Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Storage For Your Bling

I have a quick sparkly little post for you involving bling! Today’s post is not about sewing but it is about organization for your daily bling which is part of the title of this blog so it is going on this page; here we go.

Like most of you I have all kinds of jewelry I forget about because it is out of sight so therefore it is also out of mind.  More then once while riding in the car I would think to myself, why am I not wearing some fabulous necklace or bracelet with my outfit???  Probably because it was tucked into some drawer, jewelry box or other closed storage item never to be seen again. I have tons of jewelry, from my days as a color/image consultant, sitting in boxes waiting for chunky jewelry to be worn again, the time has finally arrived. I have been scoping out all kinds of stores looking for the right storage solutions to appear but only found a few nice looking options and only bought one of them.

The only piece I purchased was this elegant black velvet three tier bracelet holder from Michael’s for 50% off, such a deal, but still pricey since it is meant for semi professional use in a booth or retail store.  I absolutely love the way my jewelry sparkles when placed side by side on the velvet bars. While writing this post I kept running back and forth to my room and adding more and more pieces and rearranging all the jewelry I wanted out. (This post took forever to write because I kept remembering great pieces I wanted on display and it snowballed out of control…giggles!)

While organizing I found two other items I decided to re-purpose into necklace storage.  The hangers originally hung behind the front door to hold our guests umbrellas and scarves during the winter time and became decorative pieces during the summer months.  The only problem with the pretty holders was they would occasionally fall off the wall if a scarf or umbrella became tangled on the hook then down everything came, total disaster.  We recently put up a new more stable coat rack with lots of hooks and no danger of an accident, leaving the decorative holders without a home.

Into my bedroom they went right next to my pretty dressing table close to my velvet bars; this way the jewelry I wanted to wear most often was on display and ready to use.  I have to say that ever since I put up the velvet bars I have been consistently wearing the jewelry I had stored on it.  Now with the other pieces I just added to it and the holders with the necklaces on the wall I will wear even more pieces this winter and into the spring.  I am very happy with all that bling on my dressing table and wall adding a bit of sparkle to my bedroom, what more could a girl ask for!

Thanks for letting me share my bit of bling decorating with you, I hope it inspires you to dig out some of that seldom worn jewelry, find attractive storage solutions for and put it on display someplace you will see and wear it.  There are a lot more projects finished and ready to share on both my blogs as soon as I can sit down long enough to write them.
See you very soon.


Watch for a new furniture painting project, using some exciting new products, which I am in the process of creating over on my other blog. It should be on the blog in the next day or so, keep checking daily to see what I am working on now.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hooded Sweater To Cardigan - Tutorial

I have a really great post for you today, a very easy sweater upcycle project I stitched up in just a little over an hour; you have to try this! In the last couple of years I have fallen in love with cardigan sweaters, they are great over blouses, tank tops, dresses, other sweaters and misc. tops.  Lately I have been seeing a number of open knit orange sweaters and thought, wow, I need one of those. Two weeks ago while doing a closet re-org project I came across an orange open knit sweater just like the ones I saw on Pinterest except mine was a pullover with a hood and not a cardigan.  It was a sweater I rarely wore because it just never fit right and drove me nuts because the hood was heavy which pulled the top backwards, it was fairly expensive so I never got rid of it thinking someday I would do something with it.  Off the shelf and out of the closet it came and into the dryer, set on air, to knock out the dust, no need to wash it since I knew it was already clean just dusty.  Once it was dust free it was time to thread my sewing machine and get to work, here is what I did.

This is my pretty orange sweater, an open weave semi cable knit, as you can see it is open enough that I always had to wear something under it or show off all my goodies.  If I made it into a cardigan I would not have to worry about that since it would always have some kind of top or dress under it, problem number one solved.

The first thing I did was run pins down the front of the sweater to indicate where I wanted to stitch and ultimately cut open the top, the pins would be my guide line. I chose the center cable as my cutting and stitching point.

The first thing you should know about working with any kind of open cotton knit is they quickly ravel if you cut them or if you get a hole in them due to their chain stitches.  To prevent that from happening on my sweater I knew I had to stitch down a line of thread on each side of where I wanted to make my center cut.  I could have chosen to just use a straight stitch but I knew a tight zig zag stitch would give extra stability and keep the knit intact when I cut it.  The only drawback is that it does cause the edges to ripple a bit and pucker up; you could try larger straight stitches and see what that does, I may do that next time.

Time to cut hoping I did the right thing, if not I just trashed an expensive sweater.  I chose to put the sweater back on my dress form to keep from accidentally cutting anything other then the front of the top. Once I cut the top it released the tension of the stitches and I got a slight ruffle down each side of the new cardigan. 

I could either leave the slight ruffle down the front or turn it under about half an inch on each side to give it some weight and lessen the wave.  I chose to pin it back and stitch it down for a bit more substance in case I wanted to add buttons.  I was very happy I chose to turn it under and give it a more polished finish, I love how it looks.

Almost all of my cardigans have buttons so I pulled out my rather large button collection to see if I had enough of any one kind of button to use all the way down the front.  Not just any button would do, I did not want brown or tan or white or black, I wanted orange to match the sweater, that way I could wear it with anything and not have them clash with my outfit.  I only found two orange ones so I decided I would put one on each side so I could use a fabric loop to close it if I wanted to.  All done and ready to wear, how cute is that!  I know the sweater will now get lots of use all winter long.  I have one just like it in black I have not been wearing; I think it will get a makeover too, only the black one will have a bit of a romantic twist. I guess you will just have to keep checking in to see what I am going to do to make a hooded sweater more feminine and romantic.

Thanks for letting me share my newest tutorial with you, what a great way to re-purpose an unused item of clothing and stretch a dollar, no shopping needed here for a new cardigan sweater or two.
See you soon.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Patio Cushions - Mini Tutorial

Hello everyone, you have probably been wondering where I went and why there have been no new posts on this blog, the answer to that is I have been doing all kinds of projects mostly for my other blog.  I really have not been doing much in the way of sewing since this summer has been all about painting and making over the interior of two of our bathrooms, which I decided last year all belong on another kind of blog not my sewing blog.  I did work on one project late in the summer which required some sewing; the makeover of our back patio, it came out really pretty with the addition of the change of colors through the recovering of our patio furniture cushions.  I actually needed to use my sewing machine for all of those, here is what I made without using any patterns.

First up were the two ottoman cushions for our chairs, they take a pretty good beating so I made sure to use a really sturdy outdoor fabric to prevent easy damage.  I measured each cushion and the openings then cut them to fit; I also measured how long I wanted the ties to be so the pads would not fall off the ottomans when we put up our feet to relax. I did not want a seam in the front of the cushion so I cut one long rectangle and stitched up the sides and a couple of inches across the top where I inserted the ties between the layers to secure them in place, then stopped and back stitched to create my opening.  Before turning I tucked the old cushion inside the cover to make sure it would fit and squared off the two front ends with pins, pulled out the cushion and stitched up the corners then turned it. I inserted the old cushion and stitched up the opening and I was all done!

Tip of the day:  Some outdoor fabrics tend to unravel where they are cut, try using pinking shears on all the raw edges to prevent that when you are sewing and when you turn the piece, works like a charm.

Next up was the really long bench cushion which was a bit more tricky; it was four feet long and a real challenge to get under the foot of my little machine and through the small opening, not to mention where to put the four feet of length as I sewed closed the opening.  I made the new cover for the pad the same way I made the ottoman covers only with no ties since the cushion seems to stay put without them.

Three cushions down and four more large ones to go!  I wanted to re-use the old cushions but I just could not figure out how to do it and get them through my machine to close them up, it was just too much work for my little sewing machine so I cheated and bought some new plain pale blue cushions on clearance at Target.  My big dilemma was what to do with the main fabric I purchased which tied all the other fabrics and accessories together?  I was also worried the pale blue chair cushions would get dirty really fast and look awful in a hurry, what to do?  Inspiration hit and I came up with an easy slipcover which would slide onto the cushion kind of like a cigar band, covering up the front and back of the cushion leaving the sides open and showing some of the pretty pale blue color which was also in the coordinating fabrics.  Now everything was pulled together and I got a really pretty looking patio and cushion covers I could take off easily and clean.

To make the slipcovers I simply measured all the way around the cushion then figured out how wide to make it once I turned under all the raw edges. Next I cut a long rectangle, hemmed the edges and joined the two ends making a long loop, stitched it and slipped it on the cushion placing the seam in the back at the cushion bend. Just that simple and a quick solution to a very vexing problem.

Thanks for letting me share my latest sewing project with you, I think everything came out lovely and the patio became a really bright and beautiful place to relax all summer. I plan to share more sewing projects with you especially since the holidays are on the way and I tend to do a lot more sewing this time of year.
See you soon.


You can see the full patio makeover on my other blog: Create, Upcycle, Decorate, Organize, just click on the link box on the right side of this blog page and it will take you over there, enjoy!!!

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