Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why don’t you just buy new clothes?

This is the question my husband asked me the other day as I was stressing out over all the things I needed to get done before we can leave on our trip.  Not too mention we weren’t seeing much of each other, as I was always heading off to the sewing room when the kids went to bed.

And there is definitely a point to it.  Buying fabric can add up, but it’s usually cheaper than paying for the clothing item in a store.  What you have to remember to add in is all the time it takes you to get the item finished.  I am still at the point that I think I can get something accomplished much quicker than I can.  I will only need to do a few things to finish up something and then look at the clock and realize two hours have been sucked gone.

At the end of the day I have started to make more clothes because I do find it enjoyable.  I like to be creative and this has definitely been a good outlet for me.  Most times though, it would make more sense time management wise, to just go out and buy things.

I was looking at some of my favorite browsing online stores.  You know the ones you look at for inspiration because you can’t really afford to buy any of their pieces.  I happened to stumble upon a dress at Anthropology, this dress is being currently sold for $98.

striped maxi dress

Now what’s kind of amazing and funny about this, is that I just recently finished up sewing a new dress for myself.  I bought the fabric last year and all together it probably ran me $20.  I used a pattern I already had (Simplicity 1881) and the dress went together really quickly.  Now remember I had completely finished sewing this dress before I came across this one on the internet.


It’s almost exactly the same.  And had I picked out a different color stripe, it would have been a dead ringer.  In this instance sewing the dress was definitely worth my time.  It also gave me a chance to learn a new skill, inserting an invisible zipper.  Mine didn’t go exactly as I wanted, and you can see it peeking over the top.  But now I know how to do it.


This dress will even work in the “in-between” seasons by throwing on a denim or chambray shirt.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Linen Pant Redo–Yes Another One

Just like the brown pair of linens pants I showed you last week, I had another pair of white ones that I needed to alter.


I wanted to keep these a little bit looser for a more casual style.


But I just wasn’t loving it however I styled it.  I think if I do take these along on the trip I will keep them extremely casual and just wear them with a plain simple tank top.

So this one is just a slight improvement.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Tank Inspired Maxi Dress

When something just doesn’t look right…don’t buy it.  If you make the mistake of buying it and then don’t like wearing it…..change it!
I’m talking about this maxi dress, which had a neckline that I didn’t like.  I really wish I would have gotten a picture of the back of the dress, because it looked even worse.
I had an old black tank top that had a slight flow to it, so I decided to cut the tank top short, and then sew it onto this maxi dress.
I also like how this dress can be casual if you wanted it to be, or with accessories you could definitely wear it out at night.  It will be making it’s way onto my suitcase for the trip!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Linen Pants Worn Two Ways

Another vacation makeover is about to be revealed.  I believe this is the outfit I will wear for our day of traveling.  We leave at 5:30am.  Yes actually leave then, meaning we have to be to the airport around 4am.  Hoping I can learn to sleep on the plane.  The bonus is we land at our destination at 4pm in the afternoon and can actually do something that evening.

So my inspiration photo for this project was this.

linen pants

The whole outfit just looked so comfortable yet a little bit dressy.  I owned this pair of linen pants circa 2006?


They had a huge flair to them and were just a little bit too big everywhere.  So again I turned them inside out and went to town taking off some width on both the inseam and the two sides.

Here is how they ended up.  At first I styled them very similar to the inspiration photo.


And although I might wear it that way on our trip…most days you would be more apt to find me looking like this.


A lot more casual and carrying or following around a two year old!  This one just happened to wake up from his nap mid-photo shoot.

As you can tell, I still kept a slight widening on the leg to make them more boot cut.  Since linen pants are usually made to be more relaxed looking.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Peplum Top

We will interrupt the regular scheduled barrage of island wear to show you this new spring top I made.  I have been wanting to make myself a peplum top for awhile.  I wanted to go with a more casual style and not have it be so structured.  So I drafted up my own pattern and decided to test it out on some fabric that I was unsure what to do with.  It was a orange voile that felt great, but the pattern and color was a little much.

Here is how it turned out.


I did a simple pleating detail at the neckline and then used elastic at the waist to create the peplum.  I like how it turned out, but again the fabric pattern itself is a little crazy.  So this makes a great option to wear under a cardigan.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Maxi Dress Into a Skirt

This one is so very simple it hardly needs a post of it’s own.  But I did manage to make this even more simple.  Do you ever have those pairs of workout/yoga pants that have seen better days?  I had a pair I wore all the time, until I noticed a hole in them.  Of course the hole was in the rear, and left me wondering how long it had been there before I noticed.

Anyways….it had one of those fold over waistbands that I love.  There is absolutely nothing more comfortable or forgiving.  So I chopped off the fold over waistband and I sewed it onto the bottom half of the black maxi dress.


This particular waistband had pink on the inside.  I like that I can show the pink if I want to add a little color blocking.  Or I can keep it folded up if I don’t.


And if you don’t remember I had to remove the top on this dress, because there was a hole in the top and the back was super unflattering!

See easy…and this one took about 15 minutes!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Swim Suit Cover Up Makeover #2

Let's continue on with our "It's Beach Time" inspired closet makeovers.  Each day this week you will get to see something I have refashioned for our tropical vacation.

I showed you this maxi I had in my closet the other week.
I was actually able to wear it when I was 9 months pregnant.  So it was time for a revamp.
This was my inspiration photo from pinterest.
backless maxi
So I went and picked up some trim from the fabric store to try my hand at changing the style.  I actually took in a few inches from the elastic around the waist band in both the front and the back of the dress.  Then I cut the length of the straps into 3 strips so I could braid them, and sewed then to the new trim detail in the back.
What do you think?  Another good beach worthy improvement!
Now wouldn’t these pictures look so much better on the beach?!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Head Scarves and a Plan

It’s still so very chilly here in the Mid-West.  I am so very very ready for Spring and warmer weather.  Today I ran out of the house and decided to try the head scarf that I keep seeing all around the internet.

I’m not really sure it works on me.


Notice my photo bomber?  I decided we would just make it work.


It makes the head scarf look better!

I finally got to the fabric store to pick up some trim, thread, and elastic, all the things I need to finish up my final pieces for the tropical vacation.  If I get one piece finished each day before we leave, I will be good to go.

Anyone ever sized down a swim suit?  I have a swim suit I really love but the bottom gaps weirdly.  I am thinking about giving it a try, but I’m worried I will ruin it.  Don’t worry, I won’t be showing off any swim suit pictures on this blog, even if it does work out!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Swim Suit Cover Up Makeover 1

I’m back from the dead.  It has been a horrible last week around our house, but life is starting to come back.  I now have a mountain full of housework and work work to do.  And of course I’m still trying to fit in all my alterations before we leave on our trip.

This one I actually finished up before I got sick, but finally managed to get some after photos. 

I bought this navy jersey dress at Target last year.  It was comfortable, but since I bought it for a swim suit cover up it looked a little too much like an office dress.  Everything was a little too covered up!


I basically trimmed this dress everywhere.  I took in a couple inches from the neckline and maybe an inch around the arm holes and then 3 inches from the hemline.  Here is how it looks now.


It looks a little more “beachy”.  The back is where I made the most dramatic difference, I ended up creating a deep vee in the back to essentially make it backless.

The bonus with this dress is that once you put on a belt and a pair of shoes, you can definitely wear this at night going out. 


So now I have a versatile dress that can be worn out one evening and then a few days later I can throw it on as a beach cover up.  Which means more room in my suitcase for something else!

Monday, April 15, 2013


We were busy this weekend.

It was a lot of




That’s right both my husband and I caught a nasty GI bug this weekend and are still sick.

It might be a few days before I get caught up…until then it’s struggling to watch the kids and hoping for time spent laying in bed or on the couch.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I think it’s time for our first installment of DIY Oh No.

Have you seen the craze all over the internet?  Painting the tips of your shoes.in either a metallic or bright neon color.

I had a pair of black pumps that I never wore.  I believe I got them on clearance.  The black ruffle was just wrong on me, so I chopped it off.


Then I taped off the shoes so the toes were exposed and went at it with a spray can of gold.

Except the shoe fabric itself wouldn’t really take the paint.  And after 10 different applications, this is what I got.


The spray paint had bled through to different parts of the shoe.

So I took a small piece of sand paper and attacked the misplaced paint.  I then re-taped them a little further back and tried the spray paint again.

Another 5 applications and this is what I got.


You can tell the shoe on the left still has some problems.  I think I am going to have to try and touch it up with black paint…if I can.

All in all, if you are going to spray paint shoes, stick with patent leather ones!


I might be able to pull them off if I am going out only at night where it will be dark!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Maxi Dresses in My Closet

My husband and I are getting a break from day to day life and going on vacation in a month.  It’s a tropical vacation.  I am so very very excited.

And like most women, I now feel like I need to lose 10+ pounds before I am seen in a swimsuit.  We are working on that.

The other thing is I haven’t been on a “tropical vacation” in awhile.  My warm weather clothes and swim suit cover-ups leave a little to be desired.  So I figured I would try on everything I had, take a picture, and then decide which pieces I wanted to take, which ones I wanted to alter, and which ones should just leave the house now!

I own this empire waist maxi dress that I have had for a few years. Empire waists are not my friend. Oh I love how they fit and feel on, but once seen in picture, they leave a little to be desired.

Plus this dress keeps shrinking every single time I put it in the washer. When I first bought it, it was way too long, now it is starting to become a questionable length. I think I’m going to alter it. But I haven’t decided how. I definitely think I need to drop the waist and make it more defined. I think this inspiration piece could be managed if I found some coordinating trim that I liked at the store.  It would definitely make a cute swim suit cover up.

IMG_1099backless maxi

Next up I have this same style maxi dress in black.  This one has a hole in the top and the back is horrible looking.  I think I might just chop it off and have it become a maxi skirt.


Lastly I own this maxi dress.  It isn’t an empire waist, but something about the top is just wrong.  I thought the diagonal lines would be sliming, and the skirt part looks decent.  The top just seems like it should have more substantial straps, or become strapless all together.  Or maybe if I have time, I could sew up a plain black tank that could go on top…sort of like this inspiration look.

IMG_1093covering tank maxi dress

And this is just the beginning.  I have slew of photos of some shorter dresses/cover ups and also some pants I would like to take.

In the next few weeks this will be my priority to make over all the pieces so I am ready to go!

I think a few of them I will give you a sneak peak as I finish them.  And some of them, I might just wait and show you from the beaches themselves.

Did I mention I was excited?  I am so excited to be able to take this trip.  I am also having some major guilt about leaving the kids back home with the grandparents.  I have to keep telling myself that I definitely need the break.  My husband definitely needs the break.  And we definitely need the time together.  And time with the grandparents will be good for the kids and good for the grandparents…they will survive!