Sunday, August 10, 2008

something from (almost nothing)


Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. My little sister and her beautiful daughters went home to Hawaii, and all weekend we walked around our home and yard listening to the echoes from their wonderful visit! I channeled my "missing them" energy into making a little something for myself.

I'm rarely the recipient of my own creations, so this was especially fun. Now, I enjoy shopping for a new outfit as much as anyone, but the creative challenge of making something from nothing is too hard to resist. I went foraging in our closets for inspiration. I chose one of my husbands XL T-shirts (with a little chocolate stain in the middle) and an old linen skirt I've had from the early 90's and gave them a make-over ...

Here's what I did: chopped that T down to my size and created four panels for the front and two in the back. I love how jersey lends itself to raw edges...no fraying...so I left the edges as is and exposed the seams ( for an inside-out look) for the panels. Next, a little lettuce edging around the bottom. Here's a shot of the back.

This created a flattering and nicely shaped top. Using Goldie, my dress form muse, was key to getting a perfect fit. The original logo was still visible on the shoulder. Hmmm....what to do? I cut five circles from the original sleeve and attached them as a permanent brooch...with a little felted ball in the center. Done!

For the skirt...sorry no before pictures, I was so enthusiastic about hacking away at it, that I forgot about my trusty camera. This was a simple a-line skirt that went down to my ankles. I never wore it any more because of the length, but who could part with lovely natural colored linen? Cutting it to a more modern length was thrilling. Do you have any skirts or dresses that are too long? You can go cut them...right now...really! I used a very tight zig-zag stitch to finish the bottom/hem...essentially the lettuce edging technique, but without the stretch. I was happy, but it needed something more. Ever since I did the freezer paper prints on the travel bags, I had been fantasizing about white floral on linen. Now was my opportunity to make this skirt totally original. Hello my name is Maya, and I am a freezer paper addict.

I love my new "old" clothes and I'll be wearing them to dinner tonight! I always love hearing what you're up to...what's something you've made from nothing?
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22 comments:

  1. Oh, you're probably thinking that I'm doing my usual gushing, but this transformation is incredible in so many ways. First, the details (lettuce edging, inside-out seam) exude Mayaness--it's fresh and fun and so you. The outfit is SO wearable--you can wear the T on a hike one day and then dress it up with a skirt for an evening look. I really admire the refashioning you did. You make it look so easy, but I know it's so tough to get the fit you've achieved, and to do that darn lettuce edging right takes time and sure hand. Gush, gush, but that flower stencil design is so right!!

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  2. How couldn't I love your gushing? Thank you! It didn't feel too complicated, but maybe I'll need to do a tutorial if there's any interest. Refashioning always feels like such an accomplishment...it's fun to share how.

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  3. Such ingenuity! I adore that little top...I'd wear that in a heartbeat. And a great idea to shorten a too-long skirt and make it fashionable again. Excellent!

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  4. You're amazing! I love the panel look on the t-shirt. I'm so not a sewer (seamstress?) but I admire those who can. And refashioning is an awesome way to recycle clothes.

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  5. Again: you are a genius!!!
    I made nothing from a lot haha: I made a tent for my kids using lots of fabric out of my stash. But when it was finished, they didn't really like it: http://www.tantehilde.be/wrdprss/?p=116

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  6. oh and of course I made your newspaperhats too, the kids looved it!!!

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  7. I've made little pear ornaments for (Christmas!) out of leftover fabric from my stash...I wrote about it today! Rarely am I the recipient of goodies either, we should all stop and try to make something wonderful for ourselves, too!

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  8. I love this idea!! Wish I had the patience for sewing!! Anyway.. go to my blog--I gave you a weblog award because your blog is one of my favs!! :)

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  9. Maybe a tutorial about how to get that great fit?
    That would help me.

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  10. That is AMAZING! I treasure my husbands old tee shits. They're worn perfectly soft and are amazing to sleep in. I never would have dreamed about repurposing them in this way. What attention to detail too. Wow!

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  11. THAT shirt was an old TEE SHIRT??????????? Oh my gosh! I would never ever have guessed in a hundred years. Gorgeous creations!

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  12. Wow and thanks! It feels wonderful to get such great feedback on something I made for myself...might have to try it more often:)
    A special thanks to Tantehilde for such wonderful praise on her lovely blog and for making the PARTY HATS!! So fun to see others giving it a try...go over to her blog and check it out!
    Another special thanks goes to FancyPants-design...I'm so flattered that you chose me for a blog award!
    It's feeling like a really sweet day!

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  13. Wow, I've thought about doing something like the skirt, but the shirt? HOT DAMN woman! You've got to come up with a pattern for those of us not blessed with your crafty intuition! Those racks of thrift store tees are looking less unappealing all of the sudden! Wow!

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  14. What is this freezer paper method of printing??? I'm dying to know!

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  15. Gwen, there is a wonderful tutorial for freezer paper printing at the Craft Crow
    http://belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow/2008/08/freezer-paper-t.html

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  16. Wow, you did a great job! I love the lettuce edging and the panels on the tee - very creative!

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  17. Maya, I'm TOTALLY going to copy your tee for the fall- maybe with a l/s women's version to wear to work at the museum! I LOVE both of your creations!! And I second the tee-tutorial idea!

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  18. Maya! This is so beautiful...
    I don't find any freezer paper here, so we can't make stencils like that. But I'm sure I'll find something else to do them with.

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  19. You are AMAZING!! These are phenomenal! I just finished a Built By Wendy shirt that in no way fit me and looks horrid (thanks to my sad sewing skills) and you take an old tshirt and make magic! Magic, I say! And the stencil is beautiful! Yes, I am gushing!

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  20. How beautiful!!! Maybe I shouldn't take my old clothes to Good Will after all. They have hope!

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  21. Love the skirt and top. How do you use the freezer paper to make these designs? I'm going to try one of those tshirts.
    I don't make much for myself. But lately I've made 2 nightgowns for me.

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  22. Congratulations, your shirt is simply wonderful!! but it seems so so hard to make... wish I could make one for me someday :)
    Great projects, I love them!

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