The Grandpa Inspired Look – sewing along with PR&P’s boy week

Well I’m sewing along with another week of Project Run and Play! Really, how could I not sew along with boy week?

I decided to sew for my three-year-old, because honestly, I don’t do that often. Poor middle child. Plus, he’s my most reluctant model.


As I lay awake the other night [seriously, pregnancy insomnia? I’d like to sleep while I can, thankyouverymuch], I knew exactly what I needed to make for my middle man. Inspired, once again, by this photo:

bumpa, dasche, jay, busiaMy grandpa seriously knew how to rock the plaid pants. Instead of going plaid this time, though, I went argyle. Argyle! I seriously love this fabric.

DSCF7400The pants are made from this yummy Kaufman 21 Wale Cool Cords Argyle Brown that I got from fabric.com. It’s a self-drafted pattern based on another pair of his pants, and they fit him exactly the way I wanted.


The shirt is upcycled from a men’s tee and self-drafted as well, though I wish I had made the neckline a little bit higher. This dude of mine has a large head and since I don’t sew for him terribly often, I always overcompensate.


Then to take the grandpa inspiration to the next level, I sized down a thrifted sweater. I used the existing neckline, which meant I had to move a button up. It ended up a little bit big, but he should be able to wear it for awhile.


The pants also have a little flare at the bottom [which I could not capture for the life of me, since he was being oh-so-cooperative].


Flat front, elastic back. Best style for a three-year-old.


He really was a fan of the clothes. Maybe just not a fan of me….

And then he realized just how crazy his mom is for making him stand in front of the open door in twenty degree weather.


Linking up with Make it Wear it on The Train to Crazy.


The Easiest, Coziest Pillow Cover Ever: a Tutorial

Sometimes life is funny… like how you blog about listening to your body and taking more naps. Then you come down with the stomach flu and have to stay in bed all.day.long. Funny or … not so funny?

Today was a slow day of recovery. But since I was bored silly yesterday [I actually got sick of Netflix… who knew that could happen?], I needed to sew today. Need. Rather than clean the house. Because obviously sewing is much more important.

Awhile back, I made these pillows. They’re still on my couch. And after seeing Andrea’s super cute Christmas pillows, I realized they don’t quite fit the change in seasons.

So, after raiding my to-be-upcycled sweater stash [which is quite large, if you must know], I now have a pillow that took me about 10 minutes to make.


  • Button-up sweater [pick a fuzzy one for maximum coziness]
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread

1. Lay out your sweater. Using your pillow form, decide where you should cut your sweater. This will depend on how big the sweater is to start with. This one is a crop-length sweater, so it’s going to make a smaller pillow.

2. Cut your sweater to fit the pillow form, keeping the buttons buttoned. My sweater was the perfect width, so I only had to make one cut, underneath the armpits. [If you cut unevenly like *ahem* I did, you can easily fix that when you’re sewing. Plus, no one will really notice, as sweaters are stretchy and forgiving of mistakes!]

3. Turn the sweater inside out [keeping it buttoned]. Sew across the top and the bottom. Note: in the picture above, the sweater is not inside out. If your sweater is too wide, you will also have to sew up the other sides.

4. Turn the sweater right side out, unbutton, insert your pillow form, and re-button. Now cozy up with some kind of hot drink and a good book. Or maybe clean the house first. Maybe.

Sweater-alls: Take Two!

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you might recall some sweater overalls that I made for my now two-year-old.

 I really loved them on him, and they were such a super quick upcycling project. So I thought I’d make some for the baby this time around!

Yes, I do realize that I just made a tank top for my oldest and now I’m making sweater-alls for my youngest – in the same KCWC. But that’s spring in Wisconsin… for real. This week it was 80 one day and 50 the next. So we go with the flow.

Just like the original, these sweater-alls were upcycled from a thrift store sweater, using a pair of overalls as a template.

These are also lined with some knit fabric, but do you see those serged edges? Yeah, that was not the original plan. I completely sewed the wrong sides together, leaving the serged edges exposed. As I began to unpick with my seam ripper, I realized it would take me for.e.ver to do that… so I just decided to make it work.

And this time around? I didn’t even attempt the button hole through the sweater nightmare. Instead, the fabulous coconut buttons are just for show, with snaps hidden underneath.


Today I am 30.

I don’t mind getting older.  In fact, I like it.  Ask me again when I turn 40, I might have a different answer, but today I’m good with it.

As a birthday present to myself, I made a pillow.

Made from a felted wool sweater that was so thick I thought my sewing machine would spit at me in protest.

Perfectly cozy.

Linking up with these parties.

Sweater Romper!

I think baby and toddler clothing made out of sweaters is one of the cutest things you can put on an itty bitty.  My littles have had a few of those outfits, purchased on clearance from various stores, or borrowed from friends, because seriously… they might be cute, but they are expensive!  So of course, I had to make my own.

This was (shocking, I know) upcycled from an old cardigan of mine.  I loved the colors, and just couldn’t part with it, even though I hadn’t worn it in years.  I was too eager to get cutting that I forgot to take a before shot, but it was long and had a hood (no buttons, just a tie).  I used a one-piece long underwear that currently fits little E to get the right size.

Overall, it was a quick and easy project, though the button holes gave me some trouble, yet again.  Just like those sweater-alls, I couldn’t get my button hole foot to work on this material.  Maybe because the foot is made of plastic?  This sweater is pretty thin, so I think the plastic foot is to blame.  Anyone have suggestions for this??

Thankfully, you can’t always see my terribly made button holes under these buttons.  I used the existing edge of the cardigan, plus the sleeves, bottom of the sweater, and the hood – no hemming!

I did have to hem a little at the neckline, and the fabric stretched a little, leaving it looking a little wonky. [I’m making a face at this, in case you were wondering.]

But seriously, what’s a little funk in the neckline, when you have this cute, smiling sunshine wearing an adorable [free] sweater romper?

Linking up to:

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Who couldn’t use a few more ruffles…

Yikes… it has been awhile since I’ve posted.  More than awhile.  I think I had to dust the cobwebs off my blog before typing.  Seriously.  The new year hasn’t quite started with the bang I thought it would.  I haven’t even fired up my sewing machine once.  Maybe I’m giving it a rest from working it like a dog before Christmas.  Right… that’s it.  A rest.

I am mid-project now, however, and I hope to have it finished soon.  As long as my sweet littles will take good naps this week (should I even jinx it by putting that in print??), I should have my first actual creation of 2011. (And yes, I realize how sad that is!)

Shortly before Christmas, one of my all-time BFFs, Alicia, came over for a little sewing lesson.  Well, she definitely knows how to sew, but she wanted me to teach her how to create her own version of The Ruffle Sweater.

the original

In between all our chatting and laughing, we did actually do some sewing.  In fact, she taught me some things.  Like how to use my rotary cutter and the various tools that come with it.  For example, did you know that that fancy schmancy clear ruler was actually supposed to be clear, to lay on top of fabric? (Yes, I do realize this is quite ridiculous that I didn’t know this)  I had been using it for YEARS with the paper still on the back.  But no more!  I have seen the light, peeled off the backing, and have been delving into the world of rotary cutting.

I digress… together we created this beauty!

Just like mine, this sweater was also a pullover turned cardigan.  Alicia and I made a good team – she did the cutting, while I sewed.  And while I was sewing, she may or may not have been laughing at my disaster of a sewing area… I blamed the Christmas present projects, but she knows me better than that. ;)

I think I see more ruffles in her future!

The only thing that could have made this evening better would have been some kind of fabulous chocolatey dessert…. next time!


I have had these in my mind, ever since I saw this picture.

I picked up this sweater on a thrift store outing, knowing that it would be perfect.

I used an existing pair of overalls as my pattern, and it was a super quick project.

When thinking about how to finish the edges, my brilliant friend Courtney (who, by the way, takes the most amazing photographs) suggested lining them.  Well, lucky me, just last weekend I found a blue jersey knit sheet at a thrift store, and it worked perfectly.

For the first time, I tried to use my button-hole-maker on my sewing machine…. but this was definitely not the project to choose for my first time button-holeing (yes, that just became a verb).  The fabric was very thick and wouldn’t move, so I just used a zig-zag stitch to make my own (terrible) button-hole.

Comfy-cozy, ready for winter!

Linking up to:

make it wear it
Show and Tell Green

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend      wrap    up           party!

Ruffle Sweater Redo

I have had a grey sweater for a number of years, but said sweater is from my PB days (Pre-Baby days).  While I still love it, it just doesn’t fit quite the same anymore.  I mean, I was no super model in those PB days, but wearing this sweater as-is in the now Post-Baby days… well, it just made me look fat.

So, refashionista hat on! (And P.S. what great timing, since there’s a Refashionista Event going on over at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar – you’ve gotta check it out)

Turn a sweater into a ruffle cardigan

Original sweater

Cut it in half

Sew some coordinating knit fabric onto each side
(this knit was from a dress I have had since high school … seriously)

Add a ruffled strip of knit on top of the first one.  There are lots of different ways to make ruffles. I sewed two basting stitches down the center of a strip of knit and gently pulled on the bobbin threads until it was the right length. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I also took in the arms a bit, so it was a little more fitted.

Now here’s a cardigan that does not make me feel fat.

Linking up to:

make it wear it