Howdy folks. Happy New Years…only 21 days late! Have you created lifelong healthy habits in these past three weeks? Are you a changed person, renewed with the optimism that only another year can bring?

Yeah me neither. But I have made dog beds. And for me…apparently that’s enough.

diy-dog-bed

I’ve been back from my travels down under for almost two months, which seems impossible. It feels like yesterday that I was walking around in nothing more than a sundress, meeting awesome people, not worrying about a single thing.

And life is dramatically different now. I’m experiencing a definite transition period. It’s anxiety inducing, but a total thrill at the same time. I have no idea what tomorrow or next week will look like, let alone months down the road. It’s exhilarating and terrifying. So to calm myself, of course I sew. For my dog.

I’m working on reconnecting myself with the sewing community that I so dearly value in Colorado. And I’m working busily on a new venture that will be launched in a few short weeks. Also, I’m teaching again! Well, I’m preparing to teach sewing classes starting in March at Fancy Tiger. And I literally cannot wait.

I spent a few hours last week creating a rather luxurious dog bed for a small tricolor canine to serve as prototype for one of those classes. When it was unveiled to the little guy, Buckley actually chose his new glorious overstuffed dog bed over a spot next to me. He circled three times, flopped down with a sigh, and immediately started the Beagle snore I fall asleep listening to every night. I can’t say I wasn’t a little bit hurt. But also proud. Insanely proud. He may have no idea how awesome this made in the USA fabric is, but the boy knows comfort when he sees it.

diy-dog-bed-2

So if you’ve ever wanted to know how to sew a box cushion with an envelope cover, come to Fancy Tiger and take the class! I’ll update you with the dates and times when that information is available, but I was just too antsy not to share these photos.

In the meantime, let’s keep up this sewing thing, mmkay? If you’re in the Denver/Boulder area and want to talk about sewing, let’s do that too. I’ll be back soon with more sewing, big news, and more empty promises. You have my word.

I bet you thought I wouldn’t get this post up, didn’t you? I know, you had resigned yourself to the fact that you’d go one more week without a Sew Thrifted post. To be honest, I thought so, too. I’m sorry.

But at the last moment, just minutes before my evening class I’m pulling through for you. Like a ultra marathoner who stops to sit and catch his breath just feet before the finish line, while the crowd is urging them to just. keep. going. And then they crawl across it. That’s basically what I’m doing right now. Crawling through life. Soon, it shall be enjoyable again. In twelve days I’ll be enjoying leisure reading and playing with a healthy, like-new Beagle.

A small thing that makes life even slightly more enjoyable? Fabric napkins.

Fabric Napkins from Vintage Sheets

My friend and classmate, Emily, has set a goal for herself to be as waste-free as possible…even if that includes taking her own fabric napkins to restaurants. First, I laughed…then, I thought, “That’s genius!”. So I copied Emily and made myself some fabric napkins, and I shall bring one along next time I eat out.Four Napkins from Vintage Sheets

What makes these napkins even better? They’re made from a vintage pillow case I thrifted over a year ago. Yes, four large napkins from one pillow case. I was shocked too.Four fabric napkins from vintage sheets

Mitered corners scare me, so I used my serger’s rolled hem feature to create a nice finished edge. I only have white and black serger thread, but I found the white thread complemented the 70’s fabric beautifully.

I love these little beauties. They certainly have brightened my day. Go make some for yourself, they’ll put a smile on your face.

P.S. Thanks for all your concern and kind words over the past week. Buckley is still having a rough go, and will see a neurologist this week. Keep your fingers crossed, if you don’t mind having limited use of your hands.

You guys, this is big. My first guest post is happening today…right now, in fact! And I couldn’t be happier to feature my internet buddy Elena from Randomly Happy for the inaugural post! Take it away, Elena.

Hiya lovely Meadow Rue readers. I’m Elena over at Randomly Happy. It’s such a treat to be here with you. These Sew Thrifted posts were the very first posts I stumbled across and are what hooked my on Meadow Rue in the first place.

If your thrifting adventures are anything like mine, you might be stumbling across some lovely items of clothing that are just several sizes too big. Case in point: this lovely vintage skirt I found in my local thrift store. So hard to resist with it’s yellow polka dots and pleats. But just way too huge. And, trust me, nothing makes you look less attractive than an oversized, pleated polka dot skirt. 

But there’s hope. Skirts are ridiculously easy to take in. And so, I wanted to share two ways you could use to tailor thrifted skirts like this. One way is super quick and works when skirts are slightly too large. The second way is best if a skirt is significantly massive. Both of these work best if the skirt has an elasticised waist (i.e. no zipper), or has a seam at the back centre.

No 1: The quick way to take in a skirt1. Turn your skirt inside out and try it on. Work out where you want the skirt to sit on your waist. Mark this with a fabric pen or tailor’s chalk. Make sure you take in roughly the same amount of fabric on both sides.

2. Wander on over to your sewing machine. With both sides of the skirt together and starting at the top sew over the line you marked and gradually continue down till about half way down the skirt. Make sure you gradually taper the line, bringing it closer and closer to the original side seam. This helps stop the fabric from bulking up and giving you weird seams on your hips (not flattering – trust me – I’ve learned the hard way!).

No 2: When a skirt is huge1. Repeat step 1 above. Now, instead of tapering the line just continue straight down to the bottom of the skirt. Cut away the excess fabric and zig zag the seams to stop them from fraying.See, so easy. And quick too. You might need to hem the skirt – especially if you’re short like me – but even then this can all be wrapped up in an hour.

So, would you be willing to take the plunge and resize your next thrifty find? Or are you strictly sticking to your size?