Peeps. I have returned. From Austin, from SXSW. I am changed.

Austin SXSW collageChanged how? you might ask. Well my new favorite band is Lord Huron, and I plan to court and marry every member of the band. I am a teeny bit more tan, and approximately 25 tacos heavier. I am energized for the 2013 Red Ants Pants Music Festival. And I am so darn happy.

SXSW was craaaazy. So much music, so much walking, so little time. I was completely inspired by the awesome festival fashion every where I looked. And I was so happy to connect with the festival team that I am so thrilled to be a part of. Austin and SXSW shall now be an annual thing. For sure.

I’m catching back up on school and getting my rear in gear on several business ideas I have in the works. I am so ready to launch my own business that it’s all I can think about. Today, if you’d be so gracious (and you’re a sewing machine user), you can help me out!

Click on the photo below to take you to a survey that will test a new product concept I am developing. A product concept that, in my opinion, is a long time coming. I hope you think so too! Make sure to enter your email address at the end of the survey and you’ll be entered to win a thrifted refashion courtesy of me! The lucky winner will receive a Tiny Pocket Tank refashion from a thrifted shirt of your choosing!

Meadow Rue survey giveaway

If you want to share the survey with your sewing friends, feel free! Here’s the link: https://cuboulder.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3mF5ELzGx9PxiiF.

As always, I am so appreciative of your honest feedback. And I can’t wait to reveal the winner and their refashion!

I’m off to the land of bearable temperatures tomorrow. I will break out the tank tops, and skirts…and deodorant. Life is going to be real good in about 24 hours because tomorrow I will be in Austin, Texas at SXSW. Wearing my new navy tank with polka dot bias tape of course…

thrifted navy shirt before and after

Now, you guys, this is without a doubt my favorite Sew Thrifted ever. I see many a hot summer day spent in this little tank top. You know why? Because this puppy fits like a charm. The secret? I used a pattern…on an oversized thrifted shirt…and it worked. Like, it worked really well! The pattern was (can you guess?) the Tiny Pocket Tank Pattern from Grainline. If you been reading my blog since this summer (and thank you to the moon and back if you have!), you know that I was a wee bit obsessed with this pattern as evidenced here.  And then my favorite sewing loved ones made a few more here. The Tiny Pocket Tank is a winner for sure. And it works on oversized shirts too!

navy thrifted shirt with polka dot bias tape

I basically laid the pattern over my carefully deconstructed thrifted shirt and cut out new pieces. I chose to leave the neckline as-is, remembering that my previous Tiny Pocket Tank was a little revealing. I also went sans pocket again. I have an aversion to pockets.

thrifted navy shirt side

Then I carefully applied some vintage polka dot bias tape I thrifted about a year ago around the armholes and to the bottom hem. It worked like a charm!

polka dot bias tape

My new obsession? Putting bias tape on everything. Obviously.

I will be back from Austin in a week with lots to tell I’m sure. Then it’s back in the sewing saddle for more Sew Thrifted and some guest blogging!

Happy March folks! It’s the month of my birth! The days are getting longer and my schedule is becoming more manageable. Sewing is happening on a weekly basis. The temps are rising above 30 degrees. And life is good. Actually, life is so good, that I have two Sew Thrifted posts lined up for you! The second one shall come soon, I promise. For now, you get a good eyeful of this red beauty. Remember this oversized red blouse when I took four before pictures so that you could hold me accountable? Umm…no one held me accountable…just saying. That oversized red blouse turned into a lovely sleeveless shirt. Can you tell how smitten I am with this top?

red thrifted button up turned sleeveless before and after

This top was not supposed to be sleeveless. A rather tragic sleeve incident prompted a complete redesigning of the final product. But I’m so glad I went the sans sleeve route, because a few days later this pin popped up in my Pinterest feed.

pinspiration

 

And since I don’t trust any sources other than my peeps on Pinterest, I was one happy camper. One very important skill that I learned with this project? How to sew bias tape on correctly! It’s sad, I know, but I always thought the raw edge of the fabric was meant to be sandwiched between the folded bias tape. It turns out that it’s not meant to be sandwiched folks, not at all. It’s meant to be delicately sewn on the front and then topstitched on the back. I would go as far as to say I consider bias tape an art…that I have not yet mastered.

red thrifted button up turned sleeveless collage

My favorite way to wear my new sleeveless blouse? Under a blazer of course. No one even knows its sleeveless until I have a hot flash and start shedding layers…in February.

red sleeveless button up with blazerDon’t forget to sign up for my shirt resizing class at Fancy Tiger next weekend.  We’ll going to be drowning in bad button ups turned fitted casual tops!

Heya friends! It’s a blizzard in these parts. A white wonderland outside, that looks beautiful from my bedroom window. Beagle thinks so too. This, my friends, is a day to get things done…inside. I’m catching up on schoolwork after an insane week of all things website related. I developed and launched a website for a music festival that’s very near and dear to my heart. It was a total labor of love. I could not be more proud.

I’ve also nixed the possibility of being web developer as a career. Not happening.

What is happening? Sewing classes of course! Back by popular demand, we’ll be resizing button up shirts to our hearts content at Fancy Tiger this month. Check out their website to see the class offerings and call 303.733.3855 to register!

fancy tiger sew thrifted class

Have you seen this? It literally puts me into a trance. I want all of that wool!

Speaking of Pendleton, I thrifted a most awesome navy Pendleton high waisted skirt at Saver’s 50% off sale yesterday. It fits like a gem, and will be featured on the blog soon!

Until then, here are some other thrifted beauties in their “before” state for your enjoyment. The cringe factor is off the charts with every one of these shirts.

four thrifted shirts before transformation

Hold me accountable, readers? I will complete these four Sew Thrifted transformations soon, I promise. One might even be featured on a giveaway! Also, a big blog overhaul (with a new moniker!) are coming down the pipeline. Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. Things are about to get real crazy.

It’s nearly that day where the nation turns into lovey, dovey mushballs. Where we all profess to our latest squeeze how much we love and cherish them. Flowers, chocolates, terrible sappy cards are delivered. Those without a love interest in their lives are left with a sense of disdain and frustration.

But why does Valentine’s Day have to be about professing your love to your partner? Why can’t it be about celebrating each and every person and thing we love? My sweet, dear mother makes a point to do just that on Valentine’s Day by sending the most thoughtful art cards. Case in point:

valentine heart art card

Have you heard of artist trading cards? They’re pretty bomb. And when you have the fabric/button/embellishment stash my mom does, you’re bound to create something pretty darn epic. And she does. Every single holiday. My mom’s art cards are made entirely out of fabric (and some heavy duty interfacing), thread, and whatever else she chooses to adorn them with. She’ll print a cute saying on the back of the card. It’s so much better than Hallmark. I’m telling you, it tugs at those heart strings.
valentine hear art card texture

My favorite part of the art cards is how much texture they have. I could sit and run my fingers over the various stitches for hours. It’s not creepy when the card was made with love.

So my love list, for your reading enjoyment (feel free to bow out now):
1. My family (especially a newest addition that I just cannot wait to meet!)
2. My friends. They just keep getting more awesome.
3. My beagle.
4. The retractable cord on my Janome Sewing Machine pedal. Everything should have retractable cords.
5. Wearing leggings.
6. Endorphins, and the exhausted feeling from a long day of exercise.
7. Down comforters.
8. Ketchup. Yup, I’m that person.

I’m on a new kick. Maybe it’s because the start of a new semester has granted me this thing called “free time”. But, seriously, I literally cannot stop thinking about sewing. Sometimes I walk into my sewing room just to stare at the projects I have on my list. I think about photos and backdrops and blog content constantly. And there are some epic projects coming friends. I think I caught whatever sewing bug Whitney has, because I literally want to sew all. of. the. time.

And look what she’s showing us today! Only the cutest Oliver + S Messy Kid Bibs you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Feast my friends, feast.

Oliver + S bibThe facts, straight up:

Pattern:  Oliver + S Messy Kid Bib from Little Things to Sew
Size:  one size
Fabric:  various ones from my stash (fat quarters work great)
Notions:  colored snaps
Difficulty:  2 scissors out of 4 (advanced beginner)
Make it again?:  not the way it’s done in the book

Her words:

“I made this pattern exactly once the way it’s written.  It felt like the most labor intensive bib on the face of the planet.  Between laminating the cotton and sewing on the bias tape the proper way, it took eons longer than any bib should ever take.  It also takes a ridiculous amount of bias tape.  Then I put one of my hard earned bibs in the washing machine and failed to realize hot water would render it completely unusable. 

Oliver + S bib melted

Lesson learned.  Back to the drawing board.

 My new version of this bib is quilting cotton backed with washcloth material.  I omit the little pocket at the bottom for the tidy eaters out there.  I don’t laminate because I would want to be able to wash these with a normal load of towels.  I sew the two layers right sides together and leave an opening along the bottom to turn them inside out.  I’m now using snaps for closures because I bought an assortment of bright colors and it’s fun to find ones that coordinate with the fabric, but the pattern calls for velcro.

One final tip:  If you see yourself making a lot of bibs (and why wouldn’t you?), transfer your pattern to something durable.  Some people use poster board.  I like to iron my traced pattern onto really stiff interfacing (the stuff that doesn’t crease nicely at all and feels like cardboard) and then cut it out.  Here’s what my bib pattern looks like after cutting out two dozen bibs: 

Oliver + S bib template

Have fun!”

Oliver + S bib cherries

 

 

roxanne random number

Congrats to the lucky lady, Lia Zak!

You are the winner of one pdf version of the Roxanne by Victory Patterns!

roxanne victory patternsSource

An email with instructions on how to access the pattern will be sent to the address you provided, Lia.

Lot’s o’ good things coming up folks, including Sistershare and more Sew Thrifted!

****This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced soon!****

Oh my gosh, you guys. I have been giddy for, like, three days. Absolutely, annoyingly, anxious-happy. And it’s over a little bitty named Roxanne. I managed to use a sewing pattern all by myself and it turned out wearable, one might even say, darling? My new favorite pattern company, hands down, is Victory Patterns.

Roxanne by Victory Patterns made from thrifted fabric

I swear the pointer finger claw comes out in 90% of my photos.

I bought this e-pattern over Christmas break after perusing some online patterns with my mother. I had about four yards of some awesome teal fabric that I had thrifted about a month earlier; a georgette, according to my mom. I cut out the pattern and read the beautifully designed instructions before starting. Not usually my thing. About four hours later the mutant death virus took over my body.

Those cut-out fabric pieces laid folded, alone, waiting to be assembled for nearly a month. In fact, I almost entirely forgot that I had a shirt to sew. Then I deemed last weekend and recuperate-and-sew weekend, and I stumbled upon the makings of my shirt. I set to work with that miraculous, not-at-all-like-me patience.

It was the pleats, friends. Those pleats captured my heart. The topstitch on that yoke? I couldn’t take a break without thinking constantly, without being totally obsessed, with finishing this shirt. True story, ask my friends, refer to my tweets.

It was finished. And then this happened. Envision angels singing, okay?

Roxanne top and beagleNow this pattern. It’s really something to write home about. There was not a single missed step. It was easy to understand and conscise. And never once did it make me feel totally inadequate. Most sewing patterns do that to me. Victory patterns are amazing. And there are two versions you can make!

roxanne both versionsSource

Roxanne by victory patterns meadow rue giveawayAnd guess what?! You can have one too! The sweetest Kristiann (the mastermind behind the patterns) has agreed to let me give one pdf version of The Roxanne pattern (a $9.95 value) to one of you. Just leave a lovely, little comment. The winner of this giveaway will be chosen at random and announced Monday, February 4th here on the blog.

Godspeed, good friends, godspeed.

Since the new semester of school has started, I’ve had a surge of requests for alterations from my classmates. Interviews, spring cleaning, or maybe just a renewed mission to look good has prompted my friends to clean up their wardrobes. Of course, I’m excited about this. It means people are trying to fix their clothes instead of replacing them. And when the seat of your jeans is a little too saggy? I’ll put some more belt loops on your men’s designer jeans. Hell yes I will.

Tutorial time! Yes, it’s the most obvious fix ever, but sometimes photos help. Right? Please tell me they help.

measuring existing belt loops1. Measure the length and width of the current belt loops on your jeans. Write down those numbers, adding 5/8″ to the length and double the width plus 1/4″.

How to Sew Belt Loops onto Jeans2. Cut a rectangle of denim in the dimensions you noted above. I used a pair of old jeans I never wear anymore.
3. Serge the long end of the fabric with a dark color thread. Try not to cut off any fabric while serging.
4. Iron your belt loop so that the serged seam runs down the center. Serge the top and bottom edges.
5. Edge stitch at 1/8″ seam allowance down each long edge of the loop with a coordinating thread.

find and mark the center point between the two belt loopsNow you’re ready to sew the soon-to-be loop onto the jeans. For this project, I added two extra belt loops between the back middle and the side loops.

6. Measure the center point between the two loops and mark with chalk. Pin your belt loop to the waistband with 1/4″ folded under.

sewing belt loop onto jeans7. Sew a straight stitch that lines up with the waistband’s topstitch. Back and forward stitch several times.
8. Sew a tight zig zag stitch over that straight stitch. Back and forward stitch several times.
9. Repeat on the bottom of your loop.

Now go thread a belt through those loops and admire your handiwork.

The most epic Sew Thrifted post is coming your way after I clean myself up for some photos. It might be my proudest moment yet!