At the opening, I folded down the remaining zipper toward the inside (between the facing and lining).  You can’t just cut off the top of the zipper and call it good- you have to fold it over so it can stop.  Other wise that puppy will zip right off!

4. I sewed at 1/4″ and it was done!

Hooray for “new” clothes!

July 17, 2012. Fashion. Leave a comment.

Pin #7: Ruby’s Slippers

If you weren’t (insert occupation here) what would you be doing?  Me? I would be enjoying a brilliant career as a children’s shoe designer.    After a few years of being a consumer of baby and toddler shoes, I have many times been on the verge of a very loud “UGGHH” sound in the baby shoe section.  Why? Because they aren’t made for baby feet or baby clothes….ever.  People who buy shoes for babies who don’t belong to them think the itsy bitsy shoes are adorable and buy them for the cute factor, and as a recipient you often find that the hot pink glitter sling backs with purple sequence butterflies don’t match anything that has ever been created. Cute?  yes.  Ridiculous? yes.  How about the progression of toddler shoes that they wear when they can actually walk?  I recently bought Clara 2 pairs of somewhat “matchable” flip-flops only to have her flip-out when I put them on her feet.  I realized that the sole of the shoe was thicker and harder than my own shoes, and the plastic “thong” part was exactly the same size as mine!  How are little feet supposed to walk in these?

While I can’t quite gather up supplies or skills to make Clara some reasonable shoes, I can make Ruby some sensible white  slip-ons that she can wear to church.  White.  No lady bugs, no polka dots.  Little elegant white shoes that will match any baby dress.  Although the elves are supposed to make the shoes while the Cobbler sleeps; this Cobbler made the shoes while the elves slept 🙂

Lots of flaws, I know.  I made a poor fabric choice because I had some left over from a Wilma Flintstone costume.  I swear those toes are perfectly clipped and rounded off- but her little toes just curl up inside them and make the fabric pucker.  Oh well.  I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and only have 2 suggestions from the TUTORIAL:

1.  Topstitch the top of the shoe:  I made a first pair and noticed that there was a lot of puckering and not enough shape.  After the second try the topstitching really helped the shoes take form.

2.  Make sure you cut a Left and Right:  Sounds dumb but it’s not in the instructions (which it really shouldn’t be).  But I had to stop myself when cutting out the sole and remember to flip one of them over before I cut and LABEL it. 

3.  Add elastic:  After finding that one slipper was slightly bigger than the other and that 2 month old babies love to kick their feet- I added some elastic to the inside back of the heal to grip her sweet little foot a little bit better!

July 10, 2012. Fashion, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Pin #6: What Mommy Outgrows Becomes Clara’s New Clothes

I’m cheap.  Like really, really cheap.  I have a very hard time buying clothes for my daughters that cost more than $5 at the very most.  I love to scope out the clearance racks, and friends hate going shopping with me because I look at EVERYTHING on every clearance rack.  But, that’s how I manage to keep my ladies dressed in super cute threads for super cheap.  However one of my retailers, Wal-Mart, has been majorly letting me down lately!  They must be hoarding all of last seasons deals in some magical wharehouse somewhere because I haven’t been able to spend my weekly 15 minutes lost in their clearance.  Therefore, it’s time to turn to Pinterest for some thrifty ideas!

My first attempt at repurposing something old into something new for Clara came after my husband mysterioulsly got a bleach spot on a fabulous shamrock green linen shirt. It was just a darn shame to let this fabric (a clearance steal I got for him @ GAP outlet last summer) go in the trash.  So, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration.  I ended up with this little gem. 

Daddy’s ruined shirt

Clara’s new tunic!

I was really happy with the end result and learned that the trick to making these dresses NOT look homemade is to use as many of the original seams as possible.  My next project came after ridding my closet of clothes I should have never bought or would take a miracle for me to able to wear again.  I could blame it on having two babies- but I’m really just lazy and chubby.  I pulled out this little number from the DAV pile and imagined a very fashionable little frock for Fall. 

This cheap knit shirt I purchased from Sarah Jessica Parker’s clothing line at Steve & Barry’s turned out to be a great repurpose project because it itself was not perfect.  While making a pattern for the sleeves I noticed that they weren’t even the same size!  Way to go Sarah Jessica Parker.  This fact didn’t make me so sad when the stripes didn’t match anymore when I had to resize the collar.  Oh well, old imperfection to new imperfection I guess.  To make an extra layers of ruffle, I used the hem from last weeks tank dress that was cut off.  Clara LOVED this little dress and I could barely get it off her to put it away for Fall church attendance.  I even tried to put a little flower on it to dress it up a bit, but she thought it was so cool she eventually tore it off!

Before

I used an outgrown dress to help create a pattern and a paper bag to draw a sleeve patternAlways remember to make new pattern piece at least 5/8" larger around all edges!

I made an extra layer of ruffle from the bottom hem of last weeks tank dress!

July 1, 2012. Family Life, Fashion, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.