Tag Archives: upcycling

Shirt into baby skirt

17 May

ETA: I was well over 1,000 page views this morning, hooray! Feel free to de-lurk in celebration.


Since I’m almost out of FOs, I needed something quick to make during naptime. I’ve been meaning to get rid of this old t-shirt for a while–it’s gotten a little stretched out and unflattering since the last few washes. (Arguably, the horizontal striping was never that flattering to begin with, but that’s a topic for a different day.)

The scissors are labeled so they don't accidently get used to cut anything else.

I ran across this tutorial a while ago and worked from memory and common sense. (I say “common sense” like it actually is common, but until recently I referred to tutorials for hemming napkins.)

Basically, you cut a tube from the bottom, grab some fabric from the back to make a smaller tube for the waistband, gather the bottom tube, and stitch everything together.

Put on baby and exclaim over how quickly that came together!

Look at these adorable little feet. She’s highly motivated to walk because she refuses to crawl. She’ll scooch around on her belly when she wants to get somewhere, but she just won’t get up on her hands and knees. I know she can do it because I’ve seen her do it in the bathtub; somehow, she hasn’t made the conceptual leap to realizing that she can do it on the floor, too.

Yes, we have a cat.

Oh, and the childproofing’s going really well.

Denim shorts refashion

2 May

A few weeks after giving birth, when I realized that I was not going to fitting back into my size 26 jeans any time soon, my sister gave me some lovely James Jeans that she had shrunk out of. Four months of swaying back and forth while holding a crying baby later, those jeans had giant holes in the thigh area.

Snicker snack! I kept the outside seam but couldn’t keep the original hem, because the legs were too narrow.

These came together pretty easily, despite the fact that I was using them to recover from the frustration of a professional rejection. I used a needle for heavy fabrics, set my tension high, and crossed my fingers. It must have worked, because my cheap-o sewing machine survived.

The insides could be neater–but who’s looking?

Mods and notes: The jeans had a pretty significant fade, so I cut the bottom insert from the darker bottom and the legs from the faded thighs.┬áInstead off a bulky casing at the waist, I chopped off a few inches and added a knit waistband, tutorial here. You can see the waistband in the second picture. (Let’s be honest: they look a little like maternity pants. But they sure are easy to get on and off.)

Now I can’t decide what to do about the hems. The long strips in the top photo are for a bound hem, but I kind of want to leave them cuffed for a while so she can grow into them. Maybe I’ll hem them at the beginning of next summer, if they survive that long. She seems happy for right now!

Pattern: Big Butt Baby pants, of course
Fabric: Upcycled James Jeans

Shirred shirt

25 Apr

How’s that for an ugly phrase? “Shirred shirt.” Blech!

Anyway, Chris recently replaced a handful of old white undershirts with identical new white undershirts and gave me permission to do whatever I wanted with the old ones. So I did this:

It is ridiculously easy. Cut out two bodice-shaped pieces, stitch them together at the shoulders and side, then shirr the leftover edges. Knit doesn’t really fray, and if you use the original hem there’s no need to do any folding, hemming, or ironing. Yay! I didn’t even zigzag the seams, although I did topstitched them down to eliminate any irritating scratchy bits and because I like the way it looks.

I did three rows of shirring on the sleeves and two on the neck. It would have made more sense to do three on the neck and two on the sleeves, but I never do things right the first time. (Also, next time I’ll cut the armholes bigger, because I think they’re a little snug.) Luckily I have a whole pile of undershirts awaiting massacre.

I thought about putting a ruffled fabric flower on the front, but I just did a ruffle shirt. So, instead I cut out a linen flower from some scraps and inexpertley zig-zagged it on.

I’m pretty sure a better alternative would have been to iron the fabric to some interfacing before cutting out the applique. Eh.

So there you go: basically a thirty-minute shirt. I’ll make some adjustments next time, but it’s definitely wearable.

Helpful links:
shirring tutorials (go to the sidebar on that last one; it’s a pdf)
drafting a bodice pattern

Pink ruffle upcycle

21 Apr

I had a majorly crappy day yesterday. A missed appointment, $200 on brakepads, and 5 loads of laundry do not make for a happy camper. Added to that, I’ve had two major sewing catastrophes–the ill-fated peasant blouse, which I was unable to salvage, and a pair of baby shoes that started out cute until I tried to improve the pattern. Mistake!

So I figured I’d do a quick sewing project that would be sure (or, almost sure) to turn out: an upcycled tank for Abby made from an old T-shirt. I bought the original T-shirt from the Gap two years ago for $5, and I was very excited to get my money’s worth out of it … except I cut the damn thing out wrong. I used the side seam as the fold, so the bodice had a big, fat, ugly seam running right now the middle. But I forged ahead and made a casing for the neck and shirred the sleeves. Ick. It still looked very homemade. What to do?


Much better, even if the third row of ruffles is a little wonked. I will probably fix that at some point.

And a third picture, because I love her expression and because it’s not over-exposed:

The pants are actually another pair of Big Butt Baby Pants (my other versions here and here), so her entire outfit is mama-made. Yay!