Boring sweater hack

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

If I had an infinite number of shirts, I think cutting them up would now be my new hobby. This is Cardigan Attempt No.3. Well technically No. 2 since I started this before the cardigan from scratch. But I realized it wouldn’t be as warm as I needed it to be so I set it aside for a bit.

I bought this sweater just because it was going for 20 AED when its original price was 165 AED. I got home and realized it didn’t really go with anything but it was too thin to wear alone. At least not while it’s still winter in the Sand Globe. So what to do?

Cut it up, of course, especially now that we’ve learned we could put two shirts together and make them into a drapey cardigan. 

This is a project you can do when you’re having an especially bad day. Cutting things up seem to release endorphins and make me happy. It could help you too 🙂 So cut up an old shirt at the seams, remove the neckline and the bottom hem and pin along the newly cut up middle of your sweater. See that extra bit of fabric hanging at the end? Cut that away but keep it. We’ll use it for something else. Sew both tops together.

Remember that bit of t-shirt left over that we cut away? Grab that and make circles. Small ones, big ones, whatever floats your fancy. You could also add circles from other fabric scraps and make a petal neckline like Lindsey’s on The Pleated Poppy.

Once you’ve sewn the petals in place, you’re done. Yay 🙂 I’ve been timing myself because I’ve noticed that I spend waaaaaay too much time crafting and have to cram in everything else in my life in whatever time I have remaining. Thankfully this one only took me half an hour to do. Not bad, eh? Three down, one last garment for the week to go.

And demmit, I can’t believe my weekend is over 😦


Drapey cardigan

February 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

As I promised myself, this week is going to be garment making week. Most importantly, Make Lee Something Warm to Wear That is Not a Blazer week. I found so many great ideas on the web that didn’t mean me having to copy patterns carefully or measuring myself (I so love you, online crafting family!). I finally settled on four must-do projects by Tuesday.

For the first one, I was so excited by this drape cardigan from Urban Threads and realized I had just the stuff for it. You can check out the original tutorial here. I wasn’t supposed to start posting stuff I made this week till Friday but I was so happy with how this came out that I just had to post it now.

This is the first project I spent zero on. I had two old shirts that I loved for softness but never quite fit me right. A friend gave me a fabric panel even though I have no clue about quilting. And even the yarn I will use later on was a surprise gift from my favorite craft store. So I just followed the instructions for prepping and sewing the cardigan together as shown in the link above. And ended up with this:

I now realize you don’t see the drapeyness clearly but you’ll get the picture 😀 I was too excited to put on my fabric panel. The original idea was to machine embroider a design on the back of the cardigan but machine embroidery is a skill I’ve yet to learn. So enter this beautiful fabric panel I had no idea what to do with.

This is a huge panel, about a yard I think. But the real focal point (and most beautiful part) were the Kamakura Sisters. So I cut that out to fit the back of my “new” cardi and pinned in place.

So I visited my favorite (actually, the only one in Dubai) craft shop just as they were celebrating their birthday. I got to pop a balloon and discover a “prize.” I got a bag of blue yarn, yay. Except I don’t knit. Then I thought of this project and there was my yarn, perfect for handstitching my fabric patch on the cardi. I would probably have done this in a contrasting color, like red, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Now cut out the design as close to the stitching as you dare and artfully fray the edges. Or do like me and just fray, in keeping with the raw, handmade look of the whole cardigan. And you’re done! First project I did in just an hour and had me feeling like a rockstar instantly!

Love, love, love. And yes, I was actually distracted by something on TV when the camera went off. And here’s the back.

Yay! Now off to Garment Project No. 2 😀

Manly travel power cord roll-up

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of the things I love about surfing through crafting sites is the many ideas you get from what people do and the many techniques you get to add to your arsenal. Take this simple roll-up, for example. I love the design of it and I think with the right choice of fabric and embellishments you could take this from manly functionality to a girly-girl clutch. Something I definitely want to explore. Thanks to Whipstitch for the How-to. And yes, you can finally use that pair of trousers the man in your life refuses to wear.

If you can’t make over your life, at least have beautiful shoes

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hello crafty friends and fellow gawkers 🙂 Yes, I am still alive and well. No, I have not been slacking off. Me and my sewing machine were having a tiff all week. She kept spitting our loose bottom stitches at me and I tried wooing her by giving her fresh new needles, trying out all kinds of thread and fabric combinations. All to no avail. I finally decided enough is enough and it was time to show her who’s boss around here. I opened her up, gave her a thorough cleaning and now we have a truce of sorts. She only gives me proper stitches when I do zigzags. Women, go figure. Anyhoo, I did manage to get a few things done. Will post pics of them as soon as their new homes receive them. In the meantime my other life as a writer and editor have finally given me enough space to go back to gawking at what other people have the talent to do. First off, SHOES! Best thing is I won’t have to bother my sewing machine for these makeovers. Second best thing, my sadly neglected shoe closet will get an update. Desiree over at The 36th Avenue has so wonderfully combined a linky of all the fab stuff you can do with your old shoes. Check it out here.

Dealing with anger . . . semi-constructively

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve replaced anger with my crafting . . . or so I thought. But just like the first days of a diet or quitting cigarettes, you get good days and then you have a bad day like today when I knew only taking something apart would keep me from homicide. Enter my ugly-ass side table:

I really shouldn’t speak ill of something I got for free from a vendor at a flea market who didn’t want to take it back home after all her wares had been sold. But let’s face it, it’s ugly. A friend, seeing it for the first time, said, “How lazy do you have to be to make a table like that?” Anyhoo, as you can see, I have attempted to do something with it.

I started sawing it again but it was too little pay off for the mood I was in so I decided to call another good friend:

This is my gun tacker. There are many others like it, but this one is mine.

Considering that I got this and two huge boxes of staples for AED 20 (about $5) this thing’s pretty hardcore and should see me through the other re-upholstery jobs I’ve got waiting in the sidelines. Also, Vida had given me some cast-off canvas from a painting that never happened:

So I tacked away to my heart’s content. This was somehow very satisfying. I recommend it, second only to a full day of treatments and massages at a spa. And more productive than popping bubble wrap.  I had no plan whatsoever what I was going to do with it, but I thought if I was to have an  unfinished project lying around it might as well be literally a blank canvas.

I started to do a bit of decoupage on it but by this time my anger had run out of steam somewhat and I’m happy to let it be for a while until I decide what to do with this really. Yes, that’s a dish-washing sponge I’m using instead of a proper sponge brush, I do have one but it’s too small and frail, I’m sure it’s only good for projects no bigger than cuff links. This one’s up for suggestions. I thought I’d write one of my poems on it (yes, I was a poet in a past life) but I’ don’t have paint or pens; or make a patchwork of my scrap fabrics (most likely to happen). No, I can’t draw to save my life. Any other suggestions welcome 🙂

Hoodie poncho

January 22, 2012 § Leave a comment


Hello crafty  bodies. It’s a freezing day! Well, all right, it’s only 14 degrees centrigrade but in the desert that’s unexpectedly cold. Which brings me to today’s post, a very helpful tute on how to turn my college days (fine, fine I wore till last year) hoodie into a posh poncho (see what I did there? 🙂 )Pic’s already got the how-to’s but you should also check out the P.S. I Made This blog for other stuff you’d like.


Friday fun with fabric

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Excuse the title. My brain goes on default terrible copywriter mode when it hasn’t had its fill of morning coffee yet. Anyhoo, more goodies for me – weeeeeee! These courtesy of Tatiana Lisnewskaya of Pani Lisnewskaya Co. right here in the UAE. Very cool collection of fabrics but the reason I love them so much is they have fleece! Dubai may have a textile souk but unless you’re planning a wedding or making saris, finding the fabric you need is still a bit tricky. There’s a project I’ve had in mind for a few months now that requires fleece but never found anything but the fleece blankets at Carrefour, and those weren’t pretty. So thank you, thank you Tatiana 🙂

Much as I’d love to play with my new goodies all weekend long, I’m going to be busy with obligations far removed from sewing. But I promised myself I’ll have at least one project a week so I’ll have to make time. We’re doing something simple this week that’s a bit of a two-in-one: I get “new” clothes while I tick off two items on my TO-DO projects list that’s somehow grown longer in just a week. Hint: we’re refashioning jeans! Watch this space:)

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