Glamorous Fair Wear - Part 3

I've been sharing all this week a fun refashioning project that I was working on for our county fair with my kids. Be sure you check out part one HERE and part two HERE. You'll find the "what I did" to refashion my big girls outfits...

I saved my favorite for last. Sprout and my husband, The Gardener, competed in the pairs class for the Guys and Gals Lead Lamb show and since we are in the heart of Buckeye country (that would be in reference to THE Ohio State University Buckeyes for those of you not in the know on the scarlet and gray) I choose a sophisticated game day look for the two of them.

I started with this large stash of sweaters from the thrift store. That awesome scarlet and gray striped sweater could not have been more perfect. But it fit me. I wear a size LARGE women's...Sprout wears a size 5 toddler. So getting it to fit was a challenge.

In order to get that large sweater to fit Sprout, I had to cut the side seams and arms. You can see how I did it HERE on this post where I performed the same sizing down on a sweater for her last year.

Here's how I refashioned that pile of sweaters for outfit #3:

  1. I sized down the large sweater to fit Sprout. I added an appliqué using my Bernina 580 to add the text "OHIO" and a little buckeye. (it's a poisonous nut from the Buckeye tree which happens to be the "mascot" for The Ohio State University Buckeyes). What I loved about using my Bernina is that you can adjust the stitch width and length to the extreme detail. For instance, I satin stitched this using a zig-zag stitch - using the turn dial, I can adjust that stitch to exactly what I need. You can go from a stitch length of 3.5 to 3.4, 3.3...and so on. It's a great feature!)
  2. With some of the left over wool sweater pieces, I made Sprout a facinator. It is a HUGE bunch of rolled roses with pearls added to a headband. It got really heavy and I had to add a few hair pins to it to help hold it in place BUT it was so cute!!
  3. THE SKIRT! Oh the skirt! Inspired by a cute skirt I saw at the Country Living Fair this fall, this skirt started with a single wool sweater. I cut it into a very slight A-line, using one of Sprouts other skirts as a guide.  I cut the sweater so that I used the finished hem of the sweater as the hem for the skirt.  I left the skirt at this point, unsewn on the side seams while I added all of the fringe (in other words - it was a rectangle shape).  That fringe is a lot a lot of wool sweaters cut into pieces of various lengths and widths. Then I started at the bottom on one side and just kept adding and filling in until I had the entire skirt covered.  Next, with right sides facing, I sewed the side up to create a tube and create the skirt. Next, I used knit to create the waist band. I added in elastic to the waist band to get the perfect fit. This skirt was so cute on her and had the perfect "twirl" effect

For the Gardener, I found a great wool coat in perfect gray color. On the inside of the coat, on one side, I appliquéd the letters "O-H" and on the other side "I-O". If you are a Buckeye fan, then you know this is a cheer you hear often...when someone says "O-H!" the proper response is "I-O!". So when it came their turn to spin on the runway, he looked at the audience and opened up his jacket, flashing everyone. Ok, not exactly FLASHING but you get the idea! It was hilarious!

Did they win? No. But they did come in 3rd place and they won $14! Sprout was over the moon. She promptly asked if she could spend her money on a funnel cake and ice cream. I love this outfit and it will get a lot more wear this year as we cheer the Buckeyes on! (Ranked #4 currently in the nation....I feel an awesome National Championship title coming this year!)

Have you done any great refashioning projects lately? Share a link to your projects in the comments section. 

Glamorous Fair Wear - Refashioning part 2

I'm sharing this week about my refashioning project from our recent county fair...If you missed the first part, check it out HERE.

One of my peas wanted a casual look for her sheep show...and I obliged.  Although the class says they are looking for an elegant look, I think we compromised with this casual elegance.

We started with a wool tweed coat and a cream colored wool hat.

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Here's what I did for outfit #2 to refashion it:

  1. Lavender Tweed coat - we added vintage lace to the collar.
  2. I added rosettes  and these flowers made from wool sweaters and felt leaves all along the hem of the coat. Then I added pearl beads and other pretty buttons into the mix.
  3. I made a wool belt from one of our thrifted sweaters. We topped off the knot with a pretty vintage brooch.
  4. All the way down the side seam of her jeans, I fused with Steam-a-Seam, wool patches from our thrifted sweaters.
  5. We topped it off with that cute creamy wool hat I found at the thrift store.

This outfit came together pretty quick. I love the flowers along the hem of the coat and I think this is a super cute way to add some whimsy to an old coat.

The belt was a fail in my opinion. To use the wool and sew it into this long skinny tube and turn it for the belt...it didn't flow right and I wasn't crazy about it. We had to pin it down to get it to lay right.

The wool patchwork jeans were a big hit. My daughter loved the look and they looked cute with her boots! It was super easy to do. The Steam-a-Seam has paper on both sides. I peeled back one side and placed the wool. Cut it out around the patch, removed the other paper backing and then placed it on the jeans seam. I used a cotton pressing cloth and steam pressed the patch. It turned out perfect. I LOVE Steam-a-Seam for applique and patchwork projects like this one.

Do you have any fun refashion projects you've done? Share a link in the comments section! I'll be back on Thursday to share the final project of this group, and it's my favorite one!

Refashion Wool - Glamorous Fair Wear

I've been largely absent from this space. I may have mentioned...I wrote a book. A crazy process that has kept me quiet here while I tinker away and try to keep up with my kids at the same time. No easy task. I'll be stepping back in here time and again with a whole mess of fun projects and tutorials in the months to come.

I've missed sharing and sewing in this space. So, what's new with you?!

Me? Well, since you asked...

The nice folks at Bernina have treated me to the use of 580 machine to use while I work on my book and to try out for a year. It will be hard to let it go next Spring as I have quickly fallen in love with all she can do and with what I am learning to do with all of these features.

I put her to good use this month while I worked away on a refashion project for my Two Peas and Sprout. They participated in a fun show to promote the Lamb & Wool industry at our county fair earlier this month.

It's called the Guys and Gals Sheep Lead. Each contestant leads a lamb around the show ring past the judges and wears an outfit made of wool. They hand off their lamb to the Lamb & Wool Queen and then take a spin on stage while the announcer gives the details about the outfit they are wearing. They are judged on their handling of the animal and also on their outfit.

You can see our refashion project for this show from 2012 right HERE and from 2011 HERE.

This year, my trip to thrift store yielded some great finds for our show. I talked over each outfit with my girls and they picked out their favorites. Funny thing, my pea that picked out this first outfit, in the end, decided she liked her sisters outfit better and wasn't thrilled about hers. Guess who won 1st place? SHE DID! She loved her outfit after that plaque was handed to her!

OUTFIT #1.  I started with this....

An Ann Taylor LOFT long sleeve wool blazer and J. Crew wool pants. The pants turned out to be way too big - more than I felt comfortable adjusting so we ended up opting for an ankle length wool pencil skirt.

Here's how I did it:

  1. I added black lace all along the blazer collar.
  2. I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length and also added the same black lace at the cuffs.
  3. I removed one of the buttons that was not covered by the lace and replaced it with an antique earring that served as a button and added glamour.
  4. On the collar of the blazer, I neatly folded a vintage lace hanky and pinned it to the blazer with an antique brooch.
  5. We added a simple cream colored grosgrain ribbon around the waist for a belt.
  6. The skirt had been ankle length. I hemmed it to just above the knee. I added a double layer at the hem. One layer of a creamy gray cotton ruffle and then underneath the cotton, a layer of the black lace that was the same as the lace used on the blazer collar.
  7. We embellished her skirt with a trio of rosettes made from wool and layered on top of lace and pleated satin.
  8. Her final accessory was her headband that was made from one of our thrifted wool sweaters and edged with lace trim.

It took me a total of about 2 hours to play around with the design and then implement it. My Bernina was a work horse with this wool fabric. She didn't hesitate a bit and handled these super heavy duty layers on the blazer with no hesitation.

(I only wish I had a better camera than my circa 2001 Kodak Easy Share 4mp (yes, FOUR MP) but I think you get the idea.) Refashioning is fun and affordable and I'll tell ya what, it sure satisfies my creative side. I really enjoy it.

I'll share more on Tuesday this week about the other peas outfit plus the outfit I made for Sprout that was a big hit! Here's a teeny sneak peek!

Are you a refashioner? Share in the comments links to your refashion projects!

:: Button Loop Tutorial ::

It has been BEYOND insanely busy here at the Two Peas studios in the last year. Many new projects and lots of exciting plans...one of those plans was hiring an intern.

My desire in wanting to give back and work with students in a learning environment led us to attend the Career Fair at our local art college where we met La-Neka. She has been learning all about the business and doesn't even bat an eye now when I tell her we need to go run an "errand" (which is code for ice cream run in town). She has put together a great little tutorial for you below. Please take a moment to say hello and wish her best wishes as she continues in her fashion design career.

Here she is in her first blog post...a button loop tutorial. Great for using on bags, garments and more.

 Hi, You are probably wondering who I am. I am the new intern at Two Peas in A Pod Homegrown Designs. I am a student at a local college in Ohio and I am studying fashion design. I have made a few Tutorials and I hope you like them.

-La-Neka

Loop button holes

Materials

  • Scrap fabric 12"x12"
  • Thread

Directions

1) Cut 1 piece of fabric 5 ½”x 4 ½”

2) Cut 2 strips of fabric that at 2”x 1 ½”

3) Take the larger piece and fold the long side under ½” and press. Set aside.
4) Fold one of the short pieces in half long ways with right sides together and stitch a ½” seam. Back stitch at both ends.
5) Cut the seam with in half leaving it to measure ¼”.
6) Turn the tube to the right side and press flat.
7) Lay the piece vertically flat and take the top end of the piece and line it up beside the other end. It is like wrapping a scarf on some one.  It should have a kind of looped point at the top. Iron it down flat to create a point at the top. Set aside.
Repeat steps 4 through 7 to make the second loop with the second short piece of fabric.
Take the larger piece and unfold the seam.
On the backside of the looped pieces there is a small triangle at the top. Place the piece back side up. Line up the edges of the loops with the edge of the larger piece where the fold is. Pin it into place.
Sew along the folded edge, ½” seam in, and backstitch over the loop seam.

Button looped pocket - putting your button loops to good use

Materials

  • Sample made from button loop tutorial (see button loop sample)
  • Fabric 1
  • Fabric 2
  • 2 buttons the same size (1”)
  • Thread

Directions

Cut one piece of fabric 1 measuring 4 ½” x 5 ½

Cut two long strips. One for the lining and one for the exterior.

Stitch the pieces together with right sides together leaving one of the short ends open. Backstitch with a ½” seam on each side of the fabric.

Turn the pocket to the right side and press the seams evenly.
Press under the top that was left open with a seam allowance of ½”.
Fold the piece in half so that the short end that is open is lined up with the other short end. Wrong sides together.
Topstitch the side edges with a ¼” seam. Press flat and set aside.
Take the button loop sample and the short cut piece that is the same size as the samples beginning size and place it on top right sides together and stitch it on ½” seam on each side accept the opposite end of the button loops. Turn it to the right side and press the seams evenly. Take the open end of the button loop flap top and slide it into the pocket piece’s opening ½” down and tip stitch it into the seam. Press the seam flat. Flap the top of the button loops over evenly lined up with the pocket.
Make a mark where the loops are through the loop, make a dot. This is where your buttons will be. Flip it back and sew your buttons where you made your mark.
Now you’re all done with this great button looped pocket. Add a plastic bag and make it for snacks or store your safety pins in it.

 Great job La-Neka!

 

:: Mother's Day project for Pediatric Cancer ::

A little boy in our area, Sam Bish, who was the same age as my "two peas", passed away several years ago from pediatric cancer.  Cancer sucks enough as it is at any age but to strike a child - makes me weak in the knees and my heart ache.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy Bish, Sam's Mom, through a mutual friend at church while Sam was fighting his fight.  It profoundly touched us all.  Cancer is something that has surrounded our family and still rocks us to this day.  When we get a chance to lift up someone else who is in the fight, it is a gift to us to be God's hands at that time.

I'm asking today if you will help Cindy be God's hands.  Since Sam's passing, her family created The Sam Bish Foundation and they bless families going though pediatric cancer treatments at the hospital Sam was treated - Nationwide Children's Hospital here in Columbus, OH.  They bring meals to families, gift bags to the kids, pajamas, pillow cases - you name it, almost weekly, Cindy and her crew are there supporting other families.  She is truly, a saint, and a bright light in an otherwise dark day.  She posted about her next project she's organizing for Mother's Day...she writes,

Our next meal we will be providing at Children's is next month and at that time I hope to give mother's day bags to the mom's on H12 fighting cancer right alongside their child. Many of you said you would like to help with this project. Please message me through this page if you are able to make up some bags or donate items for the bags. Many of the items can be found in dollar bins at Target, Michael's, ect... Here are items we have put in the bags in the past- journals, note cards, chapstick/lip gloss, pens, tissues, hand sanitizer/hand lotion, body lotion, book marks, $5.00 gift cards (Starbucks/Tim Hortons/Hospital gift cards). If any of you are willing to help us pick up some of these items we would appreciate knowing that as well so we have enough products for the bags. We are planning to make up 30 bags. Thanks so much for your support. These bags have always been a blessing to the mother's that receive them.

Here's where YOU come in!  Can you help by making some Patchwork Wristlets for these Moms?  They require very little fabric - in fact, you probably have enough in your scrap basket to pull one of these together.  They require less than an hour of work.  These pretty little wristlets are a great bag for Mom's to put a put a few dollars in and run down to the cafeteria.  Hold some hand sanitizer and chapstick.  I think they would find a million uses for them while they are at the hospital.

Will you join me in making these for Sam's foundation?  Cindy would like these items by April 20th so they can organize for their April 30th delivery date.  She needs 30 of these.  Anything over that amount, she will use in future gift bags the following months since they are weekly, meeting and helping families.

Will you make a wristlet?  If so, please comment here that you are committing to making a wristlet.  Tell me how many you will be making and sending.  To save time, you can mail them directly to Cindy at : The Sam Bish Foundation - Mother's Day Project, P.O. Box 323, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.  If you are local to Columbus and want to pass your bag off to me, let me know and I'll get it to Cindy.  Let's see how many of these we can make and then Cindy will have a great stash of these sweet little bags to share with Moms...and even with the kids.  I know she has a hard time finding the right things to share with the teenagers receiving treatment and I think these would be fabulous.  Anything above the 30 quantity she needs for Mother's Day - she will put to great use with patients and their families.

Pass the word to your sewing friends and thanks so much for helping to be the hands of God.

xoxo

: : me and Jo-Ann : :

Yeah.  SO...a long, long time ago...I was asked to design a few projects using the Simplicity Deluxe Bias Tape machine.  And I came up with a a few things including this simple patchwork bag.  Haven't seen this bag in a long time.  Until tonight.

Searching for something else on the internet and I stumbled upon my old bag.  As a free project on the Jo-Ann fabrics website.  YEA!  I wondered when it would surface and be shared and now I'm uber excited because it's a freebie for you all to enjoy.

SO...enjoy!  Would be super cute in bright Spring fabrics for you to carry once the snow melts!

{thanks Jo-Ann's and Simplicity!}

: : swooning over new pattern covers : :

  Hazel Hipster Sewing Pattern Cover

Shipping later this month...a refreshed version of my best selling pattern, the Hazel Hipster.  Hazel now boasts an additional style option...

...straight pocket, ruffled angled pocket, zip pocket on the front

...make it full size or mini

...or add a full size magazine / book pocket

Loads of options, lots of style, and a heap of full color, real life photo illustrations and nice heavy duty paper pattern templates.  Hope you love it!

: : winter and so on : :

There really is no such thing as balance.  Work, family.  No balance. See, the thing is as a woman, it still actually sucks for us in the work world.  You can't actually have it all.  When you are at work, you think about what you should be doing at home.  When you are at home, you think about opportunities passing you by because you aren't at work.  I have written about it before.  And it's nothing new.  Not for me.  Not for any woman regardless of where you work.  In or outside of the home.  It's not fair.  But it's the way it is.

I pray about it a lot.  I'm still on that "Mommy track" and others around me who once were are no longer.  They have moved on.  Their kids have grown and their priorities are all work work work.  And I am, gratefully, with much blessing, still in that place.  The "Mommy track".  That place where my kids are little (and some big), still like to snuggle, still call me Mommy, and my heart is 1000% with them all the time.  I want to be here when they leave for school, be here when they get home, make dinner early, make life for them peaceful and not rushed and chaotic.  Life is short and I will never ever ever never wish I had achieved more in my work life.  My aspirations are to be the best person God created me to be.  Pure and simple.  To nurture my children and husband all the days of my life with as much of me as I can give.

But it's a challenge.  I run my Two Peas business.  I work part time at another job.  I volunteer and am active in my community and I'm terrible at saying no. But I'm learning.

I'm learning you can't really have it all.  You can't stay home AND actually have enough money to put food on the table.  You can't work all the time and actually mentally or physically be there for your kids, fully in the moment, and without guilt as much as you'd like.  At least I can't.

And I wrestle with that balance.  Those struggles ebb and flow in my life.  Lately, it's been increasingly uncomfortable.  Life is challenging me.  I think those uncomfortable feelings that creep up are pushing me towards new ideas and changes.  I'm not sure where yet.  I'm not sure what yet.  But I feel something in me stirring and changing.  It's uncomfortable.  And I know that means that change is coming.

But I'm patiently praying and quietly listening.  I do know that my heart is pulling me stronger than ever to be present in this place.  To follow what is most important in life.  Maybe it's just the natural transition of getting older, growing wiser, being more secure in who I am.

And it's sometimes hard to come to this place - to write, talk and say something worth saying when I haven't felt like it.  When I haven't known what to say or share.  Or how to find the time.  But it hit me last night, like a lightening bolt, some ideas for change.  And here I am, finding some time to start a conversation.

Winter has been good.  Fun.  Warm, even though the temperatures outside are cold.  I wanted to share a little of what our two peas, sprout, the gardener and I have been up to...

Santa visited our girls and we enjoyed having Grandma with us too.  There were shouts of joy for chocolates and sock monkeys, barbies, and the best ever...Sprout got a Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in her stocking.  She paused, held it out in front of her and burst into tears.  Big fat huge raindrops falling from her eyes while she exclaimed, "I love him so much!".  Sweetest thing ever.  Made us all cry because she was just so genuinely thrilled.

The snow missed us Christmas day but so beautifully fell the day after.  Of course the call went out, "The Preston sled hill is officially open" and friends gathered and came to hit the slopes and then sip hot cocoa afterwards.  The photo on the left : : the two peas and one of their buddies trying a triple person run not so successfully : : photo on the right is Sprout and I, she eventually took her hands down and watched, and squealed and screamed all the way down.  We may live in a teeny tiny house but I remind my girls all the time - you have the best backyard in town and that makes all the small spaces so worth it!  (and no, the little yellow house is not our house - it's the playhouse my Dad built for the kids.  The brown building in the background - also not our house - but our barn).

We visited family and the girls Aunt and Uncle treated them to a day at the ice rink for Christmas.  They LOVED it!  All three of them!  (If you are ever near Dayton, OH in the winter - the Riverscape downtown park / ice rink is a must do!).  And Sprout, well of course she sports an "S" on her skirt.  She loves getting dressed for church on Sunday and visiting with her girlfriends.  They quite literally, run to each other and knock one another down in a fit of giggles and then run off to play in the nursery or go to class.  4 is the best age ever.  Seriously.  

We have been exploring new recipes.  This one was a huge hit!  It all started because Wendy's (fast food - don't judge) has these new Baja salads.  To quote my 4 year old, O.M.G.  So delish!  So I tried to copy it at home and totally pulled it off.

I made a pot of homemade chili.  Put a scoop of the chili over iceberg lettuce. Add shredded cheddar cheese, a few tomatoes diced, fresh avocados sliced, a dollop of sour cream, a squirt of Hidden Valley Ranch Southwest Chipotle dressing, and a few crushed Doritos.  Score!  Kids LOVED it!

And then of course, you have the days that Sprout wants me to do her hair just like Mama...and I always oblige.  Sock buns!!  With my long hair and sewing, sock buns have been my fav way to pull my hair back lately.

And finishing off revisions to my best selling pattern, the Hazel Hipster.  Freshening up pattern covers for relaunches.  Headed up north to film for Season 5 for It's Sew Easy soon.  And...I'm going to need more coffee.

Hope you all are well.  Leave me note, catch me up on what's new with you!  I hope you are finding challenges in life as opportunities for positive changes and enjoying moments everyday.

 

: : handmade gift giving ideas from two peas : :

photo of Christmas Stocking Pocket banner

Just some ideas from my stash to share with you if you're still working on gifts (or like me, just starting, literally...to make and shop).  My tutorials page has  handbags, accessories, fun household items, thrifty makeovers, refashions and more.  A few are videos and I think you'll enjoy them.  So, hop over and visit my TUTORIALS page and find something you love to sew up!

If you make something from my tutorials - drop me a line and share!  I love to see what you craft up!

Now...I'm off to sew!  Earwarmers, scarves and new Hazel Hipsters ...my Two Peas gave me a wish list!

Want to sew with me?  Save 25% right now through December 21st, 2012 ($20/ each) on either of my video courses - The Tie Tote or The Hazel Hipster - 2 of my most popular patterns.  They go together quick and the videos are wonderful because it's like having a private lesson in your home.  (discount given via paypal refund after puchase).  Buy both classes and save even more - purchase both classes and save 35%.

Happy Sewing!

 

: : decking the halls : :

Striped drapes hanging at large window

One thing I don't own is a decent camera.  I'm cheap.  Good cameras are expensive.  And since we are now like most Americans, barely getting by with a huge increase in our health care payments, groceries and gas...well, iphone pics will suffice.  Once in awhile I throw in the old Kodak Easy Share 4mp camera...yes, I know.  Someday...someday.

So...in my desire to prep our halls for the holidays, I had purchased some neutral fabrics to make drapery panels.  I have always had valences hanging at this large window in our living room but I was ready for a change.  They were so outdated.

I wasn't sure if I was loving the stripes at first but now I love them.  Love, love, love.

Here's how I did it.  First, I measured from the curtain rod to where I wanted them to drop then I added in seam allowances plus 2".  The math got tricky here.  I had to figure out how many stripes did I want, how big they would be, add in the seam allowances, etc...I suck at math.  Truly, I do.  But with some trial and error I got to the point of a workable number and got to cutting my panels.  I have a very wide window I was covering and I knew I would never close these drapes so I made panels that were much narrower than my window thus saving on fabric and $$.

striped drape panel

Once I got my two panels pieced, I lined them with a bed sheet.  I bought a queen size sheet set and it worked perfectly.  Right sides facing, I sewed all the way around leaving a gap towards the top for my curtain rod plus an opening for turning the panel.  Turn the panel right side out and press.  I used steam a seam to close my opening where I turned the panels.  Then, I went back to where the gap is for the curtain rod and sewed across twice - large enough for my rod to fit - creating a casing.  Repeat for your other panel.

striped drapes hung at window

Voila.  Pretty simple.  Quick.  Cheaper than store bought (but still a little pricey in my opinion).  They brightened up this old room and gave it just the right punch for the holidays.

No pattern needed.  Just your math skills and some creativity.  You can do this, I promise!

: : scarf swap : :

I really don't want to admit to you how many scarves I own.  I like them.  A lot.  A lot.  So when one of my fav bloggers, Karen at Celebrate Life with Us announced a fun scarf swap - um, no brainer!  Of course I jumped in!  We were asked a few questions like our favorite colors, etc and right now, I love, love, love gray.  Just gray.  My swap partner sent me this luxurious gray scarf and I love it!  I paired it with a red dot tank, mustard jeans, red flats and a gray sweater.  Very comfy!

My swap partner was the lovely Haley...who blogs at "Just the Little Things" and has an adorable etsy shop of her hand knitted lovelies!  I know my sock monkey loving girls have their eyes on this hat in her shop!!  Adorable!

Thanks Haley for the lovely scarf and thank you Karen for hosting!  Such fun!!