Refashion Posts // Page #2
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links**
I have to confess that I’m feeling overwhelmed by life, lately: I have too many things going on (online and offline) and I’m not able to give to all of them the attention they deserve!
Maybe I only need some rest, does it ever happens to you?
Today I’m reminding you that I’m guest posting at my dear friend Deanna @ SewMcCool, sharing there a FREE pattern for a Tank!
It flashed in my head like a revelation while I was browsing one of that site that sells kids clothing, searching for inspiration.
I’ve noticed that almost 50% of girl’s tops (and dresses) have an Hi-Lo hem detail, most of them include pleated details or ruffles and the color that goes better is, as always, pink!
Why not creating something in trend?
I had these two fabrics (soft pink knit and woven purplish floral cotton) in my mailbox, coming from Wholeport (sponsor) and I was wondering how could I use them… and the Pleated in Pink Sweetest Tank was born!
Obviously, it’s the perfect project for recycling anything knit you already have in your closet (think a T-shirt or an adult tank, just to name a few) and some woven remnants from your stash, just to use a bunch of leftovers we all have there!
What do you think about it? My daughter loves it! She says it’s a princess tank (hence the crown she insisted on wearing for the photo shoot!)
I’ve been told from my Lovely Affiliate Craftsy that a
BIG (should I say Huge?) Summer Sale is going on on ALL their Classes!
What’s better than this? There are some you can buy for only $ 9.99…Want to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one?
Now is your chance! You can save up to 50% off on ALL online classes at Craftsy’s BIG Summer Sale! Cooking, cake decorating, sewing, gardening and so much more… all up to 50% off, with some classes starting at just $9.99!
This is a sale not to be missed, so make sure you hurry because it
ends at 11:59pm MT on Monday, June 9th.
PS: I’ve had this class, this time: Angela Wolf – Sewing Designer Jeans… and I’m planning to draft my own pattern… will I be able to do that? Will see!
Here where I live, it looks like the summer is coming (also if the wind is blowing and the temperatures aren’t that high), so: what’s better than a LOVE-ly Sundress? Obviously…
This week I’ve been so lucky of being invited to guest post into an Italian expat mom blog: I’m at Silvia’s MammaBook!
The Challenge was interesting: I had to choose a project from my buddy Lisa @ Cucicucicoo for a recycled project for kids (check all the other entries, they’re amazing!)
Being a Refashionista inside, I suddenly decided I had to find my favorite Lisa’s refashion project but it was hard… too hard to choose only one! Well, I narrowed my choice to two of her projects I was lurking from some time… this was the perfect occasion!
I decided to merge them into a LOVE-ly Sundress… just because a girl never have too many sundresses (and this year we’re finally able to go to the seaside for two whole weeks me and her… so we need plenty of dresses!)
Would you like to sew a LOVE-ly Sundress you too? I hope so! I’ve also created a FREE pattern (affiliate link) for you to download <3
– a white T-shirt (the bigger, the better!)
– fabric paint (water based or acrylic)
– a brush
– freezer paper or butcher’s paper (for european readers!)*
– jersey’s scraps in shade with fabric paint
– 1/4″ flat elastic (long as chest girth – 60 cm for me)
– scissors, sewing machine, iron… your usual sewing stuff!
– LOVE-ly Sundress size 5 PDF Sewing FREE Pattern (1 cm seam allowances included – affiliate link)
Interested in a different pattern? Check these:
Grab your t-shirt and cut it horizontally right below the sleeves seam (armpit height); put aside your Sundress Skirt (lower strip)
Cut from the upper part of the t-shirt the other pattern pieces:
- two fronts, on fold,
- two backs, on fold,
- 4 straps
- 1 heart shape
Tip: save 20 cm or more of your sleeve’s hem, it will be useful when finishing under armpit edges.
Cut from the jersey’s colored scraps 4 other straps and two heart shapes
Let’s go decorating!
Following Lisa’s directions, cut shapes into your freezer paper (or butcher paper, for European readers, I’ve tested it and it works great, exactly as the freezer paper that Lisa kindly sent to me for this project).
Iron the paper into the skirt and the back piece, positioning it as you like! I chose not to overdo because I liked the idea of hearts going up like air bubbles in the sea, just sweeter!
For the heart decoration. just put three fabrics hearts one on top of each other (the white one on top of all) and pin it in place. Sew concentrically from the outside to the heart of the heart, keeping lines evenly distributed.
Slip a scissor’s tip under the three heart layers (but do not cut the bottom layer!) and cut carefully turning around the fabric, until you reach the heart of the heart!
Better results come after washing, so jersey’s edges can become a little more fluffy!
Let’s assemble the top:
Add straps to fronts and backs, right sides together. You can choose where to sew white and/or colored straps: there’s no rule!
If you have curling edges like me (with t-shirt fabrics is common!) just use some spray starch and give a nice hot press… it’s like magic!
Now lay one back pieces with right side up and align over it the other one, right sides together. Pin all around and sew.
Trim seam allowances all around, especially on top of each strap, to cut out undesired bulk.
Turn inside out and give a good press all around (remember to use a pressing cloth!); optional: topstitch all around!
Repeat with the front pieces.
Now, the skirt:
I mark my skirts in quarters (choosing the best side for the front), so I can later match the front middle mark with the top front middle (just fold in half the top piece!) and so the back.
To help with gathering, I used a flat 5mm elastic, long as my daughter’s chest girth and quarterly marked as I did for the skirt. I started at the center back of the skirt and, pulling it while sewing, I’ve attached it to the upper edge of the skirt. The only thing to figure out is to evenly distribute the exceeding skirt length in the elastic: just stop every now and then and check each quarter to match on elastic and skirt.
Let’s add a top to the bottom:
Match middle front on skirt and top, right sides together, and put a perpendicular pin.
Put one other pin on each end of the top piece, without pulling the skirt, add some more pins halfway.
Repeat for the back.
At armpit level you’ll have a portion of skirt un-hemmed: just lay a piece of sleeve’s hem on top of it, matching raw edges and pin.
Using a three-step stitch or any other elastic stitch you have on your sewing machine (or, better, a serger), attach the tops to the skirt and the underarm strips for edging.
Topstitch with an elastic stitch the strips to secure them to the inside of the skirt.
Knot the straps and wear your model: you’re done!
What do you think about this one? Don’t you love those tiny hearts flying to the sky, like little balloons? Or air bubbles in the water?
I hope so!
It took me so long writing this post because, as you may have noticed, I’ve worn the IT white coat to change my blog’s skin.
Also if it’s not complete and something still needs to be fixed, I’m pretty satisfied about my new Serger Pepper! What do you think of this modern clothing I tailored for it (him?)
Other announcement: on Tuesday I’ve opened my ETSY shop, it’s not perfect at all, but I’ve decided that
Opened is better than Perfect!
If still need to have a copy of my 3 sewing patterns for sale, I’d really suggest you to go there and use my discount code OPENFORBUSINESS50, that will give you a
Crazy 50% discount
on any of those patterns… just because I’m happy!
With this new WordPress theme (Avada by ThemeFusion, affiliate link) I’m finally able to open my Serger Pepper Shop directly here: still under construction but perfectly working, if you are wondering if you can buy from there!
I’ll add something here and there during the next days!
But, back to
Here’s Theresa’s (@Theresa’s to do’s)
She’s a great mom of two who truly has gold hands (look her creations on Etsy)
She loves three things of this bag: the refashion suggestions I’ve added (as I do with all my patterns), the arrowshaped detail on straps and the huge range of (optional) pockets I’ve thrown into this bag… looks like she’s addicted to pockets at least as I am!
- Wow! MammaNene has thought of everything with this bag. This pattern is quite involved, but well worth every step. Be patient, and you will have the most useful, beautiful bag you ever owned!
And here’s a totally different version, including a gorgeous rich purple piping (other option), side by side with colorblocking, created by Shino (@Nutta):
She put together this busy bag (I mean: two different flower prints, two different big dots, sky blue and purple… so many different fabrics for an unforgettable mix and match!) without reading instructions! How brave!
The only thing I see now it’s a gorgeous bag! Good job, Shino! I really enjoy your creations on your blog and on Kollabora too! Stylish with personality… thumbs up for Shino <3
She made this bag while she was super-busy with her exams and, also if it’s not a beginner’s pattern and she had never put a zippered pocket on, she has sewn this gorgeous bag starting from old jeans, a curtain and leftovers from an earlier project she did!
Love this lavender shades… And I love to see my pattern testers growing their skills between a pattern and the next one!
Yes, because the girls from the SergerPepper’s Testers Crew can test with me for all the time they want, free to choose which patterns to test…
Last (for today) Hands-Free Asymmetrical Bag sewn from my testers is Juanita’s project:
Juanita is my secret weapon: she’s so kind to help me with my instructions… this girl rocks, believe me! She’s teaching me so many ways of sewing and idiomatic phrases… Thanks, Juanita!
I think this is one of the best parts of all this designer adventure: seeing all those talented ladies put together clothes and accessories starting from my patterns but adding drops of their personalities: every single time I am amazed from their creations!
Join us on our Monday’s newsletter… you’ll receive the following EXCLUSIVE PDF patterns (add NOW your email in the box below the images!):
A couple of announcement for Mom’s Day’s bargains of which I am aware (and you should too):
Save Up to 50% on Select Craftsy Classes!
(This post contains affiliate links which means, I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)
Don’t miss out on Craftsy‘s Birthday Flash Sale!
Get select online classes at up to 50% off for a limited time only.
You won’t see so many classes with prices this low again soon. Hurry, offer expires May 11th at 11:59pm MT.
My friend and mentor (and affiliate) Lauren Dahl is sharing (as usual) her awesomeness and knowledge:
with a $20 discount FOR THIS WEEKEND ONLY!
Just enroll her Pattern Workshop before the end of the weekend using the code: MOM20
… I would do that, if only I hadn’t already bought it! (One of the best thing I’ve done lately)
Back to business!
My Hands-Free Asymmetrical Bag pattern has been released and, as always happens to me after releasing a pattern, I felt overwhelmed from the huge mass of work is behind a pattern release… so I decide to unplug for a couple of days… that rapidly became a whole week 🙂
I didn’t sit on my hands, believe me, I’ve been busy doing some “dirty job” finalized to realizing my dreams… because I hate to admit there’s a lot behind what you see here in front end!
I’ve been creating a lot of new stuff: a couple of new free pattern for two different guest post (one is including two new-to-me embellishment techniques… I’m having fun playing with it!), drafting my new pattern for sale (and I’m really pleased to see how it’s going) and learning to use a new program for creating instructions and illustrations.
I’d like to thank Lauren Dahl @ Baste+Gather for deciding to release her PatternWorkshop (again, affiliated link) and all the stuff gravitating around it: I feel like home in her group, so many people eating and breathing computer patternmaking, I can’t believe my eyes for how lucky I’ve stumbled on her!
By the way, I’d like to share with you today some of my awesome tester’s versions of the Hands-Free Asymmetrical Bag PDF pattern. You can notice how versatile is this pattern: so many options available!
Here are some, and many others coming during the next days!
Some of the testers from The Crew are also bloggers, and wrote a review for this pattern on their blogs: I’d suggest you to go and read what they had to say.
Here’s the first one, from Bea @ Las Cositas de La Tata has been so fast sewing this bag that left all the other testers behind: one afternoon of work and: that’s it!
Her version is a cream, light brown and white mix of fabrics, with yellow piping… it’s like a big ice cream in my imagination!
I love to see how she appreciated the internal organization with all the pockets full of goodies!
The next one I’m sharing today is Vicky’s (@ Vicky Myers Creations) turquoise version:
She’s new one of the latest additions to The Crew: I was so lucky to have her testing this particular pattern, she’s The Queen of refashioned bags!
She’s a creative mind and always sews without following any pattern… this was her first time with PDF patterns!
She morphed a couple of former skirts into this beauty… look at her zippered pocket and this sky-blue lining
I love this arrowshaped detail… it adds an interesting touch, don’t you think?
Let’s hear what Vicky said about this pattern: “I love the originality of this design, with unique design on the front of the bag. It’s great you that the instructions have suggestions about how to recycle former clothes to make the bag, should you wish. This bag has all the pockets you could wish for, plenty of room for your essentials:)”
Last one for today is Evie’s (@ Sewing4Sofia) bag: she made this fabric in earth shades for the outside, adding a custom bold piping matching with the inside:
She wrote that her 16 years old daughter asked for a Hands-Free Bag too: navy, turquoise and light blue corduroy, lined with candies fabric: yum yum, can’t wait to see it!
It’s finally time to take home this more-than-1500-words blog post I originally guest-posted on TitiCrafty (hi Cami <3)… I hope you’ll enjoy it!
It’s not a mystery that I’m addicted to refashioning, but why do I love it so much?
I can see a growing interest about this topic, all around the web, I think it can be interesting try to discover why! I’ll try doing it by sharing some refashion I’ve done side by side with my best tips and tricks...
Today I’m trying to answer to the 6 most common questions I hear when I say: “I’ve made this using old clothes”
Here are the
6 Top Refashioning FAQ (and all the answers too)
(as opposite to sew from new fabric, but also in opposite to buy ready-to-wear:)
- Because it’s frugal!
I love to teach my daughter how to live without wasting, and refashioning is one of the ways I can do that!
- Because it’s sustainable and ethical
How can you feel guilty if your new clothes are made of pre-loved clothes? No child labor behind my new clothes (unless I ask help to my daughter), no pollution from industrial dyeing!
- To be stylish (but not broken)
You can take a second-hand garment (maybe completely out of date) and restyling it… for a fraction of the cost of a new garment (if you’re lucky and find the right clothes, you can have a complete outfit for $ 1-5 !)
- So you don’t spend on new and pricey fabric…
If you already are a sewist, you know how costly this hobby can be. Sometimes, better use old bed sheets instead of buying cotton fabric (plus, they come in flower vintage gorgeous prints) if you need to satisfy a new summer dress craving!
- A way to keep old memories.
As a mom, how many times did you say: “I’d really like to save this old
If you decide to refashion it, you can keep your old garment (maybe a little part of each one) in everyday’s use, incorporating them to a t-shirt or a backpack or a blanket or anything else you decide to create with them… smart, isn’t it?
- No need to pre-shrink before cutting…
…anyway, better pre-wash before handling… you never know where those old clothes have been lately…
- To customize those new-old clothes you have in your closet, with price tag still on…
( I know you have them! Don’t hide!)
Yes, the ones you bought just because they wear a real bargain but just a little bit [add here your excuse: long/short/plain/ugly shaped…]: now you can fix them!
- To make shopping… in your closet!
Also when you really can’t afford to go out for “real” shopping but you really “need” something new to feel good! Consider the added value when someone asks you “Where did you get it?” And you can say: “I did it! It’s a refashion!”
and could I add my personal “why”?
- Just For Fun!?!?!?
A good refashion always makes me relax and feel good… am I an oddball?
What to look for (and re-use)…
- Pockets, button plackets, embroideries…
One of the features you can easily incorporate are pockets, especially patch pockets: nothing better than a ready-to-wear jeans back pocket to add some spice to any refashioned piece!
And never underestimate the power of button plackets or cuffs while refashioning: it can save you a ton of time!
- Search for blankets, bed sheets, table-cloths & napkins and, why not, curtains!
On dollar stores, thrifty shops and junk dealers they’re often banished below tables, hidden treasures that are waiting for you: a big squared piece of printed pure cotton canvas: nothing better to start with for your first refashioning project!
- XXXL and two or more twin garments (same fabric)
- Hardware from bags, backpacks, suitcases
One of the funniest things to sew from old clothes are bags: think to denim, wool, patchwork bags, because you can use also little scraps of fabric, too little felted pieces of wool, match different colors/patterns: there’s so much freedom in refashioning a bag!
And you really should take a deep look to your old bag’s hardware (think closures, clasps, hooks, rings, D-rings…): often they are still in good shape also when the bag is worn out.
Think outside the box and collect those little metal pieces… you’ll thank me later!
…(and what to avoid):
- Garments with too much seams (princess seams, yokes, patchwork)
It’s hard to use little weird-shaped pieces of fabric, better choose maxi-skirts, hippy gowns and similar to have enough fabric to work with
- Worn out clothes
Always take a look to all the garment, better two, hunting for stains, holes, see-through too-used fabric, fraying fabrics, pilling zones: better don’t buy this too-used clothes, unless they’re tent style (few seams) and huge, to be sure you can end up with some fabric.
Better choose garments in good conditions (and eventually save the stained and pilled ones for sewing mock-ups and slopers!)
Sometimes, if stains or faded/bleached spots aren’t too big, you can hide them under embellishments (ruffles, fabric flowers, ric-rac, applique, buttons…): just watch out!
- Change line to an out-of fashion piece of clothing
As I’ve already told you, the first way refashioning can be useful to you is to revise a dated garment into something more trendy (think trouser leg’s width, or large t-shirts to more fitted ones…)
You can also decide to simply scale a garment to your size, or taking it to the extreme, you can scale an adult sized piece of clothing to a child-size!
- Change intended purpose
Think to shirt to skirt, skirt to dress, dress to skirt, pants to skirt… endless possibilities!
- Simply add any embellishment
And here we have one more never ending list: add embroidery, by hand or by machine; applique trim, fabric, yarn; add ruffles, pintucks, pleats; sew original shaped elbow patches; add beads, studs and rhinos….
- Go creative!
Print, bleach, stencil, draw with fabric paints…
- Change color to your fabrics
Think washing machine dye kit, dip dye, ombre dye….
- Create patterned fabrics by refashioning
What about colorblocking? You can stitch together various pieces from different garments to be refashioned: you’ll end with a completely new material to work with absolutely original!
There are a lot of artists on Etsy selling coats and sweater puzzles… why not you?
Yes, interesting, but:
Where do I start?
- Start with easy fabrics
Unless you’re a seasoned seamstress, better start with fabrics easy to manage like woven cotton or denim.
Leave sheers, faux furs, leather, sequined fabrics for when you become more confident with your sewing skills.
- Start with easy projects
… like shortening jeans, transforming wide leg to skinny jeans, make an infinity scarf from t-shirt scraps and fabric, dress to skirt, mom’s shirt to girl’s ruffl-y dress, update sweater to cardigan…
Which tools are essentials?
- Scissors & one (or more, just in case they break…) seam ripper!
This are really basic tools! Can’t even think about deconstructing clothes without them!
- A sewing machine
Yes, you can make most fixes/mending/refashionings by hand but a basic sewing machine can cost you less than $ 100 and will re-pay itself in no time: think how much a new garment can cost to you (and how many you can fix with only one sewing machine!)
- Inspiration from ready-to-wear
Nothing better than take pics on real (or pin on virtual) shops to stay in touch with trends: satisfying like a real shopping but much more money-saving… and you’ll end with a truck load of ideas, promise!
Do you have any practical trick for me?
- use any detail you can
- save your time saving original hems!
- don’t loose your time and mind on ironing creases that are there from years: use it as interesting details, maybe topstitch on top of them with a contrasting thread
- use a thread similar to the original one in color, fiber content and thickness, at least in topstitching but in construction seams too. Practice on scraps for topstitcthing look: play around with stitch length and tensions to recreate exactly the same look
- use an appropriate needle in size and type (knits need a ballpoint/stretch needle, with denim better use a jeans needle! )
That’s all for today! I hope I’ve given you an idea of what refashioning means to me.
If you liked this post, please share it on your favorite social media!
MammaNene @ SergerPepper.com
Sometimes I feel like nothing can inspire me… so I start thinking something else and suddenly inspiration comes!
You should do the same, and save from trash some of your closet’s treasures… let them rest for a while, the only thing you need is some space where you can put them… and think to something else!
My favorite sources of Refashion Inspiration are:
Obviously, the first place where I go when I’m searching for inspiration is Pinterest, my muse!
And the first place where I look when inspiration I’m searching for is refashion related is our Group Board “A Refashion Obsession Mood Board” (are you in? Ask me to add you!).
Here we pin everything refashion related: something we’ve created, something we’ve seen, plain-vanilla inspiration…
Or, you can simply browse between Pinterest Categories and search for fashion ideas… trying to imagine which look you can easily recreate using pre-loved garments you have in hand!
If you don’t know this blog… you’re loosing something good! I wrote for them for a while, it’s a place where refashionistas from all over the world shares their good ideas… Amazing!
It’s a WorldWide BrainStorming thing!
They describe themselves as:
A worldwide collaborative blog to showcase refashioned clothing projects
and share techniques!
3. Ready-to-wear sites/magazines
Do you know when you’re in the dentist’s waiting room, looking at a fashion magazine, thinking: “I could easily do this $ 300,00 dress, using a curtain and a couple of jeans scraps!“?
You can do the same while browsing the net, searching for small and big brands sites and
stealing being inspired from their cool ideas.
Some inspiring-to-me links:
Please let me know in comments!
As always, my best tip is “Think outside the box”:
- a holed sock can become a fancy cuff
- an old bath towel can substitute babies disposable intimate care (we upcycled a couple of sea towels just ripping them in squares and zig-zagging the edges, just like my mom used to do transforming old bed sheets in dusters, reusing all those bobbins half-filled in thread, leftover from some other project: I love a double recycle, it doubles the fun)
- … you can go on filling this list just opening your closet and letting your imagination fly!
keep it simple
Often a quick fix can give a whole new life to an old ill-fitting garment…
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Here’s week 2 for my Sunday’s Frugal Refashion Tip! Check also last week episode: it’s all in details!
When you’re chosing a garment to be refashioned, you need to have a slightly different approach than if you were chosing a new fabric from the roll.
One of the benefits from repurposing fabric from pre-loved clothes is that there’s no need of pre-shrink them (but I’d suggest you to wash them anyway) or to check for color discard.
The other major plus of shopping for fabrics between ready-to-wear is that you can have access to gorgeous prints and fabulous fabric contents without spending too much and often the quality is so much better than the correspondent fabric bought by-the-yard (unless you can afford those terrific online shops, I bet you know which ones I mean).
But (yes, it’s not that simple, there’s a “but”) you need to educate yourself choosing the right pre-loved clothes, and I’m here to give you some (I hope good) hints!
If you’re lucky, you can check fiber content label to see the exact composition but, often, the garment has been washed so many times that its useful label fade out or has been cut out from the previous owner.
So, how to know what kind of fabric you’re going to shop?
Enter scientist mode:
If you can isolate a single thread’s head (maybe on seam allowances you can see one), you can do a thread test (use a magnifier, if you can), breaking the thread and observing tails:
– If it’s cotton, you can expect it will easily break, with irregular fluffy heads;
– Wool thread is easy to break and ends in curly waves;
– Linen is easy to recognise because “pops” breaking, leaving pointy irregular tails.
Check also those Wikipedia pages, to learn something new about fabrics:
Here are my best fugal refashion tips for shopping for thrifted fabric:
- First of all, in most cases I would certainly stay away from all those artificial fibers (polyester, acrylics, nylon…), better choose a natural one (cotton, linen, silk, wool…).
- The only situations where I would search for synthetics is if I want to sew a swimsuit or a raincoat… but for general clothing purpose better go natural!
- Often acrylics and polyesters, smells bad because they react with some people perspiration molecules…. and sometimes this can’t be washed away! Better leave to the thrifty shop a top smelling bad!
- Note if the fabric has some elastic content: search for XXXL elastic corduroy pants, they are my favorite source of this kind of fabric, going really low-cost (and elastic corduroy can be really costly, on the shop): just check for threadbare spots (like on back or on knees zones) while you’re in the thrifty shop to avoid bad surprises at home!
There’s no better way to recognize different kind of fabrics and their fiber content than touching fabrics you already know what are made of and take note of their characteristics… you’ll learn from direct experience!
Go and touch at least three garments in your closet, compare them, then read their fiber content label…
I know you can do it!
If you’d like to go more in-depth, take a look to this document (from Arts Council England)I’ve found asking Uncle Google… really interesting!
And those two nice guides from eBay:
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I’m honored today of being part of an awesome blog tour organized from Chelsea at Get Your Crap Together for her
Shortie Nightgown and Bloomers
new PDF pattern release.
Do not forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post, she’s giving away 3 copies of the pattern!
Shortie Nightgown’s pattern comes with two sleeves options (bubble sleeves and sleeveless) and two top length: I went with sleeves and short length because my daughter don’t love to wear nightgowns (I have a light duvet for summer nights, we always sleep with long pajama pants: it’s not that hot here between the mountains), so we’re planning to use it as a shirt+shorts outfit!
I didn’t change a lot from Shortie Nightgown’s pattern (it is perfect as it is!), I only went down 2 sizes on bloomers… because I don’t like too-wide pants on girls and LilPotato is thin: she’s 5 but her measurements were exactly the ones given for a size 3!
I’ve left some more space on legs, using a longer elastic, I think it’s more comfy done this way (I know, they’re no more bloomers… but I love to sew something we’ll actually use, and I bet we’ll use this combo a lot, while at the sea, this summer)…
I’ve decided to use some old bed sheets that I’ve already used in my Lined Foldable Market Bag (because every time I use it I think: a dress would be perfect with those two print together) and for the Stella skirt I’ve sewn last summer.
Then, accordingly to our planned use of this set, we decided to test the Shortie Nightgown outside, during a perfect SunDay!
My daughter tested it for pick up flowers (as you can see, we love it worn back/front, with this little slit in front!)
It’s tested to sleep in the middle of our meadow:
And also for helping dad-lumberjack slipping wood… Shortie Nightgown: approved!
Grab now your pattern on GYCT’s Etsy shop using 20% discount code “SHORTIE20”
Here’s today’s refashion frugal tip, just to show you how easy is to create an habit to refashion (reuse, recycle, updo, call it as you want!) used garments.
We’ll add a little tip every sunday, usually a relax day, so you can add it to your sewing routine and, by the end of this month, you’ll be more prone to refashion!
Refashion: it’s all in the details!
When a garment is too much worn and the fabric is becoming shiny and thin, there’s no more to do with it than:
- use it as a duster
- throw it away
In both of these situations, there’s one more step to add as a good habit for a refashionista: cut off all those embellishments/functional little details still in good shape.
I’ll give you a (non complete) list:
- button plackets
- zippers (check that they’re working, first… unstitch a zipper out of order isn’t a desirable experience)
- belt buckles
- T-shirt sleeves
- rib knit cuffs
- cuff and leg of a sock (easy cuffs already sewn in circle also if the sock has toe-holes)
The trick to make this list grow is to shop for details, and not for the whole garment: if you have a thrifty shop where you live, you certainly have noticed that often pre-loved clothes they sells are… weird shaped!
Look at them thinking how to reuse details, instead o looking at the big picture: you can always keep the fabric to sew something small(er) and embody some nice detail into your next refashion project!
If you don’t have a thrifty shop near you, you can always shop your closet (or your relative’s – but ask for permission!): it always happens to me to buy clothes because I like a detail but they don’t look good on me… and they often end gathering dust in my closed, waiting for a refashion that never comes… this is the right time to take them off their hanger and make them shine!
Find at least one garment you own and never wear, seek for its better detail and… try to see that same detail into a totally different piece of clothing:
I know you can do it!
FACT: I’m a refashion addicted!
(Just to be sure about it, you should check my Refashioning FAQ Guest Post on TitiCrafty tody live!)
One of my favorite garments to recycle is certainly T-shirt!
I’ve used them for creating:
- different versions of my Raglan shirts free pattern (see Shirts with Skirts, Ruffled polo dress, 3 Polo to 1 dress),
- then I’ve created ruffled leggings (reusing the hem, one of my save-time-&-headache tricks),
- Lovely Panties (one more free pattern for sewing girl’s underwear)…
- …and many others!
A super-duper versatile kind of fabric, and often comes with nice details, print, button plackets, collars: all of them can save you a lot of time!
It often happens that I use a T-shirt in a project but I have a leftover: sleeves!
And, just because it can’t happen in my books that I throw out anything, I’m always surfing the web to find some ideas to reuse T-shirt sleeves… hence this round-up! (Just click on pics to visit original tutorials!)
The first is from an explosive blogger: Lisa @ Cucicucicoo
Super Easy No-sew T-shirt scarf
In her post she’s giving us some good tips for recicling those t-shirt sleeves with a no-sew technique (so perfect also for the non-sewists around here): isn’t she lovely?
Check also her refashions page
Now, something more practical: let’s recycle sports uniform to zippered pouches, with Jill @ Creating my way to success): just add a zipper and some lining and… you’re done!
T-shirt sleeves to pouches
Check her other’s recycle files here! (but I have to disagree with her other reader’s comment about buying fabric LOL – go and check to see what you think about it!)
While browsing Instructables, I stumbled upon this tutorial (designed not only for sleeves, but perfect for reusing them!) created from the user purelily:
Easy Upcycled Tshirt to Dog Toy
No-sew, again… for you, lazy girls! Come on, learning to sew is easy (check my Tips for beginners)
Two Pairs of Shorts from One T-Shirt
May I quote her when she says:
Want to sew clothes for kids that are really, truly cheaper than purchasing them even from your favorite thrift store?
Upcycling is ALWAYS the answer.
Next one is from a new friend (Hi Tracy @ Oh the things we’ll make!):
T-shirt Sleeve to Pouch: 5 Minute Pouch from a Repurposed T-Shirt Sleeve
And she shows us how-to use them as Tea bags, when made starting from infant sized sleeves – SMART GIRL!
Do you have a newborn coming and would like to create a fast but nice baby shower gift? Check Jill’s tutorial on Handmade Jill for a
t-shirt sleeve baby hat
And here’s an outsider: Katie @ the Crafty Blog Stalker (oh, yes, please stalk me!) is using t-shirt sleeves but… still attached to the t-shirt to create:
The Shirt Skirt Sewing Tutorial
But don’t miss her other tutorials here!
If you’re addicted to refashion you too, you should join us now at the “Refashion Obsession: THE Mood Board” on Pinterest and/or join our G+ community, where you can share yours or other’s refashions or… plain inspiration for you and us!
Some months ago I was so lucky to be chosen to be a tester for Thread Theory: the only indie company I’ve seen around For Men Only!
Under this label you can find Morgan and Matt, a nice couple of Canadians – read something about them:
Morgan is a sewing fanatic with a background in history and fashion design. She is thrilled to be living the dream of sewing for a living and encouraging others to pick up the re-emerging skill and art form as well. Morgan loves a rainy west coast hike to an ocean viewpoint, a steaming mug of herbal tea, and scrolling through the infinite abyss of inspiring sewing projects and witty blogs.
Matthew is a photographer, computer nerd, compulsive tool organizer, and ideas-man. He is thrilled to own a business that puts his wide variety of skills to good use. Matt loves meandering photo-walks, DIY everything, endless hours of research, and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from balancing the Thread Theory books.
On their site, they have a great (and growing) range of patterns:
Newcastle Cardigan, Jedediah Pants, Strathcona Henley, Goldstream Peacoat and those wonderful Comox Trunks!
I’d suggest you to take a look, because they’re one better than the other 😉
They sell PDF patterns, Tissue ones and also some nice sewing supplies, like labels and a great kit (perfect for beginners) including everything you need for creating your own
Check also their Pinterest board, with some others versions (there’s a super hero themed one too!)
And there are my (well… hubby’s) Comox Trunks… oh, just one side thinking: I haven’t been able to make him modeling these ones… can you figure why he doesn’t want to be in my blog wearing only boxers? … men!
I’ve added a contrasting binding (refashioned from an old T-shirt, the same I used for Jack’O Pin Me – my Halloween PinCushion, remember?), just to have some fun, and a contrasting white elastic… because I was waiting for my black one to come from the UK!
Yes, I buy my elastics from the UK because they cost a fraction of what I pay them in Italy (= an arm and a leg)!
Just a side not: due to the fact that they’re a small garment, it could be a great way to refashion some old T-shirts! But check that they have a Lycra (or spandex) content, because this pattern asks for it!
TIP:If you’d be tempted to sew them but you’re scared for sewing with knits, start reading my 30 best tips about it!
Here you can see the back: just like RTW ones, Comox Trunks don’t have side seams!
And here’s where I added a row of topstitching, on crotch seam… it was looking like it was going to be… umh… itchy!
By sheer coincidence, just the week before Thread Theory sent out Comox Trunks for testing, I draw a pattern for my version of trunks (that is really different, they are completely closed in front – my model says he likes them more closed… and I have to believe to him, I can’t judge myself LOL)… I’ll share mine too, soon 😉
Do you ever sew for men in your life?
That’s all for today!
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Here’s one of my latest Guest Post, taking it home from Titicrafty… just in case you missed it 🙂
As you may know, I have a deep passion for refashion and tutorials, so today I’d like to show you how to transform two t-shirts from the Thrifty Shop (or from Hubby’s drawer) into the cutest pajama your daughter’s will ever have, with a smart touch: re-use some original feature to save your precious time and some headaches too!
Let’s talk about materials you need:
- 2 t-shirts, the bigger the better (I went with two contrasting colors/patterns because I love colorblocking!)
- an old pj (right size or small/short)
- 2,5 cm height elastic for the waistband (long as your model’s waist, mine was 50 cm)
- sewing machine
- serger (optional)
Consider that I made this pj for my daughter, who is 5 years old.
If you need to make a bigger one, you should consider:
a) find Very Big T-shirts
b) sew together fabrics from different t-shirts to have bigger fabric pieces to work with!
Start trying to figure out how to lay your pj’s pieces on t-shirts, to have less leftovers.
I decided to reuse the neckline and shoulder seam from the dark blue one (it was small for an adult head, then perfect size for a girl) and the hem from the pink one: this will save me a lot of time and worries!
Maybe your T-shirts aren’t exactly the same as mine, but this is the what I love in refashioning: no twin clothes! Leave your imagination fly, no patterns here!
One more thing: seeing we’re sewing with knits, remember you’ll need to use a ballpoint needle and, if you like, check some more tips (my 30 best ones) in one of my latest posts about this topic!
If you have T-shirts similar to the ones I used, or you’re a beginner in refashions, I’m showing you step-by-step what I did: feel free to ask me for help or suggestion if you’re stuck!
Cut out sleeves (and set aside) from the t-shirt you want to keep the neckline and cut horizontally a couple of inches below the neckline on both front and back. Don’t do like me that I forgot to cut sleeves first (as you can see in this picture and the others to come!), it’s better if you cut them out now!
If your T-shirt is long enough, you won’t need to add more fabric at the top, to create the waistband; if you see that’s not enough long, like mine, simply cut an extension from leftovers, when you have finished cutting all the other pieces required.
I’ve created the elastic casing for the waistband using the original T-shirt sleeves: cut two rectangular strips (height = 2 times your elastic height+1 cm, length = pant’s piece top edge’s length) and if you scroll down the page you can see them in the same pictures of cuffs, since to create it you need to follow the same steps and it’s faster & smarter if you sew them at the same time!
From the pink T-shirt I cut out my bodice. To do that simply create a simple pattern from the old pj, outlining it on a sheet of paper.
Mark shoulder line:
Then join lines to create a pattern (eyeballing missing lines, like sleeve seam
For a more feminine look, I’ve added some room in the middle, that I’ll go sewing in a central opened pleat (but it could be gathered, or more pleats). Add a couple of cm on center front of the pattern.
Now you have a pattern piece for cutting front and back bodice. Remember to add seam allowances while cutting your fabric.
Create the pleat with a couple of pins and set aside.
I’ve decided to add them in both sleeves and pants, also if I could skip them, at least in pants, having original T-shirt hems.
I chose to add them because:
a) they were a touch of pink, increasing chances my daughter would love this pj
b) she says that pjs without cuffs tend to “climb” her legs/arms and leave her cold (poor little thing!)
From the Pink Tee, cut two couples of cuffs using these measurements for a size 5yo:
Leg’s cuffs heigth = 18 cm length = 16 cm
Wrist cuffs: height = 11 cm length = 18 cm
Press the seam opened if you used your sewing machine, or to one side if using a serger. Turn inside out cuffs and fold in half widthwise, wrong sides facing, pairing long raw edges. Set aside. Let’s put together that pj!
Legs: Sew both front crotch and back crotch, matching right sides facing legs pieces.
Fold in the other way your pants, matching inside leg’s rag long edges; pin and sew, then finish seam allowances.Add the elastic casing extension: Sew together in loop matching short sides, right sides facing.
Add the elastic: Sew in round the elastic paying attention not to twist it,
Mark with a pen quarters on the elastic, starting from the seam to mark the other half, then fold to match these first points to see where the other two are (where the fold falls!) Mark on elastic casing extension’s raw edge center front and back, then pin the elastic to wrong side of the casing, putting elastic loop’s seam on center back. Leave the elastic a couple of mm inside the casing, so it won’t show! Sew together using a 3 step zig-zag stitch, or any other elastic stitch you have on your sewing machine. Turn the elastic inside its casing and repeat the 3 step zig-zag seam all around.
Into the bodice!
Pin front pleated piece to the shoulders/neckline piece, matching starting and ending point. Sew and finish seam allowances as desired. Repeat on back.
Tip: Pay attention to the pin(s) you’ve put in for the pleat: do not sew (or, worst, serge!) on it…
Sleeves Set in sleeves, pinning starting and ending points and the middle of the shoulder on both bodice and sleeve’s pieces, right sides facing. Sew and finish seam allowances. Right sides facing, match side seams and sleeve’s seams and sew them in one only seam.
3. sew and finish seam allowances:
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This is part 2 of the Mini-Series called Colorblocking. You can read Part 1 here.
Today I’m concentrating to match color block inspiration to something more practical: a step-by-step tutorial for creating
Color Block Leggings!
But, let’s start with inspiration!
As you may know, I’m slightly obsessed from Pinterest… so I’ve created a board all for Colorblocking.
If you like Pinterest and color block you too, you definitely should ask me to add you as contributor because it’s opened to anyone who want to pin with me (the more, the merrier) just as all my Sewing Boards.
While pinning, I was attracted from Colorblocked Leggings, so I’ve collected a lot of them!
But the one that caught my eyes was this one from Victoria’s Secret:
Price $ 39.50… Maybe nt that costly, but I would never spend this amount of money for a pair of leggings…
I thought it was the perfect start point for leaving my imagination fly… And it went not far!
I only figured out the back and changed this dappled print into something more suitable to my nearly 5yo daughter: a seals print!
I decided to go upsize, because I was using an interlock knit, without spandex: I wanted to be sure she could wear them for some (more) time!
And here’s my result: what do you think?
Let’s talk about how to transform a Basic Leggings One-Piece pattern (hint: I have one nearly ready to release… it will be available for sale on Craftsy from this Saturday, March 8th) into this pair of high fashion color block leggings!
What you will certainly need:
– a Basic Leggings pattern (better a one-piece kind without lateral seams!)
– knit fabric (jersey or interlock, better if it has some spandex or Lycra inside!); you can also refashion some old T-shirt or jersey dress, for being more frugal!
– scissors, thread, ballpoint needle, paper, pen, ruler… your usual sewing stuff, nothing fancy 😉
– walking foot for sewing machine (I have one, finally!!! I can do my Happy Dance!!!)
Let’s start with designing our pattern.
As I said on Part 1, better start with a scale drawing of your pattern
hint: I trace the pattern layout on a piece of cardboard for this, it’s easy, fast and accurate!
Now transfer on your Basic Leggings pattern your design
If you want to reuse your pattern, that comes in a wide range of sizes and you really should reuse it so many time, just trace it on swedish paper … but you can easily re-print it at home, all the times you want, it’s a PDF pattern!
I’ve simply eyeballed it, using as reference knee level (where inside leg’s edge changes direction, it’s a very dull corner but you can see it!).
Add notches at curves in both parts of the pattern: it will help you later putting together all those pattern pieces in the right way.
If you used the original pattern, now it’s time to turn it to the white side; add grainlines in each piece, parallel to the main piece grainline.
Cut along the lines you’ve just drawn, separating your newly created patter pieces.
Copy notches on this side and add some short instructions to help you later, like “add s.a.” along lines you’ve just drawn and cut, on each piece you’ve cut, and “cut 2x” or “center back” or “center front” .
Lay your pattern pieces on the fabric, paying attention to grainlines, and pin down (or keep in place with canned wood or other weights)
Mark 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowances where needed, using chalk and a sewing gauge (or your measure tape):
Transfer notches onto fabric either with triangles or tiny cuts (the first is better, but the second can go to, but they have to be really short, or the knit will break!).
Now, the fun part, let’s put together this color block puzzle!
Put your leggings pieces right sides together, pin on waistline, ankle and notches, then put two more pins halfway.
Sew using 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowances, use a triple straight stitch and a walking foot, if available, then eventually, serge. Press well seam allowances, toward the black fabric:
Topstitch to keep seam allowances in place (they could be itchy…):
I’d like to show you a tiny but nice detail I’ve added to this pair of leggings: stretch black lace cuffs, just as Amy (SewsNBows) made on here Testers version: I loved them and my daughter loved them too!That’s all for this tutorial. Here’s what I
I’d like to leave you two more resources, if you feel like you have some free time and/or you’d like to learn some more trick about sewing knits or a great (and perfectly explained) technique for sewing colorblocking in curves or corners (mark down the part about reinforcing seams before sewing… )
I hope you’ll give my Basic Leggings pattern a try (The Serger Pepper Tester’s Crew has already approved it, I only need to put some ribbons and whistles before the release, on Sunday): it’s a pattern that will become a staple on your PDF patterns library, I’m sure… and now you know how to recreate many more styles with color block… with only one pattern.
This post contain affiliate links to Craftsy, a platform I trust and love!
This post is part of a mini-Series, check Part 2, where I’m showing you a step-by-step photo tutorial for creating a color block pattern from my Basic Leggings PDF pattern!
Let’s start with a fact: I love colorblocking!
I’ve sewn a lot of projects using it because I feel like it can add a lot to easy and plain projects, without proportionally increasing difficulty level: you can create 100 different pieces from a simple pattern, just using
Let’s step back: do you all know what color blocking is, right?
It’s when you put together different colors in the same garment; the fun is that you can put together similar or complimentary color/patterns, or contrasting or tertiary colors, for a more vibrant look: you’re the designer!
Let’s talk about why you should love colorblocking
(and why I do)!
– color blocking is frugal: you don’t need to buy fancy fabrics to recreate an interesting look (plus, you can put together all those small scraps and leftovers from bigger projects);
– color blocking is practical: you can use a basic pattern you already know that fits you (like The Sheer Plaid Top, for sale at $ 2.90 on Craftsy, or Basic Leggings PDF pattern I’m releasing this weekend, on Sunday March, 9th) translating it to never ending different styles… No one will know they’re made using the same pattern!
– color blocking is refashion-friendly! When you are going to refashion a not-that-huge garment, you’ll discover soon that’s hard to end with a mono-color new garment… you often “need” to colorblock (see my T-shirts to PJ refashion guest posted this week on TitiCrafty)
Are you interested learning more about Color Theory? There’s an interesting FREE class on Craftsy about it – it’s about quilting, but explain a lot of interesting things about putting together colors: it’s perfect if you’re serious about colorblocking – PLUS, as I said, it’s FREE
Some (Good) Tip:
1. Opposite attracts
Try putting on your sewing table all the different fabrics you have, so you can use them for color block: you’ll be amazed to see that sometimes fabrics you wouldn’t even think putting together, are perfectly matching and mixing!
2. Tried and True
Really important: true your color blocking at side/crossing seams, nothing worst than a badly matching side seam… better make it extreme, if it’s a design choice!
3. Two different ways
- cut your pattern in more pattern pieces (remember: add seam allowances where needed)
- sew together fabric scraps to have a big enough piece of fabric from which you’ll cut your pattern.
Use the first one is better if you’re going to make weird shaped color blocks (i.e. curved pieces, like weaves), use the second one for creating simple patterns, like stripes or checkered!
4. Breaking Rules is Fun 😛
You can basically put together anything, better if all the fabrics have similar weight and stretch (but, as any rule I know, you can break it, with design purpose in mind!)
5. Create your own Reconstructed “Print”
It’s a nice way to recreate funky geometric designs, when you can’t find gorgeous prints. It’s versatile too: you can do bold color mix but also romantic flower & pink colorblocking; in fact, you can try mixing two different prints (why not stripes and dots? I’d like to try this, just because they’ve always told me they don’t go together!!)
6. Meant for Each Other
Some pattern is designed with colorblocking in mind (also if you can easily sew it in monochrome), with many pattern pieces: think to princess seams! I’ve made two refashions from T-shirt and trousers, some time ago, featuring colorblocking: a FREE pattern for a woman (Mod dress) and a black & white ruffled Minidress.
How-to create a colorblocked garment:
a Step By Step
Before you start working with the 1:1 version of your pattern, think small! The funniest part of creating a colorblocked garment is design: and I really mean drawing (either by hand or with a drawing program on your pc) lines on your sketches and fill those new spaces with color/patterns, to visualize which colorblock is more appealing to you.
Take the pattern piece miniature and let your imagination fly!
My best suggestion is: take some shoots to your fabrics, then let’s go scrapbooking with a drawing program like GIMP: Too Much Fun! (Interested in a step-by-step tutorial? I could do this for you!)
You’ll notice that different lines (horizontal, vertical, diagonal or even curved) can completely transform your pattern look!
I’ve made this exercise, lately, with my Sheer Plaid Top PDF Pattern, creating a Wool version (inspired from some of my Serger Pepper’s Testers Crew lovely versions) with a wider collar, opened in one side (you’ll see it soon!), colorblocked by using my fabric on both sides (right and wrong) splitting it in different pattern pieces!
I’ve started trying to figure out which was my favorite version, between:
All on straight grain, right side of the fabric, collar on bias (this detail never changes…):
Colorblocked, Horizontal line just above the armpit:
WIDENING EFFECT… DON’T NEED IT AT ALL!
Colorblocked, Vertical central line:
Colorblocked, Diagonal line:
… LOVE IT!!!
When you decide which is your favorite colorblocking idea:
- Cut your 1:1 pattern, adding seam allowances, notches (useful to put together fabric pieces) and grainlines where they’re missing.
- Cut Fabric
- Sew together and…
you’re ready to enjoy your new colorblocked garment!