Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I made a couple of little things out of big things.

First up was this sweatshirt dress:

I was inspired by a few different dresses that I saw online.  I loved the pleated bodice on this one:

Great tutorial and printable pattern (size 4/5T) by Jennifer at
Un Petit Design--how adorable is that kid of hers?!

And the puffed sleeves and OF COURSE the pockets on this one:

This tutorial is part of a series from Shwin & Shwin, a blog with seriously beautiful clothes and fantastic tutorials.  

Also, the gathered skirt and re-used original hemline on this one:

An upcycling tutorial from another sewing blogger that I love,
 Jessica at Me Sew Crazy.

And the mock-turtleneckline of this one:

Just a dress that I want from Target.
It's in my cart, but I'm waiting to buy it until I have enough other things to qualify for free shipping :)
I started with this, that I found ages ago at the Dollar Tree:

I washed it, chopped it up, followed bits and pieces of the tutorials I linked to above, and came up with this little gem!

Power smize
 She put it on and at once exclaimed, "So soft!"  I think I could really get behind one of these for myself, too.


Side view
 I had some issues with the neckline--I actually made it too small and it wouldn't fit over my darling girl's head.  Rather than dealing with the seam ripper, I just cut the whole neck band out and started over with the new larger head hole.  Came out perfect!  Good thing I had plenty of sweatshirt to work with!

Back view
 Oh, and I decided to let the neckline overlap in the back instead of closing it up all the way.  I just thought it looked cute.

Bodice detail
On the bodice, I followed the tutorial that I linked to above (here it is again, just in case) but I just used a regular stitch instead of a basting stitch when making the folds and then I didn't rip it out.  So they are more...raised lines, not so much pleats like in the tutorial.  And for my neckline I made a tube that I attached to the opening rather than a single layer to be folded down.

I love puffed sleeves for the sweet detail, but also for the forgiving nature.  You don't have to be very precise when cutting out puffed sleeves, because you'll just gather them enough to fit your armhole.  The Shwin & Shwin tunic tutorial links to a great explanation of making puffed sleeves.  Works for me!
Puffed sleeves

 And guess who else was willing to model for me today?

That's right!  It's the boy!  He's got on a really quick sweater I made for him by cutting up an old sweater of his dad's.

These guys were totally in the mood to have their pictures taken--lucky me!  It can be such a battle sometime!  We had a lot of fun.


 And plenty of silliness went on too.

The "back" view
Blue Steel.

To make this sweater, I just used a long-sleeved t-shirt of The Boy's as a guide, and cut up the old sweater into a front/back panel (I left the original neckline intact so this was all one piece) and two sleeves.  I really liked the shoulder detail that resulted from cutting the original raglan sleeves off and reattaching standard sleeves.  It almost has an epaulette feel.

Showing off the shoulder for me

I left the side seams open about 4 inches at the bottom, then hemmed and stitched the loose ends down.  I like the casual look but also it's practical because the bottom of the sweater doesn't need to have as much stretch this way.

And this is how I know when our photo shoot is over:

No more!


  1. This up cycle is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing! I've made the un petite design dress as well, a fabulous pattern / tutorial! Love your creation.

    Happy new year!

  2. Dang, if only I had seen this before Aaron sent all his old sweaters to Goodwill. Next time...

    1. It's a slippery slope, Morgan! You start by holding things back from the donation pile that you want to upcycle, and before you know it you have a laundry room overflowing with old clothes!

  3. So cute! You're making me want to learn how to sew. :) Also, um, your kids are getting so big, and even more adorable (if that's even possible)!

    1. Aww, thanks Camille! If you ever want some sewing tips or resources, there are a lot of directions I could point you in!

  4. Hi, I just followed you here from your comment at Fake it While You Make It. Glad to have found your blog! These clothes are great.

    1. Thanks Jane! Glad you stopped by! Your blog is great--and a nice break from our dreary weather to see you all enjoying the sun this time of year.

  5. MUST have a sweatshirt dress for me! er..for the baby, I mean. SO cute! and the models ain't half bad either :)

    1. Thanks Jackie! I was thisclose to buying a whole bunch of yardage of sweatshirt fabric that I found at Goodwill the other day so I could make something similar in a grownup size, but I just couldn't get behind the color. Maybe someday I'll luck into something perfect!


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