SKIRT REFASHION: DARBY AUGUST

RILEY PREVENTED ME FROM WORKING ON A SKIRT REFASHION

RILEY PREVENTED ME FROM WORKING ON A SKIRT REFASHION

I’ve had this green skirt forever, paying a measly $4 from the clearance rack at Christopher and Banks. I couldn’t believe my luck with the find. One, the skirt was a perfect fit for me even if the length was a little longer than what I normally wear. Two, the fabric was not flimsy but not super heavy. The fabric gave the skirt nice structure. Three, I liked the color green even though I wasn’t quite sure what I could match with a dark olive green. Over the years, I basically paired with the skirt with anything black.

NICKNAME: DARBY AUGUST

NICKNAME: DARBY AUGUST

I think the skirt is still in good shape, but unfortunately, the fit is no longer perfect. Boo. Hiss. But I do believe this skirt can be saved with a little bit of creativity, a pair of scissors, and elastic. Because the skirt is slightly longer than normal for me, I can simply cut off the waist area that includes the zipper and add an elastic waistband to the top. Out of the three methods I know, I chose to simply add a 2-inch elastic waistband instead of running a drawstring through a casing or hiding a smaller size elastic in a casing.

ELASTIC WAISTBAND

READY TO ADD AN ELASTIC WAISTBAND

Because the fabric is almost like denim or corduroy, I felt the drawstring method and the hidden elastic method wouldn’t work well. So, that left the awesome “just add elastic” method. I just needed to make sure I could pull the elastic band over my wide hips and have it sit around my tummy area. After cutting off the appropriate length of elastic, I overlapped the two ends about an inch and then sewed it closed. Anyone else a little paranoid that the elastic will fly off you when you’re in a crowded public area? Just me? OK.

MATCHING BACK SKIRT SEAM WITH ELASTIC SEAM

MATCHING BACK SKIRT SEAM WITH ELASTIC SEAM

I would like to believe that I’m an expert at this method, but alas, I am not. Every time I use this method, I somehow encounter some new issue during the refashion process. Sometimes I just end up scrapping the refashion project after numerous attempts to fix the issues, but at other times, my creative fixes work and make me a very happy girl. Luckily, I really had no issues refashioning my Darby August skirt. I’m pretty proud of myself for saving a skirt and extending the life for a few more years. Yay!

YAY!

YAY! I CAN WEAR THIS SKIRT AGAIN!

And the completion of the skirt is ready for the cooler weather! I have a personal fashion rule: don’t wear tights in the summer (nylons are an exception when attending a fancy event when I don’t feel like shaving or showing off my weird little legs). But now that August is over, I am more than happy to add tights to any skirt even when the sun is brightly shining. It’s September, and my personal fashion rule states I can wear tights between September and April – maybe May, depending on the weather.

SKIRT REFASHION: ANDERSEN AUGUST

I’m a little weird. I love names. I love organization. I love chronological order. Yup, I’m definitely weird. During one free weekend, I decided to work on a few skirts that needed some extra attention. I absolutely love this roomy black skirt that I had found on clearance about a year ago. The skirt – nicknamed Andersen August – was too long for my short little legs and too big for my fat waist (oxymoron?). No big deal because I was pretty sure my beginner and limited sewing skills could somehow remedy the minor flaws.

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NICKNAME: ANDERSEN AUGUST

At one point during the many, many adjustments, I had created a modest slit to make the skirt more flowy and breezy and less “this skirt is too long for my short legs.” After studying one DIY skirt tutorial, I decided to add a high waistband with ties. I don’t remember too much about the process of adding a new waistband and creating cute ties to match. I wore the skirt a few times with the new waistband, but I still felt the skirt was still too big and the waistband and ties were too bunchy and kind of weird.

Instead of throwing the skirt out, I tossed it in my project box, hoping a brilliant idea would strike me. First, I was extremely proud of myself for even completing the new waistband project because I attempted something new and actually completed the project. Because of that, I was really reluctant to admit that I didn’t like the results but I just felt the skirt really didn’t look that good on me. So during my “I have nothing better to do” weekend, I decided to try the easy elastic waistband method that I’ve read on several different blogs and tutorials.

PRETTY

PRETTY PREVIOUS WAISTBAND

I found 2-inch black elastic at my favorite fabric store along with some other items that were either on sale or clearance (I love a good deal). I wrapped the black elastic around the area I wanted it to rest on me – the tummy area. From all the tutorials I had read, I couldn’t remember what measurements I needed to take to make sure the elastic would fit so I just “chanced” it. Expert sewers are probably mentally screaming at me, “Noooo! Find the tutorial! Take the measurements, you idiot!” Sorry, my laziness kicks into overdrive on the weekends.

GOODBYE, OLD WAISTBAND

GOODBYE, OLD WAISTBAND

I bought two yards of elastic and cut it in half – so I had two one-yard long pieces of elastic. I overlapped the elastic ends by about an inch and sewed it together. Because I’m lazy a rebel, I didn’t even change the thread on my sewing machine since this really was a practice run. Sorry, expert sewers who are probably mentally screaming at me again. Per the directions I remember, I needed to pin the elastic to the top of the skirt. I used the “clock” method, placing a pin in the middle front (6) and a second pin in the middle back (12).

ESDF

ELASTIC BAND — TOP OF SKIRT

Then I placed pins at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. (right and left of the skirt). After the those four positions were secured, I started pinning in between each 15-minute increment (does this make sense to anyone but me because I feel like I’m babbling and using an unbreakable code). Because the elastic waistband is smaller than the top of the skirt after cutting off the old waistband, I carefully folded the extra fabric in two areas within the 15-minute increment (I guess kind of making a pleat or something). Need I remind you that I’m a beginner sewer.

Once the elastic was pinned to the skirt, I started sewing! Yay! I actually sewed two zig-zag lines – one close to the bottom elastic border and the second just a few centimeters above the first one. Annnnnnd, the skirt fits me perfectly!!! PERFECTLY!!! Cue the fireworks! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! The length is perfect. The elastic waistband is perfect. The drape of the skirt is beautiful. I could probably twirl around in the skirt for hours. I am so happy I could successfully pull off the 2-inch elastic waistband method!

DONE! YAY! LOVE IT!

DONE! YAY! LOVE IT!

The method was easy, and I love the result. I will definitely try this method again on other items I want to refashion. A few months ago, my sisters and I went through our mom’s closet and we each kept the dress she wore to each of our weddings with the idea of refashioning into something for us. Also, earlier this year, I pulled a few items out of my wardrobe that needed some minor adjustments. So, I plan to go through my project box and figure out which items would make a cute skirt with an elastic waistband. Yay!

MY FIRST QUILLOW!

I must’ve been a tween when I received my first and only quillow when they were uber popular. What’s a quillow, you ask? Part quilt and part pillow, of course! When the quilt isn’t folded and tucked into the built-in pillow pocket, it’s a lovely blanket. I sadly had to toss my quillow when one of my cats had some behavior issues and targeted my beautiful blue quillow.

MY FIRST QUILLOW

I must’ve been a tween when I received my first and only quillow when they were uber popular. What’s a quillow, you ask? Part quilt and part pillow, of course! When the quilt isn’t folded and tucked into the built-in pillow pocket, it’s a lovely blanket. I absolutely loved my blue quillow and kept it for years until I sadly had to toss my quillow when one of my cats had some behavior issues and targeted it.

For the quilted side, I used the jelly-roll strip method without using strips from a jelly roll. Instead, I used my longest pieces of fabric from my scrap stash and cut them all to be 6 inches high – I didn’t tinker with the length. The fast and easy method is simply sewing the end strips together. Once that was completed, I had one very long strip of fabric.

THE QUILTED SIDE

For the quilted side, I used the jelly-roll strip method without using strips from a jelly roll. Confused? Instead of using a store-bought jelly roll, I used my longest pieces of fabric from my scrap stash and cut them all to be 6 inches high – I didn’t tinker with the length. The fast and easy method is simply sewing the end strips together. Once that was completed, I had one very long strip of fabric.

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MY STRIPS OF FABRIC + CLARA

Next, I found the two end pieces of the super long strip of fabric and started to sew the pieces together lengthwise. I’m not sure which part was more tedious, sewing the short ends together or sewing two super long pieces together. The process was super easy, using the simple straight stitch, but it was also boring. I recommend listening to your favorite tunes during this process.

DFGFGH

THE FABRIC I CHOSE TO CUT INTO STRIPS

Once I reached the end, I cut the end loop and I had two sewn rows of fabric strips. Then I repeated the process, find the end pieces, start sewing lengthwise, and cut the loop at the end. I repeated this process until I reached the desired width of my quilt, which resulted in a little more than a dozen rows of strip fabric. With about a dozen breaks and numerous distractions, I completed it over the course of two days.

THE FLEECE AND QUILT

THE FLEECE AND QUILTY SIDE

For the backing, I chose a cute fleece because of the softness and warmth. Not to mention, I wanted the quillow project to be quick, fun, and easy. After enlisting Charlie’s help and watching an online video for tips, I attached a fleece square in the bottom middle of the fleece backing – this creates the pocket of the quillow. I attached the pocket using a zig-zag stitch. And for some reason, sewing the pocket wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

MY SWEET SWEET CLARA

MY SWEET SWEET CLARA

CLARA: “Oh, are you trying to work here? But look at how cute I am. Adore me, please.” Because I didn’t use pre-sorted jelly-roll strips, I ran the risk of having two strip pieces of the same fabric being sewn together lengthwise. I ran into the two-strips one-piece issue twice, but fortunately, the pieces were near the edges, which I just cut off to match the width of the fleece. I’m a perfectionist up until a fixable extent.

MY ORANGE FURBALL, RILEY

MY ORANGE FURBALL, RILEY

I’m pretty pleased with the result of my first quillow! Other than touching it up some areas, it’s basically done and I’m pretty proud of myself for actually completing a major sewing project. Maybe one day, I’ll splurge for an actual jelly roll of pretty fabric instead of scavenging my scrap pile. One day. Maybe. Anyway, I’m pretty happy and proud of myself for completing this project! Yay!

A NEW SEWING PROJECT

I think I might’ve found a new sewing project … super cute (and washable) placements! A small silent auction for charity was set up at work recently, and I wrote down a few bids on various items (game of Farkle, a Scentsy holder and wax). In the end, I won two sets of holiday placements because I know the perfect person who would love them.

I think I might’ve found a new sewing project … super cute (and washable) placements! A small silent auction for charity was set up at work recently, and I wrote down a few bids on various items (game of Farkle, a Scentsy holder and wax). In the end, I won two sets of holiday placements because I know the perfect person who would love them.

mats2AB

Before my bid, I took a closer look at the placements and realized I could probably make my own placements. The flower and heart placements require a bit more effort, sewing a flower and heart on the front before pinning and sewing two pieces of fabric and light batting. The Halloween placements are more my speed – pick a front design and a second piece of fabric.

soup1ABC

I really wanted to place a bid on the nostalgic Campbell’s Soup ceramic tureens, but forced myself to step back and walk away. As much as I love the idea of the ceramic dishes, what in the world would I do with them? Use them for decoration and collect dust? My kitchen already holds too many pots, pans, dishes, glasses, mugs, etc. – it doesn’t need more no matter how cute the dishes may be.

A SHIRR THING

Because I had no idea what I was doing with one of Charlie's old polo shirts, I didn't take a picture

Because I had no idea what I was doing with one of Charlie’s old polo shirts, I didn’t take a “before” picture of the shirt. Use your imagination.  🙂  Up until now, I have never ever used elastic thread but I knew I was going to try after reading many posts about turning a shirt into a simple skirt.

In my mind, I could never have too many skirts -- right?

I had a few hesitations about using elastic thread (not working with my sewing machine, end result of waist band would be too big or small), but I did it! Other than adding a lining to the skirt, it’s perfect and I love it! And the best part: the skirt was super easy to make! Yay!

MY PERSONAL SHOPPER

My birthday is coming up, which by the way, I’ve decided I would rather be a senior citizen instead of my true age. I am completely freaking out about an upcoming birthday milestone. For me, the milestone is the big F-word – I don’t even want other people to say it to me. Nope. Nope. Nope. I freak out every time I think about it, and I’m fine just the way I am thank you very much. Blergh. Anyway, my birthday is coming up and I decided I needed a little bit of help in the clothing department.

My sense of fashion isn’t terrible to the extent I need to be on “What Not to Wear,” which I heard is being cancelled, but I wouldn’t mind a little help. One of my friends raved about Stitch Fix, an online personal shopper that ships five outfits or items to your front door. I love shopping and attempt to step a little outside my comfort zone. But an outfit that I might really like on a store mannequin or magazine model too often doesn’t work well on me, which kind of makes me sad (for about five minutes).

So, I really like the idea of being able to try new clothes on in the comfort of my home. I’m excited to see what my personal shopper picked out for me based my thorough fashion profile. Will the clothes be too small? Will the clothes make me feel pretty? What if I fall in love with a necklace priced at $100? Can I convince Charlie that I need it? Can I convince MYSELF that I need it (probably not)? Will I like any of the clothes picked out? I’m excited as a kid on Christmas Eve.

After trying on the five different outfits, I pick and choose what I want to keep and send the rest of the outfits back in a prepaid envelope. Each time I have a package sent to me, my credit card is charged $20 for a styling fee or personal style fee (whatever). However, the $20 can be used toward the purchase of something I like in the box – so the $20 isn’t completely wasted. Although the price tags leans a little expensive, I hope to find a good deal and maybe I find something worth the price.

As soon as I receive the package of goodies, I have three days to decide what to keep or return. All I have to do is drop the prepaid envelope of the unwanted stuff into a postal box, and that’s it! My office is seriously right across the street from the post office – how much easier could this be? And I can schedule my next package WHENEVER I want! I don’t have to sign up for a monthly box. I don’t have to commit a 12-month contract. I don’t have to worry about an account maintenance fee.

I did a little bit of research and found a few bloggers who post their Stitch Fix experience. They like the process overall, but aren’t too crazy about some of the outfits. Just reading and looking at the photos makes me wish I had scheduled my first fix sooner than later (not really sure why I chose to receive my first package toward the end of the month). I just hope the prices aren’t too crazy when I fall in love with an outfit that makes me feel pretty.

TWO TRUE PINS

Over the weekend, I tried two Pinterest suggestions: finally cleaning the dust and other crap that accumulates on ceiling fans and using a code for a free DVD rental from Redbox.

DVDONME — the code to use for a free DVD rental at any Redbox kiosk. From what I understand, the code can be used once per credit card. Also, make sure to return the movie on time to avoid late charges.

A PILLOWCASE — After creating a whole bunch of new and matching pillowcases, I have a ton of old pillowcases stored in my craft box. I handed a used and old pillowcase to Charlie and pointed at the four ceiling fans in our place. Seriously, five minutes later all four ceiling fans were clean. Yay! Charlie covered each fan blade with the pillowcase, closed the opening, and slowly pulled the case off the blade. Dust and other crap safely inside the pillowcase. I love quick and easy cleaning tips.

TWO LITTLE THINGS

Just a quick note … I survived January without ANY pop! Woot! No Diet Coke. No Diet Pepsi. I’m still alive thanks to coffee and caffeinated Crystal Light mix thingys (added to a bottle of water). Now, should I continue this non-pop streak? I don’t have an answer to that question.

lipgloss

What else is new? The color of my new lip gloss (see the picture above). I’ve always gravitated toward red-pinkish lips colors, but one of my co-workers, who is a Mary Kay consultant, thought I could pull off a plum color. She had ordered the lip gloss for herself, but upon arrival and closer inspection, the color was too purple for her and passed it off to me. The color is different for me, but after a gentle blot with a tissue, I can pull off the color. Something new for me.  🙂

SOMETHING NEW #2 and #3

First, I still haven’t had any pop this month, and I’m feeling OK. Sometimes I crave the sweet bubbly drink, but I haven’t given in to temptation. So, yay me!

My first digital photo book (did you read that amazing post?) was a new experience for me. I just hope the second photo book won’t take me 10 hours to complete.

And did you notice the third new experience? No? Look at the URL area — go ahead and look. Do you see it? No? If I did everything correct, my blog address should be jenniferelliott14.com! No more wordpress, which totally made the address longer than necessary. Once upon a time, I had a web site for my promising career as a writer, but a year later, I didn’t complete a book to talk about or promote and I chose not to keep the domain name. At the time, I didn’t even have a computer and I had no idea how to design a web page.

Technology has evolved dramatically, and now even dummies like me can blog about absolutely nothing and just post cute animals photos! Woot! When I first started, wordpress.com was pretty easy to use plus it was free, which meant I needed “wordpress” in the domain name. I like free stuff. I still like wordpress, and slightly changing the domain name was a piece of cake and inexpensive! I’m pretty happy.