Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest Blogger: Top Sheet To Curtain

I'm so excited to be Laurette's guest blogger today. My name is Jolene and I'm a graphic designer, beginner seamstress and occasional artist. I have two beautiful little girls that give me plenty of inspiration and many challenges along the way. But I have been blessed with such a great mom, who has taught me how to be a good mom and a creative woman, all at the same time.

Besides the things I occasionally sew for my girls, I have a niece that I love to spoil whenever possible. One such occasion, was this past July. She just turned 7 and she's all about Hello Kitty. Her bed set came with an extra top sheet that needed a purpose, or an upcycle as it may be. And there lay a naked window with the need for flare.

To make this top sheet into a set of curtain panels, I just needed a few cuts and decent amount of hem work. I stared by cutting off the extra fabric not needed for the boxy sized window. Making just one cut to leave a nice 30"x80" section of fabric left over, to use later for other items in the room. Then I cut the width of the top sheet in half vertically, to make two curtain panels. Then hemmed all the unfinished edges. Once each panel was hemmed and ready, I ironed down the top flap I wanted to give me enough fabric to create a rod pocket and a 2.5" ruffled top. Two sewn seams per panel, and the cutest set of curtains were born.

Now a vanity ruffle skirt, a padded stool to come, and the room will be complete. So much fun, and so much purple and pink, just the way my niece loves it.

Thanks for reading my guest post. Hope it gave you a little inspiration, great ideas, and the courage to do a little sewing of your own; even if you aren't a seasoned seamstress, the basics are always possible.

Come read about a few more sewing projects for my girls and so much more at
A Jewel'd Design - www.ajewelddesign.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blue Box Bling

I have a short bling post to share with you today about these small blue boxes which I used on my desk in one of my old studios. I did not think I would have room to use them in my current studio until I moved things around on my work counter and found room for one of them. The boxes were kind of basic looking, not very impressive and definitely did not have any bling factor.  Because my studio has icy blue walls with a lot of black & white accessories I try to keep everything pretty consistent and not bring in too many other colors.  Here is what I did to make the little box fit in with the other accessories on my counter.

The box started out a shiny basic light blue, not much to look at so I went to my stash of stickers and pulled out some with black scroll work on them, I placed them on the front and sides.  I did not put any on the top because I usually put little things on the top of the box.

It was still missing something so I got out two different kinds of stick-on crystals and applied those creating the finishing touch for the little blue box.
All done and ready to put on my work counter where it will get plenty of use holding my Post-it notes and other small office supplies.

I am going to be away from my computer for a few days so watch for my guest blogger on Tuesday, that is if we can work things out with Google/ Blogger. It seems I have used up my allotment of photos allowed or some such nonsense, which means I may have to close down my blog with Blogger and go to another host.  I will try to post and let you know if I can, unless they just totally shut me down altogether, which would make me totally mad.  Fingers crossed we can work things out; I would really miss writing for all of you.
Hope to see you soon.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Blogger

I have some exciting news for you, I am having a guest blogger next week, her name is Jolene from ajewelddesign.blogspot.com, she writes a great blog and she has agreed to post for me sometime in the beginning of the week while I am away for a few days. It will be fun to have someone else write for me, let’s see how she does, please look for her and let me know what you think.  I will still be posting for a few more days so watch for those as well.

For today’s mini post I wanted to share photos of the Strawberries with cream cheese filing I made for a party.  They were totally yummy and went quick, they were super easy to make as well.  I can not take credit for the idea; I saw them on Pinterest and had to make them right away.  I have a fun bling project to share with you tomorrow so look for that one.
See you soon.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Girls Blue Jean Shorts To Skirt

As you can tell I am on a clothing recycle kick, so far there has been a sweatshirt re-vamped into a Jacket, sweatpants transformed into a skirt, a pair of girls long pants re-made into a cute skirt and now I will be making over a pair of girls jean shorts into a darling double ruffled skirt.  I really love taking something old, worn out or unused and creating something new and fun to wear.  It usually doesn’t take very long and it is pretty simple to do, it just takes a little out of the box creative thinking.

These are the shorts and the fabric my granddaughter picked out for her double ruffled skirt; she loves anything blue so this was the fabric of choice.  I began cutting up the legs to make the shorts flat so I could go onto the next step of getting the shorts ready to become a skirt.  I am well on my way to finishing the skirt, I just need to embellish it to make it extra sassy.  Watch for the finished skirt and matching top in the next couple of days.
See you soon.


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Girls Pants To Skirt

Friday, August 17, 2012

Girls Pants To Ruffled Skirt

Last night I finished the makeover of the worn girls brown pants which I converted to a darling ruffled skirt.  I used the same process as the sweat pants tutorial to eliminate the excess fabric, I cut off the legs, seamed up the middle, then hemmed the brown part of the skirt before cutting, hemming and gathering fabric to make a good size ruffle.  I stitched on the ruffle then added some buttons around the pockets and on the bow; it came out very sweet and will look adorable on my granddaughter.  To complete the outfit I picked out a hot pink t-shirt from my stash and added some buttons to match the ones on the skirt, all ready to wear to school next week, she is going to look very cute as she goes off to kindergarten. (Sniffles, she is growing up way too fast!)



This is recycling/upcycling at its best, a great way to stretch the budget when you have to dress two girls.  I am having a wonderful time with clothing makeovers; you can do so much with all the little pieces and leftovers, watch for the next one in a day or so.
See you soon.


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Girls Pants To Skirt
Sweatshirt To Jeweled Jacket
Sweatpants To Jeweled Skirt 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's A Blanket Wrap

I finally finished the Snoopy Building Block baby quilt, it came out very cute but it was quite a challenge to work with two fabrics which like to stretch, slide and shed.  I am happy to be done and able to move onto other projects, I can safely say it will probably be one of a kind unless I decide to give up my sanity and do it again, not likely.  Back to work on my prototypes, patterns and the brown pants makeover.
See you soon.

By the way this is my 100th Post!!! This blog has come a long way since the very first one I wrote last September.  Happy 100 to Buttons Bows & Bling!!!  Woohoo!!!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Girls Pants To Skirt - Part 1

These are my granddaughter’s faded/worn jeans which still fit at the waist but are no longer the right length.  They have quite a bit of wear at the knees and at the hem line; can you guess what I plan to do with them?  If you are a regular reader I bet you know what I am going to do or at least you think you do, you may be right.

Time to audition some fabrics I thought my granddaughter might like; she is crazy about anything with blue in it.  I went to my fabric wall and pulled out some fabrics with the same chocolate brown as the pants color.  Most of what I chose had some variation of blues in it except one fabric which featured browns, pinks and oranges in the pattern. Which one do you think I chose to go with the pants???  I guess you will just have to wait and see which fabric I picked and what I did to re-purpose the pants.

This blog post is short on purpose; I joined the August Break inspired by Susannah Conway who began the bloggy break program last summer.  It was a program designed for bloggers so they could take a break during the hectic month of August.  So many writers are busy getting their children ready to go back to school, taking last minute vacations, getting ready for fall quilt/gift markets or they are swamped with deadlines for books or pattern releases.  I am personally getting ready for a trip to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary, a new website and some pattern production deadlines.  Since I did not want to leave my blog unattended I chose to go with short/quick posts or photos depending on what is going on.  You will see where I am or bits of what project I am working on.  You can also track me on Facebook if the blog post is not enough.  While I am away on my trip I will have a guest blogger filling in for me at least once, it will be lots of fun to see what someone else writes for me.  You may still see full posts and tutorials during the rest of the month as I find time to fit one in here and there, otherwise you will get shorter versions.

Thanks for letting me share part 1 of the Girl’s Pants to Skirt post and August Break, keep watching for part 2 as well as other project snippets.
See you soon.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Snoopy Building Block Quilt

A few days ago I began pulling out fabrics to make the Snoopy quilts for our new grandson who is due to arrive in a few months.  After much auditioning I settled on two stacks of fabric to make a building block quilt, with the flannel and chenille and some cute cotton snoopy fabrics in yellows and blues for a pinwheel quilt. Up first will be the building block quilt using the flannels and chenille fabrics.

Before I began the block quilt I bound a Snoopy cheater quilt which I acquired in 2003, I had it stored away with all the other cute Snoopy fabrics.  My son adored his Snoopy while growing up and requested I collect Snoopy fabric and put it aside for his children someday, which I did every time I saw anything with that pattern, now I get to use it.

Spent one afternoon cutting out all the necessary squares, the fabric is just darling and looks warm and comfy all together.

Started pinning the first of the squares, I don’t usually need to use pins but the chenille stretches and moves around, not to mention it sheds like crazy, it was a whole lot more work then I anticipated.

Once I stitched up the first square I realized I was short on white thread so I decided to use the chain stitching method, basically you feed one square after another through the machine without cutting the threads in between, this went really fast and I did not run out of thread.  All I had to do was clip the threads between the squares and press the seams towards the heavier fabric which was the blue chenille.  At this point I am letting my quilt sit for a bit, I will return to it very soon.

In addition to the block quilt I have a number of other projects I am working on, there are a dozen darling retro cloth dolls in various stages of completion, more gifts for the new baby, some patio cushion covers and my biggest project, designs for my new line of sewing patterns which I plan to release at the beginning of 2013.  Pattern design is a very long tedious process, it requires lots of thought, writing and testing in order to get everything just right.  Once all the pattern pieces and instructions are completed along with finished product samples, I will call on my circle of sewing friends to test the patterns for me before releasing them for sale.  That’s always a fun process since we all get together in my home and have a full day of sewing; everyone gets a different pattern or sets of patterns to test, along with tasty treats to eat while we work.

Thanks for letting me share the journey I have been on over the past couple of months; it is a very creative and busy time in my studio with all the changes and growth coming almost all at once. Whew!!!  I plan to keep writing my blog as I move through all of it, maybe not every other day but as often as I can. Keep checking in to see what I am working on next.
See you soon.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweat Pants To Jeweled Skirt - Tutorial

Here it is the long awaited sweat pants makeover.  The sweat pants are part of the set I made the jacket from, which I shared with you at he end of June.  The pants were warm and soft but had a really odd fit to them so I never wore them much but hung onto them because I loved the color which went with a lot of my fall clothing.  After some creative thought I decided to make a mid-calf length skirt to wear with my knee length suede boots.  If you ever had a pair of pants or slacks and thought they would look great as a skirt this is the tutorial for you.  This is a long one with lots of how to photos, enjoy.

These are the pants before I went to work on them, nothing special.

The first thing I did was to cut the inseam along the original stitching. I cut each leg up the seam from the cuff to where the two legs joined each other in the middle. Next I very carefully cut the remaining stitching at the crotch to release the center.

Now I had two flat pieces with elastic at the waist and the curves of the front and back sections still sewn together. Now came the fun part.

There was a lot of room in the seat of the pants (back) so the first thing I did was to draw out a straighter line from just below the elastic waist to just past the seat of the pants leaving just a bit of curve. I pinned along the line then tried it on inside out so I would not get stuck by the long pins I like to use.

Next was the front side of the pants, way too much fabric to get a flat front on the skirt so I pinned out the excess using the same method of drawing a line from the waist to the leg easing out the overage.  I tried it on several times making adjustments to the pins before stitching it up.

At this point the fabric went onto my dress form so I could see how it draped; you will notice there is now what looks like shark fins on each side of the stitching.  When I was sure of the fit I cut off each of the fins creating a long tube of fabric ready for me to hem.

I knew I wanted a longer skirt to wear with boots during the fall and winter months so I pinned what I thought would make a good hem length.  Because they were originally tapered pants the skirt was pretty narrow right about knee length which called for a V/vent in the back of the skirt.  I pulled out my seam ripper and opened up the back to create the vent or V shape to allow for movement.  I pressed up the seam allowance then pinned it into place.

Now it was time to hem my skirt, I did not need to do a lot of pressing and turn under on the skirt because I was working with knit/fleece which does not ravel so a simple turn under and stitch was all I needed to do. I did want decorative stitching to match my jacket which was a double row of top stitching. To get this look I stitched about a fourth of an inch from the edge then one fourth of an inch from that creating a pretty tailored hem.

Stitching up the vent was the final step in the creation of my skirt; I used a simple single straight stitch to finish it up, all done.

My pants turned shirt is finished and ready to wear with its matching jacket. I can wear it with the line down the front or turn it and have the vent down one side.  If I still had fantastic legs I could pull it up and wear it as a mini dress with the jacket or I could have left the skirt longer to make it a strapless dress, so many options.

It is shown here as the mini dress with the jacket and the full length skirt with the jacket.

And finally a shot of it blinged out with some crystal bow jewels sewn to the bottom of the skirt.

The before and after shots really showcase what you can do when you re-purpose unused clothing into clothing you can wear again, all with just a few simple changes.

Thanks for letting me share my sweat pants to skirt makeover with you, I had a great time doing it, I hope it encourages you to give re-purposing/upcycling a try with some of your old clothing.  My sweat suit makeover isn’t complete until I use up all the rest of the pieces leftover from the skirt and the jacket, you never know what those will become but I can guarantee you they will be re-purposed in the very near future, keep watching for them.
See you soon.


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Sweatshirt to Jeweled Jacket - Tutorial

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