Wednesday, July 23, 2014

it's refashion month at house of estrela

Today, as part of Refashion Month at House of Estrela, I have a free tutorial for turning an oversized t-shirt into a dress or tunic using all the existing hems. In other words, no scissors are required except for cutting your elastic!  This is a great way to use all those t-shirts from your misspent youth without having to cut them up :) 

When you're done with the tutorial, be sure to scroll down to the end of this post and enter the giveaway for a whole bunch of free sewing patterns!

I know at our house we always have a plethora of outgrown t-shirts and normally someone smaller just waiting to grow into them.  But sometimes I don't like to wait for the growing to happen, so instead I turn the clothes into something new :)  For this particular dress I used one of my oldest daughter's t-shirts in a girls size 14.  As you can see in this picture, the before isn't a very good fit ;)

Just a few tips before I get to the tutorial:
  • Make sure the neck line of the oversized shirt fits - the tutorial does not alter the neckline at all
  • Have the child or their measurements handy - you will need waist-to-knee, upper arm and waist circumference measurements
  • Depending on the starting size of the child and the size of the shirt, the finished product could end up being a dress or a tunic - in order to end up with a dress, the shirt should start out longer than mid calf
  • This tutorial should work for any size from baby to adult as long you start with an appropriate sized t-shirt

Tutorial - Elastic Waist
  1. Using the waist to knee measurement, mark a line around the shirt perpendicular to the hem
  2. Draw another line 3/4" up from the first line
  3. Fold the shirt along the top line tucking the neck down inside the shirt and press well
  4. Sew along the first line you drew to form a tuck
  5. Pull the neck back out of the shirt and press the tuck down.  Pin all around the shirt
  6. Topstitch 1/8" from the edge of the tuck leaving a 2" opening for inserting elastic.
  7. Insert the elastic, overlap the ends and sew together.  Topstitch the opening closed (not pictured)

Tutorial - Sleeves
  1. Take a piece of elastic cut to the upper arm measurement and pin the center of the elastic to the center of the sleeve to keep the elastic even
  2. Align one end of the elastic to the underarm sleeve and stitch the end down with a straight stitch, making sure to backstitch for strength
  3. Use a 3-step zigzag stitch to attach the elastic to the sleeve stretching the elastic as you go.  Backstitch when you reach the end of the elastic
  4. I sewed along the overlocking stitch to create a small frilled hem - you can attach the elastic wherever you want to adjust the width of the frill

Tutorial - Creating Shoulder Tucks
  1. On the first shoulder, make two parallel lines (or more if needed) that are each 3" long.  The first one should be 1" away from the neckline, and the second line should be 1" from the first.  The lines should be parallel to the curve of the armscye.  Repeat for the other shoulder
  2. Repeat step one for the back of the shirt as well, making sure that the front and back lines meet on the top of the shoulder
  3. Press the shoulders along the lines you drew and sew 3/8" from each line to create tucks
  4. Press the tucks toward the sleeve and topstitch close to the edges to secure them

Congratulations!  You are done with your t-shirt refashion.  Hopefully you are as happy with the results as my little Mae is :)

Here's a quick view of the back of the dress as well so you can see how the tucks continue over the shoulders:

Too large t-shirt
1/8" Elastic
1/2" Elastic

Be sure to add your own refashions to the Flickr group and don't forget to check out all the other great contributors to Refashion Month:

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

house of estrela tutorial - adding a peter pan collar to the izzy top

Magda from House of Estrela has an awesome tutorial up on her blog today on how to add a peter pan collar to the Izzy top!  A while back during Project Run & Play, Magda created an adorable Izzy Top with a faux leather collar:

I loved it so much (especially the invisible button tab!) that I asked Magda if she was willing to write a tutorial on how to duplicate the look.  She generously said yes and the free tutorial is up on her blog today as part of her Refashion Month!  So head on over to House of Estrela and see her newest Izzy top and learn how you can add a collar to your own Izzy top :)

I know I haven't been posting much this summer, but I have a few posts planned in the coming weeks including a free t-shirt to dress refashion tutorial as part of Magda's Refashion Month.  Here's a little sneak peak, but be sure to come back next week to see more:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Oh Sew Baby! guest post - bib pocket tutorial

Today I'm guest posting at Fort Worth Fabric Studio as part of her Oh Sew Baby! series.  Head on over for a tutorial for adding a catch all pocket to my free bib pattern!  Before you go, here's a little sneak peek:

There have been several new babies in my family over the last year, and I find myself making bibs as that perfect little extra something to add to any gift.  This particular bib even has a cute little romper to match :)

Romper/Bib Bias Trim - Free Spirit David Walker Robots in Teal
Romper Lining/Bib Pocket - Riley Blake Alphabet Soup Argyle in Orange
Bib - Free Spirit David Walker Planets in Ivory
Bib Backing - Heavyweight Bamboo Fleece from Nature's Fabrics
Snaps - Kamsnaps

Thursday, June 19, 2014

piepie designs cherry pie skirt blog tour

I love sewing clothes that my kids actually wear ... I know I'm weird that way, but I can't seem to help myself :)  Anyway, when Lisa from PiePie Designs asked for testers for the Cherry Pie skirt, I was quick to volunteer because it looked like a great basic pattern.  And I was right!  I made two versions while testing and whipped up a third skirt as part of the blog tour.  My girls love the skirts, and I'm sure they will get lots and lots of wear this summer!  You can get your own copy of the pattern for only $5 until June 27th (after that the price will be $7) from either Craftsy or Etsy.  Or you can scroll down to the end of this post and enter the giveaway to win a free copy of the pattern :)

 photo tour_image_zpsfa53f77f.jpg

I can't wait to see all the other versions of the Cherry Pie skirt from this great group of bloggers.  The possibilities with this pattern are pretty much endless!

Originally I was going to sew a skirt for each of the girls, but I realized Mae really does need new clothes, and not just individual pieces, but entire outfits.  This is pretty much unheard of in my house since I tend to shop end-of-season sales to stock up on relatively cheap clothes.  Otherwise, clothing six kids can get pretty expensive :)  But last year I decided I should sew more everyday clothing, so for the first time in her life, Mae actually needs clothes!

The Cherry Pie skirt is a great starting point for building a basic wardrobe. It's practical, it's quick, and it's adorable!  I chose to use chambray because it's durable and goes with pretty much anything. I don't usually make things in earth tones like this, but I really like that it goes with pretty much anything without being black or grey.  The only thing I don't like about chambray is that is takes about 3 seconds to be wrinkled mess :)  I promise I ironed it before taking these pictures!

Mae really likes her new skirt!  It's easy to move around in and even works great for riding a bike!  I kind of wish it didn't work so well because she's getting to be a fast pedaler and I have to run to keep up :)

I have to be honest and say that I have no idea why my daughter is hugging the deck post with so much joy, but I suppose she's happy and that's all that matters!  I have to remind myself often that she's two, and two year old's are just plain weird sometimes :)

The Cherry Pie skirt is a really quick sew.  It only took about an hour from cutting to finish (assembling the pattern only took a few minutes extra) and I used french seams and bias binding for the hem, so I think a basic version would take even less time.  I feel that the pattern runs pretty true to size.  Mae currently wears anywhere between an 18 months and a size three in pdf patterns and the size two Cherry Pie skirt fit well with a bit of room to grow.  I can see myself making more of these for all of my girls in the future.  In fact, I'm already planning a corduroy version for my oldest for this fall :)

Skirt - Robert Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Oregano
Trim - Crocheted cotton
Skirt Pattern - Cherry Pie Skirt by PiePie Designs
Shirt - Riley Blake Little Red Riding Hood Little Mushrooms
Shirt pattern - Mara blouse by Compagnie M. with several modifications

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