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.


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 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!

{the peas and their "sheepish" smiles}

I have been busy as a bee...sewing for art shows and preparing the peas for their sheep show in 4H. It's the Guys and Gals Lead and the show consists of the participants wearing outfits made from wool, leading their lambs around the arena, and modeling their outfit for the judges.

Thinking about being "green", we went to thrift store and shopped for wool sweaters that we could refashion.  We found a grey wool skirt and a load of sweaters.

I literally, had no idea what I would do.  I thought I would do some patchwork but honestly, until I put the scissors to just came as I went along.

I started with the grey skirt.  I cut off roughly 10" or so and added a ruffle hem.  Then, using the excess fabric I made a ruffle and sewed that onto the hem and added more of that ruffle to the green cardigan sweater.  With just a little bit left of that excess fabric, I made a rosette for a belt and also to add to her hat.  ZERO WASTE.  I used up every bit of what I cut off of the skirt.  And since I had no ideas on this skirt and just made it up as I went along - I am SUPER happy with how it turned out.  I wish it fit me.  I may need to pattern this because I just love the fit and flare!

The other outfit I knew I wanted a very full twirly skirt.  I cut patches of cottons and sweaters and pieced them together.  I couldn't put right sides together because the seams turned out REALLY bulky using the sweaters.  So instead, I just overlapped them and zigzagged across the outside to tack the edges down.  I wasn't sure how that would turn out but it worked great and you can't even tell the seams are on the outside.  Plus, the seams all lay so nice and flat - there was really no other way to do it I don't think.

I really wanted these outfits to have a vintage but modern spin and I think we achieved that.  We even found cute vintage wool hats at the thrift store.

Well, the show was last night and the peas had a blast.  We all did.  Ok, maybe not so much Sprout.  It was way past her bedtime AND she was kind of ticked that she wasn't showing.  There was a 3 year old class.  Next year Sprout, we promise!

My green pea showed with little lamb Carly, a tunis, and my little peachy pea showed with little lamb Allie, a suffolk.  Both lambs borrowed from two very sweet families.  The peas were happy to have the Gardener there to talk to some of the other Dads to get the low-down on sheep because they want some of their own asap.  Which means a lot of work and expenses - so we told the girls there has to be much research done before we make any commitments.  Owning livestock is a big responsibility you don't just jump into on a whim.  But the girls are old enough to take it on themselves and so we will just need to thoughtfully consider it .

So how did they do in their show?  Well, they are judged on their ability to control the animal, the animal itself with the majority of points based on the outfit and their modeling.

The peas took 1st and 2nd in their class!  We were so excited but the peas were OVER THE MOON!!  I thought it might be an issue that one beat the other one out but they were ok with that.  And their 4H advisor bought them a milkshake to celebrate.  THAT was heaven for these girls!!

Earlier in the week, one of the peas competed in the Pocket Pets program with her hamster and she took 5th place in that show.  (that's her below in her interview and then with her award).  They have gotten to miss some school, hang out with their friends, watch their friends win (wow!  our club has done awesome!) and eat fair food (oh sweet heaven, steak sandwiches and elephant ears, and rootbeer).  Sprout slept through most of it (note the pink boots - that's all she wears these days.  If I had pink cowgirl boots, it's all I would wear too!)

This was their first year and they have had made the most amazing memories - it's one of those things that as a parent, I know that this week will be something so special to them as they grow.  It's been a great experience for our family.

4H is everywhere!  Rural and Urban and they have tons of projects ranging from robotics to bicycles and sports, health and nutrition...not just livestock and animals.  It's a fantastic program and I HIGHLY recommend you check it out for your kids!

And now...maybe we can get back to a normal schedule somewhat.  Maybe.