One of my goals for this summer was to get more comfortable sewing with knits, and to finish projects I’ve had on my mind. I bought this blue shirt a few years ago because it was on sale and I loved the color; unfortunately it was very very cropped and I always felt uncomfortable wearing it. I envisioned adding some length to the shirt with a band of colored knit.
When I set out to actually alter the shirt, I discovered that I didn’t have enough blue knit fabric. I ended up adding some white knit fabric instead. It looked fine, though a little too reminiscent of the Argentinian flag. On Instagram, I came across a poppy patch from the shop Gravel & Gold that I absolutely coveted. I thought it would look perfect on this shirt, in the middle of the white square. The patch was also $5 and the shipping was an absurd $13. So, I used the patch as an inspiration and made my own.
I haven’t embroidered in a long time, and it felt amazing to do so again. I spent a very relaxing morning stitching this patch, then glueing it onto the shirt. I really really love the result. I think it adds something *extra* to the shirt and I especially love the poppy motif, which reminds me of my home. The end result did not look like what I had first imagined in my mind, which is just part of the beauty of creating and improvising.
Just a useful pattern to have & perfect for adventures! I’m using mine on hot hikes to carry my phone, some snacks, and extra doggo poop bags. If you find any problems/mistakes with the pattern, please let me know! I’m still learning the pattern-making process so any feedback would be much appreciated.
** Update: Realized I didn’t include the dimensions anywhere. The finished dimensions are 7.5″L x 4″H x 2″W. Another consideration is that the pattern is not fully lined, but you can easily add the full lining by cutting out two more main body pieces and basting them WST to the exterior main body pieces before assembling (step 7). Thank you all so much for your interest in this pattern!!
This is an especially great pattern for using up old fabric scraps. I made my versions using nylon bits leftover from other projects and reusable bags that I took apart and I’m really loving the color blocked look.
my mom gave me a pair of her old jeans to upcycle last summer into shorts. i started by cutting off most of the pant leg, then didn’t like how tight the shorts were around my thighs. to make more room, i attempted to insert a triangular panel at the side seams of the shorts, but i overestimated the amount of ease i needed and the shorts flaired out unattractively at the sides. i tried to remedy this by cutting out fabric and making a smaller panel, but i overcompensated once again, making one side too tight. frustrated, and after spending many hours of unpicking stitches, i gave up for the time being and threw these shorts into the “i’ll get to it later” drawer in my room. they’ve kind of been haunting me ever since – a project that didn’t have clear instructions on how to fix and would take some energy, dedication, and creativity to fix.
the shorts sat in that pile for about 9 months before i picked them up again at the start of may and decided to finally finish my original upcycle. i was smarter this time; fitting the panel with safety pins on my body to guarantee a good fit. on the side that i had made tighter, i had to piece together some fabric because i had cut away too much. i had been trying to avoid doing this, but in the end, i think it’s barely noticeable and the overall fit is so much better.
i’m so happy i took the time to finish these shorts correctly because they are my new favourite denim short. i could never find a rtw pair that fit me well – either the shorts were too loose in the waist or too tight in the thigh, and it feels amazing to finally have a pair that was literally made for me. i’m super excited to give these shorts lots of wear during the warmer summer months!
i made a sarkirsten morning glory wrap top ages ago out of some really pretty, silky lawn. i even took the time to line it! but the style never really suited me, and the top rode up too much, so i never really wore it. recently, i had the idea to make a tie top instead; kind of vintage inspired and quirky. i chopped off the wrap tie part and moved the ties to the top. a simple fix, still a bolder style than i’m used to, but it’s now a garment that makes me much more happy than the old one did.
with this success, i’m excited to revisit some other old items in my closet and upcycle them to fit my current tastes. i also want to revisit old projects that don’t get as much use as i had intended, find out why this is, and fix the problem. sometimes, there’s just as much of a thrill in fixing something old than making something completely new 🙂
hello, hello! it’s been a while since i’ve been on this site; school and sports have taken priority in my life these past few months. but, i’ve still found pockets of time to make myself some clothes and use up more of my fabric stash, and i’m proud to say that i’ve not boughten any new fabric since june. i finally found time to photograph the clothes i’ve made between june – now, and i’m excited to finally document this online after a long hiatus. took photos with my phone this time, so the quality is not quite the same. it’s better than nothing at all though, so here goes!
this simple pattern by cali faye collections is amazing. a dream to sew, comes together quickly, and looks good in about any fabric. i went overboard and made three tops, trying out different sizing and material. the blue checkered top is made from double gauze – my first time sewing with this material. i love the pattern, but i’m disappointed by the drape and feel. double gauze is notoriously soft, making it perfect for use with batting; alone, it is really flimsy. this top does wear well tucked in, so i’ve been doing that a lot. the white grid top is made from a thicker linen. i left the hem raw and i really like this look. only concern is that it is pretty tight on my bust and not the most comfortable to wear. i’ll probably gift this top to a friend or donate it. the last basics tank i made was actually my muslin. i used some old lightweight blue linen from my stash, resulting in a light, soft, airy top that i wore daily when i traveled this summer. in terms of comfort, this top is a winner. it’s a little big, but not enough to be unwearable.
GENA CROP TOP
i was lucky enough to be selected as a pattern tester for the gena crop top back in august. i made mine using old fabric from my stash, and i love that this top is reversible! however, i don’t think this top is flattering on me (though i have not made a top using the final pattern). it’s too short at the front and rides up. the neckline doesn’t stay up, and i’d have to find a good pair of pants to wear with the exposed back. the hem also wrinkles and doesn’t lie flat; i’d try topstitching through the layers, but because i used two different fabrics for the outside and lining of different weights, i’m scared it will pucker. these are definitely some easy modifications i can do to make this top suit my liking. it’s such a cute, unique design!
ALL WELL LONG SLEEVE BOX TOP
this is all well long sleeve box top #2 for me, and i love it. my other box top was made from a scratchy white grid linen (also used this on my basics tank) and i learned my lesson with buying fabric online. i got the chance to stop by stonemountain & daughter fabrics, and it was heaven being touch the fabric and place a feeling to the name. i chose a gorgeous dusty blue linen that is so so soft, and this box top is a dream to wear. as you may be able to tell, i’m all about comfort 🙂 i’ve worn this top to school so many times, so many different ways: under a hoodie, with a vest, or by itself, and i love it. flattering oversized fit + comfort + versatility = happy mik!
i’ve played with this free(!) pattern many many times in the past, and i finally (almost) got it right. learning from past mistakes, i used a heavy weight fabric from my stash for structure and shortened the length. to save time (and fabric), i omitted the pockets and may have cut the shorts a little too short. next time, i’ll add pockets and leave more room for a longer hem. despite this, the fit is amazing, it’s comfortable, and i definitely see these shorts being a staple in my wardrobe in the warmer months!
FREE RANGE SLACKS
been eyeing this pattern from sew house 7 for ages and finally decided to pick it up during a thanksgiving sale. it’s the loose fitting, elastic pant of my dreams. i love a looser aesthetic and these pants go with it fantastically. for a first try, i used an old brown/cream coloured tablecloth from my home. i got to sew flat felled seams for the first time (eek!) and get more comfortable with pockets. it was an ambitious project, mostly because of the time i spent making these pants, though i’d say taping all the pattern pieces and then tracing my size and cutting that out of medical paper took the longest time. i believe it’s worth it for my future self though. i’m not the biggest fan of the colour of these pants, and i envision them as loungey, home pants. i do currently have another pair cut out of some purple twill that i should start sewing up. ah, sometimes, it’s so difficult to start a project… well, that’s my february goal: finish these pants!
as the days grow warmer and school draws to a close, i felt like it was time to update my wardrobe with some summer pieces! i’ve been meaning to use my scraps from a thrifted dress that i turned into a top for something, because the fabric is so lovely. i’m really into the color and the lightweight feel – it’s a tad slippery to sew with, but i think the end result is worth it.
i modified a tutorial by the essentials club to draft my own top. i didn’t add darts because i have a small bust and figured i could get away with it, and i was also trying to squeeze the top out of minimal fabric. my favourite features are the thin straps and the french seams on the inside! definitely going to be getting a lot of wear this summer 🙂
fabric: leftovers from a thrifted dress
notes: straps are a little loose, and hem is a tad short – mostly due to fabric restrictions though!
years ago, my friend L gave me a ton of empty tissue boxes to use as organizers for pens and other notions. these special boxes were perfect – they were sturdy, round, slim – but they were way too tall. these boxes/containers/organizers have been sitting in my room ever since, collecting dust and taking up space, and somehow they have survived my biannual room cleanings. i was going to paint a different box today when i realized that the empty (rectangular) tissue box that was originally holding my brushes was breaking. inspiration suddenly came, so i shifted gears to repurposing L’s old containers!
honestly, i wasn’t quite sure what i was doing. i had a vague idea in my mind on how this design would work, so i do what i always do when drafting my own patterns, and i got to work making a prototype. i first cut down the height of the box using a craft knife and some force. i had drawn a random line and it turned out to be exactly 4.5″, which was an extremely nice number. i made my two pattern pieces, found some fabric i’ve had in my stash forever that i’ve been trying to get rid of, and started cutting.
my first prototype was too tight to fit around the edge of the container, so i had to start again. the second time went much more smoothly, and i finished my first fabric covered container very quickly. there was some puckering as my measurements didn’t quite line up, but it’s difficult to tell because it’s on the bottom of the box and it adds to the whole cloth aesthetic, so i just went with the imperfections.
all in all, i am very pleased with the outcome. i made covered another container in about 10 minutes, and now i’ve got some cute organizers to hold my brushes! it’s definitely much better than the old giant kleenex box i was using before. here’s to trying new things!
in the future, i think i will experiment with the design a little more to hide the lining base seam (currently it is surged), because that would make it a little neater and more professional. however, since this was more of a function rather than style project, i didn’t care that much to spend the extra time playing around with it. mainly because my ap chem review book is waiting on me. ah well, this was a nice break from studying.
also, i keep a notebook of all my self-drafted projects with instructions so i can make them again in the future. i wrote a little entry for this one, and if you are interested, you can read and follow the pictures below to make your own! the container doesn’t have to be a round kleenex box, as the design is very customizable, so any shape should work.
· pattern: self-drafted · fabric: old stash fabric from joann's
i went thrifting with L the other day and found this really nice quilted tablecloth. there was just enough fabric to make a making bag from making zine’s latest black & white issue by kzstevens. i especially love the quilting detail from the tablecloth, and i will definitely quilt future bags because i’m really digging it.
this was a quick sew, and you can see below the outer portion of the bag. even unfinished, it looks really nice.
my only regrets are the straps and the snap. i ran out of tablecloth fabric to make matching straps so i used some old curtain fabric that matched pretty well. it’s a nice little deviation from the navy and white colour scheme of the bag, but i think i would have preferred navy straps. it was also my first time attaching some metal snaps i bought from noodlehead. i decided to wing it, and install my first snap directly onto my project. somehow i read the instructions wrong and hammered the wrong pieces together. oops! so the snap isn’t functional but it looks nice so i’m not too worried about it.
overall, i really liked this pattern and i would love to hack it! maybe add more pockets, embroidery, patchwork… aside from some small mistakes on my part, the rest of it turned out really well, and i’m super excited to use it as a book bag, yarn bag, anything bag for future adventures!
· pattern: japanese linen tote by kzstevens from making zine black & white · fabric: thrifted tablecloth for main, curtain for straps · notes: a little flimsy, could add interfacing in the future, don't really like the straps, but i ran out of material, and i messed up installing the snaps, so it is not functional but still looks nice.
painting fabric has been on my bucket list for the longest time. i’ve always been drawn to the idea of making my own marks on my fabric and creating something unique to sew with, so this was a really cool experience for me. it’s not so much a feeling like woah, i painted fabric, but rather woah, i’ve wanted to do this for so long and i finally made it happen for myself and now i feel really good. the process of opening the jacquard dye-na-flow i got for christmas, and getting out the brushes, and choosing the fabric, and just, creating, was something i had been putting off forever by letting other projects take priority. so it was really nice to let go of expectations and paint some squiggles. and dots. and blobs. and dots on top of blobs.
fabric painting isn’t as easy as i had thought it would be. the fabric and the dye, together, they make things unpredictable, and now i see that the beauty in fabric painting is that uncertainty and fluidity of it all. a mistake turns into a master piece, and every scrap of fabric can be used for some project in some way. that’s so cool. and i’m by no means good at this. i was a bit timid at first, so i looked to bookhou and fromtreetosea for inspiration at first before mixing my own colors and going freeform.
the best combination for me was white screen printing ink tinted pastel colours by a few drops of dye-na-flow ink. i’m totally in love with the pastel squiggles on the gray linen, and i will definitely have to make some more of that. the rest, i’ll have to see what i feel like later on. i’m thinking it’s one of those things i don’t like at first, but i’ll have a use for later, so they are staying in my stash for now.