A Coupla Shirt Refashions

I am getting into the home-stretch and running out of clothes to wear.

Home-stretch…that just rang funny to me, since I have 5 weeks to go until baby is due to arrive and my belly keeps stretching…and since my shirt refashions involve some nice, stretchy, long and lean tank tops from Target.

Love them…they cover my belly, I can wear them post-pregnancy, and they aren’t as expensive as maternity wear, especially when you get them from the clearance section for a whopping 2 dollars each.

These were super easy to make, each one requiring 2 shirts that match.

Cut the bottom of one shirt into strips.  I cut the bottom hem off plus 3 strips.  (And I have a lot of the top left over after cutting…will do something with that another day.)

Create your crazy design, pin, and sew with a zig-zag stitch.

I really did make a sort of random design here…one strip twisted, folded, and turned for each side, plus one strip turned into a bow and sewn somewhere near the middle.

The second shirt was a little more “organized”.  Cut the bottom hem and then 3 strips off the bottom again.  I made the strips thicker this time.

Create pleats, pin, and sew with a zig-zag stitch.

Add a little fancy flower.  I made this one by gathering a piece of the third strip of fabric, sewing the ends together to make a flower, tying a piece of the bottom hem I cut off into a knot, and stitching it to the middle.

Good thing you don’t really need to be long and “lean” to wear these…they fit my growing baby bump just fine!


Today’s Creative Blog

Maternity Shirt…sort of

 Last week was a busy one at the Circus Berry household, with hubby away on business then a visit from my mom (filled with lots of DIY talk and food).  I did manage to do some refashions during Moira’s bedtime…a little here and a little there.  Here is one of the results…

A little background first…couple of weeks ago I went through my wardrobe to get rid of some stuff and ended up with the crazy idea to refashion some things instead of giving them to Goodwill.  The refashions have been going on since then, giving me 2 ‘new’ articles of clothing so far (well, 3 but one is not included in this post).  These are what I will call my (enter air quotes) “maternity shirts”.  I do intend on wearing them after baby arrives, hence the air quotes.

They are simply made from a top of one shirt, a bottom of another shirt (or nightgown, in the case of the other shirt I made in the same fashion…not pictured here).  Here is what I did:

Tried on my “top” and marked where I wanted it to end and cut across there.  (I also ended up cutting of  the sleeves and shaped the neckline a little differently).  I cut the “bottom” right under the arms (maternity here people…I need that extra fabric to cover up the ever-growing bump).
Sewed a basting stitch around the top of the “bottom” fabric.
Gathered the top of the “bottom”.
With the right sides together, pinned the top to the bottom

Adjusted my gathers so the bottom side seam lined up with the top side seams and stitched the two together, 1/2 inch from the edge, using a zig-zag stitch.
Tore out my basting/gathering stitch.

 Suppose I could have stopped here, but noooooo…..

 Took the bottom remaining fabric of my “top”.

Pinned the remaining fabric to my shirt, to cover up the seam and gathered/scrunched it up a bit.

 Hand-stitched some of the gathers in place a the side seams.

 Gotta keep those scrunches in place (very technical, I know)…

 And here I have a finished shirt…but wait…

Gathered the shoulders a bit…I love gathers.

 Took some strips of the “bottom” fabric (not the sleeves though…saving those for another day).

Stitched the ends together to make long strips.
Made some rosettes.  I also love rosettes. (GREAT rosette tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets if you are not sure how to make these cutsies).
Stitched the rosettes along the neckline…DONE!
Thank you Momma for the photography! And for not making me stand and pose for too long!

Baby Girl Skirt

I am in love with little girl clothes…and I am not necessarily talking about lace and frills.  I am just talking about all of the possibilities to take something simple and make something oh-so-cute.  Maybe it means I am having a girl.  Maybe it is because I already have a little girl (and she loves her little girl clothes…every time I dress her she wants to show Daddy her “bootiful outfit”).  Whatever it is, this is my latest creation for my girlfriend Julie’s little baby girl, complete with the how-to.

For an infant skirt, you will need:

  • Main fabric that will be the skirt, 1/2 yard should do it
  • Trim for skirt bottom, about 45″ long (I used the bottom of a knit shirt I plan on re-purposing and it was less than 45″.  You want to be able to gather it a bit…)
  • 10 inch piece of 1/2″ elastic
  • Buttons, beads or other embellishments
  • Sewing machine, matching thread, etc…
1.  Cut the main fabric into 2 pieces, 6 1/2″ x 15 each or one piece 6 1/2″ x 30…or so (exact science, right?).  With right sides together, sew a seam down the short side(s) of your fabric, to make a tube.  Press in 1/4″ inch around the top, then press in another 3/4″ inch around the top to make what will be the casing for the elastic.  Press up 1/2″ along the bottom to make the hem.
2.  Measure and cut the trim (I started with 1 1/2″ off the bottom of the knit fabric but ended up cutting off another 1/2″ because I liked the raw edge and wanted a little less length at the bottom.)  Cut a couple of additional strips bottom, about 1 inch wide, for the flowers.
3.  Baste one edge of the knit (trim) about 1/4″ from the edge.  Pull the bobbin thread to gather.
4.  Adjust the gather and pin the right side of the knit to the wrong side of the main fabric bottom, lining up the top of the knit edge to the top of the main fabric’s hem.
5.  Stitch 1/2″ in from the top edge to make the casing for your elastic, leaving a gap to feed the elastic through.  Stitch the trim to the bottom edge.

6.  Make the knit flower rosettes.  I just took my strip of knit, gather and folded toward the center, and stitched through the middle periodically to secure the gathers.

7.  Add the buttons (or other embellishment) to the center of the flowers.  Hand-stitch the flowers to the skirt.
8.  Feed the elastic through the casing.  Overlap the ends of the elastic together slightly and stitch a couple of times across.  Sew your casing shut.  Too cute!

 As you can see, there is a headband to match…of course!  Super easy, super quick….

Cut a strip of fabric, fold wrong sides together and stitch along long, raw edge using a basting stitch.


Roll the fabric and stitch in the center to make a large flower.

Put one of the knit rosettes in the center, add the button (or other embellishment) and stitch.

Cut a piece of elastic 13 inches long.  Overlap and stitch the ends together several times to secure.  Hand stitch the flower over the elastic stitching.  Told ya it was easy!

Of course we need a pretty package to finish it off.  You will be seeing this kind of massive tissue flower on more presents to come!  It is just too fun not to use again and again.  Get your tissue paper ready…

Pin cushions…finally!

I have been sewing since I was about 15, making wrap skirts and boxer shorts, and always using my mother’s tools. When I was 21, I got my first sewing machine, along with the basic tools a sewer needs…with the exception of pin cushions (that’s okay Mom, it was still a fab gift!) Eight years later and I still have no pin cushions–until now!
I have realized the value of pin cushions after dropping my little plastic container of straight pins on the floor too many times…followed by a string of curses…followed by crawling, carefully, around on my hands and knees trying to collect pins…followed by another string of curses.
I got the pattern from a Better Homes and Gardens special publication…Bags, Pillows, & Pincushions (2009). A great little magazine, especially since I am experiencing a love affair with pillows lately (although, I don’t ever know which pillows to make first!) Different for me though, since it contains a lot of quilting and I am a rookie at the whole quilting thing…So I used some fabric scraps from clothes, place mats, napkins, etc… in my favorite color BLUE! I am quite pleased with how they came out.
No more crawling on my hands and knees, swearing, to pick up pins!

My First Entry and Pictures

Here I go…my first blog. My husband would ask me, “What is your output objective?” I just ask myself, “So what is this all about?” Well, I am passionate about my crafts, my family, my travel, and especially my cooking and I have made the decision to document and celebrate my achievments in those areas. It has taken me about a week to gather up the nerve to even begin writing, as I don’t consider myself a good writer, but hell, who cares, right? I am beginning my blogging journey. During today’s entry I have learned how to upload photos (good, right?). Having trouble figuring out how to move them easily though…another time.

My real reason for writing today is my current “project” (one of MANY, which is almost finished)… the front porch. My husband and I have lived in this house for 5 years now, and anyone who owns a home seems to have the same outlook…there will always be something to fix, redecorate, paint, repair, rebuild, etc. The front porch has been lacking in the area of relaxation, retreat, style, you name it. Finally I decided it was time to make it a place to enjoy. Sooooo, a little bit of paint, Mr. Clean, some new rugs, a couple of pieces of porch furniture, and FABRIC have started to transform the area. I have to admit, I AM LOVING IT! Now I need to put the bike somewhere else…



The porch swing cushion and the chair cushions are both from the book Pillows by Katrin Cargill that I borrowed from the library. I never thought sewing pillows would be so much fun! I am also making one for the cedar chest at the end of our bed…will definitely show more pictures after that one.

Next entry…adding a link.