Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial: Sting T-Shirt Refashion

I had so much fun redesigning this Sting t-shirt from his 1993 World Tour, Ten Summoner's Tales. I absolutely LOVE Sting and his, was the first concert I had ever been to.

That night, I made it through the crowds and long line, to get this shirt. This is the front and back of similar shirt. I didn't take before pics of the the one I reconstructed.

This is the first time I reconstructed the shirt 10 years ago. I recently tried it on and felt it needed another revamp. It looked boring. I decided to give it a shawl-like collar

This is the shape I used, sorry it's so wrinkly

Then I folded it in half

I separated the front and back of the shirt at shoulder seams, pinned, and then sewed the ends of the folded shawl piece to the underarm part of the shirt.

On the back, I cut the collar off, giving it a straight line. I then sewed the back of the piece to this section.

Voila! a cute little shawl collar!

 Here's the back

Front and back
I love this revamp and will be wearing it a lot this summer as the shirt continues to mean so much to me. Like I said before, this was the first time I have ever been to a "secular" music concert. I might have mentioned it before, but I grew up in a very religious, pentecostal, Spanish-speaking, fundamentalist-like, church where there were clear demarcations between secular and sacred. We weren't even allowed to listen to secular music, although we broke this rule all the time. My sisters and I were constantly bopping to every 80s music star from Lisa Lisa to the Police, thus my love for Sting. 

In the early 1990's, the lyrics to Sting's song If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, pretty much summed up how I was feeling. I was losing my faith in the church, but still trying, desperately, not to lose a hold of God in my life. 

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

When I heard that Sting would be performing in Madison Square Garden in 1993, I called my friend and asked if she would go with me and I high-tailed it downtown to Madison Square Garden and got the tickets. By then I was an adult going to a different church and knew in my heart that God loved Sting too.

The day of the concert I felt so empowered, happy and joyful to be in the presence of such great artistic talent (even if he did look like a little ant to me, we were pretty far back.) It didn't feel at all like I had entered into the "devil's playground" as some of my former church members might have called it. It was a wonderful night. Hearing, "If I Ever Lose My Faith, live, well, there was just nothing like it. I will treasure that memory forever. 

...and that's the power of clothes, people. Every time I look at this Sting t-shirt, it reminds me of that great night and the lovely memory I will forever share with my friend Maxine. I dedicate this post to you Max, and hope we can pick up where we left off someday. I haven't lost faith in our friendship. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sew and Tell: Criss Cross Vest from a Sweater

I thought I was done with winter sewing but I thought this would be a good transition piece. 

So, I made this criss cross vest from a sweater! I loved the way it turned out, better than I expected. I am definitely planning to write a full fledged tutorial for this, but in the mean time, here are some pics of the results. 

 Here, I wore it with a tank top. I really like the look, and as I mentioned before, it's great for those spring-like days not yet warm enough for just a tank. 

This is what it looks like lying flat

...and here it is inside out, front and back. It gives you an idea of how it's put together. I used the sleeves for the back and the criss cross is composed of the front and back of the sweater. 

It also looks great with a lace top. I have lots of lace tops so I'm looking forward to getting some use out of them with this vest.

So what do you think. Would you be interested in a tutorial for this? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sew and Tell: Colorblock Sweatshirt Dress

So here is my next sweatshirt dress offering: color block flounce hem sweatshirt dress. What do you think? I am trying to get rid of my sweatshirt scraps before the winter is over, hence the color block.  I am soooo ready for the Spring. However, I am sad to see Winter go, fashion wise. I LOVE cold weather fashion and I love my sweatshirts!
On a side note, I have not been blogging that often because I have a part time job as a museum educator in, well, a museum, lol. I will definitely talk more about this in another post. I wore this dress for one of my tours and raced home to take pictures of it before the kids came home from school. I forgot to take my id tag off for the first pics so I decided to use it as a prop!  

Here's the front and back. I didn't have enough scraps for the back so it is less color blocky, if you will, but I don't mind. 

 I love the v-shape in the front and the flouce on the bottom. Looks great with leggings and boots. 
If I would have had more of the blue sweatshirt material, I would have used it on the sleeves but, low and behold, I didn't, so I had to use the brown. I think blue sleeves would have balanced it out a little more. 
Like always, I love the fact that you can't tell these are regular sweatshirts! 

Would you wear something like this? Too color blocky? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sew and Tell: Flower Print Sweatshirt Dress

Let's summon Spring by making clothes with flower prints! At least that's what I was trying to do here. With all the snowstorms, and another one on the way tonight, I decided to brighten up my wardrobe despite the gloomy weather. 

Sorry about the crazy curl in the middle picture, lol. It had a mind of it's own. 
Here, I continue with my idea of paneled sweatshirt dresses, except I didn't screen print the panel. I used stretchy flower print fabric given to me by the lovely Gloria, a lady from my church we affectionally call Bennie. I wrote about another fabric donation of hers here. Bennie just turned 89 but she has so much energy and spunk. I want to be like her when I grow up! 
I was actually debating showing you this flower print sweatshirt dress because the flower material snagged and I now have a couple of little runs in the from of it. Sigh. I am going to have to remake it. But... I really love it and I am not sure when I was going to get around to making another one, so here it is in the meantime.  
Spring before me and winter behind
The flower print fabric is like a polyester type of material. The rest of the dress is made of sweatshirts,  my favorite fabric, next to t-shirts. I hate installing zippers and this is why the material snagged. It's tight fitting but both materials stretch so I can fit it over my head and breasts but with a lot of effort. All that straining, however, caused the runs in the front. I should have put a zipper in.  Lesson learned.

Nevertheless, I love the silhouette created, very Stella McCartney, and I wore it twice already, once to church. I think it's God approved. He loves my Puerto Rican hips! lol. 

Would love to hear your thoughts, and like always, I answer all comments. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial: Wet Dog Hood to Black Bear Hood, Replacing a Fur Hood

Here's a simple tutorial on how I went from wet dog hood to furry black bear hood. I am just kidding, this is all fake fur, no animals were killed in the making of this tutorial!  

I sported this wet dog hood all of last year, since my hubby put it in the dryer after a wash. It used to be nice and fluffy but after the dryer washing, not so much. It wasn't a big deal last year because I was wearing hats, but this year, I have been employing my hood for warmth to avoid hat hair and well, it was quite embarrassing.  

I sewed the edge of the hood on my sewing machine before cutting it off. That way, the stuffing would be somewhat contained. 

Wet dog fur off! 

I then cut the excess stuffing so it wouldn't get in the way of sewing. 

This is how it looked at this point. 

I found this cute little fake fur scarf in the 99 cents store. 

I measured and cut off the excess

Much better!

I then sewed the edge of the "black bear" scarf to the edge of the hood. Sorry for the cluttered photo. I was also listening to my iPod and on the computer while I sewed. Yes, I multi-task.

Bye bye, "wet dog" hood! Don't get me wrong, wet dogs are okay, just not on my hood! lol. 

Hello foxy mama! Or should I say black bear mama. I love the way it came out and am no longer embarrassed to wear my hood! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Local Bronx Designer/Vintage Seller: Mixy Mitzy

If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE jumpsuits! However, I recently had an epiphany that I don't always have to make them, I can actually buy one! What a concept, lol.  Not to long ago, I decided to poke around on Etsy and see if I can find an affordable one. Low and behold, I landed on Mixy Mitzy 's shop and fell in love with this 80's jumpsuit with kitchy seashell shoulders. I actually know the owner of Mixy Mitzy as we are both members of the Bronx Artisans of Etsy Team. She (Shiloh) also happens to be a really cool Bronx person, designer, and vintage seller. As she lives close by, I immediately messaged her and asked if I could go try it on.  It fit perfectly!

This beautiful curly head was modeling it on her shop. I immediately fell in love with it!

Love the glittery seashell detail. 

Here are some other cool items from Mixy's shop that I absolutely love!

As well as vintage clothing, you can also find some of Shiloh's own designs, pdf sewing patterns, fabric, and stickers. Make sure to hop on over there and check these, and other great items out! 

To know more about Mixy Mitzy, go to http://mixymitzy.com

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial: Infinity Scarf from Sweater

Curl shrinkage is real people!
I usually cut my hair during the winter. I don't really notice the "shortness" of it because my hair shrinks about 4 inches when it's curly. When I do the winter cut, I simply flat iron it straight and I have long hair again. But this year is different. I want my hair to be long and curly by the time the summer rolls around so I need to keep the scissors at bay. The problem with that is that I won't have the option of winter straight hair because by now it has lost it's shape and looks too long and lifeless. So winter curly hair it is.  

I apologize for the blurry iPhone pic. 
I decided I needed a thick scarf that would cover my ears since hats tend to flatten my curly hair. If I need more warmth,  I also have my hood as a back up. Here is a tutorial on how to make a thick infinity scarf from a sweater. 

  I started with a large sweater

 I cut the arms off

 I opened them up

 I cut the body in half

 Then I cut the top of each half like so.

 I opened up each torso half and lined them up bottom to bottom.

 I stitched them, right sides together.

 I then added the opened sleeves on the bottom and sewed.

 Then I cut the inside of the sleeves to make it even with the sides it was sewn to.

 Fold in half and sew along the edge of the top making a tube.

 With right sides together, sew the ends to make a round tube.

I had my hair straight in the left photo, thus the hat. The scarf is wide enough to cover my ears and I can even put it over my head in case it gets super cold, like it did a couple of weeks ago.
 I really love it.

What do you think? How do you keep warm in the winter? Hat? Hood? Thick scarf?