Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Dress Shirt Re-purpose Projects

Here are some more treasures you can re-purpose the old dress shirts into.  My friend Keri Ann pointed this sweet tutorial out to me the other day. 

Cheytown posted this New Minty Fresh Tutorial on Craftster.  She turned this dress shirt...

 blue shirt

into a sweet little girls dress.

blue toddler dress  

Click HERE to see how she made it.

What else can you do with an old dress shirt?

This is what JudyPete made. 

dress shirt quilt

Ms. Antionette from posted this dress she made from two men's dress shirts.


I guess what I'm saying is that with a little creativity you can give new life to old clothes and have a little fun to boot.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dress Shirt to Apron Tutorial

I think that re-purposing clothing has to be one of my favorite hobbies right now. So my next few posts might include some of those ideas.

My Daughter was invited to a double birthday party this week and in an effort to save a couple of pennies I decided to make part of the gifts. I ended up with these two darling kid-sized aprons. Then I included some kid sized cooking tools for the girl and a paint a birdhouse kit for the boy.


Here is what the aprons looked like in their previous life. Dress Shirts (size L and XL) from the thrift store. I think I spent $2.50 for one of them and $1.50 for the other.


Here is the basic pattern I used for these aprons. I measured and cut the pattern out of a newspaper then pinned it to the back side of the dress shirt.


The pink apron was big enough it didn't go into the yoke portion of the shirt. The denim apron needed the yoke part but it added to the work style I was going for.


Then I unpicked the pockets off the front of the shirts to be re-used later on the apron.


I also cut 3 inch wide strips out of the shirt front. and Saved the button hole portion for a hammer strap on the little boys apron.


Using both shirt fronts I cut maybe a total of four different length 3 inch wide strips. Then I sewed them together and ironed on a slightly smaller strip of lightweight fusible interfacing.


On the denim apron I saved part of this portion of the shirt for an extra pocket on the front. Using the button edge for the pocket top.


Then I took the main apron body folded and ironed a hem on the top and sides.


Top-stitched those hems into place.


Now it's time to add the straps. I marked the center of my long sash and measured down 8 inches before I attached the front side of the sash to the backside of the apron. They've been flipped out for this picture.


On the lower portion of the sash I sewed right sides together and trimmed the end to an angle. I used a wooden spoon handle starting at the end to work the apron sash right-side out.


Sadly I neglected to take a picture of these next step. But I pressed a hem in the unsewn, top part of the apron sash, folded it over (wrong sides together) and top-stitched it into place. The top stitch shows beautifully on the front side of the apron.

I also positioned the pockets where I wanted them to be and sewed them into place.

To personalize the aprons. I took some white material and fused it onto the double sided iron on adhesive. I used to buy it when it was called wonder-under. Not sure what it's called now. Other than a fusible, no-sew, adhesive.


I then traced and cut out the initials of the little people I was making the aprons for.


After taking off the paper backing I then ironed (fused) them into place where I wanted them to go on the aprons.


My sewing machine is a bit ancient but it can still pull a zig-zag stitch out. So I zig-zagged around the initials for added durability.


The pink apron didn't have as many pockets so I used the sleeves and portion of the front shirt to make a little chefs hat.


I found the free pattern for the chef's hat at You Can Make This. Click here to see. I had to add an extra seam down the middle of the hat. But it's not noticeable when finished.


These aprons I made for little kids turning 7, but you can tell that they would probably fit a child up to 10 years of age.


This gives you an idea of where I placed the pockets and hammer strap on the little boys aprons.

If you looking for an adult sized apron from a dress shirt there is another tutorial by The Farmers Wife. She amazingly took this pink men's shirt...

pink shirt

and using a bit of sewing magic turned it into this lovely number.

pink apron

Her instructions are in two parts.

Click Here for Part 1

Click Here for Part 2

Your ideas could be limitless. I was thinking how cute it would be to have swapped the denim straps and pink gingham and made the aprons two-toned. But I didn't think the little boy would be happy with the pink gingham sash. It would have worked for two girls. Seeing as I have plenty of kids I could try something like that next time.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Biscuit Goodness

I'm working on a really fun sewing tutorial, but in the meantime I thought I'd share with you some Basic Biscuit Goodness from some of my bloggy friends.

I adore fresh biscuits.  Fresh from the oven topped with oozing melted butter and honey.  My weakness is that I can't stop at just one biscuit.  So be prepared to share.

Here are some of my favorite web recipes for biscuit goodness.


Melissa from A Virtuous Woman dot Org has some fresh tutorials including a PDF Tea Towel biscuit with pictures.  Click here for her PDF.

 chicken Pot Pie

My Blog Pal Cheri of Jack and Jill of *Many* Trades just posted this delish Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie Casserole.  Perfect for a cool winter evening. 

What I LOVE about Cheri's recipe is that it's a whole wheat biscuit recipe.  One you could probably use for all of the various biscuit dishes listed on this post.

If you got kids then this recipe is perfect from Pillsbury.  I've even tried it with homemade biscuits and it tastes marvelous.  A Perfect After School or lunchtime snack.

biscuit pizza   

Recipe Here!

And the canned biscuits you get in the refrigerated section of the store can even be transformed into easiest yummy homemade donuts.  Sarah of Once Upon a Cookie tells you all about the recipe she used here.

biscuit donuts

Beware though all of these recipes are so mouthwatering you'll have to share with as many people as possible or you'll end up eating the whole batch by yourself.

Save this for your Summer Camping Recipe file.

Wrap your biscuits on a green stick and cook over a campfire.  Better yet wrap them around a Hot Dog or Cheese Stick and then toast them.  For a camping dessert roll your biscuit in Cinnamon Sugar just before you cook it.  Too yummy to resist. 


Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Tea Party Recipes


So my girls and I hosted a cute little Mommy and Me Valentine Tea Party for some of our sweetest friends. And we'd love to share some of our favorite recipes with you.

Healthy Crustless Quiches

1 Egg

5 Egg whites

4 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese

5 oz. (1/2 package) frozen chopped spinach thawed

3/4th cup cooked and turkey bacon chopped up

pinch of pepper and salt (optional)

Whip the eggs together and whisk in the cheese wedges. Then combine the rest of the ingredients.


Spoon mixture into a pan of 24 mini muffin forms. Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center of a quiche comes out clean and the edges are starting to turn golden brown.

Chicken Salad Mini Heart Sandwiches


We used the 2 packages Reduced-Fat Pillsbury Crescent rolls and a Heart Cookie cutter for the sandwich bread.


Roll out the crescents and cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter.


Then follow baking directions on the package and after cooked - let cool.

For the Chicken Salad...

2 1/2 cup cooked, cubed and chilled chicken breast

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1/2 cup small cubed cucumbers

2 green onions diced

1/2 tsp tarragon

1/4 cup chopped salted cashew nuts

Other seasonings to taste - salt, pepper, mustard

Combine and spoon a small mixture onto a crescent heart and top with another heart for adorable little sandwiches.

Cucumber Sandwiches


Thinly slice a baguette. For the spread cream together

1 - 8 oz. package of room temperature fat free cream cheese and

1 packet of Italian Salad Dressing Mix.

Spread thinly on your baguette slices and then top with cucumber slices.

Best Ever Fruit Slush Punch


This is a huge mix so you may want to cut it in half. Maybe the recipe is so large because I actually made several batches for my sister's wedding many years ago.

1 46 oz. can of orange juice

2 46 oz. cans of pineapple juice

1 package. of orange Koolade

4 bananas

1 bag frozen strawberries

4 cups sugar

1 gallon water.

Blend strawberries and some of the juice together in a blender. Do the same with bananas. Mix all the ingredients in a monster stock-pot or pail. Some people freeze this punch in empty 2 liter bottle and then cut the bottles apart when it comes time to serve. I prefer to store the punch in around 5 - gallon sized freezer Ziploc bags. Freeze at least 24 hours before you want to make the punch if not longer.

15 minutes before you want to serve the slush punch. Bring 1 Ziploc bag out of the freezer and put in a punch bowl. Break it into large pieces with a knife. Add 1/2 to 1 full 2 liter bottle of Sprite. Slush the punch with a potato masher. Serve.

Other fun finger foods to serve...

Cream Cheese Dip for fruit and scones.


1 room temperature package of Fat Free Cream Cheese

1/2 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt

Blend together until smooth. Tastes great with Fresh Strawberries and Scones.

Make your favorite scone recipe but use the Heart shaped cookie cutter when cutting out your scones.



Use a heart shaped muffin pan to cook triple berry muffins and even some low-fat brownies.


Then invite your friends and have fun while eating your yummy treats.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Want to reduce your Laundry Detergent cost by more than 75%. Try making your own Laundry Detergent.

I found this Laundry Detergent recipe and nine others over at



1 quart of boiling water

Ivory soap - 2 cups shredded (1 bar)

2 cups Washing Soda - not to be confused with Baking Soda. Still made by Arm & Hammer.

2 cups Borax


Add finely grated soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved. Since I have a large family I just happened to have a 16 quart stock pot in which to work. If you don't have something this large use a pan that can hold 1 1/2 quarts of water to start the process. Once the soap is melted pour it into a large pail or if you have a large pot then you won't need too.

Add the Washing soda. Beware it will foam. (Note - I accidently used baking soda (grabbed the wrong box) in the pictures instead of washing soda so the your end results will look a bit different. Use the Washing Soda - don't make my mistake.)


Then add the borax. Stir until every thing is dissolved. Add 2 more gallons of water.


Pour into old laundry detergent containers, or leave in a covered pail.

Makes just shy of 9 quarts of laundry detergent. Stir or shake before each use. About 1/4 cup per wash load will be good.


I went to my local grocery store and priced out laundry detergent. It ranged from $3.23 to $1.52 per pint. With $2.35 per pint being the average cost.

I spent around $7 on soap, borax and washing soda ( WalMart prices) and I figure that I can easily get about 3 batches of laundry detergent (this recipe) out of the supplies I purchased. So $7 for 27 quarts or 54 pints. That's less than .14 cents per pint compared with the average $2.35 per pint. And that in my book is savings you can take to the bank.

Don't forget to check out Tip Nut for other laundry detergent recipes and helpful information on alternative soaps, scenting your detergent etc.

Happy Washing!