90’s jumper gets a much needed up-cycle!

I know amazing people. Recently my friend, Robin gave me a bin of treasures. For FREE. Bits of lace, embroidered pillowcases and vintage linens  – all crying out to be made into new things! It was like Christmas for this scrap junkie. On the top of the pile was this not-quite-finished jumper.

YJ 05wmRobin had made this a long time ago using a canary yellow tablecloth, an embroidered table runner and some crocheted lace doilies. In it’s time, it was very stylish and trendy. In order to live in my closet, it needed a makeover. The hem was unfinished and very long. Plus, although I do like yellow, it was a little bold for me. Robin had given me permission to do what I wanted with it, so I grabbed the scissors, extra lace and some dye and got creative!

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The first thing I did was cut off the length to about mid-thigh. I wanted this to more of a long shirt than a dress, that would work over leggings. To tie in the lace from the bodice, I dug through the treasure bin and found some lace from a pillow case to edge the hem.

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After finishing the hemline, I had the straps to deal with. Although bibs usually have buttons, all the buttons I auditioned just wouldn’t make the cut. I wanted this to look classy, not so cutesy, so I ditched the buttons and sewed the straps down to the front. The sides also got snaps that didn’t show instead of visible buttons.

YJ 07wmWhen I tried on the new outfit (over my pajamas, no less), I liked the length and loved the lace, but I wanted to calm down all the colors. Nothing a little tan dye wouldn’t fix! I added a half bottle of tan Rit dye to my washer, following the directions on the bottle. Here’s the results:

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The tan dye did the trick. It calmed down the yellow to a nice mustard color. It also antiqued the embroidery and helped tie the ensemble together, making a new, stylish top.

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If you like my chicken wire dress form, check out how I made it here: DIY Dress Form from Chicken Wire.

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This outfit is now complete with a denim blue shirt, brown leggings and boots accented with a long, lacy scarf.

Now back to the treasure bin to find something else to create!

       Artfully sewing,

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Goodbye, Chicken Apron <>

Sometimes selling something on Etsy is a bittersweet experience. That goes for this apron I sold from my shop yesterday. I made it from a vintage tablecloth I bought at flea market a few years ago. I will write about the process another day. I made 4 aprons from the four corners, two with the chickens and lady, the other with a horse and buggy carriage. The other chicken apron I’m keeping, of course, but the two horse and buggy aprons are still for sale. Just click on the photo of it below to purchase.

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

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Chicken Apron made from a hand stenciled vintage table cloth

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All ready for cooking and baking!

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This tablecloth was hand-stamped with a stencil, I believe. The other panel has slightly different colors.

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Back view plus a peek at the   cool Artfully Sew tag.

Old Clothing saved from Goodwill pile by Upcyling

I have been going crazy on Pinterest again. One of my newest boards is Clothing Upcycle where I collect pictures of clothing that has been made by combining old pieces of clothing to make something new. It was time for me to rummage through my closet, get brave and cut up some clothes.

I love the color of this shirt, but it’s a little bit short on me. It’s been hanging so lonely in my closet for quite a while. Plus I don’t really like the tie in the front.

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This colorful skirt that is a tad bit tight for someone in her forties. The fabric is so cheery and just my style – so worthy of a clothing updo.

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These two pieces coordinate well and will make a great new piece!

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I cut about 7 inches off the bottom of the skirt and gathered it to fit the bottom of the shirt. I attached it and covered up the seam with a piece of scrap lace.

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The ties were removed and a piece of the skirt fabric was patched into the front.

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Voila!! I Have a new top that will look great with a pair of leggings and trendy boots. I may even wear it Friday night for our first family band gig. If you live in central Wisconsin, come check us out at Mugs Coffeehouse in Ripon. Here’s our publicity picture drawn by my 11 year old daughter, NJ:

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Daniel, Nora, Tom, Jonah and me.

Artfully sewing (and practicing for Friday),

Angela Jean

Pretty in Plaid Apron

The process of making aprons from men’s shirts has been a learning experience! My design has evolved from a smocky apron to a farm-type apron to this type of traditional apron. All are unique and so fun to make!

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This Pretty in Plaid Apron started once again with a Goodwill shirt I bought for the colors. The pocket is a corner of an embroidered tea towel set on point.

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The pink trim and lace is from the bottom of my ribbon basket. The bodice looks very elegant.

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The back has extra long ties to accommodate many sizes. I think I’m going to stick with this style for future aprons.

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I’m still looking for opinions on appropriate prices for these aprons! What would you pay for a one-of-a-kind apron with embroidery and lace? Post your comments below.

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Falling Leaves Apron

I finished up a few more aprons yesterday. I keep tweeking the pattern as I go. They all turn out differently which keeps it fun. I really dislike making the exact same thing over and over again. That’s probably why I seldom use the same pattern twice! Here’s the first one:

Apron of Falling Leaves

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This apron is made from one of my hubby’s worn out work shirts. The color is very nice, so I cut it up and used the back of the shirt for the front of the apron. With the leaves falling outside as my inspiration, I matched up an embroidered tablerunner to use as the pocket. The pockets are accessed through the side instead of the top. In fact it’s just one big pocket, nice and generous in size. Isn’t the edging on this embroidered piece gorgeous?

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The other side of the tablerunner will be saved for a future apron. After cutting the pockets, a nice sized middle section was left over. I couldn’t waste that beautiful crocheted remnant! By cutting it in half and sewing the edges together I created a nice skirt edging for the bottom of the apron. It felt a bit bottom heavy, so I found some leaf-like lace in my scrap bin that matched the leaves in the embroidery.

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The back of this apron has a tie and suspender type straps. I’m hoping that this style will accommodate many sizes. The straps are made from the sleeves from the shirt as usual.

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This photo also shows off my recently made dress form I constructed from chicken wire, a wooden hanger, a broom handle and the base of a broken office chair. It’s become a very handy tool in my studio!  Check out the post here to see how i made it.

Now the apron feels finished and happy. I will post more aprons throughout the week.

What is a good price for handmade one-of-a-kind aprons? What would you pay for this apron? Let me know you opinion below. Thanks!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Another Shirt Apron

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This is so fun! I transformed another extra-large men’s dress shirt from Goodwill into a farmy apron. The lace came from my bin of scraps. The process is getting easier, now that I’ve got the hang of it.

I tried something new with this one. For the straps I kept the sleeves as they were and attached them to the back, cuffs and all. All I have left is adding the buttons and holes.

Off to the Janome!

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Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean