Safe Haven Alternative Finish: Step Three

I settled on 2-1/2″ sashing between the blocks.

It gives definition and makes it a little wider. Of course, it also made the quilt longer.

Now to settle on border options that add more width than length, lest the quilt become a scarf for a giant. Right now it is 70″ wide x 94″ long/tall. Hmm…

Wrangling Up A Walker Caddy

As if life weren’t complicated enough, Husband had hip replacement surgery yesterday, Friday.

Fortunately, the procedure went very well and we are home in less than 24 hours.

We anticipate a speedy recovery, but, in the meantime he needs a few helpful objects so that he doesn’t just have to rely on the helpful wife.

So, this morning I woke up early and made him a caddy for his walker.

Just cut the top out of the top of a pair of jeans. I went between the bottom of the zipper and the crotch to make for an easier seam. Add twill tape to the side belt loops (I just tied it in place) and stitch more twill tape into the corners of the bottom seam.

Ta-dah. A functional caddy with many pockets in less than 30 minutes. YAY!

Refashion: Dress To Skirt

This dress came home from our annual neighborhood clothing exchange with high hopes.IMG_3500

Alas!  The waist was too large and the bust was too small.  I was ready to send it to the thrift store when Husband said, “It looks like fabric-in-the-shape-of to me.”

Why not?IMG_3501

I cut off much of the bodice about 2-1/2″ above the waistline, stitching down the lining BEFORE I cut–remember that if you try this at home.

A quick foldover for the new waist band, some elastic and a button and, ta-dah, a new skirt. Part of one of the former straps became a loop to hold the belt in place smoothly.  You can just see it if you look closely.


I love the fabric and now I have something new to wear.

Grandma Duty

This morning my daughter-in-law married to Number One Son came over with the boys and we made Halloween costumes.  Daddy is a plumber, so this year they are the Mario Brothers.

I should have taken “before” pictures, but these started out as 4 t-shirts.  The small shirts (red and green) were each $2 at the thrift store.  The overalls are made from mens XL t-shirts (turned inside out to hide the print) at $1 each.  The logos and buttons are felt from my big pile of junk. Not to bad for $6 and about 2 hours of work time.

It was so much fun!  Too bad thanksgiving isn’t a costume holiday, too.  Then I would have an excuse to do this again soon!

Dancing The Night Away

Homecoming!  The first big dance of the year.

Daughter is 16 and now dating.  While she has attended occasions before, she can now go in the company of a very fortunate young man.  Of course, such an important event calls for a new dress.

We hit the thrift stores and Daughter came up to me very excited waving, well, part of what could be called a dress.  It was $12, but the bodice did fit perfectly.

However, it was strapless and had a bubble skirt. Please forgive me if you personally love bubble skirts, but I have never found them flattering.

“But, Mom,” pleaded daughter,  “The color is perfect and we can tear out the skirt and build sleeves and we can make a petticoat and it will be very ruffle-y and perfect and I really want it,  PLEASE?!”

So we took it to the counter.  It was marked “x2” on the tag, meaning that there should have been a second piece–maybe a scarf or jacket?  The second piece was nowhere to be found, so would I take it for $8.  Sure. Oh, and that color tag is half-off today, so your total is $4.

OK–I am feeling better and better about this purchase.


Daughter went to work right away tearing out the skirt.  She was right.  There would be enough leftover fabric to build the rest of the top.


In my big pile of junk there just happened to be (if you believe in coincidence) a piece of matching blue tulle.  We built a very ruffle-y petticoat.  Just as she dreamed of.


We were trying it on for about the tenth time Wednesday night when disaster struck.  The zipper TORE.  Not the fabric next to the zipper.  The zipper itself.  We both wanted to cry.  But,  instead we went to bed.

A good night’s sleep later and things looked brighter.  Plus I was pretty sure I knew how to tear out and replace the zipper in this particular dress.


No, it wasn’t much fun.

But, it went back in better than I expected.

We took the fabric cut off the skirt and constructed a top.


Daughter very diligently stitched the sleeves in by hand, the only way to really do it right.

And we were done.


Today, her friend came over to do hair and make it all fancy.


And she is off to dance the night away.


All’s well that ends well, right?!

Possibles Bags

Daughter and Young Son are going on a Pioneer Trek for summer camp this year.  Yes, they will spend three days pulling handcarts across barren stretches of Wyoming for FUN (and inspiration)!

Truly, it is fun, in its own way, and something every young person possible ought to do at least once.


A necessary item while on trek is a “possibles bag.”  The name comes from early mountain man explorers and was intended to hold “every possible thing you might need in an emergency.”

These were constructed from Husband’s worn out jeans and will hold sun screen, chap stick, water bottle, handkerchief, snacks, extra socks and bandaids…you know, the necessities of life on the trail.


Not very exciting, I guess, but sturdy and useful.  That kind of sewing for the ones we love is good, too.

Summer 1964–Now THAT’S A UFO

In one of the recent house cleanouts, I found a lovely bundle of fabric–Linen and butterflies.  How could I leave it?  It was so very pretty I set it aside, hoping there would be enough there to make something.

This last week I got the bundle out and unrolled it.  It had been cut, but the pattern pieces (not the pattern package) were still there.

A brief internet search showed me that Simplicity 5409 was this dress. Publication date 1964.

It was in a size I was certain would fit Daughter.  So, nothing to do but sew it up.


Ta-dah!  A lovely summer shift.


Only 51 years in the making.


We had to add some darts to better fit Daughter’s shape, but overall I think the effect is lovely.


UFO no more!

The Head Munchkin

The costume craze continues-this time it is a Head Munchkin costume for Daughter.


We started with a thrift store find–it was $10.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was probably a dress for a fancy dance of some kind (shudder).  We can’t imagine wearing it for that purpose.

But, it had potential!  The basic fit was right, the zipper worked, the corset was already installed and it was the desired color scheme.


First we picked off all that lacy trim and beading.  As bad as it was to take out, I can’t imagine how hard it much be to sew it on.  By hand.

We were looking for hot pink, lime green and polka dots.  Most of this came from my Big Pile of Junk (all the handy bits and pieces none of us can bear to throw away).  We bought the narrow ribbon and the buttons.   The polka dots were created with fusible web on a cotton/poly solid scrap.  Don’t look too close but the buttons are attached with hot glue.  Plus she has on black leggings.  Those will NOT be part of the costume at performance time.  🙂


Total cost:  $14.


She will be waving Dorothy down the yellow brick road surrounded by all of her little munchkins (3-year old dancers) in June.  I can’t wait!

REFASHION: Dress Shirt To Dress and Tie

I am on spring break from school and using my time to get all sorts of things done.  The family and I set a goal to (besides our regular daily things) do something extra inside, something extra outside and something fun every day.  It has worked out really well.  Much needed chores are being marked off of lists and no one feels too put upon because that “something fun” is out there.


I am not sure if this project qualifies as a “something inside” or a “something fun,” but, when it comes to sewing, maybe they are the same thing. A really good grandma would have had these ready and in the mail long before Easter, but this grandma is just doing her best.


I started with a men’s dress shirt and ended up with a springy dress and tie for the twin nearly-three grandchildren.  It doesn’t show very well in the pictures, but the shirt is a cream color with a wide blue stripe and two narrow yellow stripes on either side of the blue one.  Spring, but with a vintage feel. The pin on the dress is detachable.  I haven’t added the velcro to the tie but will mail the pieces for momma to attach in the best position.

They will go in the mail tomorrow along with a few little things for their soon-to-arrive sister.


The dress is a combination of patterns and making it up as I went along.  The buttons from the front are now in the back and the skirt used what was left of front and back plus the sleeves to give a lot of fullness for spinning. I am concerned that the bodice is a little wide.  Granddaughter is a slender little thing.  The tie was based on THIS TUTORIAL.  It worked very well!  I’ll make more of these in the future.

More projects to share soon.  Time to get back to more “something fun” for the day.

ps–Yesterday Daughter said, “This ‘three somethings’ has worked so well for spring break, maybe we could do it all summer?!”  Works for me!

REFASHION: Men’s Shirt To Springy Play Dress

This was a beautiful men’s shirt–except a three-corner tear on the back shoulder.  And, really, for my men it was too small.  And too…well…too the way it is–the embroidery.  And the stripes.  And the colors.


But, it looked like it could be something pretty cute.

So I recut and trimmed and stitched and created this….


Springy Play Dress. With accompanying skirt for the baby doll.

I am mailing it to granddaughter for a fit check.  If it works, or can work with alterations, there are  two more shirts begging to be made into something similar!