Tag Archive for upcycle

Women’s T-Shirt to Baby Romper

Women's T-shirt to Baby Romper
When my friend Raeanna asked me if I’d sew a project for Romper Week, I thought this would be the perfect motivation to do some sewing projects for fun and experiment with simple clothing patterns. The project I chose, an upcycled Threadless T-shirt to baby romper, is about as simple as it gets!

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I was inspired by this tutorial at Feather’s Flights, which includes a free baby romper pattern for sizes 6-12 months. I followed this pattern for the most part, with a few changes . . .

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1. My boy has a big noggin. It’s in the 90th percentile for his age. So instead of cutting into the neckline of the adult T-shirt, I chose a women’s tee with a smallish neck, which easily fits over his head without being too frumpy.

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2. I also made the pattern longer and wider. In addition to having a big head, Elliot is very tall for his age, so I needed to make this work for both of us. Easier to pull over his head = happier baby!

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3. I used snap tape for the closure! For more details on how to attach snap tape, you can refer to this excellent romper tutorial by Vanilla Joy.

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4. I also enlarged the size of the sleeve seam by about 2 inches. When dressing the little man, I like it to be as painless as possible for both of us (he prefers to be unclothed) and this looser sleeve makes it much easier to bend his arms into place.

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Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out! It’s not sewn perfectly, but I did learn more about sewing with knits. And this is a cute Threadless shirt that would never fit me again . . . I’m happy to keep it in the family.

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It’s Romper Week!

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For your chance to win one of several fabulous prize packs, you can link up your romper sewing project to the inLinkz collection below! We will begin voting June 21st through the 28th and the top three entries to the link party will walk away with an awesome prize!

1st place (voting)
$30 credit to Girl Charlee
Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Romper
Blank Slate Pattern Retro Romper

2nd place (voting)
Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle
Shaffer Sisters Betty Skirt Pattern
Winner’s Choice Sewing Mama RaeAnna Pattern

3rd place (voting)
Fat Quarter Shop Fat Quarter Bundle
Winner’s Choice Muse of the Morning Pattern

Romper Week Linkup Prizes

An InLinkz Link-up

Don’t forget to enter the Romper Week Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win:

 

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Book Review: Reinvention

Reinvention Book Maya Donenfeld

Maya Donenfeld’s new book Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials (Wiley) is a collection of projects about repurposing materials to make something new. The sewing projects inside range from beginner to intermediate, and there are also some great design touches, like printing on fabric.

The book starts off with some sewing basics, like tools and techniques. There is also a chapter on printing basics, which covers freezer paper printing and stamping.

Arithmetic Pillows Reinvention

In the Linen chapter, one of the cutest projects are “The Arithmetic Pillows.” These simple envelope-back pillows are a perfect project for beginners. And if you aren’t into buying linen yardage, which can be quite expensive, suggested materials include upcycled linen skirts and dresses.

Toadstool Reinvention

In the Wool section, there are several projects which use upcycled sweaters as new material for making projects. “The Toadstool Cottage” is a toy designed for kids that parents will appreciate for its ability to contain tiny little pieces. If sweaters aren’t avilable, another affordable material could be a sturdy wool felt.

Color Block Zippered Pouch Reinvention

Have you ever considered using Tyvek mailers as sewing material? The water- and tear-resistant material can be repurposed as material for zip pouches, a banner, notebook and luggage tags. Some of the other materials featured in the book are jersey (t-shirt material), denim, vintage fabrics and burlap. So clever!

Burlap Bin Reinvention

My Project

As a project tester for this book, I had the privilege to review the pattern for the burlap bin before the book went to print. I chose to make the larger of two available sizes. My favorite design element is the handle slot, which you can insert on one or two sides. As you can see below, I changed my mind about the slots halfway through, and decided to just make one handle slot (although I had already created two slots in the lining fabric).

Surprisingly, I was able to sew through all of the layers, including topstitching all of the edges, without breaking a needle! The bins in the book are made from upcycled coffee bags, and if I ever come across some of these bags, I know exactly what to do with them.

Burlap Bin Reinvention

These bins are great for holding books or fabric scraps, which I’m currently using mine for. The cats, on the other hand, can certainly appreciate the burlap bin for its structured coziness.

Reinvention Burlap Bin

If you appreciate upcycled projects, Reinvention offers a wealth of inspiration. You can’t beat the affordability of sewing with materials that are either thrifted or ready to be thrown away, and the projects range from wearables to gifts and all sorts of things to make your house a home.

Upcycle: Shirt to Purse

I love all the details you find in clothes: the little buttons, pleats and seams. I wanted to come up with a way to use those details to give some thrifted shirts new life. So I designed two purse patterns that use those fun details to their advantage.

In this tutorial, I’ll be featuring the instructions and pattern for the pink shirt and the tote bag. You can find the instructions and pattern for the brown/green shirt over at my other blog, Bugglebee Handmade.

The shirt I’m using in my pattern is a petite XL. Depending on the shirt you’re using, you may need to scale down the pattern a bit.

Materials:

  1. One long-sleeved shirt
  2. 1/2 yard fusible fleece
  3. 1/2 yard fabric for lining (I used a heavier weight home dec fabric)
  4. 82″ canvas strap

First you’ll cut out all the pieces. The following two photos show all the pieces together and also where each piece came from. The numbers correspond to the list below.

  1. Using the free PDF pattern from Google Docs here, cut two each from the shirt (top and bottom of the back side of shirt), fusible web, and lining fabric for the main body of the tote. The pattern is 2 pages. You’ll want to print both pages out, line up the dots and tape them together. In your browser the PDF preview may show the pages are cropped. If you are having problems printing the whole pattern through Google Docs, use your mouse to click on File (left side of screen), then choose “download original.” Open the downloaded document and try printing again.
  2. but once you download it, it  will show correctly.
  3. Cut one 9 3/8″ x 4″ rectangle from the shirt, fusible web, and lining fabric for the tote bottom.
  4. Cut two 13.5″ x 4″ rectangles from the shirt and fusible web, and four from the lining fabric for the sides. I cut the shirt fabric horizontally from the front of the shirt with the button 1/3 of the way in. This piece will become a pocket.
  5. Cut off the bottom 8.5″ sleeves including the cuff. Use the slit in the cuff and cut it open into a rectangle and remove any buttons. Mine is 10.5″ wide but it will vary by shirt. Also cut a 8.75″x10.5″ rectangle from the liner fabric.

Now that you’ve got all your pieces ready, let’s prep the outer pocket. For the front pocket, fold over the top 1/4″ of the liner fabric and iron it down.  then with wrong sides together, stitch the tops together. Then, flip the fabric so right sides are together. Line up the bottom of the two fabrics and stitch them together. Then turn it right side out.

Next, you’ll stitch together the strips for the sides and bottom of the tote. Line up the strips from the shirt face side down (side, bottom, side). Place the liner strips on top of the two side strips (these will line the side pockets seen in the photos at the bottom of the post) and sew them all together with right sides together.

Then with right sides together, sew the side/bottom strip to one of the main body pieces. I found it easier to line up the center and sew from the center out to the top. Then I went back and did the other side. Then sew on the other main body piece (not pictured) and turn it right side out.

Stitch the pocket on along the bottom seam. The pocket will still have raw edges.

Iron the fusible fleece to the liner strips for the sides and to the main body pieces. Line up the side strips (side, bottom, side) and sew them together. Then sew that strip to the main body pieces using the same method as the exterior. Trim off any excess material around the seam allowance.

Now nestle the liner inside the exterior of the bag. Fold the tops inside 1″ and stitch around the top with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

You’re almost done and just need to add the strap! Make sure the strap isn’t twisted and overlap the edges by 1/8″. Zig zag stitch back and forth over the strap until the raw edges are secured. The strap will now be one big loop.

Line up strap with the raw edges of the front pocket. Start by pinning down the zig zagged seam on your strap to the bottom of the bag. Then pin down the sides. Stitch along both sides of each canvas strap and make an X at the top of each strap. (Before I stitched down the straps, my husband pointed out that the front pocket didn’t stand out so I went back and added the pink strip to the top.)

And you’ve made a shirt into a tote! I really like the pleats from the sleeve on the front pocket and the side pockets from the front of the shirt. The side pockets are mostly just for show. In my pattern they’re too narrow to fit much. If you want them to be more functional make the side/bottom strips wider.

Online Sewing Class

Upcycle: Hoodie into Cowl Neck Pullover


We have a lot of hooded sweatshirts at this house and I’ve always wondered if I could convert them into something else. There’s a boy’s shirt contest going on over at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar so I decided to give it a shot. Here’s a great way to transform those hooded sweatshirts into a cowl neck pullover!

Start out with a sweatshirt that fits your child (or you!) comfortably with a little extra room because you’ll be loosing just a little bit of the width. Make sure the hood fits comfortably over their head. My son normally wears 24 month sized clothes but I used a 2T for this project. *If you are using a different style shirt check out the tips at the bottom of the post.

First you’ll cut out the zipper. It’s easiest to do this from the inside of the sweatshirt and to cut as close to the zipper as you can.




Next cut off the hood and cut off the seam that connected the hood to the rest of the shirt. You may need to use a seam ripper to remove and bits still stuck to the sides.




Your cut up shirt will now look like this:



At this stage you’ll want to remove any embellishments like the basketball patch on my sweatshirt above. Next lay the hood flat. If it is unlined like most hoodies you’ll cut it twice the final desired so you can fold it in half. Add an additional 1/4″ to that measurement for your seam allowance. I cut a strip 4 3/4″ for my son’s 2T size shirt.


 

Now you’re ready to start sewing! Fold the sweatshirt inside out and pin the seam together. I cut the pockets so they would be 1/2″ away from the edge of the shirt. Next, sew along the edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Start at the bottom so if the shirt shifts at all, at least that part will match up correctly!




Lay the sweatshirt out and press the seams open. Pin the seams down and sew 1/4″ on each side of the seam. When you do this, fold the edges down over the sides of the pockets so when you stitch it up you’ll close the pockets that you cut open when you removed the zipper.




Turn the sweatshirt right side out and pin the center of the neck strip (the piece cut from the hood) to the center of the neck on the back of the shirt. The right side of the hood should be facing out with the seam at the bottom.




Continue to pin around the curve of the neck.




Turn the shirt over and pin down the neck strip leaving a gap slightly larger than the folded width of the neck piece. My neck strip folded in half minus the seam allowance is 2 1/4″ so the gap I left is 2 1/2″. Sew the neck strip down all the way around the shirt. Do not stitch down the 1/4″ at the edge where the Xs are marked below.


Next cut out the V of material between the neck strip. Cut along the edge of the neck strip on both sides and cut across where your stitches stop (1/4″ before the edge of the neck strip). Click on the image below (or any image in the post) for a larger view. The smaller image is the same as the larger one so you can see how mine looked.




Fold the neck strip over so it resembles a dress shirt collar. Pin down the edges.




Sew the neck down all the way around as close to the edge as you can. Also, sew the front edge of the neck shut.




For the final step, turn the shirt inside out and line up the two edges of the collar with the opening. Pin it in place and stitch shut.




Turn right side out and the shirt is complete! You could easily add some extra character with piping around the neck or with contrast stitching.




*Tips for other shirt styles: If you’re starting out with a lined hood you won’t have to fold the neck strip in half like the example above. Below, using a 2T shirt, I cut the neck strip 2 3/4″ for a final neck of 2 1/2″ with 1/4″ seam allowance.




With this style of pockets I was able to do just a single seam down the center and that closed the pockets back up. Because the graphic was misshapen after the cutting and sewing I just cut a patch from the extra hood material to cover it up. That also covered up the top of the pockets that became slightly mismatched after sewing! 




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