Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Up-cycled T-Shirt Skirt Tutorial

I had recently gone through my closet and found a stack of tanks and t-shirts that were immodest. So, they were thrown out of my closet onto a pile in the hopes I could salvage the material at least.
Here are the three I chopped up the other day:
Notice the grey one has an elastic in there. And, it fits around my waist perfectly. Yes! One less step.
(If yours does not have an elastic in there, you can make a casing by folding it over by a 1/4", press, fold again by 1 1/4" and sew on the edge, leaving a hole to thread the elastic through. Stitch the hole shut  after the elastic has been threaded through, and the ends sewn together using a zig zag stitch.)

So, first of all, I cut the two colored tanks so that I had four 8.5" wide pieces.

And, I seam-ripped and cut the top off the grey shirt. It ended up being a 15" long 'skirt' on its own--not quite modest enough for me and pretty boring--just grey. I did leave the hem on since I didn't feel like seam ripping that.

I cut the four colored pieces open on one seam so I could sew the pieces together into one continuous piece in each color.

Now, with right sides together, I sewed the purple onto the grey, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

So, I had this:

*Skip this step, but this was part of my (ahem) learning process*
Next, I played around and was going to make a layer above the purple so that it would be a sort of layered ruffle skirt. It didn't sit right, so I seam ripped the whole green/blue piece off again.

*Continue here*
And, instead, sewed it to the purple, right sides together, lining up seams and again using a 1/4" seam allowance. Much better. 

But, in my seam ripping process, I got a bit of a hole in the grey fabric. That needs to be covered up.
I had cut the hems off the bottom of the colored shirts just above the stitching. I now cut just below the stitching and stitched a gathering stitch in the fold. This piece was approximately 36" x 1".
And, I gathered it.

And, sewed them together to make these ruffled flowers. To do so, you just roll the gathered fabric up into a circle, hand stitching them together.
I now have 1 large green/blue flower and 2 small purple flowers that are actually stuck together. I just rolled them up from opposite ends. 

After placing them where I wanted, and cutting all threads off, I hand-stitched them to the skirt, covering the hole.
I had some company while doing so:


A skirt made out of upcycled t-shirts.
I did not hem the bottom or finish it in anyway--the knit fabric will not fray and I *think* I like the unfinished look. If I get annoyed with it later, I can always hem it another day.

I really like wearing knit skirts--they're so comfy! And, what better way than to upcycle unused shirts!
Whew! I hope that makes sense--this is my first tutorial type post. If you have any questions, just comment and I will try to answer them!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Righteous Advocate

The other day, I came across this poem in the magazine, 'Current.' It's from the mid 1800's so it is in the public domain and I could not resist sharing. Wow!

Our Righteous Advocate

Father, I bring this worthless child to Thee,
To claim Thy pardon, once, yet once again.
Receive him at my hand, for he is mine.
He is a worthless child; he owns his fault;
Look not on him, he will not bear the glance;
Look but on me, I'll hide his filthy garments.
He pleads not for himself--he dares not plead:
His cause is mine--I am his Intercessor.
By that unchanged, unchanging love of Thine,
By each pure drop of blood I shed for him,
By all the sorrows graven on my soul.
By every wound I bear, I claim it true.
Father Divine! I would not have him lost;
He is a worthless child, but he is mine!
Sin hath destroyed him--sin hath died in me;
Satan hath bound him--Satan is my slave;
Death hath desired him--I have conquered death.
My Father, hear him now--not him, but me;
I would not have him lost for all the worlds
Which Thou hast long created for my glory,
Because he is a poor, a worthless child,
And all--his every hope--on me it lies.
I know my children, and I know him mine.
By all his tears he weeps upon my bosom,
By his full heart that beateth against mine,
I know him by the sign my children bear,
That trusting love by which he cleaves to me.
I could not bear to see him cast away,
Vile as he is! the weakest of my flock,
The one that grieves me most and loves me least.
Yes! tho' his sins dim every spark of love,

I measure not my love by his returns,
And though the stripes I send to bring him home
Should seem to drive him further from my arms,
Still he is mine! I lured him from the world.
He has no right, no home, but in my love.
Tho' earth and hell combined against him rise,
I'm bound to rescue him, for we are one.

Oh, sinner! What an Advocate is thine;
Methinks I see Him lead the captive in,
Poor, sorrowful, ashamed, trembling with fear,
Shrinking behind his Lord, accused, condemned,
Well pleased to hide the form himself abhors
With that all-spotless garment of his Friend.
But look! some secret impulse lifts his eye,
To see if love be mingled now with wrath,
If mercy beams upon the Father's face.
Poor sinner! read thy welcome in that smile,
And hear the Father's word to Him for thee:
"Take Thy poor, worthless child! I have forgiven."

-E. Berrill

Thursday, November 22, 2012


 We went to Cuba for our 4th time and I thought I'd share some of the beauty of that country with you:

During our trip, we biked down to the beach with a friend and brother of Christ. 
The waves rolling in was just awesome and we spent a little bit of time, just drinking in that ocean air.

One of the many types of trees in Cuba. I'm not sure what the fruit on this tree is, but if I'm not mistaken, and remember correctly, it was some sort of nut.
We parked our bikes here--a 'tourist' spot for the locals.

On the way back, the landscape was breath-taking. The Sierra Maestra mountain range in the background with rolling fields and scattered palm trees and forests.

Flamingoes. We could not get any closer and neither could my camera but that is the first time I've ever seen flamingoes in the wild. Pretty cool!

This sweet little boy sitting on top of a bunch of bananas was his dad's idea. I was amazed the banana bunches were that strong!
And, a present for us from one of the families we stayed with. We had a good laugh, took some pictures without getting our toes snapped, and then released the fellow.
And, those are just a glimpse into the beautiful country of Cuba.
We could not post all our pictures for privacy reasons, but if you are interested, and you are in the local area, we'd love to share our pictures and how the Lord directs our path while there!

Back At It

Well, I'm back from another Cuba trip.
I'm considering posting at least some pictures of that beautiful country, but that'll have to be another post on its own.
For now, I'll just post the sewing I've been up to since I got back home:
Before we left, I had an order of washcloths to fill after I got home.

I love packaging them up all pretty. Don't worry--it's not only a stack of boy washcloths--there's plenty of girl ones in there as well so I felt it'd be alright to use a bright pink ribbon. (Can you tell I really like pink?)

I left my PJs in Cuba. If you recall hurricane Sandy, before it ever reached the US, it had left a huge path of destruction in the Carribean? Well, we were able to help in a tiny way by leaving most of our clothes (other than what we were wearing and a pair of clothes to travel back home to the rather cold Albertan climate) with a Baptist Church in Cuba to bring to Santiago de Cuba.
So, I needed new PJs.

I found a Simplicity pattern online for free: #0501.
It's pretty simple. And, I didn't feel like making anything to complicated for a pair of PJs.
In fact, I deviated from the patterns instructions a bit. Instead of measuring myself before making it and shortening it with the line, I just made it and whacked 4.5 inches off the bottom later plus folded the hem up 2 inches to make it short enough. Also, the instructions said to turn the drawstring right side out after sewing it. I did not feel like turning over a metre of super skinny tubing right side out, so I just trimmed the fabric almost up to the seam and threaded it into the pants. I know, not super professional, but they're PJs.

The fabric is some Hello Kitty flannel that I bought for $3 a metre. That and some pink heart fabric is the only flannel I had enough of to make these and I didn't really feel like wearing all hearts to bed.
I think I need to go fabric shopping for some grown-up fabric.
The t-shirt is an old t-shirt of mine that was actually in my 'weeded-out-of-my-closet' pile. It'll do for PJs.
So, that is what I've been up to since our return last week.
What have you been sewing in the last week?