31 Days · creative habit · Good to Know · Sewing · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 14: Duct Tape Kind of Day

It’s been a pretty fun day around these parts. It included a Pumpkin Patch field trip with BB’s class, light sabers from the dollar store, and sewing. Doesn’t get much better than that!

So, while I was chaperoning at the Pumpkin Patch, I got to pick up some of the baby animals and give them to the kids to hold. Now, I’m not much of an animal person. This will not be a surprise to some of you.

But here is photographic evidence that I used to not be such a chicken:


(Yes, I used to work at a science museum where it was my job to take the ball python, millipede, and various hissing cockroaches out of their cages and hold them to allow visitors to touch them. I can hardly believe it myself.)

I always feel a little nervous when I have to pick up an animal. But, for BB’s sake, I was brave at the Pumpkin Patch. I put a little kitten on his lap to pet, and then I passed it along to another child.


As I was taking a photo, the kitten jumped out of the child’s arms and jumped up underneath his home, in a tiny crawl space between a big bale of hay and the wire underneath his pen. I realized it was completely on me to get this kitten back in his home. I panicked for a few seconds. Then I spent 4 excruciating minutes trying to coax him (pull him against his will) back out. I could feel my hands getting torn up by what I thought were his little claws. Turned out I was getting splinters from his pen – seven altogether on the back of my hand. My right hand. My dominant hand. Have you ever tried to use tweezers to remove splinters using your non-dominant hand? Yeah, those seven splinters aren’t going anywhere.


But I was so excited to work on a sewing project today. Seriously, just seeing this “sewing machine” box in my house and not in the garage put a smile on my face.


I thrifted this dress a few weeks ago with the sole purpose of turning it into a skirt. I love navy, and a polka dot navy skirt would be lovely to have.


It appears to be one of those dresses that originally had two pieces – this skirt/dress part and then a jacket that went over the top. I remember these dresses a lot in the late 80’s. Mine only came with the skirt part. I’m guessing that’s why it was only $1.


I started by cutting it off at the waistband. I just cut right through the zipper because I wasn’t sure how long I wanted it to be in the end. (I’m saving the zipper from the bodice for another project.) I cut off about 4 inches from the top of the skirt. (I ended up using that later.)


I ironed the skirt and then did a double fold for the waistband.


I planned to use 1″ elastic inside the waistband, so I created the little pocket to be about 1.5″.


I stitched the hem closed, leaving about 2″ at the back to insert the elastic. Once I had the elastic inside the pocket all the way around, I stitched the elastic together and then closed the hem. (Here’s a project that shows how I stitch elastic together.)


The skirt was looking pretty good here, but I decided I wanted the waistband to look a little more finished. I took the extra 4″ strip I cut off at the beginning and ironed it.


I folded it in half, right sides facing, and ironed again. I had cut it rather sloppily, so I measured to see what the smallest width would be for this strip, which was about 2″.


I got out some duct tape to mark 2″ on my sewing machine base. My idea was, if I keep the ironed edge of the fabric lined up with the duct tape, I should be able to sew the strip evenly.

(At this point, I also cut a big piece of duct tape for my hand. Did you know duct tape can be used to get out splinters? If part of the splinter is still outside of the skin, the duct tape can pull the rest of the splinter out. I remember reading this years ago, and I’ve used this technique successfully many times. Today it worked on 3 of the 7. The rest are very tiny and embedded below the surface. Might need some help on those. Oh joy.)


Once I sewed the strip, I pulled it right side out, stitched up the ends, and ironed it into a little sash. It makes the waistband look more polished.


Tying the sash into a little bow in the back felt a bit Suzy Homemaker with an apron. But in a good way.


I paired it with my blue necklace from last week.

14 - apron skirtYay! First sewing project completed from the new house. Now to find a place for the sewing machine to live – definitely not going back in the box.

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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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10 thoughts on “31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 14: Duct Tape Kind of Day

  1. You holding a snake? I’ve lived long enough to see it all now! You know, navy blue polka dot is my favorite!! Remember that long dress with the jacket I used to have?

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