Friday, April 11, 2014

Thrift Store Refashion: 90's Jumper To Summer Dress In 15 Minutes!

 Why spend so much money on summer dresses at the mall when there are literally hundreds of oversized 90's dresses begging to be loved again at your local thrift store??

MC Hammer would be proud.
Take this, um, interesting floral jumpsuit that I found at a thrift store for just $3.00! Complete with shoulder pads, this outfit was just too good to pass up! I love floral print and I knew I could turn this into something I would be proud to wear!

After a trip to the washing machine, I used my seam ripper to open up the legs and that awful crotch piece:

Then, flipping the dress inside-out, I pinned the open legs together to form a skirt and sewed up the front and back of the dress:

I also cut off the weird square crotch section, so it didn't fold outwards when I wore it!


Next, I tried on the dress inside-out and used chalk to outline how short I wanted the dress to be. I wanted the hem to be slightly above my knees, so I drew the line at my knees, giving me plenty of fabric to hem with!

Cut off the extra material!!
Then, I folded the bottom of the skirt twice to hem it and make it neat and sewed.

Finally, I cut off those ugly shoulder pads and I was done!!

Good riddance!!

Voila! And it was a beautiful day in Boston to wear it out!

I decided not to take in the dress any more at the top, it fit me well enough and I didn't want it too tight either. I am so happy with how it turned out, and I can't wait to refashion many more dresses!

What are you waiting for? Go hit up those thrift stores! :)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pattern Review: Hobby the House Elf by Britni Husband

It's no secret that I am a huge Potterhead. I love Harry Potter so so much. It was my childhood! I even have a Harry Potter tattoo. So of course, I make many Harry Potter themed projects. For months I have been dying to crochet myself Dobby, yet I have been too cheap to buy a pattern. 

Well folks, I bit the bullet and finally purchased this Dobby crochet pattern on Etsy! Hobby the House Elf by Britni Husband is the absolute best Dobby pattern I have ever seen. Even better, the proceeds from this $6.50 pattern goes towards her daughter who has medical issues. As a CCT at a children's hospital, it is something that is dear to my heart. So you can make yourself a wonderful Dobby and feel great about helping a sick child as well!! Win win!! 

Without further ado, here is my Dobby:

So cuuuuute!!

This pattern was easy to understand and she included so many helpful tips and photos. I would recommend it to people who have at least some experience with crochet, but a beginner with enough patience can make this little guy without a problem!

This little guy took me a couple of days of on and off work, the arms and legs took the most time I thought. The total cost for Dobby was: 1/2 skein of yarn, couple yards of scrap yarn, and some safety eyes. About $3.50! You can't go wrong there!

Master has given Dobby an ear!!

Helping me pin some hems in place!

Although my Dobby may not look as good as Britni's, I am so happy with how he came out! Here is the link to the Ravelry page and again, the link to the Etsy page to buy the pattern.

Thank you so much Britni for this amazing pattern!

Make your own custom t-shirt with freezer paper stenciling!

Have you ever seen a really cool t-shirt design that you wanted to buy, but couldn't afford? While there are plenty of places to buy cheaper t-shirts with cool designs online, I like being able to customize my clothes with my favorite movies, hobbies, and quotes. Plus after I buy the initial materials, I can do it all for about $5 a shirt! This project is super quick and easy, and it's all your design! You can also use the same techniques for pillowcases, tote bags, or any fabric material!!

You will need:

  • T-shirt (I got a $5 fitted shirt from Walmart)
  • Printer to print out desired image/words
  • Freezer paper (you can find this near the plastic wrap in supermarkets for $3)
  • X-acto knife
  • Iron
  • Fabric paint in desired color
  • Paint brush
  • Pen or sharpie to trace design
  • Tape

Step One: Pick A Design!
For the t-shirt I am making in this tutorial, I printed out a silhouette of Aurora and Maleficent that I found on Google. Credit to the amazing artist Isabel Talsma. For the movie quote, I simply typed it out on my laptop. The font I used was downloaded for free from The bolder and larger the font, the better! If you choose thin letters, it may be hard to paint in the lines!
Once you have printed out your design, cut off the extra paper and line it up on your t-shirt to make sure it looks how you want it to!

I like it!

Step Two: Tape and Trace!!
Cut a length of freezer paper big enough to hold your design. Tape your design face down to the waxy side of the freezer paper, so you can trace the images onto the smooth paper side!! Outline your image in a pen or sharpie, I recommend a sharpie if you would like to make your letters larger.

Step 3: Cut!
Using your X-acto knife, cut out your letters and/or pictures. Make sure you save these! You will need to use some of them in your next step! Anything that is going to stay white (or the color of your t-shirt) should not be cut out!!

Step 4: Iron!
Take the taped image off of your freezer paper. Iron the entire freezer paper waxy side down onto your t-shirt where you want the design to go. This will anchor it in place while you paint. Make sure that any little hanging pieces that need to stay white are ironed down flat! For your letters (like a,e,o,c,u, etc.) Iron on the insides that need to stay white, here is a picture below:

Step 4: Paint!
Cut out a second length of freezer paper and slide it inside your t-shirt, so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back. I made that mistake the first time I did this! Take out your fabric paint and paintbrush and go at it!! Only one layer is needed, unless your specific paint states otherwise :)

Step 5: Let it dry and peel it up!!
Let your paint dry for as long as it states on the bottle, then carefully pull up your freezer paper. Make sure you get all of those little pieces too! You're done!!

My shirt was done in just a few hours, because I had so many little pieces to cut. The Harry Potter shirt I made has been washed and dried many times, and it still looks wonderful! Make sure you are careful to follow the care instructions of your paint, though! Go crazy and let your imagination run wild! 

Please leave any comments, questions, and feedback below! Thanks for reading! :)

~ Ashley

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Free crochet pattern! Olaf from Frozen!

     Olaf from Disney's "Frozen" Crochet Pattern!

By: Ashley Phillips (@thegingerbeast)

When I first saw "Frozen" in theaters, I instantly fell in love with Olaf. I mean seriously, who couldn't? That little guy made the entire movie. Of course, the first thing I did when I got home that night was search Ravelry and Pinterest for a pattern to make my own Olaf. I was pretty disappointed that all of the good patterns cost over $6. When you factor in the cost of materials, you might as well just spend the money for the plush toy at the Disney Store. I am not ashamed to admit that I am very cheap! So, I set about trying to make my own. Here's my first try:

Hi, my name is Olaf and I like warm hugs!

I'm very proud of myself for coming up with the pattern! And it only cost me $3 for materials! So obviously since this is my first pattern and I made up most of it in my head at work, please let me know if there are any issues or inconsistencies! 

Olaf's body is worked entirely in one round, so this pattern seems long but I promise it is very easy!

Happy crocheting!

  • White yarn. I used one skein (364 yds, 7 oz) of the cheap "Craft smart" Value yarn for $2 at Michael's! It's not as soft as some yarns, but it worked out really well!
  • A few yards of orange yarn for carrot nose
  • US size H 5.0mm crochet hook, or whatever size your yarn calls for. No real gauge needed.
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Tapestry needle
  • Black and white felt
  • Brown Pipe cleaners for head. 
  • Super glue.
  • Scissors

Stitch Explanation:

  • sc - single crochet
  • st - stitch
  • ch - chain
  • inc - increase stitches by single crocheting twice into one space.
  • dec - decrease stitches by inserting hook into stitch and pulling up a loop. With stitches on the hook, insert it again into the next stitch, pull up another loop and pull hook through all three loops. One decrease made.
  • PM - place marker
  • sl st - slip stitch

Olaf's Body!!

Round 1: With white yarn, make 6 sc in a magic circle. Instead of a magic circle, you could ch. 2 and complete 6 sc in the second ch from hook. (6)
Round 2: Inc around. PM. (12)
Round 3: (inc, sc in next sts) around. (18)
Round 4: (inc, sc in next 2 sts) around. (24)
Round 5: (inc, sc in next 3 sts) around. (30)

Note: Continue increasing around in that way for 13 rounds, until you have a circle that is 78 stitches across. For example, Round 6 would be (inc, sc in next 4 sts) around (36)…etc. The final round, Round 13, will be (inc, sc in next 11 sts) around (78).

Rounds 14-25: Single crochet around. (78)
Round 26: (dec, sc in next 11 sts) around.
Round 27: (dec, sc in next 10 sts) around. 
Round 28: (dec, sc in next 9 sts) around. 

Note: Continue decreasing around just like you were increasing before for 4 rounds. For example, the final Round 32 would be (dec, sc in next 5 sts) around. (36)

***Olaf's bottom half is all done (watch out for my butt!) Now we will start working on his "stomach", or middle area!***

This is what mine started to look like. (Sorry for the crappy picture, I was at work!)

Round 33-34: sc around.
Round 35: (inc, sc in next 5 sts) around. 
Rounds 36-38: Continue increasing around as above for 2 rounds until you reach (inc, sc in next 8 sts) around. 
Rounds 39-44: sc around 
Round 45: (dec, sc in next 8 sts) around. 
Rounds 46-49: Continue decreasing around as above for 4 rounds until you reach (dec, sc in next 4 sts) around. 

*Stuff body with fiberfill while you still have enough room, once you start his head he will be hard to stuff!
At this point, you can do what many children do at Build-A-Bear stores. I crocheted Olaf a tiny little heart, made a wish and stuffed it inside!*

Round 50: (dec, sc in next 3 sts) around.
Round 51: (dec, sc in next 2 sts) around.

***Olaf's stomach is done! Now we can work on his head!!***

Round 52-56: sc around.
Round 57: (inc, sc in next 2 sts) around.
Round 58: (inc, sc in next 3 sts) around.
Round 59-68: sc around.
Round 69: (inc, sc in next 4 sts) around.
Round 70: (inc, sc in next 5 sts) around. 
Round 71: (inc, sc in next 6 sts) around. 
Round 72-73: sc around.
Add more fiberfill to head, make sure you stuff so the head is shaped like an oval and not completely round.

Round 74: (dec, sc in next 6 sts) around.
Round 75:  (dec, sc in next 5 sts) around.
Round 76: (dec, sc in next 4 sts) around.
Round 77: (dec, sc in next 3 sts) around. 
Round 78: (dec, sc in next 2 sts) around.
Round 79-87: sc around.

Add more fiberfill, stretching the top part and shaping it more "oval" as you go.

Round 88: (dec, sc in next 5 sts) around.
Round 89: (dec, sc in next 4 sts) around.
Round 90: (dec, sc in next 3 sts) around.
Stuff with more fiberfill
Round 91: (dec, sc in next 2 sts) around.
Continue stuffing and shaping.
Round 92: Close with (dec, sc in next sc) around. Decrease a few more times until the head is closed. Cut yarn with a long tail and weave in ends.

Olaf's Carrot Nose:
*Stuff with fiberfill as you go, remember to add extra to the middle of the carrot since Olaf's nose is a little misshapen!**

Round 1: Magic ring, 6 sc. PM (6)
Round 2: inc around. (12)
Round 3: (sc, inc) around (18)
Rounds 4-7 sc in each st. (18)
Round 8: dec once, sc around (17)
Rounds 9-10: sc around (17)
Round 11: dec once, sc around (16)
Round 12: sc around (16)
Round 13: dec once, sc around (15)
Round 14: sc around (15)
Round 15: dec once, sc around (14)
Round 16: sc around (14)
Round 17: dec once, sc around (13)
Round 18: dec once, sc around (12)
Round 19: dec once, sc around (11)
Round 20: dec once, sc around (10)
Round 21: sc, dec around. sc in last st. (7)
Round 22: sc 2, dec, sc, dec (5)

Once you are done stuffing, close the hole and cut the yarn with a long tail to sew on to Olaf's face.

Nathaniel helping me cut out Olaf's "buttons"!


1. Cut three round circles out of black felt and place onto Olaf with super glue. One circle on his middle and two on his bottom half.

2. Sew Olaf's nose on to the ridge in the middle of his face, that gives him a more uniform appearance. Make sure the nose is over-stuffed so it is slightly crooked and points downward.

3. Trace or draw a mouth onto black felt and glue onto Olaf's face. Cut out a rectangle from the white felt for his teeth and glue that onto the top of the mouth.

4. Cut out ovals from the white felt for his eyes and tiny circles from the black felt for pupils. Glue these onto the top of his face. Cut and glue two tiny slivers of black felt for his eyebrows.

During assembly!

5. Trim down a few pipe cleaners and stick them on Olaf's head for "hair. For his hands, cut a pipe cleaner into two small pieces and wrap around a larger piece of pipe cleaner for "fingers". 

And you're done! Enjoy your Olaf! If you are making this for a small child, I would suggest leaving the pipe cleaners out so they don't poke themselves ;)

Please comment on my blog at with any questions, comments, or reviews! Thanks for reading!

This pattern is FREE and cannot be replicated for sale. All rights to Olaf and any "Frozen" character belong to Disney.