If you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m a little bit of a recycling nerd. This year I’ve been trying to shift my focus more toward creating less waste rather than managing what I do with my waste. I recently ordered some aluminum straws to combat this issue a bit, but I was a little annoyed that they came in a crappy polyester bag. Even more annoyed when the bag wouldn’t stay shut. Obviously this called for a crafty solution!Click here if you would like to continue reading
My newest endeavor Honey Darlin is now live on etsy! Head on over to check out all of my handmade, eco-friendly, one of a kind goodies.
A few things have already been picked over by my VIP newsletter subscribers who get early access to all the goods. Want to be one of those people? Click here.
I try to keep my blog solely about my personal sewing endeavors, and It will most definitely continue to be that way. I’m just so darn excited about this venture that I had to share it with y’all!
Head on over to etsy to check out the shop.
Summer is here and if you live anywhere in the south you are definitely feeling it! There is something about the summer heat I just love… maybe that just comes naturally with my southern blood but the temperatures rise and even though we are all talking about how hot it is theres something comforting about it. Not to mention its another excuse to head out to the beach/river/pool more often! Then there are those days that the heat makes you absolutely crazy. You walk in the door and the first thing you do is strip down and sit in front of the a/c or rub ice cubes on your neck. Its those kind of days that inspire projects like these. It never fails that when summer rolls around I loose at least 2 or 3 T-shirts to the wrath of my scissors. Anything that helps the air flow and keeps the sweat to a minimum. Today I’m sharing with you six of my favorite T-shirt cutting techniques complete with easy-to-follow diagrams. All of which can be completed in less than 30 min.
GATHERED CROP TOP
First up is a simple gathered boxy crop. This style works best starting with a t-shirt thats a few sizes too big and goes great with anything high-waisted on bottom. Skip the “cropped” step for a more modest look.
This one is probably one of my favorites. I call it “gills” because it reminds me of the gills on a fish. In the summer I wear a lot of cute bandeaus and soft bras. This style shows them off without being too revealing. Plus if your man finds you a great motorcycle T at a thrift shop like this one.. you look extra badass!
I use this technique to turn a lot of old T’s into workout shirts. I just cut mine by eye, but if the diagram isn’t enough you could lay a racerback T you already have over another T-shirt and mark your cut lines. This could work with a tight or loose fitted shirt.
CROPPED & GATHERED RAGLAN
I wear this style a lot as a cover up over my swimsuit top and a pair of shorts. It also looks great with a cute bra top or simple tank underneath, it all depends on how much skin you want to show. Again, you can eliminate the “cropped” part and go for a longer style that’d work just as well. I recommend looser fitting shirts for this project.
Business in the front… party in the back! (If you can call vintage Garth Brooks “business” – I say you can) Another fun style to show of a cute bra top or bandeau. This would look great with a fitted T as well. Cut the slashes as thick or thin as you like. Cut more “fish-eye” shaped slashes to reveal more skin.
Probably the trickiest technique (and the only one that involves a bit of sewing) but it gives you a really cool effect. Also if you plan correctly, it will cover your bra line. Slightly more fitted shirts recommended for this technique, but keep in mind your shirt will be a little tighter since you’re taking it up a bit in the back.
There are SO MANY great T-shirt cutting tutorials out there so go explore! These are just a few of my tried-and-true styles. I hope you like them, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment!
This dress was another 2-for-1 off the sewing table. I made one at the request of my cousin for her Christmas/Birthday, and one for myself (conveniently we’re the same size!) I had a little fun with these dresses as I wanted to make them each different, so I cut them both out of white linen and experimented with a unique DIY dyeing technique for each one. In an effort not to make this a ridiculously long post.. I’m focusing on the version I made for myself in ombre yellow dyed with onion skins.
The pattern is by Pauline Alice and is available here. I have to say this dress is quite adorable. I’m really into the whole drop-waist situation lately, and y’all know how much I adore pockets! So throw some pockets into the seam of a drop waist dress and I’m one happy camper. I love the idea of an easy dress that you can just throw on with flats and run to the store or dress up with heels for a night out. Versatility + Comfort = A+ in my book! I’ve definitely been focusing on adding more items that fit this description into my wardrobe.
This was my first time sewing with a Pauline Alice Pattern and over all I was quite pleased. The instructions were very clear, I didn’t have to make any fit changes, and the pattern came together quite easily. The only change I made to the pattern was my usual dropping of the underarm – not something that would be necessary for everyone but I’ve started doing it to all my patterns lately because I’m such a spaz about a tight fitting underarm. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial on this at some point, yes?
The ombre dye using onion skins was something I’ve had in mind to try for a long time. Coincidentally enough, we use a lot of yellow onions at the restaurant… so I have an infinite supply of yellow onion skins. When I saw this technique on Maddie’s blog (AMAZING sewing blog if you’re not familiar with it) I just had to give it a try. I highly recommend this tutorial – actually a guest post by Argaman & Defiance – definitely check out their website for great products and inspiration. I’ve done a lot of research on natural dyes and this tutorial is one of the most straightforward, clear, and easy to follow that I’ve seen out there. I’m more than happy with the results and cant wait to try it again with other projects. Although I’d be hard pressed to use this technique to do a solid color – the ombre just looks so cool! I will say to let the fabric get WAY darker than you think you want – there is a LOT of color fading after you rinse (obviously you should do a test run too).
If I were to make another one of these dresses (which I very well might) the only thing I’d do differently is remove the little cap sleeve and make it a simple sleeveless silhouette. In the pictures the sleeve looks ok but in reality I feel its a little odd. It kinda reminds me of those military epaulettes – not quite enough to be a sleeve so it just sort of flops on the top of the shoulder. Maybe it’s just me. Its definitely not enough to keep me from wearing the dress. I even thought about changing it on the current version but decided that it didn’t bother me enough to go through the effort of fixing it. #lazysewerprobs
A few words on the little details: 1) I cut the pattern as is and took a 2″ hem – which I think is a little more than the pattern stated. I did this because I wanted the dress to be a bit shorter – I think it makes the loose fit a little more fun and youthful. I also just prefer a thicker hem – I feel it makes the skirt fall better, especially with thicker fabrics. 2) I love the in-seam pockets with the skirt gathers at the opening! Such an interesting touch. 3) I tried something different with the facings and ran the loose ends through my blind stitch machine instead of hand-tacking them down (more #lazysewerprobs). It obviously shaved away some time but it also makes the insides much nicer and secure. The only thing is that it shows through just a bit more than I’d like it to on the front.
Pattern: Malvarosa Dress – Pauline Alice
Fabric: White Linen – from stash
Notions: Thread – thats it!
Adjustments: Lowered Armhole, 2″ hem
Finishes: Serged edges, blind stitched hem
Time: Approx 2 hrs (not including dye time)
Sew it again? Yes! (But without the little sleeve cap.)
|image from the Purl Bee|
Here is a detail shot of the fun little whales along the bottom. I still can’t get over how darn cute they are! I have a confession to make – I think I’m going to do a little something for myself with the other pillowcase… that is if my ass tushie can fit in it… we shall see!
1. Cut out pieces. Note: all measurements include 1/2″ seam allowance unless otherwise noted in instructions. Make sure to mark notches for fold lines on body piece. Rounded corners for cover flap were done freehand.
2. Attach Interfacing. I used a heavy buckram for my interfacing pieces which had to be sewn on, but iron-on interfacing would work as well. Note: Interfacing pieces have no seam allowance (you’ll see why in a bit). Attach smaller piece of interfacing to lining body on the wrong side, centered just inside your fold notches with seam allowance of lining showing (see picture below). Attach larger piece of interfacing to self fabric body on the wrong side, centered inside of the seam allowance.
4. Flip and Iron. Flip side panel and body pieces so wrong sides are facing and press edge seams you just sewed. NOTE: Make sure to press with iron on self side if you are using vinyl, oilcloth, or laminate fabric. See image below.
6. Edge stitch fold in center of side panels. Fold side panels “hot dog style” so self fabric faces itself. From cleaned top edge, edge stitch 1/8″ in from your fold line, 5 1/4″ down (see first diagram for stitch line). Image below shows the finished result of this step. This is more of an aesthetic step than a structural one, so if you prefer you can skip it.
7. Press down fold lines of body. Following your notches for the fold line on body pieces (see first diagram), press your fold into the body pieces from the outside (self). See image below.
8. Sew flap pieces. With RIGHT SIDES FACING, sew around curved side of flap pieces with a 1/4″ seam allowance (this will make for easier turning). Clip notches in seam allowance at curved edges, making sure not to clip through your seam. Turn flap right side out, press. Turn raw straight edge in 1/2″ and press. Top stitch around all edges, 1/4″. Image below shows completion of this step.
9. Mark flap sewing guide on body. Experiment how much of an overlap you want when bag is closed (keep in mind it will be full of your delicious lunch feast!). With chalk or fabric pen, give yourself a guideline from one of the cleaned edges of the body piece. I ended up going with 3″ from edge unlike the mark shown in image below.
10. Stitch flap to body. Line up straight edge of flap to Following the same line you stitched along the straight edge of your flap, stitch flap to body. Again, I ended up stitching mine 3″ from the edge of the body, unlike the 1″ shown below.
11. Attach closures. This step will vary based on the type of closure you buy. Mine are pictured below, I attached them with small scraps of leather using a one-sided presser foot.
I experimented with placement and marked with chalk where I wanted my closures to go. NOTE: you are connecting the curved flap edge to the middle of the front body piece (on the opposite side that we just sewed the straight edge of the flap)
Finished result of this step pictured below. I’d love to see what other closures you experiment with!
12. Sew and Attach straps. Since I used leather for my straps, I just sewed my two strap pieces together with wrong sides facing and a 1/4″ edge stitch. NOTE: If you are using self fabric or a contrast fabric that would fray, you will have to stitch your pieces with right sides facing, leaving one end open to turn the strap right side out, press, and close open edge (much like we did with the flap pieces). Once my strap is sewn together, I gave myself a mark 1 1/2″ from cleaned edge of side pieces, and centered the edge my strap on the self side of the side panels (by eye). See image below.
Stitch one end of the strap to the right side of each side panel. You can get creative with your stitching here, see image below for my technique and contrasting thread. NOTE: Make sure when you lay your side panels with lining sides facing your strap folds flat on itself and isn’t twisted. See image below.
13. Stitch sides to body. Okay, now for the tricky part (but good news – you’re almost finished!). We will be attaching the side panels to the body using a french seam technique. With RIGHT SIDES FACING, stitch raw edges of side panels to raw edges of body using a 1/4″ seam allowance, the fold notches of the body will meet the corners of the side panels. I find it easiest to sew down both longer sides first, ending at corners, then fold across the bottom edge last. Don’t worry if it looks a little cockamamy at first. You can see mine below.
14. Turn and Press. Clip seam allowance at corners, making sure not to clip through your stitch. Flip your bag right side out and press edges from the outside. If everything seams like a big bulky mess right now your are on the right track! Make sure to really push the fabric away from the seams to get a nice clean edge. See image below.
15. Final edge stitch. This is part 2 of the french seam technique. Top stitch around edges you just pressed with a 1/4″ topstitch. Again, it may be helpful to do both longer sides first, and doing the bottom side separate, but I managed to get mine all in one shot. See image below.
- Magazine pages
- Sewing Machine
TIME: approx 1 hr.
DO IT AGAIN: Of course! Garlands make counting down more fun!
Linking Up here:
For this month’s re-make I was inspired by my lovely friend Alexandra, who showed me some snail mail she was sending out to friends and family that she had folded up in scrap paper instead of an envelope. These are so cute and unique, and such a pleasant surprise for the recipient. Not to mention eco-friendly! Look for fun, colorful pages that aren’t too busy (we don’t want to give the mailman a headache!). I included a tutorial after the jump, but these will differ depending on the size of what you are mailing, I suggest playing around with it a bit before you start gluing and taping!
I’d love to see your versions! Comment below with a link if you try it!
Contact me to be featured in next month’s Re-make of the Month!
- Magazine paper – something with a fun design, thats not too busy
- Letter to mail
- Scrap paper
Walking into the Upcycle Exchange as a crafter is like walking into a dream… and then the lovely lady behind the counter comes up to tell you that all of the items in the store are pay-as-you-wish and you know you’ve just died and gone to crafters heaven (cue the Gentleman finding the nearest place to sit – he knows we are going to be here a while). From fabric to paper, jewelry to trims, stamps, beads, and everything in between, all rescued from the scrap pile and presented beautifully for potential new owners. My only regret is that this lovely gem is so far away from home (I discovered it while visiting the Gentleman’s family in St. Louis). Luckily for crafters everywhere, this exchange is a growing operation, and could be coming to a town near you! Can’t wait that long? Creator Autumn Wiggins designed the program to make it easy for anyone to start their own. I was lucky enough to snag her for an interview for my first ever “Share the Craft”.
Who: Autumn Wiggins
Position: Owner, The Upcycle Exchange
What: An amazing open-source operation based in St. Louis that takes donations of crafty goods & supplies and sells them for pay-as-you-wish prices.
Why: So crafters who want to use upcycled materials can have an easier time sourcing supplies for their projects, and the best part: crafters/designers/anyone&everyone has a place to drop of spare supplies, scraps, etc. keeping it out of the trash and leaving them with an eco-clean conscience!
|See what I mean… Crafters Heaven!|