Archive for the ‘garment’ Category

Many years ago (I think maybe even decades!), I got this t-shirt because I loved the quirky picture on it. It is a very soft shirt, and I wore it sometimes as a night shirt. Recently, I’ve begun to realize that regular-ol’ crew neck t-shirts really aren’t a style that suit me, and lower necklines are more comfortable, so I’ve been wanting to refashion some of my favorite tees into tops that I can enjoy wearing more often.

A couple weekends ago, I was feeling really worn out from school all week, and I felt like I didn’t have any creative energy left. An attempt to look through my fabric stash for fun fabric for (more!) masks for our family turned into me reorganizing the closet in my craft studio where I keep all my fabric. This project was long-overdue– it was a mess in there! But look how tidy it is now:

As I was pulling everything out, I found this t-shirt, which I had cut apart with the intention of making into a differently-shaped t-shirt, but didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern I’d been thinking of using. I’d put it away, but this time, I realized I could probably turn it into a Blank Slate Kirei cami (<–affiliate link).

Since this t-shirt fabric was a lot less stretchy than the knits I would usually use for this pattern (and because I learned my lesson from a previous t-shirt refashion attempt), I added width to the bodice pieces and scooped out the underarm by just a little bit. I used some scrap grey knit to make the neckline binding and straps, and this shirt has been transformed into something that I’m excited to wear more often!

This was a really satisfying accomplishment on a weekend when I thought I had no inspiration left! I will definitely be looking at my other t-shirts with new eyes after this successful refashion!

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Here’s a little backstory. This fall, we are homeschooling for the first time, and the first couple weeks, while good, were incredibly exhausting for me. I could barely think about making dinner, let alone doing anything creative. But if you know me, you know that I can’t go too long without sewing or scrapbooking before I start to get a little crazy! So as I began to climb out of the fog, I started thinking about how to scratch the creative itch that was starting up again.

I’ve been seeing some amazing Blank Slate Patterns Esma tops (affiliate link) and hacks recently, and when I spotted a leopard print rayon skirt on clearance for $3, I knew that I had to try a ruffle peplum for myself.

In minutes here and there while my kids worked, I put together a quick muslin of the pattern, and then in one weekend, I cut out my pieces from the skirt and sewed up my top!

One little surprise that I hadn’t thought of when I snapped up the skirt was that it was actually cut on the bias… so my top ended up cut on the bias, too!

I used the skirt’s existing hem for the peplum– cutting a 10.5″ strip from the bottom of the skirt. I barely managed to eke out the rest of my pieces– I had to shorten the waistline by 1/2″ to fit the front and back, there was a bit of creative cutting in order to cut the cuffs! But I managed it! This is literally all that is left of the skirt, except for the elastic, which I will save for some other project in the future!

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Ever since I made THIS ruffle-sleeve Blanc tee almost exactly a year ago, I’ve wanted one in black. In December 2019, I placed an online order from LA Finch Fabrics that included this gorgeous black double-brushed poly, and I specifically wanted to make this top. Of course, I didn’t get to it right away, but it never left my to-make list!

And finally, here it is! I used exactly the same pattern pieces that I’d made for the original ruffle-sleeved top.

It’s everything I wanted it to be. So, so comfortable, yet at bit of flair with the ruffle sleeves. It can be dressed up or down, and I specifically made it to go with these skorts that I love to wear on hot summer days!

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And to go with my new Blank Slate Garnet shorts, here is the Blank Slate Hathaway tank! (affiliate links used where available, at no cost to you, but I may earn a small commission!)

This is a woven top pattern with V-neck or round neck options that will be a staple in a summer wardrobe!

The neckline and armholes are bound with bias binding (purchased or you can make your own), and there’s even a little pocket to add to the front. The pattern comes with detailed instructions to adjust the pattern for a perfect fit in the size, bust, and length. It is very straightforward (it doesn’t even have darts!), which makes it the perfect piece to show off a special fabric.

And that’s exactly what I did with this one. This crepe is from a dress my mom made for me when I was about 15. I loved the fabric so much that I’ve hung onto that dress all these years and finally made something else from it!

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On this May the Fourth, let me give you a little sneak peek of my R2-D2 Disneybound– part of my #epicdressproject wardrobe.

We were supposed to be in Disney World for a week in the latter half of April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that didn’t happen.  The Disney resorts all around the world are closed (still), and traveling is not happening.  We are under a stay-at-home order, and so those circumstances obviously affected this project.

I have continued to work on it, after all, I have the fabric and supplies, and making things is a kind of stress-relief for me.  I was attempting to try and finish all of my projects by our original departure date, but that didn’t quite happen.  Obviously there are extenuating circumstances.  Aside from the general shift in mood, there are some things that I needed to prioritize.  I made and donated a large number of masks, my children are home and I need to do school with them… you get the picture.

Now that it’s the beginning of May, I thought it would be a good time to just give a quick update of where my projects are at.  I had six outfits planned, and I’ll give an update in the order in which I started them.  You can see fabric peeks on Instagram (I posted each time I cut out a garment) and also in THIS blog post.

  • Belle ‘bound: the dress needs a hem, and I also need to complete the yoke (which obviously needs to be finished to hem it).  The yoke is waiting on buttons: I ordered special buttons from Joann, but they shipped me the wrong ones, and so now I need to figure out how to deal with that issue.  (I do NOT recommend Joann.)
  • R2-D2 ‘bound skirt: Finished!
  • Magical green/stars (Tinker Bell?  Magical Pandora? bound): As I started constructing the bodice, I realized that my main fabric was too heavy to also be a comfortable lining.  This was just when the whole pandemic thing really started to hit (I think it was the night that it was announced that our schools were closing), and I have not been able to go out and shop for a matching lining fabric.  The dress is cut out and is sitting in a partially-sewn state.
  • Peter Pan dress: This dress simply needs to be hemmed and I need to sew on the decorative (non-functional) buttons.  I haven’t searched my button stash to see if I have any on hand, but I’m pretty sure I have something that will work.  It’s so close!
  • Snow White ‘bound blouse: Finished!  I am so pleased with how this one came out.
  • R2-D2 ‘bound top: Finished!  I love this top, too!  (sneak peek at the top of this post: pattern is the Blank Slate Abrazo tee (<–affiliate link), to which I added circular ruffles at the sleeve hems).  I bought a great belt (<–affiliate link) to complete the look, so this whole outfit is finished!
  • Minnie Mouse ‘bound: This dress really could be finished.  All I need to do is fit the straps, hand-stitch the lining, and then give it a hem.  I think I was disappointed that the straps don’t fit better, and that combined with the disappointment of our trip being postponed for quite a while just killed my motivation.
  • Snow White ‘bound skirt: I prewashed the fabric!  Ha.  This one really won’t take long– I just need to DO IT!

I’m going to try and finish this wardrobe by the end of May (pending the acquisition of supplies like buttons and lining fabric).  I think that is a perfectly reasonable goal, and I hope that I can make it!

I realized that a silver lining of our trip being postponed means that I have a better chance of finishing my Disney 2016 scrapbook project before we go again, so I’m going to be working on that as much as I can… the Disney magic won’t stop!

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I’ve really been enjoying listening to the “Sew and Tell” podcast. They posed a challenge recently called “Sew Your Roll”, in which you roll 3 12-sided dice to determine color, shade, and detail parameters for a sewing project. I thought I’d play along!

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I rolled three dice with the following results:
Blue die = color = 7 = aqua
White die= shade = 11 = neutral
Green die= detail = 2 = ruffles

I was really excited to get aqua (one of my very favorite colors) AND ruffles, because lately, I just love all the girly details, and ruffles are right there at the top of my list!  I promise that I didn’t doctor this roll!

As I looked through my stash (no fabric shopping going on currently), I discovered a smallish (29″ x 42″ wide) piece of dusty aqua rib knit that had been handed down to me a few years ago.  I think the color definitely qualifies as “neutral aqua” 🙂

Next, I needed to come up with a garment idea that would have ruffles…and fit on a >1 yd piece of fabric! I immediately thought of the Blank Slate Patterns Kirei camisole (<–affiliate link).

But how to add the ruffles…  I did a quick Pinterest search of “ruffle tank top” and this came up:

…and that helped me envision ruffles along the front neckline. Even though I used this for inspiration, the final top looks different. As I considered how I would add the ruffles with the binding, I decided to have them point downward rather than upward like the inspiration top.


And then, as I was getting everything together, I realized that the only thread I had on hand that was even close to matching is a slightly darker teal/aqua… and one thing led to another, and then I was using a scrap of darker aqua knit that matched that thread (from this dress) to add a second layer to the ruffle that would make the darker thread look intentional!


Another little hack I did was to improvise some knit interfacing.  The pattern calls for knit or stretch interfacing for the straps, and I don’t have any on hand.  Since we’re under a stay-at-home order here, it would have been irresponsible for me to go out on a hunt for some in the stores, so I got on the Blank Slate Patterns facebook page to reach out for suggestions.  Melissa suggested cutting a thin knit fabric on the crossgrain to sandwich into the straps instead, and it worked great.

In the above photos, you can see how I laid a crossgrain strip of knit along the middle fold of the strap piece.  I basted in place with very long basting stitches so that I could remove them easily when the straps were installed.  

I left the bottom hem of my top unfinished, since the rib knit will not unravel, and I have raw edges on the ruffles, as well.

I think this ruffle cami is going to be such a cute layering piece… and I never would have thought to use this hand-me-down piece of rib knit without the Sew Your Roll challenge!



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This cheerful buttery-yellow Mimi blouse (from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch <–affiliate link) is perfect for spring.


I started it way back in February, as I was compiling a set of patterns to use for my #epicdressproject, and I love the gathered details, the shape of the neckline and the collar, and the cute pleats in the sleeves.

But when I got to the buttonholes, I stalled.  I was simply procrastinating, and it bothered me that I was procrastinating.  So I finally finished it up this past week so that I could check it off my list.



The fabric is from my stash, and it’s a similar feel to a shirting even though it’s a former sheet.  I also found the buttons in my stash, so aside from the thread, this project was free!


I have to admit, I messed up the buttonholes.  I was trying to multitask and help my kids do some schoolwork review (like almost everyone else in the US, our schools are closed right now, and I made them horizontally all the way down the front!  I don’t know what I was thinking… but since it’s a wearable muslin, I’m not too worried… we’ll just call it a design feature, ha.

P.S. the skirt I’m wearing is the Delphine skirt I made using the pattern from the same book!

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For my own records, and also in case anyone is interested, I wanted to give an update on my #epicdressproject!

As I mentioned in my first post about this project, the goal is to make up to seven Disney-bounding outfits (mostly retro-inspired dresses) for our upcoming trip to Disney World.

From November through the very beginning of March, I was sewing up a storm and cutting into old sheets like it was my job… trying out a number of potential patterns and getting them fitted to myself.  This post will be about all the patterns I tried, and will end with my “final cut” of the patterns.

  • The very first dress I attempted to make was a surplice bodice + 3/4 circle skirt from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.  Unfortunately, even though I muslined it from a sheet, my attempt to make a wearable practice version from a rayon-like fabric failed miserably.  First, I had a very bad experience inserting the lapped zipper (I suspect that I stretched the fabric as I was working with it…
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    And once I fixed the zipper (I spent at least a couple hours with that darn zipper), the dress fit terribly.  The bodice gapes and sags unflatteringly, and I just don’t have the skills that I need to adjust the pattern, especially in the time crunch I have for this project.

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    my “wearable muslin” attempt (fail). It may look ok here, but there are definitely problems with it. 

The first round of dress patterns I bought was from Simplicity.

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  • I love both views of Simplicity 8051; I graded the midriff pieces between two sizes and shortened them by 1″ for a better fit.


    Simplicity 8051A muslins: before and after

  • I made a muslin of the bodice of Simplicity 8439 (view B), but I was unhappy with the way it was fitting in my shoulders, so I’ve decided to put that one off indefinitely.
  • The first muslin of Simplicity 8096 (view B) needed SO much work.  Husband is an absolute gem, and he patiently helped me pin and take tucks enough to see that it was worth putting in the work.  I ended up shortening the bodice pieces by TWO INCHES in order for the horizontal bodice seam to end up in the correct place.  Shortening the bodice also went a long way toward correcting some of the other issues, so I feel confident that this dress will work out in the final version.


    Simplicity 8096B muslins: before and after

  • I decided that I didn’t like the silhouette of 8592 enough to attempt it, so I returned it unopened (I had other patterns that I liked more).

The next round of dress patterns was from Butterick:

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  • Currently, I’ve only tested Butterick 5209 (view B) from this set.  Again, I needed to grade the midriff pieces between two sizes and shorten them by 1″ for a good fit.


    Butterick 5209 muslins: before and after

  • I’m keeping Butterick 6018 because it is a fantastic silhouette, and I’d like to make it, but at this point, I’m going to work on the outfits for which I’ve purchased fabric before starting to fit another pattern.
  • If I have time and/or need more dresses for my wardrobe, I’m keeping 6556 and 6094 (a new copy) to hand for now (I’ve made 6094 twice before: comic book and mint-chocolate style!), but it is likely that I will end up returning these unopened.

I’ve also successfully fitted two patterns from from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch (<– Amazon affiliate link), the Delphine skirt (see my denim one HERE), and the Mimi blouse.  

Finally, I’m also going to be making the fantastic Abrazo tee from Blank Slate Patterns (<– affiliate link) to go with one of those skirts.  You can see my past Abrazo tees HERE and HERE

So after all that, here’s the summary of outfits I hope to make:

  • Simplicity 8051, view A
  • Simplicity 5209, view B
  • Simplicity 8096, view B
  • Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo tee + Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt
  • Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse + Delphine skirt
  • Simplicity 8051, view B

I already have much of the fabric that I’ll be using, so stay tuned for a post about that!



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I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes making quickie muslins for my “epic dress project” to determine which patterns are going to make the final cut for my (hopefully) 7-day wardrobe.  I’ve had 3 sewing projects and a scrapbooking project in process this past week–it’s keeping me busy!

This skirt pattern, though.  Wow, I love it.  I went straight to the denim to make this one!


It’s the Delphine Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch (<–affiliate link), and I really want to make this skirt in every color.  This one is made from non-stretch denim that was given to me by someone at church.  


I made a couple very small changes to the pattern: I edited the angle of the waistband to fit my waist better, and I used a quilting cotton as the waistband facing, since two layers of this denim would have been super thick.

I’m planning to make another one of these Delphines for my epic dress project and add a belt (which I’ve already purchased).  I’m really excited! 


P.S. I made my top, too– it’s my space Abrazo tee with circular ruffles added to the sleeves.  


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Ever since I made my first Joni dress (from Tilly and the Buttons’ Stretch <– affiliate link), I knew that I wanted to make another!  In fact, I purchased fabric for to make this dress last May, but I didn’t end up cutting it out until right before my ankle surgery in September.  It was one of the projects I was able to finish soon after my surgery because I had it prepped!

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However, the fabric and the sleeve style I had chosen weren’t really quite right for winter-in-Maryland, and so I thought I might have to wait until spring to actually wear it!  And then I realized we were going to the BEACH for Christmas!

This dress was perfect for a Christmas Eve church service in a more tropical locale, and my sweet Husband helped me take photos with the Gulf of Mexico as the backdrop.  So pretty!

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The sleeves are altered to flutter as per a tutorial in the book.  I love how I can make the same basic dress look so different by changing the fabric and the sleeves!



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