PR&P: Upcycled Colour Block Dress

Week 3 of Project Run and Play is here and the theme of the week was repurposing.  I decided to sew for Finnley this week and since my daughter tries to put on a knit summer dress most mornings, I thought that a more weather appropriate comfy dress would probably get a lot of use.

Finnley over top

I ended up making her a colour blocked dress using some old t-shirts for the fabric.  Not the most creative upcycle, but you can get quite a bit of yardage out of a cheap t-shirt so definitely economical.  My inspiration for this dress was this Burda pattern.  I felt pretty confident that I could recreate something similar so decided to save myself a bit of money and make my own pattern.  I started with a t-shirt pattern that I added some extra length to so that it was dress length.  For my starting point I used a soon to be released pattern from Shwin and Shwin.  To add the colour blocking I retraced the front piece of the pattern to change it from cutting it on the fold to making it one piece.  I wanted the back to be a solid colour so I just left that pattern piece alone.  (Sorry for poor quality of the next few pictures, but if you are interested in what I did you can see it when you click on them and look at them full size).

First pattern piece

Once I had my new pattern piece I decided where I wanted my colour blocking to be and simply drew lines directly on the pattern.  Then cut along the lines which meant my new bodice pattern was 3 pieces.

Adding lines

For the sleeves I kept the original pattern piece which is cut on the fold and then drew my colour blocking line and cut along it.


Then I decided where I wanted each colour to go and cut the pieces out making sure to add seam allowance where I was going to attach each piece.  I then took all the pieces and sewed them together.  Once I had my front and sleeves put together I assembled it the same way I put together a basic T-shirt.

Finnley smile IMG_7325

The other changes I made to create this dress was to add a flutter sleeve and add a band of fabric on the bottom to pull the bottom in a little bit.  Although I love the addition of the flutter sleeves I do think I made them a bit too wide and heavy so they lie a bit more flat than I would like.

Finnley sleeve

Pretty happy with how this one turned out and have some plans, if I can ever find the time, to make her a few more simple knit dresses.

Finnley surprised IMG_7322

Finnley seems to love the dress if these pictures are any indication, which means success!



KCW: Little Man Shorts

Finally finding some time to share my last two projects from this round of KCW, a couple pairs of shorts for Daxton. They have been finished for a few nights but I still had to grab some pictures of the final pair and we ran outside quickly after dinner tonight to snap a few.

IMG_6133 IMG_6161

To make these shorts I used Dana’s new shorts pattern and made the flat front version with the addition of the pockets.  Both versions are made using some bottom weight fabric I bought from Joanns on my last trip across the border.  Dax was in desperate need of some neutral shorts that would go with anything so we went with some khaki and gray.


The shorts came together really quickly and the fit is pretty good.  I  made size 18 months for my little man and the waist is a little bit loose but the length is perfect.  The pockets are completely unnecessary since Dax has not discovered pockets and their storage possibilities yet, but they add a nice little detail.

There is not a lot to say about these shorts besides how much I love them, so I will just add some actions shots of my little man since anything else is next to impossible to capture!






KCW: Pink Ombre Ruffle Skirt

Can’t believe how quickly it arrived, but it is time for KCW, the summer edition.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate this time around, considering it is already the middle of July and I thought my kids would have all the summer clothes they needed by now.  WRONG, the master procastinator/ horrible time manager strikes again!  So, summer basics it is!  Most of my planned projects (if I manage to fit them all in) are shorts for the kids, but this first one is actually a present for Finnley’s BFF Annabelle.  Annabelle just turned 3 it is going through a major princess faze.  She lives in dresses, and only dresses that she deems princess worthy.  Not sure this skirt fits the bill, but I am hoping pink and ruffles will win this little girl over!


Finnley modelling the skirt

Loving this sweet little skirt!  Thinking I need to see if I have enough fabric to make one for Finnley!  Originally I envisioned pink ombre using voile so the final skirt would be more floaty and a little bit less stiff, but the only fabric that I could find in 3 shades of pink was quilting cotton solids.  Would like to try it with voile in the future but I am still pretty happy with how it turned out.  I used this tutorial to help me figure out measurements and it came together really quickly.


The one change I will probably make next time is I will make the ruffle layers a little bit longer.  I don’t love how you can see the connector pieces and wish that the ruffles overlapped slightly.

IMG_6064 IMG_6061

Hopefully I will have some shorts for my little man to show in the next day or two!


Linked here:
The Train to Crazy

A Whole Lotta Scoutin’ Going On….

I’ve had Elvis songs rolling through my head all day.  No idea why!

I’ve been such a blog slacker!  I’ve got quite the backlog of sewing and knitting projects to share but getting photos taken always seems like such an epic hassle!  So if Alisha is game, I’ll try and get caught up this week so that I can share a little more frequently.

Now that my apologies are out of the way we can move onto the flavour of the week… the Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee!  I’ve had the pattern for awhile but didn’t do too much with it until the lovely Wanett of sownbrooklyn announced that she would be hosting a sewalong on kollabora.  Perfect excuse!  As always, my ambitions far outweighed my time!  While I’ve only got two finished versions to show you today, I have a few more versions either done or in progress.  Will share these another day.

So first up is possibly the most boring tee in history.  White!  How earthshattering!  And original, nee?  But white shirts always get a ton of wear in my wardrobe until the dreaded deodorant yellow tinge sends them to the recycling bin.  Anyway, there is always room for white tops and tees in my closet.  I tend to be a little wary of patterns when I see a straight line from armpit to hem (boxy is not a good look on my curves!) so I decided that sticking to fabrics with some drape would be a great plan.  With that in mind, I went searching for a white rayon challis.  You’d think that such a simple fabric would be easy to come across but it took me forever to find some!  Eventually, with fabric in hand, I made the tee as written.  My only teeny modification was to add couple of inches to the length.  A wee warning to those considering this pattern…  the shirt and the sleeves run a bit short.

 white scout full white scout close tall

It’s plain, a bit large and, as feared, boxy!  Nonetheless, it’s light and airy, which is perfect in the hot and humid Toronto summers.  Sadly, disaster struck when I was giving this a final press.  My “rayon” fabric melted!  Methinks there was a touch of polyester in this!  Serves me right.

white scout meltedIf you’ve ever bought fabric at King’s Textiles on Spadina then you know that there is an incredible selection of fabric… all on unlabeled bolts!  Fabric is roughly sorted but if you are ever unsure of what you are dealing with then you’re entirely dependent on the staff and their textile knowledge.  I found this one in their rayon section and suspected that it was really a rayon/poly blend but forgot to set my iron accordingly.  Lesson learned!  Since the shirt was already finished, I roughly (and I do mean roughly!) patched the area but I think it’s safe to say that this version of scout will only make the following appearance…  under a cardigan!  In this case, my wispy cardigan.

white scout full with wispy

Next up was a colour-blocked version.  I used some really lovely voile from The Workroom that I thought might be a disaster on me with this pattern as voile is more floaty than drapey (love the language liberties we tend to take when blogging!).  In the end, I don’t think it’s too bad!  And this fabric is like butter!  A real pleasure to wear.  I again added some length to the shirt and altered the hemline so that it was curved (similar to the Wiksten Tank hem).  I really prefer this hem on such a simple shirt.  I french seamed the colour block joins to keep things tidy.  And…  that’s about it!  Not too much to say on this one!

colour scout close colour scout full

It’s a shirt?  No!  It’s a tent?!?!

colour scout tentI really recommend this pattern for anyone looking to build up their wardrobe staples.  It’s lovely as is and is a great way to highlight a special cut of fabric you may have stashed.  However, it’s also a bit of a blank canvas and many, many fun variations of this can can be found online.  Just check out the sewalong entries if you don’t believe me!  I’ve currently got a split back version of this going (similar to my split-back tank) in a herringbone chambray and another colour blocked version with a half button placket on the back (inspired by the Datura Blouse) and similar to this lovely version.  Will share those another day.

In the meantime, have you given kollabora a try? Enjoying it?

As an aside, this was also one of the patterns I wanted to try out for the Indie Pattern Month. The next Indie pattern I promised to try is the Briar tee from the awesome Megan Nielsen! I’ve got a few versions of this to share next week!

Thanks for stopping by!


Indie pattern month

Project Sewn – Neon Staple Dress

It’s week 3 over at Project Sewn which means I’m up although it is hard to follow Sara’s win last week (many thanks to everyone who came out to vote!)!  This weeks theme is 80’s week which initially did not appeal to me at all.  Although I was born in the 80’s I was a bit young for most of it and had no idea what was going on fashion wise.  But then I remembered this awesome neon fabric I saw the last time I was at Fabricland which led to my modern take on an 80’s fashion trend.  My neon Staple Dress!


I am super happy with how this dress ended up.  The fabric I ended up using is a bright pink crinkle gauze with birds all over it.  This was my first time working with a slippery fabric and cutting it was a pain, but the end product was worth it!


The pattern I used is April Rhodes first pattern, The Staple Dress.  This is such a great pattern for someone new to sewing adult clothes, simple and very forgiving!  Simple shirring around the waist takes if from a shapeless sack into a flattering dress.

IMG_5792 IMG_5788

For my dress I choose to add pockets but still keep the french seams.  I decided to do the high low hem version (apparently this works perfectly for an 80’s theme) which initially I was not too sure about, but I like how it turned out.


For my next dress, and there will be a next for sure, I think I would like the neckline to be a little less wide and I will make sure my shirring ends up a little higher.  Although I like how the dress looks I do think it should cinch in a little bit higher.

Overall, I am really happy with how my very first dress turned out and if you like it make sure you come back Friday and vote for mine!


Follow me on Bloglovin’

Linked up to the following:


Happy Homemade vol3 Top A1/A2

Back again so soon!  With no Bitty to dilute my posts.  Sorry, folks but Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong ends today so time is short! Without further ado, here is a blouse I made from one of my Japanese dress books (Happy Homemade Vol. 3).

bodice side


This is an amalgamation of two patterns.  I used the wide bias neckline from version A2 but replaced the flutter sleeves with the sleeves from version A1, which had a pleating detail that I really enjoyed.  While I didn’t copy on purpose, I was in The Workroom recently and saw Karyn wearing this top, so I strongly suspect that I may have had it mind when I made my own version!  Thanks Karyn!

2013-04-16 15.39.09

Ignore the bulk… I may have had a certain tank top underneath this. The shirt really does have some great drape!

If I am being completely honest, I made most of this shirt back in November.  Even wore the unfinished version a few times!  But it really did need some modifying and the sewalong was the motivation I needed to finally make these changes!  The primary one was to take it in.  If any of you have worked from Japanese pattern books before then you know how big they can be!  A lot of drape but not a lot of shape built into the patterns.  This is a style that looks great on some people but if you have some curves then the clothing can look like a giant potato sack if you’re not careful!  So I modified the shape the main blouse.  Sadly, it’s not so obvious in these photos as I have another shirt on underneath it!  Takes up the extra space!  Oh well…  you’ll just have to take my work for it.  All in all, I really like this pattern.  I see many variations in the future as you can really play with the sleeves on this one.  I also think that I will either modify the neck or use a softer fabric the next time around so that it doesn’t stand so stiffly at the back of the neck.  An easy change to make!

2013-04-16 15.35.04

If you have never tried Japanese pattern books then I can highly recommend them!  They tend to be simple, fun and very, very versatile.  So go and enjoy!


Split-Back Tank

Finally, the first of my Spring Top Sewalong tops! I was pretty excited when Rae (of made-by-rae) posted that she would be hosting this sewalong again this spring.  I watched last year but was just getting back into sewing and so didn’t participate.  This year?  All in!  A perfect excuse for some selfish sewing as much of my sewing and knitting time lately has been dedicated to gifts (Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, baby shower gifts, welcome baby gifts, etc etc…  I think you get the point!).  While there is little more satisfying than gifting someone with something handmade (particularly to those that appreciate the time and effort!), my spring and summer wardrobe needs some work!  A month later, however, and my commitment to the SAL was somewhat…  dimmed!  I just haven’t had the time!  But before the ardor cooled, I did manage to make a couple of shirts, the first of which was this split-back version of the tiny pocket tank by Grainline Studios (worked from this tutorial).

front  back close

I used fabric from the comma collection from Zen Chic.  I’m using quilting cotton a lot in my me-made wardrobe, which is a real switch for me.  I used to have some definite opinions on quilting cotton and fashion/apparel fabric and never the twain shall meet!  Sometimes this still holds true but for those that feel the same way let me just point out that the quality of quilting cotton has really improved!  Some of it is silky with really excellent drape.  In this case it could have had the texture and drape of a cardboard box and I still would not have been able to resist the punctuation marks!  And I am really pleased with my choice…  it’s fun while being fairly subtle.  I don’t have a picture of the inside but let’s just say that with the bound armholes and neckline and french seams that this tank is as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside!

2013-04-16 15.40.52

If you are considering the split-back variation of this pattern then I should point out that it is BIG!  Much more room that you would have in the regular version so keep that in mind.  Despite the straining darts in the above pictures (awkward pose!), this tank could still stand to lose a couple of cm’s in the centre front.  And I had to angle the back pieces in such as way as to reduce the overall volume of the shirt.  Because of this, I also had to sew the back shut so the buttons ended up being decorative only.  It also meant that the split was less dramatic than intended in the back.  The upside is that this tank can be worn in the lab…  always a bonus!


2013-04-16 15.26.43

Can’t think of anything else you need to know about this one.  Hopefully I’ll manage to post about my Colette Sencha and a blouse I made from one of my Japanese dress books…  the sewalong end on Friday so that just might not happen!

Photos were graciously taken by my friend Alisha.  I wich I could say that I was an equally gracious subject!  I was a grump (and I was freezing!), so the pickin’s were slim for this post!  Thanks, Alisha!

2013-04-16 15.44.23