Pattern hack

Flowy Tank Top and Me Made May

Do you follow along with Me Made May at all? It’s a challenge to wear something handmade everyday for the month of May. I’ve done it before, but honestly, I’ve rarely committed to wearing solely handmade the rest of the year. My body has changed a lot over the years (hello, five kids will do that to a girl ;) and I’ve gotten rid of many handmade that just didn’t fit my body well anymore. This year, I shared in my Instagram Stories about how I decided to wear almost completely handmade this May, so that I can really see the holes in my wardrobe and finally commit to a handmade wardrobe. 

Of course, there are a few caveats: I only have one or two pairs of handmade pants that fit my body well now. That’s on the list of things to sew, but obviously they’re a little more time consuming, and this season of my life has been all about quick sews. I also don’t currently have any handmade pajamas.

Since I’m home with my boys all day, homeschooling and doing all the mom things, I wear a lot of knit shirts. I’ve already discovered that I need to sew a few more short sleeved T-shirts, since that’s what I tend to wear the most.

This tank top and cardigan have been in regular rotation for awhile. The cardigan is a free pattern here on the blog from awhile back, and I wear it several times a week.

The tank top is a modified version of this free dress pattern from last summer. I cut the back yoke on the fold instead of adding the keyhole to the back, and I actually love it even more than the keyhole version! Plus, it’s really fast.

I had a remnant from Joann’s that I absolutely loved and have been hoarding for awhile now, and it was the perfect size for this top.

The fabric is flowy and super comfy, though the color hasn’t held up incredibly through many washes, which is a bummer. I think I made this one at the end of last summer, but never blogged about it, so it’s been worn quite a lot already.

The thing I love the most about Me Made May is that it challenges me to look closely at my wardrobe. Even though I’ve been making myself clothes for years, all the body changes have made it difficult to fully commit to a mostly handmade wardrobe. But maybe this is the year?? You can follow me on Instagram to see all my handmades this month.

If you make your own clothes, how’s your handmade wardrobe coming along? Happy sewing, friends!

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DIY Basketball Tutorial and Pattern Hack

Back in March, my boys were gearing up for March Madness and we were living and breathing basketball around here. My boys are huge basketball fans, and my four-year-old is always stealing his older brother’s Wisconsin jersey. So I made him his own! I grabbed my copy of the Just a Jersey T-shirt pattern from Blank Slate Patterns and hacked it into a basketball jersey.DIY Basketball Jersey

This pattern is designed for knits, but I used an athletic mesh fabric without any stretch. Before putting the pattern together, I widened the neck and lengthened the neckband to account for the lack of stretch. (And I made sure it would fit over my son’s head before I sewed it all together – don’t skip that important step!)

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The Just a Jersey pattern has sleeves built into the yoke, but I wanted the jersey to be sleeveless. To do this I simply cut off the pattern piece after the seam allowance notch (where you’d sew down the side seams).

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After sewing the yoke, neckband, and the front and back pieces, I also wanted contrasting side panels. To do this, leave about an inch free on either end, when sewing the front and back pieces on (you can see that on the red fabric above). Cut a side panel that was the same length as the front and back pieces. Then cut out a scoop for the armhole.

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Sew one side of the side panel to the back piece.

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Then line up the yoke and back pieces, and finish sewing across through to the side panel. Repeat with the other side of the side panel and again with the next side panel. Fold the raw edge of the armhole under and hem.DSC_6063 copy

I had hoped to add a number to the front and back of the jersey with heat transfer vinyl, but I could NOT get the vinyl to stick to the athletic mesh. But we can still root for our Badgers without it. ;)

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All my little basketball loving boys are asking for their own jersey now, so it’s a good thing I ordered lots of this fabric!

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This jersey has gotten a lot of wear in the last few months, and now it’s the perfect lightweight shirt for summer!

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Hooray for sewing!

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!

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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.

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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