Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Purchase Necessary

Thrift and resourcefulness are traits that have been passed down through generations of my family and in my house they are virtues ranked right up there with generosity and honesty.  My sense of practicality, therefore, is usually in the driver's seat when it comes to my crafting.  Asthetics are important to me, of course, but if there's a conflict, practicality usually wins.

I realized that there are tons of crafting projects that I do on a daily basis, but don't usually feel are blog-worthy.  They aren't always pretty, but they are usually free.  I use what I have to create what I need.  Well, today I will begin sharing these with you, in the hopes that you will be inspired to do the same.

The weather in Missouri has suddenly turned colder and Baby Bear has grown too tall to fit into her warm pajamas from last winter.  She has developed a love of nightgowns, as opposed to pajama seperates, so I decided to add a little warmth to her summer gowns.

Unfortunately, I'm no master seamstress, so many of my projects are kind of like on-the-job training.  I apologize if my process is a bit discombobulated.

As usual, I forgot to take a before photo, but here you can see what it looked like before i added the sleeves.  I took the sleeves off of an old nightgown of mine first.  I find sleeves difficult, so I pinned it together before cutting anything, just to make sure it was going to look right.  Starting at the shoulder, I pinned the sleeve to the front inside of the arm hole, then started at the shoulder again to pin it to the back inside.  Of course, there was much more material than I needed, so when I got it pinned, I marked where the seam should be at the bottom of the sleeve.  I then unpinned the sleeve and ironed it flat, so that i could use the existing seam as a guide.  I turned it inside out and measured from the existing seam to the mark I had made for the new seam.  After sewing the new seam on both sleeves and cutting off the excess fabric, I cut the sleeves to the desired length (they ended up being about 3/4 length sleeves on Baby Bear) and hemmed them.

I then pinned the sleeves to the gown again, making sure I wouldn't be sewing over the ruffles around the arm hole, and sewed them in place.  Voila!  A fall-ready nightgown.  3/4 sleeves are about as much as Baby Bear can stand, since she stays so warm all the time, but if the nightgown was for me, I would have made the sleeves longer and sewed the neckline of the other gown inside the wide neckline of this one (kind of like wearing a dickie under a sweater) to make it warmer. 

I hope you like my free projects.  I do so many of them that I'm sure I'll never get them all posted, but I hope you'll find some inspiration in the ones you find here.  If you're a free-crafter like me, please share your successes and learning experiences with us!

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