Monthly Archives: November 2011

Purple Blouse To Embellished Jacket

This project started out as a blouse I picked up at a local resale shop. I really love the style and deep plum color of this blouse, especially the iridescent colors it reflects under different lighting. And as interesting as this fabric is, the iridescence made it difficult to capture the deep plum color in the photographs below, but the true plum color is visible in the silky threading of the beaded trim.

What gave me the idea to embellish this blouse, and perhaps convert it to an evening jacket, was that the fabric color was a perfect match for a great trim I had bought months ago at a clearance sale. I’m a big fan of sparkly beaded trim embellishments and this beautiful trim happened to be such a bargain. It was so amazing to have found a trim and (months later) a blouse that matched so perfectly in this shade of deep plum purple.

I measured the blouse and trim, and was glad that there was more than enough trim to not only complete this project, but to sew onto both cuffs as well. To prepare the blouse, I washed and ironed it, removed all of the buttons (but not the cuff buttons). I then pinned down the collar to the inside of the blouse leaving just a half inch of the collar showing above the collar line. I then started hand sewing the pinned down fabric flat to the neckline.

Because the trim was ten yards long, it was heavy and bulky, so I decided to first pin it onto the blouse. I pinned one trim end to the front left edge of the opening up towards the collar, around the neckline, and then back down the front right edge of the opening (over the area where the buttons used to be). Once the entire trim was pinned in place, I cut the trim away from the edge end. Then I started hand sewing the trim to the blouse (which took me three evenings).

This was a simple and inexpensive project to do. I enjoyed working on this project and am very happy with the results. It’s amazing how a pretty trim converted the look of a blouse into a jacket.

Adding Trim To Jacket

Finished Purple Jacket

Recycled Magazine Glass Plate Collage

Recycled Magazine Collage On Glass Plate

It is very ironic how some of the things we take for granted, like throwing away magazines, can help you create your own very little treasured pieces of art. About 20 years ago, my husband used to collect depression glass pieces and I used to pick up a lot of clear plates at garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores. I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but I accumulated quite a few of these clear glass plates. I’ve always loved the art and paintings in magazines, especially some of the landscapes, florals and nature scenes. Even some of the ads were so beautiful that I would keep the magazines around for a while.

While recycling our paper one year, I got an idea that since I loved some of the art in these magazines so much, I would create a collage of some kind. I started by cutting some pages out, tearing pieces from others that I liked and placing them side by side to create scenes until I found the right combinations to create these collage plates. On one plate I created some Tuscan scenes, on others I created a stormy sky with some angels, and on another there was an abstract garden scene. The following plate is one of my favorite collage plates — it’s a painting of four persons dressed in Carnival costumes by a fountain. I carefully ripped multiple pieces from magazines to create a scene.

Recycled Magazine Collage On Glass Plate--Back Side

The clear glass plate is 9″ in diameter and the torn scene did not quite fit to the edges of the plate, so I Mod Podged it onto the center of the plate anyway. Once the piece on the plate was dry, I thought I’d use acrylic paints to paint in the clear parts of the plate by just matching the colors on the edges of the piece. I couldn’t believe how the plate began to look as I extended the edge colors to the end of the plate edges. Up close you could clearly see where the piece ended and the painting began, but from a distance, the plate actually looked like it was all one piece.

For strength and to protect the piece, I thought I’d Mod Podge some thick white art paper to the back of the entire plate. The paper was so plain and even though no one would see it on the back of the plate, I wanted to paint something pretty on it. I decided to paint a light blue sky with soft white clouds. Once the paint dried, I Mod Podged it to the back of the plate and as you can see, after all these years it has a little cracking on it, but it still sealed the plate beautifully. I love the brilliant colors of this beautiful piece and to this day it still hangs on my kitchen wall high above the cabinets.

Faux Zebra Fabric Hat Box

This whimsical piece started out as an old hat box that I had lying around for years. I even used it to store my craft paints at one time. About ten years ago, I got the idea to use some remnant pieces of animal print fabrics I had bought at a clearance sale at Minnesota Fabrics.

I measured this oval-shaped cardboard box and then measured the fabric. I carefully cut the fabric for the (outside) top and bottom of the box. Then I cut one long narrow strip of the fabric to cover the side for the top and a much wider strip of fabric for the side bottom part of the box. I also had some gauze-like zebra fabric that I used to line the inside of the box. This gauze-like fabric was very light and sheer yet it also had a visible zebra print that was very similar to the print on the heavier zebra fabric (that I used on the outside of the box).

I used hot glue to adhere the fabric to the box, yet I was careful to dispense very small dots of glue so as not to make it too bulky. I managed to smoothly glue the heavier fabric onto the outside of the box and the gauze-like fabric to the inside of the box. I then glued a black satin cording on the entire top edge of the box all the way around. I still love the way the box looks and I use it to store my little bottles of perfume that used to clutter my dresser.

Faux Zebra Fabric Hat Box

Faux Zebra Fabric Hat Box Inside Fabric

Faux Zebra Fabric Hat Box Bottom View

Embellished Navy Blue Blouse

This is a soft stretch cotton blouse that has a gathered v-neckline. Because the gathered neckline has a lot of texture, I thought it would look even more interesting with some sparkle in between the little creases of the gathered fabric. I had some iridescent bugle beads that reflected blue and purple hues of color. I sewed on a few bugle beads and saw how nice they looked, so I kept sewing them on.

When I sewed on the beads to about a three inch section of the neckline, I was really happy with how different the blouse looked. This project did take a while to complete, but after sewing a little while each night for about a week, I can say that the results were worth it. I still wear this blouse with jeans, but it’s nice to have given my blouse a fun and pretty new look.

Embellished Navy Blue Blouse

Closeup Of The Navy Blue Blouse Neckline.

Embellished Purple Blouse

I really like this purple blouse and wanted to give it a new look. I realized that when I wear this purple blouse, I always wear it with black — be it a pair of black pants or a black skirt. The blouse has a nice texture so I thought it would look nice with some kind of black trim around the neckline.

Recently, I found some black trim that I thought would look very nice around the neckline. After I measured the trim and the neckline, I confirmed that I had more than enough trim to complete this project.

Once I pinned the trim onto the neckline, I started to sew it on the blouse. I loved that this was a quick and easy project to do. Including the time it took to pin the trim to the blouse, I was able to complete this entire project in one hour. I’m very happy with the results and how the trim gave my blouse a new look.

TIP: The back (top center) of the blouse has a one-button closure, which makes it easy to remove over my head. However, please keep in mind the type of trim you use to embellish articles of clothing made of stretch fabric, because when you have to pull a stretch sweater or blouse over your head to wear it, the trim should also be of an elastic type to be compatible with the fabric.

Embellished Purple Blouse

Closeup of Embellishment On Purple Blouse


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