Not just a T-shirt

It seems a bit ironic that right after I posted about my upgraded mom uniform, I post another T-shirt. But you know, old habits die hard. And truth be told, this is so much better than your average T-shirt. I mean, for one, it’s a Union St. Tee (hello…. love the Union St. Tee!). And secondly, this fabric is amazing.

If you don’t already own the Union St. Tee, I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding. Kind of. This pattern is my fave. I’ve made it into dresses and t-shirts (though I don’t think I’ve ever blogged a tee version), and the fit is perfect.


You know how you have your favorite store-bought T-shirt that you can just grab off the shelf without trying on? That you have a million of in different colors? That’s the Union St. Tee.


Okay, let’s talk fabric. Because FABRIC. This is the softest knit I have ever worn. Seriously, it is amazing. I want to make all my clothes out of this fabric. It’s April Rhodes Bound Pathmaker in Slate – I purchased it from the Imagine Gnats shop (affiliate link). She doesn’t have it in stock anymore, but as I was looking for it, I noticed you can get 10% off any order of $50+ with code sswfall through 9/30. Side note: Rachael has the best customer service and the fastest shipping.



I made the elbow length sleeve, since it’s fall. Plus, in Wisconsin, an elbow length sleeve can get you through many more seasons than a short sleeve.


I could seriously sleep in this shirt, the fabric just feels so good!


The fabric pattern takes it beyond your everyday T-shirt too, in my opinion.


T-shirts forever. ;)

Happy sewing, friends!

Wide Neck Tee for Remix the Stitch

My sweet friend Kimberly at Straight Stitch Designs is celebrating the one year anniversary of her pattern shop! She has accomplished so much in the last year. I’ve been such a fan of her patterns – I’ve sewn the Capitol Hill, the Ballard and the Greenwood, and I’ve loved every.single.one. So when Kimberly invited me to be a part of her Remix the Stitch tour – taking one of her patterns and mixing it up – I knew I had to sew along!

Wide Neck Tee from If Only They Would Nap

*this post contain affiliate links*

I actually started out with the Ravenna, but I made a cutting error that ended up… well, let’s just say it wasn’t working out in my favor. I knew I had to set it aside, and since I had three other Straight Stitch Designs patterns printed and ready to cut, I came up with a brilliant idea: combine the Greenwood with the Capitol Hill to make a wide neck tee!


It’s a super simple hack: I used the front and back of the Greenwood – the low back version, so the front and back are the same. Then I used the sleeve from the Capitol Hill. I shortened the Greenwood about 1/2inch from the shoulder to match up with the sleeve. I used a one inch binding for the neckline. I also graded the body of the shirt out just a little bit, as I wanted a slightly looser fit. When I make another one, I’ll also add another inch to the sleeve, since the shoulder is higher than the Capitol Hill, and I forgot to factor that in.

wide neck tee 5

This shirt is ridiculously comfortable. I looove the wide neck. Plus, I put it together from cut to sew (to photograph!) in less than two hours. So basically it’s faster to make a new shirt than to do a load of laundry. Clearly laundry is overrated.

wide neck tee 3One of the great things about owning multiple patterns from a designer is that often times, you can mix and match some of the pieces like the sleeves. I love Kimberly’s style, and all of the Straight Stitch Designs patterns have great features, fit well, and come together so nicely. They’re some of my go-to patterns for sure!

wide neck tee 4

I didn’t get a good picture of it, but the back of the neck mirrors the front. It’s unlike any other t-shirt I own, so it’s a fun way to mix up my everyday t-shirt and jeans wardrobe! I just adore this shirt! It’s starting to feel like fall, so this will be getting a lot of wear.

Wide Neck Tee 2

Kimberly’s having an amazing sale and giveaway in honor of her anniversary. Her PDF and paper patterns are 50% off and her stitch kits are 40% off through 9/20. I really can’t recommend her patterns enough!


Click here to enter the giveaway

Make sure you check out all the other stitchers on the #remixthestitch tour!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 8th: Meg Cookin’ and Craftin’ | Jennifer Ginger Peach Studio
Wednesday, September 9th: Ajaire Call Ajaire | Heidi Handmade Frenzy | Stacey Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
Thursday, September 10th: Melissa Rebel & Malice | Annika Näh-Connection | Abby Sew Much Ado
Friday, September 11th: Katie It’s Hard to Hear Up Here | Jane Buzzmills | Lisa Mabey She Made It
Saturday, September 12th: Elena Randomly Happy | Allie Indiesew | Jess If Only They Would Nap
Monday, September 14th: Jaime Made By Jaime | Lauren BASTE + GATHER | Sara Made by Sara
Tuesday, September 15th: Audrey Skirt Fixationy | Teri Fa Sew La | Hayley Welcome to the Mouse House
Wednesday, September 16th: Emi Just Add Fabric | Rachael Imagine Gnats | Teresa Dandelion Drift
Thursday, September 17th: Kaysie | KZJO’STUDIO Rita Conversas de Hermanas | Stephanie Swoodson Says
Friday, September 18th: Andreia In a Manner of Sewing | Nienke Pienkel | Abbey Sew Charleston

Easy T-shirt Dress Tutorial

Easy T-shirt Dress Tutorial

My basic everyday uniform is a t-shirt and jeans. In the summer, though, I love to switch it up and wear t-shirt dresses, so I can pretend I’m not being as lazy with my wardrobe as I actually am. So when Melissa invited me to join in on her 30 Days of Sundresses series, I knew comfort would win out in the end!


Making a T-shirt dress (or a tank dress!) is super easy. I used two favorite patterns for these dresses: the Union St. Tee from Hey June Patterns (which I’ve already made into a dress) and the Greenwood Tank from Straight Stitch Designs. If you don’t have a pattern you love, trace your favorite store-bought tee instead.


1. Lay your pattern (or your t-shirt) on top of your fabric. Measure from your armpit down to where you want the dress to hit. Remember that you will need to add extra length for the hem.

DSC_65972. Cut down to your desired length. Unless you want your dress to be form fitting, angle it outward slightly as you go down toward the hemline.

DSC_65873. If you want to give your dress a looser fit than it would be as a shirt, grade it out a little on the sides. If you have more of a pear shape, make sure you grade it out to allow your hips to have enough room.DSC_6772

Then sew it together as you would according to the shirt pattern instructions! Easy peasy!

DSC_6715The comfort of a t-shirt, with the sassiness of a dress! Basically everything I love all wrapped up in one ridiculously easy-to-sew package. If you start to sew them, though, be warned: you may not be able to stop. And with a serger and a coverstitch (affiliate links), you can seriously just fly through these and whip up one after another without even thinking about it. I may or may not have another one already cut and ready to go…

DSC_6752Both of these fabrics came from JoAnn’s and I think are lycra blends, so they have kind of a silky feel to them. Jersey fabrics will lay a little differently, but they also can be easily worn with sneakers for trips to the zoo or the park. You can dress it up or down, depending on jewelry or shoes. But you still feel like you’re wearing your pajamas. Who doesn’t love wearing their pajamas??

DSC_6716There are so many amazing dresses over at Melly Sews for the 30 Days of Sundresses series – for women and for girls! There are lots of tutorials, free patterns, and great dresses to inspire you to sew your own. Plus, there are giveaways!

Sundresses2015-250pxYou can enter this week’s giveaway – a mystery box of sewing yummies – and scroll through all the oh-so-lovely dresses.

Happy sewing, friends!

Turn a shirt pattern into a dress

Striped Neptune Tee

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know my love of all things Pattern Anthology. Four of my favorite designers put out a collection of patterns together for a limited time discount, then the patterns go to their individual shops at regular retail price. Every single time a new Pattern Anthology collection comes out, I’m so impressed. There’s usually some squealing involved. (You can see a few of the things I’ve sewn from previous collections here) The ladies have just come out with another fabulous women’s collection, 8 Days a Week, and I sewed up the Neptune Tee.

Neptune Tee

I sewed the simple version, but the pattern comes with these amazing triangle cutouts.


A T-shirt and jeans is pretty much my mom uniform, and I love the fit of this tee. I brought mine in around the hips a little bit, but made no other alterations and it fits perfectly.


The pattern comes together super quickly – a naptime sew (yay!) So basically it’s quicker to make myself a new shirt than to wash one that’s dirty. Hmmm….

DSC_0102I especially like the armbands. … and this fabulous GLITTER striped fabric that I’ve been hoarding (from either JoAnn’s or Hancock Fabrics a couple years ago) Since my life is all superheroes and Thomas trains, a boy mama needs a little glitter fabric in her life, am I right?

DSC_0027While you’re looking at this gorgeous tee, you can also notice that I have to remove my stove knobs … life with a toddler, my friends.

DSC_0054I was given the Neptune Tee pattern in exchange for testing, but I always stand by my reviews – and I super love this shirt. You can get yours along with the rest of the 8 Days a Week collection until October 6th, or from See Kate Sew after that date.

Happy sewing, friends!

10 T-shirt Patterns for the entire family

If your family is anything like mine, T-shirts are a wardrobe staple. Great for school, play clothes, exercising, or even with a pair of jeans a heels for a night out! Here are ten T-shirt patterns for your entire family.

10 t-shirt patterns


1. Anytime At All Tee from Shwin Designs


This kid’s tee is super versatile – the smaller sizes come as a bodysuit, and the larger sizes have plain or ruffle options, as well as a couple different sleeves. It’s available in sizes 3mos – 8yrs.

2. Union St Tee from Hey June Patterns


This women’s pattern is next on my to-sew list. I basically live in this type of tee, and you have four different sleeve options and can make a scoop or v-neck. It’s available in sizes XXS – XXL.

3. The Trifecta Top from Kitschy Coo


Amanda is a knit sewing genius, so when she makes a pattern, it’s going to be good. It’s available in 8 different sizes.

4. Free Men’s T-shirt pattern from Melly Sews


Because the man in your life needs T-shirts too, right?

5. Easy Tee free pattern from It’s Always Autumn


This free pattern is available in a size large, and Autumn shows you lots of ways to make it just the way you like it!

6. Recess Raglan from See Kate Sew


I’ve made the Recess Raglan a bunch of times (see more of my version above here), and each time I love it more. There are quite a few option for this one too, and it’s available in sizes 18mos-8yrs.

7. The Tumble Tee from Imagine Gnats


The Tumble Tee is a super cute color block tee, and even has a dress option. It’s available in sizes 6mos-10yrs – as either a PDF or a paper pattern.

8. Day Camp Set – a free t-shirt and shorts pattern from Peek-a-boo Patterns (affiliate link)

IMG_1503__98004.1406729833.800.1000This is a great basic t-shirt, and bonus – it comes with shorts too! It’s available in sizes 2T – 5T.

9. Vintage V-neck from Blank Slate Patterns (affilate link)


This tee, in true Blank Slate Patterns form, comes together beautifully. I love a good v-neck, and the instructions make it easy to do. This one is available in sizes 18mos – 8yrs.

10. Casual Lady from Go To Patterns


This is one of my favorite for-me patterns, and I’ve sewn it ohsomany times. You can see a few of my versions here.You can make it a top or a dress (which I’ve also sewn, but have yet to blog), and it’s so comfortable! It’s available in sizes XXXS – XXL.


This really is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to T-shirt patterns – I had a hard time choosing just ten! Many of these designers have others so you can make your perfect tee, so click around their shops to find what you like. If you have a favorite t-shirt pattern, leave it in the comments so we can all check it out!

Happy sewing, friends!


DIY geometric typography tee [a tutorial]

My friend Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy asked me to join in on her Fashionable Type series – celebrating all kinds of typography in fashion. I had a few ideas right away, but with the Straight Lines and Angles series still in my head, I decided to go geometric again.

geometric typography tutorial

I was inspired by this amazing typography, and I used some scraps of striped knit to create a similar design.

I made my T-shirt out of some absolutely delicious Ponte de Roma knit from Girl Charlee, though this could be done on a store-bought tee as well. Here are the super easy steps…


1. Cut out the letters from knit scraps and iron lightweight interfacing on the back.


2. Trim any extra interfacing


3. Pin the letters onto the shirt’s front. If you’re sewing the shirt, do this before you sew the front and back together. I like to pin the corners to keep the letters from shifting around.


4. Then carefully top-stitch the letters onto the fabric. Go slowly and carefully so they don’t shift out of place. Since knit doesn’t fray, you don’t have to worry about finishing the edges of your letters. A ready-to-wear shirt will be a little bit trickier to maneuver in your machine, but if you go slowly, it should be no problem. :)


A couple notes about this knit… I LOVE Ponte de Roma knits. They’re quickly becoming my favorite. They sew together gloriously and are super comfortable. My tunic that I made out of stripey Ponte de Roma (also from Girl Charlee) is one of my favorite handmade garments. Plus, how fun is this vibrant orange?!

Funny side note: I actually made this shirt for my two-year-old. But trying to get a two-year-old to wear something when he doesn’t want to… yeah, that’s not a battle I’m willing to fight. Lucky me, I have another boy waiting in the wings who is more than willing to let me take his photo and just a wee bit taller than the aforementioned toddler.


This is fun, right? ;)

The Fashionable Type Button

Now make sure you pop over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to see the giveaway for Dead Ringer Designs, which has some sweet t-shirts, and to enter the link party.. and see what kind of typography fun A Jennuine Life for the series today too!

Sewing a Secret Sunglasses Pocket

Did you see the announcement that the Sew In Tune series is coming back to Melly Sews and Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy? I had so much fun last time, and I’ll be back again this year! As I’m prepping for my post, I realized that I never shared my full post here on my blog! Woops… so a year later, here it is. :)

The first song that popped into my mind for this series was Sunglasses at Night, sung by Corey Hart. Classic 80s, my friends. Oh how I love the 80s.

DSC_0363My three-year-old adores wearing sunglasses. When he wears them outside, he usually insists on keeping them on when he comes inside too, so I thought this would be a fun one to design for him.

DSC_0337I grabbed some fun rockstar knit fabric for the shirt and added a sunglasses applique that has a little secret to it. Keep reading for details on that. I also have a tutorial on the pants, made out of an unlikely fabric choice for a boy!

DSC_0365The jacket is upcycled from a pair of pants [that attract a LOT of lint] and is a self-drafted pattern…

5133X4BYPYL._SL500_SS500_…inspired by this Corey Hart album cover. Every rockstar needs a rockin’ jacket, I say.

 photo 6a97ec03-a08e-4928-a91b-47c1ae401877_zps60687158.jpgNow, a tutorial for the tee! Sew up a T-shirt using the pattern of your choice (I drafted my own by tracing a tee that fits my son well). I like the look of shirts that are more fitted and have cuffs at the wrist and a matching neckband, particularly when they’re in a fun color to add a bit of pop to the shirt. If your pattern doesn’t call for them, they’re super easy to add.

DSC_02981. Cut two pieces of knit fabric the width of your sleeve and double the length you want the cuff to be. Mine measured about 4in. x 8in. when folded (like seen in the picture above). The stretch of the fabric should go left to right when your fabric is folded like mine.DSC_0301

2. To add a matching neckband, cut a strip of fabric that is slightly smaller than your neck opening. Mine was about an inch and a half wide before it was folded.DSC_0314

3. Sew up the long, unfolded sides of the cuffs and the short sides of the neckband.

DSC_03334. Fold the wrist cuffs so the seams are on the inside. Attach them to the ends of your sleeves using either a serger or a stretch stitch.

DSC_03355. Do the same thing with your neckband. You can also topstitch over your neckband with a double needle.

DSC_0294But wait… we’re not done yet! The sunglasses! Because three-year-olds love surprises, these sunglasses also double as little pockets for holding treasures and cars and all the random things that three-year-olds love so much.

DSC_02856. After cutting out two of a simple sunglasses shape, fold over the top edge and straight stitch it in place.

DSC_02867. Place the sunglasses right sides together and stitch around the curved edges.DSC_0289

8. Use pinking shears to trim the seam allowance.

DSC_02909. Flip the sunglasses right side out and stitch them onto the shirt, leaving the top-side open.

DSC_029610. Carefully stitch down the back side of the sunglasses as well, to make your little one’s secret pocket!

DSC_0369I also ended up stitching a small line in between the two lenses, just to keep the front of the glasses from flopping over when there’s something in the pocket.


Between this dude’s hair and the way he sings the Thomas the Train theme song, he may just be a future rockstar. ;)

Mustache Vintage V-Neck

If your kids are anything like mine, they wear a lot of T-shirts. I mean, a lot. So when Melissa asked me to be a part of the Blank Slates Pattern tour, I knew I had to try out her Vintage V-neck.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Blank Slate Patterns. I received this pattern for free in exchange for my review and get a small percentage for each purchase. All opinions are my own.
mustache vintage vneck  if only they would nap

As I’ve grown to expect of Blank Slate Patterns, this pattern is very well done. The instructions and pictures are so clear and easy to follow.

And one of the greatest things about sewing T-shirts? They are ridiculously fast. Pretty sure this one took me maybe 20 minutes. [not including the time that I had to nurse the baby, break up a fight between brothers, and switch a load of laundry]DSC_0468

The grey fabric I wanted to use was an eensy bit too short, so I used a strip of accent fabric at the bottom to make it work.

My three-year-old likes to wear clothes that we can name… like “the train shirt” or “the shirt with the shoes” … so this one is the mustache shirt. I love that something as simple as that can make getting dressed just a bit easier. And I’m aaaallll about easier.

Hooray for comfy clothes!DSC_0479

Mustaches go well with long eyelashes, don’t you think..?

DSC_0509Before you check out all the other stops on the tour, you should know that Melissa is donating 50% of all her proceeds this week to the Komen Foundation, in honor of Breast Cancer awareness month and her late grandmother. I have had some amazing women in my family who have beaten Breast Cancer, so this hits me close to home too.

Blank Slate Patterns - PDF Sewing Patterns for Kids and WomenMelissa has such a great variety of patterns in her shop, Blank Slate Patterns. I’ve truly never been disappointed with any of them. Please go pop over to her blog, Melly Sews, to check out all the other amazing garments that have been made. They will definitely spark some inspiration!


Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter the Sally Dress pattern giveaway!

Casual Comfort: Sewing for Kindergarten

This year, my oldest started kindergarten. [cue the mama tears!] Yes, we are homeschooling… but that doesn’t make it any less “my baby is growing up too fast!!” But since I have a kindergartener this year, I get to be a part of the Sewing for Kindergarten series – hosted by Sewing Like Mad!


While we could stay in our jammies all day if we want to, I’m not usually that kind of mom. I like to get myself dressed and ready for the day – and the kids too. But we do like to keep it casual and comfy.
casual comfy kindergarten

Not only is this look comfy for school at home, but it’s also totally appropriate for field trips or our weekly homeschool group.
DSC_0982The sweatshirt is upcycled [if you’re new here – that’s my jam] from a thrifted sweatshirt. People.. this is the softest sweatshirt ever.in.life.

DSC_0029The pattern is the Paperback Writer Cardi from Shwin Designs. [affiliate link]DSC_0975

Shauna is the sweetest and sent me this pattern, just because she thought my boys would like it. She’s so amazing like that. I knew it had to be a part of this outfit. This fabric gives it an old-grandpa-sweater feel, which I totally love. The pattern is a dolman-style cardigan, so it doesn’t have separate sleeve pieces [even though it looks like it does here… that’s just because of my upcycle]

DSC_0101The T-shirt is another upcycle, from a local band that sadly broke up. This boy was in my belly at many of their shows, little does he know.


Now the pants… I have had these color blocked pants [my own pattern] envisioned in my head for quite some time.DSC_0060They’re fun and bright, just like my boy.


I’ll admit that I’m not super crazy about this denim, because it’s a little on the stiff side until it’s washed a bazillion times. It’s the same denim I used on these shorts.
DSC_0057But obviously that doesn’t bother him. Still good for homeschool P.E.

DSC_0030Who are you sewing for this year? Mie at Sewing Like Mad has three different flickr groups for you to post your outfits for all different ages, then she’s giving away prizes! [Prizes!] Plus, isn’t it just fun to show other people what you’ve sewn for your kid? Says the blogger…

Thanks for letting me sew along, Mie!

Once, twice, three times a [Casual] Lady…

I’m in love. Is it okay to be in love with a pattern? Don’t tell me if it’s not. Because I totally am. And what’s that? You want more awkward selfies? Well I aim to please.DSC_0398

This pattern, the Casual Lady [affiliate link] from Go To Patterns is fantastic. I’ve made three already, and there’s no end in sight to my casual-loving madness.

Since I have a nursing babe still, I’ve only made the top version. But the pattern comes with both a dress and top version.DSC_0365

This shirt is seriously comfortable. I love me a good T-shirt, and this one is my new favorite.
I used different types of knit for each top – it’s really perfect for whatever you have in your stash.

Dress it up, dress it down. I love a pattern with possibilities!DSC_0426
This face right here? You’re welcome.DSC_0421

Pretty soon I will have a closet full of Casual Ladies. [yeah… that definitely sounded better in my head]

Have you been sewing for yourself lately? I’d love to see! Leave me a link in the comments!

blue stripes – Girl Charlee
white subtle stripes – Fabric.com
floral – Joann Fabrics