Saturday, February 5, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a poor tan jumper. The poor, old thing was so boring and worn that not even the homeschool mom, who undoubtedly donated her to the local Goodwill, could find a use for her. She was left hanging on the rack with all the other, once-loved, but now useless, jumpers, being sold for a meager $3.49. One day, a kind-hearted, jumper-loving, Goodwill-fanatic came across this poor, lonely jumper on one of her Goodwill rampages and took pity on the unloved thing.

And this is how the story went....

I have had this jumper sitting in my closet for about....oh....2 years. I really like it. It's so cute, but there's something about it that, every time I think about wearing it, makes me think, "No. There's just something not right about it." So, about eight months ago, I bought some fabric to see if I could fix the problem.

My two main clothing philosophies (these are broad strokes, folks. Aside from modesty, etc., etc., these are my clothing philosophies):

1. ruffles fix every problem. More is more when it comes to ruffles.
2. denim makes everything cuter.

Well, in the past eight months, I've used the fabric I bought for the poor old jumper....and I didn't use it on the jumper. I think I just didn't have a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with it. Uninspired, you might say.

But this past week, the inspiration suddenly came to me. I went to the fabric store. I was hoping to find some fabric which I LOVE from about a year ago, but they didn't have it anymore (to see the fabric, it's the top ruffle fabric from these skirts). So, I had to make do with something else. I found some fabric that was really cute but it had a stripe to it, which wasn't goin' places for me. But then I thought, "Hey, the stripe is wide enough. I can just use the part I like and leave off the part I'm not so keen on."

I also got some buttons, to replace the old buttons (three on the back and 2 for the straps). New buttons were all part of the inspiration.

(these are the old buttons)

So, late on Thursday night I started my project. I cut off the hem of the jumper and made a ruffle for the bottom.

I made a ruffle to adorn the top of the pocket on the front.

I made a little patch for the front, which is not a pocket, just a patch, because I've always thought that looked cute :) And I crosstitched it to the pocket, at the corners.

I made four ties (two for each strap) to tie the jumper closed instead of buttons.

And I sewed three buttons on the back.

I got all of that done and the ruffle on the bottom was cute, of's a ruffle, after all. But it had to be wide enough to make the jumper as long as I wanted which involved part of the stripe I wasn't wild about. So, the remedy? Another ruffle. (This is Philosophy One.) I cut out another ruffle, but this time only the flower part of the fabric. I hemmed the edges first (note to all you ruffle fanatics: this works much better than hemming it after you gather it.) and then pinned it on top of the other ruffle, closer to the top of the first ruffle, than the bottom. Then I sewed it down and took out the gathering stitches. The only problem is that the top of the ruffle is wanting to fall down and reveal that awful stripe that I was trying to hide, so I went around the top about every three inches or so, and made a little, tiny stitch to hold the top of the ruffle in place, but still leaving it free enough to be ruffely.

And, just so you know that my second clothing philosophy is still, "denim makes everything cuter": here's my outfit for tomorrow:

As I was taking these pictures Leah and I had this conversation:

"Do you really think anyone cares about your jumper?"
"It's not about my jumper. It's about my sewing projects. I always post about what I've been sewing. I mean, if no one wants to read it they don't have to. It's their choice whether they read the post or not."
"I guess that's true. But you might lose readers."
"Yeah, and we have so many of those. One of our main readers (at least who comments) is Brite and she would want to see this."

So in case no one else reads this post, Brite, I wrote it for you :)

The only problem is that those ruffles sure are troublesome to iron. But it's worth it. They are ruffles, you know?


brite said...

She's right, Leah. I DO care. And Sarah, the end gave me a pretty good chuckle. :)

Nice work- very feminine and totally fits in with your definition of the perfect outfit. It's rewarding to save an article of clothing from the eternal dark closet, and even more rewarding when it takes on a different look and life! I'm inspired to post about some of my alterations...I'll dedicate that post to you when I get it up. :)

Sarah said...

Oh yes! Please do post about some of your recent alterations. I always love to see what you've been working on. Thanks for the comment. Glad this post made you smile :)