Refashion it


sleep sacks

My oldest’s BFF’s Mom is having a baby in February.  It’s been a long wait for them for their #2 and we’re so excited for them.  They are dear sweet friends to us and I can’t wait to meet their new tiny one.

But in the midst of waiting, they gave us their sleep sacks when Sam was maybe 6 months.  We have used those sleep sacks into the ground.  Literally.  They’re kind of cruddy and gross as baby things tend to get after going through 2 kids and lots of washes.  So in thinking about a gift for the baby, new sleep sacks seemed appropriate.

I used this romper pattern from Ottobre, just squaring off the bottom where the legs would be.  A little binding, a zipper, and voila!  Fresh sleep sacks for a very loved little person.

Lined Sleep Sacks

sweater scarfI’ve had this pattern hanging around in my stash for 2.5 years.  Just sitting out on a shelf, reminding me that a big fat cozy scarf would be nice in my chilly basement.  But it was one of those situations where the perfect fabric never came.  When I actually looked at the suggested fabrics (wool felt or fleece), I despaired because the wool felt suggested was going to be pricey ($5/fat eighth and requiring 9 fat eighths total).  A jacket I will invest in, but $45 +shipping for a scarf?

sweater scarf

 Then it occurred to me that I could repurpose a sweater.

Sweater Scarf

The magic closet has aged the dress well enough with the aid of a belt that I’m not going to call it a wadder.  It’s not my favorite, but it’s not near as bad as I thought.  I wore it to a CO Opera production for kids of the Barber of Seville that I went to with my oldest (I’m so proud he likes opera).

Rompers from blankets

rompers from blankets

This week has been sewing for Josh week.  My husband and I are both being baby minimalists, our perfect number of blankets is the number of blankets that will get spit up upon before laundry day -2.  Despite this formula, people always give you blankets, and some of them have really nice fabric.  I have a hard time simply donating extra blankets if they’re made from good fabric when kids’ fabric is not the easiest thing for me to procure.  So, I whipped up a very cozy fleece version and minky version of Ottobre 6-2009-4 from 2 such blankets.  I’ve had a hard time with my homemade onesies’ snaps pulling out, so I liked the zip front idea featured in this pattern vs the snap inseam.

Sorry–not meaning to keep people in suspense.  The winner of the giveaway is Kelley (kelleyscrapping…)  Congratulations!  I hope it’s an excellent pattern for you.

email me at elizabethmadethis at yahoo so I can get your address and get it shipped to you.  Thanks everyone for participating!  There’s 2 more Onion pattern giveaways in the next couple of months.

I’m officially off garments for myself until post-baby.  I had a narrow window to get things done so that I felt like I’d be able to enjoy things long enough to make it worth my time, and it snowed last week, making the one garment I had planned kind of inappropriate.  It’s actually good because I can do some UFO tidying and really focus on things for the kids.  Like this lapped shoulder onesie that has been lingering on my unfinished table for *months*.

Rainbow Romper

rainbow romper

It’s an Ottobre pattern (6-2009-3), and I just couldn’t get myself to sit down with the Snap Setter to make it happen until yesterday.  I’d like to make more of these–the boys being both Spring babies, we have just a few long sleeve, long legged sorts of contraptions.

I also didn’t do such a hot job on the cuffs, thinking that I’d make construction easier for myself by just serging them on.  On the legs, this was a particularly bad idea as it made a nice bulge over where the snaps are.  It’s a testament to how great of a tool the snap setter is that those snaps went in without a hitch, even though the business side of the snap was all uneven inside of the hole before I snapped on the top part and hammered.

What gets you to finish little bits and bobs in your sewing room?

Elizabeth Made This

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.

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Lining a dress is a good thing.  It cuts down on wrinkling, gives the dress the right amount of body, and makes the dress more opaque.  Besides the added expense of lining a dress, there are times when it is not convenient or complicated to line a dress.  In those cases, slips are a good alternative.  This 10 minute full slip tutorial couldn’t be easier, too, so you’ll never have to line another knit dress unless you want to.

10 minute full slip tutorial

I’ve been a bit absent here the past week…Some pretty significant things went on in our house–my husband’s graduation for his PhD happened (fabulous ceremony–low key and everyone was able to say a little something when they came up to get their recognition–I’m so proud of my hubby!),

 and Noah had his first birthday

(my baby’s 1?!).  I made lots of food, including this lovely lemon buttermilk cake with lemon buttercream and raspberry jam and coconut from Dorie Greenspan’s excellent book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Noah ate the whole piece, by the way.  Noah got to play with his cousins and his new toys and the kids entertained us all.

In the midst of the hubbub of cooking and planning for cooking and entertaining my in-laws, I did manage to sneak some sewing in.  I was able to fit a pattern for myself, make a muslin of said pattern, do some serious practice work on button plackets, and sew niece #2 a shirtdress.  You’ll hear about the former projects later this week, so I’ll start with the shirtdress.


New York Kids’ Style shirtdress

What I learned:

1.  Women’s shirts have less yardage than you think:  This dress is a refashion.  I found a really cool paisley shirt at the thrift store and tore it apart at the seams for this one.  It had to shorten the dress because the shirt wasn’t quite long enough, and I had to lay the back piece over the existing yoke, making the back double-yoked.  Though I cut out well over half of my pieces from leftover pink stripe seersucker I still have from my jacket, this pattern took up way more than I thought a 2T would.  I also couldn’t match the pattern across the seams because of the lack of yardage.  As I tell Noah, you can’t always get what you want.

2.  Creative patching:  As I was tearing up the shirt, I could not avoid making a few holes as I removed the original patch pockets (which I would have used for the dress but they were way too big).  Luckily, I had enough scraps that I could find suitable patches that matched the pattern.  I put a small piece of fusible interfacing over the hole on the backside of the fabric first.  Then I cut a little matching square out of scraps to fit over the hole and then some.  I backed the squares with Heat and Bond Lite, ironed them on, and ran a small zigzag around the patch.  Because this print is so busy, you really have to look to know that they are there.  I should have taken a picture of this process, but I forgot.

3.  Shirt construction:  This was such a great dress to practice shirt construction on.  I wouldn’t think a pattern with only sad little diagrams and instructions that I can’t read would help me so much, but the lack of instructions took me to lots of helpful places in cyberspace.  For the yokes, I used this tutorial (I’ll never do another yoke another way again–easy, fast, and perfect).  For the collar, I think I read every tutorial here.  My biggest learning moment came in the placket.  As I said, I’ll write about that later, but I’ll point you to the place I started.  The whole dress is lightyears beyond my last shirt, and I’m pretty happy about that.  It’s so cool to see progress in your sewing.

My full review at Patternreview is here.

That’s what it cost me to make this jacket.  I love this!
Okay, so I didn’t factor in the cost of my pattern, but I will negate this for 2 reasons.

1.  It’s from a Japanese craft book (isbn 9784579109968) with 26 patterns, all of which I will sew probably multiple times by the time I’m done with having kids

2. I wanted to say I made a jacket for $5.25.

Noah’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I’ve been wanting to make him this jacket since forever.  A few weeks ago, I found this really awesome twill pillow sham from Pottery Barn and I knew it would be perfect for a jacket.  I paid 75 cents for it.  Now, I’m not one who can walk into a thrift store and find fabulous stuff regularly, but when I do, I’m thrilled to my toes.

I’m continually envious of the miraculous things that crafty bloggers manage to dig out of the trash or find for next to nothing at the thrift store.  Is there something wrong with where I live that I can’t find stuff–am I not looking right?  Who knows.  What I do know is that I scored BIG TIME yesterday.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of having a classroom set of little carpet squares for my youngest students.  It all started last year when one of my more kinesthetic boys (read–sweet kid but huge discipline issue) was transformed into a really good student by the aid of a little chunk of carpet his teacher suggested I borrow one day.