Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Technical Difficulties....

Having some technical difficulties with my photo program, blogger, and e-mail, hope to be back shortly....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caught Up In The Details...

It has been exactly a month since i posted on this sweater. The reason I haven't finished it, is because I got caught up in the details. It hasn't taken me all this time to stitch every little pussy willow bud, but since i always have a number of projects in my work basket, I just work on them in bits as I find a few minutes here and there. When I dreamed up this sweater...it was going to be entirely different. I had a silk tie picked out that I was going to use to trim the sweater, and it was going to be a cardigan with vintage buttons. After playing around with it for a while though, it took an entirely different path.

Baby sweater in progress...

I wasn't sure how I should attach the pussy willow flowers, so I experimented with a couple different variations. The bottom one looks like an albino coffee bean, and the second one up is fine , but in the end I decided to do a stitch that wouldn't show. The top three are stitched on using a hidden stitch, which I just made up as I went, but I think there is really a stitch called that. I used Nymo beading thread, and ran it through beeswax each time I applied a new flower, however I think regular thread would have been adequate.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

'Out and About'-Spring Shorts From Pants

My daughter recently had the opportunity to spend time with her good friend Connor for a playdate. When we arrived at their house, Connor came running down the stairs in the most perfect pair of kids shorts...at least in my book. What started out as a pair of cargo pants that had endured a long hard winter and school year....turned into these fun shorts with the help of some cropping and hemming restoration by his mom Heidi. Connor then created his masterpiece using Crayola Fabric Markers.

Cora's friend Connor modeling his awesome one-of-a-kind-shorts!

What a great alternative canvas for kids!

Fun details on the reinforcements of the pockets.

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Spring is the time of year to reevaluate last years spring wardrobe and clothes worn from the past school year, for the potential to upcycle them into a garment that will last through another season. These shorts are a fantastic project for kids, and a great way to teach them about upcycling and reviving something worn. Thanks to Heidi and Connor for the inspiration. All Photos by Heidi Eyestone.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Upcycled Onsie into a New Dress

The other day as our family was getting dressed and ready to head out for the day, I realized that both my daughter and I were wearing the bottom half of a cashmere sweater, but upcycled in different ways. Pictured here is me wearing a cowl that is the bottom half of a cashmere sweater, and the skirt part of my daughters dress is also the bottom half of a cashmere sweater.

I just finished the dress, hat, and bottoms last week...still have to finish the booties...

Notes on the Dress: This was a really fun project to tackle, but also sat on the back burner for a while after I had started it, due to running into questions regarding the stretchability of the waistline once the basting stitch was in, and uncertainty in what stitch to use with the gathers so that the skirt and onsie together could stretch. I never did figure that out, and near as i could figure, i would have to pull out the basting stitch carefully after sewing the gathered skirt to the onsie if i wanted the whole works to stretch. also my gathers slide back and forth slightly. why is this? Is it because I am using a loose knit fabric? Perhaps a second time around, I'll experiment a little more and see what i can figure out. It turns out that my onsie was wide enough to not have to be concerned about the skirt having any stretch to it.

Notes on the bottoms: Originally I cut the bottom of the onsie with enough extra on top with what i thought would be adequate to just add elastic to the waistband, but i decided to attach a wide waistband for the comfort factor. I cut fabric from a t-shirt to make the waistband.

Notes on the hat: The hat was made utilizing the short sleeves of the cashmere sweater if i remember right, so i didn't have to hem the edge of the hat. In the photo she is wearing the hat so that the seam is down the midde of her forhead which makes it look like a peter pan pixie hat. It was made intending for the seams to go on the sides.

For the dress project, the sweater was not felted, but after cutting it up, I lightly felted some of the smaller remnants for the hat, and booties. For the cowl, the sweater was also lightly felted.

Photo story below, and showing the bottom half of the onsie.

Discovering mama's sewing drawers for the first time.

ooooh, what are all these colorful things inside?

Beginning to empty the thread drawer. (notice large stash of merino sweaters for upcycling on the side of cabinet)

I have been challenged with picking a name for this post. Here is the list i have come up with:
Upcycled Onsie Dress
Two Rectangles(this one's a little more abstract)
Extend the Life of an Old/Outgrown Onsie
Juniper's New Dress
Transform an Old Onsie into a New Dress
New Life for an Old Onsie

Sunday, May 1, 2011

MayDay Parade 2011-'Out & About' in Minneapolis

I am trying out something new on my blog, and calling it 'Out & About', where I will feature upcycled wear or upcycled things that I see while we I am out and about. I would like to make this a regular weekly feature, however, for now I will post from time to time as I make new discoveries.Today we ventured up to the MayDay Parade in Minneapolis. I won't elaborate too much on this since there are people who can write much better about such an event than i could and you can probably find oodles of photos and articles on the internet by just typing in a few key words. But let me tell you...what a feast for the eyes, such a lively celebration and wonderful way to welcome and celebrate Spring. Coming from the small town that we live in now, I just LOVE seeing all the eclectic people that the MayDay parade brings out. I personally think the people watching is as good as the parade watching. If you want to read more about MayDay Parade, visit HOBT.org.

Happy May Day!!

One block into our hike towards the parade after parking our car, we spotted this...

You can see the inside of the car vaguely in this photo. the seats were heavily decorated with pins all over. Since i was taking the photos i didn't have a lot of time to really look carefully at all the detail on the car. I also didn't notice the sign in the window until viewing my photos later. artcarparade.com
I could've spent a really long time studying all the detail of objects adhered to the car.

Cora spotted one of two little pet shops found on the car.

I spotted these legwarmers from a distance walking through the crowds of people. I suspected that they might be sweater sleeves, though they looked convincingly handknit, and had me wondering...she confirmed that they were indeed sweater sleeves.

Close-up on the legwarmers...I love the earthtones and subtle stripes in these.

How's this for "up-cycling"?

A jackelope made from cardboard boxes...

This kind hearted and artful woman obliged twice for photos, once, when I spotted her awesome patchwork scarf, which she handmade as a gift for her husband...upcycled from felted wool sweaters...

and later, I spotted her unique patchwork hat. I had a chance to learn a little bit more about her and found out that she is the artistic director for Procession of the Species in Madison, Wisconsin. Here is a link to their webpage, www.madprocession.org, and an interesting article on Laurie's involvement in being the founder of the Madison Procession of the Species, here.

From what I could tell the hat was made up of felted sweater pieces that were zig zagged stitched together which she also handmade, and which I am now inspired to make something like this for my own noggin.

What a great day to be surrounded by such vibrancy and individuality. The weather was biting cold, but back home after and hour and a half drive, our rosey red cheeks flushed from the cold, reflected a day well spent, enduring the elements and gaining new appreciation for the beginning of spring.

That's all for this weeks 'Out & About'...hope you've enjoyed the content as much as i enjoyed pulling it all together.