Monday, August 19, 2013

Make: Men's Shirt Refashion

My husband has quite the impressive dress shirt collection. Currently, 47 long-sleeved dress shirts hang in his closet. If you think that's a lot, try guessing the number of ties! This set of 47 excludes a few that were recently discarded for either donation or refashioning  and subsequent move to my closet which isn't so much saving us storage space as it is moving items around. Oh well. Here is one such refashion.

I'm not really one to stay on top of fashion trends, but lately I have noticed more women wearing loose-fitting tops with cuffed sleeves. Like this NY&Co shirt. I love the look and think it's perfect for summer. So I dug through Matt's pile of discarded shirts and found one in a gorgeous deep blue tone. With a pretty clear idea of what I wanted the end result to be, away I went with my scissors and sewing machine. I am so thrilled with how this refashion turned out that I am tempted to make more just like it!

As you scroll down, you will find additional instructions and photos to (hopefully!) make everything clear. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Begin by removing the collar and cutting the fabric to your desired neckline. In my case, I preferred a wide boatneck. Turn down and hem this newly-cut rough edge.

Cut off the sleeves at the spot right above your elbow. You want to make sure you have enough sleeve to roll. Now fold the sleeves up to your desired length and pin into place. I opted to sew the cuff into place (a 1/2-inch seam hidden along the interior of the sleeve) so that it wouldn't unroll willy nilly.

Now for the straps. Using the discarded fabric, cut a 1-inch wide strip (4-5 inches long) and fold it in half. Sew along the rough edge (making a narrow tube), then turn it inside out. Sew one end of the strip to the inside of the rolled sleeve  and pull it around to the outside of the sleeve, sewing this end into place too. Add a decorative button to this cover the outer seam. Repeat for the other sleeve. This is easier than it sounds; you want it to look like this:

Take in the sides as needed. I wanted my shirt to have a flowing shape, so I only took in a bit of fabric around my chest. Play around with different degrees of tightness and decide what you like. Keep in mind that dress shirts don't stretch, so make sure it is loose enough that you can easily put it on and take it off.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Make: $2 Mailbox Makeover

I've mentioned before how much my husband and I enjoy spending time on our front porch. With that in mind, this summer I resolved to upgrade the overall cuteness of the space. One such project included our sad little mailbox. We live in a very old neighborhood near the city, so all of the houses have mailboxes mounted near the front doors. I don't know how old ours is, but it was looking quite faded and lackluster. The cure? Paint!

After some research, I decided that our mailbox did not need any primer because it is generally protected from mother nature by our covered porch. However, I still had to to use a metal-friendly paint. I know everyone is in love with spray paints like Rustoleum or Krylon, but I really did not want to buy a large can when I knew I'd have 85% leftover. Instead, I opted for Martha Stewart's all-purpose paint (2 fl. oz.) applied with a 2-inch wide sponge brush. After using a 25% off coupon at Michael's, this entire project cost me $1.95! Including tax, I might add. I applied four coats and waited the prescribed hour in between each. So while it took all afternoon to finish, it really only required minutes of active crafting.

After recently finishing a front porch sewing project that was very time consuming, this quick and easy undertaking was a much-needed breath of fresh air. I'm so thrilled with the final result and feel like we have a brand-new mailbox!