Not As Ugly.

I shouldn’t have even looked. But it was wooing me with its enticing pictures. I had overcome the temptation many times before, resisting its powerful allurement. But I confess, this time I became entangled by its unyielding grip, and with just a few easy clicks of PayPal, I made a purchase from the LTD Commodities catalogue. Yes…that catalogue that offers personalized bobble heads, tacky beer steins on one page and “Smile, Jesus Loves You” plaques on the next. The subject of my downfall? A sweatshirt.

It just looked so cozy. The pretty model was standing inside a log cabin, coffee mug in hand, fire crackling in the background, and not a care in the world. I looked, I longed, I coveted, and I purchased.

I’m so ashamed.

The day it came in the mail, I ripped open the package and tried it on. To my great disappointment, I felt not even a sense of comfort or carefree. I didn’t even want to go sit and have a cup of coffee in a cozy log cabin, because it was so incredibly uncomfortable (not to mention highly unflattering). Though it was roomy in the middle, it cinched up at the bottom around my hips (not something I want to accentuate). Have a look for yourself:

before

It just wasn’t going to work. In public, or behind closed doors. So I decided to take a pair of scissors to it.

I purchased some jersey-knit chevron fabric. I’d never sewn with jersey-knit material before; it had always made me a little nervous, so I thought now was a great time to try since it wouldn’t have been a big deal if it didn’t turn out (after all, it couldn’t get much worse at this point.)

I started by cutting the seems on each side of the sweatshirt.

1 cut

Ahhhh…it’s starting to feel better already. After I cut it, I measured out where I wanted the chevron to show, made the marks, and cut the triangle shape.

3 trace 4 traced shirt 5 shirt cut

From here I laid the chevron underneath to make sure the pattern would be centered.

6 laying out chevron under shirt

I marked a half inch in for my seam allowance at the bottom on both sides and at the top.

7 marking cut

Then I used my ruler to mark the triangle shape to cut out. (Be sure to allow enough room at the bottom for a nice hem.)

8 traced chevron

Once I cut the triangle out, I laid it on the fabric next to the “hole” I had just cut and used that as a pattern to cut the next piece

9 laying chevron on chevron 10 cut chevron

After this, I pinned it, sewed the seams and the hem…

11 pin 12 pin hem 13 sewing 1 14 sewing hem

…and I was all done!

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YAY! Cozy. 🙂

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Sinking Down Deep

It’s not uncommon for me to make a rash decision or a foolish choice. Sometimes, I just get swept up in the moment. But as I was working to make this silly sweatshirt into something not only usable, but also with hopes that it’d be a little less ugly, I couldn’t help but think of God’s patient work in me. That in all of my foolishness, or deceitfulness, or hypocrisy, He will never deny me when I come to him in repentance and longing for change. His desire is to make me into what I was intended to be: His image bearer.

Repurpose a Women’s Shirt Into a Girl’s Dress

My friend Allyson is always passing her clothes on to me. It’s awesome. It’s also pretty funny, because she’s about six inches shorter than me and has dreamy chicken-stick legs (my legs are…well…a different animal). It’s sort of like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants — somehow, magically, her clothes fit me.

Just a couple of nights ago, she dropped off two Glad Bags stuffed with clothes. Most of the clothes worked (in fact I’m wearing one of the sweaters as I type), but there was one shirt in particular that I really liked, but wasn’t quite my style —

(You’ll have to pardon the watermarks. I have a fellow blogger friend who had photos of her sweet daughter stolen and used on inappropriate sites.)

Image

It’s cute! But, I knew I’d probably never wear it. SO…I decided to turn it into a dress for my four year old. After all, isn’t that what our kids are for? Living vicariously through?

I started by having Sis put it on inside-out. I pinned the straps and sides (she was very brave about it), and also made a little pleat in the front, just to take it in a bit.

(Please also excuse my lousy photos. I don’t have one of those fancy cameras. But I am accepting donations.)

back pin front pleat side pin

After (very carefully) taking it off of her, I laid it on the cutting mat, and cut (at an angle) from the top “armpit” pin, down to the bottom. Because the front is ruffly (and has more fabric than the back), I found the seems at either side, then gently pulled the extra fabric towards the center. I made sure the back fabric was taut, then sliced it through.

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cut 1

Then I re-pinned the sides and sewed them and the front pleat.

final pin  sew 2

I don’t have a picture for it, but I also cut the straps to the appropriate length, put a couple stitches in, and I was done.

inside 1 inside 2 outside 1 outstide 2 Mommy I'm cold

From start to finish, the project took me about 30 minutes. Not because I’m awesome at sewing, but because it was sew simple. (I couldn’t help myself.)