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A Summer Skirt Gets a Fall Makeover

27 Oct

Since the dye job I did earlier in the week turned out so well, I was inspired to try again!  I’ve had this old white and brown skirt that my mom gave me forever and I have never worn it because it has a big stain right on the front.  Today’s dye job will make this summer skirt ready for fall AND covers up that pesky stain!

before

staring at the ugly stain!

staincloseup

Close-up!!

I mixed a whole package of Rit dye in Golden Yellow with some hot water and added it to the washing machine set on the hottest and shortest cycle.  Then I put the skirt in and let the cycle finish and the final product covered up the stain and turned out a beautiful mellow yellow.   A brown and yellow skirt paired with some brown leather boots is the perfect fall ensemble!

after

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Halloween Costumes

26 Oct

T minus 6 days until Halloween!  Is your costume ready?  Mine isn’t either!  No worries, over the years I have often waited until the last minute and still come up with some great costume ideas that you can throw together using mostly things you find around the house or can get pretty easily and cheaply.  Check out these DIY costume ideas!

Mario and Luigi Costume:

marioandluigi

marioluigicartoon

For a girly take on this classic costume I cut and hemmed some overalls I found at a thrift store.  The letters on the hats are just cut out of paper and the matching t-shirts were also thrift store finds.  Dig some black boots and white winter gloves out of the closet and you are ready to go fight Bowser!

The Cheshire Cat Costume:

cheshirecat

cheshirecatcartoon

I found this perfect Cheshire cat inspired striped fabric at the store and knew just what to do with it!  I made this body suit by laying down on the fabric and having someone trace me.  Then I simply cut out the tracing and sewed it together.  Add some ears and a little drawn on nose and whiskers and voila!  You are ready to give cryptic advice to everyone at the party.  The best part about this costume is that the back of it is made out of black fabric so that when I turn around…

blackcat

—I disappear!  😀

80s Fab Costume:

80's

I made this costume completely with stuff I found in my own closet!  This is a fun costume to do in a group because everyone can participate just by being creative with clothes and accessories they already have. I used an old full piece bathing suit as the base (a tank top would work just as well) and I wore a pink tube top as a skirt.  I cut a hole in the crotch of some black fishnet tights and put my head through the hole and my arms through the legs (after I cut off the feet of the tights) in order to wear it as a shirt.  Some black leggings and leg warmers paired with a pair of heels and I was ready to rock out and get physical like Olivia Newton-John!

letsgetphysical

Poison Ivy Costume:

poisonivy

poison-ivy-plant

poisonivycartoon

Whether you want to go as the plant or as the super villain, this easy costume covers all the bases!  Just grab a green tank top and some green socks with the toes cut out, wrap yourself in ivy from the garden or from the craft store and you are ready to wreak itchy havoc everywhere!

Corpse Bride Costume:

corpsbride

corpsebridetimburton

This costume is pretty versatile because it can also double as a zombie bride costume!  I found a wedding dress and veil from the thrift store (any white dress will do) and cut the top of the dress to make it strapless like the Corpse Bride’s dress.  The dress and veil were a nice pristine white so I made them look aged by soaking them overnight  in a bath of tea.  I got the blue wig and face paint from a costume store and put on my poutiest face to go in search of my groom!

Leeloo from The Fifth Element Costume:

leeloofull

Milla-Jovovich-Fifth-Element

I made this costume for a friend who looks JUST LIKE Milla Jovovich.  I cropped a white t-shirt and spray painted some white tights gold; then used a black sharpie to draw the lines on the tights.  To make the orange jumper I took a large orange shirt and traced out the design while my friend was wearing the shirt.  I cut out the design and sewed the front and back hems together to make a crotch seam.  We added some black boots, an orange wig and a paper multipass and Leeloo was ready to go save the world!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Dye a Dress

25 Oct beforeafter

Today we are going to take an old white dress that was covered with stains and give it a new lease on life using some blast from the past inspiration –  I found this amazing ribbon at the fabric store and just couldn’t pass it up:

ribbon

This ribbon has a great 60’s mod flare that I tried to infuse into this old white dress, the outcome was pretty groovy 🙂

beforeafter

Total crafting time: About two and a half hours of actual work plus an hour for the dress to go through the washer and dryer while dyeing.

Materials:

-white or light colored dress

-one box of Rit dye in Kelly Green

-sewing machine

-1 yard of  1/2″ ribbon

-1 yard of 1 1/2″ ribbon

-thread to match ribbon

-scissors

-pins

-pitcher or bowl

-washing machine or large pot

-dryer or line to dry clothes

-water

-measuring cup

Step 1: Lets set up the dye bath.  Pour two cups of hot water into a pitcher or bowl.

pouringwater

Step 2:  Open your box of Rit dye and pour the entire package into the water.

ritdyebox

pouringdyepackage

Step 3: Stir the dye bath until all the powder is fully dissolved.  Unless you want a green spoon, it is best to use a metal or plastic spoon rather than wood!

stirringdye

Step 4:  Turn your washing machine to the hottest setting and shortest cycle and add the dye!  Alternatively, you can add this dye to a pot of boiling water on top of the stove.  Add enough water to fully submerge your garment.

pouringdye

Step 5: Stick the dress in the machine and wait for the cycle to finish!  If boiling on the stove, leave the dress in about half an hour.  Once you put the dress in the dye bath you will notice that it dyes right away.  It is important to leave it in for the full cycle for the dye to set completely into the fibers and achieve the boldest colors.  If you want a lighter color, use less dye and more water but still allow the garment to soak for a full half hour.  In this case, I was going for bold and was very happy with the result!

Step 6:  Remove the dress from the washer and stick it in the dryer or on a line to dry.  A line is definitely the better option for the environment, but I just couldn’t wait to see the finished color so I went with the dryer 🙂takingdressout

Step 7:  The final color was nice and bright and complemented well the ribbon that inspired it all.  Time to attach that ribbon!

dyeddress

Line up the bottom of the 1 1/2″ ribbon along the bottom hem of the dress and pin.  Fold over and sew the ribbon at the ends so it doesn’t fray. The ribbon ends should meet at one of the side seams to make it less conspicuous.

pinninghemribbon

Pinning away!

Step 8:  Thread the machine with thread that matches your ribbon and sew the ribbon to the hem!  Try not to stretch and pull the fabric or the ribbon too much while you sew – otherwise your ribbon might come out all puckered and no one likes sour ribbon 😛

sewinghemribbon

sewnhem

All sewn! (and a little wrinkly)

Step 9: It’s almost time to sew some ribbon down the center!  But first I have to remove all those pesky buttons running down the center of my dress.  I simply took some scissors and snipped off all 14 buttons and set them aside for use in a future project 🙂

removingbuttons

After the button removal, I was left with a giant gaping hole in my dress!

buttonsremoved

I took to the machine and sewed it up.  I wasn’t worried about matching thread because this part is going to be covered with ribbon.

sewncenter

All stitched up!

Step 10: Pin the 1/2″ ribbon down the center front.  Fold it over on both ends so it doesn’t fray.

pinningcentertrim

Step 11:  Thread the machine with matching thread and sew up that ribbon!  Again, try not to pull or stretch the fabric too much as you sew in order to avoid bubbles or puckers in your ribbon.

sewncentertrim

All sewn up!

Step 12:  Now that the front is finished, it’s time to put the finishing touches on the back.  The back of this dress has two fabric ties in order to pull the dress tight and make a bow.  The ties were pretty lackluster so I removed them by cutting them out of the seam they were sewn into.

cuttingstrings

Step 13:  Then, I used the leftover ribbon to replace the ties.  Be sure to finish off the ribbon edges by sewing a little square at each end!

ribbonsquare

Then, I inserted the raw end of the ribbon into the little hole in the seam where I cut the original ties.

sewingribbonties

And the dress is complete!  Here is the final product:

finalfront

And the ties in the back:

finalback

Enjoy!  And send me your versions for me to post on the site:   grandmastercrafts@gmail.com

T-shirt Skirt!

19 Oct

Apparently this week I am a little t-shirt happy since this will be the second t-shirt themed post of the week!  It must be because I’ve been cleaning out my closet and I have piles of old clothes to upcycle 🙂  Today we are making a cute little skirt out of an old t-shirt.  For this project, the bigger the t-shirt the better.

All you need for today’s craft is a t-shirt and a pair o’ scissors.

The first thing to do is take that collar and streeeeetch it out by pulling at opposite ends with both hands.  The collar is going to become the waistband so stretch it as much as you can!  If you can’t stretch it enough to fit around your waist you can always put little snippets in it.

stretchingshirt

Once you have stretched to your heart’s content, its time to step into the collar and pull the shirt up around your waist like it’s a real skirt!  Make any stretching or snipping adjustments needed to make sure the collar fits snugly around your waist.

sizingwaist

Next, make a little snippet with your scissors or use a pencil to mark the length of your skirt.  I wanted my skirt to fall just about the knee so I made a little mark right there.

markinglength

Then take your skirt off and lay it flat on the floor.  The first thing to do is cut open the seam that holds the sleeves together.

cuttingsleeve

Then cut straight across the t-shirt at the place where you made the mark, cutting through both the front and back layers of fabric.  If the sleeves are longer than the rest of the skirt you can trim them to make it all the same length.

cuttingfront

Cut all the way across and down the sleeve at the other end.  The fabric that t-shirts are made out of is called jersey knit and it’s a really great material to work with because you can leave the edges raw (un-hemmed) and they won’t fray or fall apart.  The raw edges actually add a cool, grungy feel to the garment.

cuttingothersleeve

cutskirt

Once you are done cutting, put your skirt on and make any adjustments to length or jagged edges and then you’re ready to go! I turned my skirt around so the graphic was in the back 🙂

finalskirtback

finishedskirtfront

Stay tuned for another DIY t-shirt craft of epic proportions coming soon!

Tutorial Tuesday: T-shirt Bag Edition!

18 Oct

Hi!  Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday!  It’s bonus tutorial week because I also did a tutorial yesterday for a Pikachu Halloween costume. Thank you for your wonderful comments and feedback on the costume, it has inspired me to try to squeeze in a few more costume tutorials before Halloween!

Today we are going to recycle an old t-shirt and turn it into a bag!  This is like a recycling project squared because the bag is the perfect size and shape to hold groceries and save plastic and paper bags when shopping. I chose an old concert t-shirt from a band I loved as a teenager 😀

beforeafter

What you will need for this project:

-t-shirt

-scissors

-sewing machine

-thread

-pins

-seam ripper

Step 1: Use your seam ripper to detach both sleeves from the t-shirt.  You can also just cut the sleeves off but seam ripping makes for neater edges and more fabric to work with.

rippingsleeves

removedsleeves

You could always stop here and have a sweet sleeveless cut-off t-shirt circa 1992!

Step 2: Set those sleeves aside while we work on the main part of the shirt.  Take some scissors and cut open the seam at the shoulders.

cuttingshoulders

Step 3:  Now, lets sew up the bottom hem of the shirt to get it really looking like a bag!  Just turn the shirt inside and sew along the bottom hem.  You can pin the hem together to make it easier to sew and you can also round the edges a bit as you sew so the corners aren’t so pointy 😀

sewingbottom

sewnbottom

all sewn up!

Step 4:  Start just at the outside of the collar and cut a bib shape around the neckline of the shirt.  The bottom of the bib shape should line up with the armpit where the sleeve used to be.

cuttingcf

Step 5:  Using the bib shape in the front as a guide, cut the same shape out of the back of the shirt.

centercut

Step 6: Now that the main part of the bag is done, let’s revisit those sleeves!  Take your handy seam ripper and take out the seam that holds the sleeves together.

seamrippingsleeve

opensleeve

Step 7: Cut off the hem and the curve of the sleeve so you have one nice, straight line.  Do this for both sleeves!

cuttingsleevehem

cuttingcurvysleeve

Step 8: Pin the sleeves to the cut ends at the shoulders to make the strap. Pin the right (correct) sides of the fabric facing each other so the wrong sides of the fabric are facing out.  Then fold the strap over and pin it to the back shoulder also with right sides together and wrong sides facing out.  Do this for both sides.

pinningfrontstap

pinningbackstrap

Step 9:  Head on over to your sewing machine and stitch up those seams.  Don’t forget to remove your pins as you sew! And voila!  Now you have a handy dandy bag that will forever remind you of that beloved old t-shirt that you just don’t wear anymore. Happy shopping!

finalbag

Rockin’ Revamped Roller Skates

12 Oct

For my roommates birthday, I found her old, beat up pair of roller skates in the garage and revamped them to give them a second lease on life!  This is what the before skates looked like:

skatesbefore

The first thing to do was to jazz up those laces!

newlaces

There were scuffs on the leather and rust on the metal clips where the shoelaces are tied but I took care of that pretty easily with a coat of white acrylic paint.

Then I also used acrylic paint to paint a 70’s style rainbow on each side and added some colors to the back.

rainbowdesign

backofskate

The inside of the tongue was all moth-eaten so I sewed some cool polka-dotted fabric inside to match the funky rainbow motif.

sewntongue

The birthday girl loved the way the final product turned out!  Can’t wait to go skating and watch her take these babies for a spin.

finalskatesabove

skatesfinal

T-shirt Time Travel

21 Sep

Today we will travel back in time to the 80’s and breathe new life into an old t-shirt!  Grab a too-big-tee from your dad’s closet, under your roommate’s bed or from the local thrift store and a pair of scissors to get started!

I found my t-shirt in a pile of old clothes a friend was giving away and I thought it was just too cool to pass up; however it was way too big to be anything but pajamas for me.

80steebefore

Put on your oversize t-shirt and stand in front of the mirror.  Make little snippets on either side of the shirt where it hits your hips.  It is important to do this while wearing the t-shirt so it doesn’t end up too short or too long.  Be careful to cut only the shirt and not yourself!

Then, take off the t-shirt and lay it flat on a table.  Start at one of the slits you cut and work your way across the t-shirt towards the other side.  For some added flare, you can cut in a slight arc.

cuttingarc

completed-arc

Next, cut the collar off of the neck.  Cut as close to the collar as possible, or else the shirt might fall off your shoulders!

cutcollar

All the cutting is done! Now to try it on and make sure it fits.  You can always make small adjustments if it’s too long or you don’t like the shape of the arc.

cuttshirt

afterlongsleeves

To complete the look, you can roll up the sleeves 😀

And the finished look!  Hello 1985 🙂

tshirtafter

80’s fashions are totally trending right now, what a great way to stay in style and recycle old clothes without breaking the bank!

From Farm to Chic

26 Aug

This weekend I checked out the fab dollar pile sale at my local thrift store, Jet Rag.  I scored some great pieces, but as you might expect for only a dollar, none of them are quite ready-to-wear.  One of my favorites was this little house on the prairie dress in the trending gingham cotton print.  The dress was far too big, but it certainly had potential!

I'm off to work on the farm, Auntie Em

It took just a few simple alterations to get this dress out of the hen house!  First, I tried the dress on and pinned up the sleeves and hem to the length I wanted them to be. Then, I trimmed off the excess fabric, stitched up the hems and paired with a vintage belt and voila, this dollar find is ready to hit the town!

From farm to chic!

This dress looks pretty similar to J. Crews’ version below, except theirs retails for $88!

J Crew's $88 version from stylehive.com

Waterlogged Sailor to Titillating Turquoise!

25 Aug

Today I took a tired, old and out of date sailor dress and turned it into the perfect trendy and turquoise summer outfit!

My friend got this dress a few years ago when the big, square sailor collar was in style.  It was cute until one day when some mysterious brown stains appeared!  I just loved the blue trim around the collar and couldn’t give this dress up so I decided to give it a second lease on life!

This dated frock makes me look like a little porcelain doll.

And a close-up of the stains

So the first thing to do was dye this dress to get rid of the nasty stains.  I bought a bottle of Rit dye in teal and prepped the washer by filling it with hot water and 2 cups of salt.

Rit dye in teal and a measuring cup for salt.

I wanted the most vibrant teal/turquoise color possible so I dumped the entire bottle into the wash.  I pre-wet the dress with warmed water and dropped it in once the dye bath was fully mixed.

In with the old, out with the new!

I was VERY happy with the end result.  The perfect, vibrant teal.  The only thing left to do was remove that navy blue bow in the front and accessorize with a belt and I was ready to hit the town!

le fin 🙂