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Monday, April 19, 2010

recycling for earth week

at least twice a year (or whenever i get the bug up my ass), i go through my closet and weed out all the crap i either don't like, can't fit into, or just don't wear. i typically throw it all in a bag and send it with the hub to a local women & children's shelter, along with stuff that the bean has outgrown.

the hub doesn't do this nearly as often. probably why he always looks so much better than i do - he actually has nice clothes that are worth hanging on to. heh. anyway, while packing for a quickie business trip this weekend, he ended up yanking out a whole slew of dress shirts and things that he's worn out. like, the collars are a little tired, the edges of the buttonhole placket thingys are wearing away, etc. and while i watched him pile up the unwanted apparel, i remembered seeing a really cute tutorial for turning a man's shirt into a toddler's dress.

you know where this is going. despite the fact that i'd vowed to spend the weekend making a new duvet cover and pillowcases, i found myself following the (super detailed and ridiculously easy-to-follow) instructions to turn this old ben sherman shirt:

into this sweet little dress for the bean:

i'm pretty stinking proud of myself. i actually managed to complete a dress and it even fits! although let me tell you, knowing what that shirt originally cost, i kind of had to swallow a lump in my throat as i sliced into it:

as i worked, though, i got over it and started looking forward to seeing how this project would turn out. i even got to try out a new stitch on my machine, to "seal" up the edges of the sleeve seams (who needs a stinking serger? not me):

and i finally got to bust out this cute little mini crafting iron that i've had in my sewing box for about three months. look, it's even pink!

realizing that i didn't have the right size of elastic for the waistband, neck, and sleeves, i had to stop at this point. the teen lit up a little when she saw it, thinking it was a blouse i'd made for myself that she could borrow. heh. oops. sorry, babe.

so after a quick trip to joann's (during which i also managed to scoop up some lightweight stretchy denim to make myself a skirt, a la amber), i slipped the elastic through the casings (also a first), sewed it all up, and got the bean to try her new dress on.

i still need to hem it so that it's not so long, but yay! and now i'm thinking of all sorts of other fun stuff to do with the rest of the dress shirt pile.

i've had this with my sewing stuff for a few weeks now:

my friend sunrocks went on a fabulous trip to paris a couple of months ago, and as she wandered through a fabric store, she actually thought of li'l ol' me! so sweet. and i've been holding onto this little envelope, just waiting for a good moment to actually open it and check out what it has in store for me. so after my sewing triumph yesterday, i finally cut into it and pulled this out:

along with a sweet note (on a super cute lilly pulitzer note card, no less), i found a nice little fabric swatch - it looks like it's sized for what quilters call a "fat quarter." i'm thinking it's going to be an uber cute accent for one of the plain white dress shirts i'll be using to make the bean a variation of that shirt.

and now i'm going to go back to the bedding. i really want it to be done by the time the hub gets home. and i spent a good chunk of time yesterday ironing all the fabric. do you have any idea how much of a pain in the ass it is to iron 10+ yards of material when all you have is a shitty $10 iron and a tabletop ironing board? let's just say it took me a couple of hours.

it better be worth it.


  1. hi cousin!
    (first time being able to comment in MONTHS!)
    love the bean's dress!! it's soo super cute. i'm glad you've found yet another hobby and kicking all tons of ass.

    please make me something? :D

  2. I like Bean's poses. Looks like she's dancing.

  3. good job! I can't sew at all so it's always impressive to me when y'all whip stuff out like this.

  4. That is so cute!! I'm totally jealous of your sewing skills!

  5. Ummm...I kinda want that dress for myself. In a larger size, of course. Very cute. And I'm loving the Bean with her little top model poses. Adorable.

  6. Really cute! You did a great job. I'm featuring "recycled" crafts this week on my blog, too, except none of them are sewing related.

  7. ADORABLE dress! i so want to learn how to sew because of your posts.

  8. This dress is adorable! I'm so impressed with the transformation.

  9. You did a fantastic job on the dress missy!! But, please tell me you'll get a bigger iron. Pretty please?!


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