49-Cent Friday Refashion: Fingerless Gloves Tutorial

I’m so excited to show you today’s refashion. I have been wanting to make these for the longest time, but I couldn’t because I didn’t have a serger…that is until now!

My parents got me a serger for Christmas and I can’t tell you how excited I was. I’ve been wanting one for forever!

I know you might be thinking, “Jen, Christmas was almost 2 months ago, why are you just now getting around to using your serger?”

Well, I’ve never used a serger before. I couldn’t just start using it without reading the entire manual and watching all of the informative dvd’s that came with it (twice).

I also had to purchase thread, and practice multiple times on scrap fabric before I felt comfortable enough to be able to use it on a real project.

To be quite honest, I also put off using it because I was a bit intimidated, but once I finally forced myself to try it out, I realized how silly I was being.

This machine is the bomb!

Fingerless Gloves Tutorial | Diary of a MadMama

Isn’t she pretty?

The first project I made with it was 2 pair of leggings for my daughter.
That was a great first project because the stitches were hidden on the inside of the leggings, so it made it easier to get used to the machine without worrying that my stitches would show (They got a bit wonky here and there while I was warming up to it).
Once I finished sewing those I was confident enough to work on something where the stitches could be seen.

Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Lumberjack Swants (Sweater Pants)

By now I’m sure a lot of you have heard about “Swants”.

Not familiar? Maybe this will help…

And of course there’s the Swants Dance:

When I saw this crazy video, and grasped the concept of Swants for the first time, I couldn’t wait to make myself a pair.

And I had the perfect thing in mind to create them from:

Lumberjack Swants Tutorial | Diary of a MadMama

Do I look like a lumberjack?

Notice the huge stack of banana boxes behind me? They’re what’s left of all my wool sweaters (although a lot of them are now sweater pieces).
After scouring through my sweater stash, I found this awesome lumberjack-looking sweater coat and thought it would make a fetching pair of Swants.

Continue reading

Blogiversary and Giveaway!

One year ago today I published the very first post on this little blog…I can hardly believe it!

I’m so thankful for all of you who read and follow Diary of a MadMama.

Every time someone comments on, likes, refers, pins, and shares one of my posts; it completely makes my day.

I’m especially grateful for those who decide to feature my blog on their websites. For example, being invited to be one of the competitors on the first season of the Refashion Runway Competition was definitely a huge highlight of the first year…thanks Beth!

But most of all, It has been amazing to meet, connect and share encouragement with readers and fellow bloggers who, although I’ve not met them in person, feel like close friends.

To give you a recap of this past year, here are highlights from some of the most popular posts each month, followed by a celebratory giveaway:



How To Make an Infinity Scarf in Less Than 30 Minutes

Infinity Scarf Tutorial | Diary of a MadMama


Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Scrap Busting Owl iPhone Case

Any of you who follow me on Pinterest might already know how much I love owls.

Just take a look at my Felt board to see how much.

I liked the Leather Owl Purse that I made for my daughter so much, I decided to make some more fun owl accessories.

The great thing about this refashion is that it uses up scraps from all of my felted sweaters.

Scrap Busting Owl iPhone Case | Diary of a MadMama

Remember this mess?

Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Warm Woolen Mittens

These are a few of my favorite things

I’ve had this song in my head all week in anticipation of this week’s blog post.

I purchased a 49-cent, wool sweater from Mel Trotter (my favorite local thrift store) a few weeks ago.

It was so warm and comfy, and it fit me perfectly! That is until my 14-year old son thought he’d be helpful and launder it for me.

Yep, that’s right, he ignored the DRY CLEAN ONLY tag.

When it came out of the dryer it no longer fit me, but it fit my daughter perfectly, so she claimed it for herself.

She wore it once and loved how comfy and warm it was.

Guess what happened next? My 14-year old son once again helped with the laundry, and once again ignored the DRY CLEAN ONLY tag.

This time the sweater wasn’t fitting anybody as-is! :/

Felted Wool Mittens, Refashioned From Sweaters | Diary of a MadMama

I don’t think it’s possible for this thing to shrink any further!

Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Sweaters To Ski Caps!

Howdy Folks!

I’ve been super busy this week, working on the refashion I’m about to show you, which is going to end up a part of a great “Christmastime-Means-Giving” activity for our family (more at the bottom).


Most of these sweaters were purchased for 49-cents or less (of course!).

Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Felted Wool Christmas Stocking

I’m very excited to show you today’s refashion.

After completing last week’s winter infinity scarf, I couldn’t wait to show you all the other ideas I had for those cast-off sweaters from my huge wool stash.

If you’ve never refashioned wool, I’d highly recommend it. It’s so much fun!

Felted wool is wool fabric which has been washed and dried with a lot of heat. That process shrinks the fabric to make it thick and soft. It’s a really cool transformation. Once wool fibers are felted, they are woven so tightly together, it really makes for a durable material.

While searching through my sweater stash I saw this festive find…

Christmas Stocking Refashioned From A Wool Sweater | Diary of a MadMama

Love the closures.


This sweater just screamed Christmas, what with the snowflakes and reindeer and all. I knew it would make a perfect Christmas stocking.

I wanted to use a pattern I found in this awesome book: Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Winter Infinity Scarf

I found this awesome, dark-green, angora sweater (for only 49-cents) not too long ago and I had the perfect idea for what to do with it.

Angora (or rabbit hair) is super soft (just like cashmere).

I have a huge stash of sweaters with the specific purpose of refashioning, so out of that stash, I picked a couple more sweaters that would coordinate with my dark green one…

Winter Infinity Scarf Refashioned From Angora Sweaters | Diary of a MadMama

Angora and cashmere sweaters

I wanted to turn these super soft sweaters into a scarf, but rather than a regular winter scarf, I thought it would be fun to make a winter infinity scarf.

First, I cut all of the sweaters into 7″ x 8″ rectangles… Continue reading

49-Cent Friday Refashion: Leather Owl Purse


Can you believe that Christmas is only 47 days away? EEK!!!

My family started a tradition (quite a few years ago) of making most of our gifts for Christmas.

The point was not only to save money (although that was a big plus!), but also to force us all to put more thought into the gifts we give each other.

I don’t know about you, but for me, I personally prefer handmade gifts over store-bought ones. There’s just something about knowing that the person giving you the gift took the time (and talent) to create something just for you.

With that in mind, I decided to get started on my gift-making by refashioning something my daughter has been hinting about wanting for a while now.

Luckily for me, this gift consists of all scraps!

I started with some leather scraps from my leather pants refashion, a zipper from my Easter skirt refashion, and some felt scraps and buttons.

Refashioned Leather Owl Purse | Diary of a MadMama

Hmm, what are we gonna do with these?

I trimmed a large scrap of leather to a 7″ by 13″ rectangle. Continue reading

49-Cent Friday: Refashioned Witch Costume For Your American Girl Doll!

Happy Friday everyone!

For this week’s 49-cent Friday refashion, I wanted to show you the Halloween costume I refashioned for my daughter’s American Girl doll.

First, we started with these two articles of clothing…

Refashioned Halloween Witch Costume for American Girl Dolls | Diary of a MadMama

Very Halloweeney (is that a word?)

I was lucky enough to find each of these items for 49-cents several months ago.
I really liked the skirt for my daughter, but it had some issues.
The main issue was the fact that it was too big!

I could’ve just taken it in to fit her, but I had forgotten that she actually had a very similar skirt already (which fit her just fine).
The other issue the skirt had was this… Continue reading