Vintage Lady Skater Dress

Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comI did it again! I made another version of Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater Dress! Of course, I couldn’t just stick with the original pattern, but had to make some alterations. I re-used my altered puff-sleeve pattern from my previous pinstripe Lady Skater and also added a Peter Pan collar as I’m not a big fan of the original t-shirt neckline.
Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comVintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFor the skirt and collar I used a light grey jersey I bought on sale half a year ago. The bodice was made out of a thrifted Laury Ashley jersey skirt. Normally, I’m absolutely not into floral fabrics, but I somehow fell in love with this one:
Vintage Lady Skater Dress by

I loved the vintage look of the skirt when I saw it and the Laura Ashley fabric seemed to be of very good quality. I wasn’t sure whether it would be enough, but with a bit of squeezing (and shortening the sleeves) I managed to cut both bodice and sleeves out of it.Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comHere you can see that I had to shorten to sleeves a bit, but I could also re-use the hem of the skirt for the sleeve hems. Pretty convenient :)Vintage Lady Skater Dress by

Here’s how I drafted the collar:Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comI taped front and back of the bodice pattern together (folding away the seam allowance) so that they were overlapping a bit on the armhole edge (see below). This way the collar lies flatter.Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comVintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comDrafting the actual collar (don’t forget to add seam allowance!):Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comI handbasted most of the seams of the collar before machine sewing them. Parts of the collar are cut on the bias and might stretch and shift, so handbasting seemed like a good idea. I also basted the collar to the dress, turned the raw edges over inside and stitched the raw edges to the dress with a zig zag (which you cannot see from the outside as the seams are covered by the collar). Vintage Lady Skater Dress by Thisblogisnotforyou.comI love my second Lady Skater Dress as much as I love the first one! I wore it already (way too often) over the holidays and in my head I’m already making more!
Vintage Lady Skater Dress by

These pics were taken on one of these days where I was just not in the mood for taking pictures. Do you know these days? Not even my new hair colour seemed to help. Taking pics feeling all of your neighbours are watching you is so awkward!Vintage Lady Skater Dress by

Well, this is #21 of my 27 Dresses Challenge. #22 is finished, too, but still in need of a lining. #23 might never be finished, but more on that later! xx

Happy sewing!

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Refashion It! Wool Sweater to Skirt

refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comIt’s spring and time to get rid of all these sweaters you haven’t worn in years! Before you throw them away, why not try a quick refashion? This way having lived a long boring life in your closet your sweater might at least have a chance to lead a short exciting life as a skirt before it gets replaced by all the lovely summer dresses we can’t wait for.

I actually did this project weeks (months?) ago, when the weather was much colder, but somehow it took me ages to take some pictures of the finished skirt.
refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comI got this sweater in a charity shop for 2 pounds. It’s 100% acrylic and not too comfy on the skin so I decided to make a skirt out of it.refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comFirst, I got out my scissors and chop, chop! This is absolutely my favourite part! After this there’s no way back. In the beginning cutting garments apart was absolutely terrifying, now I thoroughly enjoy it. Hmm. What does this say about me?

Anyway, I cut off the top of the sweater (right under the sleeves as seen in the pic above) and experimented with the fabric on the dressform. I sort of had an idea in mind, but a great part of this project is improvised, really. Some things you have in mind might not work out, time to get creative!

Here’s the front in progress…

refashion wool sweater by…and here the back:refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comI used the collar to create a waistband. After everything was tucked and pinned into place, I used thick embroidery thread to baste all the layers together.refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comI cut off the excess fabric, neatened the edges with a zigzag stitch and sewed everything together.refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comDone! (Wowsa, that was quick!)refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comI might add some elastic to the waistband as it easily stretches out of shape and widens a bit when I wear it (so it sits much lower than intended). I bit of elastic will hopefully fix this.refashion wool sweater by thisblogisnotforyou.comrefashion wool sweater by

Happy sewing!

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Refashion it! The Bambi Shirt & Tips for stamping fabric

hand stamped Bambi tee by

hand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.comhand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.comI recently bought a white tee and refashioned it for my best friend’s birthday (yes, the one who also was lucky enough to get a made-to-measure bridesmaid dress for Christmas!).

I bought a tiny Bambi stamp on Amazon. I have loads of textile paint left from the time when I spent my days stamping totes and tees (pre-sewing machine days!) and used a basic black paint for light fabrics which I bought in Oslo years ago. This paint is tried and tested many times and I know that it lasts forever without loosing its colour.
hand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.comhand stamped Bambi tee by

Yay! I finally have new labels! I used to have woven labels which you had to sew on (and I still have loads left), but I really wanted some that relate more to my blog, so I got these which are printed and you can simply iron them on. You can machine wash them by 40°. I might use some of the old woven ones for delicate fabrics, though as I’m not so sure if they will stick to the fabric if ironed at lower temperatures.hand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.comhand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.comStamps need to be cleaned before the paint dries. There will be stains that stay, but that’s fine as long as all fluff and paint gets washed off.

10 Tips for Stamping a Tee

hand stamped Bambi tee by

Before you start, practise, practise, practise! It’s best to try stamp and paint on a piece of scrap fabric which is similar (in colour and structure)  to the one of your shirt.

1. Wash your fabric/tee. The colour lasts much longer if your fabric is pre-washed.

2. Place some cardboard between both layers of fabric. Don’t use newspaper as the ink might leave stains on light fabrics. I placed the tee on the cardboard and traced & cut around it. This really helped to keep the fabric even while stamping.

hand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.com3. Don’t mix the fabric paint with water. You can do that, if the paint is water-based, but if you want to have a neat and sharp print which looks stamped, I recommend using the paint as it is. You will only need a tiny amount anyway and mixing the paint with water might lead to a slightly blurry outcome.

4. Apply the fabric paint to the stamp with a small dry brush. I prefer this to dipping the stamp directly into the colour. The outcome will be much better, neater and uniform.

5. Less is more. Don’t use too much paint, otherwise the image will get blurry and you won’t be able to see the details.

6. Apply a little paint to the stamp after each step to make sure that the contrast of the motifs is consistent.

7. Make sure to clean the stamp every once in a while with water. Leave to dry for a few minutes before continuing. This is to remove any fluff or dried on colour which could make your design blurry and uneven.

8. Press the stamp down with a quick, well-aimed movement and try to avoid shifting the stamp or fabric.

9. If you are stamping the whole tee in a continuous pattern, start at the back of the tshirt working your way from bottom to top (same in the front). This way you will have perfected the method when you reach the neckline. It’s important that neckline, shoulders & bust area look good, because that’s where the image/motif will be most visible. Give the paint enough time to dry before you turn the shirt over.

10. Iron the fabric from the wrong side for about 5 minutes to set the colour. After that your print is washable (have a look at the instructions on the paint).

hand stamped Bambi tee by thisblogisnotforyou.comhand stamped Bambi tee by

I loved this little stamp so much! So be prepared to see more Bambi tees on le blog in the future! I might even try to make a stamp myself using a rubber eraser – we’ll see! 🙂

Happy sewing!

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Refashion It! Leather Coat to Leather Bag

Leather Coat Refashioned into Leather Bag by thisblogisnotforyou.comFinally.

After weeks of hurting fingers, broken needles and a lot of frustration, I finished my leather coat refashion. The outcome? A leather bag!

It was certainly not an easy and quick refashion project, that much I can tell you. Especially since it was my very first time sewing with real leather (rant ends here).

I found these two beauties in a thrift store a few weeks ago (6 pounds each!):
Leather Coat Refashioned into Leather Bag by thisblogisnotforyou.comLeather Coat Refashioned into Leather Bag by

(Is there a tree in my flat? Sort of.)

Quite a bargain! The coats are way too big for me, so there was plenty of leather and lining to use. For making the bag I only used the bottom leather panels of both coats and some of the lining from the pink coat.

I made the pattern for the bag myself and, as you can see, found a way to recycle the patch pockets of the pink coat. I love that the bag is big enough to carry a binder around (Not that I do that every day, but whenever I need to take one with me I realise that none of my bags are large enough.)
Leather Coat Refashioned into Leather Bag by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe bag unfortunately doesn’t count into my 27 Dresses Challenge (ohhhh….) and it’s also not for me to wear. SO WHAT’S THE POINT OF GOING THROUGH ALL THIS?

I made the bag for my little sis’ birthday (Yes, I must love her very much). I’m not really the pink bag type of girl, but she loves everything black and pink. Hopefully, it doesn’t fall apart, hehe. The bag was shipped off to good old Germany yesterday and hopefully won’t get lost on the way (I still don’t trust Royal Mail.)

I won’t post a tutorial on making the bag, but I have taken quite a lot of pictures during the process. So keep your eyes peeled for a making-of post in the next couple of days. I will then also post some pics of the innards and details! If anyone is interested in the pattern of the bag, leave me a comment. If there are a few of you who would like to try and make the bag without proper instructions, I might post the measurements of the pattern pieces.

FYI, my fingers stopped twitching over the weekend (Gosh! I was getting really concerned!) – I’m now fully recovered from the leather disease, yay! But I have plenty of leather left and already way too many ideas for further projects. So this definitely wasn’t the last time you see me masochistically tormenting my hands like this!

Leather Coat Refashioned into Leather Bag by

Happy week everyone!

PS: There’s still plenty of time left to join our Hollywood Sewalong!!
PPS: Who’s watching the Sewing Bee? Some seriously cool refashions this week!

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Refashion It! Embroidered Shirt – Super easy project for ‘refashion beginners’

embroidered shirt by

Hi there!

I managed to squeeze in a refashion project in my crazy busy week. While watching one of the most brainless shows on German television (it was a thursday night, guess what it was 😛 ) I embroidered the neckline of a simple grey tee I bought for £3.50 at Primark.

As you know, I don’t go clothes shopping anymore since I prefer to re-/upcycle or sew things myself. Occasionally, I go and buy a pile of basic shirts to wear under my sleeveless dresses, though. I just did this last week and bought grey, black and navy longsleeved tees.

embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI love wearing these and thought about how to make them look a bit more chic without overdoing it, since they will be worn underneath most of the time. Because the neckline is often still visible, I decided to use a few tube beads to embroider the neckline.embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comembroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comembroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI used greyish-blue tube beads and sewed them onto the topstitching of the neckline binding. I didn’t sew the beads onto the binding itself, since I thought they might be too heavy for the light stretch fabric, pulling it down with the result of the neckline gaping open.

embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI didn’t use one continuous thread, but knotted it off after every 10cm/4” or so. In case the thread should break, I won’t have to redo the whole thing.embroidered shirt by

It took quite some time.(Cough –  three hours – cough!) Somehow everything I sew takes at least twice as long as I thought it would –  can anybody relate to that or am I the only one underestimating the time factor?

I love my new shirt. It definitely doesn’t look like it was just £3.50, so the time was absolutely worth it. Sometimes it’s really some small touches that make a garment work.

If you are into embroidery – here are some of my other projects you might like:

embellished sweater           blazer refashion by

Button and Beads Bracelet           tutorial jewelry case

Happy weekend everyone!

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