Project run & play “hand – me – down” makeover


For week two of Project run & play we were given the challenge to sew something from hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. I had decided beforehand that this week would be about the boy, so I asked my husband to weed out some things from his closet which he no longer wears and wouldn’t mind me using. He gave me four Jcrew t-shirts, an Abercrombie cable knit sweater (from high school!), and I also had a thrifted wool sweater plus some scrap leather which I forgot to include in the picture. To add to the challenge, my sewing machine was in the shop and I could only use my serger or sew by hand! Thankfully everything I wanted to sew primarily required the serger anyways.


From my husband’s Jcrew t-shirts I made a raglan color-block tee with leather patch pocket, and a pair of drop inseam sweatpants. The pattern for the raglan tee was the Field trip raglan t-shirt by Oliver + s in size 2. I sewed it using the two green and beige tees in a very cool color-blocked style of different colored sleeves. I found the look on Pinterest and just fell in love so I had to recreate it!


For the sweatpants I sewed them from the striped Jcrew t-shirt using a self drafted pattern. They have a drop inseam, cutout bum color-blocking, back patch pocket, faux drawstring, and bottom cuffs. They are ridiculously adorable on if I do say so myself and the kid has been living in them since I made them! (Edit – there is a new pattern out that is a very close to these pants called the Mini Hudson by True Bias).


Detail shot of the leather pocket. Since my sewing machine was out of commission I made sure to cut the bottom edges of the shirt and sleeves from the already hemmed edges of the tees so I didn’t have to worry about hemming them. The patch pocket I stitched on by hand and I really love the look!


Detail of the pant back pocket.


From the Abercrombie cable knit sweater I made a henley style pullover with leather buttons reclaimed from an old sweater of mine, plus leather elbow patches which I stitched on by hand. There was a fair amount of hand stitching on this sucker, but the finished look is so great! I think it may even have turned out better than if I had attempted to use the sewing machine on this thick knit. The pattern for this was self drafted with reference to the Oliver + s jumprope dress pattern for constructing the placket.


Last but not least I made a slouchy beanie from the thrifted wool sweater. This pattern was also self drafted and very simple!


And finally the completed outfit! Prepare yourself for an action shot photo bomb 🙂


Elbow patches!


I seriously love that tee! And those pants. And that beanie. And that kid 😉


Oops took my hat off! But don’t worry mom, got it back on. 😀


Heart breaker.


Week two done! If you want to see the great things sewn for this week by the competitors you can check them out here.

I can’t wait to get cracking on week three! See you then!

Project Run & Play – 80’s cartoon inspiration

Have you heard of Project run & play? It’s a seriously fun sewing challenge inspired by the popular show Project Runway, but it’s for moms and their kids! I’m not sure how I only just discovered them since they are in their 10th season! Oh well, better late than never 😉 The challenge has several chosen participants who battle it out over several weeks until there is only one victorious, but anyone can sew along, and that’s what I’m doing this season. I’d love to be one of the participants someday! (Edit: The Berenstain Bears is also a book! And so I’m also including it in the Sew Many Books sewing challenge)

Picadilo Collage

This week’s challenge was to sew an 80’s cartoon inspired outfit. That theme is awesome, and there’s a ton of great cartoons to choose from that seriously take me back to my childhood. I decided to settle on The Berenstain Bear’s sister bear. She has some pretty awesome elements to her outfit that I used as inspiration, namely a pink and white polka dot shirt, and pink ruffled shoulders on a pinafore. I know sister bear wears overalls but I decided to sew a pinafore instead. In hindsight I wish I done overalls but hey, you live and you learn.


For the top I sewed it from this Japanese sewing book in size 110 from the beautiful Nani Iro Pocho double gauze. The polka dots are metallic coral pink which is extremely awesome according to my daughter 😉 Also, that shirt was my first ever project from a non-translated Japanese sewing book!


The pinafore is from this Japanese sewing book which has been translated into English and is a great place to start if you want to get into Japanese kids sewing. I sewed it in size 110 from Kaufman newcastle denim, Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in color mushroom, and I added a pocket on the front from some brushed cotton Nani Iro scraps I had left over from this dress.


I seriously love the details of Japanese patterns. The peter pan collar, the shoulder ruffles, the puffed sleeves! All just perfection.


Here’s a better shot of the polka dot print. Those metallic dots are hard to capture!


For the buttons I used mother-of-pearl buttons I found on Ebay.


Size tag!


Pocket detail.


And now for a few modeling shots!



80’s cartoon inspired success! On to sewing for next week’s challenge 😉

Have you seen the great outfits sewn by the competing participants for week one? Check them out here!

A “first day of Preschool” tunic


There’s nothing so exciting as the first day of school, and to commemorate it I decided to sew my daughter a new tunic for the occasion! You may recognize these fabrics from some previous projects I’ve made for my daughter. Yes, I’ll admit, I went a little crazy with this chambray and sewed All. The. Things. from it. Well this is officially the last project from this chambray!


For the sewing pattern I mashed up elements from several different Oliver + s patterns; the main bodice is from the Playtime tunic, the sleeves from the Hide and Seek dress, and sleeve tabs from the Jump Rope dress all sewn in size 4 width 5 length from a gorgeous indigo Balinese handwoven Ikat and the much loved Kaufman union chambray in indigo.


Girl showing some modeling ‘tude 😉  I made a few modifications to the pattern pieces themselves to get the fit I was after. The playtime tunic has wide shoulders, so I trimmed off about 1.5 inches to the width there so the seam was near to her shoulders. I also shortened the hide and seek sleeves slightly so they hit just above the elbow.


Instead of topstitching a collar design onto the dress I opted to construct an actual collar which I stitched on around the neck like an appliqué. In hindsight I would have constructed the collar a bit differently, but I was figuring this out as I went so mistakes were inevitable 😉


For the sleeve tabs I doubled the length of the jump rope pattern piece to allow them to wrap completely around the cuff and hold it in place.


In keeping with my heirloom sewing streak, I used some lovely mother of pearl buttons which I’d bought off of Ebay.


And now for some action shots with her backpack!


The backpack I made several years ago from lovely Heather Ross Far far away II. I love getting use out of old projects!



Preschool success!

Back to school sewing is so much fun to do! What school clothing have you been sewing for your kids?

Elegance & Elephants pattern testing


Fall brings with it some wonderful things; cooler weather, brilliant fall colors, and newly released sewing patterns! I signed up to do some pattern testing for Heidi from Elegance & Elephants which gives me a bit of a sneak peak at what’s coming up plus a chance to try out some great new patterns! Her look book is up and you to check it out here. First up are the Hemlock top and Magnolia skirt.


The top is for knits with short and long sleeved options and sizes ranging from 6-12 months to size 9. I sewed it in size 4 using several lovely solid knits from Joann’s. The striped knit I picked up from a local fabric shop while visiting Seattle. This top is very versatile, easy to sew, and adorable to boot! It’s been quite heavily worn by my daughter who loves it!


The skirt has both knit and woven option, and I chose to do the knit version size 4 in this beautiful floral knit from Joann’s. The knit option has more flaring in the skirt pattern pieces than the woven version, so if your girl loves spin factor, go for the knit!


Check out that spin!


Next up is the Ponderosa dress. It is meant for knits and also has a size range of 6-12 months up to 9 years.


A fun feature of this dress is the faux top. It looks like two separate pieces doesn’t it? Here’s a shot of the under bodice which connects the skirt and outer bodice together. I sewed this dress in size 4 using the same knit fabrics as the Hemlock top and Magnolia skirt. This dress was only slightly more complicated to sew than the other two patterns I tested, but really not too hard at all! I would say any beginner who knows a bit about sewing could do this with ease.


I seriously love that peek-a-boo floral under bodice! 


As far as comfort goes, you really can’t beat a knit dress. My daughter has worn this to death since completing her tester! Girl loves her knits 😉 



Elegance & Elephants will be releasing a few more patterns next month as well! I don’t know about you but I’m really looking forward to sewing them up!