project runway top

i’m not one for paying full price for much of anything. i did pay full price for my sewing machine, but it was a gift.

so, when it came to actually sewing things on my sewing machine, i wasn’t about to pay a ton of money for patterns.

enter the best store ever: Scrap Exhange

if you live in the north carolina triangle area and you craft, i have one word for you: GO. here’s the deal. they take a bunch of fabric leftovers and donations, then resell them for cheap. they keep a lot of stuff out of the landfill, including a variety of sewing patterns. they’re like 25 cents a piece. yes, you heard me right.

most of them are from the 80’s. think huge shoulder pads. but not all of them. so imagine my excitement when i found this pattern.

one thing i didn’t notice, though, was the size range. it’s a leeeettle too big. however, that gave me the opportunity learn how to resize a pattern. so, how did the pattern work? well, judge for yourself:

i used some fabric i also bought at the scrap exchange. you can kind of tell from the picture that it’s shiny. but you can really tell the true shininess from this picture:

it’s great material. i like shiny, bright colors and the fabric’s great for a summer day. unfortunately, i didn’t have enough to make all of the stripes horizontal. it adds character, right?

that’s what i thought.

so some thoughts about the pattern. first of all, it was too tight around the bottom. i’m not sure if it was due to the adjustments i made or the fabric i used, but it certainly did not look ¬†like the picture on the pattern. my solution was to create slits on the side. you can kind of seem them in the picture above. they come up to my hips. unexpected alteration, but worked well.

also, there was some wonky issues with the gathering. even though i followed the finishing directions, it just didn’t look as clean as i hoped. again, this could be me. i’m not a perfectionist when it come to anything. and sewing is no exception.

my solution? shiny iridescent ribbon makes everything look better. i sewed it over the wonky gathering. it works.

in summary, i spent around $4.50 to make this shirt. i really can’t complain at all. i’ve already worn it and i’m pretty darn happy with it. got some compliments on it too (but people could have just been being nice).

  • pattern: 25-50 cents
  • fabric: 3 dollars
  • ribbon: 99 cents

things i should be doing

i should be editing a powerpoint presentation right now. that’s my work task.

but i need a break. and i don’t know where some of the information is that i need. which makes it hard to edit said powerpoint. plus there’s the additional frustration that i’m the one editing the powerpoint.

master’s of architecture = qualified to edit powerpoints


dining room chairs

well… this blog is off to a slow start. maybe it’s good to pace myself.

my motivation in starting this blog was because of all the other blogs online. there’s so many people out there doing tons of cool diy projects. i really like doing diy projects too. and i thought this might be a motivation for that.

since i’ve taken a lot of time off from blogging, maybe it would be best to go back to some projects i put together while on hiatus. what shall we start with? something i already have pics of would probably be appropriate. we’ll start with my dining room table + chairs. i’ve always loved this project.

when i first moved to raleigh, i lived in a post-war ranch. the lady who had owned it, passed away, leaving it to her son. he piled most of the furniture in the basement and shed. when it came time to move out, i bought a bunch of items from the son. the table and chairs below are one of the items.

i really wanted to keep the set the way it was. i mean, come on, look at how cool it is? and quirky. unfortunately, the vinyl was splitting and the paint was flaking off. it just wasn’t going to work.

so after lots of sanding, cutting and stapling, i ended up with this:

IMG_2410 by westiegt

the chairs are a pewter color and the fabric is a table cloth from ikea (oh ikea hacks… my fav). i like how bright they are. and i had enough extra fabric to make matching curtains!

let’s see… do i have any tips? i started out with a wire brush to sand down the metal. worthless. just stick to sand paper and scuff it up. i was trying to remove all the paint. not necessary.

i can say that after 2 years or so, everything is holding up perfectly!