Refashion - taking in a dress

Before and after taking in the dress.  Also before and after highlighting my hair, obviously.

Hello again!  It's Kara from While Camden Sleeps.

Today's refashion shows the power of tailoring clothes to fit your individual body.  Refashioning doesn't always mean that you have to completely change something--traditional altering can often make something feel like new again.

I got this dress at Ross for $10.  It was about 6 sizes too big.  Obviously this was a problem that called for some changes.

Taking in the side seams was the easiest and most dramatic change.  And luckily, because it has capped sleeves, I didn't have to remove and resize the sleeves after taking in the dress.

What I did

First, I tried on the dress inside-out and marked where the new seam would be on each side.
The dress was a sheath, but I made it more of a subtle A-line when I took in the seams of the skirt.

I also used a seam ripper to remove the hem and lower it.  This made it just under 2 inches longer.

After taking in the side seams, I discovered that the neckline was too large and didn't rest on my chest properly.  I assessed the dress and decided the best solution for this was to add an additional pleat to each side of the neckline.  Normally, I would take it up in the shoulder seams, but since this dress already had pleats in the neckline, this made more sense.

To remove extra material in the bust area, I added darts for a better fit.  I don't have a dress form, so I tried the dress on inside-out and marked where I wanted to take it in.

The neckline and bodice after the alterations.

And the final result!

Summary: Having a dress fit properly can make a huge difference!
Side by side comparison before and after taking in the dress.
Until next time,

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The 10 compliments game - say the good stuff!

What if you said every good thing that came to your mind? 
What if you told that friend she looked great today? 
or told that stranger you liked her shoes? 
What if you took just a moment to utter a few words that could make someone's day? 
How much time and energy does a few good words really take? 

What if we all could have LESS of this of this mindset......

and MORE of this?  

A couple of high school seniors put this good thoughts idea to the test and started saying all the good things that came to their mind.  Can you imagine how saying all those good things made other feels and who how the ones GIVING the compliments felt and changed??? I believe you get back what you put out. So why not put out more good? I say YES!!! 

This goes along perfectly with a an EASY game that my husbands cousin introduced me to one day - The 10 Compliments game. 

Anytime you are out with your kids (or friends even) you set a number and a time frame or destination limit. Then you and all the other players (kids, friends, etc) compete to be the first person to hit that number before the time limit is up! 

Give 10 compliments to others before we leave the grocery store. 
Ready, set, go!!! 
Who is going to win first??? 

My kids are getting used to my "crazy" antics and ideas so they don't see it or me as weird - ha ha ha. 
This does helps us recognize some of our good thoughts and just how many good thoughts we have each day. Goes right along with our CLICKER TOO! It also helps each of us get outside of our box a bit. People aren't that scary although giving someone that first compliment can make you a bit nervous. It teaches everyone to overcome that fear. I've also noticed it helps be more aware. A little friendly competition forces you to be looking for compliments to give and in that process we are paying more attention to who is around us. Sometimes you might be able to spot someone who looks like they could really use a kind word. 

So give this game a try! It doesn't require any pieces and it can be played anywhere. It does produce big smiles, bigger hearts and better human beans - so watch out. You just might become more awesome than you already are (oh look at me giving a compliment! I'm one up already! *wink*)

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Time with MOM phone FREE

Hey Brassy Apple readers! This will be my last time posting here as part of Megan's team and I've had a lot of fun over the last year coming up with kid's crafts to share with you. I hope you've been inspired to do some creating with your kids, even if you haven't done exactly what I posted about.
I admit to feeling a little stuck when trying to come up with something for this last post, and I think it's because there's something I need to write about. And I haven't really been doing it. Which makes me feel a little fake about telling you to do it, and then bad for not doing it. Double Whammy. I think writing about it is going to be just the kick in the pants I need to start it up again. It's not even Earth shattering or amazing. It's so simple. Mom Time. Over a year ago I had this feeling that I needed to spend more time with my kids. I laughed to myself at first, because I'm a stay-at-home mom. "I'm with my kids all the time, how can I possibly spend more time with them!?" Then I started to pay attention. Two of my kids were in school. The time we "spent together" in the morning was breakfast and chores and getting ready for school. The time we "spent together" after school was homework, piano practice, dinner, dance class, piano lessons, meetings for me for church or PTO, their reading-to-self, you get the idea.
Then my son was still home with me all day. Our time "spent together" was me cleaning the kitchen or doing other things around the house, blogging, running errands, while he played in his room, or watched a movie or had to come with me to the store. Of course all these things have to get done, but I realized that all the time I thought I was spending with my kids, I actually wasn't. So there had to be something I could do. I started doing Mom Time with the kids, one on one, and tried to do it at least once a week (more with the one who's not in school) 
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Here's how it works: One of my kids gets my undivided attention for a set amount of time (say 30-45 minutes---set a timer!) and they help decide what we will do. It could be reading together, playing with cars, doing a craft, writing a story, painting nails, building a castle with blocks, etc. Not complicated, usually free and usually not leaving the house.
We talk, work on our activity, and I don't touch my phone! They know that I am theirs for that time. If your kids have phones (and if they do hopefully they're much older than mine ;) then make the same deal with them! It helps to get help from the other kids/ your spouse so that you're not having to get pulled away by anyone else's needs. Like I said, this is a routine I need to start back up again, and the kids always love it so much. Do you have any tips for spending time with your kids when you aren't distracted by other things? I'd love to hear! 
And I'd love for you to keep up with me on Instagram or Facebook. If you try Mom Time, let me know how it goes! Find fun activity ideas here to get you started:
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Spring GIVEAWAY - wardrobe and home

Put some SPRING in your step with some new items for your wardrobe and home! I'm teaming up with Flats to Flip Flops to get you in the know about this giveaway!  From spring cleaning to spring fashions to getting fit for spring..this giveaway is for YOU!!!

flatstoflipflopsc.om Spring Giveaway  with Freshly Picked, Sage & Harper, Agnes & Dora and more...
2 Packs of DrainWigs from DrainWigs
Sage & Harper bag from flats to flip flops
Pencil Skirt from Agnes & Dora
Infinity Scarf from Free Time Frolics
Mocs from Freshly Picked
4 BottleBands for you and your friends
One winner gets it all! Enter using Rafflecopter below! Open to U.S. Residents only. Giveaway ends April 15th! Fingers crossed!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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DIY Tulle Skirt Refashion

Hey Brassy Apple readers! I'm Kilee from ONE little MOMMA and I'm excited to be back this month with a project that has been a long time coming! Megan and I have a lot of things in common and two of those things are thrifting and refashioning. I love to shop at thrift store and I especially love to find projects while I thrift. Back in January I happened upon this amazing, although dated formal dress. I tried it on and found that the bodice was too small for my rib cage- but I couldn't leave that beautiful tulle skirt behind!The dress came home with me and I got to work creating an amazing skirt from a vintage dress.

I love easy projects and this is one that you can recreate too. It can be done in one afternoon with very few supplies. The materials needed for this projects are a formal dress, scissors, pins, a marker, a ruler and a sewing machine.

I started by cutting the top half of the dress off. I left about 4 inches of fabric from the bodice still attached to the skirt, but the rest came off.  As I cut, I had to cut through the zipper on my dress because it ran from the bodice into the skirt. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is to unzip the dress all of the way before you start cutting. By unzipping the dress all of the way down, the pull piece of the zipper is still on the teeth and you will still be able to zip up what is left of the zipper on the skirt.

After cutting the top off of the dress, you are left with the skirt and need to finish off the edge. I would recommend first serging around the cut edge if you have access to a serger. If not use a zig zag stitch to 'finish' the cut edge. Then fold the cut edge under and pin it all of the way around with about a 1/2 or more seam allowance. You can determine your seam allowance based on how wide you want your waist band to be.

Next run a straight stitch around the waist band, removing pins as you go, to hold the cut edge folded under. I ran a stitch at about 1/4" and a 1/2" distance from the top of the waist in order to create a strong finished waist. When you get to the zipper, just carefully sew over it. You are sewing a stop for the cut zipper which will prevent the pull from coming off as the skirt zips up. You can see the inside of the waist seam above and the outside below.

Below you can see the new altered waistband which converts the dress into a skirt.

After sewing the waist, I needed to check the length. I tried on the skirt several times and cut the skirt to the length that I wanted.

To cut the skirt length evenly I used a ruler and marker to mark six inches up from the bottom of the skirt lining all of the way around. Then I used those dots as my cutting guide.

Next I laid the skirt out and cut the tulle layer to match the lining. I tried the skirt on again and determined whether any more trimming was necessary. Once I got the length cut, I needed to finish the bottom edge of the skirt. The tulle did not need to be hemmed, but the lining did. I folded the fabric of the lining under just enough to finish the edge by sewing a straight stitch all of the way around the skirt.

And that is it! Basically this amazing refashion just comes down to cutting off the extra material from the top and the bottom and hemming both edges. It was easy, quick and I loved the result of mine!

This refashion is perfect for upcoming proms or formal to semi formal events. Thrift stores have an abundance of outdated formal dresses that still have great full skirts! How fun would it be to alter a dress into a skirt for just a few dollars and then find a sequined tee or a basic blouse to pair with it!?! I would have loved to have that option in high school and certainly will keep it in mind when I do have a dressier event to attend!

And as you can see on Pinterest and all over style blogs these days, tulle skirts are not only for formal events. I'm sharing a few ways to wear a tulle skirt on my blog today. I'd love to share them with you!

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Weight loss - You can change now

Last year Chalyce and I took on the challenge to Refashion our lives with a weekly video. A little snippet of something motivational, inspirational, true and from our own life experiences. So often as January comes each year we make goals or resolutions right? I know I do! and how often when February comes around (dare I say even the middle or end of January) are these new goals and aspirations like "dust in the wind." Been there done that lots of time! Raise your hand and own it if you've done that too! You're not alone and it's empowering to recognize that....and then move on. 

Staying in a state where you are unhappy, where you are wanting or needing change is your place of power. No one can make you change. No one can do it for you. You hold the power to change your story right from this moment. 

I bring this up now because it's April and WOW has this year gone by fast! I'm sitting here as the weather is getting warmer and there's a new focus on spring colors, spring/summer wardrobe and of course the dreaded question, "Are you swimsuit ready?"  Which my quick reply is, "Well no! I'm never swimsuit ready!" I'm also thinking where did January go and all my lofty goals of change in many areas of my life. I thought by April I would look different, or I thought something different would have happened, or I wish something else would have worked out, etc, etc, etc.... 

My point with all this rambling is it's not to late to change the ending. Heck, don't even worry about the ending - let's make this "chapter" something to remember. And that doesn't mean a great adventure or anything over the top. It means when you look back you will like what you see, how you felt inside about yourself and you will smile at the actions or strides you took. Even if they are just baby steps. 

If you are wanting to change physically who cares if it's April and who cares if it's Tuesday! You don't need to wait for January to roll around OR for Monday to come. 
You can start to today. 
YOU have the power to do that.

There's no need to re-invent the wheel or in this case the information when Chalyce and I created and shared it last year. Here are 4 videos where we address making a change about your physical appearance in the weight loss area. 

 Today is your day. 
What are you looking to change? 
and remember...

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