Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Purses Purses and more Purses

I have been a bag and purse making machine lately, but I haven't been updating on the blog. I'm very sorry about this. Some of these bags would probably be best on Retcon but I haven't added them yet. Some are on Faerietails, and some are still waiting to be added there as well. So for those, blog followers get a sneak peak! Luck you! All of the pictures still need to be edited and improved, even pictures for the ones already on Etsy.

Oh yeah, and I made Jen take some fun pictures of the bags outside in the tree. Mostly just because it's cool.

This is one of my favorites. Old tshirts, plus an old thermal long sleeved tshirt. Who doesn't love girl super heros?

Another one of my favorites. This shirt was a gift from a friend a while back, and it didn't fit anymore. Always loved it, so I decided it should be given new life as an adorable bag!

This bag is super big and roomy! Its made from a really soft fabric with a cool floral mandala print. I think it would be perfect for a girly free spirited bookbag!

There are definitely more bags, but unfortunately I have to get ready for work! Check out both shops soon for these bags and more!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New sewing machine

My wonderful Jen got me a new sewing machine for my birthday! So far, it's been awesome! Not one thread jam, fast and smooth, easy to thread, even has 100 different stiches! I love it! It's a singer stylist. I highly recommend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My other shop

I have recently started using my old Etsy shop. Back when I made faerie wings and horns (which I sold somewhat sucsessfully, if not profitably) I opened the shop. I decided that since my shop I am sharing with Terry involves specifically recycled, upcycled products, my other shop could include my things that don't fit into that category. Paintings (yes, I paint, check out my painting blog!) purses and things I make that DONT involve things bought from the thrift store! Sometimes I buy fabric at JoAnne, and make a purse, or a skirt. Those don't fit into retcondesigns. Added to this, I have decided to "brand" my new, not upcycled sewn products "faerietails"  This was the name of my wings site years ago (I wonder if I still own that website name....) and I like it. So I give you: FAERIETAILS.

Friday, August 5, 2011

New shop!

My best friend from childhood, Terry and I have started a new etsy shop. We have been friends since we were nine, and our lives have grown apart and together again more than once. But somehow we have developed similar interests, even when we have been in times of not being as close. She has always been a constant in my life, and we have finally decided to join forces and use our combined skills and interests to open our shop!

It's called retcon designs. Anyone out there who doesn't know what a retcon is? It's short for retroactive continuity. A term usually applied to tv shows, when the history is somehow altered, such as bringing back a dead character or changing the backstory. What does this have to do with sewing and things we can sell on etsy?

Terry and I have always altered things. T shirts become bags or skirts. Sheets become dresses. I remember being little girls and drastically changing the appearance of our barbie dolls.

We retcon things. We are changing the established facts of something old to make it new and different. Hence retcon designs. Also, we are huge nerds, and the term retcon is used so much in geek culture, it just seemed to fit.

Check out the shop. Right now there is just one item listed, but I promise more will be added soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ruffled tshirt skirt

Made from some old shirts. Ruffles are strategically placed to hide some stains... The ruffles were fun since I wanted it to look sort of messy, I just gathered randomly as I attached them. Pictures of it on will come, when I'm wearing it, and not sewing in my pj's!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Circle-skirt dress

This dress is a re-do of a dress I made before. The original top was a little too tight and didn't quite look how I wanted it to look. I had a dress I bought from Lane Bryant that had a similar fit, so I used that on as a basic pattern, though I definitly altered it a bit to look more how I wanted it to. The skirt is just a basic half-circle skirt, so no adjustments needed there. Then I added some matching fabric peeking out of the bottom, a ribbon with a bow, and some sparkle at the neckline. Overall, I am pretty happy with this dress, though I still feel like the straps are a little... weird. Oh, and yes, this is the same fabric as the little purse I posted a short while ago. I have a little more too, so expect at least one more purse, or maybe a top, or something!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hoodie to bag tutorial

I have had this hoodie forever. It's way too small on me, the bottom band is all funny, and its just not wearable anymore. But I love it, and couldn't let it go. So it sat in the fabric bin for a while, until I decided to make a bag out of it. I think it turned out great!
Start with a hoodie that is destined for Goodwill.

Cut off the bottom band (I guess if you wanted to leave it on you could, but I chose to remove it)
Remove the sleeve, and set aside. You will use these for the straps later.

Cut through both layers in a straight line, cutting off the hood. I had originally planed to use the hood as a closure flap, but I changed my mind because I didn't want to cover up the faerie. Maybe I will end up using it in another project.

Grab those sleeves, just for a second! Cut off the wrist elastic on both sleeves.

Sew the sleeve together at the spot that used to be the wrists. Sew right sides together, making a tube. I did this by turning one sleeve inside out, sliding it over the other one, and sewing around the wrist opening. You can do this however it works best for you, as long as the sleeves are attached. Set this new sleeve-tube-strap aside for now.

Grab the main part of your hoodie. Turn it inside out, and sew the bottom closed, right sides together. Sew the side seams closed the same way.

Sew a finished hem at the top, if you choose. Remember that sweatshirt fabric won't fray much, and will probably roll. BUT sewing a hem on the top helps the bag hold it's shape and keeps it from stretching when you reach in and out of it over and over again!

I decided to add a little pocket on the sleeve strap. This is super easy. Pick the spot you want your pocket, sew a rectangle through both layers of fabric. The cut through just one layer of fabric, just under the top stiches.

Pin the sleeves/strap to the bag. Pin them on the inside of the bag. Topstich around the edge, attaching the straps to the bag.

When I tried the bag, I decided that the top of the strap was too wide. To fix this, I took a scrap of fabric and wraped it around the top, and stiched it closed. This gathered up the fabric at the top of the strap and made it a more manageable width. I also adjusted the side seams a few times until the bag was the size I wanted it to be.
I apologize for the not-so-good quality of the photos. The looked much better when I took them. I think the lighting in my sewing room was off or something!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Little Purse

Made yesterday. My mom went into a little store in Amherst, NY called "Purse Sona" and I guess the owner liked a bag I made my mom, and offered to sell some of my things once I have a tax ID number. Unfortunatly, I haven't made a purse in a while, so I decided to make a small one first, to remind myself of how to do it. This is the result!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Skirt from pants

I always forget to take a before picture, but this little pinstripe skirt was a pair of pants that had gotten too small. I used the bottom half of the legs to ads some side panels to make it fit. Since they are the same fabric it doesn't look funny. I also had to try it on a few times to make sure the area just under the zipper didn't look weird. Overall I am happy with the results!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Covered chair

This is the chair I use at my sewing table. It was all torn apart from the cats, and a pretty ugly fabric anyways. So I took it apart and covered it with a cute polka dot print fabric... Or, old sheet actually. It was a pain to take apart, but totally worth it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Just a quick update. Dexi is home and doing well! Back to sewing soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Not sewing related. Please pray for my little kitty Dexter. He is my little sewing helper, bobbin chaser and adorable distraction. He is very sick and hospitaled right now. Please send him positive thoughts that he will come home healthy to us!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Skirt pattern and pencil skirt

Here is the tutorial that I used to make my cardboard skirt pattern. This is a very detailed and easy to understand tutorial, and I highly recommend it to anyone. I have not followed the tutorial for making the skirt yet, but when I do I will post it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Skirt base

So I decided I needed a basic skirt pattern that was simple enough to alter and play with. I realized that making a new pattern every time I wanted to make a skirt was just silly. I made this out of cardboard so that it can withstand repeated use, and repeated cat attacks! There is a tutorial on how to make this online, which I promise to link to later, when I am on my computer where it is bookmarked. Its fairly simple and such a great thing to have. All you need is you hip, and waist measurments and the measurment of the length between them. Stay tuned for the tutorial!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red and Grey T-Shirt Skirt

This skirt is made from two tshirts. Its one of the most simple skirts I have made. It's just four panels, two narrow red ones and two wider grey ones. I didn't even have to hem the bottom, just used the bottom edge of the shirts!