Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

May. 2011 11

Peg-Leg Pant Tutorial

I hate harem pants with a passion. The droopy crotch and the baggy legs. And a  long fitted cuffed bottom?! Guh, awful. They are one 1980′s techo-color print away from being McHammer pants. I will say, I had completely written off this trend as something I would never in my life try. That is until I ran into a tailored cousin of the harem pant: the peg-leg trouser.

Loose enough not to be tight to the skin, but tight enough not to look like you are sky diving. They are cuffed, but only slightly. I think I’m won over.

So instead of buying a pair, I made them from Vlad’s old Kenneth Cole pants. Thankfully, these pants fit my waist, so I didn’t have to adjust that at all. Tutorial Time!!!

I heart Kenneth Cole

1. Cut off 10.5″ of the pant leg

Steps 2 and 3

2. Re-contour the pant leg. I ended up taking in about 2.5″ to make a more tailored shape

3. Open the bottom seam on the outer side of the leg 3″. Finish this edge like so:

4. Measure your calf where you want the cuff to be.

5. Ruffle the bottom edge of the pant to match the measurement in step 4

6. Add 2.5″ to the measurement from step 4

7. Cut 4 rectangles 3.5″ x (measurement from step 6).

Step 7 & 8

8. On the back side of 2 of the pieces, mark your rounded edge by measuring in 0.5″ from each side and drawing in a curve

9. On the other 2 rectangles, sew a stay stitch and 0.5″

10. Sew the pieces you drew on to your pant leg. You should have 2″ over hang on the front side of the leg. This will be how the cuff is closed later

11. Sew the remaining rectangles (the ones with the stay stitch) to the pieces already attached to the pant leg

12. Press and turn. Press the raw edge on the (now) inside portion of your cuff at the stay stitch. Now you will have a clean edge.

13. Pin the edge you just ironed down. This should cover up the raw edges from step 10

14. Top stitch

15. Add hook & eye closures and decorative buttons

All done!

Oct. 2010 2

Saturday Dress Redo

OK, so let me start off by saying I’m sorry for being terrible at posting regularly. Quite frankly, I’ve been super busy. I have a top secret sewing project I’ve been working on with my dear friend Heather all summer (I’ll reveal it with pictures after next weekend). On top of that, I’ve been house hunting. I don’t care what they say about it being a buyers market; it’s hard to find what you are looking for. I’m a first time home buyer on a baby budget for the DC area. Maybe I’ll tell you about the “fabulous” houses in our price range later (we saw a house with no walls for starters), but for now…sewing.

So I bought this brown and white dress a few years back because I thought it was super cute (which it was). But honestly, I’m a little to…how do I put this…”blessed” to be wearing a triangle top anything. I always had to wear a tank top under it, which kind of defeats the purpose of an easy breezy dress. Not to mention, it shrunk almost 2 inched the first time I washed it. So I decided to redo it. All I used was the dress and 2 plain white t-shirts (you can just use 1 if you’d like).

To begin:

1. Cut the top portion off. Get ride of it. Or be like me and wear it over your shirt while you’re sewing the project to “be in the spirit”…I never claimed to be normal…moving on

2. Shorten the skirt. Keep the scrapes.

3. I used one of my favorite boat-neck tank tops and traced it for the top. Be mindful that the front and back are different. Also, I cut 2 fronts and 2 backs so my top wouldn’t be see through.

4. Trace the neck piece. Cut the front and the back out of scrape fabric from step 2.

5. On the bottom and top edge of the neck pieces, sew a guide stitch at 1/2″

6. Pin the neck piece to the front/back top pieces. Use your guide stitch to turn the bottom edge under.

7. Top stitch the neck piece in place along the bottom edge.

8. Use the guide stitch to turn under the top edge. Turn under the white fabric to match so you’ll have a clean top edge. Top stitch in place.

9. Sew the front and back pieces together along the shoulder and sides (I surged these edges)

10. Cut some 1″ stripes of the t-shirt fabric.

11. Pin strips to right side of the arm hole.

12. Sew 1/2″ seam around the arm hole

13. Turn seam so that it becomes the new edge, as you are doing this, tuck the raw edge of the 1″ strip under. Now you should have a 1/2″ strip on the inside of your arm hole.

14. Top stitch in place.

15. Sew skirt to top… Pleat as needed for your body.

16. Hem


So cute, so short, so mod. It’s the perfect summer dress. I definitely got more use out of it after I redid it than I ever did prior. Good luck!

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Jul. 2010 28

Tank Top Tote Bag

Alas, a summer staple: the ribbed tank top. I myself own way too many. So I decided to get rid of a couple to make room for some more work appropriate pieces. Instead of throwing these away, I made a reversible tote bag. It was so easy, and so fast. All you need is two tank tops about 24″ long (1 if you don’t want it to be reversible), and a couple buttons for flare.

Let’s get started:

1. Take your 2 tank tops and cut 6 inches off the bottom. Put these pieces aside.

2. Making pockets. These are optional, but I think they are cute:

a. From the 6 inch portions you just cut off, cut 2 6×6 square (1 in each color)

b. Tank the finished edge and fold so it makes an arch

c. Sew the arch down

d.Add button and ribbon if desired

I changed the button later because this one proved to be way too heavy for the fabric

3. This is slightly tricky. You have to sew the pockets to the tank top. To do this, turn the tank top inside out and pin the pocket down. Then sew down like this using a zig-zag stitch:

4. Sew the bottom edge together.

5. Fold the bottom corners flat and sew a 1 inch seam across

6. Keep one tank top inside out and turn the other one right side out

7. Put one tank top inside the other, so the wrong sides are facing.

8. Pin together at the arm holes and neck holes

9. Top stitch the arm holes and neck holes closed.

That’s it! All done!

I find this back is absolutely perfect for the pool or beach. And since it was once a shirt, the arm holes are already my size :)

Enjoy summer!

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Jun. 2010 2

Vest from an Old pair of Work Pants

OK, it’s now June which means it’s not longer Paper Craft Month. So time to get back to some sewing projects!
First, let me take a second to thank Cheri from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar.  When I first started blogging I sent out some emails to people who ran the sites I admired asking them for some advice. She was really great and mentioned that I really need to take out door pictures so my projects look better. So, I took her advise, and here is my first post with beautiful new pictures taken by my boyfriend who was nice enough to help. I’m also going to go back and add pictures to a couple older post.

Moving on…

So, I recently cleaned out my closet and got rid of a bunch of items that no longer fit. I kept some of them in hopes to make new clothes that I could wear to work. In this case, I made a crop vest from a pair of pin-stripe pants and some left over black satin. I actually really love this vest and plan to make another one in another color.

How I did it:

I don’t have a tutorial this week, but I’ll walk you through the basics. I did most of the work for the vest by draping it on my mannequin. I don’t know much about pattern making, so I’m still just figuring it out as I go. I figured out the max width any fabric panel could be by tracing the pant leg on to muslin. This way I wouldn’t get stuck with random seams. I knew I wanted an exaggerated racer back, almost a T-back. So once I got that laid out I draped the front. I left most of it fairly loose. The only real tight seaming was over the bust so that it would contour nicely.

I finished it off with fake pockets, which I love love love. And I also used these really great buttons that remind me of hubcaps. I got (stole) these from my mom a while back (thanks mom) and have been waiting for the right project to use them. I actually use a set of “fake” buttons as well. I wanted the fronts of each side (left and right) to look the same. So I put the hubcap buttons on the outer edge and button holes inside that. On the right hand side, I put buttons on the inside of the vest. This way it could button with 4 buttons, but only 2 of which are showing.

Some more pictures!

I tried a "model" pose....totally not me :)

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