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?

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 - anthropologie.com:

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.