Here’s the second project from my jean challenge.  I made this teddy for my mother-in-law for her birthday.  It is made from an old western shirt that has lots of sentimental value to her and a pair of her lightweight denim pants.  She was thrilled with her present and remembered giving me the shirt a long time ago.

I used a commercial pattern to make this bear.  It was fairly easy to make and I am thinking of a way to make recycled stuffing for future projects like this.    I have plans to make several more since it was an easy, fun project and makes a great gift.  These would be really cute with lace collars, or other fun embellishments.


This was such a fun project, so I guess I am sticking to rule number 3.  I got the idea from Betz White’s blog and then I took it from there.  This one took me awhile because I am so unorganized in my studio and I hadn’t mastered just cutting into things instead of ripping every seam.  I also had to figure out how to work the middle pocket, I am not an engineer for sure, so have to learn by trial and error.  But I learn fast and the next few should go much more quickly.  I am not sure if Betz backed her apron but I like a more finished look, so I added a backing.  Next, I hand stitched my Darn Cute label where the original jean label was (which is being recycled too).   I am hoping to make several more of these Darn Cute aprons with different fabrics and styles.  This project will get rid of a lot of jean backs!

Project materials:

1 pair jeans- back only
1 plaid shirt- ruffles, top of middle pocket & flower
large scrap of orange fabric-back & flower detail- yo-yo flowers
pieces of a sheet- bottom part of middle pocket hidden below seam line.
embroidery floss- label
covered button base- jean button flower center
3 small buttons for yo-yo centers

Create a Day,


The big reveal is here!  My inspiration for this ensemble came from the familar saying after I playfully fashioned a tulle mini train and decided it wasn’t so silly.  I used old and new buttons and trims, borrowed lots of ideas and techniques from Belle Amoire and Altered Coutures magazines and websites and put them on the blue denim shirt foundation.  As I began to create, a picture of a dear, sweet sister in Christ came into my head and off I went.  I knew she would love it and when I gave her a sneek preview, she did! 

So now it is your turn,  But you must first indulge me in sharing my creative process since it is the first process I have ever really gone through.  After a full year of Altered Couture dreams and acquiring what would amount to a pretty substantial thrift store worth of stash, I finally decided it was my time to become a refashionista!  So I took a cute little short sleeve denim shirt, removed the pocket and made a cute petal shaped pocket with my own variation of a ruching technique.  Now, if you peeked, what you see in the pictures is nothing like what I am describing.  That is because I was not in a cute mood.  I wanted to be artsy, wild, creative and bold. But that really isn’t me yet either, so I got romantic and I am so happy I did.  NO, Curtiss was not involved in the process.  But my stash of ribbons, lace and vintage buttons were. 

I set aside the first shirt minus it’s pocket and grabbed another shirt and put it on my dressform.  I stared and pondered and then inspiration.  I wanted long, flaired sleeves.  I grabbed a pair of way too small for me  flaired jeans and cut the legs off.  I put it on my arm and marked it so the hem would just hit at the top knuckles of my hand. Next, I took the old short sleeve and used it as my sleeve cap pattern and cut the top of the jeans using the sleeve pattern.   I did my gathering stitches so I could ease the sleeve in a bit.  I had this piece of tulle in a cubby near my dressform, so I grabbed it, pinned it inbetween the shirt and sleeve ruffling it a bit . Yeah!  I liked it, so I unpinned and then sewed them in place.  Next, I began to go through my stash of ribbons and trims coming across the really ruffly trim.  It is too wide so I folded it, intending on cutting it if  I liked it but I decided it looked good folded and full so I sewed it in place.  I added a piece at the collar, again trying unfolded and folded and decided that it was perfect with the ruffle pointing up.  Next, I worked on the rest of the sleeve auditioning different trims and laces then stitching them in place.  While digging, I found my crocheted doilies and I tried out several as a medallion on the back, a few on the front but I removed them settling on just the one on the front and one on the back.  Next, came the buttons on the pocket, the piece of trim over the shoulder, just kept insisting on being there.  I moved it, returned it, took it off, put it back, finally it stuck.  Then it was time for a break.  As I was playing with a piece of the ruffly lace and making a little flower.  My mom happened to be here and suggested putting the ruffle in the pocket, Yep!  that is were in needed to bloom.   After my little break, I chose the embroidery design for the bottom of the left side.  After doing the design, I tried to decide how to balance the other side.  I moved the sash/belt out of the way and it landed where you see it now.  Yes!  that was what it needed.  Next came the pins out of my jewelry stash and I was almost done.  I love unexpected linings, so I began my search for a shiny, silky shirt.  I wasn’t quite sure how to measure and fit it,  so I cut out the sleeves and began pinning.  When I came up short, I decided to hunt for another fabric to combine with the paisley I ended up using for the front and the inside medallion.  Once I found the right pieces, I decided that I needed wisdom on how to do the lining.  I knew I could have measured it and made a pattern, but I wanted a quicker, easier way.  I decided to sleep on it and asked the Lord for inspiration.  True to His word to me , I had a dream showing me how to make a pattern out of the existing jacket without having to measure or unstitch it.  I am planning on doing a tutorial on that method, so check back soon.  Once the pattern was made, I cut the pieces out and then stitched them together.  I decided to hand stitch the lining in and I am very pleased that I did.  My last step was to try to glue some buttons from which I had cut the shank off onto the existing jean type buttons.  While that dried, I chose a small embroidery design to “mend” the tiny holes in the skirt lining.  The lining was originally from a cast off Gunne Sax prom dress.  It was clean but had some small holes.  I kind of like the hidden random designs that will be discovered by only closer inspection.  The tulle mini train was crafted and a pin was attached to the back so that it can easily be removed and the jacket worn after the ceremony.   I was really disappointed at first when I picked up the jacket this morning and the buttons fell off.  The glue I used was supposed to be very strong, so I am not sure what happened, but decided to go with the orginal closures because I was running out of time.  Out of time?  Yes, I needed to mail off my ensemble to Altered Couture by today!   So without further ado!  Here is the gallery:  Clicking on the pictures will give you a larger picture and more detail.  Enjoy!



A denim top and a room full of treasures that are speaking to me- Check back to see what they say!


I decided to post a few teaser pictures of a fashion redo I am working on.  This is truly my passion and now that I have my studio somewhat set up, I just had to answer the voices.  One of the things that I love about this type of project is when it starts to take on a life of its own.  I feel like I am just the helper and the project creates itself.  I have been so inspired by several artists I have seen in Altered Couture magazine.  Rather than be content to look at what others are doing, I decided to give it a try.  Check back in a few days to see the completed work. 

With any luck, a few more art supplies and a bit of warmer weather, I hope to make this a habit.  I can’t wait to experiment with hand dying, fabric paints and transfering print art to fabrics.     



This is what has kept me from blogging.  But it was so worth it.  Stay tuned to see what comes out of the studio!  Click the images for a larger picture!