31 Days: Color – Day 21: Mellow Yellow Clutch

Remember these pants?

yellow pants

As soon as I chopped the legs off of them to make a skirt, I thought they were the perfect size to make a clutch. I had forgotten that I was going to make another clutch this month. So here’s the 2nd one. Don’t be surprised if there’s a 3rd. They aren’t too difficult to make, so they’re a little addictive.


I removed the hem and seams from the legs, leaving the largest piece of fabric I could.


Then I evened up the sides to make the sides a perfect rectangle. The measurements are 8 1/2″ x 16″ for each piece.


I placed right sides together and sewed one side, what would be the bottom of the clutch.


I pressed open that seam.


Next I found some charcoal gray felt for the liner. I cut this to 16″ x 17″.


I decided to attach the two pieces of fabric together before attempting the zipper. I placed the liner felt facing the wrong side of the corduroy before sewing.


Then I sewed the zipper on each side by facing the the right side (meaning outside when closed) down on the right side of the corduroy. (Yes, you expert zipper-sewers, I quickly realized that I didn’t line the zipper up correctly. I’m okay with it for this project, but I should have reread the directions before sewing.) I repeated this on the other side of the clutch. Then I unzipped the zipper halfway before sewing up the remaining sides of the clutch. I turned it inside out and pushed the corners out.


And there it is, a new clutch from the leftovers of a pair of pants.


A random interesting result of this 31 Days of Color has been seeing the projects to be done lined up beside each other (I have a little garment rack that’s been holding all my “diamonds in the rough” in the garage). It’s given me fresh eyes for color combinations. Orange and yellow is my current favorite.


And clearly life has mellowed out since the Rummage Sale. If you’ve been following this 31 Days series, you’ll notice I’m a day behind in posting my projects. I’m totally fine with it. See what a good night’s sleep will do for you?

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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31 Days: Color – Day 20: Rust and Warm Fuzzy Memories

Working on this dress brought back a lot of memories, but maybe not in the way you would think.


First of all, here’s the before. It isn’t going to look much different than the after, because all I did was hem it. This dress is perfect to wear with boots except that it is midcalf length and just looks frumpy with boots. Hemming is always my first defense against frumpy dresses. A different hemline makes all the difference.


When I thrifted this dress, I immediately fell in love with the pleats on the bodice. I’m a sucker for pintucks.


I’m also a sucker for a great label. That’s the way my Mom spells her name – Gayle! Working on this dress reminded me of my Mom. Not that she had this dress, although I’m sure she probably owned something similar at some point – it’s got that great ’70s feel to it. I’m not even sure what the fabric is – cotton? polyester? a blend? Who knows? All I know is it’s thick and soft, and it’s a pain to iron.

And that’s what started the memories. As I was ironing it by the windows, the sky overcast and looking like rain, the smell of the iron took me back to childhood. It reminded me of sick days, staying home from school, watching Press Your Luck and Card Sharks on TV from a pile of blankets and pillows on the couch (which was also rust colored) while Mom folded laundry and ironed clothes and brought me 7up and played cards with me. I hated missing school – I loved being there, and being with my friends, and I hated getting behind – but staying home was always fun, too. It was such a small memory, but it was so comforting just thinking about it.

A friend and I were talking about this a while back – about things from childhood that are surprisingly comforting. At the time, I had started Tivo’ing The Cosby Show. I said that it just made me happy. She said she felt like that, too – that there were shows and songs and other small things that just brought you back to being a kid, to being taken care of, to a time when our worries and stresses were few and far between. I wonder what it is in our home now that BB and BG will remember, what will be comforting reminders of when they were little and were taken care of by us?


So the original hem of this dress was a blind hem that was hand sewn. I have never really hand sewn anything (unless cross-stitch counts, another memory from childhood), and this looks pretty difficult.


I mean, you can barely even see the stitches. I am impressed.


I do have a blind-hem stitch on my sewing machine. :) Not sure how blind the hem will be since the closest thread I have to “rust” is red.


Ah well, not bad.


And the dress is now not frumpy, either.


A warm fuzzy dress that will be comforting for the fall and winter ahead.

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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31 Days: Color – Day 19: Red Gingham Boy (shirt) Meets Girl (sleeves)

I love gingham. When I was in middle school, I had a pink gingham blouse I wore all the time, often paired with my gingham Tretorn sneakers. (Remember those? They’re still around, but sadly, no longer in gingham.) I don’t think I’ve ever met a gingham I didn’t like.


This red one from the boys’ department was no exception. It’s sleeves were lacking – as in lacking any sort of girlishness. I knew I would wear it if the sleeves were tighter or gathered or something.


I dug through my elastic box and found this elastic the same width as the cuffs of the shirt. I measured the circumference of my arms and added 1 inch to the length for each sleeve.

making cuter sleeves

I turned the shirt inside out.


I used the seam ripper to open up the cuff.


I used a safety pin to guide the elastic through the cuff and overlapped the elastic by 1 inch.


I closed the elastic in a circle by sewing in a square.


I sewed the inside opening of the cuff closed by machine.


Then I lined up the outside opening of the cuff and ran a straight stitch on top. The seam is on the underside of my arm, so if it isn’t perfect, it won’t show.


The after – a boys’ shirt gets a much more feminine look.



And by making the sleeve fit tighter, it layers under a cardigan without bumps or wrinkles.


Did you know that gingham is often used like muslin as a test fabric before sewing? (I could never “waste” gingham that way.) And that Bridgette Bardot wore a pink gingham dress when she got married? Thanks, Wikipedia, for once again sending me down the rabbit hole. Seriously, what did we ever do before the internet? (Yes, I remember time before the internet. I was in middle school, wearing lots of gingham.)

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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