Showing posts with label tacky Christmas sweater party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tacky Christmas sweater party. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY: Tree Skirt to Lady Skirt in 60 Minutes or Less

This year, we started a weekly sewing group at my school which is strictly Adults Only. As soon as the kids are piled onto the bus and sent on their merry way, we clear the tables of art-making shrapnel (because, let's face it, it always looks like a craft store exploded in my art room), bust out the ironing board and sewing machines, mix ourselves a coupla drinks (coffee, that is) and set to work. Most of the lovely ladies that attend have little sewing experience which makes me their (completely inadequate) leader. Frightening thought, no?

Now what I love about this group is that they are fearless. When we first began, we all tackled the same project: A Reversible Waist Apron. Once that (first time for many) project was finished, these sewing rockstars were ready to tackle anything! So far they've created such sewing wonders as more aprons, a stocking, baby clothes, grown people clothes, etc. You name it, they're gonna make it. 

So when one of them shared a pinterest pic of a tree skirt gone lady skirt, there was a collective "Eeeee! Let's make one!"
The vintage pattern I used was Simplicity...and it might have been a little too simplistic for my taste. You see that wee gap at the back of the waistband? Totally not addressed in the pattern. No add a button, stitch in a hook and eye, staple together, none of that! I'm thinking of adding a hook and eye...but for now the prob was solved with a black belt-addage.

Since I'd be helping these ladies along (and because I was SUPER excited about this idea), I decided to get a jump start on my tree skirt makin' and trouble shoot the making of such. First step: Finding the Perfect Tree Skirt. I knew I wanted it cheap and vintage (exactly how I like my wine) and a quick trip down etsy/ebay lane lead to the click-to-buy purchases of this little lovely and that denim number a coupla photos down.

When I blabbed about it on Facebook, several buddies reminded me of this episode of Designing Women where Bernice dons a tree skirt and the following goes down:

Mary Jo: Bernice, why are you wearing your Christmas tree skirt?
Bernice: Well, this is the skirt you gave me for Christmas.
Mary Jo: Yes, I know. It's not to wear. It's a Christmas tree skirt. You're supposed to put it around the base of your Christmas tree.
Bernice: Oh! Well, no wonder. I like to never got this thing on. I finally just let the waist out and tied it with a belt.

And that's TOTALLY what I did! 

(P.S. Should Mary Jo REALLY be throwing stones when she's wearing shoulder pads AS BIG AS HER HEAD?! Me thinks not.)
But before we get into all that, lemme just tell you that this skirt is huge. Add a crinoline underneath and it's huge-er. So much so that one 2nd grader inquired, "What's under that thing that makes it so poofy!?" At one point my wide-poofy-ness totally swallowed one kindergartener and knocked down two others. AND at bus duty, the whole skirt decided to blow STRAIGHT UP in the air. Thankfully, nobody saw that happen...or so I thought until a dad walked up behind me and said, "Be careful of that wind!"

Doggone poofyness.
So, just how does one go about turning a tree skirt into a big a$$ poofy lady skirt in 60 minutes? Well, get yo'self a tree skirt. There are some cute ones at Kohl's, Marshall's, TJMaxx, yo mama's house, you name it. If you shop online, make sure that you check the diameter of the skirt. I chose ones that were between 45-50". 

STILL can't find one? Dang, you are picky. Use a cute round tablecloth! 

Then, if you can get your kitten mittens on a circle skirt pattern, that might make your life easier, but it's not necessary. Measure your waist (always a pleasure) and create a paper circle that has the same diameter. With that, simply open your skirt (or tablecloth), center the circle and cut it out. From the circle, decide where you want the back to be (or side if you want to have a side zip) and cut down 9". Then, try on the skirt and make sure your hips can fit comfortably through the opening. If so, let's move on! If not, cut a little more until they do.

Circle skirt pattern friends, you got it made. Add the pattern to your skirt and cut. Here I am cutting the waist of the skirt to size. You can see the original tree skirt opening above my pattern.
Now my skirt was not open at all, as some tree skirts are, it simply had a hole in the center. So I proceeded to cut all the way from the opening to the bottom of the skirt. Which was super stupid. I shoulda just cut that length of the zipper. Sometimes my brain is off. Since I had cut to the bottom, I followed the directions above. I trust you can read 'em cuz I'm too lazy to type. Been a long bossing-children-around kind of day.
When it comes to adding zippers, I ALWAYS use this Scotch Tape trick. You can read the details here (again, too lame to move fingers around the keyboard for you). Once that little detail was complete, I created and attached the waistband. 

To create the waistband patternless, you'll need to cut a piece of fabric (I used denim because it was thicker and stronger than cotton and could handle the weight of my skirt. Because she's a heavy b%tch). The fabric should be 4" longer than the waist of your skirt and about 4" in height. Attach that to your waistband with right sides together and stitch. Once attached, fold waistband up and iron. Now, fold waistband in half lengthwise, tuck a 1/2" under and sew a topstitch across the waist. Those extra 2" on each side? Tuck them on the inside of the skirt and topstitch the crap outta 'em. 

Wow. Awesome directions. Do you see why I kinda feel sorry for those ladies in the sewing group?
Yayness! One Tacky Tree Skirt complete, one to go! Which is after I said, "no more Christmas clothes!"...meanwhile there's a felted sweater in the works and a dress on my cuttin' table. I've got Christmas-itis in a bad bad way.

Later, kids!
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY: The Tacky Christmas Sweater

One out of the four Christmas trees in my living room is currently a little less decorated. For a good cause. We were having our First Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Day at school. And I was not to be out-tackified.

 I think hubs thought I'd gone mad, as it was approaching bedtime (which is an embarrassing 9 pm) when I started de-garlanding our tree. 

"Why are you taking down the tree?" he asked.  

I responded with a frantic, "I'm not taking down the tree, I'm making a Tacky Christmas Sweater with the tree because tomorrow is Tacky Christmas Sweater Day and I don't have one to wear!"

Nodding his head as if that explained everything (which it would if you knew me), "Oh, okay. I'm going to bed."
My DIY Supplies: sweater: thrifted leopard-print sweater; other stuff: Target: garland, fishnets, tights and random $1 ornaments that didn't make the cut
I don't know what "I'm going to bed" stands for in your house, but in my house it's kind of like a duck-and-cover technique. As in, "I just don't think I'm up for this kind of crazy, I'm callin' it a night."
When you make your own Tacky Sweater, don't let the garland just run freely under the needle as shown above. Show that garland who's boss by holding it in place as the photo below.
Because I had mucho cleaning to do in preparation for hub's big Second Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Work Christmas Party (aka SAGHCWCP), I didn't have much time to spare working on this sweater. Thankfully it was a 15 minute DIY which is nothing short of a Christmas Miracle for this Pokey Little Puppy.
Care to make one of these Tacky Lil Numbers? Easy. Just do the following:
  1. Set your machine to the zigzag stitch. I began with the bottom edge of the cardigan.
  2. It really helps to use your fingers to separate the garland at the middle as you sew. I felt certain that I'd never find a silver pin again in all that silvery garland, so I did not pin that mess down. I just went at it.
  3. Be prepared to vacuum up a lot of garland shreds as the needle tends to chew threw the garland.
  4. Make sure to really back stitch at the beginning and end several times. This will prevent the garland from falling out all day long. I did this and I still lost garland. I felt I was leaving a trail of Christmas where ever I went.
This sweater seemed to be a big hit with the kids and my coworkers. Folks kept dropping by my room all day long saying, "I was told I had to come see The Sweater."
Because my school is full of wonderfully fun folk, I wanted to create some awards for their taking part in our First Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Day. We met for a hot minute after school to snap a year-book-worthy group photo and pass out these cheesey awards I created on the fly. Because of their NC-17 nature, we waited until the little ones were out of the building.
I paired my tacky sweater with my double pairing of Target tights (guess who has a serious fishnets-over-tights addiction?), my black Anthro belt, a vintage dress, a wee little red bow and a giant hair bow.
It was funny how this total tack-tastic package was like a Double Punch: first the Pow! from the Glittery-Garland-Gawdiness and then the Bam! of the Bizarro Bow Bun. I actually had to demo this hair how-to to about a dozen of my little girls. They were fascinated. Special thanks to Twila Jean for the super simple youtube tutorial!

And there you have it, kids. May the tackiness be with you this holiday season.

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