Monday, April 30, 2012

(Refashion) Shortening a Low Cut Tank

Listen, I'm all about layering... but sometimes I don't want to layer my layers. That's where I was at with this tank top- and a lot of tanks I own. I have a short shoulder base, making the straps on my tank tops often too long for my frame. 
Ever experience that?
Look how low this bad boy was- Good grief! I'm trying to figure out what giantess it was made for, still. Thankfully, I finally got around to fixing it this weekend. I tried a new strategy (buttons) that worked out pretty well. There's a classic (read: easy) way to do it as well, which I can tell you how to do. 
For the button version...
(1) Cut it. Toward the front cut the straps evenly on both sides.
(2) Hem it. Flip your shirt inside out & line it up (in this case, that involved folding corners in) so that the fabric you're sewing together is the same width. Pin. Stitch. Trim off the excess fabric.
(3) Button it. Lastly, sew your buttons on. If you really hate sewing buttons, you can hot glue it (though you'll probably have to reattach the buttons at some point). If you're going with the latter, be sure to put the glue around the rim so that it doesn't come through the button holes.
Done! For the classic version, just hem in along the seam that sits right on top of your shoulders. 
 I hope your weekend was relaxing. I can't believe how quickly they go by! Ours was extremely full. We went to visit my parents Saturday + Sunday. The church my late grandfather planted celebrated 50 years of ministry with a grand re-opening. It was a pretty awesome day. On the way there we saw our *favorite* thing... lambies! I love them. 
They're sooooo cute! We stopped on the side of the road to snap a few pictures. Some day we're going to work up the courage to ask the farmers if we can play with them.
It goes like this...
Us: well, hello Farmers! We'd like to buy some fresh eggs, please.
Farmers: How many would you like?
Us: Just a dozen please... why, what is that I see? Are those... lambies?!
Farmers: Yes, we have them every year.
Us: You don't say? Would you by chance need help feeding the little lambie pies?
Farmers: Well... there are several.
Us: Hm. We happen to have 13 bottles of fresh, lambie approved milk in our car right now.
Farmers: Wow! That is the exact number of lambs we have!
Us: What a coincidence...
Some day.
PS, on Sunday my dance company performed for a local retirement center. Our director's great-grandma lives there. It was a super fun time and I LOVED seeing all of the little people dressed up in their costumes. I'll do a full ballet report after our recital in May, but for now here's  picture of us (minus our sweet Amy) and a close up of my HAIR FLOWER. I blogged about making these for the girls several weeks ago.
I have TONS of refashions, crafts, restorations and more lined up for this week... so stay tuned! Also, today is the last day of the April giveaway. That means it's time to draw a winner + start a May contest. What should la vie give away in May? All the best and thanks for reading! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Polyvore Refashion, baby!

love it all.I saw this awesome outfit floating through pinterest from polyvore (Polyvore- click here )and had to have it. It was pretty exciting because I owned about everything needed to complete it (except for the Louboutins... sigh). The one issue I had was with the tank. While I own several striped tanks (remember, I secretly believe I'm French...), they're too tight and not flowy like the picture. I knew that was fixable, though, and so that's what our blog focuses on today!
I've owned this tank top *forever* (see pictures below). I got it from Target for around $10 a zillion years ago and it has had awesome staying power. First of all, it's a crumpled material which I love- that means I don't have to iron. The sloppiness is intentional. See? Second of all, it's striped (see French obsession above...) and thirdly, it goes with so much!
Arriving after my flight + train ride during a visit to my second family in Germany...  LOVE YOU, BRAUNS!
angst-filled, pre-marriage, early twenties FB photo.  
This little update only improved the greatness! I actually prefer a little flow on my clothing, anyway. Except in the thigh area. Always make sure your pants fit well in the thighs... you'll look much more trim.
There was a cute knockoff going around the internet of a Valentino shirt that added a little triangular panel in back. I didn't actually read the blog, but it was featured on one of my favorite blogger's pages. This is kind of the same idea. My inspiration actually came from the adorable strawberry-themed shirt of a 5 year old (thanks, Genny!) that I intend to recreate for la vie some day soon. But- this is the same idea... 
(1) Cut it. I cut out a triangular shape from an old t-shirt so that I wouldn't have to make a hem. I'm that lazy. I also made sure it was a wrinkler to match the tank. Think about how much flow you want to add + where you want it to start. How much you want to add is the width of your triangle and where you want the flow to start determines the length. I made mine hit about mid back. If I did it again, I'd add more width. Next, cut a straight line up the back of your shirt in the same length as your triangle. (again, if I did it again, I'd make two triangles and add them to the sides instead.)
(2) Pin it. Turn your shirt inside out and pin your triangle into the opening, make sure the hem of your triangle is facing the right side. 
(3) Sew it. Sew up each side, taking extra backwards stitches at the top where the tip is. 
(4) Wear it. I chose to accessorize with gold instead of red. But I think the look is pretty similar to the polyvore version... though I'd realllyyyy love some Louboutins.
I'm thinking I may devote one day each week to refashioning something from polyvore or pinterest. What do you think? You could submit pictures and I can find a way to copy it for the greater good. Weigh in on FACEBOOK, or in the comment section below. 
That's all for this week! I hope your weekend treats you well. All the best and as always, thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Friday Edition- Early!

Welcome to an early Friday edition! My original post for today still needs to be photographed, and since it's a refashion, I can't take the pictures myself. So, we're making a little switch-er-oo.
I drive a rural road every morning that's full of bizarre farm-related antidotes. For starters, it's residential but it seems like everyone has his or her own mini-farm anyway. Every other yard seems to be fenced in with fowl running around. My favorite is the extremely suburban looking home that chains horses to the trees in their front yard like dogs. It gets me every time. 
So weird.
But there's one little farm that always stands out. Emaciated cows graze along half rotted buildings + cars on blocks in the front yard. Hairless horses lay down while hens and roosters flit about them. It's actually a bit sad. But the hens are hilarious. They're always escaping and running around the 55 mph road that runs alongside their "farm". The fence is just a few feet away from the road, so you can watch the little daredevils jump the fence and then cluck about in a panic. Today was the best moment ever with them... I saw one lone hen ducked down behind a bush in the neighbors yard. She kept poking her head out of the bush and staring down passersby. I *really* wish I had video footage of the ordeal. It was awesome. I would *love* to know what was flying through her sharp little mind. I keep hoping if I watch these hens long enough I'll finally learn why the chicken crossed the road.
It made me think of my other favorite bird-escape moment. John and I were driving across state to visit my family for Thanksgiving and I swear... this is what we saw. We passed a farm and *clear as day* there were 12ish turkeys busting out of the joint! They were running single file, fast as lighting, across the field. I have *never* laughed so hard at poultry in my life. Smart birds. They knew what was coming. No Tom Turkey for THAT farmer's table! I don't know if you've ever seen a pack of turkeys making their way ... but there's always one leader, a general if you will, who runs in the front, head ducked low... pulsing in and out... and he gets to a clearing, checks both ways, gives the signal and leads his troop through to the other side. For real. It's fantastic.
So anyway... those are my bird stories. 
Let's talk recipe! This was kind of a mistake... but it turned out well! It's a Avocado Pesto Pasta. Here's what you need...

Penne (GF if that's your bag)
1 c. sour cream (any sort)
1 package of Knolls Pesto 
1 avocado- diced
1 c. shredded white cheese (provolone, mozzarella, havarti, asiago, whatever you want or a mix)
1 tbs. (GF or otherwise) chicken bouillon 
Salt + pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to the directions. 
Meanwhile, mix together all of the other ingredients. 
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and mix everything together. Yum! 
We also got these GF links from Hillshire Farms. Chicken + apple with gouda cheese. Oh yeah, and they're natural. And delicious. I grilled them together over low-medium heat with apple slices... it was awesome. All I did was slice an apple, throw it in for the last 5 minutes, rotating it halfway through. 
I hope Thursday is treating you well. I just got a new book that is amazing! I'm going to test it out a bit and then maybe buy another one for the May giveaway. Speaking of which, it isn't too late to get in on April's. All you have to do to be eligible for any of our monthly giveaways is 'like' our FACEBOOK PAGE. Auto entry every month, baby. Have a wonderful day, and as always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY: Cardigan Patches (no sew)

Generally my refashions are for my clothes, but this time I did something of my husband's. Not to say that you can't use this for YOUR cardigans/jackets/sweaters, too, I just happened to do it with his. I keep a board on pinterest for John where he pins things that likes... John likes clothes. He likes getting dressed and appreciates a good outfit. 
le sigh.
Anyway, lately I've seen a lot of his pins that have elbow patches. I've been meaning to patch something of his for a while now because of that, but the perfect opportunity came along when I saw a notions sale at JoAnn Fabric. You can buy these little patch packs for $3.99 (or get them on sale for 1/2 price like I did!) and they're ready made to go on with an iron. 
So easy. It took about 5 minutes, but adds a little fun element to his cardi. You can also cut them down into any shape (heart, circle, square... octagon...), but left them alone. I'd cut them a little smaller if I did it over.
(1) Mark it. Have the subject put the cardigan on, mark the middle of the elbow with a pin. Then mark the top & bottom of where the patch will end with pins as well.

(2) Pre-heat it. Start your iron + let it heat up for a while. 
(3) Iron it. Follow the directions on your notions package to iron on the patch.
(4) Wear it. Fun, right?

Just a tiny little post from me today. I'm in the mood to refashion something. I really want to make an adorable dress I saw on pinterest that was wayyyy over budget, so stay tuned to see if I can recreate it for less! 
Also let's talk about how I *finally* got a printer/scanner combo. I can't wait to start using it for 'la vie'! I have had so many fun things I wanted to do (or do better) but needed a printer or scanner for. I already printed out the most adorable Paris illustration (and added a little fun to it) that is currently being framed for our home. Yesss!
Have a wonderful Wednesday, I'll see you tomorrow! As always, thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ikea Sewing Table Refashion

This is such an easy + cheap project. Basically my favorite kind.
I've been needing a sewing desk for quite some time. The craft table I made is awesome, and I love it... but it isn't good for sewing. It's really tall so that I can stand at it, and who wants to stand and sew? Not me.
So, I've been looking at thrift stores, antique shops + garage sales forever trying to find a nice sewing desk to no avail. I love repurposing furniture, but you can't always make an item appear out of thin air. I finally broke down and got this table at Ikea a few weekends ago ($19.99). I love Ikea, but the table was quite utilitarian, which is great in some rooms but it didn't work for me. I wanted to personalize it, so I used an Ikea method and covered the whole thing (legs and all!) with fabric. 
I love how it turned out, it looks so beautiful and cozy in the room instead of cold + standard. Ready for the steps?
(1) Assemble it. I won't elaborate because the instructions are easy. I will say that if you use the Ikea table, a drill is helpful. They suggest a screw driver. Yeah right.
(2) Staple it. I love this fabric. I got it as a remnant on sale and only paid $3 for it! First of all, iron your fabric. No matter how well you staple it, wrinkles will show. Next, lay it with the pattern against your floor + place your table top on it. Start with the long edges and staple gun them one at a time to the table (staples about 2 inches apart). After you finish the first edge, pull VERY TIGHTLY as you staple the second edge. Then do the sides of the table next. Wrap the edges like a present (see photos) to get a clean edge. Remember to pull tightly as you do the opposite side. After you've finished, you may need to go through and add staples anywhere that the fabric seems loose or is hanging own. 
(3) Wrap it. The strips I used for the legs were also remnant and cost $1.50. There are a few ways to do this. For the first, cut a *really* long strip of fabric (about 2 inches wide, around 2 yards long, depending on leg length). Knot it at the top and wrap down to the bottom. At the bottom, cut another piece of fabric, tie around and knot. OR, you can cut 2 different pieces of fabric, one yard each. Knot them together and, putting that center knot at the top, wrap the pieces back and forth til you get to the bottom and knot them. That will give you some visual interest. Trim the ends at the bottom.
(4) Display it. Ta da! Wasn't that an easy way to make something more personal? I especially like that this is fabric covered since it's a sewing table. Vive textiles!
Again, the table came from Ikea. The pieces are separate... the legs are $3 each and the table top was $5.99 ... seriously. You can do so much with those table tops, and they're so cheap!
I hope you're having a brilliant week so far! I'm working on some fun refashions as well as a few crafts. If you ever have a request, don't hesitate to let me know! Wishing you all the best, and as always thanks for reading!