Repurposing: A Cosplay Journey

IMG_4023Hello, all! Been a long time, hasn’t it?

Like a lot of people who sew, I have a lovely collection of garments that just don’t work. Sometimes, as in the case of one full-length, forest green peasant dress that I unearthed a few weeks ago, they are the result of a baby seamstress first figuring out technique and design, and not thinking about – let’s say, long-term wearability.

This dress was made for a 4-H sewing competition as part of a cosplay Time Lord outfit. Before cosplay was cool.

It struck me that peasant-style tunic-dresses are in, so I made a plan to repurpose the long, mostly useless dress into something fun and functional for (mostly) everyday wearing.

 

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Here’s the sketch I drew to convey the idea I had for the alterations to my sisters: Trendy off-shoulder with shoulder straps, high waist, straight skirt, and a buckle to allow a cosplay option.
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First, I cut out about 15 inches between the waist and the skirt length that I wanted. This turned out to allow too much for the bodice, so I shortened that by a couple more inches.
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I cut the sleeves into a cap-sleeve length, and used the fabric from one to bias-cut the shoulder straps and buckle loop.
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A tuck here, a seam there, a generous application of elastic, and voila! The dress turned out very cute and wearable, just above knee-length and perfect for summertime. The buckle, by the way, came off of some old pair of sandals: Never throw away anything! (kidding)
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With the skirt buckled up, it takes on an elven, cosplay look. And looks amazingly like my original sketch! (love it when that happens)

Perhaps I will edit this post to include a photo of me modelling this – with the waist cincher!

I love repurposing one garment into something totally different! A red plaid Highlander skirt has become one of my favorite dresses; and my pretty, princess-y Easter dress this year used to be a hideous ’90’s affair of pleats and sailor collars. But I forgot to document the process!

I hope you are inspired to try some repurposing this week ūüėÄ

-Abigail

 

 

 

 

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DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Over the last few years the acronym DIY (or Do It Yourself) has been floating around the internet. When I first saw it, I got annoyed at it – kinda dorky word!¬†But then¬†Abigail, Sarah and I realized that it’s no different from what we’ve always done – work with what you have and make¬†up little projects or crafts or food dishes or¬†cleaning supplies or – well the list goes on – and my mind¬†runs¬†blank. ūüôā¬†There are¬†too many things that we’ve done to list them all.

So to celebrate my continuation of creatively finding solutions for little everyday problems, I’m making a blog post about it! And maybe we’ll do more blog posts about our own version of DIY.

Ok, so the problem was we just ran out of dish detergent tabs and kind of need to run the dishwasher – we use a lot of dishes in one day, people!¬†And since I’ve been curious about making my own dish detergent for a while now, I decided to look one up. I found a couple that looked pretty similar. (First one I found¬†was on Tipnut and the second, which is the one I used, was on DIY Natural)

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DIY Dishwasher Detergent

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1/2 cut Salt
  • 3-4 drops essential oil (optional)

Mix it all up, making sure to evenly spread the essential oil. I used lavender, but you could use lemon, orange, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemongrass essential oil.

Use about 1 tablespoon per load, or more if desired.

 

 

 

This stuff is sooo white! It’s all powdery and clean smelling – until I added lavender, and then it smelt¬†all pretty!

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An added bonus for me was using up a few things we have in the cabinet. Like this stuff – we found¬†the¬†regular salt¬†in the back of the cabinet – does salt go bad? What little I tasted of it just tasted like regular salt. But since I didn’t want to use it in cooking, this was the perfect thing! ūüôā And I used up the sour salt – or citric acid. Don’t really use¬†sour salt¬†for anything else.

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Then I put it into my handy dandy jar, and there you go! And of course, always use the Collaborator – that’s the word we girls use for a big funnel – don’t ask why!

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Just ran the load with it –¬†looks¬†pretty good to me!¬†Nice and clean!

Has anyone else tried a homemade dishwasher detergent before?

What did you think of the results?

~Hannah~

Thankfulness Thursday: Fluffy White Cattails!

I would have published this on Thursday, like it should be… but WordPress was being weird. So – better late then never, right?

A few days ago, in the morning I went walking in the woods. I went with most of my family and my good friend and her mother. We went to see the last of the autumn leaves, but besides seeing some lovely fall colors, we got another little delight Рcattail fluff!

And that is what I want to feature for my Thankfulness Thursday! (Or Monday… doesn’t quite sound as good though!)

The picture below shows how we found these simple little delights, on the stock and ready to play with. Little did we realize how fun they were going to be!

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I’m sure, if you’ve ever played with these funny little things, you know how much fun you can have. Pinch one end a little and what looks like half an inch of compact tan colored semi-solidness then suddenly and¬†softly explodes in your hand and becomes a¬†practically weightless white cloud of fuzz!

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Personally, it was rather nice to get away from the political weirdness of the world and the other stresses of life, and I was very thankful to be able to enjoy one of the simple pleasures of life, that of my senses Рand my imagination Рbeing tickled by the joys of fluffy cattail clouds.

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Sometimes you don’t need that much to be entertained.

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My good friend, Addie, who had a lot of fun playing with the silly whiteness!

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We all got covered in the fluffiness – it got everywhere!

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They got on Abigail’s new red cape! (Abigail, you need to show the whole outfit later to all of our readers! I can’t wait to see it all together!)

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Also – I can’t help putting more than one thing for my Thankfulness Thursday post – I’m so thankful for my friend! Addie is very dear to my heart, and almost as close to me¬†as¬†my wonderful¬†sisters! All of my sisters – both blood and sister in the Lord – I am very thankful for!

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The wonderful, fun, sweet, lovable, patient and dependable Sarah!

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Abby, the delightful and kind, the generous and wise, the thoughtful and caring! Both such an amazing abundant blessing to me! I love you too!

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So there you go! Take a walk in the woods with family and friends¬†and enjoy the simple things of life! There’s so much to be thankful for in just these things alone!

Hannah

 

Cogs & Gears: Craziness!

Sometimes, in the midst of all the insanity, you have to find a moment of rest.

That’s what we’re up to this week, and it’s definitely time!

 

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A few props from a recent item photo shoot. They looked so perfectly Autumnal that they deserved a picture of their own!

 

What with one thing and another, things have been really crazy around here – as evidenced by the fact that we keep forgetting to blog! It’s been something like this:

  • Finally found a way to increase visibility on Etsy – which is wonderful, except that it means spending a lot of time and attention.
  • The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and there are so many ideas that we want to make and put out there on our Etsy shops!
  • The dryer isn’t drying, which makes laundry days slow. And then –
  • The washer developed homicidal mania (apparently), which makes laundry days impossible!
  • And the oven door won’t close.
  • And I stepped on a thorn! (Ok, that one’s a personal complaint!)
  • November’s coming, which means NaNoWriMo! and also:
  • Craft Fairs!

So – with all of this craziness happening and requiring urgent attention and lots of work – we’ve decided to take a week off from Etsy!

Counter-intuitive? Yes! But it’s a good time to step back and get a bit of perspective on where we’re going, which projects actually require our attention, and where our emphasis should be.

It should be interesting: No Etsy work, or talk, or shop work, is allowed. Instead, Hannah and Sarah and I will work on sewing some personal Autumn and Winter clothes, and focus on planning the novels we’re writing in November.

Sometimes, you need to step away from it all and take a break!

 

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Some of the very fall-like earrings that I have been feverishly listing!

 

(Of course, you can also use the coupon code “Halloween” for %15 off anything in my store, where I also have free shipping on Autumnal items. I’m really pleased with how my Autumn Ephemeral Earring line came out! Please feel free to take an inspiring look!)

And here is a slideshow of our recent excursions, for a bit of distance-recreation:

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-Abigail-

22, 23, 24… 25 Items!

Well, I don’t really have time to be doing a quick post right now, but I’m all excited! I just reached 25 items! I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I think I will actually!

Just 5 more items and I’ll reach my goal! Woohoo! Totally excited right now! ūüėÄ

Let my show you the items that I listed since the last time I wrote a blog post…

First there are the two hats, the cotton (or maybe cotton candy!) one:

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And then I did a wool slouchy hat! Which I have totally fallen in love with… I might have to take it for myself if someone else doesn’t like it! ūüėČ

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And now I come to the painting… I blogged about this one before, and I was all excited about it, but after having it on my shop all alone, the only painting on the shop, I just had to take it down again. It just looked too lonely! But it’s back again! And it has some company!

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Here is my other painting that I have up, which you might remember seeing before from a previous post, but I’ve decided to put them both there now, and they’ll be all one big happy painting family in just a few hours!

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So there¬†you go! A couple paintings, a couple hats, and in no time at all, I’ll be having more…Hopefully I can post again and show you the last of the 30 items on my shop! But till then, but dash off and do a bit of Saturday household stuff and more Etsy listings!

~Hannah

Doctor Who Trailer

I was just showing a feature in WordPress to Abigail, and I wasn’t planning on posting it, but since I already said I like Doctor Who, then here we go – I will post it¬† after all!

Doctor Who is having it’s 9th season, and¬†they just did a¬†second trailer,¬†and you can check it out¬†here! Rather exciting looking, although I really could do without Missy coming back again¬†– ever! But it seems like the Doctor and Clara are starting to find how they can connect, which was kind of a painful part of last season, so I’m all happy about that! I really love Clara – she’s short (like me – actually she’s two inches shorter than me) and is spunky and I just totally love her personal fashion!

Anyway, this is supposed to be a short post, so I’ll stop now! If Abigail’s not too busy today – or tomorrow – she’ll get to her Blogging Challenge thing. She’s number three, but I don’t know if she’ll actually do that one. But you’ll just have to come back and see for yourself, won’t you?

By the way, please leave a comment – tell me what you thought of the newest Who trailer?

10 Things No One Knows About Me

I thought I might as well start the first post in our blogging series.

But now that I look at the first blogging idea, I realize we already did that, our First Post.¬†That’s the “about us” post, so check that off the list!

Now I’ll do 10 Things No One Knows¬†About¬†Me.

  1. I love to make playlists on iTunes (mostly full of soundtracks by Hans Zimmer, Murray Gold, Steve Jablonsky, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Patrick Doyle, etc. etc. etc.)
  2. I love, love, LOVE Doctor Who! I have, ever since 1997 when I watched my first episode Genesis of the Daleks(practically completely behind the sofa!) and that episode was Genesis of the Daleks, with Tom Baker, the best Doctor ever.
  3. I played the flute for around seven years until I finished high school, and even a little after that.
  4. I love to make (and eat!) pot de cr√®me. I’ll post the recipe (which I got from a great friend of mine) soon hopefully. I promise you, it is melt-in-your-mouth chocolate heaven!
  5. I have something called hypermobility, or more commonly known as double jointed.
  6. I love to write in November for this crazy thing called NaNoWriMo.NaNoWriMo
  7. I love black tea in the afternoon.Photo By Luke Chesser
  8. And coffee in the morning!
  9. I love period clothing, such as the Civil War, Regency or even Retro clothing.
Myself in a simple Civil War era dress
Myself in a simple Civil War era dress, which I made myself

10.   And last but not least, I love to read. Anything from a good mystery (Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ellis Peters) to other favorite authors like George MacDonald, C. S. Lewis, Laura Ingles Wilder, Jane Austen, and Frank Peretti.

Well that’s my ten for today! It’s interesting trying to figure out what would be new to everyone! Well, talk to you later… Oh, but come back soon, since Abigail will be doing the next one.