Refashion it


diy lion hoodie

This diy lion hoodie and Very Shannon Sally dress are two of the projects I’ve made for my kids of late.  The dress was for Easter, though I’m just getting around to writing it up now, and the lion hoodie is the result of a challenge a sewing friend gave me.

DIY Lion Hoodie

One of the women that I sew with monthly had this beautiful brown knit jacket.  It’s by a better knitwear designer that you’d buy at Nordstrom, so I’m going to venture a guess that she originally spent a fair amount on it.  It features this elaborate wool yarn trim on the collar and the cuffs.  J is in the process of a home remodel and in need of downsizing her closet.  She remembered this jacket and challenged me to make a lion costume out of it for my kids.  My boys generally go around the house roaring at people, so it seemed a natural project for me.

Ottobre 6-2009-8 Zipped hoodie

I pulled out an old Ottobre and found a basic hoodie pattern to start my refashion.  This is 6-2009-8.  It’s a basic zipped, lined hoodie.  The biggest size was a 92, and my son needed a 98, so I graded it up.  I was able to save the old zipper.

diy lion hoodie

Creative cutting

One of the things I really enjoy about refashion projects is that they force you to be creative with your materials.  The collar became the tail, and all the outer jacket pieces were easily cut from the original jacket.  The zipper facing became a neck seam binding, and I used scraps from the sleeve to make the fringe on the tail.  To make the jacket a little more wearable and a little less costumey, I opted to line it with a patterned knit.  I found a nice turmeric striped XL rtw tee while thrifting.  Just the sleeves were used for the hood because I wanted to have enough leftover to make this tank.

diy lion hoodie

Faux fur?

I lucked out in trying to find the right faux fur to line the inside of the jacket.  A golden wheat minky blanket found its way to me on the same thrift trip that produced the striped tee.  I say minky because I’m not really sure what it is.  It’s not precisely faux fur, it’s not really minky, but it is soft and cuddly and very warm.  I bagged the jacket, but I left the sleeves unlined.

Knitwear hem and squirrel pockets

The jacket is knitted, so it has a machine finished edge.  Because I was dealing with heavier materials, I kept this edge as the bottom of the jacket and hand sewed the lining rather than turn up a hem.  I couldn’t resist adding some fun to the welt pockets in the way of squirrels on the inside.

diy lion hoodie

Lion trim

The trim for the mane was sewn onto the original jacket with little hand overcast stitches, so it was really easy to deconstruct.  The used all of the trim from the collar on the top of the hood, centering the trim with the CB of the hood.   Zigzag stitches hold it down flat.  I also made ears for the top of the hoodie from the blanket.  The ears are sandwiched between the lion trim and the hood seam.  Rather than disassemble the trim for the sleeves, I treated them as cuffs.  They’re not as fitted as a normal sleeve would be, but they were much easier to deal with.

Very Shannon Sally Dress

This was the first year that I got to make an Easter dress for my daughter!  She has a little friend who’s just a month younger than her whose mom gifted me with Very Shannon’s Sally Dress.  She had hoped to make it for her daughter, and it was really sweet of her to think of me.  I sewed mine up in some bits of Cotton + Steel fabrics I had from Hawthorne Fabrics.  The skirt piece was too big for my narrower fabric, so I added a panel of white/yellow voile on the sides.

very shannon sally dress

Square neckline

This pattern has got some really cute features.  There’s big pockets on the sides of the gathered skirt and there’s a sweet square neckline.  The smallest size is a 2T, so I graded it down a size.  I do have an issue with the neckline.  The front is the same as the back, so it doesn’t fit on the shoulders the greatest.  Also, the shoulder seam comes to a weird point at the neckline edge.  You can see that weird point on some of the modeled photos on the Very Shannon site.

A good pattern for beginners

Weird neckline point aside, this is a good pattern for beginners.  There’s clear instructions that are unbelievably detailed.  You can’t mess this one up.  I know my friend is anxious about having to sew zippers or buttons.  She was excited to find a pattern that just fits over baby’s head without fuss.  It’ll be a great pattern for her.

very shannon sally dress

Plus, the overall cute factor of this dress makes up for my annoyance over the fit.  I had a good time adding some extra embroidery too.  I won’t be sewing it again, but my daughter loves it, so it’s a win.


It’s that time of year when So Zo hosts Me Made May.  It’s always hard to come up with a new spin on Me Made May, especially since nearly everything I wear I’ve made at this point.  This year, it seems Wardrobe Sudoku happened at a good time to give me some inspiration.  I’ll be hanging out on Instagram all month wearing combinations from my Wardrobe Sudoku grid.  It’s Wardrobe Sudoku Me Made May!

“I, Elizabeth of and IG @elizabethmadethis, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear a combination from my Wardrobe Sudoku grid each day for the duration of May 2017′.”

wardrobe sudoku me made may

Turmeric Peach Smoothie pajamas

I wanted to throw one more top into the mix for Faye’s Tops that Pop sewalong before the end tomorrow.  As it happened, I’m in need of pajamas for summer, and I had just the fabric for a quick Greenwood tank.  I had some honeycomb print french terry in the form of oversized pajama bottoms that coordinated perfectly, so an impromptu last minute set was in order!  I’m calling the set Turmeric Peach Smoothie because that’s pretty much what the colors are.  Two quick refashions are what happened in the Bat Cave today.  And here’s actual Bat Cave pictures too because it’s been snowing all day!  Notice my new zipper storage.

Greenwood tank

wardrobe sudoku me made may

I used Straight Stitch’s Greenwood Tank for the top.  I used the low back option and added some crossover decoration with some tubes I sewed from the binding fabric.  The stripe is from a RTW tee.  I used the sleeves for a project for my son, so I had just enough for a tank.  The binding is cut from rayon lycra in the prettiest peach.  I have yet to figure out the settings on my new coverstitch machine, so I just zigzagged all the bindings down.  Since they’re pajamas, I think it looks plenty neat enough.

I added a little more of the binding on the side seams in the way of vents.  The back isn’t meant to be lower on the pattern–I just cut it poorly.  In truth, I just use the neckline of the Greenwood which I treat as a neckline add on to my TNT t-shirt.  I do that with a lot of knit top patterns.  It’s so much faster to grab style lines for me than to go through the hassle of refitting a pattern.  Then some days you line the hems up a little off.  Call it a design feature.

Hudson pants

wardrobe sudoku me made may

Rachel’s latest Hudson pants reminded me of my plans to refashion some pajama bottoms I had bought during pregnancy.  While they were comfortable at 40 weeks, they’ve been comically large for some time now.  I couldn’t let them go.  They’re made of really nice french terry with a honeycomb pattern and there’s this adorable embroidered bee on them.

Because I’m short and the Hudson pants don’t take a lot of fabric, I had plenty to work with.  I even had enough fabric to keep the embroidered bee intact AND put in the obligatory pockets that make the Hudson pants so awesome.

After hacking them up, my husband’s comment was, “Wow, those fit much better now.”  You have no idea.  They were a horror before.  It’s funny.  You think oversized things are comfortable, and then you wear things that actually fit, and they’re infinitely more comfortable.  These are more appropriate lounging pajamas now.  So, a quick project to add to the end of Tops that Pop (I keep calling it Pops that Top in my head! :D).

Anyone who did Wardrobe Sudoku–are you with me for a Wardrobe Sudoku Me Made May?   

Shop update Winter 2016

I’ve been working on making more items for SEWN Denver, this time with a more winter focus.  Before I get to those, I have 2 of my skirts listed in my freshly updated Etsy shop.  Each are $47 plus shipping.  Items will ship in a USPS Priority small flat rate box.  I’ll be adding more items to my Etsy shop.  Watch for updates here and on my Instagram.


Ric Rac pocket floral skirt

Waist: 29.5, Hip: 36.5″



Ric Rac pocket floral skirt

Waist: 29.5, Hip: 36.5″




Green piped pockets floral skirt

Waist: 29.5, Hip: 36.5″

On to the new collection!

Winter collection dresses

For these dresses, I was looking for deeper colors and warmer fabrics with the classic silhouettes that I love.  Here we go:

Black and grey animal print velvet dress


With princess seams, turtleneck, and a nice swishy skater skirt, this is a great dress for holiday parties.  This is my favorite dress from the collection by far!  The velvet is so cozy to wear, yet it looks so elegant.

There is an invisible zip in the turtleneck, so it fits closely, but will easily slip over your head.  There’s silver buttons on the shoulder that pick up the cool sheen of the velvet, though I wasn’t able to get them in pictures given my limited photo time yesterday [insert sad face here].

Bust: 32″ Waist: 29″



Blue and green animal print colorblocked dress


This dress started its life as a taupe/grey dress.  The print was great, but the overall color was a bit dull.  After a quick bath in Rit Dye More, the rayon/poly/spandex now is a pretty green blue.  The contrast princess seam panels and sleeves are from an olive cotton/spandex turtleneck.  This dress also has an invisible zip in the turtleneck.

Bust: 35″, Waist: 32″


Brown suiting dress with large floral applique


This dress started as a 3 piece suit.  I used the pants for the bodice and the skirt for the skirt.  It is fully lined.

My favorite bit is the floral applique. I highlighted the lines of the flowers with contrast magenta stitching.  The silk belt hangs from thread loops on the side seams for a little pop of color.

Bust: 35″, Waist: 30″, Hips: 36.5″


Plaid Sweater Knit Dress


This sweater knit was so nice to work with.  It’s a nice thick polyester stable sweater knit.  If I had had more yardage to work with, it would have made a beautiful long cardigan.  As such, I think it worked up well into this kind of 60s inspired silhouette.  I think it will pair well with tights and boots.

Bust :38″, Waist: 33″

Dresses are $68.  All of these dresses are now at SEWN Denver.  The store is at 18 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
The store phone number is 303.832.1493

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

[maxbutton id=”1″]

Last week, I mentioned some of the items I’ve made for SEWN Denver, and here is my collection of Elizabeth Made This T-shirts that are at SEWN Denver right now.  There’s a lot of mixed textiles in this collection.  True to my aesthetic of “artistic apparel”, the tees feature upcycled goods and vintage bits of fabric.  They’re all a great choice for unique fall tees.

T-shirts are $46.  Details and sizes are below.  If you’re visiting Denver, or if you live here, SEWN is located just a few blocks south of Fancy Tiger on 18 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209.  The shop’s number is 303.832.1493 if you want to ask any questions.

The Collection!

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Navy and riverside tee with flame cheetah trim

Bust: 30″, Hem: 34″


Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Blockprinted pinking shears red raglan tee

Bust: 34″, Hem: 39″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Navy stripe toile leaf applique tee

Bust: 34″, Hem: 40″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Deep purple mustard lace tee

Bust: 36″, Hem: 40″


Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Mixed blues and brown floral applique tee

Bust: 31″, Hem: 36″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Purple and taupe tee with gold applique

Bust: 37″, Hem: 42″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Orange stripe floral applique tee

Bust: 37″, Hem: 42″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Purple beaded and embroidered tee with navy racing stripe sleeves

Bust: 30″, Hem: 34″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Purples, navy stripe and floral applique tee

Bust: 30″, Hem: 34

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.



When Portia Lawrie of Makery announced that this years #Refashioners2016 challenge was denim, I couldn’t not participate in the community challenge.  Between my catalog of my own jeans I’ve made and the wide variety of details collected on my Altered Denim board, it should be clear that when in comes to denim, I’m very serious about thinking beyond a basic pair of jeans.  So cutting up existing jeans and making something new?  That’s pretty much about the happiest challenge I can think of.  That I ended up with this Jeanius Pastel Denim Trench Coat–even better.  Who doesn’t love it when a plan comes together just like you want it to?

yoyo wristlet

Refashion Runway: Buttons

This week’s Refashion Runway theme is buttons.  I came up with this button yoyo wristlet.

The challenge of using buttons in refashioning proved to be more challenging than I initially thought it would be.  My original plan was to add buttons to a plain yellow cardigan I wear a lot or to make some kind of jewelry.  Ultimately, I decided that both of these would yield something that was more visually heavy than I was going for.

Buttons and yoyos

I’ve written before that I made a series of twin sized yoyo quilts before I had my machine.  I’ve always loved the texture of them and how the fabric is transformed when it is distorted into that little gathered circle.  So when I have off bits of fabric and time to spend hand sewing, I often make a few yoyos.  It’s my substitute for knitting or crocheting.

When I was thinking about this challenge, I had too many ideas.  I decided to go down to my sewing room and just look for materials.  I saw a jar of yoyos next to all my buttons, and I remembered that I had always wanted to make a little wristlet from yoyos.


These particular yoyos are made from a sample of Marimekko linen that I bought to see if I would like it as curtains.  Because I decided against the fabric as curtains, I felt no sting as I cut it up.  Out came my Olfa circle cutter and I got to work cutting and making yoyos.

yoyo wristlet

The linen’s vivid yellow and muted gray mixes well with the yellow, gold, and ochre buttons.  When you join yoyos together, there are naturally spaces between them.  You have a choice to back them, or leave them open.  As a purse, they really need a backing.  I pulled out this turquoise faille skirt.  I never wore it much after I made it since it was really just a kind of practice garment, so it was fair game for refashioning.

yoyo wristlet

I love the yellow against the turquoise.  It’s all daffodils and spring up in here.  The faille has the nicest hand and sews up so well.


I joined the yoyos together in 6 rows of 5.  Some face up, and some show the backside of each yoyo.  I hand stitched down the matrix to the faille with small backstitches around each yoyo.  It sounds like a lot of work, but it actually went quickly.  Because of all my practice at it, I’m really a fast hand sewist when it comes to yoyos.

After that, I cut around the yoyos, leaving a good border of faille so that the yoyos wouldn’t get caught in the seams of the bag.  I made a quick handle and a loop.  The loop and handle are joined with a metal ring salvaged from an old curtain I refashioned into an apron years ago.

The bag itself is just a simple zipper bag.  I added some heft to the faille by basting it to a scrap of canvas.  The lining is a bit of random cotton, and the handle/loop assembly is sandwiched in the side seam.

yoyo wristlet

Button sewing

Sewing on buttons is one of those tasks that I think most people don’t think about.  Usually the thought is: 4 holes, X shape, how fast can I sew on these buttons because I’m so over this project and want to wear my project.  But really, there’s a lot more possibility beyond the X.  These are some of my favorite variations for wearable garments:

yoyo wristlet

The arrow is probably my favorite.

For some button inspiration, I looked to this image from one of my Pinterest boards:

There are so many ways to sew on a button when making craft projects!:

On a bag, you can explore some of these stitches.  You can easily stitch on the outer edges of the buttons because there’s no need to leave the edges free so they can go in and out of buttonholes.   It’s a bit of decorative work that’s just satisfying to work on.

This yoyo wristlet ended up being the kind of quick fun project that started out with few expectations and became a study in materials and possibilities.

yoyo wristlet

Do you work on projects and just let your materials guide your plan?


Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

mixed media tank

This lace mixed media tank is one of the projects I’ve made in the past couple months post baby that I haven’t got around to writing about.  It’s part refashion, part working with available materials, and a whole lotta pattern hacking in between.  The inspiration for this one was this Anthropologie tank:

Laced Montage Tank -

I love how Anthropologie uses fabric, but I don’t often often copy their stuff literally.  This tank was an exception.  I like the woven bottom together with the lace stitched on top of the side seams combined with the comfort of a knit top.  The resulting tunic is just the kind of flowy summer top that I was looking to make.

Lace Mixed Media Tank


In terms of patterns, I combined no less than 3 patterns to get to my final pattern.  The tank part is Straight Stitch Patterns’ Greenwood Tank.  I liked with that pattern how the shoulder hit well enough to cover my bra line (not necessarily a given with tank patterns), but the armholes were too big.  I used my trusty Jalie 2921 to modify the Greenwood armscye to the circumference I was looking for.  The woven part of the tank is a modified version of the high/low peplum piece from Blank Slate’s Marigold.


mixed media tank

For fabric, I used a cotton voile on the peplum leftover from this Mississsippi Ave dress.  I added a CF button placket to make it look like it’s the bottom of a men’s dress shirt.  I cut the same voile in bias strips to bind the neckline and armholes too.

The knit is from an old t-shirt that I’ve had for several years.  I originally bought it soon after my 2nd son was born.  I always liked the color, but not the poofy 3 layered flutter sleeves it had.  They were cumbersome to wear and I couldn’t wear a cardigan with the top because the sleeves were too bulky to fit inside the sweater sleeves.

mixed media tank


I carried a little bit of the green down into the sides of the peplum because…hips!  It also is a nice contrast under the lace.

The lace is vintage crochet lace that I picked up thrifting.  It is simply stitched down along the side seams.  I love this kind of lace for its softness and visual texture.  My Mom has always like prints that look like wallpaper.  It turns out I like lace and fabric that looks like (or came from) a tablecloth. 🙂

Project summary

mixed media tank


Proportionally the top is overall a bit too long on me.  If I repeat this design, I will definitely shorten the knit and the peplum as well as ditch the high/low element in favor of a straight hem.

Overall, I really love this top.  It was a good challenge to use multiple materials and patterns to get at the final top, and it’s super comfortable and lightweight for the summer heat.

My Monthly Stitch Post on this top is here.

My review of the Greenwood Tank is here.

What’s the max number of patterns and/or fabrics you’ve combined into a finished garment?

mixed media tank

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.


metallic bandage sweater

This week’s Refashion Runway theme is “metallic”.  I created this metallic bandage sweater using pretty much all the metallic things I could find.  This includes a white sweater with silver threads, a featherweight knit top, a pair of gold polka dotted shorts that I made that never fit properly, and strips of metallic gold linen leftover from this Marigold top.

Metallic Bandage Sweater


For once, I didn’t use Jalie 2921!  Ha!  Well, sort of.  I actually started with Onion 5039, a great cowl top I’ve used on this striped top.  The striped version has always been one of my favorite tops to wear in the fall, and I’ve always wanted to repeat this pattern.  I did however use the armscye, sleeve and side seam shaping from Jalie 2921.  When you have something that fits as you like it, that’s just what you do.  The Onion’s sleeve is too loose for my taste because the armscye has more circumference than I need or prefer.

Sweater surgery


Sweaters are something that I refashion on a pretty frequent basis as it starts to become colder.  This week, on my thrifting expedition, I picked up a white dolman sleeve sweater with silver threads running through it as well as a light blue featherweight sweater with lace trim.  The blue is in my color palette, and I never pass up quality crochet lace.

I very painstakingly unpicked every last bit of the blue sweater to salvage the lace.  I’ll save that for another project as I wanted to highlight metallics on this project.  From the blue, I cut 3/4 length sleeves and the cowl piece from the front and back.  I unfortunately had to add a second seam in the cowl since there was no fold to use.  I hid this fact by sewing the cowl with the seams facing the shoulder seams instead of at CF and CB.


I had originally meant to sew a yoke in the polka dotted fabric and the white sweater as the bottom of the top.  This was not going to work because there was a giant coffee stain on the back polka dotted fabric.  The weights of the knits were also too different.

When I tried on the white sweater, it was pretty itchy.  The fiber content is rayon/cotton/metallic, so I’m guessing it’s those metallic threads that are irritating my skin.  Since the polka dot fabric wasn’t going to work on the right side of the sweater, I used it to line the inside yoke.  The right side of the yoke is more of the white sweater.  There’s now no red itchy skin, plus there’s a fun lining for this top with extra metallic element!


Using a similar technique to my Silk Scarf Jeans, I zigzagged strips of the metallic linen in little X shapes down the center of each sleeve and along the yoke seam.  They look like bandages to me!  Just like the silk, the weight of the linen vs. the sweater knit was so lightweight, the linen sits perfectly on top without taking away from the quality of the sweater knit.  On the sleeves, the linen and the blue knit are pretty much equal in weight, adding a totally different quality.



Macgyver and Me 

I should have known that I’d have to line the bottom of the sweater, but I didn’t bother to cut a lining initially.  I know most people don’t line knit tops, but I hate that many, many knits are sheer, but I hate wearing camisoles underneath knit tops even more.  All that shifting of fabric around ignites my Princess and the Pea sensibility like just about nothing else.

Still, I always seem to have RTW knit camisoles though I don’t wear them.  They’re probably from an era where I was wearing them under things and buying them by the 5 pack or so until I realized that I hated them.


Turns out, those old camis are a really comfortable solution for lining an itchy sweater.  I simply cut it off under the arms and sewed it to the yoke’s seam allowance.  It’s my Richard Dean Anderson one second on the timer left solution.

metallic bandage sweater


Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.


zipper top

I’ve read The Renegade Seamstress for a long time now, and I’ve always enjoyed Beth’s Refashion Runway.  I had hoped to compete this year, but this season is an All-Stars edition.  I’m in the middle of just getting my sew jo back post baby and starting to sew for a couple of local boutiques who like my work.  I might be biting off more than I can chew to try and sew along with the contestants, but I’m going to give it my best because refashioning is very much the theme of my work for the boutiques.  This kind of challenge really fires up my brain in the right direction. My contribution to this week is this very 80s zipper top.

zipper top

This week’s theme is velvet.  I asked, and Beth mercifully granted my request of using velour instead.  I say mercifully because velvet is not a fun fabric to sew with.  The high pile makes for layers that shift continuously.  It also has very little stretch, so you can’t really ease the layers back together when they shift like you can with other fabrics.  Velour on the other hand is not so terrible to sew with.  Being a knit, it does ease relatively well, and the layers don’t shift quite as badly as with regular velvet even though they can stretch out of shape.  Plus, I had a velour hoodie on hand.  It’s missing an arm because I used it for another project.  I decided to go for a top that would use the velour plus some rib knit from a maternity hoodie that I bought at the beginning of this pregnancy.  I liked the color and had already planned to refashion it after my daughter was born.

fringe collar dress

I didn’t intend to not write for nearly 4 months, but as it has turned out, I’ve needed very little in the way of clothes this pregnancy.  The advantage of having had previous pregnancies that started at a heavier weight is having more than plenty of clothes for the last few weeks when it feels like nothing fits.  But I did go ahead and make this fringe collar dress.  I had this lovely fringe trim leftover from my tablecloth dress, and I’ve been looking for the right project to use some of it.  Hey, and fringe is in right now!  Yay!  After months of absence at the Monthly Stitch, I finally could finish a challenge!


Fringe Collar Dress

I made Burda 7287 some time ago after being inspired by Kyle’s version, and it has become one of my favorite winter dresses.  Paired with or without the detachable collar, and the fingerless gloves that I wear literally all winter, it’s been a versatile staple in my wardrobe.  For this project, I decided to make the other view on the pattern where you sew on the collar at the neckline and add trim to the bottom edge of the collar if you like.

fringe collar dress

I cut the main part of the dress from some really nice interlock that I scored at the thrift store a couple of years back.  It was one of those days where fortune favors the person willing to go a hunting through the muck and mire when I pulled out this fun black and white print made by Kaufmann.  There was no less than 5 yards of it and I paid $3 or $4 for it.  It’s soft and does not stretch out at all like a lot of interlocks do.  It’s stable enough too that I’ve used some of it to muslin dresses I make in ponte like my opera dress.

Still, I don’t wear black.*  So I knew I needed a way to break up the black so I didn’t get the horrid zombie look that I get when I wear it.

*Well, I will wear black if I’m contractually obligated, i.e. a violin gig, but I’m never happy about it.

I found an XL rib knit sweater in one of my blues while a thrifting one day and I loved the springy feel it had.  Remembering how soft a rib knit sweater had made my Denver Tunic, I decided to combine the blue with the black and white.  It would keep the black away from my face and make for a cozy collar that would look great with the added tablecloth fringe.

fringe collar dress
Keeping the black away from my face.

Though it wasn’t obvious at the time that I deconstructed it, the sweater had raglan sleeves, so I didn’t have quite enough yardage to make a full length sleeve as per the pattern.  Instead, I carried down the black and white to the bottom part of the sleeve, cutting it at an angle like this:

fringe collar dress

The pattern’s sleeve is well past full length on me, which makes sense given that the arms are intended to have thumbholes.  Though I’ve tried many many times to create a good solution for thumbhole tops, I’ve never really been comfortable wearing them, and these are no exception.  In past tops, I’ve done what patterns suggested, just leaving a gap in the side seam which inevitably twists and is generally so small that it cuts off the circulation to your thumbs.

To avoid numb thumb, I cut a 1″ square where my thumbs hit and then used some of the rib knit to bind the edge of the hole.  Now, there’s more than plenty of room for my thumb and the base of my thumbs, so there’s no chance of the blood being cut off to my thumbs.  Still, the thumbs pull on the sleeve when I have my arms extended, like when I’m driving or playing my violin, and they sadly do not offer me any extra warmth.  So next time, I’ll stick with either the sleeveless version with added fingerless gloves, or simply shorten the sleeves to a normal full length on me.  I think thumbhole tops are just simply not my thing along with wrap dresses, maxi dresses, and button-down shirts.

fringe collar dress

As for fitting, I merged this pattern with Burdastyle 6-2010-132 which is a crossover style maternity dress.  I always loved how the Burdastyle pattern fit.  A lot of maternity patterns have excessive ease, flare and gathering that just ends up making you look and feel like a marshmallow, but this one is cut in a really slimming sort of way.  It gives you enough room for the growing baby, but nothing crazy beyond that.  Still, I’m kind of over crossover styles.  I had experimented with merging this pattern with my normal t-shirt for a pajama top, and I liked my experiment enough to go ahead with a dress.  All it required me to do was to match up CF lines, overlap the crossover section with the lower front panel at the seamline and use the neckline of the non-maternity dress and the outer edges of the maternity panel where it was needed.  No extra tracing, no extra fitting or pattern work.  This was a fast and dirty alteration.

I did keep the seam allowances bigger than I otherwise would have, and I simply sewed them instead of serging them off or trimming them as I would have on a regular knit dress.  My logic was that I’d only be wearing this as a maternity dress for 2 months tops.  With the extra seam allowances intact and unfinished, it’ll be easy for me to go back and open up the front, removing the elastic and cutting it to fit the original lines of the non-maternity pattern.

My favorite feature is the collar.  The rib knit drapes so well, adds a nice layer of warmth and looks great scrunched up with a vintage brooch.

Overall, it was good to get back in the saddle before all the craziness happens in a month or so with my body being any number of sizes.

My updated review is here.

fringe collar dress

How much have you ever made for your own pregnancies?  Do you shelve your machine momentarily, relying on RTW maternity options, or sew up a storm to weather the season?


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