Spring Snow

You can vote for your favorite "greenery" inspired design HERE at Project Run and Play. main-pic

The challenge for Project Run and Play this week is "greenery" which is Pantone's color of the year. It is symbolic of spring, rejuvenation, and reconnecting with nature.

We are in the middle of a potentially record-breaking blizzard in PA today.

I was having a hard time connecting with the theme and figuring out how to take some pictures of the outfits, especially with the smaller snowstorm we got on Friday while I was freezing and sewing my little heart out in the sunroom. Then, I realized that the weather perfectly mirrored what I was trying to create. Like the bright blue skies and bits of green grass and daffodils peeking up out of the cold snow to bring new life, I aimed to create something beautiful out of things that were unwanted.

daffodils in the snow

project run and play week 2 outfits

When I looked at Pantone's website to learn more about the color "greenery" I immediately pictured a piece of vintage fabric that I had stored in a box in my shed. It came from someone's attic and had been sewed and used for something else a long time ago. I pictured a full, vintage style skirt with a crisp, white, sleeveless swiss dot blouse.

Vintage style girls outfit

vintage style girls outfit

The skirt is so full!!! The fabric is heavier than quilting cotton, so it holds it shape very well. I added lining and a built in petticoat layer, so this skirt has 552 inches of gathering!!! I used some vintage bias tape as flat piping under the waistband, too.

flat piping made from bias tape


The shirt was a bigger challenge for me. I drafted my own pattern and used some more of that vintage single-fold bias tape around the arms and neckline. The fabric is somewhat sheer, so it adds a hint of color to the edges. I hand stitched the button holes since my sewing machine started snapping needles again. The buttons are from Joann and I was excited because they matched perfectly!

swiss dot sleeveless blouse

To take it a step further, I created a matching doll outfit from the scraps. I made my own patterns for these, too. It is lined, so I just used aqua topstitching around the edges.

matching vintage doll outfit

For the second outfit, I used two old t-shirts to create a new shirt in the same color scheme. I have never made a knit neckband before, so I was really happy with how that turned out. It has sheer, vintage lace under the arms.

lace inset sides


(Yes, I know she has goosebumps. Poor girl! We took most of the pictures in our greenhouse so that it would be a little warmer.)

The beautiful lace eyelet skirt used to be part of a dress I found at the thrift store. I added some quilting cotton scraps to make a waistband that is elastic in the back. I know white is dangerous, but I figure there is always bleach. Something gross and awful happened to it after this photo shoot, so I will probably be testing that out soon. #keepitreal

I whipped up a few headbands to match from more lace and t shirt scraps.

greenery project run and play week 2 outfits

Oh, and the bright blue playhouse is an upcycle project, too. It used to be a chicken pen with weathered wood and a leaky roof! Sometimes, all it takes it a little bit of hard work to bring new life to something that was unwanted. So, even though things may be looking like a winter mess where I live today,  I know that it is going to be OK: spring and all of the beauty that comes with it will be here soon.

Cute vintage style girls clothes made from repurposed materials- there is even a matching doll set!

You can vote for your favorite "greenery" inspired design HERE at Project Run and Play.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me last week! I am so excited to stay in the competition!!! Thank you again to the friends and family, even those with terrible fashion sense, who help me figure things out and give me honest opinions. Thank you to my Aunt Karen who forgot to vote, but gave me one of shirts I used. Thank you to Vicki for saving that wonderful, old fabric for me. Thank you to my friends and family who help me with my vision. Thank you to my husband for finishing the greenhouse before the snow came and being my photography assistant. As you can see by the picture below, one of my models was not as cooperative this week.

Adorable vintage style girls outfits made from upcycled materials



Turtleneck to Maxi Skirt Tutorial


This one has been a long time coming! I finally got some cute pics of my daughter in her maxi skirt so that I could finish up this post!  Last spring, when I was on my maxi skirt sewing kick, my 5yo had requested a RED one. Well, I thought I would just pick some fabric up at a nearby Walmart, but they no longer carry ANY knit at that store! :( So, I wandered over towards the clothing and found a Women's XL red turtleneck on clearance for $1!

This was a super cheap and easy project. I even had enough left over to make her a headband (which we forgot about when taking these pictures- that is what happens when you wait all summer!) and a matching skirt and headband for her doll (see THIS post if you care.)
I am not sure what she is doing with her hands here...
This skirt is so comfy (not that I actually wore it, but, you know, she did) and it doesn't slow her down and keep her from playing hard- which is a must for kids' clothing. Are those enough selling points for you? Well, they should be. If you make one, pretty please show me some pics! OK?  Good.  Here is your free tutorial...
I thought the neck looked like it would fit her waist so I had her try it on. It was a perfect fit! (My kids might think I am crazy. You know, "Here, honey. Put this turtleneck on, but put the neck around your waist. OK?") If it is too big, you can just take it in after you cut it off. You want it to fit snugly, so it has to be a little smaller than the actual waist measurement. (I guess I could have just measured instead.)
Anyway... cut the neck off, then fold the shirt in half. Measure the height needed from waist to ankles.  Starting that distance from the bottom, draw a line that is one quarter of the total measurement of the neck/waist/whatever. Then, draw an a-line to the bottom of the shirt. You are keeping the original hem of the shirt (SWEET!) I hope this step is not too confusing.  Just follow the picture...

Sew the side seams of the skirt, right sides together.  You can use a zig-zag or stretch stitch or a serger. I used a stretch stitch and then overlocked the edges for extra durability.

Pin the neckband to the inside of skirt.
Sew it together. This is what it looks like, inside out.

Flip it around and press.

TADA!  It really only took about 15 minutes to make.  Definitely a hit!

As always, this tutorial is for personal, non-commercial use only. No copycats. Got it? Thanks!

Maxi Skirts Galore!

A few weeks ago I was on a maxi skirt sewing frenzy...

Please excuse my modeling skills in the following pictures. :)

As you can see, one of my daughters, however, thinks she is QUITE the little model. Sometimes she overdoes it, though.
For the girls' pink and blue skirts I used THIS tutorial, but the waist needs to be an inch or so smaller than the actual measurement (these are little girls without womanly hips after all).  I also made one in the pink for myself, but, unfortunately, I DO have womanly, child-bearing hips and it looks pretty awful on me right now as I was trying to make do with some fabric I had on hand. Maybe maxi skirts will still be in style next summer.
I also need to hem the girls' skirts, but the girls won't part with them long enough. I mean to swipe them straight out of the clean laundry basket, but they are faster than my folding, sometimes ripping them right off of the wash line.

My gray skirt was made using THIS tutorial like the skirt I made HERE, but I extended it to maxi length. So comfy and I can wear the waistband over the large belly or folded down. I think the girls' skirts look better, though.

Since my girls now also request matching clothes for their dolls every time I make something for them, I made maxi skirts for their dolls, too.  It was easy peasy and I have a tutorial coming up for that one as soon as I take pictures of the dolls wearing them (they are better models anyway!) 
These are all really easy skirts! I made two skirts for the girls, two for me, and two for the dolls in one morning. Mass production at its finest. Go ahead and give it a try!